Scholar Claims We’ve Been Saying God’s Name Wrong For 200 Years

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A Biblical scholar discovered 1,000 manuscripts proving that the original Hebrew name for God is not Yahweh, as scholars believed, but is actually Yehovah.

Nehemia Gordon and his team discovered the 1,000th manuscript containing the original Hebrew name of God, known as the Tetragrammaton, on Saturday, completing his effort to confirm it as Yehovah since discovering the first, previously untranslated Hebrew sources with that spelling in late 2016, according to Religion News Service.

Scholars believed for 200 years that the name was spelled Yahweh, based on what they could glean from Greek texts and the fact that most Jewish texts only included the consonants, in part due to the ancient belief that God’s name is too sacred to be spoken. Prior to this, all scholars knew for sure was that the consonants were YHWH.

Gordon began the project to find 1,000 Hebrew manuscripts containing the name Yehovah in February 2017, shortly after he discovered five Bible manuscripts containing the full spelling of the Tetragrammaton. The discoveries that followed included a full spelling in the Cairo Codex of the Prophets, written in 895 A.D., and full spellings in three manuscripts written with Babylonian vocalization — an ancient form of writing first invented in the 6th Century that adds vowels to Hebrew consonantal texts to ensure proper pronunciation. Gordon also discovered the full Tetragrammaton in two of the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible, which he found in the Russian National Library.

Gordon studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Archeology. In addition to his work in discovering the Hebrew name of God, he has helped with translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts written in ancient Hebrew.

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