A question came to us, about more on God’s name. We were asked why, in the Hebrew text it reads in Hebrew יְהֹוָה which is transliterated into English as YHWH. That is only four letters, which is true, but in the written text originally there were no vowels. Vowels are: a, e, i, o, and u. In the spoken Hebrew language there were vowels, but not in the original written language. In newer writings they use vowels. When it comes to the divine name YHWH, it is commonly referred to as the Tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions, of the rendering that name as “LORD.” The “L” as a capital letter, and “LORD” in small capital letters, some put ORD, in all capital letters, this is to distinguish it from the Hebrew word, “adonai” another word rendered “Lord,” for which small letters are used. Whenever the two words stand together in the NIV translation, of the Hebrew Scripture, they put this “Adonai YHWH” as “Sovereign LORD,” even though “Adonai” is Lord, not “Sovereign,” in any other place in their translation. We prefer to translate it correctly as “Lord Yahweh.” This honors His name!
Note: every version will read either: “the LORD,” or “the LORD,” even though the article “the” appears nowhere, in the original Hebrew text. We have not found one place, yet that reads: “the LORD.” Since “the” is not in the Hebrew text, delete it, and read it as it should be, not LORD, but Yahweh!
We have an article, on our website, which would help you to understand the greatness of God’s name, which is Yahweh. The title is: “Intimacy with God and His Great Name.” That article shows why we need to know His name, and pass it on, to everyone who believes in God. Would you want to be referred to as human being, rather than by your name? No! So God has a name and He wants us to know what that name is, and call him that name! Just saying God does not get it.
The translators have not helped, by not explaining a few things about the Bible. First, if you look at an Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek manuscripts of the Scriptures, you will find a lot missing. First in the Hebrew, you will find no vowels. In the Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek there were no chapter headings, chapters, or verses. That is amazing, knowing that Jesus opened the scroll of Isaiah, and went to, what is today as Chapter 61, verses 1 and 2. WOW! He must have really known the Word of God. By the way, we are glad for chapters and verses, it sure helps finding things easier. Chapter headings is another story, most are done by misinformation, or denominational bias. For the most part, they are devoid of authority. Remember, these were added by man, and are not God breathed.
The Bible was originally written in “uncial” text, that is, in only capital letters with no spaces between the words. This makes translation work difficult, because capitalized words mean something different in English. If I say “Mark” it is a man’s name, but to say “mark” it is not a name, but something my granddaughter left on the wall, with her crayons. This now brings us to where we need to be. GOD, God, or god? What are you talking about Bob? You see if we go to the Hebrew text and translate it to English, because it is all capital letters, we could say: GOD, but that is not how English would handle it. For us there is God, and there are others gods. Now Bob, you are stretching it a bit, there is only one God! Not according to the Hebrew or Greek text, or even the NIV.1 Let us look at a few verses, where gods [plural] is used, and it is used 270 times. Now remember, these are all GODS in the Hebrew. For us it is nice to distinguish between them, by knowing His name, not just saying God!
Exodus 15:11 (NIV)
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD [Yahweh]? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
Looks to us, like there are other gods, even in the Bible, and not all are idols, made of stone or whatever. As you read the Bible, you will find idols are usually idle. They do nothing! Yet throughout the Bible some gods actually do stuff.
Exodus 18:11 (NIV)
Now I know that the LORD [Yahweh] is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.”
Yahweh is greater than all other gods! If you do not like the NIV, look at any other versions, go ahead, gods is there. This next one is in the “Ten Commandments.”
Exodus 20:3 (NIV)
“You shall have no other gods before me.
Jesus said “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” [Luke 16:10]. To us those “S’s” on gods are little things, but we need to know, that they are there. This next one shows there are gods with names!
Exodus 23:13 (NIV)
“Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.
There are covenants, with God, throughout the Bible, and people can make covenants, with other gods. You could not make a covenant with these gods, if they were only stone, wood, gold, or whatever!
Exodus 23:32 (NIV)
Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.
We can be nearer our God!
Deuteronomy 4:7 (NIV)
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD [Yahweh] our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
Here we see a repeat, of one of the “Ten Commandments.”
Deuteronomy 5:7 (NIV)
“You shall have no other gods before me.
Yahweh is the God of gods!
Deuteronomy 10:17 (NIV)
For the LORD [Yahweh] your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality2 and accepts no bribes.
Again the other gods have names, so use Yahweh’s name, to distinguish between them.
Psalm 16:4 (NIV)
The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.
This is an awesome verse, which we could build another teaching, so we will just point out the obvious. He gives judgment among the “gods.” Why would He give judgment, among the gods if they were all stone, or some other material? Read the verse!
Psalm 82:1 (NIV)
God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the “gods”:
This one is hard to ignore, among the gods there is none like you! Hey! Look at what else it says: “…O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.” If all these gods were stone idols, how could you compare their deeds? You could not! I did not write the Bible, these verses have been here a long, long time.
Psalm 86:8 (NIV)
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.
Next we see: Yahweh is the great God, the great King above all gods. The Bible would not say this if the other gods did nothing.
Psalm 95:3 (NIV)
For the LORD [Yahweh] is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Yahweh is to be revered, above all gods. Again, how could the other gods be revered, if they all did nothing?
Psalm 96:4 (NIV)
For great is the LORD [Yahweh] and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared [revered] above all gods.
Yahweh is exalted far above all gods!
Psalm 97:9 (NIV)
For you, O LORD [Yahweh], are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
Yahweh is greater than all gods! He is greater, which indicates the other gods did something.
Psalm 135:5 (NIV)
I know that the LORD [Yahweh] is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
Give thanks, to the God of gods.
Psalm 136:2 (NIV)
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
David said, I will praise you Yahweh, with all his heart, before the “gods.”
Psalm 138:1 (NIV)
Of David. I will praise you, O LORD [Yahweh], with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
We know there is only One True God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, but as we see, throughout the Bible, it says, there are other gods. In the Christian Scriptures, it talks about other gods, and it reads: …indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords.”
1 Corinthians 8:5 (NIV)
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),
Knowing that there are other gods around doing stuff, is good to know. Remember also, Satan is referred to as a god in 2 Corinthians 4:4. So, we close with this, there are other gods, though we did not get into their names, we showed these other gods had names. God has a name and we need to know it. Here are a few things, we have seen about Yahweh in this article:
He, Yahweh, is greater, majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders. We are to have no other gods before Him! We should have covenants with Him and no other gods. He is the God of gods, and King of gods. He is mighty and awesome, and shows no partiality. He gives judgment among the gods! His deeds cannot be compared with the deeds of other gods. He is the Most High over all the earth; and exalted far above all gods. So with all this, and the other article I referred you to, I think Yahweh is a name we all need to know, especially since many of these other gods want you to know their names. None of them sent their sons to die for you, and to rescue you from this fallen world. So His name is not God, it is Yahweh, a name we are to remember and teach our children!