God in Judaism - YHWH

YHWH

יהוה (YHWH) is known as the Tetragrammaton—literally, "the four letters". Jews traditionally do not pronounce it, and instead refer to God as HaShem, literally "the Name". In prayer this name is substituted with Adonai, meaning "Master" or "Lord".

In Christian tradition, many scholars have suggested that the vocalization as Hebrew: יְהֹוָה, Yehovah Yəhōwāh combines the consonants YHWH with the vowels of "Adonai" as a commemorative mark to prevent the reader from pronouncing the proper name of God YHWH, which is forbidden for any Jew in times after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Therefore the mis-pronunciation as Yəhōwāh really is a hybrid form of notation, most likely developed in the High Middle Ages by masoretic scholars. In some Christian theology it is suggested that it may have existed in magical traditions outside Judaism, in Late Antiquity.

However some scholars argue that the masoretic pronunciation may very well reflect an old tradition, given that the vowels of "Jehovah" and "Adonai" are in fact not exactly identical and many theophoric Hebrew names contain "Yeho" (the first two syllables of "Yəhōwāh" in Hebrew) at the beginning of the name; such as Yehoshua (Joshua), Yehonatan (Jonathan) and Yehoshafat (Jehoshaphat). This suggests that the masoretic vowel points for YHWH were also used in ancient Hebrew names and is therefore likely to be to proper vowel points of the name .

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