Jehovah, Yahweh, or Adonai? What Can We Say? Gershon Elinson/Flash90

Jehovah, Yahweh, or Adonai? What Can We Say?

Why is the Hebrew tetragrammaton “YHWH” so special and why won’t the Jewish people even utter that name?


For thousands of years Jews have refused to utter the special name of God. Christians have often misunderstood this radical response to the four lettered Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH thinking that it’s because Jews don’t see God as close and intimate as they do with Jesus. What should a Christian say?

Jewish insistence never to speak the Unutterable Name does not come from disengagement, but as a response to a deep-seated awe and wonder when standing in the presence of God. Their humility and hesitancy to utter the Ineffable Name reflects a silencing wonderment before the One whom no word, name or concept could ever begin to describe. Stillness before God and an unwillingness, or inability, to try and express the grandeur of His presence does not reflect a distance between God and man. It is a sacred moment of intimate holiness.


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