Mistranslating a Name as a Title

November 11, 2021

Yahweh is the name of the God of the Old Testament. On our journey to better understand the Bible, we must identify Yahweh as the Father of Jesus and Jesus as the unique son of Yahweh. There is no need to see this relationship in any other manner other than a Father-Son relationship. As we focus on this relationship, both the Old and New Testaments will begin to come into focus.

Almost all modern translations exchange the name of Yahweh for the title “LORD.” The four letters that make up this name, YHWH, are called the Tetragrammaton. ‘Yahweh’ is the most common way to pronounce the Tetragrammaton, yet others have used the pronunciation ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yehovah.’

The Name Translation Bible is a project I have published that translates every name with its meaning next to it. The translation also differentiates between titles and names. God is a title not a name. Yet in most English translations we say, “For God so loved the world,” when we should say, “For the God so loved the world.” The TNT translates John 3:16 as, “For our God so loved the world,” because the more accurate translation as “the God” is hard to swallow and clunky sounding for most readers.

The only time you find Yahweh given a name other than the four-letter Tetragrammaton is found in the book of Exodus. “Do not worship any other god, for the Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). Some scholars believe that the name Yahweh originates in the land of Midian, and is derived from the Arabic term for “desire, love or passion.” I translated the name of Yahweh to mean “Jealous one” mostly because of the numerous Biblical declarations where Yahweh identifies to the emotion of jealousy. When you understand who someone is, you better understand their actions.

In today’s society, jealousy is one of the most embarrassing emotions of which to be accused. This accusation usually points to someone who is insecure, vulnerable, and desperate. Yet in the Scriptures we find our God whose name is Yahweh, declaring, “I am a Jealous God!” Jealously is used to express a strong emotion toward what one possesses. Yahweh possesses us and is jealous for us and requires us to be fully devoted to him.

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Research for The Name Translation (TNT) Bible project has been part of my ministry for over a decade. The more I have devoted myself to the study of names, the more I have become thoroughly convinced of their spiritual significance and how each name undeniably impacts lives and destinies. Learn More

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