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  • P. Tarcisio

THE NAME OF GOD. What is the most correct way of speaking the name of God?


This Sunday is the solemnity of the Holy Trinity. In other words, the name of Triune God and one. We believe in one and only God, who has revealed Himself to us in three different persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament God has several names: Adonai, El Shadai, The Lord of Hosts, The Almighty, The Holy One of Israel, The Lord of all the earth ... but among all those names the sacred name stands out, that is, four letters of the Hebrew alphabet that in English are written like this: YHWH. How this sacred name is read has been a point of discussion for a long time. Actually, it is a problem of vocalization of the Hebrew word YHWH, which occurs in various written and spoken forms, for example, "Yahweh", "Yahwe", "Jahweh", "Jahwe", "Jave", "Yahweh", "Jehovah", etc.


We read in Exodus chapter 3, that God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and sent him to Pharaoh to speak on his behalf. Moses asked God, "But if the Israelites ask me what your name is, what am I going to answer them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." Thus you will say to the Israelites: I AM sends me to you. This you will say to them: I AM, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob sends me to you. This is my name forever.» (Ex. 3:13-15).


In Biblical Hebrew, the vowels of a word were not written, but only the consonants. It was quite difficult to read it correctly, because when reading a Hebrew text, one had to know by heart which vowels must be pronounced in the middle of the consonants. The name of God: "I AM" was written with these four consonants: Y H W H that the Jews pronounced thus "Yahweh". Jehovah pronunciation is deduced by transliterating the first letter (yod) as a "J" instead of "Y" and the last letter (he) as an "A" instead of "E".


Over time the Jewish people chose not to pronounce this sacred name, since the mouth of man is not worthy to pronounce it, so when they read the Torah in public, (what we know as the Old Testament) they generally pause for silence where this word is found, and the assembly knows what they mean, or is replaced by the word "Ha Shem", which means: "The Name".


In Exodus 34:6 we find this definition: "Moses then pronounced the name of the God, and God, passing before him, proclaimed:" I am the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. "


God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is not a matter of entering into theological discussions. But yes, let a clear message reach our hearts: God is love.

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