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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Tetragrammaton (disambiguation). "YHWH" redirects here. For discussion of the Yahweh of ancient Semitic religion, see Yahweh.

This article's lead section may not adequately summarize its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of the article's key points. (September 2011)

TheMesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the sacredHebrew name of God – YHWH.
The term tetragrammaton (from Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning "[a word] having four letters")[1] refers to the Hebrew written form of YHWH (Hebrew: Israel which is used in the Hebrew Bible and elsewhere. This written Hebrew name is generally regarded as having been pronounced as Yahweh by modern scholars,though many variant pronunciations have been proposed. At some point a taboo on saying the name aloud developed in Judaism, and rather than pronounce the written name, other titles were substituted, including "Lord" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios). ), one of the names of the God of


1 Primary evidence: occurrences in texts o 1.1 Hebrew Bible  1.1.1 Frequency of use inscripture o 1.2 Dead Sea scrolls Hebrew and Aramaic texts o 1.3 Representation in Hellenistic Jewish texts o 1.4 In the Kabbalah and Chassidut o 1.5 Magical papyri o 1.6 Aramaic papyri o 1.7 Mesopotamian texts  1.7.1 19th-century scholarship  1.7.2 Modern scholarship 2 Etymology and meaning of YHWH 3 Pronunciation: the question of which vowels o 3.1 Theophoric names o 3.2 Using consonants assemi-vowels (v/w) o 3.3 Yahweh or Jahweh o 3.4 Examining the vowel points of and o 3.5 Kethib and Qere and Qere perpetuum o 3.6 Jehovah o 3.7 = Yahweh o 3.8 The Leningrad Codex of 1008–1010 o 3.9 The vocalizations of and are not identical o 3.10 Josephus's description of vowels o 3.11 Conclusions 4 Usage - conventions and prohibitions on speaking the name o 4.1 Speaking the name in ancient Israel o4.2 Prohibitions on speaking the name in Judaism  4.2.1 Second Temple period  4.2.2 The exception for the temple liturgy  4.2.3 Mishna and Talmud  4.2.4 Kabbala  4.2.5 Reasons for the prohibition on speaking the name  4.2.6 Prohibitions on writing the name o 4.3 Prohibition on speaking the name among the Samaritans

4.4 Speaking the name in Christianity 5 Early Greek and Latin forms 6Patristic writings o 6.1 Clement's Stromata o 6.2 Christian translations into Greek and Latin o 6.3 Christian Bible translations into English 7 Tetragrammaton in the New Testament o 7.1 Translations of the New Testament into Hebrew 8 Use of "Yahweh" or "Lord" in the Catholic Church 9 See also 10 Notes 11 External links


evidence: occurrences in texts
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The tetragrammaton occurs 6,828 times in the Hebrew text of both the Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.[2] The only books it does not appear in are the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes,andEsther. It first appears in the Hebrew text in Genesis 2:4.[2][3] The letters, properly read from right to left (in Biblical Hebrew), are:


Letter name Yodh "Y"





"W", or placeholder for "O"/"U" vowel (see mater lectionis) "H" (or often a silent letter at the end of a word)


[edit]Frequency of use in scripture
According to theBrown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, and (Qr (Qr ) occurs 6,518 times, ) occurs 305 times in the Masoretic Text.

It appears 6,823 times in the Jewish Bible, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia, and 6,828 times each in the Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia texts of the Hebrew Scriptures. This number in itself is quite remarkable considering the name compared with titles given to God, namely: God...