Is the name “Jehovah” pagan?

idolatryIf you’ve read any of my comments on this blog recently, you know a commenter attacked my use of the name “Jehovah” to refer to God. He said it was of pagan origin and that I should use “Yahweh” instead. His comment was not the first one made to me to that effect. My response was the following:

‘“Jehovah” is the actual pronunciation. Maybe you’re confused because the Watchtower Society has hijacked the name. But according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910-1911 in vol. 15, pages 311-314, Jews had used Jehovah (Yehovah) as the name & pronunciation for God centuries before the Christian era. This is verified by the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge of 1912 in vol. VI on page 117 and vol. XII on page 470. Even the early church has been documented as having used that name & pronunciation. The Hebrew letter “jod” before the modern era was pronounced as the English j or soft g when transliterated from the Hebrew. “Yahweh” was made the spelling & pronunciation by Jew-hating Germans when they spread the false claim that the God of the Jews was the same as the pagan Babylonian & Canaanite deity “Yaho.” German scholars in the 19th century like Genebrardus, Driver, and Delitzsch helped spread this lie worldwide to justify their anti-semitism until everyone, including Jews, adopted it. To verify this, just look at how the Hebrew words for Jerusalem and Joshua are pronounced which have the same Hebrew letter combinations at the beginning of the words.’

Although that information is true, I failed to search the scriptures thoroughly enough to draw the conclusion that “Yahweh” may still be valid, especially since I have used both “Jehovah” and “Yahweh” interchangeably plenty of times. A lot of confusion is churned up about one name being correct over the other and it is a clever tactic most likely designed by the author of confusion to get us to make much ado about nothing. One important fact I overlooked from the Bible is one of Satan’s habits as expressed in two scriptures:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Isaiah 14:14

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Mark 13:6

Satan sometimes uses God’s names and applies them to his false gods, meaning by default he deceptively places the names on himself. This is why we see names such as “El” or “Yaho” showing up in various pagan pantheons. It’s also why New Agers often refer to “ascended masters” as having reached “Christ-consciousness,” having accessed the “Christ” within themselves that they falsely believe everyone has. This is why pagan sources should be questioned when it comes to determining the authenticity of religious practices and the Bible should be seen as the ultimate truth.

When this is taken into account, we see that many variants of God’s names show up in the scriptures, often in the names of the Hebrews. Here’s a sample:

And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu [Yehuw’ pronounced yā-hoo’ in Hebrew, ‘Jehovah is He’] the son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord … 1 Kings 16:7

  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah [Yĕhovah (yeh·hō·vä’)] was I not known to them. Exodus 6:3

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah [Yahh], and rejoice before him. Psalm 68:4

Jehoshaphat [Yĕhowshaphat (yeh·hō·shä·fät’), “Jehovah has judged”]

Jehoahaz [Yĕhow’achaz (yeh·hō·ä·khäz’), “Jehovah has seized”]

Elijah [‘Eliyah (ā·lē·yä’), “my God is Jehovah” or “Yah(u) is God”]

Adonijah [‘Adoniyah (ad·ō·nē·yä’), “my lord is Jehovah”]

Isaiah [Yĕsha`yah (yesh·ah·yä’), “Jehovah has saved”]

Jeremiah [Yirmĕyah (yir·meh·yä’), “whom Jehovah has appointed”]

It looks to me like God doesn’t mind being called Jehovah, Jah, Yah, or Yahweh. So maybe it’s time to throw all such arguments out, especially since the reliable, God-preserved, Masoretic text that is the foundation of the English Old Testament agrees with all of them.

Harry A. Gaylord

8 thoughts on “Is the name “Jehovah” pagan?

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  1. “Satan sometimes uses God’s names and applies them to his false gods”

    I agree, Harry. Reggae is an example of this. I used to be impressed by Rastafarian music when singers like Bob Marley gave the impression they were singing praises to “Jah.” Then when I found out about the drug culture their music is based on and who their “Jah” really is, it turned me off.

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    1. SonOfADeacon,

      Rastafari is one of several religions that claim the God of the Bible, but actually worships another god. You’re correct that their Jah is different because to them he is the late emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, who is still lying in his grave. I find it sad that people expect to get to heaven even though they reject God’s way of getting there, rejecting the real Christ while they embrace false ones that can only lead them to hell.

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  2. As if that wasn’t bad enough, to many Rastafarians, heaven is not spiritual, but physical and its Africa. Which is strange considering how there tends to be so much division, corruption, and warring throughout that continent. That’s a heaven I wouldn’t want to be in.

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  3. Hello Harry hope everything is well. Don’t remember if you recall when i said me and my family were going to move to America, well i have been having second thoughts about that. I mean i don’t know if i want my family in a country that has every gangster known to mankind. Hispanics, Asian/yakuza, the mob, African American gangs bloods/crips and also some clips i have recently seen of police brutality ?. And what’s up with the westboro baptist church dude. It would be unwise of me to assume all of America is that bad i guess if you could recommend a state that would be good to live in i would appreciate it.
    God bless!

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    1. Nick,

      That’s fantastic news about your coming to America! I can understand your concerns, but you just have to be aware of whatever location you stay in when you move here. Most towns with over 15,000 people will have both good and bad neighborhoods. If you get to know someone in the real estate business who deals with apartments or single family homes over here, they can usually direct you to good areas. I would say the best state to live in would be Texas. The economy’s booming with plenty of jobs to choose from and lots of decent housing. The downside of Texas is that it has lots of desert in some parts, other parts of the state deal with a lot of flooding, and it gets quite a few tornadoes. Tornadoes are common in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Other good states are North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Florida (which is known for hurricanes) and Georgia. The cost of living is high in Hawaii, California, and any big city here. Marijuana is legal in Washington & Colorado. You can probably find out more by searching the Internet.

      The guy from Westboro Baptist died recently and his followers aren’t that numerous. No matter where you go on this planet, there will be people who love to hate others.

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  4. https://www.thegodculture.com
    Bible disproves the Pharisee notion that His name cannot be pronounced thus it must be replaced with generic names of which Lord translates back into English as Ba’al, Yahweh was the name of a pagan god, Jehovah is the god of destruction in which you will never find a letter correlated to J or having a J sound in ancient Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic nor even Latin for that matter until the Renaissance. HaShem, the Pharisee replacement name, originates from Babylon as Ashima or HaShema as well and from the pagan replacements who entered the Northern Kingdom of Israel so we reject that as well. YHWH can be easily pronounced phonetically as “Yahuah.” YH = Yah (NOT Yeh, even Pharisees use YAH for the yod hei in the names of the prophets such as EliYAHU/Elijah); HW = Hu; WH – wah (the “w” sound is already in the ua). We do not fault those who use similar but are trying to restore His name in our studies. This name was replaced over 7,000 times in the King James Version of the bible and beyond and by scholars who knew better yet they were deceivers and we reject such an act nor that any scholar nor apostle nor pope ever had such authority to overrule Adam, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Moses, etc. – NO. One of the things that started us on our journey to discover God’s word for ourselves was the question: WHY? Do you know why? Find out. Prove all things for yourself and accept nothing without proof. This includes ALL tradition as 1 Thess. doesn’t say all but the doctrines of this denomination or that one. It says ALL. We challenge and prove ALL things.

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  5. Jehovah is a Roman translated name from Jove or Jupiter. Apostate Christians in the Holy Roman Empire used Jehovah or Iehovah or Iove to replace the name Theos written in the Greek Scriptures Jehovah was not a name known to the Apostle Paul or the Greeks he preached to about the Jew Immanuel who is to come the Jewish Messiah descending from King David of the tribe of Judah. Taken from the name Immanuel, God’s name is reintroduced to Israel as “EL” of course the irony of the name Israel and Immanuel having the letters “EL”

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    1. Sorry, Andrew, but your information is incorrect. The name Jehovah has no link whatsoever to Jove or Jupiter. The Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts underlying the Old Testament pre-date the Roman Empire by thousands of years. The examples I use in my post above for how Jehovah’s name appears in various forms in the Old Testament are Aramaic and Hebrew in nature, not Roman.

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