A recent claim is that the full vowels for Yehovah have been found in ancient Hebrew manuscripts, thereby challenging the Name Yahweh. The following is an extract from our website (yrm.org) in response to this claim. (Original Q&A by Ryan Mansager)
We hear it often: “the full vowels for the creator’s name have now been found.” Sadly, many people have been sold a bill of goods based on a false premise. And that false premise is perpetuated from a lack of understanding of Ketiv/ Qere in Hebrew. Ketiv and Qere are orthographic devices that were used by the Masoretes (Jewish scribes) in the 6th to the 10th centuries. Ketiv means, “what is written.” Qere means, “what is read.” In other words, the sacred Name was written one way, but it was to be read another way.
Basically, the scribes would insert the vowels from two other words – Adonai and Elohim – into the Tetragrammaton, hwhy, so when the reader saw these vowels he would read the title Adonai or Elohim, completely avoiding the sacred Name, which Judaism believes is too holy to pronounce. This practice is done every Sabbath as the torah scroll is read our loud. (Professor William Barrick explains the practice in the link at the end of this article.) Some who promote Yehovah over Yahweh point to a Karaite Jew’s claim that he discovered the “full” vowels in the Tetragrammaton from a medieval manuscript, indicating the name Yehovah. However, another name would be just a legitimate as Yehovah, based on the same principles and logic used to support it and that name is Yehovih.
The vowels for Adonai in the Tetragrammaton read Yehovah while the vowels for Elohim in the tetragrammaton read Yehovih. One is no more legitimate than the other. Both have the same “full vowels,” as well as missing holems, vowel deductions, etc. I would like to go through some of these examples in the Leningrad Codex. The practice of such vowel substitution existed in Masoretic manuscripts dating to the 9th and 10th centuries, CE. There are several forms of Ketiv / Qere, including: ordinary, vowel, omitted, added, euphemistic, split, and qere perpetuum. If you do not have a basic concept of biblical Hebrew this may seem a bit complex.
it arose through pronouncing the vowels of the ‘ḳere’ (marginal reading of the Masorites: = ‘Adonay’) with the consonants of the ‘ketib’ (text reading: = ‘Yhwh’)— ‘Adonay’” Jehovah, Jewish Encyclopedia
‘Jehovah’ is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo X.’s confessor, Peter Galatin,” ibid.One thing is for sure, we don’t see the vowel combination for Yahweh ever used in the text. This is perfectly understandable as the scribes were purposely hiding the Name. By simple deduction we can prove the name Yahweh by what is not in the text, as no vowel combination exists for the “ah” and “eh” sounds” in the Masoretic vowel points in any part of the Tetragrammaton, just like we should expect from someone hiding the name.
Conclusion: Jehovah has all but died out as a legitimate form in the scholarly world. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses realize it’s not authentic. It wasn’t until recently that history repeated itself. The name Yehovah (Jehovah with a Y) was popularized in the Messianic Movement by a recent narrative that a certain Karaite Jew found the full vowels of Yehovah as he was in the bowels of the Hebrew University, reading the Aleppo Codex on 9-11, at the exact moment the planes were hitting the World Trade Center. It should be noted this Karaite has a history of hyperbole. Apparently this sensationalistic story is supposed to dazzle the believer into thinking there was a miracle in the making. The proper name has “now” been found by a supernatural event, he excitingly proclaimed. Now that yarn has been expanded from one obscure, “amazing” find to literally thousands of occurrences. But wait, how can that be? How can the narrative change so drastically and no one question it? Sadly, many do not see the elephant in this room. Why the change? As shown, we can find these “full vowels” not just in the Aleppo Codex but also the Leningrad codex in Genesis 3:14 the very codex that the majority of our Bibles translate from (see Below).
Think about it! One full vowel combination became two, then three, then thousands over night. You can’t have it both ways, it can’t be an obscure scribal error found on 911 and yet be everywhere at the same time. It can’t be an accident and yet on purpose thousands of times.
Beware when you see a square peg in a round holem.Note: The above article uses the “v” for the 6th letter only to show those who use Yehovah the similarities with other name combinations using the vowels for Elohim. The 6th letter has a “w” anciently as taught by every accredited biblical Hebrew class and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Yehovah is impossible on many levels. See: yrm.org/the-sixth-letter-waw-or-vav
Biblical Hebrew Scholar Dr. Bill Barrick of the Masters Seminary refutes the erroneous name Yehovah (Jehovah) through Hebrew grammar. He explains how heretical Alexandrian Jews (the very ones that translated the Septuagint) removed the name Yahweh for Kyrios (the lord) around 250 BCE out of a misguided understanding of the 3rd commandment. This has influenced not just Judaism, but also Christianity; as a result the title “lord” made it in your Bible, replacing Yahweh. yrm.org/barrick-yehovah