What is God's name? Humans all have personal names. Why, many people even name their pets! Would it not be reasonable for God to have a name? Having and using personal names is unquestionably a vital part of human relationships and interactions. Should it be different when it comes to our relationship with God? Ironically, millions who profess faith in the God of the Bible do not use his personal name. Yet, God's name has been known for centuries. Learn of times when God's name was widely used. More important, learn of what the Bible says about getting to know God by name.
By the 17th century, several European countries were minting coins featuring the name of God. A German coin minted in the year 1634 prominently featured the name Jehovah. Such coins became popularly known as the Jehovah talers, or Jehovah coins, and were circulated for decades.
Jehovah is a rendering of God's name that has been recognized for centuries. In Hebrew, a language that is read from right to left, the name appears as four consonants. These four Hebrew letters - translitterated YHWH - are known as the tetragrammaton. God's name in this form was also inscribed on European coins for decades.
God's name can also be found on buildings, monuments, and works of art as well as in many church hymns. Various Bible translations today feature the personal name of God in many verses. A quick visit to a library or a few minutes of research in your own dictionaries will likely reveal that the name Jehovah is widely accepted as the vernacular equivalent of the Tetragrammaton. For example, the Encyclopedia International pointedly defines the name Jehovah as the "modern form of the Hebrew sacred name of God." A recent edition of The New Encyclopedia Brittanica explains that Jehovah is the "Judeo-Christian name for God."
'But,' you may wonder, 'is God's name a matter of concern to people today?' Is the name of God important to people in your part of the world? Or do most refer to the Creator as "God," as if this title were his actual name?
Consider the fact that the Bible mentions God's personal name, Jehovah, THOUSANDS of times. It was God himself who inspired Bible writers to use his name so prominently. One of these writers, the psalmist Asaph, wrote: "You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalm 83: 18). David also wrote in a psalm: "Concerning the name of Jehovah our God we shall make mention." (Psalm 20: 7.
The Bible shows that Jehovah examines our hear to determine how we feel about his name. The prophet Isaiah wrote: "Give thanks to Jehovah, you people! Call upon his name. Make known among the peoples his dealings. Make mention that his name is put on high." (Isaiah 12: 4).
Copied in part from Awake, January 22, 2004.