Duane wrote:

Hi Brother Mike and John,

  • I know that the Jehovah Witnesses have an incorrect transliteration of YHWH and we don't transliterate it that way but I'm just wondering why some Catholics use the Jehovah Witnesses transliteration?

Please read this from the Vatican web site under 1. God: The Alpha and Omega of Human Life.

The Charter for Health Care Workers: A Synthesis of Hippocratic Ethics and Christian Morality

It says:

Here we encounter the central feature of Christian morality in relation to the sacredness and the inviolability of human life, of every human life, of the human life of every man. This is why Jehovah, when he revealed the ten commandments of the Covenant, put the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" at the center of this Covenant, a fact which deserves special attention. God makes himself not only judge of each violation of the commandment in defense of life but also and above all else he makes himself the defender of a commandment placed at the very basis of the whole of social coexistence. [6] For good reasons, therefore, Christian morality has always proclaimed and defended and still proclaims and defends today the incomparable value of the life of each human person.

  • Why does the Vatican.va web site use the Jehovah transliteration since we know it is not the correct one for YHWH?


  { Why does the Vatican.va web site transliterate the word "Jehovah" incorrectly? }

John replied:

Hi Duane,

There is nothing official and scholars aren't in agreement over the transliteration. We really have no idea since Hebrew has no vowels nor does it effect, one iota of doctrine, how the word is pronounced. It means I Am that Am . . . and reveals the Self-existing Nature of God.

The various names given to God in the Old Testament reveal God's attributes and character . . . that's the point. Sometimes we see the word Elohim or forms of Elohim which implies God's sovereignty and power so at times of Yahweh or Jehova or Ya and Je or El are used because Hebrews words contract together.

With these combinations, we see:

  • God the provider
  • God the healer
  • God Almighty . . .
  • and so forth.

Here is another example of how Hebrew works. The Hebrew for Jesus is Ye' shua. Sometimes Ya' shua other times Joshua or Hosea or Isaiah. All because there are no vowels and the context of the sentence determines the vowel that is inserted when they speak.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.