The Tetragrammaton as shown in the image on the left is made up of four Hebrew or Aramaic letters from right to left being Yod He Wah He. They are generally considered to be rendered as Jehovah or Yahweh. And while the accurate pronunciation has long been lost, it is what has long been considered to be the personal name of the God of the Holy Bible.
Most modern versions and translations remove all but four of the thousands of instances of this contained in the oldest available biblical texts. It was removed by scribes due to superstitions around common usage of the Holy Name, and replaced with Adonai or Lord. Due to this practice, everyday usage of the name was all but lost for centuries.
Then in the late 1800s, a group of bible students began to resurrect use of the name due to scriptural instructions to make the name of God known. In the 1930s this group became known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Largely due to their evangelizing the name has become commonly known and used once again.
Recently though, their have arisen groups of Bible students that believe that the true personal name of God is the “I Am” of the Pentateuch. They further believe that those that do not worship the God known as “I Am” are in fact worshiping the Devil, or Satan. Having done a great deal of research on this subject in the past, I was quite surprised at the strength of conviction on the part of these individuals and groups.
I would rather not spend too much time debating the relative merits of either side as it seems to me to be a moot point.
The closest translation of the Tetragrammaton is “He causes to become.”
So in essence what we have here are two closely related forms of the verb “To Be” (Become and Am) I find them to each be representations highlighting God’s role as the source of all existence. So the fact that this is being used as a divisive instrument is not just a shame, but so contrary to the root messages the scriptures convey as to be ludicrous.
If people want to honor, worship and serve the God of the Holy Bible, I don’t see how preventing people from connecting with one another and therefore with the divine is appropriate. Creating divisions and sects is not just counterproductive, it clearly is in violation of the entire spirit of the scriptures.
The important issue seems to me to be that the name is important for the message about the nature of God that it conveys.
The only purposes that I can see being served by continuing this debate are not ones I would care to be involved in. That’s my take on this controversy…
As always, the conflict is illusion.