YOU'VE BEEN LIED TO!!!!!There's a series of lies that have been spread in order to keep you from knowing the truth about The Eternal One's Divine Name. Among the lies that have been spread are:(1) There's only one way to say "YHWH" - Not true!!!!(2) Jews quit saying "YHWH" after the Babylonian Captivity. (Only PARTIALLY true).(3) The Masoretic Tanach is the only place where the Divine Name has been recorded with vowels and we have no other sources. - Not true!!!!(4) 1400 years passed from Babylon to the Masorets with no way to write down how to say the Name. Thus...the pronunciation was lost forever. - Not true!!!!All of the above presumptions are beliefs held by the overwhelming majority of Christian "Scholars", and even many Messianic Jews for that matter. But it's all wrong, and I have the evidence to prove it wrong. While Jews did ban the PUBLIC speaking of the Divine Name after the Babylonian captivity, they did not quit using the Divine Name in prayer during the pre-Masoret period. Most Jews don't pray with the Name today, but that was a post-Masoret developement. And there's many ancient Jewish prayerbooks as well as theological writings that tell us a different story.In an old Jewish prayer book called the "תיקוני תפלות קדושות" section of חבור הקטן (CHAVUR HAQATAN), the following appears on page לא [or page 31],
...יהוה (בניקוד מחשבה) שומרי יהוה (בניקוד טהורה) צילי על יד ימיני אמן
יכוין שומרי צילי ר״ת גי שמן הוא השכינה
וכן יהי רצון מלפניך יהוה (בניקוד פתח שבא קמץ סגול) אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו
This is telling you that when you pray this prayer, you are supposed to say "YHWH" out loud 3 times in these three lines with 3 different pronunciations. So here's one piece of evidence that Judaism understands that there's more than one way to say the Divine Name!!!! So much for those guys trying to start a cult on the idea that ONLY THEY have the right way to say the ONLY pronunciation of the Name!!!!!! The first time it is to be pronounced as "YHWH (with the vowels of machshaba") or "יַהְוָהָ" - that is, using the same vowels as the vowels used in the word "machshaba". The second time the Divine Name is to be pronounced as "YHWH (with the vowels of tehorah)" or in other words, as "יְהוָה" = "YeHoWaH". By the way, that's the same pronunciation that appears in the Masoretic Tanach over 6,500 times that one rabbi after another has told us means "He Who Is". Some claim it's a euphemism telling you to pronounce "Adonai", but that obviously isn't the case here, because you can't make any Euphemisms out of the other two pronunciations. Context defies that theory in this instance. The third time it is to be pronounced "YHWH (with the vowels of patach, sheva, qamats segul)", or in other words, as "יַהְוָהֶ". Those certainly aren't the vowels of any euphemism. The Masorets wrote down what they understood to be VALID PRONUNCIATIONS for the Divine Name that would not be "wrongly spoken" if someone spoke the Divine Name exactly as it were written. They had too much respect for the Divine Name to write it in a way that could lead someone to speaking it incorrectly, despite what many people might tell you.
The first two cases show one way the pronunciation of the Divine Name was written in pre-Masoret times. That was by adding a "guide word" that would have the same vowels you'd use for the Divine Name. If you know the vowels for the guide word, you know the vowels to use for the Divine Name in that particular spot. The last is how they did it when they couldn't think of a guide word. They'd simply write the names of the vowels out in long form.
But this example is actually from POST Masoret times; 1767 AD to be exact. Not only was Judaism not dependent on the invention of the Masoretic system to write vowels, but even after it was invented, it wasn't always used. Why not? Because the above is a better method. Vowels pointings are very small, and one can smudge or scrape a YUD's worth of ink off most letters and it will still look like that letter. But smudge or scrape only a fraction of that off a Masoretic vowel and you can't tell if it was a qamats or a patach. Or you might mistake a tsere/segul identification if only a small amount of ink gets scraped or smudged. The above system was much more resistant to ink problems over the lifespan of the wear and tear of a normal prayerbook. So even after the Masoret system was invented, the older methods, which were viewed as better methods, were often still used instead.
You won't find many, if any Jewish prayers books from today that even have "YHWH", let alone the vowels to go with them. But yes, this is from only a few hundred years ago, and it wasn't unheard of for it's time. this is only one prayer of many prayers in this book. And only one book in a sea of books published over the years that did much the same thing. At http://www.messiahalive.com/thename.htm I sift through the pages of even more Jewish prayer books as well as books on Jewish theology that have been written over the years. There's many more examples where this came from that prove that Judaism did not lose track of ANY of the various pronunciations of the Divine Name.
There's a lot of analysis the rabbis have put into many writings explaining how different pronunciations mean different things. Say the Divine Name one way and it means "He Who Is". Say it another and it means "He Who Causes To Be". Say it another and it describes all that exists as flowing from Him. Say it another way and it means "He Who Is Concealed". No Name is this complex, this wonderful, or this meaningful, or this badly misunderstood. BUT BE CAREFUL!!! Because out of over 20,000 potential ways to phoneticize the Diving Name, I've never heard of any rabbi claiming that more than 86 of them are valid. So if you make up a pronunciation out of thin air, there's a 99.6% chance you're using a pronunciation that is wrong. Stick with pronunciations that have been recorded in Jewish history and pronunciations that you know the meaning of. Avoid using a pronunciation who's meaning you don't know.
I know this goes against what you have been taught, but I've got the proof online for you to see. Why have so many people been wrong? Mostly because they've never read these type of ancient Jewish writings. In many cases it's because they can't read Hebrew. Many pastors don't remember much of it since they took it in Seminary. There's even some leaders in the Messianic Jewish movement that can't read Hebrew WELL ENOUGH to pick up a Hebrew book and learn from it. They learned just enough Hebrew to get through the liturgy, and little more. But there's a whole world of thought in those ancient writings that have never been translated into English. And for the first time, I'm bringing a lot of that to the web for you to see for the benefit of those of you who don't know it.
At http://www.messiahalive.com/thename.htm you'll find:
- Video Part 1: Halachah on the Name. This is an editted version of my old teaching, but with new slides that have been added to make visual affect better.
- Video Part 2: Pronouncing the Name. Here's the New Stuff where I dig into what the Rabbis have recorded about how to pronounce the Divine Name from a lot of ancient Hebrew writings, most of which have never been translated into English. In this video I show you from what the rabbis have written numerous pronunciations that have been accepted as valid, what they mean, etc.
- PDF: I used this to record some stuff not fit for Video format. The Video also contains some info not as well suited for written text form. The PDF includes a translation of SEGULAH NIFLAH from Shulcan Aruch that will blow your mind and destroy a lot of theology you have been taught wrongly about the Divine Name.You're going to want to read/listen/view all of it at least once. You probably won't be able to resist forwarding this to your friends - particularly since the proof of it is so overwhelming! Enjoy, and feel free to write me with your thoughts and opinions after reviewing the material. This teaching will definite be a game changer for many people!Shalom, Joe