Who is Jehovah? By Ahmad Deedat

Astonishing as it may sound, it is an admitted fact that prior to the sixteenth century, the word “Jehovah,” was unheard of. Whenever the origin of this word appeared in its true Hebrew form in Jewish Scriptures (read from right to left as in Arabic) Yet, Huh, Wav, Huh; or YHWH. these four letters were preceded by a substitute word “Adonai,” to warn the reader that the following word was not to be articulated. The Jews took meticulous care in repeating this exercise in their “Book of God” six thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three times – interpolating the words “Adonai” or “Elohim.” They sincerely believed that this awesome name of God was never to be pronounced.

This prohibition was no ordinary affair: It called for a penalty of death on one who dared to utter it, and this taboo has been more successful than all the “DO’s” and “DON’T’s” of the Ten Commandments put together.

If Jehovah is the name of God, and if the 27 Books of the New Testament were inspired by Him, then it is an anomaly of the highest order, that He (Jehovah) signally failed to have His Own Name recorded in “His Word” (N.T.) the Christian addition to the Jewish Bible. The Christians claim that they have in their possession over twenty-four thousand so-called “originals” of their Holy Writ in the Greek language, and yet not a single parchment has “Jehovah” written in it. Curiously this “name of God” (?) has been sacrilegiously replaced by the Greek words kyrios and theos’, which mean ‘Lord’ and ‘God.’ Yet, miracle of miracles – Alleluya! – no devil or saint has been able to eliminate the word “Allah” from the so-called New Testament of the Christians.

New fangled doctrines
A hundred years ago, all of a sudden, more than a hundred new cults and denominations of Christiandom mushroomed in the United States of America. The Seventh Day Adventists, the Christian Scientists, the Menonites, the Christiadelphins, The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the like. The founder of the last named cult, a Judge Rutherford, about whom the orthodox Christians say that he was no “Judge.” This Judge was a voracious book-worm and a prolific writer. He stumbled across the word “Jehovah” which tickled him immensely, and he made a religion out of it.

Judge Rutherford, followed by Charles T. Russell created a new “church,” which in its system of organisation and administration is second to none in the world. There is very much we Muslims can learn from their enthusiasm and methodology. Read, “Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave” by Schelin. It is not their theology I am enamoured with but their modus operandi (the way they operate). Read, how this incorrigible sect came very close to conquering Germany before Hitler. Read, about their second come- back in West Germany.

Think, why they are making a most concerted effort in Nigeria. Will the system or religion that prevails in Nigeria, be ultimately the norm of the rest of Africa! This giant is the hero of the majority of the African people south of the Sahara. Muslims must reflect.

Virile sect
The “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” have made the most phenomenal progress of all the religious sects of the past hundred years, on a percentage basis. The Bahaies are moving at a snails-pace in comparison, actually receding in ratio with the other Christian off-shoots. These “Witnesses” are the fittest in their fight against the other Christians as well as against the Muslims. Simply because they programme themselves five times a week in their “Kingdom Halls,” and what they learn they implement during the week-ends.

We Muslims are supposed to be “programmed” five times a day in our daily Salaat, but we have lost the true purpose of this Pillar of Islam. Our Salaat is for earning Sawaab (spiritual blessings) only. They have made the word Jehovah famous. They knock at people’s doors, asking the question – “What is His Name?”

The orthodox Christian replies – “God.” They say, “God is not a name, it is an object of worship. What’s His Name?” “Father,” says the orthodox as a second try. “Is your father God?” Of course not! So what is His Name? “Jehovah! is His Name,” says the “Witness” to both Muslims and non- Muslims alike. He has become a professor of this one word. He has made it into a religion.

The “Tetragrammaton”
Why not for a change ask him, a question or two. Ask him where he got the word Jehovah from? He will surely reply – “From the Holy Bible.” What does it say? Does it spell out the word Jehovah? “No,” he will reply. “There is a ‘tetragrammaton’ in the Bible from which the word Jehovah is derived.” What is a tetragrammaton?

No one seems to have heard this highly mystical term. In the University of Illinois in the U.S.A. I asked a gathering of students and lecturers whether any one had heard this jaw-breaker! Not one of them knew its meaning! But every Jehovah’s Witness seems to know, even the commonest of them. They have really specialised – ours is a world of special is at ion. They are Professors of the one word – Jehovah.

What then is a “tetragrammaton!” The Jehovah’s Witness replies, “Y H W H!” “No!” “What I want to know from you is, what does the word tetragrammaton mean?” You will find him most reluctant in explaining. Either he does not really know, or he is feeling embarrassed in replying. “Tetra,” in Greek means four, and “grammaton,” means letters. It simply means “a four letter word.”

Can you read into Y H W H the word Jehovah? I cannot. “No!”, says the Jehovah’s Witness, “we ought to add vowels to these four consonants to produce the sound. Originally, both Hebrew and Arabic were written without the vowel signs The native of each language was able to read if even without those vowels. Not so the outsider, for whose benefit the vowels were invented.

The “J” sickness
Let us add the vowels as the “Witness” suggests. YHWH becomes YeHoWaH. Juggle as you like but you can never materialise Jehovah! Ask him, from which hat he drew his “J”. He will tell you that “this is the ‘popular’ pronunciation from the 16th century.” The exact sound of the four letters YHWH is known neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, yet he is ramming Jehovah down every ones throats. The European Christians have developed a fondness (sickness) for the letter “J” They add J’s where there are no Jays. Look!

Yael > he converts to Joel
Yehuda > he converts to Juda
Yeheshua > he converts to Joshua
Yusuf > he converts to Joseph
Yunus > he converts to Jonah
Yesus > he converts to Jesus
Yehowa > he converts to Jehovah

There is no end to the Westerner’s infatuation for the letter “J.” Now in the busy streets of South Africa, he charges people who carelessly cross them for “jay-walking,” but nobody charges him for converting Jewish (Yehudi) names into Gentile names.

The letters Y H W H occur in the Hebrew (Jewish) Scriptures 6823 times, boasts the Jehovah’s Witness, and it occurs in combination with the word “Elohim;” 156 times in the booklet called Genesis alone. This combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the English Bible as “Lord God,” “Lord God,” Lord God,” ad infinitum.

Common origin
What is YHWH; and what is ELOHIM? Since the Jews did not articulate the word YHWH for centuries, and since even the Chief Rabbis would not allow the ineffable to be heard, they have forfeited the right to claim dogmatically how the word is to be sounded. We have to seek the aid of the Arab to revive Hebrew, a language which had once died out. In every linguistic difficulty recourse has to be made to Arabic, a sister language, which has remained alive and viable.

Racially and linguistically, the Arabs and the Jews have a common origin, going back to Father Abraham. For a closer affinity between Arabs and Jews read Genesis 16:12 and 25:18, and for a further elucidation,
see “What the Bible says about Muhammad.”

Note the startling resemblance between the languages, very often the same sounding words carry identical meaning in both.

Hebrew Arabic English
Elah Ilah God
Ikhud Ahud one
Yaum Yaum day
Shaloam Salaam peace
Yahuwa Ya Huwa oh he

YHWH or Yehova or Yahuwa all mean the very same thing. “Ya” is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning Oh! And “Huwa” or “Hu” means He, again in both Hebrew and Arabic. Together they mean Oh He! So instead of YHWH ELOHIM, we now have Oh He! ELOHIM.