Pronouncing the Almighty’s Personal Name

The Aleppo Codex (see photo below) and apparently at least 90 Hebrew manuscripts have the vowels for the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) as per the introduction to the Chumash – Stone Edition

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You may note in the image from the Stone Edition of the Chumash below, (preface page xiv), that the Orthodox Jews are instructed by the author to NEVER pronounce His name as it should be pronounced!

You might ask why?

There are a great many issues with Orthodox (or Akiva) Judaism (as opposed to the true faith of Yeshua Judaism), but here I believe is a perhaps well-intentioned but mistaken and mis-guided attempt to avoid blaspheming the Name of the Almighty (some argue that this use of Adonai or HaShem, etc instead of  Yehovah started as early as the return from Babylon).

As explained in the ‘duolingo’ article (link below) these vowels are ‘shva’ (pronounced ‘e’), Cholam (pronounced ‘o’) and Kamatz (pronounced ‘a’), giving the pronunciation of the Almighty’s name as ‘Yehovah’.

While there are many who dispute this, having listened to Nehemia Gordon and after doing some research of my own, I am fairly persuaded.

In the linked article: “Because of Arab influence on Hebrew, some pronounce the vav letter as a W and call it a waw.”  That’s why you see the word Yahweh instead of Yahveh and the transliteration YHWH instead of YHVH.

Nehemiah Gordon’s recent research (2016-2017) proves that “It’s a Vav,” as one of his blog posts is aptly titled.

He shares evidence from the scrolls of Jeremiah, 1 Kings and Nehemiah that vet (always a V sound) and vav are equivalent because the word for “back” (gav) is written alternatively with either letter. Check out in the Hebrew Aleppo Codex Ezekiel 23:35 (“back”/gav spelled with vav) vs Ezekiel 43:13 (“back”/gav with soft bet/vet) and 1 Kings 14:9 (“back” gav spelled with vet). Nehemiah 9:26 (“back”/gav with vav).

He also debunks the idea that Arab or Ashkenazi/Yiddish influence led to the vav being pronounced as a W universally. He lists six Jewish communities (without European influence) who nevertheless pronounced the vav as a V: Kurdish Jews, Syrian Jews, Egyptian Jews, Persian Jews, Moroccan Jews, Algerian Jews. This is in contradiction to five communities who pronounce it as a W due to Arab influence: the Yemenite Jews, Baghdadi Jews, Libyan Jews, Tunisian Jews, Atlas Mountain Jews.”

I think His Name is important – at least according to the Tanakh:

Zechariah 13:9 “… They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: They are My people, and they will say: “Yehovah is our God.”

Ezekiel 39:7 “So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am Yehovah, the Holy One in Israel.”

Of course, knowing Him and being obedient to Him is much more important than knowing how to properly pronounce His personal name.

If we truly know Yeshua as Mashiach ben Yosef, we will also be obedient to his Father and ours.

Some supporting links:

Below is a chart showing what the vowels  ‘shva’ (pronounced ‘e’), Cholam (pronounced ‘o’) and Kamatz (pronounced ‘a’) look like:

For much more detail see this link on Nehemia Gordon’s site:

Nehemia's Wall 

Yeshua: An ‘elevator pitch’

I was asked to give an ‘elevator pitch’ and answer a few basic questions on how I personally saw Yeshua.

Some of these questions were:

Who Yeshua was (is)?

What did he achieve?

What was his purpose?

Who was he?

Does he have a place/purpose now?

Will he have one in the future?

My short answers (with some links to articles where I have expounded in some ways on these questions and related issues:

Who Yeshua was (is)?

A man born naturally to Yosef and Miriam who has the credentials based on his genealogy to be Messiah – see

The Messiah ben Yosef and soon to be King Messiah ben David – see

The hope of the all who are aware of their heart’s longing for eternity (‘… He has put eternity into man’s heart …’ – Ecc 3:11) – see my discussion on the place and importance of the Resurrection here –

THE High Priest – see   – this is one of the few positions that I hold in one sense tentatively at this time.

My tentative position is whether Yeshua is not only the Kohein HaGadol (the High Priest) in the Olam HaBah (the Coming Age), but also the High Priest now and for the last 2000 years?

My understanding of the Bible is that his role is a future one, though spoken as if now (using the Prophetic Perfect tense – see

In many practical ways I would argue he is the High Priest now, even though the Torah would appear to argue that he can only take on the role in the Coming Age.

Also, the Second Adam (i.e. the first of the New Creation of humanity), the Advocate, the Judge on the Great Day, etc.

What did he achieve?

He managed to overcome his Yetzer Hara ( and fully live by the will of God so that he qualified to be resurrected and demonstrate the reality of eternal life. But his life, his example in many ways is more significant, as it led to the spread of monotheism and the belief in the God of Israel throughout the world. While his People were supposed to be the Light to The Gentiles, Yeshua lead the way so powerfully in this, that he can be considered to be Israel – see my commentary on Isaiah 49 –

There is also a sense in which he is the Goal of Torah and Torah is the Goal of Messiah – see

What was his purpose?

Luke 4:43, Mark 1:38 & 1 John 3:8 – to preach the Good News of the Coming Age.

Who was he?

An orthodox Jewish man, born in the lineage of King David and born with the destiny to be Messiah Ben David, the Redeemer of Israel and the whole world.

Does he have a place/purpose now?

Very much so – for starters, he offers atonement now (at least a definition of it that Rabbi Sacks and Kempinski explain so well), and also much more as the High Priest on THE Yom Kippur to come. See

This is just a very basic primer as no one can really do justice to this man, this extremely unique man so specially chosen by Yehovah to be the central figure of human history, yet with a humility and focus on His Father and ours, that all his actions and all his words pointed to and preached Yehovah –

But more than this, he is quite possibly the most mis-understood and maligned person in all history as well! To give some clue of how radically different to common expectations I would argue Yeshua was and is, it is my contention that the person with the greatest appreciation of who and what Yeshua was in living memory is an orthodox Jewish Professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the late Professor David Flusser, and NOT the leading scholars of Christianity who claim him.

Flusser even argues that in many ways Christianity ‘betrays Jesus’!

“… I know that it is not so easy for Gentiles to accept the thorough Jewishness of Jesus. Because then it would mean that they had received a foreign god and not their own ancient pagan gods. So they have to assimilate Jesus to the Greek gods.” …

“As far as you depart from the Hebrew background of the Gospels as far as you go farther from the Jewish origin of the Gospel and of the Jewishness of Jesus by this I would even say 
you betray Jesus himself.” – from

Will he have one in the future?

This is the most exciting if all questions! The time to come with Yeshua returns as Messiah ben David and the era of the Olam HaBah (The Coming Age) or the Kingdom of God arrives is something worth stopping the elevator for and spending considerable time studying and contemplating.

I have written and presented many times on what the future holds. I do not think we focus anywhere enough on it.

I introduce some of this work here:

When Yeshua is installed as our Messiah King, we will have a world where truth, justice and peace abound. A world that will fully express the love, joy and beauty of the Almighty and of His humanity made in His Image.

The Way, the Truth and the Life? – Yes and No!

The standard translations of The Gospel of John chapter 14 verse 6 have raised concerns with me for many years, as this statement is, in many ways, so contradictory to virtually everything else that Yeshua said and especially to everything he did. This passage is also used to justify an exclusiveness for many Christians, and even with some, perhaps far too many, an elitist attitude.

Firstly though, I have no doubt that Yeshua walked The Way, was a Man of Truth and that through him we are offered Life Eternal.

But Yeshua always pointed to the Father, to Yehovah. He very rarely placed the focus on himself. He told us how to be part of his family, to be his brothers and sisters, and that was by living as he did, and living and acting in the will of God and following the Almighty’s Instructions (i.e. Torah). See for example his statement in Mark 3:35.

A decade ago now, Pastor Aubrey Burt wrote a short but very powerful article on this fact that Yeshua preached God, not himself – I wrote a short reflection on his message at the time – see it here:

Add to this that this phrase screams out Psalms 119, which begins with ”How happy are those whose way of life is blameless, who live by the Torah of Yehovah!”.

For example:
Psalms 119:1 “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Torah of Yehovah.”
Psalms 119:142 “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your Torah is truth.”
Psalm 119:151 “You are near, Lord, and all your commands are truth.”
Psalms 119: 37 “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; with your ways, give me life.”
Psalms 119:40 “See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life

Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel.”
Exodus 18:20  ”And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.”

When reading this verse I always heard echoes of Psalm 119 and the foundational principle that the way of life and truth is Torah.

So, I have lived with the cognitive dissonance of this passage (and a couple of others) for many years.

Now, at last the Bible translator Uriel ben Mordechai has given us a much more faithful and Torah-centric translation of this verse from P66 (circa 150 CE), the earliest extant Greek manuscript for this verse.

It reads:

“Yeshua replied, “I represent that pathway along with the legitimacy. And on that path of life, none WILL appear adjacent to Ha’Ahv except for me.”. – Yochanan 14:6

And his amplified version (the words in the square brackets are not in original but added for clarity):

“Yeshua replied, “I represent [i.e., live-out, personify or animate] that pathway [of the Writings] along with the legitimacy [or genuineness, validity or integrity of the Torah]. And on that path of life, none WILL [or can] appear adjacent to [or to the right of, or before] Ha’Ahv [ i.e., the Father] except for me.”

He also makes the critical point that the Greek  εἰμί  (ee’mee) used here normally means “I stand for, am a figure of, or represent …”.  That is, Yeshua represents The Way (of Torah) but he is not stating here that he is himself the one and only “Way”. Rather, the context of the exclusiveness of the ‘except for me’  is that Yeshua is telling his disciples that where he is going, they cannot come, and only he can go to sit to the right of HaShem.

That is, no-one else is going to Heaven, only Yeshua! Heaven is not our ultimate home, the Olam HaBah, the Coming Age, the Kingdom of God on Earth is!

There is a sense in which an exclusiveness is relevant and that is with respect to Yeshua’s role as the High Priest on Yom Kippur (in the Coming Age), when only Yeshua is permitted to approach Yehovah.

To quote Uriel ben Mordechai is discussing his translation here:
“Yeshua is not talking about his future role as Kohein, who alone will be permitted to approach Ha’Shem on behalf of AHM Israel in the Olam Ha’Bah during the Yom Kippur service. In any case, if we will refuse to approach Ha’Shem apart from the Kohein Gadol, Ha’Shem will not receive us.”

An awesome message that is not in contradiction with the Tanakh and Torah. A message for all people. A practical message of hope coming from the greatest preacher and prophet of hope who ever lived!

So in conclusion, what is Yochanan really telling us in this first portion of 14:6?

That Yeshua declared that he has walked the pathway of Torah and demonstrated its truth, its legitimacy as the correct (and really only) path to walk to have a relationship with Yehovah and ultimately live on in the Coming Age and in the New Creation.

This translation may not have the poetic beauty that the King James translators gave the verse, but it has much more, because it has the power of truth!

An Update oh Yochanan 14:6

εγω εἰμί  — ‘I am’??

Thanks to a serious truth seeker, Sophie and also to a gentleman trying to defend Christian orthodoxy in NT translations, I was asked to dig a little deeper and to question Uriel ben-Mordechai for more clarity around this passage.

Sophie asked for some background as to how Uriel had translated the first two words that Yeshua apparently utters in this verse, namely ‘I am’ (the way, the truth and the life).

Here was Uriel’s explanation on εγω εἰμί  (EY’goh “EY’mee):

“EY’mee [the second word] is a verb that in its simplest form renders as “to be,” “is,” “exists.” In the first person, you can render it as “am,” as in “I am.” But strangely enough, translators throughout the last 500 years also render it in the past tense, e.g., “I was,” as well as in the future tense, e.g., “I will be.” Even jamesville [KJV] does this. See LXX Shmu’el Bet 15:34, Mizmor 91:15, Yishaiyahu 43:2, Hoshe’ah 5:14 and others.

But more to your question, even in English, the verb “to be,” being perhaps to the most basic verb expressing the action of existence, carries also the notion of representation. Saying “I am an idiot,” is functionally the same thing as saying “I represent an idiot.”

Thus, when koine Greek — which is a primitive language compared to English, especially in terms of the size of the vocabulary English has at it’s disposal, when compared to the size of vocabulary koine Greek had at its disposal — uses “EY’mee,” the nuances when rendered into English are far and wide, and allow not only for “I am,” but also for I “represent, symbolize, stand for, personify, epitomize, typify, embody, illustrate, designate, depict, portray, pretend to be, constitute, amount to, am regarded as,” and many others as well. Take your pick.

Only christianity, which invents apple pie out of fig leaves, insists and fictionally concludes the ridiculous notion that “I am” is the grammatical equivalent of Hebrew’s “Eh-hee’yeh ah’shehr Eh-hee’yeh” from Sh’mot 3 [“I will be that which I will be”]. NOT!

As for EY’goh, the first word, is just a simple first person singular pronoun for “I.””

From his extensive and very comprehensive translation work on Yochanan (John’s Gospel) Uriel ben-Mordechai shares with me the conviction that Yochanan was first written in Hebrew, so even the P66 scroll is a translation and possibly a transcription as well.

So it is enlightening to look back at some of the occurrences of εγω εἰμί in the Greek translations of the Tanakh such as Hosea 5:14. Here we see the original Hebrew directly translated into English as ‘I will be’ and in fact most English translations also have ‘I will be’.

This should at least convince us that ‘I represent’ is a reasonable translation (although ‘I will be’ could also be plausible if Yeshua were speaking of the coming Day of Judgement – though, an uncorrupted translation of verse 7[1] would appear to rule this option out.)

And when we also consider Yochanan 1 and recognize the introduction of Yeshua as the ‘Torah Dressed in Flesh( ) this makes even more sense.

[1]Yochanan 14:7 “But only when this will be acknowledged with me, will you also then come to recognize Ah’vee [i.e., my Father], and from this point forward, from Him, this is being revealed [or seen] by Him, and IT will be looked after [or seen to] by Him.