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What are the explanations that are present (if any) on the matter of why in His prayers Jesus never addressed God by name "Jehovah"?

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For the same reason I call my dad, "Dad" and not John. Familiarity trumps a name in many settings. (we cry out, 'Abba,' and the Lords prayer begins... )I can't, however, prove that in the case of Jesus' culture. – Affable Geek Jul 13 '12 at 12:58
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In Aramaic, Jesus Christ addresses God as MarYA. In Aramaic Peshitta (Aramaic NT), you will see Jesus Christ saying MarYA several times.

"YA" (Yodh Alap) is Aramaic form of Hebrew "YH" in "YHWH." MarYA means "Master YA" in English. Aramaic was the spoken language of first century Israel. So they used MarYA to address God. So the names will also get changed when they are converted from Hebrew into Aramaic.

Here are some examples. I will put Hebrew on the left, Aramaic in the middle, and English on the right.

YH (Hebrew) - YA (Aramaic) - English

Yehochanan - Yochanan - John

Yehonathan - Yonathan - Jonathan

Yehoseph - Yoseph - Joseph

Yehoyachim - Yoyakim - Joachim

Aramaic was the spoken language of Jews in first century AD and upto 130 AD in second century AD.

From 131 AD, Jewish opposition started against Emperor Hadrian which led to the rise of Simon Bar Kokhba (also known as Simon Bar Kosiba) and Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD). Simon Bar Kokhba revived Hebrew and tried to make Hebrew the official language of the state during Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD) instead of Aramaic.

According to Dead Sea Scrolls archaeologist, Yigael Yadin, Aramaic was the spoken language of Jews until Simon bar Kokhba tried to restore Hebrew as the official language of Jews during Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135). Yigael Yadin noticed the shift from Aramaic to Hebrew during the time of Bar Kokhba revolt—in his book Bar Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Last Jewish Revolt Against Imperial Rome, Yadin notes, "It is interesting that the earlier documents are written in Aramaic while the later ones are in Hebrew. Possibly the change was made by a special decree of Bar-Kokhba who wanted to restore Hebrew as the official language of the state" (page 181).

In Book "A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological Study of Hegemony among Priests, Sages, and Laymen (Judaism and Jewish Life)" by Sigalit Ben-Zion (Page 155), Yadin remarked: "it seems that this change came as a result of the order that was given by Bar Kokhba, who wanted to revive the Hebrew language and make it the official language of the state."

The names also "started" to convert back to Hebrew during Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD). From this point onwards, Hebrew "YH" was used instead of Aramaic "YA."

For Example, Yoseph Bar Yoseph in Aramaic became Yehoseph Ben Yehoseph in Hebrew during Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD).

As you know, Aramaic word "Bar" means son ("Bar"tholomew, "Bar"abbas, "Bar"nabbas, "Bar"sabbas, etc) while the word for son in Hebrew is Ben.

Here is the link where you can see Yehoseph Ben Yehoseph in Bar Kokhba letters.

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WOW!!! That's quite eye-opening. Thank you! – brilliant Nov 17 '13 at 6:18
You are welcome, Brilliant. I also want to let you know that Simon Bar Kokhba revived Hebrew for the sake of his messianic idealogy. – konwayk Nov 17 '13 at 6:21

The word Jehovah is a Latin version of the Tetragrammaton, usually considered the Hebrew name of God. Most scholars consider Jehovah "a hybrid form derived by combining the Latin letters JHVH with the vowels of Adonai", and not to have been used before 1100AD. Obviously Jesus would not have used a word invented 1100 years after his earthly life.

It is widely thought that Jesus DID use the Hebrew name of God, in John 8:58:

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

The reaction of the hearers was such that they clearly believed he was using the name of God.

It was the practice of the Jews not to use the name of God at that time, so he may simply have wished to not muddy the waters by giving offence. Technically the name YHWH applies just as much to him as it does the Father, so that may have accounted for it.

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Good point. Yet, He was not addressing the Father in this instance, but referring to Himself. – Narnian Jul 13 '12 at 13:46
Which translation is that from? Because as I understand it, the word "born" does not exist in the original, and adding it obscures the meaning. – Mason Wheeler Jul 13 '12 at 18:50
NIV. The meaning would be the same without 'born'. The key point here is the I am that follows it. – DJClayworth Jul 13 '12 at 18:55
@MasonWheeler Oops. Of course you probably don't agree with the interpretation of that verse. But with Trinitarians that's pretty much the accepted interpretation. – DJClayworth Jul 16 '12 at 1:56
@DJClayworth: The way I read that is "before Abraham was I am", or in other words, "before Abraham (existed, there) was I AM (who is me)". Putting the word "born" in there modifies the meaning of "was" and weakens the understanding of the passage somewhat, IMO. – Mason Wheeler Jul 16 '12 at 2:52

If Jehovah were an exclusive name for God the Father, then it would be appropriate for Jesus to have used that name, along with a myriad of other names (Jehova-Jireh, El Shaddai, etc.).

However, if the name "Jehovah" applied to the Trinity, then it would seem odd for Jesus to refer to the Father with a term that also referred to Himself as part of the Trinity.

Jesus most often uses "Father" when addressing the Father, which is a relational term.

  • At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Matthew 11:25-26 ESV

  • And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 ESV

  • Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 ESV

  • When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. John 17:1 ESV

  • And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. John 17:5 ESV

  • And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:11 ESV

  • Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 ESV

  • O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. John 17:25 ESV

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Actually he did use it. in Luke 4:17-19 in the 19th verse the name Jehovah is used. Jesus most definitely used his fathers name while reading aloud the scroll, contrary from the scribes and pharisees who he called "offspring of vipers". and in fact while there are countless titles for God. The bible teaches that he has a personal name.

Yes a personal name. That name is Jehovah. If you look at Psalms 83:18 it says "You whose NAME is Jehovah, you alone are the most high over all the earth." In fact the divine name actually appears upwards of 6,000 times in the hebrew scriptures alone.

No doubt you have noticed the word LORD capitalized as such. That capitalization indicates the word Lord or "Adonai" has been subsituted for the divine name. (In contrast to simply lord) I promise you this, check in the beginning of your bible in the letter from the translation committee. They might even use the Hebrew transliteration in their explanation "YAWHH" The translation committee did this in adherence to the Jewish religous leader's tradition not to say the name.The same ones known by Jesus as "Hypocrites" and "offspring of Vipers."

However Jesus himself said he has made God's name known to them. (john 17:26) Moreover he also prayed for the sanctification of that name. At (Matthew 6:9) we read "Our father in heaven let your name be sanctified" or in some translations "hallowed by thy name." Either way Jesus himself did pray for God's name Jehovah to be honoured and glorified. Whats more he gave it prime importance by stating it first. I myself have just happily carried on the work and the honour of making the greatest name ever known to all who read. Jehovah which litterally means: He causes to become. For more information about the name and who today is carrying on Jesus's work of sanctifying the name please see

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"For more information about the name and who today is carrying on Jesus's work of sanctifying the name" - Thank you for this invitation, however, I want to get the answer to this question of mine from Christians first. – brilliant Mar 7 '13 at 4:29
  1. Since Jesus was the Father's Son, it's not likely he would refer to Him by the Tetragrammaton יהוה. I don't call my father by his first name, because it's considered disrespectful. Even then, children would call their father and mother as אבא and אמא, respectfully.

  2. Since the NT comes to us in Greek, we can't really say for sure that Jesus did not sometimes use the Tetragrammaton (when referring to the Father in an impersonal way to others). The Tetragrammaton יהוה is a Hebrew word, so why should one expect to find it in Greek scriptures? Do we find it in the LXX? No. We find κυριος instead.

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Did Miriam (Mary) call her son Jesus? Nope his name was 'yeshua ben yosef' (which in itself is just an approximation due to language and alphabet limitations). Similarly, Jesus would never address God by 'Jehovah'. However he could have addressed him as any of the names of God:

The bible may have translated the name used to 'Jehovah' to remain consistent for the reader who may not understand the different names of God.

As a side note, my personal favorite is "El Roi" which sounds like "El Row He" or "Elroy" from The Jetsons: God Who Sees me (All seeing God, sometimes denoted by the eye of providence); Hagar's name for God when He saw her affliction (Gen. 16:13).

Or El Kanno which sounds like "El Can Know": The Jealous God (Exod. 20:5; 34:14; Num. 5:14, 30; Deut. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Jos. 24:19; 1 Ki. 19:10, 14; Ezek. 39:25; Joel 2:18; Nah. 1:2; Zech. 1:14; 8:2). Suggests that God watches us lovingly and closely, like a faithful and passionate bridegroom watches over his betrothed.

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protected by Caleb Apr 13 '13 at 9:18

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