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In Jewish history around 150 years before Christ came Jews began taking the name Jehovah out of the Bible. In the book of Mormon, the record of the bible is on brass plates claimed from Laban 600 BC. Why is it that in the 600 BC version the name Jehovah only appears once when quoting the Bible, when in the old testament manuscripts it appears over 7,000 times? My question is relating mainly to when books of the old testament are quoted in the Book of Mormon. Mostly in 2 Nephi.

  • What would an acceptable answer to this question look like? – The Freemason Jan 26 '15 at 19:06
  • An Official, or even logical explanation of why the name Jehovah isn't included. I have searched the scriptures to see if the answer is there and I have only theories. I'm curious what other people think. I am Mormon BTW I am looking for an explanation. – atherises Jan 26 '15 at 19:13
  • To fit on this site, the answer would have to be some sort of official commentary; personal opinion isn't the kind of objective, verifiable statement that StackExchange sites are built on. – Matt Gutting Jan 26 '15 at 20:59
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    As long as you're looking for Mormon answers, I think the question is reasonably scoped and on-topic. The most likely non-Mormon answer would be only opinion, and is probably something like "Because Joseph Smith wrote the book of his own accord, modeling after an at-the-time modern English translation of the Bible, which didn't use that word very much." But that would clearly contradict the official Mormon teaching, and is unprovable, making such an answer off-topic here. – Flimzy Jan 27 '15 at 3:33
  • I second what Flimzy says. The question is fine. – 3961 Jan 27 '15 at 5:40
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It's pretty simple. The Book of Mormon translation follows in the KJV tradition, which in turn follows in the Jewish tradition.

(1) Out of reverence, Jews never pronounced יהוה when reading scripture.

The original pronunciation of this name has possibly been lost, as the Jews, in reading, never mentioned it but substituted one of the other names of God, usually Adonai.

"Jehovah", Bible Dictionary

(Thus "Jehovah" is actually just a modern day guess at a transliteration of the Hebrew יהוה.)

(2) The King James Version did something similar. It was partly out of a similar tradition of reverence, and partly because they could't really write Jhvh, and they didn't want to guess at a transliteration. So in the KJV, you will find יהוה rendered as LORD or GOD.

For the LORD GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Isaiah 50:7

(3) The Book of Mormon (or, more properly, the English translation of the Book of Mormon) did the same thing: יהוה becomes Lord or God.

For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

2 Nephi 7:7

In fact, almost anytime Lord appears in the KJV Bible (or in the Book of Mormon), it is a translation for יהוה.


In the LDS faith, there's no need to avoid pronouncing or writing Jehovah (or Jahveh, Yahveh, etc.). Jehovah is regularly used, particularly when referring to Jesus before his mortal birth. The reason that it appears this way in scripture is just a custom with an interesting history.

  • sorry but how is "Jehovah actually just a modern day guess at a transliteration of the Hebrew יהוה"..? It was used (in the form Iehovah) in the old 1611 KJV (at Psalm 83:18), in 1530 in Tyndale's Bible and before that in about the same form by for example the Karaite Jews. Surely the pronunciation may not be exactly the same because language evolves continually (just as the pronunciation is not exactly the same in e.g. the different European languages because of slight natural differences in vowel sounds and syllables in each language). – coderworks Jul 10 '17 at 20:35
  • @coderworks, by "modern", I meant "not ancient". Tyndale is far closer to today than he is to either the Old or New Testament. – Paul Draper Jul 10 '17 at 20:44
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    ok @PaulDraper. Tyndale is closer to today but I also mentioned the Karaite Jews who used the name long before Tyndale. Nehemiah Gordon, a Karaite Jew, shows in this YouTube video, starting at 45m34s, 5 manuscripts with God's name written with full vowels long before Tyndale and explains their pronunciation. The earliest codices shown in the video are Cairo Codex of the Prophets (895 CE), Aleppo Codex (924 CE), Damascus Crown (10th century CE), and Leningrad Codex (1005 CE). – coderworks Jul 25 '17 at 2:36
  • @coderworks, the consensus not nearly as complete as you imply. Even Jehovah's Witnesses -- arguably the most ardent Christian users of "Jehovah" -- concede that "no one can be certain" as to the pronunciation. wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2008649 – Paul Draper Jun 4 '19 at 1:27
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This answer is not correct. יהוה Is translated LORD or GOD with all caps in the KIV. When Lord is found in the KJV, the Hebrew word is Adonai אָדוֹן and when God is found in the KJV the Hebrew word is Elohim אלוהים. I am currently reading the BoM and am wondering why Lord isn't all caps (LORD) which is how God's name has been translated into English for the last 400 years. Even in chapters that are basically identical to chapters in the Bible 2 Nephi/Isaiah, the Bible has the all caps but the BoM doesn't. It causes a real problem in phrases like "they crucify the God of Israel" because that translates to Elohim. But, according to LDS doctrine Elohim is Heavenly Father and Jehovah is Jesus, so they wouldn't be crucifying Elohim. The BoM should be clearing all of the confusion up since it's the keystone of the religion and the truest book on Earth, but it only makes matters worse which is why reading the BoM after studying the Bible for 10 years is only confirming for me that Joseph Smith was one of the many false prophets Jesus told us would come.

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    Rather than starting your answer as a rebuttal of the previous one, simply answer the OP's question. A small edit would take care of that. Then if you could provide some official mormon sources for the points you make that would be great. – Kris Jul 9 '17 at 1:03
  • Many Bible translations don't use large and small caps (LORD) to translate the Tetragrammaton ( יהוה ). This is not something that's unique to the Book of Mormon. – Lee Woofenden Jul 9 '17 at 1:12
  • Also, this is not the place to express your opinion of other churches and their holy books. Answers here should focus on answering the question asked, not expressing personal opinions and reactions. See: How we are different than other sites and: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Jul 9 '17 at 1:14

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