It seems that few Christians deliberatly use the term 'Yahweh', yet it is a cultural norm that using peoples real names shows some level of appreciation and honor.

Are there any Christian traditions that do take the standard cultural view and use 'Yahweh' specifically in order to better honor the name?

Also are there any Christian traditions that specifically forbid its use and how do their doctrines on the use of his name relate to respecting God?

  • This is a pretty low quality question as it stands. With much edit-loving it could become a real question
    – Ray
    Oct 12, 2011 at 4:55
  • There is potentially a question here but this question is only slightly related to Christianity because few Christian traditions hold a doctrine about not using the name. This is primarily relevant to Jewish tradition and it might be better asked on Judaism.SE.
    – Caleb
    Oct 12, 2011 at 8:11
  • 1
    @Flimzy Does it qualify as a question now?
    – Caleb
    Oct 12, 2011 at 8:54
  • 1
    @Caleb: I think so, vote to re-open. Oct 12, 2011 at 10:18
  • 1
    Much better, @Caleb
    – Ray
    Oct 12, 2011 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


In Jewish tradition, speaking the name was forbidden because it was so holy that people didn't dare speak it. This has been the case for centuries.

In essence, the idea has two aspects. First, it was a sign of respect, and reverence for the word, that it should not pass through unclean lips. Second, it was a fear of accidentally taking the Lord's name in vain.

There's a related question here that sheds more light on this in greater detail. it covers a question from the Catholic perspective, but traces back to the Jewish traditions.

This article states it nicely:

The avoidance of the original name of God both in speech and, to a certain extent, in the Bible was due, according to Geiger ("Urschrift," p. 262), to a reverence which shrank from the utterance of the Sublime Name; and it may well be that such a reluctance first arose in a foreign, and hence in an "unclean" land, very possibly, therefore, in Babylonia. According to Dalman (l.c. pp. 66 et seq.), the Rabbis forbade the utterance of the Tetragrammaton, to guard against desecration of the Sacred Name; but such an ordinance could not have been effectual unless it had met with popular approval.

Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=165&letter=T#ixzz1aWpOisHS

In other words, the traditional view is that using the name is less respectful. This would be the view I'd take, given the reverence that God expects from us when approaching Him.

Certainly, there are Christian groups that feel the opposite. A Google search for "don't speak the name Yahweh" returned a plethora of sites from various groups that hold that not using the name is disrespectful, and even sinful.

Some prefer to use the name because they believe out of a fear that using the words "God" and "Jesus" mean that we're referring to someone else, and almost equate using any name other than the originals at idolatry. http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2011/02/why-say-yahweh-instead-of-god-and-why-yeshua-instead-of-jesus/

Others (like this one) come to the conclusion that the meaning of God's name indicates that we are God. (That's sort of the opposite of Christianity, thought, so I don't think it counts as a "Christian" perspective.)

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    In other words, many consider using "Yahweh" is less honorable to name, rather than more. Oct 12, 2011 at 3:56
  • Exactly! Thank you! I need to learn to be more concise. Oct 12, 2011 at 3:58
  • The question here got updated a lot and will probably be re-opened soon (since I did the edit I'm waiting on the community or other moderators to agree that my change is acceptable). Your answer comes pretty close to matching the new focus of the question, but if this does open up again it could use an edit to address the specific question. Just a heads up...
    – Caleb
    Oct 12, 2011 at 10:36

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