I don’t agree with the Jewish tradition of not pronouncing God’s personal name out loud.
There are two reasons why.
First, I don’t think its Scriptural.
In the original Hebrew, God’s holy name is written over 6000 times in His Word.
In addition, there are plenty of Scriptures where we are plainly commanded to call on or do something in His Name.
Why would the Lord ask us to call on or do something in His Name if He didn’t want us to use it?
Second, God’s 3rd Word is not a prohibition against saying God’s personal name out loud.
As I mentioned in my last post, it is about not invoking the Lord’s name frivolously when you take a vow.
This 3rd Word is about the MISUSE of God’s name, not the MISPRONUNCIATION of His Name.
So why did God’s Name go into disuse?
It was the fear of misusing God’s name due to human carelessness that eventually led the Jewish people to prohibit saying God’s Name at all in any situation, not just when taking a vow or an oath.
This tradition reached the point where, outside of copying Holy Scripture, God’s name was not even to be written.
That’s why it’s common in many Jewish writings to see “God” rendered as “G-d”.
There is some disagreement as to exactly when the prohibition against verbalizing God’s Name occurred,
Depending on which scholarly source you refer to, the earliest time may have been during the Babylonian Exile.
Or the latest time would have been about the time of Alexander the Great (around 500-300 BC).
Now here’s the 20 million dollar point.
Before that time, the Sages and Rabbis are in agreement that God’s holy name was spoken and written.
Let me say that again.
At the latest, up until around 500-300 BC, it is generally agreed that God’s holy name WAS both spoken and written.
I’m talking about a period of at least 7 centuries.
During this 700 years or so, the Hebrews openly spoke God’s name.
Also, if one were to visit the Israeli National Museum, one can see ancient Hebrew artifacts on display that have the Hebrew letters YOD, HEH, VAV, HEH inscribed on them.
Now some may object by saying it’s impossible to resurrect the practice of saying God’s name out loud now because we’ve lost the pronunciation.
We’re no longer sure of the ancient Hebrew vowel sounds.
I’m not so sure if that argument is very persuasive.
Even if we did know the exact vowel sounds, everyone would still pronounce His name differently due to language variations.
It can sometimes be YAHWEH, YE-HOVEH, or the English JEHOVAH.
Even “Yeshua”, the Name of the Savior, varies depending on the culture and language.
Having said all that, I do respect the Jewish tradition to revere the Lord’s name by not pronouncing it.
From many interactions I’ve had with Jewish believers, I know from personal experience that it is a very sensitive issue for them.
So when in company with them, out of respect and empathy, I do NOT say God’s name out loud.
I use the term HASHEM (literally meaning “The Name”).
However, I would like to ask any fellow Jewish believers to please not be personally offended when you see the Lord’s name written in the articles on this site.
It is for educational purposes and as I just mentioned, scripturally, I don’t feel there is anything wrong in attempting to honor the Lord by pronouncing His Holy Name, even I don’t pronounce it perfectly.