For the past ten years I have been captivated by the information, inspiration and revelation I have encountered regarding the magnificent, marvelous and unmatchable name of our heavenly Father. For the last two years, I have shared what I have learned in the hopes that my brothers and sisters in the faith would be spurred on to study this amazing name for themselves – a name found 6,828 times in the pages of Hebrew Scripture. In fact, I have encouraged those who have read and heard the information I have presented to compare and contrast it with the vast amount of differing thought that exists regarding this name and its pronunciation. I have always tried to stay positive and polite with those who have differing opinions about this important topic, especially when it comes to the issue of pronunciation possibilities of this powerful, profound (and unfortunately prohibited) Hebrew name.
I have enjoyed studying and interacting both with lay people and scholars as we examined the possibilities for pronunciation. I have decided to settle on the pronunciation as Yehovah (Ye – ho – vah’) a transliteration of the original written Hebrew name, which I have seen for myself in three of the most important existing Hebrew manuscripts: The Aleppo Codex, The Leningrad Codex and the Cairo Codex of the Prophets. These three witnesses contain the Masoretic vowel pointings, accents and notes, and have provided me with a level of confidence on pronunciation unmatched by any other witness of which I am aware. Nevertheless, I have been satisfied to simply present this information as “another witness” not feeling the need to discount, marginalize or disrespect those whose perspectives differ from mine.
I was recently invited by one of our many “Ambassadors” of His Name to enroll in the Torah Resource Institute online class entitled The Sacred Name: Escaping the Maze of Misinformation. I was really excited to see that this topic was being taught by Tim Hegg, founder of Torah Resource Institute. I registered, received my password and sat down to listen to the video presentation. My excitement turned to surprise when I heard my name mentioned along with that of my friend and colleague, the distinguished Hebrew scholar, Nehemia Gordon. My surprise soon morphed into shock when I saw that Tim Hegg had dedicated a major section of his class presentation to focusing on answering a question titled “The Original Pronunciation Recovered?” He then called us out by name and went on to say:
“Recently Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon have claimed to have recovered the original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton by looking at photographs of the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices.”
For the next 17 PowerPoint slides, Tim Hegg attempted to discount, marginalize and disrespect my work and that of my distinguished colleague Nehemia Gordon. After going to great lengths to interact with a disproportionately small segment of the evidence found in our work and in the witness of these three Hebrew manuscripts, he concluded:
“. . . The claim of Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon to have recovered the original pronunciation of the divine Name rests on faulty data and speculation.”
As I listened to his presentation, I soon realized that the very crux of his argument bolsters the conclusions that Nehemia and I have reached. But don’t take my word for it, do your own independent study. That is precisely why I wrote His Hallowed Name Revealed Again; to help you interact with the information without the agenda of traditional interpretation!
What concerns me more than debating the pronunciation issues were two of Professor Hegg’s class applications:
1. “Since we simply cannot be certain about the original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, it is foolish to adopt a pronunciation that is based on a guess, even if it might be a good guess.”
2. “We should follow the pattern established from antiquity, a tradition followed by Yeshua and His Apostles, to substitute Adonai or Elohim, or another biblically warranted circumlocution (i.e. Almighty, Father in heaven, etc.)”
Anyone who has read my book or listened to any of my DVD or live presentations understands why this is so disheartening. I have offered to send him a complimentary copy of my book with the hopes that he will review it and revise his class presentation and applications. Instead of meeting down in the valley of “foolishness and tradition” with those who disagree with me, I will stay on the wall of my call and keep working.
“…I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop and leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3
I am resolved to live by biblical truth rather than by man made traditions. I will continue to defend those of you who are simply trying to live out the Hebrew Scriptures, proclaiming the most important name ever given to humankind. My colleague, Nehemia Gordon, and I will continue to “Stand Against the Ban” and search out the remnant who desire to be “Ambassadors” and to provide them with information, inspiration and revelation so that we can stand together and call upon His holy Name!
I have been blessed and encouraged by the many “Ambassadors” around the world who are being set free from the shackles of tradition and are raising their voices in unity to call upon the name Yehovah the one true God whose name is to be praised and proclaimed. In this spirit, Nehemia and I prayerfully call upon you to join us in our quest to dismantle this unholy ban. To symbolize our commitment, we created this logo for you!
I have learned based on the biblical precedent set in the book of Nehemiah, that when you are building something that may threaten a power base there are certain things that you can count on taking place before you can declare victory. First they ignore you until you get their attention (Nehemiah 2:10). Then they ridicule you in hopes of causing discouragement (Nehemiah 2:19, 4:5). If that doesn’t work, they sometimes get angry and want to fight you (Nehemiah 4:7-9). If you are making real progress, they may even conspire against your work (Nehemiah 6:1:-14). But in the end, if you stay on the wall of your call, and continue inviting Yehovah to the battle you will win (Nehemiah 6:15-16).
It seems that my call to provide people of faith with access to information, inspiration and revelation about the name of our heavenly Father continues to catch the attention of those who may be a bit uncomfortable with my mission. I suggest, rather than calling me out by name, they should actually read my book before engaging in a battle. If they don’t have time to do that, I invite them to at least take the time to read the Forward of my book written by an accomplished Hebrew scholar. In the end, maybe they will respond like those in the book of Nehemiah and lose their will to fight (Nehemiah 6:16). In the meantime, I invite both them and you to join me in an amazing act of worship by learning to call upon our heavenly Father’s unique name!
“O magnify Yehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalms 34:3
If you are interested in becoming an “Ambassador” of His Name sign up for our newsletter and let’s build together!