The Most Important Show We’ve Ever Done

In this episode of “Heart of the Matter,” host Shawn McCraney delves into the true pronunciation and significance of the name of God, traditionally represented by the letters YHWH. Shawn argues that the true pronunciation is “Yahavah,” based on ancient Hebrew pronunciations and meanings of the letters, rather than the commonly accepted “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” The episode explores historical and linguistic evidence, revealing how ancient traditions and Masoretic influences have obscured the name’s true pronunciation. Shawn emphasizes the importance of understanding God’s name as encompassing breath, life, love, and fatherhood, urging believers to use and share the correct name, YAHAVA.

Written and presented by Shawn McCraney in Murray, UT.


They say we don’t officially know the Name of God. Tradition claims His name contains the letters YHWH and is pronounced Yahweh or Yehovah or Yehovim or Jehovah.

Many people, especially Jews, maintain that His name is so sacred that it would be unholy for us to even speak it.

So, what does the scripture say?

The Name of God in Scripture

Genesis 2:4

All the way back in Genesis 2:4, Moses asks God what He should tell the Nation when they ask, “who sent you,” and God replies:

“I AM THAT I AM: and he said, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

I used to teach the traditions of Man about this passage. But I was dead wrong. And the implications of my being wrong are super significant to seekers of God in spirit and truth.

So, with the help of my seeking brothers out there, namely Adnan and Grady, let’s dig a little deeper. And we will begin by reading what else God said after Moses asked Him his name and God responded with, I AM.

The LORD God of Your Fathers

In the very next verse we read:

“Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

Now, I am betting that God said His actual name to Moses – in full and without any sort of mystery, and that Moses HEARD how to pronounce that actual personal pronoun name.

But know this, in English, “I am” is NOT His name. That is just our way of trying to interpret the four consonants that are supposed to represent His name, and the reason we have to do this is because ancient Hebrews didn’t have vowels.

Ancient Hebrew and the Tetragrammaton


They didn’t need vowels. They knew how to say their words by sound and when they heard them said they understood what was meant by the pronunciations made.

In the King James, however, every time the four consonants popped up, the writers of scripture translated them to “the LORD” in all upper case.

When we get to chapter 9:13 in Exodus, God will say to Moses (when he is preparing to lead the Nation out from bondage to Egypt):

“And the LORD (the four consonants or what is called the Tetragrammaton) said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD (Tetragrammaton) God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”

Malachi 1:11

Then we come to Malachi 1:11 and read God say,

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.”

So, again, we have to ask, why isn’t His name “great among the Gentiles,” folks?

The Debate on God’s Name

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Other Pronunciations

Our friends, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, maintain that His name has been made known to them – and they say that the four letters are “YHWH” and that that name is pronounced, “Jehovah.”

Most Christians believe this is true, or they will maintain that the pronunciation is, Yahweh or possibly Yehovim.

So, why, if God said “waaaaay back in Exodus” and way back Malachi that his name was to be known throughout the earth and that His name was to be GREAT among the Gentiles, are we fumbling around with the pronunciation?

The Role of Ancient Israel

Rightly or wrongly, it seems – seems – initially like the Nation of Israel, the one who chose adultery over faithfulness to whatever this God’s name is, purposely chose to keep His name hidden instead of making it known!

I can’t think of any other reason at this point for not knowing it because it was their job to know it and then make it known?

Now, this is not so surprising because in addition to making His name known, they were also supposed to shine like a beacon of Light in order to draw all nations unto Him – along with giving the world His Name – but again – they chose to hide their light under a bushel and took His name and kept it to themselves.

Yeshua’s Teachings

For this reason, when Yeshua came to earth, He taught them, saying:

“that a city set on a hill should NOT be hid,” nor a candle placed under a bushel but on a candlestick so that it would give light to all that are in the house.

Now, this is going to sting a bit to the ears of those souls who are pro-Israel today and are convinced that they are still God’s chosen covenant people but, in my mind, and because of what God has done through His Son, there is today absolutely no difference between those who “think they are Jews” and those who are not, or between males or females, slaves or free, straight or gay, red or blue.

I say this NOT because I am anti-Semitic (I’m not at all) but there is a marked difference explained in scripture between true Israel and false Israel.

I am profoundly grateful to true Israel, but the scripture plainly condemns false Israel and we will speak to what false Israel has accomplished in hiding the name of God now.

The Masoretic Text

Origins and Influence

So, ask yourself, where did we get the pronunciation of YHWH from since the Nation of Israel anciently did not make His name known nor had vowels or vowel markings to pronounce it?


From a group of Jewish men called the Masorites, who, between 500 CE and 1000 CE, looked around and decided to add their insights to their scripture by giving it vowel demarcations and punctuation.

What they ultimately created is called, “the Masoretic text.“

Now just think about this for a moment.

After five centuries from the time their city Jerusalem was obliterated by the Roman armies and those who remained were sold off into a worldwide diaspora, these so-called Rabbis took a text that had no vowels and decided to freely make it “available” to the world?

The Septuagint

Of course, the Old Testament WAS translated by 70 scholars (six from each of the twelve tribes) from the Hebrew into Greek about three hundred BC. It was called the Septuagint and is noted by the symbol LXX.

And this is key – that is the version that Yeshua and His apostles would cite when it was referenced in the Apostolic Record.

That Septuagint was translated from what were the earlier forms of Hebrew or what some call, paleo-Hebrew and into the Greek.

Paleo Hebrew was VERY different from the Hebrew the Masorites used to create their version of the Old Testament.

When the Masoretic Rabbis got together, the Paleo Hebrew was long lost (it got lost during the Babylonian captivity) and so they translated their text from “other” sources – listen – which they themselves admit were faulty.

Motives and Methods

What led them to do this?

First of all, they did not like that Yeshua the Messiah cited the Septuagint instead of the Hebrew Old Testament in His life. All around them by the 5th century CE, Christianity was booming from whom they saw as a fraud, so it seems that they put their heads together – again between 500 AD and 1000 AD – and THEY created their own version with vowel markings for the world to use instead of the version Yeshua used.

What made this version so unique is they CREATED a system of punctuation and vowel demarcations that did NOT exist before!

So, we have the Septuagint, composed somewhere around 300 BC or thereafter (which Yeshua cited) and then some 800 to 1300 years later, a group of alienated (perhaps even angry) Jewish Rabbis came together and provided the world with their own version.

Guess which versions of our Bibles appeal to the Masoretic Text as the basis for their translations?

The Latin Vulgate from which the Catholics produced their Douay Bible is one.

The King James and then the VAST majority of most Protestant Bibles!

Only the Eastern Orthodox use the Septuagint as the source for their Old Testament.

Differences and Implications

Now, before I show you some of the realities behind the Masora text, ask yourselves this simple reasonable question:

If the Nation of Israel failed to make God’s name known,
and if the Nation of Israel failed to be a city set on a hill for the world that should not be hid,
and if the Nation of Israel was given a bill of divorcement from God Himself for their idolatry with other pagan nations,
and if the Nation of Israel rejected their promised Messiah and put Him to death (except for those who were true Israel who received Him)
and if the Nation of Israel

was obliterated by God in the prophesied 70 AD destruction, and were killed or spread out over the world,
and if the remaining remnant nation HATES Christ!

WHY ON EARTH would anyone, who is a believer in Christ, trust a translation ”that the Rabbinical remnants of that Nation” created hundreds and hundreds of years after the fact?

Two words – “mindless tradition.” Which I too embraced without a thought for decades in my earlier years.

Praise God for my supportive brothers who sought deeper and introduced me to these concepts.

The Correct Pronunciation of YHWH

Vowel Importance and Examples

Paleo Hebrew was more like Egyptian Hieroglyphics or “small images,” so vowels were not needed – just right pronunciations for hearing.

But in English, for example, vowels are super important.

For instance, if we just take the English consonants, “P and N” we can construct completely different words from those two consonants:

If we add an E in the middle and we get “Pen” (as in a writing utensil)

If we add an I in the middle and we get Pin (as in item that sticks something together)

Of course, if we add a U and we get Pun (as play on words)

Add two E’s – one in the middle and one on the end we get pene (as in pasta)

If we add an I in the middle and an E on the end we get Pine (as in tree)

Add an O and E and we get Pone (as in the slang that you’ve been had or poned.

Add an I and O and we get Pino (as in Grizio, the wine)

I know there are some Italian words in there that we borrow from, but vowels are super important in distinguishing words from each other in English.

So, here we have the Masorites, 400 to 900 years after the life, death, resurrection, ascension of Yeshua and the destruction of their city (Jerusalem). Christianity is literally blowing up all over the world because of this guy WHO they reject as the Messiah and Christians choose to trust these embittered men with the task of assigning “the ancient vowelless language” vowels in order to know God’s Name?

The Vav Pronunciation

My seeking brothers found that “anciently” (as I said, Hebrew changed after the exile to Babylon as it morphed into the dialect of Acadian, and then to Aramaic) the Jews who lived in the Syrian region at the time of King David would only have pronounced their “W” as a “V” (Va and never as a “Waaa”)

So, the pronunciation of that letter in paleo-Hebrew is “vav” NOT “waw”.

So, in the pronunciation of God’s name, it is more accurately represented by the letter “V” and not a “W”

Y-H-V-H not Y-H-W-H


Linguistic Consensus

Then, linguists, Rabbis, and historians all agree on the pronunciation of the first and last syllables of the Name…

Y= “Yah”
VH= “Vah”

(when a word ends in “H” the “H” is silent… like when God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah… the “H” is silent.)

So thus far, “Ya Va”

The Middle “H”

The mystery then is around the 2nd syllable of the name, or that middle “H” sound…

Ancient Israel long knew how to pronounce YHVH, but as we get to the time of the Roman empire, it is believed that the Jews began to keep the name under really tight wraps, again, because they thought it was too Holy and sacred to be picked up by the gentile believers including Roman or Greek pagans.

Eventually, it got to the point that the only time the Name was correctly uttered would be by the High Priest and only when he was in his temple duties.

Then, forty years before the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the High Priest actually stopped using the real name and started saying, ad-o-nai in its place.

Of course, the temple got destroyed in AD 70 and the pronunciation of the name was no longer common knowledge.

Masoretic Influence

So, the Masoretic Jews came in and appear to have purposely taught error (relative to the name) because they wanted to keep the secret of that name to themselves and were bitter toward flourishing Christianity.

It is believed that part of how the Jews obscured the Name was by taking the vowel sounds in “adonai” (which means “lord” in Hebrew) and mixing it in with the consonants YHVH.

That would look like this:

YaH -O- VaH

Apparently, around this time, the “Y” sound was also changed to a “J” sound in response to Germanic influence and there is also the belief out there that the Hebrew name for God, “elohim,” was also inserted by some Masorites, which gives some the impression that YHVH would be said Yahovim.

Conclusion on the Pronunciation

Because of all these factors, my brothers (and now myself who was willing to start listening) do not believe that Yahovim/Jehovah is how the Name of God is pronounced BUT sadly – if you dare – is how it has been OBSCURED!

Purposely obscured.

To prove their larceny for sharing ancient truths, the name of God is not all that they obscured. They would also obscure simple readings in the Tanakh that plainly pointed to the Messiah.

Differences Between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint

Historical Research

Historical research reveals five significant ways in which the Masoretic Text is different from the Septuagint version which (again) was written 1000 years earlier and cited by Christ.

  1. The Masoretes themselves admitted that they received corrupted texts to begin with.
  2. The Masoretic Text is written with a radically different alphabet than the original Paleo-Hebrew.
  3. The Masoretes added vowel points which did not exist in the original.
  4. The Masoretic Text excluded several books from the Old Testament scriptures.
  5. The Masoretic Text includes changes to prophecy and doctrine.

And yet… the Protestants have generally received the Masoretic text over the Septuagint, lending minimally to the “obscurification of the name of God” that God himself said He wanted known in the world very early on.

The Middle “H” in YHVH

So, back to the correct pronunciation of His name and let’s address that middle letter “H” in the Y H V H.

The letter “h” in Hebrew is actually a word… and that word is “The” which is pronounced, “Ha.”

For example, “Ha-mashiach” means, “THE Messiah” or “Ha- Satan” is “THE Satan.”

If you simply let the consonant “H” pronounce itself, without adding to it or taking away from it, then it would be pronounced “HA.”

Bringing this into the four consonant “Y H V H” God’s name (that should be known around the world today) would be pronounced as:


The Significance of Names

But let’s not stop here. Names are important to God in the Bible, and they hold meanings to the person’s very character.

There is no randomness to naming for Jews, we know this is ESPECIALLY true for the very name that God Himself gave to Moses.

The point? “Jehovah” certainly has a meaning, but it is not the name God wanted to be known by because “YAHAVAH” says it all.

The Breath of Life

One ancient Rabbi made the insightful note “that every creature on earth that breathes” says His name. How?

This hearkens back to last week’s message about two because breathing is not just exhaling (HA) nor is it just inhaling, (HA) but it is BOTH – (HA HA) and it is God who is both spirit and gives the breath of life.

Apply this mind-blowing idea when we read in Genesis 2:7:

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives and man became a living soul.”

Remember last week we said that the line, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” really says, “the breath of lives,” ostensibly referring to one masculine and one feminine.

So, when Yeshua says that YAHAVAH is spirit (which is pneuma in Greek and Ruach in Hebrew), He is saying that He is the BREATH of Lives (Ha Ha). That is the fullness of breathing!

The Name Ava

Speaking of Life, what name did Adam give the Woman? We pronounce it Eve but in Hebrew, it’s AVA. And didn’t Adam say he named her this because she is the “Mother of all living?”

Did you know that the Hebrew word for breath is “HAVA” so when we say the name YAHAVAH we speak of Him being the “giver of Lives?”

Additionally, we know that God is called, “Father,” right? Especially after the incarnation but He was also known by the Jews to be their Father.

The Hebrew word for father is what? AB

But the soft “b” sound (in Hebrew) is ALWAYS pronounced like a “V” so really, “Ab” is pronounced “Av” not “Ab.”

The Importance of Pronunciation

One cannot say YAHAVAH without uttering “father” at the same time.

Thus far, God

’s real name includes the terms:

Life, Lives, and Father

But we are not done. And this one is the clincher to me and why I will forever make His name Known and say His name the way I do.

The Hebrew word for love is “ahavah” (remember the soft “B” is ALWAYS pronounced like a “V”) and the POINT?

We cannot say God’s true name without saying, love, “Ahavah” and we cannot say love, in Hebrew, without saying the name He wanted known – YAHAVAH.

From this, God is the Father, God is breath, God is breathing, God is Life, God is lives, and GOD IS LOVE. (Yahavah Ahavah)

And from this, we see that His very real authentic beautiful name contains many of the main attributes of His Character.


The Ruiner or Destroyer

It has been said that John wrote His epistles to confound Gnostic thought and what did the Gnostics think of the OLD TESTAMENT GOD? That he was a ruinous destroyer.

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for ruin or destroy is HOVAH.

Take what Psalm 68:4 says, which is:

“Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, (which means Lord) and then add HOVAH.”

And we get that “God is a ruiner or destroyer.”

Perhaps the joke has been on all of us ever since because in my opinion, any true Hebrew scholar is laughing his head off at this and therefore, our pronunciation.

John’s Epistles

Remember that John wrote his epistles to confound the views of the Gnostics in his day and that he specifically said:

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (He is “ahavah” the lover, NOT Yahovah the destroyer, as the Gnostics claimed)

John repeats this 8 verses later and says:

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;” (Ahavah, love, not Yahovah ruin)

And remember when we read in Mark 14:36 where Jesus says:

“Ava, Father” (He doesn’t say “abba,” but ava), “all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

I maintain that Yeshua was actually saying His name, and that they were hearing at that time, “the very name of God.”

Or when Paul writes:

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Ava, Father.”

Or when Paul wrote in Galatians 4:6:

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Ava, Father.” (And again, they, and now we, hear that Ava is our Father, our YAHAVA, not our Jehovah).

Glorifying the Name

And when we read Yeshua saying that God is a Spirit,” we prove it by the breathing His name – the inhaling and the exhaling, of name itself –


Have you ever stopped and wondered what John 12:28 means when Yeshua says:

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Have you ever asked yourself what the name is?

It’s Father. (av)
Its breath. (ha ha)
Its life (Ava)
Its love (ahavah)

Manifesting the Name

Have you ever wondered what Yeshua meant when, in His intercessory prayer to His Father with His disciples He said:

“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”

Or six verses later when He adds:

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

Or 14 verses later where He adds:

“And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Conclusion and Invitation

Have you, like me in the past, just assumed that what we were told by Kabbalistically-led Yeshua-hating-Jews was correct?

I don’t know about you, but I will proudly, boldly, but humbly, make His name known, as it was supposed to be known for the past several thousand years, and that name is not Yehovah, Jehovah, Yehovim, or Yahweh – but it will forever be:


Please share this with everyone you know.

And if you want to speak with me, call in on Thursday between 11 am and 1 pm Mountain and we’ll talk.

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