Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Mistranslation of Tetragrammaton in the Chinese Context

Author: SHU Ye, Nanjing University



This essay argues that the Hebrew name of God — יהוה , which is transliterated as YHWH, has been mistranslated as “Jehovah”. The Chinese Union Version of the Bible based on the Revised Standard Version of English Bible translates “Jehovah” literally as Yehehua (耶和华).  As a result, the Hebrew word יהוה   has been mistranslated in the Chinese context.  This essay insists that the Hebrew name of God — יהוה —should be translated as Yawei (雅威) in Chinese. What is more, the author believes that the worship of YHWH was not limited to the Hebrew faith, but that it was a common religious faith among people in the Canaanite region. The Ancient Hebrew religion was at one time polytheistic. In its evolution toward monotheism, it kept the worship of YHWH but excluded other gods such as Asherah, the consort of YHWH, and Baal.



Bible; God; Tetragrammaton; YHWH; Jehovah; Yehehua; Yawei


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