Recently the topic of The Tetragrammaton has arisen, most recently by an ill-informed individual. I will start by mentioning that I am by no means an expert, but certainly my decade-long endeavour as a dedicated student of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures ( I can speak some Ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek,as well as Latin)My study of Rabbinic writings and history, and my in-depth research into these very matters should help to clarify things.
To start: YHVH is technically called the Tetragrammaton (meaning Four Letters). They are: Yodh-He-Vau-He. Ancient Hebrews did not use consonants in their writing(A,E,I,O,U) so the listener or reader supplied their own, as they were familiar with them. Vowel pointing did not come into use until the 1st half of the 1st millennium. Today we can only guess as to how these were actually pronounced. Some, like the Catholics, assert that his Name was Yahweh, based on information from noted scholars such as Jerome of the 4th century who brought us The Vulgate, outside sources such as historians like Josephus, who was actually a contemporary of the 1st century Christians like St. Paul and St. John, and as a Jew, was most interested in Jewish history following their exile to Babylon until his time. By Josephus' time however, the Name had generally fallen into dis-use among everyday Jews. He even cited in Jewish Antiquities, II, 276: "Then God revealed to him (Moses)His name, which ere had not come to men's ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak" (xii, 4). There was even a death penalty for anyone caught speaking the Name, save for the High Priest and other priestly and scribe castes, via public stoning. This stipulation was due to the fact that the Priests felt his name was too holy to be spoken by mortal lips, hence, they substituted such terms as Adho.ni' (Sovereign Lord),or Elo.him (God)in it's place. Evidence of this surfaces in the Greek Septuagint (3rd-2nd cent. B.C.E.) It wasn't until the Catholic Douay Version (1607)that the Tetragrammaton was finally given a name: Yahweh, or Jehovah. It can also be found in the King James Version (1611), both in Exodus and in Isaiah, same passages as Douay. Today, we are most familiar with Jehovah, as many of us have crossed paths with the well-intentioned, but overzealous proselytizers who bear his name. While I am not a Christian anymore (Too restrictive and I didn't feel the need to constantly beg forgiveness for a condition the Bible states isn't even my fault; I am also an incredibly carnal and visceral being)I did devote a decade of intense study to archaic language and Scripture. He was a tribal God to the Israelites and those who became Israelites. Outside of the clarification, there really is no significance to this name for anyone who does not attach themselves to this particular Deity.
Latin Vulgate: Jerome (4th Cent);
The Mishna, trans. by H. Danby, London 1954;
Jewish Antiquities, Josephus (1st cent.)
Hopefully this will clear up any confusion to this name, and we shall avoid nonsensical gibberish in the future.
YHVH- Basic info