See also: tetragrammaton


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Tetragrammaton written in Phoenician, Aramaic, and Hebrew scripts.

Alternative forms




From Ancient Greek τετραγράμματον (tetragrámmaton, four-letter word), neuter gender of τετραγράμματος (tetragrámmatos, having four letters), formed from a combining form of τέτταρες (téttares, four) and γράμμα (grámma, letter).



Tetragrammaton (plural Tetragrammata or Tetragrammatons)

  1. The four Hebrew letters יהוה (in transliteration, YHWH or JHVH) used as the ineffable name of God in the Hebrew Bible, variously transliterated as Yahweh or Jehovah.
    • 1971, Jonathan P. Siegel, “The Employment of Palaeo-Hebrew Characters for the Divine Names at Qumran in the Light of Tannaitic Sources”, in Hebrew Union College Annual, volume 42, page 160:
      The starting point of this discussion was Origen’s much-debated comment to Psalm 2:2 concerning the Tetragrammaton in “ancient” Hebrew characters. A very approximate terminus a quo for this practice in LXX texts is the first century b. c. e., the date of the Cairo Papyrus Fouad 266, a revision of the Greek Torah from the second century b. c. e., in which the Tetragrammata are written in square Hebrew characters.
    • 1982, Judaica Bohemiae, page 103:
      The Tetragrammatons are written out in such a way that the names of single letters are inscribed.
    • 2007, Moshe Idel, Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism, Bloomsbury Academic, →ISBN, page 202:
      According to to R. Nehemiah, the double Tetragrammaton is one of Metatron’s 70 names: In gematria the consonants YHWH WHYH amount to 52. The two Tetragrammata do not leave any doubt as to the divine nature of the entities referenced here.
    • 2015, Robert J. Wilkinson, “The Tetragrammaton in Vernacular Bibles, Popular Print, and Illustration”, in Tetragrammaton: Western Christians and the Hebrew Name of God: From the Beginnings to the Seventeenth Century, Leiden, S.H., Boston, Mass.: Brill, →ISBN, part 3 (The Rediscovery of the Name), page 377:
      A few coins and medals with Tetragrammata are found from the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century, but most are from the 17th century, with examples from Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as proud towns in the Holy Roman Empire (Nuremberg, Hamburg, Magdeburg) and several from Saxony.