Ancient writers were not negligent in preserving for us the correct pronunciation of the entire sacred name. Despite Jewish and Roman Church prohibitions against its use, the vocalization of the complete name was revealed and is preserved by some of these writers.
The following are various sources which attest to the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton as Yahweh (Yah-oo-ay).
JOSEPHUS Before any serious discussion can take place regarding the true pronunciation of the sacred name, it is necessary to recognize that the Tetragrammaton consists of four Hebrew vowels. Josephus writes:
His (the priest’s) head was covered by a tiara of fine linen, wreathed with blue, encircling which was another crown, of gold, whereon were embossed the sacred letters, to wit, FOUR VOWELS (φωνήεντα τέσσαρα; phonhenta tessara).1
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA Clement of Alexandria (2nd century CE), for instance, tells his readers that the sacred name was pronounced ’Ιαουέ and ’Ιαουαί,2both words which approximate the sound Yah-oo-ay.
Some people need clarification about the issue of whether we can know the name of the creator. Some teach that it is impossible to attain this information. Some say the evidence reveals his name to be Yahweh, but the pronunciation cannot be known with certainty.
Some go so far as to say we shouldn’t even attempt to use the name Yahweh nor try to pronounce it, as it would disparage the creator. The logic would be that we are too ignorant and should not use guesswork when communicating with our creator. Besides, the creator recognizes our handicaps and hopeless situation, forgiving us for not obeying his instruction to know and proclaim his name. The following is just one scriptural verse of many that contradict such logic.
For it will be (that) ALL WHO WILL CALL ON THE NAME YAHWEH SHALL BE SAVED. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be salvation, as Yahweh has said, and among the saved who Yahweh will call. (Joel 2:32)