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JHVH, Yahweh

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The Tetragrammaton or four-letter name of God in Hebrew -- JHVH, commonly pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah
The Tetragrammaton or four-letter name of God in Hebrew -- JHVH, commonly pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah

JHVH, also known as Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, or God the Father, is the omniscient god worshipped in three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He is the architect of the world, creator of mankind, and judge over our souls in the afterlife. He is worshipped on Saturdays in Judaism, Sundays in Christianity, and five times per day with regular prayers in Islam.

YHVH is the creator God described in the Tanakh, the Biblical scriptures of Judaism. His name is written using the tetragrammaton, four Hebrew letters (yod heh vav heh), transcribed in English as YHVH. The tetragrammaton is said to encapsulate the very energy and nature of God and the name of God is something that bears great power and importance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Jewish Biblical law does not prohibit the use of God's name, but does warn against "misuse," "blaspheming" or "taking lightly" the name of YHWH. However there are denominations in modern Judaism in which God's name is never spoken aloud, and in which He is instead called by descriptors such as Adonai ("my Lord") or "HaShem" ("the Name"). Other terms for God in the Jewish Bible include El, Elohim (a Hebrew word that references God using the feminine plural) and El Shaddai ("God the Almighty").

A Christian depiction of Jehovah, God the Father, holding His Son Jesus Christ
A Christian depiction of Jehovah, God the Father, holding His Son Jesus Christ

Among Christians, God the Father is often called Yahweh or Jehovah, a name constructed from the four Hebrew letters of JHVH and the vowels of the word Adonai. Jehovah is considered to be the father of Jesus Christ, whose mother was The Virgin Mary, and in most Christian denominations, he is also conceived as one member of The Holy Trinity.

In Islam, God is called Allah -- the Islamic word for God the Father.

JHVH is described as omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipresent (everywhere). He is praised and honoured as the creator of our Earth and the giver of life to all who dwell thereon. Sometimes his is depicted as a God to be feared, the judge of mankind, who holds humanity to a strict code of conduct and punishes them when that code is broken. At other times he is described as an all-loving God, offering compassion and comfort to the downtrodden and poor. He is also portrayed as the mighty God who defends his people, helping them defeat their enemies and persecutors.

Many accounts are given in the Jewish Tanakh, Christian New Testament, and Islamic Qur'an about God the Father's guidance, intercession, moral laws, and dealings with mankind. These texts also describe the many prophets that He has sent to guide people to walk in His grace.

Jewish prophets through whom God the Father has communicated include Moses, Abraham, Elisha, and Elijah.

Christians believe that God the Father sent Jesus Christ, his only Son, to be the savior of mankind and the founder of the Christian faith.

Muslims believe Muhammad to be God's messenger, final prophet, and the founder of Islam.

God the Father is never depicted in Judaism or Islam, as the making of "graven images" of Him are against the religious laws of these groups. In Christianity, however, denominations vary on the acceptability of depicting JHVH, and thus many depictions of Jehovah have been made over the years. Typically he is shown as an elderly man dressed in draping, billowing robes, with white hair and a beard, surrounded by radiant light. Some depictions include a white dove flying near him to indicate his manifestation as the Holy Spirit.

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