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  1. Mickey Spillane (1918-2006)

    Mickey's Obituary Mickey Spillane died of cancer, a memorial service was held July 29,2006 at the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall near Spillane's Murrells Inlet home, about 80 miles northeast of Charleston. source
  2. Preaching In Brazil!

    Treat people like people, Work hard at not passing judgement, Apologize when it's needed, Say please and Thank you, And pay particular attention to your tone of voice when speaking to the public.
  3. On 2017-12-12 at 12:35 PM, Kurt said: Remember though that the Witnesses held firm in Brooklyn while the neighborhood around them was being left to decay. @JW Insider sorry I forgot to refer where I took this from!! If you want, you can correct the perryman: here
  4. Jehovahs Witnesses obey the secular laws in the lands in which they operate. This information would be on file for public review by the New York State Real Estate Office. The Christian Congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses is a preaching organization, we believe, carrying out the same work that Jesus, Paul, and the faithful Christians in the first century engaged in. They are not a real estate holding company. Because the real estate market has boomed in many cities, including Brooklyn, New York, some of these properties have gained in value. Remember though that the Witnesses held firm in Brooklyn while the neighborhood around them was being left to decay. many do not realize how much property watchtower bible and tract society actually own. we take the work of spreading the kingdom news very seriously and are convinced that Jehovah God and his son have entrusted this responsability to this organization. therefore, it would take alot of money to accomplish the work of educating the entire population of this planet about Jehovah's ways and standards, and prepare them to survive armageddon. so even though most have not responded we continue to take the message throughout the earth in hopes that many more will listen and be saved. The watchtower bible and tract society holds title to: Properties in brooklyn new york; Facility near Walkill, NY; Agricultural Farmland (3-6 Sections) near Walkill, NY; Educational Center @ Patterson, NY Branch office properties in Toronto Canada, England, Europe; some parts of Africa; Most of the countries of South America; New Zealand, Austrailia, Indonesia, the Philipines, Japan, and Tiawan. The watchtower bible and tract society holds title to Notes secured by real estate on tens of thousands of properties as a result of "quick build" kingdom halls and renovations on other similar properties. (aggregate amount of notes estimated in 2004 to be in excess of $11,000,000,000 in the United States alone) Current estimate of existing market prices would place the value of the notes held in the United States in the neighborhood of $30 to $40 Billion as of 5-13-08 World wide the estimate aggregate value of real estate and debentures held would be in the neighborhood of $300 to $600 Billion. This does not include Owned or subsidized commercial operations. Those would increase that value by 25% to 50% more. But Russian court turns properties of banned Jehovah’s Witnesses over to government (the Russian)
  5. Amazing video about God's letter Y !!

    I understand your point @Queen Ester The writing:THE PRONUNCIATION AND MEANING OF THE TETRAGRAM (There was no criticism for you, it was for general information only) Anyway I had the time to read it, maybe someone else too?
  6. Amazing video about God's letter Y !!

    I understand your point @Queen Ester Below is a long thesis in this topic from Rolf Furuli <<<google Rolf Furuli (our brother from Norway) THE PRONUNCIATION AND MEANING OF THE TETRAGRAM ©12.22.2013 Rolf Furuli In connection with the divine name there are two besic questions, a) how many consonants did the name have, and b) what was the original pronunciation. The first question may seem to be superfluous, because the name is called the tetragram and is written with four consonants. However, because Hebrew did not have vowel points before the middle of the first millennium CE, the consonants yod, he, and waw, and aleph were used as vowels. So, at the outset we cannot exclude the possibility that one or more of the consonants of the teragram were used as vowels. Because of the lack of vowel points, the question about the original pronunciation of the divine name, may also seem to be superfluous. However, because many proper names in the Hebrew Scriptures include the divine name, we may have some clues as to its pronunciation. Has the divine name three or four consonants? The form om the divine name that was mostly used from the middle ages and up to the beginning of the twentieth century was Jehovah, or a form close to Jehovah. In the twentieth century, the form Yahweh was introduced, and today most scholars favor this form. In Hebrew letters, these forms would be written as Îhwâøh◊y yehowa and h™RwVhÅy yahwæ respectively. Behind the Hebrew letters we find a transcription. Transliteration means to move a word from the source language to the target language letter by letter, whereas transcription means to move the pronunciation of a word in the source language to the target language. Thus, a transliteration of the two forms would be yehowah and yahwæh, but a transcription would be yehowa and yahwæ.1 The difference is that the he is lacking at the end when the forms are transcribed, but is retained when they are transliterated. The reason for this is that this final he in both cases serves as a vowel, the vowel qamets in yehowa and segol in yahwæ. Because this he is identical with the vowel, it is not pronounced, and therefore it is lacking in the transcriptions. In most Hebrew words ending in he, this he serves as either the vowel qamets or the vowel segol. In a few cases, a final he serves as consonant, and to mark this it has a point called mappiq in its middle. This is for example the case with the short form of the divine name ;h`Dy . If the final he in the tetragram represents a vowel, it means that the divine name has three consonants, yod, he and waw, and one vowel, long aœ or æœ.2 In the oldest Hebrew inscriptions, the letter he is used as a vowel. We may use the Siloam inscription from around 700 BCE as an example: In the word hyh (haya be/become) in line 1, the word brkh (berekha pool) in line 5, and in 'mh ('amma cubit) in lines 5,6, the final he represents the vowel qamets (long aœ).3 Final he was also used for e/æ and o, but because the use as o was ambigues, the letter waw was later used for o.4 In the Hebrew Bible, final he "was used as a mater lectionis for nearly every word-terminal /aœ/." 5 Because final he in a word almost always was a vowel, there are strong reasons to conclude that the divine name consists of three consonants, yod, he, and waw, and one vowel, represented by he. -----------ref: 1 In my transcriptions in this paper I do not consistently differentiate between long and short vowels. 2 F. I. Anderson, A. D. Forbes. Spelling in the Hebrew Bible, (1986) p. 38. The authors show that he also can stand for e and o. 3 Z. Zevit. Matres lectionis in ancient Hebrew Epigraphs. 1980, p. 19. 4 Op. cit. pp. 24, 25. 5 Andersen and Forbes, pp. 61, 91, 311. --------- Corroborating the view that the divine name in Hebrew had three consonants and one vowel, is the widespread use of the three consonants yhw for the divine name in extrabiblical sources, as well as at the beginning and end of theophoric names. In the temple of Amenhophis III in Soleb in Sudan from the 14th century BCE., the divine name is written as yhw. The same is true in Aramaic documents from Elephantine in Egypt from the 5th century BCE; these Aramaic-speaking persons worshiped yhw. It is almost universally believed that these three letters represented the form yaho, but that is nothing but guesswork. More than 160 different persons are mentioned by name in the Aramaic documents, and many of these names are theophoric. These names are written in the same way as the theophoric names in the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the three letters yhw represent the full form of the divine name, and that the pronunciation was ye-ho-wæ or ye-ho-wa. We also note that in old Hebrew, seals and inscriptions, there are 332 examples (84%) of the letters yhw, 42 examples of the letters yw (10.6%). and 21 examples of yh (5.3%). In the time before the Dead Sea scrolls were written — before the second century BCE — consonants were only occasionally used as vowels. If the last he in the tetragram was a vowel, it was implied but not written. That can explain all the examples of the three consonants yhw instead of yhwh. Did the tetragram come from the verb hwh (hwh)? The question is whether the divine name comes from hwh (hwh, be/become) or why (yhw) with unknown meaning. In other words, is the first yod in the tetragram the grammatical marker for 3 person masculine singular of the imperfective verb hwh in the hiphil (casuative) stem, so the meaning of the name is: "he causes to become"? Or is it the first letter of the three-radical root yhw, whose meaning we do not know? Whether the last he in the tetragram is a consonant or vowel does not matter in connection with these questions, because either possibility would fit both alternatives. Did the verb hwh exist in Hebrew? Let us first consider the root hwh, and ask: Did this root exist in Biblical Hebrew? According to Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament III:356, "Hebrew knows hwh as a secondary form of hyh (hayah)." But this statement can be questioned! The Hebrew word meaning be/become is hyh (hyh), and according to my Gramcord program, it occurs 3.576 times in the Hebrew Bible and 1.046 times in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The normal Aramaic verb for be/ become is hwh. This verb occurs 71 times in the Aramaic text of the Hebrew Bible and 342 times in the Aramaic text of the DSS. The problem with the statement that the verb hwh with the meaning "to be" also exists in Hebrew, is that only 10 examples of hwh is supposed to occur in Hebrew text of the Bible and in the DSS. In the DSS, my Gramcord program lists five participles, and in the Hebrew Bible, two imperatives (Genesis 27:29, Isaiah 16:4), and two participles (Ecclesiastes 2:22, Nehemiah 6:6) are listed. In addition, one finite form is listed in Excclesiastes 11:3. This form is a…wáh◊y (yehu'). But this form may be questioned, because it ends with the letter aleph, which is not a part of the root hwh. There is one example of a word awh (hw') ending with aleph in Job 37:6, and it has the meaning "fall." In Ecclesiastes 11:3 the word a…wáh◊y (yehu') is 3 person masculine singular imperfect qal, and therefore has a prefixed yod. In Job 37:6 the form is imperative masculine, singular, qal, and therefore lacks the prefixed yod. In Job 37:6, the meaning of the word with the consonants yh' is "fall," and interestingly, in Ecclesiastes 11:3, the verb with the consonants yh' is parallel to the verb nafal (to fall). So the meaning of the clause regarding the tree in Ecclesiastes 11:3 can be "the place where it falls, there it falls (= there it will lie). Because of the final aleph, it is likely that the verb in Ecclesiastes 11:3 has the meaning "fall" rather than be/become. Thus, there is no clear evidence in favor of a finite Hebrew form of a verb hwh with the meaning be/become in the Hebrew Scriptures. But will not the two imperatives and the two participles that are listed as the verb hwh in the Hebrew Bible show that the verb hwh existed in Hebrew? Not necessarily. The first point to have in mind is that both in old Hebrew and Aramaic handwriting yod and waw were quite similar, and there are numerous examples where the two letters have been confused.6 Because there are only four infinite examples of the supposed Hebrew word hwh, we cannot exclude the possibility that the waw in the four examples is a misreading for yod. This would mean that the two participles and two impertives belong to the hyh, the normal Hebrew verb with the meaning be/become. The second point relates to Aramaic loanwords. In his book, Die Lexikalischen und Grammatischen Aramäismen im Alttestamentlichen Hebräisch, (1966) Max Wagner lists 333 Aramaic words that occur in the Hebrew Scriptures.7 The word hwh hawa is listed as number 72, and Wagner refers to the five places, mentioned above, where hwh is supposed to occur in the Hebrew text. In the entry on hyh in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, (1978) III, p. 371, K.-H. Bernhardt writes: "The verb hyh occurs 3632 times in the OT. Of them, 21 are niphal, 5 are aramaizing hwh (Gen. 27:29; Isa. 16:4; Eccl. 2:22; 11:3; Neh. 6:6), and 71 in the Aramaic portion are hwh." If Wagner and Bernhardt are correct, the verb hwh does not occur in Hebrew, but is an Aramaic loanword. This is important in connection with the suggestion that hwhy comes from the verb hwh with the meaning be/become. If the divine name comes from the Aramaic verb hwh, 3 person masculine singular imperfect would be hwhl (lhwh), and not hwhy (yhwh), as the form would have been if the verb was Hebrew. If the verb hwh existed in Hebrew, it would be an anachronism to apply it to the divine name Let us now assume that the Hebrew had the verb hwh, and that the divine name is 3 person singular masculine imperfect hiphil of this root. According to the parsing of lamed he verbs based on the Hebrew text of the Bible and found in modern grammars, this form would have been yahwæ.8 Thus, there may be some support for the form yahwæ. However, this is only seemingly, because this form is anachronistic. God gave himself his name for the sake of the human beings, so it must be as old as the human family. And in ancient times, lamed he verbs did not end with he but with yod. This is for example seen in the parsing of the lamed he verbs both in Hebrew and Aramaic, where this yod is visible. For example, first person singular perfect of the verb hnb (bnh, build) in Hebrew is ytynb (baniti) where we see a yod and not a he after the nun. Because the divine name is as old as the human family, the oldest form of the lamed he verbs would have been used. If the tetragram was 3 person masculine singular imperfect, the tetragram would have been ywhy (yhwy), and the hiphil form would have ---------ref: 6 If one reads a few lines of a manuscript from Qumran, one will see that in many instances it is difficult to see the difference of yod and waw. 7 This is 4.2% of the about 8,000 different words in the Hebrew Scriptures. 8 The last he seen in a transliteration is not seen here, because this is a transcription, and this he represents the vowel æœ. --------- been yahwi. This would mean that the ending -e(h) in Yahweh hardly would be possible, because there was no final he. But what about the supposed first closed syllable yah-? If the root was hwy, the imperfect in the basic stem qal would have been yih and not yah, and the full form would have been yihwi. In the causative hiphil stem the first syllable could have been yah, and the full form would have been yahwi. But the problem is that neither the Hebrew verb hyh (be/become) nor the Aramaic verb hwh (be/become) occur i the Hebrew causative stem hiphil or the Aramaic causative stem aphel/haphel. So, even if hwh — coming from hwy — was a Hebrew verb in the Hebrew Bible, and the tetragram came from it, the pronunciation yahweh would not be possible. Moreover, the four letters of the divine name would then be yhwy and not yhwh. To claim that yhwh comes from the verb hwh, therfore, is an anachronism, because hwh is a younger form of hwy.9 The conclusion is that yhwh could not have come from a verb hwh, that either did not exist in the oldest form of Hebrew, or if it existed, would originally have had yod as the last radical. So, we cannot say that the divine name is derived from any other word, but we can say that it probably from the beginning had the three consonants yhw and a vowel expressed by the consonant he. Exodus 3:14 suggests that the divine name does not come from hwh The words h¡RyVh`Ra r∞RvSa h™RyVh`Ra (ehyæ asher ehyæ) in Exodus 3:14 can be translated, "I will be what I will be." These words show that God has a purpose that he will fullfill. This means that the words tell something, or give a characteristic, of God. We note that the verb hyh, which is the normal Hebrew verb for be/become, is used. It would be strange if God used hyh to describe himself, and then used another verb, hwh, as a basis for his personal name. Moeover, when God describes himself in Exodus 3:14. he uses 1 person. It would have been strange if he in his personal name used 3 person. In his book dealing with the divine name, Parke-Taylor refers to a number of different explanations of the origin of the divine name.10 All these are highly speculative and lack any foundation. The same is true with the view that yhwh comes from the verb hwh; no evidence in favor of this exists! But evidence against it do exist. So far we have seen what the origin and pronunciation of the divine name is not. Let us now try to find clues as to what it is. Can the phonological rules of the Masoretes be used when we look for pronunciation clues? The clues we have regarding the pronunciation of the divine name are primarily based on the orthography of the Hebrew Bible and the phonological rules of the Masoretes. But, can we trust this orthography and phonological rules, or will the use of them in connection with the divine name be anachronistic? The vowel points were invented after 500 CE, and the question is whether the phonological rules and the pronunciation of the words are older. The manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls give an answer. They abound with plene vowels, that is, consonants used as vowels, and when we compare these plene written vowels with the Masoretic text, we see that the plene ---------- 9 A scholar who basically endorses the points discussed above is R. L. Harris. "The Pronunciation of the Tetragram," in J. H. Skilton ed, The Law and the Prophets Old Testament Studies Prepared in Honor of Oswald Thompson Allis. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. 1974, pp. 214-224. 10 G. H. Parke-Taylor. Yahweh:The Divine Name of the Bible. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Lauries University Press. 1975, pp. 18-62. -------- vowels confirm the phonological rules of the Masoretes.11 Thus, this orthography and these rules are about the same as the orthography and rules in the two last centuries BCE. There is even older evidence that has a bearing on the pronunciation of names, so we can argue that the Masoretic orthography and phonological rules are older than the DSS. F. I. Anderson and A. D. Forbes studied the spelling of words in the Hebrew Bible. Regarding the Masoretes they concluded:12 "It can be inferred that the tradition of spelling in Masoretic texts comes from the period during which the Hebrew Bible was taking final shape, that is, between 600 and 300 BCE. Since, however, its spelling is noticably more advanced than that of the lastest pre-exilic inscriptions (early decades of the sixth century) and noticably more conservative than the earliest manuscripts (second century BCE), this inteval may be narrowed to 550-350 BCE or more particularly to the Persian period." Our conclusion must be that on the basis of the data we have, we have a good basis for claiming that the text of the Hebrew Scriptures and the phonological rules of the Masoretes can give us some clues as to how the divine name was pronounced in the first and second part of the first millennium BCE. How different theophoric elements are used in proper names Different divine names are included in proper names in the Hebrew Bible. When such names are used, we see that the theophoric element closely resembles the name of the god. For example, in Judges 6:32 we find ye-ru-ba-'al where ba'al is written as when the name stands alone. In Ruth 1:2 we find the name 'e-li-me-lekh where both 'el and melekh are written as when they stand alone. In 1 Kings 1:8 we find the name 'a-do-ni-ya-hu where 'adon is written as when it stands alone. In 2 Samuel 8:3 we find the name ha-dad-'æ-zær where hadad is written as when it stands alone. The pattern is that when the name of a god is a part of a proper name, it is written and pronounced as the name is written and pronounced when it stands alone. There are no reasons to believe that the name of God was pronounced in one way and written in another way when the name was a part of a proper name; we have all reasons to expect that God's name would be treated in the same way as other divine names. The first syllables of theophoric names In the theophoric names, such as N%DtÎnwøh◊y (ye-ho-na-tan), and MyóîqÎywøh◊y (ye-ho-ya-kim), the theophoric element is at the beginning, and this element is ye-ho. The vowel o is written plene, with the consonant waw. This shows that this vowel sound is independent of the phonological rules of the Masoretes, because the consonant used for this plene writing (here waw) cannot change. But what about the short e (shewa) in the first syllable? The vowels beneath the three radicals (consonants) of a word may change. This change is dependent of the number of syllables in the word, whether a syllable is open (consonant-vowel) or closed (consonant-vowel-consonant), and on which syllable the stress is. In a word with several syllables, the stress is not on the first syllable, but in most cases on the last syllable, or on the next last syllable. The name N$DtÎnwâøh◊y has three open syllables (ye-ho-na) and one closed syllable (tan), and the stress is on the last syllable. Because the first syllable is far away from the stressed syllable, its vowel must be shewa (short e). ----------ref: 11 See: J. Barr. "Vocalization and the analysis of Hebrew among the Ancient Translators," Hebräische Wortforschung. Festschrift zum 80 Geburtstag von Walter Baumgartner, Vetus Testamentum, Sup. Vol XVI, 1967, pp. 1-11. The short e (shewa) is never written plene in the DSS. 12 F. I. Anderson and A. D. Forbes, p. 319. ---------- We have already seen that the Masoretic spelling accords with the spelling from 550 BCE onward. Cuneiform tablets which contain the names of Jews that were exiled in Babylon show that the spelling of theophoric names is even older. In these documents we find the forms Ia-a-hu-u-na-ta-nu (Jehonatan), and Ia-hu-na-ta-nu.13 The sign for the syllable hu can also be read ho, and the sign for the syllable ia can also be read ie.14 The opening of the mouth and the place of articulation of vowels in the mouth can be slightly different in different languages, even in dialects of the same language. There are indications in the Masoretic literature that shewa, which is transliterated as e, could lean a little towards the sound a—having a sound between e and a. The first two syllables in the first Akkadian transcription above could be read as ia-hu or ia-ho, and the first two syllables in the second transcription could be read as ia-hu, ie-hu, or ie-ho. The cuneiform writing of the name shows that Jehonatan had two open syllables at the beginning. The phonetic value ho of the second syllable is confirmed, and the ye of the first syllable may also be confirmed. Thus, the cuneiform evidence confirms that theophoric names had two open syllables at the beginning, and that these syllables were ye-ho or something similar. This is also evidence that the Masoretic pointing and phonological rules have a sound foundation. Could the two syllables ye-ho be based on the prounciation yahwæh? We have seen above that when different divine names are used as theophoric elements in proper names in the Hebrew Bible, they are written in the same way as when they stand alone. As already mentioned, there is no reason why the name of Israel's God should be treated differently. There is a clear difference between yahwæ and ye-ho, but could there be a relationship based on vowel change? As mentioned, the vowels of Hebrew words may change, depending of the number of syllables, whether the syllables are open or closed, and where the stress is. In yahwæ, the last æœ represented by the consonant he could fall away (—> yahw); this is particularly the case when the stress is moved to the first syllable. The consonant waw may be used as the vowel o, and the last w of yahw could be taken as this vowel (—> yaho). The a in yaho could be changed to shewa (—> yeho); this is particularly the case when the first syllable is open and does not have the stress. The mentioned changes may occur in different words under different circumstances. However, such changes are based on the phonological rules of Hebrew, and if, for example, it is claimed that yahwæ were changed to ye-ho, one has to point out on the basis of which rules the changes took place. As I will show below, there are no phonological rules that would change yahwæ to ye-ho at the beginning of a proper name. To the contrary, the mentioned possible changes of the different parts of yahwæ with the end result yeho are mutually exclusive. This is so because such changes would require that the stress was moved to different syllables, but the stress can only be on one syllable in each word.15 In order to illustrate the situation, let us look at some names. We start with the short name Yehoram. If yahwæ was the pronunciation of the divine name, and it was the first element of the name, could this name have been written as yahwæ-ram? Yes. the last consonant he of yahwæ could have been elided to avoid the collision of the two cononants he and resh, which would have resulted in an extra syllable, as in ---------ref: 13 R. Zadok The Jews in Babylonia during the Chaldean and Achaemenian periods: according to the Babylonian sources. Studies in the history of the Jewish people and the land of Israel: Monograph series; v. 3. 1979. Haifa: University of Haifa. Akkadian did not have the strict phonological rules as Classical Hebrew has. 14 R. Labat and F. Malbran-Labat. Manuel d'Epigraphie Akkadienne. 1963. Paris: Libraire Orientaliste Paul Guethner S.A., p. 101. 15 Words with several syllables can have a secondary stress. But here we are talking about the prinary stres. ------- yahwæharam. In yahwæram the first syllable is closed, the second is open, and the last, which has the stress, is closed. There are no phonological reasons why yah-wæ in this name should be changed to ye-ho. We may use the substantive JKRl¶Rm melekh (king) as an illustration. In Deuteronomy 7:24 we find the form MRhyEkVlAm malkhehæm (your kings). The first syllable is closed, the second is open, and the third, which has the stress, is closed. This is an exact parallel to yah-wæ-ram, and it shows that a closed syllable as the first syllable of a word (mal and yah), and a second open syllable (wæ and khe) do not need to be changed. The situation is exactly the same when a word has four syllables, as in Yehonatan. If yahwæ was the pronunciation of the divine name, this name could have have been written as yah-wæ-na-tan? The first syllable is closed, the second is open, the third is open, and the last syllable, which has the stress, is closed. There are no phonological reasons why yah-wæ in this name should be changed to ye-ho.16 Therefore, the view that the pronunciation of the divine name was yahwæ is contradicted by the evidence. 17 Whereas the form yahwæ has no phonological backing whatsoever, the form yehowa would excellently fit the graphic presentation of theophoric names and the phonological rules of the Masoretes. If the full form of the divine name had been used in connection with na-tan, the result would have been ye-ho-wa-na-tan. This is a long form, and to shorten it, the vowels of the syllables ho and wa could have been elided, with the result that the two consonants y and h remained. Then the consonant w was taken as the vowel o, and the result would have been the syllable ho and the form yehonatan. The name ye-ho-na-tan could also have been viewed as too long, and further abbreviations occurred as in the form N$DtÎnwâøy (yo-na-tan). In this case, the vowel of the first syllable ye and the he in the second syllable were elided. Of the divine name at the beginning of the theophoric name, only yod and waw remained; the waw was taken as a vowel, with the result that only the single syllable, yo remained. The conclusion is that the theophoric element ye-ho comes from the divine name with the pronunciation yehowa where the last syllable is elided. Theophoric elements in the middle of a name In most cases the theophoric element occurs at the beginning or at the end of a proper name. But in 1 Chronicles 26:3 there is a name where the theophoric element occurs in the middle. This is the name y™AnyEowøh◊yVlRa 'elyeho'enai ('el=toward), (yeho =theophoric element), [are] ('enai=my eyes). When yeho occurs at the beginning of a name, a shewa is required beneath the y (ye), because the first syllable is far away from the syllable that has the stress. When the theophoric element is in the middle of a word, there is no such requirement. Let us compare the name y™AnyEowøh◊yVlRa 'elyeho'enai with the name Ao…wävyIlTa 'elishua' (god [is] salvation) in 2 Samuel 5:15. The name 'elishua' is made by the word l∞Ea 'el (god) and the word h°Do…wv◊y yeshu'a (salvation), whereas the first part of 'elyeho'enai is made by the word lRa (toward) and the theophoric element yeho. The similarity between the first part of the two words is that when l∞Ea (god) is put together with h°Do…wv◊y, there will be a shewa quiescens --------- 16 The name M(y)qywhy yehoyaqim is found in line 3 of ostracon 31 from Lakish (the end of the 7th century BCE). No one will argue that the divine name was not pronounced at this time, yet the first two syllables in the name evidently is ye-ho. This shows that the theophoric element ye-ho is old. We may also refer to dRb§Rkwøy (yokhæbæd), the mother of Moses, where the theophoric element ye-ho is shortened to yo. This name shows the great age of theophoric names. 17 The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1992, Vol 6, p. 2011 says that, "the pronunciation of yhwh as Yahweh is a scholarly guess." R.L. Harris. "The Pronunciation of the Tetragram," p. 220 says: "The form Yahwêh is an incorrect hybrid form with an early w and a late -êh." ---------- beneath the l. This means that one shewa mobile, the shewa beneath the y of yeshu'a follows the shewa quiescens beneath the l of 'el. When such a situation happens, the two shewas are changed to the vowel hireq (i). There are hundreds of examples of the change of two shewas to hireq in the Hebrew Bible. But there is no example of a word where 'el is followed by yod and where there are two shewas except in 'elyeho'enai. This change to i occurs in 'elishua' but not in 'elyeho'enai, which may, if the rule was followed, have been written y™AnyEowøhyIlTa 'eliho'enai. Why did the word 'elyeho'enai have a shewa quiescens followed by a shewa mobile? The reason may have been that the first part of the divine name was pronounced yeho, and that those who gave the name and used the name would not change the vowels of this divine element, even though the phonological rules would require that the two shewas were changed to one hireq.18 If the divine name had been yahu with qamets (long a) as the first vowel, the name could have been written as y™AnyEowøhÎyVlRa V'elyaho'enai, which is similar to the pattern of the name oä∂dÎyVlRa 'elyada' (2 Samuel 5:16) where ya follows the element 'el. But this is not the case. If the divine name was pronounced as h™RwVhÅy yahwæ, the name could have been written as y™AnyEo™RwVhÅyVlRa 'elyahwæ'enai, which is similar to the pattern of the name ‹aD;bVjÅyVlRa 'elyahΩba19 (2 Samuel 23:32). The conclusion is that whereas the shewa in the syllable ye of yeho at the beginning of a name either can be original or represent a shortened vowel, there is no phonological reason why the shewa in the syllable ye in yeho in the middle of a name, should not be original. So, this is an argument in favor of shewa being the original first vowel of ye-ho and not only a short vowel derived from another vowel The final syllables of theophoric names It is often said that in theophoric names, the elements at the beginning are ye-ho, and the element at the end is yah. This is correct, but it is not the whole truth. In Ezra 8:7 we find the name h™DyVo`Av◊y (ye-sha'-ya); the last he is a plene writing of the vowel qamets. But in Isaiah 1: 1 we find wh∞DyVo`Av◊y (ye-sha'-ya-hu). In the long form we find the three consonants of the divine name yhw. So, the three letters yhw are found both when the theophoric element is at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of a name. How can we explain the difference in vocalization—e-o at the beginning and middle versus a-u at the end of a name? And, how would the pronunciation yahwæ and yehova fit the ya-hu at the end of theophoric names? We may use ye-sha-ya-hu as an example. If the divine name was pronounced yah-wæ, we would first get the form ye-sha-yah-wæ. Because the closed syllable yah would get the stress, it would be transformed into the open syllable ya, with qamets, long aœ. The end would then be -h-wæ, and because of the stress on ya, this ending must be shortened. This could happen in two ways, 1) the h could be elided, and the result would be ya-wæ (ye-sha-ya-wæ), or 2) all the three consonants yhw could be retained, and the w could be taken as the vowel u. The result could then be ya-hu (ye-sha-ya-hu). If the divine name was pronounced ye-ho-wa, the shewa in the first open syllable ye would be changed to qamets, long aœ, because this syllable has the stress. In that case the ending must be shortened, and that could happen by retaining all the three consonants yhw, and the w could be taken as the vowel u. The result could then be ya-hu (ye-sha-ya-hu) 18 The shortened form y§AnyEowøyVlRa 'elyo'enai (Ezra 10:22) does not contradict the arguments above, because the shortening of a word would give different vowels and a different pronunciation compared with the full form of the word. 19 Even though a hΩet follows the yod in 'elyahΩba and a he follows the yod in 'elyahwæ'enai, the pattern is the same, because a patah in a closed syllable follows the shewa quiescens of the lamed in 'el in both instances. Because of the phonological rules regarding the position of the stress, and the tendency to shorten the endings of long words, both yah-wæ and ye-ho-wa could have been the original theophoric element at the end of theophoric names. But at the beginning and in the middle of theophoric names the original theophoric element could only have been ye-ho-wa and not yah-wæ, because there is no stress at the beginning or in the middle of theophoric names. The short form yah The form ;h˛Îy (yah) occurs forty-nine times in the Hebrew Scriptures. The form has one syllable which is closed, and such forms usually have a long vowel and not the short vowel shewa. The form probably includes the two first consonants of the divine name, and it occurs almost exclusively in poetic settings. It is perhaps a diminutive form of yhw that expresses the affection of the writer towards God. The Greek phonemic transcription iaw (iao) Can there be any connection between the Hebrew letters yhw and the Greek transcription iao? First we note that both have three letters. The Hebrew letters yod he, and waw have no counterparts in Greek, except that a rough breathing at the beginning of a word represents the letter h. Origen transcribed Hebrew words in his Hexapla, and how he did this may illumiate the issue. The Hebrew letter yod can represent the Hebrew vowel hireq (i), and Origen often transcribes yod with iota. The letter waw is in most cases transcribed by Origen as ou (ou/oy), but it is also transcribed by w (long oœ). Origen did not transcribe the Hebrew letter he, but when the Hebrew text had this letter, he only transcribed the vowel that was beneath the he. Hebrew laryngeals have a preference for the a-sound, and the Hebrew vowels that is mostly used beneath he are patah and qamets, both being a-sounds. That may be the reason why alpha was chosen as the middle letter in iao where the Hebrew has he. I suggest the following similarity: yod=iota — he=alpha — waw=omega. If this is correct, the Greek form iao may be viewed as a transcription of the divine name expressed by the three letters yhw. It is often claimed that Theodoret and other so-called church Fathers used the transcription iabe for the Hebrew divine name. We should note that Theodoret says that the Samaritans pronounced the divine name as iabe, but the Jews pronounced it as aia. Therefore, Theodoret speaks against the pronunciation iabe, as far as the Jews were concerned. One explanation of the form aia, is that the first a represents a prosthetic aleph. There is evidence that an aleph was added at the beginning of many Hebrew words in order to ease their pronunciation. It this explanation is correct, the witness of Theodoret is that the Jews pronounced the divine name as ia, which may be the same as iao, the transcription of the divine name represented by the three consonants yhw. Conclusion The linguistic and philological evidence suggest that the divine name consists of the three consonants yhw and one vowel represented by the consonant h. When the divine name is used as a theophoric element in proper names, the consonants yhw occur when the divine element is at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the name. The consonants yhw are found in Soleb in Sudan, in Elephantine in Egypt, and in 332 old Hebrew seals and inscriptions. The Greek form iaw may be a transcription of the three Hebrew consonants yhw. The evidence do not support the view that the divine name is 3 person singular masculine imperfect hiphil of the verb hwh. # It can be questioned whether Hebrew had the verb hwh. The four or five supposed Hebrew examples may be Aramaic loans or the letter waw may have been confused with yod, so the verb is hyh. # The divine name is old, and the older form of hwh was hwy. So if the dinive name is 3 person singular masculine imperfect hiphil, it would have been yhwy and not yhwh. # If the verb hwh is Aramaic and not Hebrew, and Aramaic has l where Hebrew has y in 3 person singular masculine imperfect. So the younger Aramic form woud have been lhwh, and the older form would have been lhwy. There is no linguistic or philological evidence supporting the view that the pronunciation of the divine name was yahwæ. # The æ(h) -ending of lamed he verbs is young, and as mentioned above, the older ending would have been i(h), which does not fit yahwæ(h) # There is no evidence that the first vowel of the divine name was a, and that this a occurred in the closed syllable yah. This view is based on the guess that the pronunciation of the divine name was yahwæ. There is evidence that the first two syllables of the divine name was ye-ho and that the last syllable was wa or wæ. # A great number of theophoric names begins with ye-ho, and there is one example of ye-ho in the middle of a word. There are no phonetic rules that would transform yahwæ to ye-ho in the beginning or middle of a word. But the elision of the last syllable of of ye-ho-wa would give the syllables ye-ho. # The ending ya-hu in theophoric names could both come from yahwæ and from yehowa. # If the last he of the tetragram represents a vowel, this vowel was either aœ or æœ. Together with the evidence that the first two syllables were ye-ho, this means that the evidence suggests that the pronunciation of the divine name was either ye-ho-wa or ye-ho-wæ.
  7. The Hardest Question

    Terrible Tsunami “WHY?” It is tragic to see how much anguish and pain can be packed into that simple word. People often ask that question after disaster or tragedy strikes: A hurricane sweeps through a region, leaving death and destruction in its wake. An earthquake reduces a city to rubble. A terrorist attack changes a quiet, routine day into a nightmare of fear and violence. Or an accident injures or takes the life of a loved one. All too often, the victims include the most innocent and defenseless among us. Recent times have brought more than their share of such disasters, causing many to cry out to God, “Why?” Consider some examples: ▪ “Why did you do this to us, God? What did we do to upset you?” Reuters news agency reported that an elderly woman in India asked those questions after a tsunami devastated her village. ▪ “Where was God? And if God has ultimate control, why did God let this happen?” These questions were raised by a newspaper in Texas, U.S.A., after a gunman opened fire in a church, wounding and killing a number of worshippers. ▪ “Why did God allow her to die?” A woman asked this question after cancer took her friend’s life, leaving the deceased’s husband to care for their five children. These people are not alone in thinking that God is somehow behind their troubles. Regarding natural disasters, for example, nearly half the respondents in a recent Internet poll felt that disasters such as hurricanes come from God. Why do so many feel that way? Religious Confusion Instead of offering satisfying answers, religious leaders often contribute to the confusion. Let us focus on just three of their common responses. First, many religious leaders preach that God sends disasters in order to punish wayward humans. For instance, in the United States, after New Orleans, Louisiana, was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, some ministers claimed that God had punished the city. They pointed to the prevalence of corruption, gambling, and immorality. Some even cited the Bible as evidence, noting occasions when God destroyed the wicked by flood or by fire. Such claims, however, misrepresent the Bible.—See the box “Acts of God?” Second, some clergymen assert that God has his reasons for bringing about the calamities that befall mankind but that these reasons are beyond our comprehension. Many people find such a notion unsatisfying. They wonder, ‘Could a loving God really carry out such evil and then refuse to enlighten those who hunger for comfort and who pleadingly ask, “Why?”’ Indeed, the Bible says: “God is love.”—1 John 4:8. Third, other religious leaders feel that perhaps God is not all powerful and is not loving. Once again, such an explanation raises serious questions. Is the One who “created all things”—including the unfathomably vast universe—incapable of preventing suffering on this one planet? (Revelation 4:11) How could the One who gave us the capacity to love, whose Word describes him as the very embodiment of love, be unmoved by human suffering?—Genesis 1:27; 1 John 4:8. Of course, the three points just mentioned are only some of the ways in which humans try to explain why God allows suffering—a question that has puzzled thinking people for centuries. In the next article, we will consider what the Bible teaches on this important and timely subject. As you will see, the Bible’s sound, logical explanation clears away the confusion. Moreover, the Bible offers much comfort to all who have suffered tragedies in life. Acts of God? Does the Bible teach that God is behind the natural disasters we see today? Not at all! God’s judgments as described in the Bible are quite different from natural disasters. For one thing, God is selective; he reads the hearts of individuals and destroys only those he deems wicked. (Genesis 18:23-32) Furthermore, God sends warnings first, thereby giving the righteous opportunity to escape. Natural disasters, on the other hand, strike with little or no warning, and they kill and maim indiscriminately. To some extent, mankind has made such disasters worse by damaging the natural environment and by building in areas prone to earthquakes, floods, and extreme weather. Awake!—2006 nov. pp. 3-4
  8. Dr Shiraz Maher is a lecturer at King’s College London and a Senior Fellow of The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR). His list of expertise includes terrorism, Al-Qaeda, radicalisation, the Middle East, the ‘Arab Spring’ and Islamic political movements. His latest book is an illuminating history and political theology of Salafi-Jihadism. Dr Maher is, by all accounts, an eminent academic and a respected authority. In the wake of the appalling murder of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, a member of the Ahmadiyya community, for the alleged crime of “disrespecting Islam”, Dr Maher reportedly wrote on Facebook that he does not regard Ahmadis as Muslims, or words to that effect. Dr Maher is now under investigation by King’s College London for the apparent crime of disrespecting educational/institutional orthodoxy. Perhaps Dr Maher was a tad insensitive. After all, Asad Shah had only just been stabbed in the head: his family and friends were still grieving, and along comes this pompous academic to pontificate on the validity of Mr Shah’s faith, thereby lending credence to the assassin’s motive; namely that Ahmadi’s are not ‘proper’ Muslims, not least because they “disrespect” Islam by distorting key doctrines, in particular the finality of the consummate prophethood of Mohammed. By taking verses out of their immediate context and imposing the ‘revelations‘ of Ahmadi founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Dr Maher takes the reasoned historical-theological view that Ahmadis are not real Muslims, but a cult; and that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was not a prophet, but a heretic. Quite why this merits a formal investigation by King’s College London is something of a mystery – until, that is, you grasp that the Ahmadiyya are aggrieved by the slur that they are not sufficiently Islamic to be real Muslims; a grievous ‘offence’ perpetuated by the Muslim Council of Britain, no less: The Muslim Council of Britain reflects the clear theological position expressed across Islamic traditions: namely that the cornerstone of Islam is to believe in One God and in the finality of the prophethood of the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him. We understand that this is not a tenet subscribed to by the Ahmadi community. The MCB Constitution requires our affiliates to declare that Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him is the final prophet and whoever does not subscribe to that declaration cannot be eligible for affiliation with the MCB. Given this fundamental theological difference with the Ahmadi community, the MCB is not in a position to represent or be represented by the Ahmadi community. Despite our clear theological beliefs, we note that pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim. Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so, at the same time, we call on Muslims to be sensitive, and above all, respect all people irrespective of belief or background. Such bigotry, religious intolerance and petty-fogging dogmatism leads directly to ‘hate crime’, as we have seen time and again. But if the repudiation of heretical Islamic religious doctrine may no longer be made by respected theologians and other academics, by what rationale may faculties of religion and theology assert that the traditional teachings of the Church Fathers must be taken as fundamental Christian orthodoxy? Surely we may not be so ‘racist’ as to assert that it’s only the more robust Sunni Muslims who are stabbing limp-witted Ahmadis in the head; that your average Methodist or Quaker isn’t about to take a 200-mile trip in an Uber taxi just to stick a knife into a purveyor of the Watchtower? But isn’t a leitmotif of Islamophobia precisely that your average Sunni Muslim isn’t likely to that, either? If Dr Shiraz Maher is to be racked by the King’s College London inquisition for believing and expressing that Ahmadis are not ‘proper’ Muslims, then all orthodox Christians in academia must beware, for Jehovah’s Witnesses and Millennial Dawnists have been seeking the means of optimal inculcation since the ‘Disappointment of 1844’. If Dr Maher may not express the view that Islamic orthodoxy hinges on the finality of the prophethood of Mohammed, then by what rationale may any university lecturer insist that Charles Taze Russell was a heretic; or that Christianity hinges on the belief that the incarnate Jesus was ‘of one substance’ with the Father; fully God and fully man? No, we must be tolerant and inclusive of the belief that Jesus attained his divine nature at the age of 30, when he was baptised; and that he is no longer a human being and so will not return as a man; and that he did not rise from the dead, but his body dissolved into gasses and was supernaturally removed from the tomb. The ‘orthodox’ teachings on the Trinity, Incarnation, Resurrection, Atonement, Christology and Parousia do not matter. If Ahmadis are real Muslims, then Jehovah’s Witnesses must be real Christians. Gainsay in the university ‘safe space’ at your peril. source