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I have recently, just today, communicated again with Gerard Gertoux requesting permission to quote extensive long passages from his book on this topic as a basis for a more in-depth forum discussion. The Amazon link to his book is here: The Name of God Y.eH.oW.aH Which is pronounced as it is Written I_Eh_oU_Ah A subset of that same material is also found here: http://areopage.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Gertoux_UseNameEarlyChristians.pdf Gerard Gertoux has responded that it would be better to use https://www.academia.edu/14029315 as it is a free version that all of us can download, and it has no copyright. Since this topic comes up now and then, under various topic headings, I hope that some might find it useful to understand the basics of his argument. He assumes a lot of background and expertise that many do not have, but the material is accessible enough so that we can all learn a lot about the topic and even about the related background material at the same time. Out of respect for the author's wishes, let's not make extensive quotes from the book or the "areopage.net" link above except where fair use might allow. And even the "academia.edu" content should only be quoted in reasonable portions to the extent that it is needed for discussion. I have also mentioned to the author that I will do my best to keep the topic from devolving into a discussion of the Trinity. I will try to keep the discussion on topic, which also means that it should not become a free-for-all with critiques of the New World Translation or the persons who may have worked on it. The topic will not revolve only around Gerard Gertoux's writing, but it's a good place to start. Feel free to bring in evidence from other authors and researchers if it is related to the questions. As a reminder the evidence we discuss should focus especially on the following questions: Did Jesus and the apostles and disciples of the first century use the Divine Name? Did they read it aloud when they came to it in the OT Scriptures? Did they include it (and therefore expect it to be used aloud) in the writings of the NT? [And, of course, feel free to use the terms OT and NT as abbreviations for "Hebrew Scriptures" and "Christian Greek Scriptures" respectively.]
The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures - The divine name, represented by the four Hebrew consonants יהוה, appears nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. This translation renders those four letters, known as the Tetragrammaton, “Jehovah.” That name is by far the most frequently occurring name in the Bible. While the inspired writers refer to God by many titles and descriptive terms, such as “Almighty,” “Most High,” and “Lord,” the Tetragrammaton is the only personal name they use to identify God. Why does the New World Translation use the form “Jehovah”? In English, the four letters of the Tetragrammaton (יהוה) are represented by the consonants YHWH. As was true of all written words in ancient Hebrew, the Tetragrammaton contained no vowels. When ancient Hebrew was in everyday use, readers easily provided the appropriate vowels. About a thousand years after the Hebrew Scriptures were completed, Jewish scholars developed a system of pronunciation points, or signs, by which to indicate what vowels to use when reading Hebrew. By that time, though, many Jews had the superstitious idea that it was wrong to say God’s personal name out loud, so they used substitute expressions. Thus, it seems that when they copied the Tetragrammaton, they combined the vowels for the substitute expressions with the four consonants representing the divine name. Therefore, the manuscripts with those vowel points do not help in determining how the name was originally pronounced in Hebrew. Some feel that the name was pronounced “Yahweh,” whereas others suggest different possibilities. A Dead Sea Scroll containing a portion of Leviticus in Greek transliterates the divine name Iao. Besides that form, early Greek writers also suggest the pronunciations Iae, I·a·be′, and I·a·ou·e′. However, there is no reason to be dogmatic. We simply do not know how God’s ancient servants pronounced this name in Hebrew. (Genesis 13:4; Exodus 3:15) What we do know is that God used his name repeatedly in communication with his people, that they addressed him by that name, and that they used it freely in speaking with others.—Exodus 6:2; 1 Kings 8:23; Psalm 99:9. Why, then, does this translation use the form “Jehovah”? Because that form of the divine name has a long history in the English language. ￼ God’s name at Genesis 15:2 in William Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch, 1530 The first rendering of God’s personal name in an English Bible appeared in 1530 in William Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch. He used the form “Iehouah.” Over time, the English language changed, and the spelling of the divine name was modernized. For example, in 1612, Henry Ainsworth used the form “Iehovah” throughout his translation of the book of Psalms. Then, in 1639, when that work was revised and printed with the Pentateuch, the form “Jehovah” was used. In 1901, the translators who produced the American Standard Version of the Bible used the form “Jehovah” where the divine name appeared in the Hebrew text. Explaining why he used “Jehovah” instead of “Yahweh” in his 1911 work Studies in the Psalms, respected Bible scholar Joseph Bryant Rotherham said that he wanted to employ a “form of the name more familiar (while perfectly acceptable) to the general Bible-reading public.” In 1930 scholar A. F. Kirkpatrick made a similar point regarding the use of the form “Jehovah.” He said: “Modern grammarians argue that it ought to be read Yahveh or Yahaveh; but JEHOVAH seems firmly rooted in the English language, and the really important point is not the exact pronunciation, but the recognition that it is a Proper Name, not merely an appellative title like ‘Lord.’” jw.org