Jehovah or Yehovah vs. Yahweh

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Logan

Puritan Board Junior
Steve,

It is my understanding that the translators of our English Bible also left Latinized versions of many other Bible names, which they presumably knew were not the original pronunciation but which were familiar to their audience. Is it not possible that they did the same with "Jehovah", and that their (and our Confession's) use of it is a mere convenience and is not intended to be an authoritative stand?
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Hello Iain – my approach is “raising straw men”, and “red herrings”? I can see your saying that, as I bypass your – and much current Hebrew scholarship – in this. It boils down to this, I have confidence in the scholarship of the Reformation divines, and the textual materials providence gave to them, over my confidence in you, and your expertise, in this matter.

I’ll stand in the confessions of the Reformation, whatever you say.

Confidence in the LORD giving us a settled and sure Bible – the Hebrew and the Greek – has been shattered for many in our time. Regarding Rome: whatever their part in the Hebrew may not easily be discerned; in the Greek more easily. It remains – in glaring fact – that among Protestants we have generally capitulated to their view. Those with a strong faith in God’s word nonetheless, well and good; but the soft underbelly of modern Bibles (the plethora of variants) has been exposed, and many genuine believers are perplexed, dismayed. And many unbelievers rightly skeptical – and fortified against trusting God’s word. Yes, the Spirit of Christ may cut through that, but such doubt remains a terrible wound, except it be healed.

I will stand in the faith and the learning of our Reformation forebears – here on this confessional board.

Brother,

Am I understanding you correctly, that you believe pronouncing the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh" led to and continues to lead to liberalism?
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
I’ll stand in the confessions of the Reformation, whatever you say.

Confidence in the LORD giving us a settled and sure Bible – the Hebrew and the Greek – has been shattered for many in our time. Regarding Rome: whatever their part in the Hebrew may not easily be discerned; in the Greek more easily. It remains – in glaring fact – that among Protestants we have generally capitulated to their view. Those with a strong faith in God’s word nonetheless, well and good; but the soft underbelly of modern Bibles (the plethora of variants) has been exposed, and many genuine believers are perplexed, dismayed. And many unbelievers rightly skeptical – and fortified against trusting God’s word. Yes, the Spirit of Christ may cut through that, but such doubt remains a terrible wound, except it be healed.

I will stand in the faith and the learning of our Reformation forebears – here on this confessional board.
Steve,

I have found it interesting comparing two esteemed Reformation Bibles - the Geneva Bible (1599 ed) and the Authorised Version (1769 ed).

The Geneva Bible says Rev 16:5 "And I heard the Angel of the waters say, Lord, thou art just, which art, and which wast: and Holy, because thou hast judged these things." This follows the Greek text.
The Authorised version says "And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus." This follows Beza's conjectural emendation.

The Geneva Bible says 1 John 2:23 "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father."
The Authorised version says "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." In my AV this extra portion is in italics.

Here we have textual variances among two esteemed Reformation Bibles. Which one is correct? It seems to me you cannot simply appeal to the Reformation Bibles for, in your words, "a settled and sure Bible".

I'll stick to my ESV and my NASB :)
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hi Taylor,

You asked, "Am I understanding you correctly, that you believe pronouncing the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh" led to and continues to lead to liberalism?" No, not at all. I am sorry if I gave that impression!
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Hi Taylor,

You asked, "Am I understanding you correctly, that you believe pronouncing the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh" led to and continues to lead to liberalism?" No, not at all. I am sorry if I gave that impression!
Thank you for the clarification, brother! I’m following the thread, but not engaging, since this isn’t my wheelhouse. I just wanted to make sure I was following aright.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Phil D. – dicto simpliciter fallacy: In a nutshell, drawing a conclusion from an over-simplistic statement of a rule; or, assuming that something true in general is true in every possible case.

Not talking about a “rule” here, Phil, just the usage – sparce though it be – of the framers of the WLC, and the CoD.

“For one thing, no philological issues are implied or under consideration in the limited places it occurs.” Granted. “and, the most that can be said for certain is that they used the most common vocabulary of their time.” “Common vocabulary”? It was the only vocalization of the Tetragrammaton used by these learned men. They were not country bumpkins.

-----

Hello Iain – my approach is “raising straw men”, and “red herrings”? I can see your saying that, as I bypass your – and much current Hebrew scholarship – in this. It boils down to this, I have confidence in the scholarship of the Reformation divines, and the textual materials providence gave to them, over my confidence in you, and your expertise, in this matter.

I’ll stand in the confessions of the Reformation, whatever you say.

Confidence in the LORD giving us a settled and sure Bible – the Hebrew and the Greek – has been shattered for many in our time. Regarding Rome: whatever their part in the Hebrew may not easily be discerned; in the Greek more easily. It remains – in glaring fact – that among Protestants we have generally capitulated to their view. Those with a strong faith in God’s word nonetheless, well and good; but the soft underbelly of modern Bibles (the plethora of variants) has been exposed, and many genuine believers are perplexed, dismayed. And many unbelievers rightly skeptical – and fortified against trusting God’s word. Yes, the Spirit of Christ may cut through that, but such doubt remains a terrible wound, except it be healed.

I will stand in the faith and the learning of our Reformation forebears – here on this confessional board.
You just made my point about straw men and red herrings. There is NO text critical issue here, as far as I'm aware. It's not like the discussion of Majority Text vs critical text; we are both appealing to exactly the same Masoretic Text, with the same consonants and pointing. It's not like the Reformers had a text with one vocalization and we have another. The settled text that we both agree on has variant pointing for the divine name in different places. Nor has the pronunciation of yodh changed since then. I don't think the pronunciation of the divine name was a confessional issue for the Reformers, and so far you have not provided any evidence to the contrary, other than that they used the customary pronunciation of their time.

You said to Taylor "You asked, "Am I understanding you correctly, that you believe pronouncing the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh" led to and continues to lead to liberalism?" No, not at all. I am sorry if I gave that impression!"

How else should we have taken your comment "I'll stand in the confessions of the Reformation, whatever you say"?

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for any answers to the points I made. If you think I am mistaken, please help me to see where the mistake might be. I'm open to be instructed.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Stephen, in these two instances you cite, in 1 John 2:23, the italic words have been supplied to aid understanding; it is clear they are not in the text. It's really a distinction without a difference.

Regarding Rev 16:5, it's an interesting study. I touched on it briefly here; and a far better study is here, Beza and Revelation 16:5. I'd go with the AV.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Iain, I did say (re straw men and red herring) "I can see your saying that, as I bypass your – and much current Hebrew scholarship – in this."

I certainly wouldn't call you a liberal - in fact I am greatly edified by one of your commentaries, and was thinking of purchasing another one. Nor did an alternative pronunciation of YHWH lead to liberalism or continues doing such. Textual liberalism is a much bigger topic, and hinges on more than just one word.

-----

Stephen, The 1599 Geneva Bible uses the form "Jehovah" in Psalm 83:18, Genesis 22:14, and Exodus 17:15.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The Reformed Confessions are not “straw men” — they are fighting men, wise men, and godly men.
_____

Just because I disagree with Prof Duguid on this matter does not mean I disagree with him generally. It is similar to my relationship with William Hendriksen, my favorite NT commentator, although he is pretty much a strictly Critical Text man. I love him, but not on every point.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Stephen, in these two instances you cite, in 1 John 2:23, the italic words have been supplied to aid understanding; it is clear they are not in the text. It's really a distinction without a difference.
I disagree Steve. The Geneva Bible thought it was not part of the text. The AV translators were 'unsure' so put it in italics. However two modern translations, NKJV (based on the TR) and the NASB (based on the CT) include this section without italics. The NASB and the NKJV usually use italics for words supplied but do not do so in this place. They believe these words are part of the original (unlike the Geneva and the AV which are a little uncertain of the text).
Regarding Rev 16:5, it's an interesting study. I touched on it briefly here; and a far better study is here, Beza and Revelation 16:5. I'd go with the AV.
Modern translations agree with the Geneva Bible.

I believe my original argument holds Steve. You have real textual differences even with esteemed Reformation Bibles such as the Geneva and the AV.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hi Stephen, it is possible the KJV translators were unsure, but we don't know that. All that we know is it's in italics. Yes, there are differences between the Geneva 1599 and the AV, and the AV is to be preferred. It is the Reformation standard. That modern versions agree with the Geneva on Rev 16:5 proves nothing.

On a different note, did you know that William Shakespeare used the Geneva Bible? Or so I.D.E. Thomas affirms (and I believe him) in his book, William Shakespeare and his Bible. He shows that, although a member of the Anglican Church, he had strong leanings toward the Puritans. He amply proves his points through interacting with W.S.'s works. My only quibble with the book is that Thomas doesn't cite his sources when quoting others.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Um....no. Seghol could be lengthened to a qamets in a pausal form, but that's not what we're talking about here. That would have to be the last word or the word marked with an atnach accent. Can you give me an example of the change you have in mind?

On the other hand, a qamets routinely shortens to a sheva in a distant syllable (distant from the accent, which in Hebrew is usually the last or second last syllable. So dabar (word) becomes debarim, etc. So yes an original "yahu" would be expected to become "yeho" when it prefixes a name. That is quite literally lesson 1 in Weingreen's Introductory Hebrew grammar.

Having said that a hypothetical Hebrew form "Yehovah" would show the same shortening, so it certainly wouldn't be "Yahovah"; but in a two syllable word the contraction wouldn't happen: hence Yahweh. At the end of the day, theophoric names are not decisive by themselves.
Dr. Duguid,
Would it not be the case, if the original pronunciation was "Yehovah" (and was pointed in the traditional way), that when the "Yeh" syllable would be fixed to the end of a name, the sheva would be lengthened to a full vowel (such as a qamets)?
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Dr. Duguid,
Would it not be the case, if the original pronunciation was "Yehovah" (and was pointed in the traditional way), that when the "Yeh" syllable would be fixed to the end of a name, the sheva would be lengthened to a full vowel (such as a qamets)?
That's backwards as a description. Vocal shevas are frequently a shortening of a medium length vowel, as may be seen from standard verb paradigms. I don't know of any case where a sheva in an uninflected root could properly be said to "lengthen" to a full vowel. It would always be a recovery of a vowel that had previously been shortened.

Not that that is really significant for the form of "Jehovah". Since the first syllable is open and distant from accent, you would expect a medium vowel to reduce to a sheva there. Names like Yehonathan form a parallel. The difficulties come with a) the cholem before the consonantal vav and b) the fact that the Massoretic text consistently points the tetragrammaton differently when it occurs after 'adonai.

Here's an example from the Second Rabbinic Bible, which most people reckon was the main Hebrew source for the KJV. Here you clearly have the vowels of Elohim (hataph seghol, cholem, chireq - even though a chireq never precedes a final he in Hebrew) under the consonants of the divine name. I'm still waiting for any alternative explanation.

1606842798330.png
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Um....no. Seghol could be lengthened to a qamets in a pausal form, but that's not what we're talking about here. That would have to be the last word or the word marked with an atnach accent. Can you give me an example of the change you have in mind?

On the other hand, a qamets routinely shortens to a sheva in a distant syllable (distant from the accent, which in Hebrew is usually the last or second last syllable. So dabar (word) becomes debarim, etc. So yes an original "yahu" would be expected to become "yeho" when it prefixes a name. That is quite literally lesson 1 in Weingreen's Introductory Hebrew grammar.

Having said that a hypothetical Hebrew form "Yehovah" would show the same shortening, so it certainly wouldn't be "Yahovah"; but in a two syllable word the contraction wouldn't happen: hence Yahweh. At the end of the day, theophoric names are not decisive by themselves.

Douglas,
Isaiah 49:22 in the Leningrad codex is yehvih - an impossible form to pronounce in Hebrew (as is often the case with Kethiv/qere, where the vowels of one word are linked with the consonants of another. I don't know of any manuscripts that have anything else, but in any event this is just one of many places where this combination "adonai yhwh" happens. It is clear that the Massoretes intended you to read "adonai elohim" here, which should not be surprising since we all know that the Massoretes did not pronounce the divine name. So why would they put the vowels of a name that they never thought you should say.

Behind this question may be the idea that the vowel points were written by the original authors, rather than added later by the Massoretes. But this would actually be one of many pieces of evidence that for a long time the text was transmitted in unpointed script. That's a slightly different discussion, however.

I'm not sure why the "o" feels more important to you than the consonants. With my name, people mostly get the consonants right but vary wildly on the vowels. I still know who they are talking about.

Here's what we can say about the divine name:
1) we know for sure that it didn't begin with a J sound. The "yodh" is always a "y" sound and the monk who invented Jehovah in the Middle Ages would have written Iehovah in Latin; he also probably pronounced the Latin v as a "w", as most Hebrew grammarians believe the consonantal Hebrew vav/waw would have been.
2) Nowhere else in Hebrew (that I know of) is a consonantal vav preceded by a cholem (o sound). When vav's and cholem's occur together, either they are simply the vowel (o) or the vav comes first (Mitsvot). I'd be very interested if anyone can show me a counter example.
3) When the divine name occurs in its shortened form, it appears to have been pronounceable: in these places it is always "yah". (see Ex. 15:2)
4) There are a number of two syllable Hebrew nouns in which the second syllable begins with a consonantal vav: e.g. mitsvah, miqveh. These are often formed from verbs with a consonantal vav in the middle (tsavah; qavah), just as yahweh is formed from hayah/havah.
5) It's really hard to explain why the tetragrammaton - of all words - would ever be mis-spelled by the Massoretes, unless they were marking it as a kethib/qere word, to be read as a different word in different contexts.

So yes, I do think the exact pronunciation of the divine name has not been clearly preserved for us. It certainly wasn't Jehovah; it may or may not have been Yahweh. That's why I generally try to follow Jesus' example and call his Father "Lord" (kurios) or "Father." But I won't quibble with anyone who wants to call him Jehovah, any more than I quibble with people who call me Doogood or make it French "Du Gweed". I know who they mean. After all, we don't quibble over the name "Jesus," though that is equally certainly not what the disciples would have called their master.
Iain,

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps you are weary of the subject, but for me it is useful to discuss it more thoroughly with some further questions and comments.

1) The importance of the "o" or the extra vowel is that it seems to be the heart the discussion. The "I/J" and "v/w" variants are commonplace between, and even within, various languages (there was a fashion for saying "wulgar" in England in the nineteenth century), so they are not of much interest to the theologian or the preacher. But the "o" cannot be accounted for in this way.

2) It may seem a lot of fuss about a syllable, but the name "Jehovah" has been of considerable importance in Protestant piety (e.g. "Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me") over a long period of time, and it is not lightly to be given up without some close questioning. When you speak about "the monk who invented the name Jehovah", presumably you are thinking of Raymond Martini (c. 1270 AD)? Is it known that he "invented" the name, or simply that he is the first recorded instance of its use?

3) How much weight do you attach to the idea that certain forms occur nowhere else in Biblical Hebrew, e.g. a cholem before a consonantal vav? Do you know any English/Scottish word that rhymes with "Duguid" (although I have lived in Aberdeen for twenty-five years, I had to look it up in my pronouncing dictionary!) or with "Rachel"? Arguments of this sort need to be refined considerably before they can be regarded as conclusive. [In any case, since I wrote that I have learned that cholem before consonantal vav does occur in Eccl. 2:22 and Ezek. 7:26].

4) In every academic subject, there is a tendency for theories and "rules" to run ahead of data. Scholars jump to conclusions about rules, laws, trajectories, etc., and then become jealous for their theories and start forcing awkward data to fit their theories rather than adjusting the theory to fit the data. One can see this phenomenon in Ptolomaic planetary theory, in history (John Knox does not behave according to character!), in mathematical physics and theories of the origin of the universe, in evolutionary theory, in medicine, etc. I can't help thinking that something of this sort is happening with regard to the pointing of the Tetragrammaton. The explanations given on Wikipedia ("Tetragrammaton") for the various different ways of pointing adonai yhwh in the Leningrad codex have a distinctly "Ptolomaic" flavour. Neither the Leningrad codex nor the Aleppo codex actually use "Jehovah" very often. Where did Raymond Martini and others of his time get the name from? One instance where the Aleppo Codex does use "Yehovah" is in Ezek. 28:22, which is a case of "adonai yhwh". So these are not the vowels of elohim. Yet this is supposed to be an exceptionally accurate codex.

I feel that I need a more conclusive and thorough explanation than I have heard so far before I am convinced that "Jehovah/Yehowah" is a mistake. I don't feel obliged to come up with an alternative explanation; just to point out that the current scholarly explanation does not exactly fit the data.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, there are differences between the Geneva 1599 and the AV, and the AV is to be preferred. It is the Reformation standard.
Steve, that argument is not convincing. One can say the Geneva Bible is the Reformation Standard and the KJV is wrong :) After all Geneva is inextricably linked to the Reformation. My point is you cannot appeal to Reformation Bibles because there are differences between them.
That modern versions agree with the Geneva on Rev 16:5 proves nothing.
It means the modern translators went back to what the Greek mss said, rather than what Beza thought they meant. Again one can say the Geneva Bible (and modern translations :) ) are right on Rev 16:5 and the KJV is wrong.

Steve, I used to believe in the perfection of the Received text. I was sincere. I used to be the South Island (New Zealand) agent for the Trinitarian Bible Society. But it was these types of problems that proved to me you cannot appeal to the Reformation text and ignore that there are differences even among Reformation Bibles.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Iain,

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps you are weary of the subject, but for me it is useful to discuss it more thoroughly with some further questions and comments.

1) The importance of the "o" or the extra vowel is that it seems to be the heart the discussion. The "I/J" and "v/w" variants are commonplace between, and even within, various languages (there was a fashion for saying "wulgar" in England in the nineteenth century), so they are not of much interest to the theologian or the preacher. But the "o" cannot be accounted for in this way.

2) It may seem a lot of fuss about a syllable, but the name "Jehovah" has been of considerable importance in Protestant piety (e.g. "Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me") over a long period of time, and it is not lightly to be given up without some close questioning. When you speak about "the monk who invented the name Jehovah", presumably you are thinking of Raymond Martini (c. 1270 AD)? Is it known that he "invented" the name, or simply that he is the first recorded instance of its use?

3) How much weight do you attach to the idea that certain forms occur nowhere else in Biblical Hebrew, e.g. a cholem before a consonantal vav? Do you know any English/Scottish word that rhymes with "Duguid" (although I have lived in Aberdeen for twenty-five years, I had to look it up in my pronouncing dictionary!) or with "Rachel"? Arguments of this sort need to be refined considerably before they can be regarded as conclusive. [In any case, since I wrote that I have learned that cholem before consonantal vav does occur in Eccl. 2:22 and Ezek. 7:26].

4) In every academic subject, there is a tendency for theories and "rules" to run ahead of data. Scholars jump to conclusions about rules, laws, trajectories, etc., and then become jealous for their theories and start forcing awkward data to fit their theories rather than adjusting the theory to fit the data. One can see this phenomenon in Ptolomaic planetary theory, in history (John Knox does not behave according to character!), in mathematical physics and theories of the origin of the universe, in evolutionary theory, in medicine, etc. I can't help thinking that something of this sort is happening with regard to the pointing of the Tetragrammaton. The explanations given on Wikipedia ("Tetragrammaton") for the various different ways of pointing adonai yhwh in the Leningrad codex have a distinctly "Ptolomaic" flavour. Neither the Leningrad codex nor the Aleppo codex actually use "Jehovah" very often. Where did Raymond Martini and others of his time get the name from? One instance where the Aleppo Codex does use "Yehovah" is in Ezek. 28:22, which is a case of "adonai yhwh". So these are not the vowels of elohim. Yet this is supposed to be an exceptionally accurate codex.

I feel that I need a more conclusive and thorough explanation than I have heard so far before I am convinced that "Jehovah/Yehowah" is a mistake. I don't feel obliged to come up with an alternative explanation; just to point out that the current scholarly explanation does not exactly fit the data.
Happy to continue the conversation.
1) That seems right - though if you are equally comfortable with Yehowah as with Jehovah, I'm not sure there is much at stake. Certainly the O is the major difference.

2) It would be correct to say that Raymond Martini is credited with being the first to use the name Jehovah. I do find it intriguing and suggestive that the name Jehovah comes into use (whoever the originator) only after the Massoretes add the vowels to the Hebrew text in the latter part of the First Millennium AD. The early Church Fathers do not appear to use the divine name at all. So Justin Martyr: "But to the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given. For by whatever name He be called, He has as His elder the person who gives Him the name. But these words, Father, and God, and Creator, and Lord, and Master, are not names, but appellations derived from His good deeds and functions."

3) Aberdeenshire has a unique pronunciation of Duguid (which is where the name is most frequently found in Scotland). However, Scots know how to pronounce the Scots word "Guid", even if no one else does. As for the challenge of finding a rhyme for Rachel. part of the problem is that it isn't really an English word but a Hebrew loan word. There are a number of potential rhymes in Hebrew.
More importantly, I stand corrected on the use of cholem before vav. The occasions you cite (plus a couple of others) are exceptional, but do make the point that linguistic "laws" are not exactly like the laws of physics.

4)When you say "Neither the Leningrad codex nor the Aleppo Codex use Jehovah very often" are you referring to the fact that they often omit the cholem, giving you the genuinely impossible Hebrew form "yehweh"? I don't see how that helps your case at all - rather the reverse. If the correct spelling is Yehowah you would expect this word above all always to be correctly pointed. Leningrad does have Yehovih in Ezek 28:22, as does the Second Rabbinic Bible; do you have a convenient reference for the Aleppo Codex for this verse? It would take me a while to track down, I suspect.

Again, if you want to use Jehovah, go right ahead. It is not much more distant from the original form of the name than Jesus is from Yeshua. I'm not invested in derailing what remains the conventional pronunciation for many. It's just when people want to make it a confessional issue, then I think they are headed down the wrong track.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
That's backwards as a description. Vocal shevas are frequently a shortening of a medium length vowel, as may be seen from standard verb paradigms. I don't know of any case where a sheva in an uninflected root could properly be said to "lengthen" to a full vowel. It would always be a recovery of a vowel that had previously been shortened.

Not that that is really significant for the form of "Jehovah". Since the first syllable is open and distant from accent, you would expect a medium vowel to reduce to a sheva there. Names like Yehonathan form a parallel. The difficulties come with a) the cholem before the consonantal vav and b) the fact that the Massoretic text consistently points the tetragrammaton differently when it occurs after 'adonai.

Here's an example from the Second Rabbinic Bible, which most people reckon was the main Hebrew source for the KJV. Here you clearly have the vowels of Elohim (hataph seghol, cholem, chireq - even though a chireq never precedes a final he in Hebrew) under the consonants of the divine name. I'm still waiting for any alternative explanation.

View attachment 7592
Thank you for giving me a more perfect understanding of how shevas and vowels work. That makes good sense.

I don't have an explanation for the pointing of the tetragrammaton after "adonai."

The cholem > consonantal vav doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. Unless you can show that it is impossible for it to happen, it is an argument from ignorance, which is an informal fallacy. The burden of proof is on you to show that it is impossible according to the laws of Hebrew.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you for giving me a more perfect understanding of how shevas and vowels work. That makes good sense.

I don't have an explanation for the pointing of the tetragrammaton after "adonai."

The cholem > consonantal vav doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. Unless you can show that it is impossible for it to happen, it is an argument from ignorance, which is an informal fallacy. The burden of proof is on you to show that it is impossible according to the laws of Hebrew.
You are right regarding the cholem, especially since Douglas pointed to some examples. They are rare but do happen. The primary challenges are to explain why the pointing in our earliest texts is what it is, often omitting the cholem, which results in an impossible form, and changing consistently to the vowels of Elohim whenever it follows adonai. It's hard to see how that can be anything other than a kethib/qere reading. Indeed, when you think of the Massoretes vocalizing the text, it's hard to imagine them filling in the vowels of the divine name, even if they knew them, for fear someone would accidentally read the divine name. It's much more likely that they would adopt a kethib/qere form, or alternatively leave the tetragrammaton unpointed. We know that Jewish readers of the OT were reading 'adonai rather than the divine name by the time of Jesus, because that is what the NT consistently does with OT citations that include the tetragrammaton, and it is the standard practice of the LXX. Not all ancient Greek translations did that. Some retained the tetragrammaton or the equivalent (pi-iota-pi-iota). Strikingly, the practice of pointing yhwh with the vowels of elohim likely postdates the LXX, since it adopts a variety of translations for adonai yhwh, combining the two words into one or translating "the Lord himself", and only very rarely translating "the Lord God".

None of this proves definitively that the divine name is not "Yehowah", though we have zero pre-medieval evidence for such a reading. It remains unlikely, however.

PS why are we so desperate to depart from the consistent practice of Jesus and the apostles, in addressing the Lord as "Lord" or "Father"? If it is good enough for the New Testament church, why isn't it good enough for us?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
PS why are we so desperate to depart from the consistent practice of Jesus and the apostles, in addressing the Lord as "Lord" or "Father"? If it is good enough for the New Testament church, why isn't it good enough for us?

I've appreciated this point you've made in the past and it has given me pause. But I also do wonder why God revealed his name at all if we are supposed to just use "LORD". I don't know that I'll ever come to a conclusion :)
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
You are right regarding the cholem, especially since Douglas pointed to some examples. They are rare but do happen. The primary challenges are to explain why the pointing in our earliest texts is what it is, often omitting the cholem, which results in an impossible form, and changing consistently to the vowels of Elohim whenever it follows adonai. It's hard to see how that can be anything other than a kethib/qere reading. Indeed, when you think of the Massoretes vocalizing the text, it's hard to imagine them filling in the vowels of the divine name, even if they knew them, for fear someone would accidentally read the divine name. It's much more likely that they would adopt a kethib/qere form, or alternatively leave the tetragrammaton unpointed. We know that Jewish readers of the OT were reading 'adonai rather than the divine name by the time of Jesus, because that is what the NT consistently does with OT citations that include the tetragrammaton, and it is the standard practice of the LXX. Not all ancient Greek translations did that. Some retained the tetragrammaton or the equivalent (pi-iota-pi-iota). Strikingly, the practice of pointing yhwh with the vowels of elohim likely postdates the LXX, since it adopts a variety of translations for adonai yhwh, combining the two words into one or translating "the Lord himself", and only very rarely translating "the Lord God".

None of this proves definitively that the divine name is not "Yehowah", though we have zero pre-medieval evidence for such a reading. It remains unlikely, however.

PS why are we so desperate to depart from the consistent practice of Jesus and the apostles, in addressing the Lord as "Lord" or "Father"? If it is good enough for the New Testament church, why isn't it good enough for us?
Just on Iain's last point, I don't think I have ever used the name "Jehovah" in prayer, except perhaps in quoting the AV (a handful of occurrences) or the 1650 metrical psalms (about a dozen occurrences). But if we supposed a Messianic congregation in Israel trying to sing the psalms in Hebrew (surely a legitimate activity), what would they do when they came to "YHWH" in verse 2 of Ps 1? I expect that this happens and that they sing "Adonai", but it hardly seems satisfactory to observe a Jewish superstition in Divine worship. It seems to me that the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton is a practical issue for the Christian Church.

Continuing this line of thought, if Christ and his disciples sang psalms (in Hebrew, surely?), then the pronunciation of the Divine Name must have been known at that point.
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Happy to continue the conversation.
1) That seems right - though if you are equally comfortable with Yehowah as with Jehovah, I'm not sure there is much at stake. Certainly the O is the major difference.

2) It would be correct to say that Raymond Martini is credited with being the first to use the name Jehovah. I do find it intriguing and suggestive that the name Jehovah comes into use (whoever the originator) only after the Massoretes add the vowels to the Hebrew text in the latter part of the First Millennium AD. The early Church Fathers do not appear to use the divine name at all. So Justin Martyr: "But to the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given. For by whatever name He be called, He has as His elder the person who gives Him the name. But these words, Father, and God, and Creator, and Lord, and Master, are not names, but appellations derived from His good deeds and functions."

3) Aberdeenshire has a unique pronunciation of Duguid (which is where the name is most frequently found in Scotland). However, Scots know how to pronounce the Scots word "Guid", even if no one else does. As for the challenge of finding a rhyme for Rachel. part of the problem is that it isn't really an English word but a Hebrew loan word. There are a number of potential rhymes in Hebrew.
More importantly, I stand corrected on the use of cholem before vav. The occasions you cite (plus a couple of others) are exceptional, but do make the point that linguistic "laws" are not exactly like the laws of physics.

4)When you say "Neither the Leningrad codex nor the Aleppo Codex use Jehovah very often" are you referring to the fact that they often omit the cholem, giving you the genuinely impossible Hebrew form "yehweh"? I don't see how that helps your case at all - rather the reverse. If the correct spelling is Yehowah you would expect this word above all always to be correctly pointed. Leningrad does have Yehovih in Ezek 28:22, as does the Second Rabbinic Bible; do you have a convenient reference for the Aleppo Codex for this verse? It would take me a while to track down, I suspect.

Again, if you want to use Jehovah, go right ahead. It is not much more distant from the original form of the name than Jesus is from Yeshua. I'm not invested in derailing what remains the conventional pronunciation for many. It's just when people want to make it a confessional issue, then I think they are headed down the wrong track.
Here is my source for some of the information on the Aleppo Codex.


I am not endorsing the website but it does have some convenient pictures including Ezek 28:22.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here is my source for some of the information on the Aleppo Codex.


I am not endorsing the website but it does have some convenient pictures including Ezek 28:22.
Thanks, Douglas. This is an interesting conversation, in which I am learning a lot. It is true that the Aleppo Codex has adonai yehowah in Ezek. 28:22 (bottom of right hand column, page 19-177-v). This is not the normal pattern for the Aleppo codex, however, as you can see from Ezek. 28:24 and 25 (middle of center column, same page) where it has adonai yehowih, indicating that it should be read adonai elohim (Lord God). As you noted earlier, for the divine name alone, Aleppo routinely has the unpronounceable yehwah, with only very rarely a cholem added. We might add that Leningrad and the Second Rabbinic Bible both have adonai yehowih at Ezekiel 28:22, suggesting that Aleppo made a mistake here. It's easy to imagine how that might happen, since it would simply be accidentally reverting to the normal vowel under the last syllable instead of carrying through the full set of vowels for Elohim.

For the original source of the Aleppo Codex, see here:
www.aleppocodex.org
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Iain, it’s not a “confessional issue” but a legitimate precedent of usage by the framers of our Confessions – men learned in the matters dealt with therein – who ought not be dismissed on the allegation they were ignorant compared to us in the 21st century.

I trust their usage, and the providence of God, over the learning of the moderns. It may seem “confessional” only because I stand on that precedent of usage by men whose learning I respect. It is a means of a common man (not learned in the Hebrew) resisting the “tyranny of experts” on legitimate grounds.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Stephen, you said, “the modern translators went back to what the Greek mss said, rather than what Beza thought they meant.” Which “Greek mss” are you referring to?

The earliest Greek witnesses of Revelation 16:5 do not even agree, as there is early corruption in the Greek exemplars. The earliest witnesses to Revelation 16:5, all differing, read:

ο ων και ος ην και οσιος (Papyrus 47 3rd Century)
ο ων και ο ην ο οσιος (Sinaiticus fourth century)
ο ων και ο ην οσιος (Alexandrinus fifth-century)

It was the late Bruce Metzger who said that evidence of corruption justifies conjectural emendations.

“In situations where the extent of corruption is so great that there is a likelihood that original readings may be lost in all existing manuscripts, judiciously applied conjectural emendations might be necessary in order to restore the original readings. The leading modern textual critic, Bruce Metzger, approved the use of a conjectural emendation as a valid method of textual criticism. He said:​
‘If the only reading, or each of several variant readings, which the documents of a text supply is impossible or incomprehensible, the editor's only remaining resource is to conjecture what the original reading must have been. A typical emendation involves the removal of an anomaly. It must not be overlooked, however, that though some anomalies are the result of corruption in the transmission of the text, other anomalies may have been either intended or tolerated by the author himself. Before resorting to conjectural emendation, therefore, the critic must be so thoroughly acquainted with the style and thought of his author that he cannot but judge a certain anomaly to be foreign to the author's intention.’ (The Text Of The New Testament at 182)​
“Bruce Metzger approved the method for ‘the removal of an anomaly’ that is ‘foreign to the author's intention’. The conjectural emendation in Revelation 16:5 is justified because the majority reading in Revelation 16:5, ‘who is, and who was’ followed by ‘that holy one,’ is anomalous in not completing the declaration of God's past, present and future aspects, as is done in Revelation 1:4, 1:8, 4:8, 11:17*. Beza replaced ‘ο οσιος (that holy one)’ with ‘και ο εσομενος (and shalt be)’ to fix the anomaly. He said:​
‘But with John there remains a completeness where the name of Jehovah (the Lord) is used, just as we have said before, 1:4; he always uses the three closely together, therefore it is certainly "and shall be," for why would he pass over it in this place?’”​
(Theodore Beza, Novum Sive Novum Foedus Iesu Christi, 1589. Translated into English from the Latin footnote.)​

[cont.]
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This is Beza’s comment on the emendation:

"Et Qui eris, και ο εσομενος": The usual publication is "και ο οσιος," which shows a division, contrary to the whole phrase which is foolish, distorting what is put forth in scripture. The Vulgate, however, whether it is articulately correct or not, is not proper in making the change to "οσιος, Sanctus," since a section (of the text) has worn away the part after "και," which would be absolutely necessary in connecting "δικαιος" and "οσιος." But with John there remains a completeness where the name of Jehovah (the Lord) is used, just as we have said before, 1:4; he always uses the three closely together, therefore it is certainly "και ο εσομενος," for why would he pass over it in this place? And so without doubting the genuine writing in this ancient manuscript, I faithfully restored in the good book what was certainly there, "ο εσομενος." So why not truthfully, with good reason, write "ο ερχομενος" as before in four other places, namely 1:4 and 8; likewise in 4:3 and 11:17, because the point is the just Christ shall come away from there and bring them into being: in this way he will in fact appear sitting in judgment and exercising his just and eternal decrees.

(Theodore Beza, Novum Sive Novum Foedus Iesu Christi, 1589. Translated into English from the Latin footnote.)​

These quotes from the article I referenced above.

Stephen, you said you were an agent for the TBS but gave it up as you were no longer convinced what you were promoting was correct. I would say you were not trained in the issues pertaining to the differences between the CT and the TR, and, for that matter, between the MT (Majority or Byzantine Text) and the TR. It is this latter that is of significance to us here regarding differences in the Reformation versions.

The textual situation in the Book of Revelation differs from that in the rest of the NT. There were two groups of manuscripts used by the respective versions, the Andreas, and the 046 groups of mss.

The best study on this is Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence (also titled When the King James Departs from the “Majority Text”), by Jack Moorman. I recommend it as having the latest and most comprehensive information on this topic – to my knowledge, as of this writing.

It is available at The Bible For Today online bookstore (http://www.biblefortoday.org/search_result.asp), under item # 1617, and can be purchased from them ($20)

Moorman proceeds with an extended discussion of various factors and issues in this matter. He remarks,

“At the outset the Bible believer will be very happy to know [what] Hoskier’s basic conclusion was toward the 200 plus MSS he collated for Revelation:

‘I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better, since his family-MSS occupy the front rank in point of actual numbers, the family numbering over 20 MSS besides its allies.” (The John Rylands Bulletin 19-1922/23, p 118.)​

“It should be noted that this exemplary MS used by Erasmus was of the Andreas group, the readings of which we find in the AV. Perhaps needless to say, we do not think it coincidence this primary manuscript fell into the hands of Erasmus. For we believe that the Lord providentially preserved His word, and the only place it makes sense to have been preserved in was the Greek Textus Receptus as discerned by Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and the AV translators, and given to us in the AV.”​

[cont.]
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I have discussed this matter here, in the thread, Revelation 5:9-10 1st Person (“us”) or 3rd Person (“them”)? (please note, as this thread is from 2007, the formatting of the PB platforms have changed, the Greek is not rendered well.) For various reasons, the King James Version replaced the Geneva among the Lord’s people, and particularly the scholars of the Reformation who framed the Westminster Standards. The Reformation’s Bible, after the Westminster assembly, was the AV, not the Geneva. The readings of the Bible became settled for the next 400 years, in the Lord’s providence.

In sum, it is not sound to assert there are differences in the TR / Reformation versions, as the WCF 1:8 asserts, “The New Testament in Greek….by his [God’s] singular care and providence, [was] kept pure in all ages….” – and the impure was winnowed out.

Stephen, I’m not talking about the minutiae of readings (and defenses thereof) and preservation, but the final Reformation Bible, in Hebrew and Greek, and faithful translations thereof.

[I am having trouble posting fairly long remarks in one post - if a mod or admin can help me understand why I would appreciate it!]
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
In sum, it is not sound to assert there are differences in the TR / Reformation versions, as the WCF 1:8 asserts, “The New Testament in Greek….by his [God’s] singular care and providence, [was] kept pure in all ages….” – and the impure was winnowed out.

Not to derail from the discussion, but if it was "kept pure in all ages" then how can the "impure [be] winnowed out"?

The divines seem to have believed in a type of purity that was valid in any age, not just theirs---and they knew that all ages and locations didn't have the exact same text. I know you believe in an "essential purity" that was then completely purified, but I don't see how the Confession can possibly mean that.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Logan,

The WCF 1:8 in part reads, “The New Testament in Greek….by his [God’s] singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages….”

What was “kept pure in all ages”—an entire and intact Greek NT? And that throughout the church age till printing came to be? I don’t think so. Or the pure READINGS of the autographs kept in various Greek mss, and then compiled in an authoritative edition, and then printed? Which edition would that be? I know of none. OR the pure readings of the Greek autographs kept in various mss—mostly the Traditional (Byzantine) Greek, but a very few kept in other versions due to attacks and mutilations on the Greek—and then put into print in the Greek Textus Receptus editions, known to and used by the Westminster divines, and put into the English, Dutch, and other translations? I hold to the third option.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
You are right regarding the cholem, especially since Douglas pointed to some examples. They are rare but do happen. The primary challenges are to explain why the pointing in our earliest texts is what it is, often omitting the cholem, which results in an impossible form, and changing consistently to the vowels of Elohim whenever it follows adonai. It's hard to see how that can be anything other than a kethib/qere reading. Indeed, when you think of the Massoretes vocalizing the text, it's hard to imagine them filling in the vowels of the divine name, even if they knew them, for fear someone would accidentally read the divine name. It's much more likely that they would adopt a kethib/qere form, or alternatively leave the tetragrammaton unpointed. We know that Jewish readers of the OT were reading 'adonai rather than the divine name by the time of Jesus, because that is what the NT consistently does with OT citations that include the tetragrammaton, and it is the standard practice of the LXX. Not all ancient Greek translations did that. Some retained the tetragrammaton or the equivalent (pi-iota-pi-iota). Strikingly, the practice of pointing yhwh with the vowels of elohim likely postdates the LXX, since it adopts a variety of translations for adonai yhwh, combining the two words into one or translating "the Lord himself", and only very rarely translating "the Lord God".

None of this proves definitively that the divine name is not "Yehowah", though we have zero pre-medieval evidence for such a reading. It remains unlikely, however.

PS why are we so desperate to depart from the consistent practice of Jesus and the apostles, in addressing the Lord as "Lord" or "Father"? If it is good enough for the New Testament church, why isn't it good enough for us?
Dr. Duguid,
I've wondered about the pointing without the cholem. I learned the classical pronunciation (which you referred to earlier) in my Hebrew class; if the "vav" or "waw" has a "w" sound, it seems to me that there's a kind of natural long "o" sound in the vocalization of "he > waw with qamets." The mouth makes the "o" sound in the transition, if only briefly. Could this account for the absence of the cholem?

The absence of the cholem is a problem for every position, correct? If the pointing was carried over from "adonai," you would expect a cholem to be present.

As to the question in your postscript, the real issue for me is the distinct but related question of the authority of the vowel points in general. I'm committed in principle to the divine authority of the points. I don't often use the tetragrammaton devotionally. I am open to the idea that the kethib/qere theory may be reconciled with the authority of the points; I'm unsettled on the question.

These discussions are very helpful to me. Thank you for interacting with me.
 
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