Jehovah or Yehovah vs. Yahweh

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Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
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
Thanks Iain. How does one navigate the online Aleppo codex? There used to be a "Table of contents" but that seems to have disappeared. What does the "19" mean in "19-177-v". I assumed that the numbers were the extant books in order, but that did not seem to be the case. Also, is there an online Second Rabbinic Bible or do you just happen to have an extensive private library!?

With regard to the Aleppo codex, the erratic pointing of the Divine name may be a collection of mistakes, or a random use of equivalent alternatives, but I think it would be worth someone investigating the possibility that it was deliberate. The Codex was very carefully done by (presumably) a very clever man, and also it seems for parts of its life to have been a public codex in the sense that it was in use. So mistakes would have been detected. I don't know what they did with mistakes? I think they were supposed to throw out the codex, but obviously this didn't happen with a valuable codex like this one. I feel that there is a research project in comparing the pointing of the Divine name in the Leningrad and Aleppo codices. They don't seem to be quite the same.

Along these lines, presumably Raymond Martini got his "information" about the name "Jehovah" from a MS that was routinely pointing the Divine name with the cholem. So how do these MSS relate to those like the Leningrad and Aleppo which don't routinely use the cholem? There has been a lot of research on the use of the metheg, but to me this is a more interesting issue. Perhaps not to you!
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
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.
No one has come back on my question here. Any thoughts?

Also, does anyone know when the Jewish prohibition on the use of the Divine Name was introduced? Was it AD or BC? And how absolute was/is the prohibition? If it was absolute, then the knowledge of the Divine Name would have died out in a generation. I understand that "Adonai" and "Elohim" are now used with reluctance, but they are still used in some circumstances. I think that investigations in this direction may shed light on the Jehovah/Yahweh issue.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
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.
Good questions.
Thanks Iain. How does one navigate the online Aleppo codex? There used to be a "Table of contents" but that seems to have disappeared. What does the "19" mean in "19-177-v". I assumed that the numbers were the extant books in order, but that did not seem to be the case. Also, is there an online Second Rabbinic Bible or do you just happen to have an extensive private library!?

With regard to the Aleppo codex, the erratic pointing of the Divine name may be a collection of mistakes, or a random use of equivalent alternatives, but I think it would be worth someone investigating the possibility that it was deliberate. The Codex was very carefully done by (presumably) a very clever man, and also it seems for parts of its life to have been a public codex in the sense that it was in use. So mistakes would have been detected. I don't know what they did with mistakes? I think they were supposed to throw out the codex, but obviously this didn't happen with a valuable codex like this one. I feel that there is a research project in comparing the pointing of the Divine name in the Leningrad and Aleppo codices. They don't seem to be quite the same.

Along these lines, presumably Raymond Martini got his "information" about the name "Jehovah" from a MS that was routinely pointing the Divine name with the cholem. So how do these MSS relate to those like the Leningrad and Aleppo which don't routinely use the cholem? There has been a lot of research on the use of the metheg, but to me this is a more interesting issue. Perhaps not to you!
The Aleppo Codex is tricky to find your way around since there is no index. I started from the observation that Ezekiel begins about 60% of the way through the prophets in Leningrad, so that gave me a place to start. Then I looked for easily identifiable phrases or words; fortunately I know my way around Ezekiel and those pages are clearly preserved, which helps. There are paragraph divisions. You just have to remember that the columns are ordered right to left (as well as the script, obviously). I'm not sure what the "19" in the picture numbering represents; the v and r are presumably "verso" and "recto". By the way, I looked up four more occurrences in the Aleppo Codex (Isa 40:10 48:16; 49:22; 50:4): they are all pointed yehowih, increasing the likelihood that the yehowah in Ezek 28:22 is a mistake.

The Second Rabbinic Bible can easily be found online; it's much easier to navigate around.

I don't know that we can presume that Martini had a manuscript that was different from what we have. Our current texts have yehowah in some places, and he was probably astute enough to know that yehwah could not be right. I'm sure there could be (probably has been) more research on the subject of medieval manuscript practices. I think at least some corrections would be made right on the manuscript - maybe even by the scribe themselves. I'll let you know if I come across anything relevant. It's not really my area of specialization.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
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.
I don't think your explanation works since what we are talking about is the pointing of a written text, not how that text might sound. And the rules of Hebrew pointing are such that you need to have a vowel (or silent sheva) for every consonant (unless it is assimilated to the preceding vowel). A combination yodh + vocal sheva + he (without a written vowel) is simply not possible. The absence of the cholem is clearly not a mistake on such a grand scale. It is important to remember that we are dealing with texts that come to us through the Jewish community, so were transmitted by people who certainly themselves would never have pronounced the divine name. It is possible I suppose that they omitted the cholem to prevent accidental mistakes involving reading the name. We also know that they were, as a matter of fact, reading adonai every time they came to the divine name - the LXX and NT show us that clearly. So whether or not it was marked in the manuscripts as kethib-qere, it was clearly functioning in that way. So much so that they consistently pointed the divine name differently when it followed adonai (see note above about Aleppo; Leingrad does the same, as does the Second Rabinnic Bible, which was the main source for the KJV.

By the way, the KJV goes with the qere reading in a number of places, so I hope you can see how to reconcile kethib/qere with inspiration. Otherwise, you'll find it hard to find a Bible to use! The vowels in a particular Hebrew manuscript may err, as may the consonants, but the text is still inspired and inerrant. Indeed, in some cases kethib-qere simply represents development in Hebrew, as in the standard hu'/hiw' in the Pentateuch; at the time of writing, there was no feminine pronoun; the vowels represent the later feminine form, which readers would adopt.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
No one has come back on my question here. Any thoughts?

Also, does anyone know when the Jewish prohibition on the use of the Divine Name was introduced? Was it AD or BC? And how absolute was/is the prohibition? If it was absolute, then the knowledge of the Divine Name would have died out in a generation. I understand that "Adonai" and "Elohim" are now used with reluctance, but they are still used in some circumstances. I think that investigations in this direction may shed light on the Jehovah/Yahweh issue.
I'm not sure why you think that Jesus and the disciples would have sung the divine name in the psalms (in Hebrew), when every quotation from the OT in the NT uses kurios. Surely if Jesus had encouraged them to use Jehovah, they would have carried on that practice. I would suggest the reverse is true. To use Jehovah in OT quotations would have obscured something very important to the NT writers, which is the fact that kurios denotes both Israel's OT God and Jesus. To say "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:11) means something quite different for people trained to think of "the Lord" as the title of Israel's God. When they sang the psalms and sang kurios, they would immediately think of Jesus. So perhaps we shouldn't think of this practice as a "Jewish superstition."

Some people think that the divine name was still pronounced by the priests in the temple for a period of time (which would obviously have ceased by AD 70). Others suggest that rabbis were allowed to pass it on to their students every seven years. But that is all somewhat speculative, I think. I'm not sure when the tendency to use G-D or "Ha-Shem" came into use. That obviously is much later, and does not fit with either the LXX or the NT.

Thanks for a stimulating conversation.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
The vowels in a particular Hebrew manuscript may err, as may the consonants, but the text is still inspired and inerrant. Indeed, in some cases kethib-qere simply represents development in Hebrew, as in the standard hu'/hiw' in the Pentateuch; at the time of writing, there was no feminine pronoun; the vowels represent the later feminine form, which readers would adopt.
Dr. Duguid,
Do you believe in the authority of the vowel points? I ask out of genuine curiosity; I know it's not a popular view.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Dr. Duguid,
Do you believe in the authority of the vowel points? I ask out of genuine curiosity; I know it's not a popular view.
Hi Tyler Ray,
It's important that we frame the question carefully, because I often find people misunderstand what exactly it is they are affirming. Let's start with the two ends of the process, where I think every evangelical should be able to agree.

1) God inspired words, not sets of consonants, so the original authors thought and intended to communicate particular combinations of consonants and vowels.
2) We do not presently have a manuscript/edition that perfectly preserves all of those consonants and vowels (the KJV, for example, leans heavily on the Second Rabbinic Bible, but I believe it includes a couple of verses from the First Rabbinic Bible that were omitted from the Second. It also normally follows the Kethib reading, but occasionally follows the qere). This is essentially the same situation that faces us in the NT.

Now to the more controversial issues. Some earlier Reformed scholars championed the originality of the vowel pointing (ar at least a very early date for it, around the time of Ezra), suggesting that unpointed manuscripts had omitted the vowels, rather than the Massoretes adding them much later. That position is very hard to hold today, given the discoveries of large numbers of unpointed texts and inscriptions over the last several hundred years. But that doesn't mean the Massoretes were just guessing. They had been reading unpointed texts for a long time and knew what they said, as surely as you would know what vowels were missing from a birthday card that read "Hppy brthdy frm mm nd dd" . Pointing an unpointed text is pretty easy, if you know Hebrew well, and especially when you know what it is supposed to say.

As a result of 2) above, some level of text criticism is inevitably necessary. And no two people are on exactly the same place on the text criticism spectrum. Some scholars, following the tradition of the KJV, want to do as little text criticism as possible. In general, they will stick to the Massoretic text as closely as possible (though some of them have accused the Jews of tampering with the text in places, for example Psalm 22). They will also generally stick to the Massoretic pointing as well (though they generally follow the kethib rather than qere). There are times when there are variants in different Massoretic manuscripts, however, so everyone has to do some text criticism. At the opposite end of the spectrum, liberals used to conjecturally emend the text at will, with or without any text critical warrant. That trend has been significantly reigned in by the discovery of the Isaiah A scroll at Qumran, which is very close to the Massoretic tradition (without pointing of course). You can see the impact of the Qumran discoveries between the RSV, which leaned mort heavily on the Septuagint and the NIV, which is very MT oriented. Most evangelical scholars find places where it seems difficult to follow the Massoretic text, and the true reading has more likely been preserved in the LXX and/or Qumran. You can usually see those decisions reflected in your Bibles as marginal notes. Every evangelical I know would give strong preference to the MT and depart from it as little as possible.

The question remains, "How little text criticism is possible?" The KJV departs from the MT less than any modern translation, but in my view the result is a marginally less accurate rather than more accurate translation. Obviously, that is a topic that is much discussed, and usually involves intricacies that are not necessarily easy to explain in simple terms to everyone. But we all agree that we have a reliable set of manuscripts for the OT, from which we can be confident our English translations are giving to us the infallible, inerrant Word of God.
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure why you think that Jesus and the disciples would have sung the divine name in the psalms (in Hebrew), when every quotation from the OT in the NT uses kurios. Surely if Jesus had encouraged them to use Jehovah, they would have carried on that practice. I would suggest the reverse is true. To use Jehovah in OT quotations would have obscured something very important to the NT writers, which is the fact that kurios denotes both Israel's OT God and Jesus. To say "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:11) means something quite different for people trained to think of "the Lord" as the title of Israel's God. When they sang the psalms and sang kurios, they would immediately think of Jesus. So perhaps we shouldn't think of this practice as a "Jewish superstition."

Some people think that the divine name was still pronounced by the priests in the temple for a period of time (which would obviously have ceased by AD 70). Others suggest that rabbis were allowed to pass it on to their students every seven years. But that is all somewhat speculative, I think. I'm not sure when the tendency to use G-D or "Ha-Shem" came into use. That obviously is much later, and does not fit with either the LXX or the NT.

Thanks for a stimulating conversation.
The introduction of this paper gives some quotes and references on the Jewish prohibition on pronouncing the Divine Name.


I am not sure I really understand Iain's position. You seem almost to be arguing for the abolition of the Tetragrammaton and its replacement with Adonai/kurios? But surely the NT quotes from the OT are not replacing the OT but adding to the OT and presenting new angles of truth. God is both YHWH and kurios, and so is Christ, but the two names or titles are not identical.

And I don't see that one can get away from the fact that some people read the OT aloud in Hebrew and are faced with the word YHWH. How should they pronounce it? What did Christ say in Nazareth (Luke 4:18)?
 
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iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
The introduction of this paper gives some quotes and references on the Jewish prohibition on pronouncing the Divine Name.


I am not sure I really understand Iain's position. You seem almost to be arguing for the abolition of the Tetragrammaton and its replacement with Adonai/kurios? But surely the NT quotes from the OT are not replacing the OT but adding to the OT and presenting new angles of truth. God is both YHWH and kurios, and so is Christ, but the two names or titles are not identical.

And I don't see that one can get away from the fact that some people read the OT aloud in Hebrew and are faced with the word YHWH. How should they pronounce it? What did Christ say in Nazareth (Luke 4:13)?
Thanks, Douglas, for the interesting paper reference, arguing (convincingly, I think) that the substitution of the divine name by adonai goes all the way back to the Chronicler. I think he's also right that the evidence of Greek translations is mixed. But I think everyone agrees that almost no one was pronouncing it by the time of Jesus; even if it was still pronounced by the High Priest in the temple it was sotto voce.

If we take that as our starting point, why would we think that Jesus pronounces the divine name, when he quotes the OT (for example in Luke 4:12)? Certainly, Jesus is not afraid to break away from first century Jewish customs that obscure the revelation of God, but if he did so, wouldn't that have left a profound impact on his disciples and have scandalized his enemies? You would expect it to become a major point of contention between the disciples and their Jewish opponents (and perhaps even the Judaizers), yet as far as I can see there is nothing in the NT that supports that. Luke 4:12 would read exactly the same in Greek whether Jesus said to the devil Jehovah/Yahweh or adonai.

I don't think we should use the language of the abolition of the tetragrammaton: it is simply being re-stated: Jehovah/Yahweh is the Lord Jesus Christ. This would be similar to the way in which the tetragrammaton itself is at least infused with new content (if not actually being a new revelation - see Exod. 6) at the time of the Exodus. In that vein, it is instructive to compare the use of the phrase "in the name of" in the OT and NT. In the OT, it is invariably "in the name of Jehovah/Yahweh/the Lord"; in the NT, it is most often "in the name of Jesus/the Lord Jesus Christ" or (in Mt 28:20 "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"). When the elders anointed with oil "in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14), what name did they use? Jehovah? Or Jesus? The normal baptismal formula suggests either the triune formula or "the Lord Jesus Christ". "Believe in the Lord your God (2 Chron. 20:20) becomes "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (Acts 16:31). The "no other name by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) is Jesus (Acts 4:11).

I think our mistake is that we have bought the idea that Jewish refusal to speak the name of God was superstitious. That's hardly defensible if the NT follows exactly the same practice whenever it cites the OT (and maybe the Chronicler does the same as well). Remember, other Greek translations found ways to preserve the form of the tetragrammaton. Rather, I think we should recognize that the name Jehovah/Yahweh is a partial revelation of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has now been fully revealed to us in these last days by his Son, Jesus (Heb. 1:1-4; John 14:9; Col. 1:15-20). We don't need to superstitiously fear pronouncing the name, any more than we do with El Shaddai, the primary way in which God revealed himself to the patriarchs. But as a name, the NT and Jesus teach us that it isn't a necessary or fuller revelation of who God is: he is "God", he is "the Lord", he is "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", he is "Jesus Christ", he is "the one who is and was and is to come" (Rev. 1:4; the closest the NT comes to pronouncing the old name), not Jehovah/Yahweh/El Elyon/El Shaddai - not because these names are false but because now we have the fullness of revelation.

I'm exploring ideas here that are new to me, so please push back if I'm missing something. I'm raising questions and making suggestions here rather than fully formed conclusions. It would be interesting to know if there is any discussion of the divine name in the early church Fathers. One would have thought that it would have come up in their debates with the Jews, if there was such a striking difference between Jewish and Christian practice in this area. Is it really true that there is no attempt to formulate the divine name until the 13th century? If not, that's a remarkable fact in its own right. Once again, thank you for prodding me to think more fully about this area, and I pray that the Lord directs our thoughts in the right path.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, Douglas, for the interesting paper reference, arguing (convincingly, I think) that the substitution of the divine name by adonai goes all the way back to the Chronicler. I think he's also right that the evidence of Greek translations is mixed. But I think everyone agrees that almost no one was pronouncing it by the time of Jesus; even if it was still pronounced by the High Priest in the temple it was sotto voce.

If we take that as our starting point, why would we think that Jesus pronounces the divine name, when he quotes the OT (for example in Luke 4:12)? Certainly, Jesus is not afraid to break away from first century Jewish customs that obscure the revelation of God, but if he did so, wouldn't that have left a profound impact on his disciples and have scandalized his enemies? You would expect it to become a major point of contention between the disciples and their Jewish opponents (and perhaps even the Judaizers), yet as far as I can see there is nothing in the NT that supports that. Luke 4:12 would read exactly the same in Greek whether Jesus said to the devil Jehovah/Yahweh or adonai.

I don't think we should use the language of the abolition of the tetragrammaton: it is simply being re-stated: Jehovah/Yahweh is the Lord Jesus Christ. This would be similar to the way in which the tetragrammaton itself is at least infused with new content (if not actually being a new revelation - see Exod. 6) at the time of the Exodus. In that vein, it is instructive to compare the use of the phrase "in the name of" in the OT and NT. In the OT, it is invariably "in the name of Jehovah/Yahweh/the Lord"; in the NT, it is most often "in the name of Jesus/the Lord Jesus Christ" or (in Mt 28:20 "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"). When the elders anointed with oil "in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14), what name did they use? Jehovah? Or Jesus? The normal baptismal formula suggests either the triune formula or "the Lord Jesus Christ". "Believe in the Lord your God (2 Chron. 20:20) becomes "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (Acts 16:31). The "no other name by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) is Jesus (Acts 4:11).

I think our mistake is that we have bought the idea that Jewish refusal to speak the name of God was superstitious. That's hardly defensible if the NT follows exactly the same practice whenever it cites the OT (and maybe the Chronicler does the same as well). Remember, other Greek translations found ways to preserve the form of the tetragrammaton. Rather, I think we should recognize that the name Jehovah/Yahweh is a partial revelation of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has now been fully revealed to us in these last days by his Son, Jesus (Heb. 1:1-4; John 14:9; Col. 1:15-20). We don't need to superstitiously fear pronouncing the name, any more than we do with El Shaddai, the primary way in which God revealed himself to the patriarchs. But as a name, the NT and Jesus teach us that it isn't a necessary or fuller revelation of who God is: he is "God", he is "the Lord", he is "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", he is "Jesus Christ", he is "the one who is and was and is to come" (Rev. 1:4; the closest the NT comes to pronouncing the old name), not Jehovah/Yahweh/El Elyon/El Shaddai - not because these names are false but because now we have the fullness of revelation.

I'm exploring ideas here that are new to me, so please push back if I'm missing something. I'm raising questions and making suggestions here rather than fully formed conclusions. It would be interesting to know if there is any discussion of the divine name in the early church Fathers. One would have thought that it would have come up in their debates with the Jews, if there was such a striking difference between Jewish and Christian practice in this area. Is it really true that there is no attempt to formulate the divine name until the 13th century? If not, that's a remarkable fact in its own right. Once again, thank you for prodding me to think more fully about this area, and I pray that the Lord directs our thoughts in the right path.
It would seem to me, given the NT practice, the superstition lies not with saying “Lord” instead of “YHVH”, but rather with trying to verbalize “YHVH” juuuuuust right.

I still find the discussions important and interesting, and this thread has been a joy to follow.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
It was the late Bruce Metzger who said that evidence of corruption justifies conjectural emendations.
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:
Steve, I will keep my comments brief as this is really about Jehovah vs Yahweh rather than the text of Rev 16:5.

I was surprised you used Metzer. I thought you did not trust him in textual criticism. Do you now trust him when he critiques the Received Text? Why the difference? Why did you not quote more conservative scholars? Is it because they do not buy your argument, and that they believe the KJV gets Rev 16:5 wrong, and the Geneva and modern CT translations get it right?

James White says that the KJV clearly gets this passage wrong (See His King James Only Controversy (revised ed). He says the reading of Beza was unknown prior to Beza. You argue that the text has been kept pure in all ages. But if you are arguing for Beza's reading which was unknown prior in church history, how can you then say the text was kept pure in all ages?

In short I stand by my argument that the Reformation Geneva Bible is correct and the Reformation KJV is in error.

You disagreed with my reasons why I left the KJV as my standard. You are happy to quote Metzer. So why not interact with Dr Duguid's specific criticisms of the KJV text. It is scholars like Dr Duguid that convinced me that although God clearly did bless the KJV for a number of centuries it is not the best translation for today.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Stephen, I quote Metzger because he has set the standard for NT textual criticism among those who hold to the Critical Text, such as yourself. It is to show you that even he approves of conjectural emendation – one of your own!

There was obvious corruption in the earliest mss – they disagree among themselves. I think Metzger’s remark on conjectural emendation in such cases is on point.

Beza’s reading of Rev 16:5 was not unknown before Beza – not exactly, but similar – though he may not have been aware of it, see here.

Thomas Holland agrees with it. Jack Moorman, Jeffrey Khoo, and many other NT scholars who favor the KJV and its underlying Greek, hold as Khoo does, quoting EF Hills (who nonetheless did not hold with Beza’s reading on this verse),

“We are guided by the common faith. Hence we favor that form of the Textus Receptus upon which more than any other God, working providentially, has placed the stamp of His approval, namely, the King James Version, or, more precisely the Greek text underlying the King James Version.”​

Even Scrivener let it stand when he made his 1894 edition of the TR, which he need not have done.

Stephen, Dr. White is not someone that textually conservative scholars agree with, although in my book he is a stand-up and godly brother, whom I love. His views have been rebutted numerous times.

I don’t interact with Prof Duguid’s arguments because I am not learned in the Hebrew, as I have stated. Which does not in the least negate my faith in how God providentially preserved His word. I rely on the expertise of those I trust in these matters. It is a matter of faith in God’s preservation.

You are free to stand by your argument, but you just simply keep repeating it, pretty much unchanged.
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Tyler Ray,
It's important that we frame the question carefully, because I often find people misunderstand what exactly it is they are affirming. Let's start with the two ends of the process, where I think every evangelical should be able to agree.

1) God inspired words, not sets of consonants, so the original authors thought and intended to communicate particular combinations of consonants and vowels.
2) We do not presently have a manuscript/edition that perfectly preserves all of those consonants and vowels (the KJV, for example, leans heavily on the Second Rabbinic Bible, but I believe it includes a couple of verses from the First Rabbinic Bible that were omitted from the Second. It also normally follows the Kethib reading, but occasionally follows the qere). This is essentially the same situation that faces us in the NT.

Now to the more controversial issues. Some earlier Reformed scholars championed the originality of the vowel pointing (ar at least a very early date for it, around the time of Ezra), suggesting that unpointed manuscripts had omitted the vowels, rather than the Massoretes adding them much later. That position is very hard to hold today, given the discoveries of large numbers of unpointed texts and inscriptions over the last several hundred years. But that doesn't mean the Massoretes were just guessing. They had been reading unpointed texts for a long time and knew what they said, as surely as you would know what vowels were missing from a birthday card that read "Hppy brthdy frm mm nd dd" . Pointing an unpointed text is pretty easy, if you know Hebrew well, and especially when you know what it is supposed to say.

As a result of 2) above, some level of text criticism is inevitably necessary. And no two people are on exactly the same place on the text criticism spectrum. Some scholars, following the tradition of the KJV, want to do as little text criticism as possible. In general, they will stick to the Massoretic text as closely as possible (though some of them have accused the Jews of tampering with the text in places, for example Psalm 22). They will also generally stick to the Massoretic pointing as well (though they generally follow the kethib rather than qere). There are times when there are variants in different Massoretic manuscripts, however, so everyone has to do some text criticism. At the opposite end of the spectrum, liberals used to conjecturally emend the text at will, with or without any text critical warrant. That trend has been significantly reigned in by the discovery of the Isaiah A scroll at Qumran, which is very close to the Massoretic tradition (without pointing of course). You can see the impact of the Qumran discoveries between the RSV, which leaned mort heavily on the Septuagint and the NIV, which is very MT oriented. Most evangelical scholars find places where it seems difficult to follow the Massoretic text, and the true reading has more likely been preserved in the LXX and/or Qumran. You can usually see those decisions reflected in your Bibles as marginal notes. Every evangelical I know would give strong preference to the MT and depart from it as little as possible.

The question remains, "How little text criticism is possible?" The KJV departs from the MT less than any modern translation, but in my view the result is a marginally less accurate rather than more accurate translation. Obviously, that is a topic that is much discussed, and usually involves intricacies that are not necessarily easy to explain in simple terms to everyone. But we all agree that we have a reliable set of manuscripts for the OT, from which we can be confident our English translations are giving to us the infallible, inerrant Word of God.
In addition to the vowel points, there are also the accents in the MT and there is a question over the authority of these too. The accents have a musical purpose (which I would not be able to understand, alas) and also serve as a refined system of punctuation, breaking each verse down into smaller units. The vowel points and accents together give you not only the words but the emphasis with which they are to be read.

If the vowel points and accents are due to the Masoretes (which is not 100% certain) then they seem to have preserved an earlier tradition of how the text should be read, and I would regard this tradition as authoritative. The accents often give a sort-of commentary on the verse by grouping words in particular ways, highlighting certain words, etc. I have found them very helpful for preaching, and have a profound respect for the theological understanding that they preserve. In his Outlines of Hebrew Accentuation (written in his semi-evangelical days), A.B. Davidson comments: "It is to be expected, seeing our translation [KJV] gives the general sense so accurately, that it will be only finer shades of meaning that the study of the accents will supply; yet these finer shades give generally the acutest pleasure to a cultivated reader or exegete" (p.47). He then gives various examples.

The book I have found most useful for understanding the system of the accents is James D. Price, Syntax of Masoretic Accents in the Hebrew Bible (1990), which is freely downloadable. Much as I love the KJV, it does not follow the accents as closely as might be wished, and the NAS is often more accurate in this respect. There is considerable variation in the accentuation of Hebrew Bibles, and for accuracy I would commend the Aleppo Codex (where extant), the Second Rabbinic/TBS Bible, and then the Leningrad Codex third (not that I am any great expert in these things, but that has been my experience).
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Stephen, a P.S. to the above: you mentioned in your post you thought the KJV was not the “best translation for today.” I don’t have a problem with that. In fact I use eight (and sometimes more) translations – all modern – (as well studies in the Greek and Hebrew) in my daily Bible reading and am greatly edified. I love these translations. Yet my primary Bible is my King James, for I trust its accuracy in the original languages.

You keep hammering away at what I trust. But my desire is to honor what I believe is the name of God given us. His name is wonderful to me. I am willing to lay my reputation (such as it is) on the line in this matter. I don't care if people, even dear brothers and sisters, disagree with me. “I believed, therefore have I spoken” (Psalm 116:10).
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, Douglas, for the interesting paper reference, arguing (convincingly, I think) that the substitution of the divine name by adonai goes all the way back to the Chronicler. I think he's also right that the evidence of Greek translations is mixed. But I think everyone agrees that almost no one was pronouncing it by the time of Jesus; even if it was still pronounced by the High Priest in the temple it was sotto voce.

If we take that as our starting point, why would we think that Jesus pronounces the divine name, when he quotes the OT (for example in Luke 4:12)? Certainly, Jesus is not afraid to break away from first century Jewish customs that obscure the revelation of God, but if he did so, wouldn't that have left a profound impact on his disciples and have scandalized his enemies? You would expect it to become a major point of contention between the disciples and their Jewish opponents (and perhaps even the Judaizers), yet as far as I can see there is nothing in the NT that supports that. Luke 4:12 would read exactly the same in Greek whether Jesus said to the devil Jehovah/Yahweh or adonai.

I don't think we should use the language of the abolition of the tetragrammaton: it is simply being re-stated: Jehovah/Yahweh is the Lord Jesus Christ. This would be similar to the way in which the tetragrammaton itself is at least infused with new content (if not actually being a new revelation - see Exod. 6) at the time of the Exodus. In that vein, it is instructive to compare the use of the phrase "in the name of" in the OT and NT. In the OT, it is invariably "in the name of Jehovah/Yahweh/the Lord"; in the NT, it is most often "in the name of Jesus/the Lord Jesus Christ" or (in Mt 28:20 "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"). When the elders anointed with oil "in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14), what name did they use? Jehovah? Or Jesus? The normal baptismal formula suggests either the triune formula or "the Lord Jesus Christ". "Believe in the Lord your God (2 Chron. 20:20) becomes "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (Acts 16:31). The "no other name by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) is Jesus (Acts 4:11).

I think our mistake is that we have bought the idea that Jewish refusal to speak the name of God was superstitious. That's hardly defensible if the NT follows exactly the same practice whenever it cites the OT (and maybe the Chronicler does the same as well). Remember, other Greek translations found ways to preserve the form of the tetragrammaton. Rather, I think we should recognize that the name Jehovah/Yahweh is a partial revelation of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has now been fully revealed to us in these last days by his Son, Jesus (Heb. 1:1-4; John 14:9; Col. 1:15-20). We don't need to superstitiously fear pronouncing the name, any more than we do with El Shaddai, the primary way in which God revealed himself to the patriarchs. But as a name, the NT and Jesus teach us that it isn't a necessary or fuller revelation of who God is: he is "God", he is "the Lord", he is "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", he is "Jesus Christ", he is "the one who is and was and is to come" (Rev. 1:4; the closest the NT comes to pronouncing the old name), not Jehovah/Yahweh/El Elyon/El Shaddai - not because these names are false but because now we have the fullness of revelation.

I'm exploring ideas here that are new to me, so please push back if I'm missing something. I'm raising questions and making suggestions here rather than fully formed conclusions. It would be interesting to know if there is any discussion of the divine name in the early church Fathers. One would have thought that it would have come up in their debates with the Jews, if there was such a striking difference between Jewish and Christian practice in this area. Is it really true that there is no attempt to formulate the divine name until the 13th century? If not, that's a remarkable fact in its own right. Once again, thank you for prodding me to think more fully about this area, and I pray that the Lord directs our thoughts in the right path.
But if one follows this path, what happens to all the theology bound up in names such as El Shaddai, YHWH, and "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"? To me, the first speaks of God as the all-sufficient "breast" which supplies everything that a human being could wish for (as the breast supplies and satisfies the baby). The second speak of God's self-existence, self-sufficiency, unchangeableness, and overwhelming Being ("the living God"). And so on. Furthermore, if God has revealed himself by the name YHWH, then the refusal to use that Name (I don't mean in addressing him in prayer, but I mean the refusal so much as ever to mention it) seems to me rebellious. "The things that are revealed belong to us." "All scripture is ...profitable".

And I come back to this question. How is Ex. 6:3 to be read aloud in Hebrew (by Christian/Messianic Jews in Israel reading the Hebrew Bible in public worship as their vernacular)?
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Stephen, I quote Metzger because he has set the standard for NT textual criticism among those who hold to the Critical Text, such as yourself.
First of all Steve I do not discourage people from using the KJV. Personally I love the KJV Reformation Heritage Study Bible. I question the accuracy of the Metzer quote re Rev 16:5. No conservative CT translation agrees with the KJV here. They agree with Geneva.

Even Scrivener let it stand when he made his 1894 edition of the TR, which he need not have done.
It is important to note Scrivener basically used the KJV and formulated his Greek on that. He did not go back to the earlier Received Text and build on that. A roundabout way of doing things.
Stephen, Dr. White is not someone that textually conservative scholars agree with, although in my book he is a stand-up and godly brother, whom I love. His views have been rebutted numerous times.
Dr Duguid agrees with Dr White textually :) He is a conservative scholar. I have listened carefully to Dr Whites debates with Dr D.A. Waite, Jack Mooman, and Dr J Riddle. I believe Dr White won all debates? Why? He showed the inconsistency of the KJV only position. Now you are welcome to get a KJV man to debate Dr White. I would listen with an open mind.
I don’t interact with Prof Duguid’s arguments because I am not learned in the Hebrew, as I have stated. Which does not in the least negate my faith in how God providentially preserved His word. I rely on the expertise of those I trust in these matters. It is a matter of faith in God’s preservation.
Dr Duguid has convincingly argued that God has providentially preserved His word. He has done so in the CT. I note your struggle to refute him.

Steve I am done with this debate. For the record I do not blindly hold to the CT position. I personally would like to see Ct scholars and Byzantine priority scholars discuss issues together more and bring more 'checks and balances' into the discussion.
 
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iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
First of all Steve I do not discourage people from using the KJV. Personally I love the KJV Reformation Heritage Study Bible. I question the accuracy of the Metzer quote re Rev 16:5. No conservative CT translation agrees with the KJV here. They agree with Geneva.


It is important to note Scrivener basically used the KJV and formulated his Greek on that. He did not go back to the earlier Received Text and build on that. A roundabout way of doing things.

Dr Duguid agrees with Dr White textually :) He is a conservative scholar. I have listened carefully to Dr Whites debates with Dr D.A. Waite, Jack Mooman, and Dr J Riddle. I believe Dr White won all debates? Why? He showed the inconsistency of the KJV only position. Now you are welcome to get a KJV man to debate Dr White. I would listen with an open mind.

Dr Duguid has connivingly argued that God has providentially preserved His word. He has done so in the CT. I note your struggle to refute him.

Steve I am done with this debate. For the record I do not blindly hold to the CT position. I personally would like to see Ct scholars and Byzantine priority scholars discuss issues together more and bring more 'checks and balances' into the discussion.
Stephen,
I appreciate your confidence in me, but when I began to interact on this thread I noted that the question of the pronunciation of the divine name has absolutely nothing to do with CT vs MT debates, or really the doctrine of preservation. The issues are exactly the same, whether you think the MT as transmitted in the Second Rabbinic Bible is without any flaws or whether you feel free to conjecturally emend the text (something no one here is advocating). The NT textual questions are quite different from the OT, and I am not an expert in that subject, nor do I think that I have expressed particularly strong opinions on that debate, here or elsewhere, let alone proved anything. On the contrary, I think it is a debate where there are good arguments on both sides, and everyone has to make up their own mind - hopefully not writing off the experts but listening carefully to them and formulating well-informed opinions.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
But if one follows this path, what happens to all the theology bound up in names such as El Shaddai, YHWH, and "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"? To me, the first speaks of God as the all-sufficient "breast" which supplies everything that a human being could wish for (as the breast supplies and satisfies the baby). The second speak of God's self-existence, self-sufficiency, unchangeableness, and overwhelming Being ("the living God"). And so on. Furthermore, if God has revealed himself by the name YHWH, then the refusal to use that Name (I don't mean in addressing him in prayer, but I mean the refusal so much as ever to mention it) seems to me rebellious. "The things that are revealed belong to us." "All scripture is ...profitable".

And I come back to this question. How is Ex. 6:3 to be read aloud in Hebrew (by Christian/Messianic Jews in Israel reading the Hebrew Bible in public worship as their vernacular)?
Great questions. I think the answer is that we don't lose any of that theology but read the OT names and titles of God in the light of the fuller NT revelation. I don't think we have to completely avoid using the divine name, and more than later OT writers refused to use El Shaddai. We can discuss what it means that God has revealed himself as Yahweh/Jehovah; I don't have a problem with singing "Before Jehovah's awful throne". The Psalms are particularly attracted to archaic titles of God, like El Elyon, so singing would seem to be an appropriate place to use the old name of God. Of course, we as Christians know more about the God of whom we are singing than the authors of the psalms. But I personally wouldn't normally use Jehovah/Yahweh when reading Scripture (I have good friends who would disagree, such as Ralph Davis). I'd follow the NT pattern of reading adonai (the Lord), which is what we do in our Hebrew classes. As I say, though, this is not a confessional issue: I'd happily serve alongside people who hold the opposite view on this.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
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
Indeed! The Greek church fathers actually suggest Yahweh:
  • Clement of Alexandria usea “Iaoue” (pronounced Yahweh, short E)
  • Theodoret uses “Iabe” (pronounced Yahveh, again short E)
  • Origen quotes ancient LXX manuscripts which use Iaō (pronounced something like Yahw or Ya-ō)
 
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Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
I appreciate your confidence in me, but when I began to interact on this thread I noted that the question of the pronunciation of the divine name has absolutely nothing to do with CT vs MT debates, or really the doctrine of preservation. The issues are exactly the same, whether you think the MT as transmitted in the Second Rabbinic Bible is without any flaws or whether you feel free to conjecturally emend the text (something no one here is advocating). The NT textual questions are quite different from the OT, and I am not an expert in that subject, nor do I think that I have expressed particularly strong opinions on that debate, here or elsewhere, let alone proved anything. On the contrary, I think it is a debate where there are good arguments on both sides, and everyone has to make up their own mind - hopefully not writing off the experts but listening carefully to them and formulating well-informed opinions.
Iain I must have confidence in a fellow Scot :) Seriously I take your point. I should have clarified better given your focus in the Old Testament text. The point I was trying to make was that you would be reluctant to take a KJV only position regarding the Masoretic Text and the OT textual choices of the KJV. I agree the NT textual issues are different. As I said there is valid debate going on re the MT and the CT. It is just that I am uncomfortable with a KJV only position. Trust that clarifies.

On a lighter note, I worship at a confessional Reformed church in the 'Dutch Reformed' tradition. One day I reminded a zealous Dutchman that Scotland, not the Netherlands, is known as the Land of the Covenant. That created a stir :) :)
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
In addition to the vowel points, there are also the accents in the MT and there is a question over the authority of these too. The accents have a musical purpose (which I would not be able to understand, alas) and also serve as a refined system of punctuation, breaking each verse down into smaller units. The vowel points and accents together give you not only the words but the emphasis with which they are to be read.

If the vowel points and accents are due to the Masoretes (which is not 100% certain) then they seem to have preserved an earlier tradition of how the text should be read, and I would regard this tradition as authoritative. The accents often give a sort-of commentary on the verse by grouping words in particular ways, highlighting certain words, etc. I have found them very helpful for preaching, and have a profound respect for the theological understanding that they preserve. In his Outlines of Hebrew Accentuation (written in his semi-evangelical days), A.B. Davidson comments: "It is to be expected, seeing our translation [KJV] gives the general sense so accurately, that it will be only finer shades of meaning that the study of the accents will supply; yet these finer shades give generally the acutest pleasure to a cultivated reader or exegete" (p.47). He then gives various examples.

The book I have found most useful for understanding the system of the accents is James D. Price, Syntax of Masoretic Accents in the Hebrew Bible (1990), which is freely downloadable. Much as I love the KJV, it does not follow the accents as closely as might be wished, and the NAS is often more accurate in this respect. There is considerable variation in the accentuation of Hebrew Bibles, and for accuracy I would commend the Aleppo Codex (where extant), the Second Rabbinic/TBS Bible, and then the Leningrad Codex third (not that I am any great expert in these things, but that has been my experience).
I came across an example yesterday somewhat relevant to this discussion: Jer. 10:10. The KJV translates it: "But the LORD is the true God...", which is how most other translations go, with small variants. The Masoretic accents, however, give: "But the LORD God [YHWH Elohim] is truth...", conjoining the two names or words for God and disjoining the final word "truth". The only translation that goes with this in my list was Darby (!), although it is also John Gill's preferred translation.

The reason for the ordinary translation, I think, is probably the poetic triple: "true God, living God, everlasting king". However, the Masoretes presumably had as much feel for Hebrew poetry as anyone else, and they read the verse differently. And their reading accords with John 14:6.

In Hong's paper that I linked to above https://www.academia.edu/4194235/_T...nd_Its_Early_Evidence_in_Chronicles_JSOT_2013
the name "YHWH Elohim" plays an important part in his argument, and he lists (p. 483) all the occurrences of this title outside Genesis/Samuel/Chronicles, of which there are four. But he misses this one (presumably because he followed the usual translation of the verse) and yet this is the one most relevant to his argument, and which somewhat undermines it (not that I thought his argument all that conclusive anyway).
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Indeed! The Greek church fathers actually suggest Yahweh:
  • Clement of Alexandria usea “Iaoue” (pronounced Yahweh, short E)
  • Theodoret uses “Iabe” (pronounced Yahveh, again short E)
  • Origen quotes ancient LXX manuscripts which use Iaō (pronounced something like Yahw or Ya-ō)
Couldn't "Iaoue" be pronounced "Ya-O-We" (which is as similar to Yehowah as to Yahweh)? The "o" is main part of the discussion, for me.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Couldn't "Iaoue" be pronounced "Ya-O-We" (which is as similar to Yehowah as to Yahweh)? The "o" is main part of the discussion, for me.
I’m no Greek specialist but I don’t think this is possible. As I understand in Greek (Ιαουε is how Iaoue would have been spelled), the omicron-upsilon always make a diphthong (“oo” in English).

(And by the early Christian Era upsilon by itself would have been ypsilon and not pronounced as a “u” unless part of the diphthon with omicron.)

Ιαουε = Ee-ah-oo-eh = Yahweh
Ἰαβέ = Ee-ah-veh = Yahveh
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
Great questions. I think the answer is that we don't lose any of that theology but read the OT names and titles of God in the light of the fuller NT revelation. I don't think we have to completely avoid using the divine name, and more than later OT writers refused to use El Shaddai. We can discuss what it means that God has revealed himself as Yahweh/Jehovah; I don't have a problem with singing "Before Jehovah's awful throne". The Psalms are particularly attracted to archaic titles of God, like El Elyon, so singing would seem to be an appropriate place to use the old name of God. Of course, we as Christians know more about the God of whom we are singing than the authors of the psalms. But I personally wouldn't normally use Jehovah/Yahweh when reading Scripture (I have good friends who would disagree, such as Ralph Davis). I'd follow the NT pattern of reading adonai (the Lord), which is what we do in our Hebrew classes. As I say, though, this is not a confessional issue: I'd happily serve alongside people who hold the opposite view on this.
The old (Puritan) approach would have been that the NT usage of kurios sanctioned the LXX usage and showed us how to translate the Divine Name into other languages, but did not require a back-translation of YHWH into Adonai in Hebrew as well. Thus they would read Exod. 6:3 as YHWH rather than Adonai. This further step of following the Jews in replacing YHWH by Adonai seems to be a relatively new idea in Protestantism. As far as I can see, the name YHWH has much more (or perhaps, even more) theological content than Adonai, and there would seem to be a great danger of losing or ignoring this if this further step is taken. It crosses my mind that perhaps Satan would wish the name YHWH to be buried in oblivion, and might have used the degeneration of the OT Church to promote this.

The identification "Christ is YHWH" means that we may learn about YHWH from considering Christ, but also that we may learn about Christ by considering YHWH. To do this, we have to engage in "Biblical theology" and focus on the specific revelation given at each step of Old Testament history. The various compound uses of YHWH all contribute to this, as do the variations in Divine titles in parallel parts of Scripture. The OT is not simply scaffolding to be thrown away now that we have the NT; it was ingeniously contrived to be part of the NT building as well, so now with NT light we can find things there that were not noticed (or hardly noticed) in OT times, and which are not explicitly found in the NT either. I would regard the revelation concerning the Divine Name YHWH in this way. So I think it is important to keep it.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
I came across an example yesterday somewhat relevant to this discussion: Jer. 10:10. The KJV translates it: "But the LORD is the true God...", which is how most other translations go, with small variants. The Masoretic accents, however, give: "But the LORD God [YHWH Elohim] is truth...", conjoining the two names or words for God and disjoining the final word "truth". The only translation that goes with this in my list was Darby (!), although it is also John Gill's preferred translation.

The reason for the ordinary translation, I think, is probably the poetic triple: "true God, living God, everlasting king". However, the Masoretes presumably had as much feel for Hebrew poetry as anyone else, and they read the verse differently. And their reading accords with John 14:6.

In Hong's paper that I linked to above https://www.academia.edu/4194235/_T...nd_Its_Early_Evidence_in_Chronicles_JSOT_2013
the name "YHWH Elohim" plays an important part in his argument, and he lists (p. 483) all the occurrences of this title outside Genesis/Samuel/Chronicles, of which there are four. But he misses this one (presumably because he followed the usual translation of the verse) and yet this is the one most relevant to his argument, and which somewhat undermines it (not that I thought his argument all that conclusive anyway).
Jeremiah 10:10 is an interesting example. Hong probably doesn't reference it because on the standard reading it isn't an exemplar of the pairing "the LORD God". Grammatically, it certainly could be, as you suggest, though it could equally well not be. There is a similar phrase in 1 Kings 17:24, where the woman says to Elijah either "The word of the Lord in your mouth is truth" - in this case, most English translation opt for that choice, supporting your argument in Jer 10:10 - or "The word of the Lord is truly in your mouth". Both translations are possible, as they are in Jer 10:10. I'm not sure that John 14:6 helps as much as you think. If it is alluding to this verse (which it may well be), John 14:6 takes "living" from the second part and translates the adjective into a noun, "life". So it could equally easily be taking the adverb "truly" and turning it into the noun "truth". But I'm sympathetic to your reading, which is certainly how the Massoretes read it, as the earliest interpreters of the text.

I thought the central part of Hong's paper was the observation that the Chronicler never reproduces the form Adonai Yahweh from Samuel-Kings in any of its nine occurrences. The simplest explanation for changing that title on every occasion is that the Lord was already being read as Adonai, which makes it an odd combination. Instead, the Chronicler shows the same kind of variety that we find in the LXX, which suggests that it had not yet reached the settled convention of reading "Adonai Elohim" which we find from Aleppo onwards. Not a conclusive argument, to be sure, but an intriguing observation.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
The old (Puritan) approach would have been that the NT usage of kurios sanctioned the LXX usage and showed us how to translate the Divine Name into other languages, but did not require a back-translation of YHWH into Adonai in Hebrew as well. Thus they would read Exod. 6:3 as YHWH rather than Adonai. This further step of following the Jews in replacing YHWH by Adonai seems to be a relatively new idea in Protestantism. As far as I can see, the name YHWH has much more (or perhaps, even more) theological content than Adonai, and there would seem to be a great danger of losing or ignoring this if this further step is taken. It crosses my mind that perhaps Satan would wish the name YHWH to be buried in oblivion, and might have used the degeneration of the OT Church to promote this.

The identification "Christ is YHWH" means that we may learn about YHWH from considering Christ, but also that we may learn about Christ by considering YHWH. To do this, we have to engage in "Biblical theology" and focus on the specific revelation given at each step of Old Testament history. The various compound uses of YHWH all contribute to this, as do the variations in Divine titles in parallel parts of Scripture. The OT is not simply scaffolding to be thrown away now that we have the NT; it was ingeniously contrived to be part of the NT building as well, so now with NT light we can find things there that were not noticed (or hardly noticed) in OT times, and which are not explicitly found in the NT either. I would regard the revelation concerning the Divine Name YHWH in this way. So I think it is important to keep it.
This of course gest us into the familiar question of how to render the divine name in our Bible translations. It sounds like you approve of the general translation as "the LORD" based on the NT example. As you know, both the KJV and the Geneva Bible only break with this tradition a few times - not consistently, and not nearly as often as the modern translations, the ASV and the HCSB. The problem is - and this is the discussion we had when updating the HCSB into the CSB - once you render the divine name as Yahweh/Jehovah anywhere in your translation, you are forced into indefensible inconsistencies that are inevitably confusing for the English reader. The most obvious place to put Yahweh/Jehovah is in Exodus 6:3, as both KJV and GNV do: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (Exod. 6:3 KJV). Which obscures one of the great puzzles for the reader of Hebrew, which is that the divine name is all over Genesis - but Jehovah doesn't appear there in the KJV once. And it appears to drive a wedge between verse 3 and verse 2, where it says "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Exod. 6:2 KJV)". So which is he? The LORD or Jehovah? Shouldn't both verses translate the Lord's name the same way?

And where else do you use the divine name?
Geneva has it at Gen 22:14; Ex. 6:3; 15:3; 17:15; 23:17; 34:23; Judges 6:24; Psalm 83:18
KJV: Gen 22:14; Exod 6:3; 17:15; Psalm 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4.

You can see the challenge to consistency, which suggests that there wasn't simply "a" Puritan tradition.

Meanwhile, the KJV not only normally uses "the LORD" for YHWH, but also "the Lord GOD" for Adonai YHWH, clearly adopting the massoretic practice and following its pointing, reading the kethib not the qere.

At the end of the day, I'm not far from advocating advocating following the example of the KJV, however. I'm not averse to using the divine name from time to time (though I think it should probably not be used in Bible translations, following the NT example). I don't have any superstitious aversion to saying it, and I believe that it is a name that has distinct meaning, explained in Exodus. We can sing it. But we shouldn't try to routinely "reclaim" it, as if its disappearance from pronunciation was part of a Jewish (or even Satanic) conspiracy.
 

Douglas Somerset

Puritan Board Freshman
This of course gest us into the familiar question of how to render the divine name in our Bible translations. It sounds like you approve of the general translation as "the LORD" based on the NT example. As you know, both the KJV and the Geneva Bible only break with this tradition a few times - not consistently, and not nearly as often as the modern translations, the ASV and the HCSB. The problem is - and this is the discussion we had when updating the HCSB into the CSB - once you render the divine name as Yahweh/Jehovah anywhere in your translation, you are forced into indefensible inconsistencies that are inevitably confusing for the English reader. The most obvious place to put Yahweh/Jehovah is in Exodus 6:3, as both KJV and GNV do: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (Exod. 6:3 KJV). Which obscures one of the great puzzles for the reader of Hebrew, which is that the divine name is all over Genesis - but Jehovah doesn't appear there in the KJV once. And it appears to drive a wedge between verse 3 and verse 2, where it says "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Exod. 6:2 KJV)". So which is he? The LORD or Jehovah? Shouldn't both verses translate the Lord's name the same way?

And where else do you use the divine name?
Geneva has it at Gen 22:14; Ex. 6:3; 15:3; 17:15; 23:17; 34:23; Judges 6:24; Psalm 83:18
KJV: Gen 22:14; Exod 6:3; 17:15; Psalm 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4.

You can see the challenge to consistency, which suggests that there wasn't simply "a" Puritan tradition.

Meanwhile, the KJV not only normally uses "the LORD" for YHWH, but also "the Lord GOD" for Adonai YHWH, clearly adopting the massoretic practice and following its pointing, reading the kethib not the qere.

At the end of the day, I'm not far from advocating advocating following the example of the KJV, however. I'm not averse to using the divine name from time to time (though I think it should probably not be used in Bible translations, following the NT example). I don't have any superstitious aversion to saying it, and I believe that it is a name that has distinct meaning, explained in Exodus. We can sing it. But we shouldn't try to routinely "reclaim" it, as if its disappearance from pronunciation was part of a Jewish (or even Satanic) conspiracy.
I am not sure about "indefensible" inconsistencies, and I don't even feel that the inconsistency is very great. Basically, there are two ways to "translate" YHWH: one is to transliterate and the other is use "the LORD". The second is preferred, but in each of the cases you list one can see why the translators opted for the first alternative. It seems a good solution to me, and helpful to the English reader.
 
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