Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Wed Nov 8 16:51:39 EST 2006

Though this topic was aired on this list before but terminated by the 
moderator because it is rather theologically charged in some quarters,  
let me reiterate that Rolf's claim about pre-Christian mss that read 
something other than KURIOS is misleading and in any case is less than 
half the story.  The best way of solving the problem of KURIOS vs YHWH 
in the original Septuagint is not on the basis of external evidence 
that points in different directions but on the basis of internal 
evidence of the Septuagint itself. I made a beginning of doing just 
that in my Kyrios or Tetragram article now available on my website 
On Nov 8, 2006, at 4:29 PM, Rolf Furuli wrote:

> Dear Webb,
> I do not think you are well informed in this case. In all (there are 
> not
> many) the LXX and LXX-like manuscripts we know from B.C.E. and down to 
> 50
> C.E. we find YHWH in old Hebrew or Aramaic characters or as the Greek
> phonetic transcription IAW. There is no clear evidence that YHWH was
> substituted by KURIOS in Greek texts of this time. In Qumran YHWH was 
> not
> pronounced, but the substitute the people used was not "ADONAI" but 
> "EL".
> Both "ADONAI" and YHWH are used in the Hebrew Bible with reference to 
> the
> creator, but "ADONAI" is not used as a *substitute* for YHWH. I am not 
> aware
> of any clear evidence from before 50 C.E. that "ADONAI" was used in 
> Hebrew
> texts as a substitute for YHWH. In the rabbinic literature, some 
> passages
> say that YHWH was no longer used at an early date; other passages show 
> that
> it continued to be used down to the second century C.E. So, if we look 
> at
> the evidence, we cannot even exclude the possibility that YHWH was 
> used by
> the common people in everyday speech in the days of Jesus. We should
> remember that the Masoretes who substituted YHWH with "ADONAI" lived 
> in the
> second half of the first millennium C.E. We should not extrapolate 
> their
> views back into the last centuries B.C.E. or the first century C.E. 
> But we
> have to rely on the evidence from this time.
> Best regards,
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Webb" <webb at selftest.net>
> To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 7:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] KURIOS hO QEOS hO PANTOKRATWR (Rev. 4:8)
>> Dear Doug,
>> You've got it backwards. When the LXX translators read YHWH, they
>> translated
>> it as KURIOS, which corresponds to ADONAI (Hebrew for "Lord"), the 
>> ('what is read'), which was always read aloud when YHWH stood in the
>> Hebrew
>> text. My understanding is that by the time of the LXX, pronunciation 
>> of
>> had already become strictly taboo in orthodox Judaism. It would thus 
>> be a
>> move peculiar in the extreme to find KURIOS in the text and to render 
>> it
>> as
>> YHWH.
>> Webb Mealy
> ---
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Albert Pietersma
Professor of Septuagint and Hellenistic Greek
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
Home: 21 Cross Street,
Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm

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