[B-Greek] The divine name in the Greek OT

Anthony Buzzard anthonybuzzard at mindspring.com
Wed Nov 8 16:59:59 EST 2006


Dear Rolf, I am grateful for the information you provide about YHVH 
and its presence in the Greek version of the OT. Why is it that the 
LXX version many of us have (ie Brenton) which purports to be LXX 
does not have the IAW in it? I thought only some of the LXX MSS had 
the divine name.
Secondly can you tell us how we know that ADONAI was used at the time 
of Jesus, since vowel points were not yet in the text? I realize that 
the consonants ADNY were there, but how do we know that it was 
pronounced as ADONAI?
Anthony Buzzard



At 04:29 PM 11/8/2006, you 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 QERE
 > ('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
 > YHWH
 > 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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