traditions regarding tetragrammaton?
furuli at online.no
Fri Aug 24 11:13:01 EDT 2001
>----- Original Message -----
>From: David Stabnow <dstabno at lifeway.com>
>To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
>Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2001 8:51 AM
>Subject: Re: traditions regarding tetragrammaton?
>> If the one LXX MS reflects the original (which would make sense in
>> context), the others are attempts to mitigate the language regarding the
>Interesting point, since i think the LXX itself may be evidence of
>translator with "traditions" to protect the name YHWH since it
>usually kurios rather than a transliteration. It seems like i recall
>someone posting here within the past few months and saying that
>originally LXX (and NT!) MSS had a transliteration of Yahweh but
>that later scribes replaced it with kurios. Does anyone know of
>evidence for this? It would not seem likely to me, since we have
>some pretty early LXX MSS evidence (some pre-Christian), which i
>don't think have a transliterated name.
>The fact that both LXX and scribal evidence in MT and DSS all seem
>to point to influence from these "traditions" would seem to indicate
>that they were late and not original at the time of composition of
>Regarding "kingdom of heaven" (mostly Matthew) vs. "kingdom of God"
>(common elsewhere in NT), do we really have any evidence that this
>was intended to avoid the word _theos_ with Jews, or was it simply
>diversity of authors' preferences? Why would Matthew not want to say
>"kingdom of God" when he used _theos_ in plenty of other contexts?
>And why avoid "kingdom of God" which is not the same as "kingdom of
>Yahweh" anyway? I don't see that this NT evidence (mostly just in
>Matthew) is very strong. Am i missing something?
I once wrote a thesis entitled "The tetragrammaton and its
substitutes in the days of the second temple". Here are some points:
All the LXX manuscripts from the second and first centuries B.C.E and
the first century C.E have the tetragrammaton, either in old Hebrew
script, square Aramaic script, or as the phonetic transcription IAW (
indicating pronunciation). In the Chester Beatty Papyrii from 150
C.E. the tetragrammaton is changed to KURIOS. While the Qumran sect
and other groups did not use the tetragrammaton, other groups did,
and we know nothing to which extent it was used by the people in the
days of Jesus. The numerous claims that it was not used at all in the
first century C.E. are unsubstantiated.
In discussions about the tetragrammaton we should differentiate
between "alternative words" and "substitutes". Different titles and
designations are used for God both in the OT and the NT, but they are
not "substitutes" for YHWH. Only if people were afraid of using YHWH
and used another word instead can we speak of a "substitute". The use
of "heaven" and "the power" in the NT where we would have expected
YHWH do not necessarily represent a use of substitutes. We find the
word "heaven" referring to God in the book of Daniel, where we also
find the tetrgrammaton. A basic problem for the substitution theory
YHWH -> )A:DONFY -> KURIOS is that the Qumran sect did not use
)A:DONFY as asubstitute for YHWH but they used )EL as a substitute.
It is extremely difficult to correlate the KURIOS of the NT with
)A:DONFY. But a strong case can be made for the view that the KURIOS
of NT is a *translation* of more than one Hebrew word, something
which corroborates with the view that KURIOS was not original in the
George Howard has made quite a good case for the view that the
tetragrammaton originally occurred in the NT (See his article in The
Anchor Bible Dictionary), and that it was replaced by KURIOS just as
was the case in the LXX in the second century C.E.
University of Oslo
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