traditions regarding tetragrammaton?
furuli at online.no
Mon Aug 27 07:45:38 EDT 2001
>> 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).
>I'd be curious to see the evidence for this "uniformity"; anyway you
>left out the Yodh-He-Waw-He which, when written right-to-left in
>"square" letters in Greek ms., was read back left-to-right by Greeks
>as the Greek letters Pi-Iota-Pi-Iota, so that the divine name then
>became "PIPI" ;-)
I have collected the evidence in my book, which has been mentioned
earlier in this thread. In addition to the Greek evidence, There is
evidence that Syriac versions originally may have contained the
tetragrammaton as well.
>> While the Qumran sect and other groups did not use the
>?? Certainly in written ms. they did.
The tetragrammaton occurs in the DSS, sometimes written in Old Hebrew
script in a text with Aramaic script. In my Gramcord DSS text (which
contains most of the DSS but not all) it is found 231 times. My
point was that the sect probably viewed the tetragrammaton as a word
that should not be used in conversations or pronounced when a text
was read. Remember also that manuscripts were imported from other
places, and some of these use the tetragrammaton.
>> It is extremely difficult to correlate the KURIOS of the NT with
>From what point of view? Kurios is the most direct and simplest Greek
>translation of Hebrew 'Adhonai (leaving aside the idiosyncratic plural
>and possessive morphology of the Hebrew form, which would not transfer
>smoothly to Greek). (By the way, the use of "heaven" / ouranos seems
>to be partly simply a reflection of internationally-fashionable
>religious terminology of the 2nd. half of the 1st millennium B.C.)
From the point of view that )A:DONFY is a substitute of YHWH. NT
quotes from the OT may illustrate the problem. In these quotes we
find KURIOS in the NT manuscripts from the second century C.E., and
we must ask why the manuscripts do not have YHWH. There are two
possibilities, 1) KURIOS is used as a substitute for YHWH, and 2)
YHWH was found originally but was later replaced by KURIOS.
As a matter of fact, all pasages about the use of YHWH in the OT say
that the name should *allways* be used (e.g. Exodus 3:15; Malachi
3:16). Without particular reasons to the contrary we would expect
that the NT writers would use the name. Such reasons do exist
according to many scholars. They say that the tetragrammaton was not
used any longer in the days of Jesus, but the substitute )A:DONFY was
used, and the NT writers followed this custom. But whe evidence for
this is lacking!
The only group where we have evidence for a disuse of YHWH is the
Qumran sect. What was their substitute? Not )A:DONFY (which occurs 83
times in the Gramcord DSS) but )EL. The consonants )L occurs 1458
times in the Gramcord DSS, and about 700 of these refer to God.
According to the OT we would expect the tetragrammaton in the NT, but
if the custom of substitution was followed by the NT writers, we
would, according to the available evidence, expect )EL and not
)ADONFY. To rule out the OT's command that the name never should
cease to be used, one has to demonstrate that )A:DONFY was a common
*substitute* for YHWH in the first century C.E. But such evidence is
completely lacking. So the view that KURIOS in the NT was a
translation of )A:DONFY which was a substitute for YHWH simply is
unfounded, as far as historical/archaeological evidence is concerned.
I therefore see no reason to believe that the NT writers would not
obey the OT words regarding the tetragrammaton.
>> 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 NT.
>The second clause doesn't follow from the first; that Kurios may be a
>translation of more than one Hebrew or Aramaic word doesn't mean that
>it wasn't a fairly systematic "translation" (or substitute) for YHWH.
>In phrases such as (ho) kurios ho theos in Luke 1:32 etc. etc. I don't
>see how Kurios can be a translation or reflection of anything else.
What we do know is that the tetragrammaton or IAW occurred in the LXX
at least until the middle of the first century C.E. In the LXX
manuscripts from the middle of the second century C.E. we find KS
(and sometimes QS) where YHWH was written in the Hebrew text. The
oldest NT manuscripts from the middle of the second century C.E. have
these nomina sacra (KS and QS) as well (and other nomina sacra). It
stands to reason that the abbreviations that we call nomina sacra was
not in the NT autographs, so their occurrence in the second century
manuscripts show that the original text has been changed (in these
instances). Because the same change occurred in the LXX, while it
originally contained the tetragrammaton, it is not unreaonable to
think that the tetragrammaton was found in the NT autographs as well.
Particularly is this a logical view because there does not seem to be
any reason why the NT writers should leave it out.
There are other Greek words with the meaning "Lord", which sometimes
(e.g. in Acts) are used with reference to God. The use of KURIOS
both with reference to God and his son, creates much confusion in
some texts. There is also confusion when KURIOS is used as a title.
Grice's linguistic principle, that we, when we work with a text, must
presume that the author wrote in order to be understood, can be
applied to the mentioned situation. The confusion created by the use
of KURIOS in the NT would therefore corroborate with the view that
KURIOS was introduced instead of YHWH in the last part of the first
century C.E. or first part of the second century C.E. as a substitute
>> 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.
>It does seem to be a rather fatal flaw for this theory that not a
>single such manuscript or manuscript fragment of the NT has ever been
>found. In any case, it seems to have been the international magicians
>and occultists of the ancient world (not necessarily either Hebrew or
>Christian) who were a lot more obsessed with the Hebrew name and its
>correct pronunciation than the early Christians were. Has IAO (in
>Greek letters, with omega) really been found in Biblical ms., or just
>in magical papyri?
Finds of manuscripts could of course solve the question. But in your
work with your excellend dissertation you presumed many stages of
phonological change which are not witnessed by manuscripts. So you
should be ready to accept that the lack of old manuscrips is not
really fatal. IAW is found in 4QLXXLevb which is dated to the first
>Henry Churchyard churchh at crossmyt.com http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/
University of Oslo
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