traditions regarding tetragrammaton?

Numberup at Numberup at
Mon Aug 27 12:26:30 EDT 2001

Dear Charles,

You make some interesting points regarding use vs. pronunciation of the
Tetragrammaton.  Yet, between Exodus 3:15 and Malachi 3:16 there are quite a few books
that show that YHWH was pronounced quite openly and regularly by people of those times
as part of the ordinary business of  life.  There are regular greetings and blessings
between ordinary people that are pronounced with the Name, as well as warnings and
prophecies uttered by "professionals" in the authority of the Name.

Christians originally were Jews, and though we may not know with exact certainty, it
is reasonable to expect that, if the Name were pronounced by at least some Jews during
the first century, that Christians would have used it, especially at the beginning.
Such an idea would at least dovetail with the words of Jesus' brother James at Acts
15:13-18 where Hebrew texts are quoted which twice use the Tetragrammaton. Here  James
also states that Jews, who were already a "people for God's Name" would now be joined
with Gentile believers in Christ who, likewise, would be "_'am lishmo_ " (Acts 15:14,
Delitschz's Hebrew version), "a people for His [God's] Name."

While not conclusive, nor revelatory of how long, this would seem to indicate that the
early Christians did not shy away from using the Name.

Charles David Isbell wrote:

> Dear Rolf,
> I have enjoyed the exchanges about the Tetragrammaton.  But are you not
> taking at least a short leap to conclude from Exod 3:15 and Mal 3:16 that
> YHWH should be USED in the sense of PRONOUNCED?  There was never any doubt
> among the rabbis, even of a later period when the pronunciation of the name
> was no longer in vogue, that YHWH was in fact THE name.  The issue is
> whether it ought to be pronounced or "taken up" in a particular way or in a
> general context, or whether it should be reserved for one specific context.
> ...........................

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