Curious abut "G-d"

Ken Smith kens at
Sun Jan 20 02:36:19 EST 2002

I'm sure other folks could answer this, but I'll jump in.


As you know, the consonants for the original "name" of God were YHWH,
and the current "chetib" for the MT substitutes the vowels for AeDoNaY.
According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary:


"The form 'Jehovah' results from reading the consonants of the
Tetragrammaton with the vowels of the surrogate word Adonai.  The
dissemination of this form is usually traced to Petrus Galatinus,
confessor to Pope Leo X, who in 1518 AD transliterated the four Hebrew
letters with the Latin letters jhvh together with the vowels of Adonai,
producing the artifical form 'Jehovah.'  (This confused usage may,
however, have begun as early as 1100 AD.)  While the hybrid form Jehovah
has met much resistance, and is universally regarded as an ungrammatical
aberration, it nonetheless passed from Latin into English and other
European languages and has been hallowed by usage in hymns and the ASV;
it is used only a few times in KJV and not at all in RSV."


See also: 


Ken Smith


-----Original Message-----
From: Juan Stam [mailto:juanstam at] 
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 8:34 PM
To: Ken Smith; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Curious abut "G-d"



Greetings from Costa Rica.


Can anyone tell us how, when , where and by whom the hybrid name
"Jehovah" (consonants of tettragrammaton, vowels of Edonay) was in
troduced? In what language?  How ancient?


Many thanks


Juan Stam (National University of Costa Rica)


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Ken Smith <mailto:kens at>  

To: Biblical Hebrew <mailto:b-hebrew at>  

Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 7:51 PM

Subject: RE: Curious abut "G-d"


Thanks for the response.  I hadn't been aware of the distinction between
writings that were intended to last, and writings that weren't.


But I guess I'm still curious.  The "name" of God isn't "God", nor is it
"Elohim".  According to various passages in Exodus, it's the
Tetragrammaton, right, i.e., YHWH?  I'm familiar with, and at one level
or another can understand, the care about YHWH, but I wasn't aware that
the same care was taken with )LHYM.  (Or is it?) If not, why is it taken
with the English "God"?


Sorry, hope I'm not being excessively dense here.


Ken Smith

-----Original Message-----
From: MGSKamerun at [mailto:MGSKamerun at] 
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 1:10 PM
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Curious abut "G-d"

I think they don't want to write the name of God on a paper (or in a
mail) because they know that the concerned script is not meant to last
forever. In other terms: If you know that you will delete your E-Mail or
throw away your paper you come in conflict with the one of the ten
commandments not to use the name of God in vain. There is a tradition
not to throw away or burn used Tora scrolls but to bury them like a
mortal remain because the name of God is written on it. 
There is also the tradition to write elokim instead of the name of God,
or two jod for the Tetragrammaton. 
Yours sincerely 
Martin Schroeder 

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