God's name: was Curious abut "G-d"

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Thu Jan 24 03:01:58 EST 2002


Dear Liz,

The book has the most comprehensive collection of evidence of which I 
am aware. Gertoux follows the use of YHWH from it first occurs in the 
Tanach, and follows it in the BCE, among the Church Fathers, in the 
Middle ages an up to the present. He has gathered evidence from 
Hebrew, Aramaic, Egyptian, Accadian and Greek,and has extensive 
etymological discussions. While we need not accept all his 
conclusions, nobody who wants to be updated on the subject should 
skip this book.

I have been interested in this subject since I researched it in 
connection with a paper for an intermediate exam in Hebrew several 
years ago. I would like to point that there is no real evidence that 
ordinary people in the days of Jesus had ceased pronouncing the name. 
It is true that we find claims in the Mischna/Talbud and Rabbinic 
writings that only the high priest pronounced it at a certain point 
of time, but in the same writings we find the very opposite; The 
Pharisees (existing from c. 150 B.C.E.) and the "Morning-bathers" are 
explicitly said to be pronouncing the name. It seems to me that the 
normal disgnation for the Creator in the first part of the first 
century CE. in Palestine was )E:LOHIM (the Qumran group used )EL), 
but many other desgnations were used as well. I think there is 
evidence that oridinary people pronounced YHWH in the first part of 
the first century C.E., but after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 
C.E. the name was no longer pronounced. There is absolutely no 
evidence that the Qumran people or anybody else substituted YHWH with 
)A:DONFY or MARE/MARY, so the use of KURIOS in the NT as a substitute 
of YHWH has no clear antecedent in the Jewish communities of the 
first century C.E.



Regards

Rolf


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo


>So, nu?
>What does he conclude, how is it pronounced?
>What does it mean?
>Or, do we have to buy the book?
>Liz
>
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Rolf Furuli [mailto:furuli at online.no]
>>  Sent: Wed, January 23, 2002 5:41 PM
>>  To: Biblical Hebrew
>>  Subject: Re: God's name: was Curious abut "G-d"
>>
>>
>>  There is a new book on this subject that soon will be published in
>>  English. I have read the French edition: "Gérard Gertoux (1999) Un
>>  Historique du Nom Divin YHWH, Paris: L'Harmattan. It will soon be
>>  published in English by "University Press of America": I got a
>>  pre-publication discount of 20 % by ordering it last week
>>  (custserv at rowman.com.); ordinary price is $ 47.
>>
>>  The author has marshaled a huge amount of material from Hebrew and
>>  cognate languages, and while it is difficult to draw definite
>>  conclusions regarding the pronunciation of the name, this is the most
>>  thorough discussion I have seen.
>>
>>
>>  Regards
>>
>>  Rolf
>>
>>
>>  Rolf Furuli
>>  University of Oslo
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  ---
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