[b-hebrew] Variants of YHWH in the BHS Text

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Sep 26 16:36:44 EDT 2003

On Friday 26 September 2003 12:43, Jason Hare wrote:
> David,
> I think it might be wise for you to understand from the beginning the
> purpose and scope of B-Hebrew. This is a forum for discussion of the text
> of the Hebrew Bible (HB). We have participants from all different
> perspectives: Jews, Christians, Atheists, Faith-Disinterested, and many
> others. We have discussed the Tetragrammaton on several occasions (which
> you can search out in our archives). We are, as a group, not interested in
> propagation of theological perspectives. We discuss the text based on
> Hebrew from an educated perspective.
> Please, do not think that you have come here with something new. We are
> weathered in respect to the Hebrew Bible. We have heard most all arguments
> that you could present. And we all have our own perspectives. However, you
> will surely find no support for the idea that "Yehovah" or "Jehovah" or
> "Yahweh" or whatever name you choose to be "God's" is absolute without
> contestation. If your interest is to find support for a "Sacred Name"
> position, you will surely not find it here (or in any decent scholarly
> work).

Umm, excuse me for jumping in, but that wasn't what he said.  He said he was 
trying to understand it.  To my knowledge, David has not given any statement 
of "belief" to date on this subject.  He has been trying to ask questions.  
The short answer, David, is that it was not meant to be pronounced with the 
four consonants YHWH.  The vowels around it were meant to indicate that the 
reader should substitute "adonai" in those places.  The Name with those 
vowels wasn't supposed to be pronounced at all; it was later (and I believe, 
primarily Christian) readers and translators who made the mistake of 
combining the consonants with the substitute vowels and came up with the 
whole "Jehovah" thing.  So to answer your question, "how should it be 
pronounced as it appears in that particular edition," the answer is, "it 

Dave Washburn
"God does a lot of things in the Psalms
that He can't get away with in systematic theology."

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