[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation
David P Donnelly
davedonnelly1 at juno.com
Wed Aug 10 07:22:16 EDT 2005
Concerning the Catholic Church's teaching that God's name is "Yahweh",
Peter Kirk asks:
Is this an official teaching of the Catholic Church? Or is it just
that the Church has not objected to its scholars following the
I don't know if it is the official teaching of the Church, but the New
which appears to translate YHWH as "Yahweh" 100% of the time,
does have the "Nihil obstat" seal of approval.
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1910 also says:
The judicious reader will perceive that the Samaritan pronunciation Jabe
probably approaches the real sound of the Divine name closest; the other
early writers transmit only abbreviations or corruptions of the sacred
Inserting the vowels of Jabe into the original Hebrew consonant text, we
obtain the form Jahveh (Yahweh), which has been generally accepted by
modern scholars as the true pronunciation of the Divine name.
It is not merely closely connected with the pronunciation of the ancient
synagogue by means of the Samaritan tradition, but it also allows the
legitimate derivation of all the abbreviations of the sacred name in the
It almost seems that the Catholic Church has created a hybrid name
which has the vowels of "Jabe" and the consonants of "YHWH".
Did the Samaritan language resemble the Hebrew language in about 400
Do the letters yod and he, and waw look the same in the Samaritan
On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 11:45:18 +0100 Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 10/08/2005 11:19, David P Donnelly wrote:
> > ...
> >I find it interesting that the Catholic Church,
> >which teaches that God's name is "Yahweh", ...
> Is this an official teaching of the Catholic Church? Or is it just
> the Church has not objected to its scholars following the scholarly
> consensus here?
> >... quotes Clement of Alexandria as using the spelling "Jaou" [i.e.
> >(in Stromata Book V. in Migne's P.G. col 60).
> >Clement of Alexandria is a canonized Roman Catholic saint,
> >yet they don't quote him as writing "Iaoue" in Stromata Book V.
> Perhaps because the textual situation is uncertain. As I understand
> different manuscripts of Clement have IAOU, IAOUE and IAOUAI.
> >The Catholic Church appears to base its belief that God's name is
> >on the Samaritan name "Jabe" alone.
> Not necessarily. Gesenius had other reasons for preferring this
> including the possible derivation from the verb form. Anyway, I
> think the Catholic Encyclopedia should be taken as official teaching
> the Catholic Church, but rather as the teaching of individual
> scholars which has been found objectionable by the Church.
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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