[b-hebrew] YHWH

Jim West jwest at highland.net
Tue Jul 26 19:16:18 EDT 2005

Not so- the "names of God" found in the Hebrew Bible are not, 
originally, aspects of the one god.  They are individual, local deities 
whose names were absorbed (baptised, if you will) by Jewish and 
Christian tradition into the One God's many names.

Of course Yahweh and Elohim were not interchangeable- nor were El Elyon 
and El Shaddai and El and all the other local deity names taken over by 
the Israelite tradition.  They were discrete, separate, not to be 
confused local overlords.  That's why there was an El and a Baal for 
each little town and village.  And they were named accordingly.

I think it terribly misleading to suggest that ancient Hebrews or 
Canaanites walking around the land would have thought they were talking 
about the same gods when they called them by their different names.  In 
fact, it is eisegesis at its worst.


Shoshanna Walker wrote:

>They are 2 of the many names of G-d, each one referring to a 
>different aspect of G-d.  Interchangeable is not a valid context 
>here, the names are used in different places according to which 
>different aspects of G-d are in play.
>BTW, another interesting data point is that SHEM ADONAI [lit., name
>of Adonai] is very frequent, while SHEM ELOHIM is not.  Clearly, YHWH
>and Elohim were not interchangeable.
D. Jim West

Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com

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