[b-hebrew] "Yahweh" occurs 6823 times in the Roman Catholic NewJerusalem Bible BUT occurs "ZERO" times in the underlying Hebrew

Stephen Shead srshead+bh at gmail.com
Sun Jul 25 16:12:19 EDT 2010


> P.S. Why does this issue appear to be ignored on B-Hebrew?

OK, I've been avoiding taking the bait with your repeated questions on this
issue. However, I'm happy to give you my answer to this particular "why"
question - basically because my answer may be a somewhat different "take" on
the issues to what others have said.

First, like Barry, I have an academic/linguistic interest in the precise
"original" spelling and pronunciation of YHWH. I'm intrigued by it, and
would love to know. However, as others have pointed out, the issue has been
well and truly flogged many times on b-hebrew, and I'm not sure there's much
to add, in terms of linguistics or manuscript evidence. If the poor horse
isn't dead yet, surely it's cruel to make it suffer more...

Second, unlike Barry -- though without wanting to insult him or anyone else
in the world :)  -- I also have a profoundly "religious" interest in the
name of God in the Bible. I consider myself a conservative Christian. (I
just want to make it clear where I'm coming from - the last thing I am
trying to do is start a faith-based debate!!!!!)

However, my own faith-position, on the basis of my understanding of both the
Hebrew Bible and the NT, is that the importance of the "name" of God in the
Bible has little or nothing to do with pronouncing it correctly. (I'm not
even sure just *why* correct pronunciation would be so important. So as not
to offend Him, maybe? Genuine question...).

Moreover, the evidence of both the LXX and the NT is that at least
*some*Jews or Jewish communities thought the same, since they rendered
the Name in
Greek translations not with an attempted *transcription*, but rather with a
sort of *translation*, if that's the best way to describe it (i.e. "kurios")
- with something that they considered the Name to communicate about God. I
know the LXX evidence is mixed on this front - but that makes no difference
to my point. Some, at least, "translated" the significance of the Name.

And incidentally, the manuscript evidence for the NT is not mixed. I have no
doubt whatsoever that the NT authors were among those who chose to
"translate" the Name rather than transcribe it.

I am not willing to enter into a debate about whether I'm right or wrong in
my theological interpretation of the Name (at least, not on list), because
that would go beyond the list's charter. Sincere apologies if anyone
considers that I've already over-stepped the mark! I neither want to push my
agenda nor sneak in a religious debate. But Dave, you seem completely at a
loss to understand why anyone might NOT consider the exact pronunciation of
the name of utmost importance, so I wanted to show you that even some
conservative "religious" sorts might actually have a well-thought-out reason
not to.

Best regards,
Stephen Shead
Centro de Estudios Pastorales
Santiago, Chile

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