The Name of God Replaced with "Lord"


#1

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

209 Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios).

Is there any documentation to support this? I’m particularly interest in Jewish evidence...


#2

Well, for one, in Hebrew texts of the scriptures with vowel points (all letters are consonants so the vowels get written like diacritical marks), the four-letter name is either written with the vowel points for “Adonai” (Lord) or “Elohim” (God). This led to the mistaken reading of YaHoVaH, “Jehovah”. :smiley:


#3

Also, the Septuagint is a pre-Christian Jewish translation and the four-letter name is always translated, never transliterated (though that would be cool, since it would give us a better idea as to its pronunciation :stuck_out_tongue: )


#4

It depends on what you mean by “documentation.” While you can find much discussion about it throughout the centuries of writing of Judaism, there is no “official” voice of Judaism like the Vicar of Christ or the Church.

Though born into a Catholic family, we are Hebrews by race. As such I do understand a bit about use of the name of God from a Jewish perspective. I can offer that with a start from a few modern writers who might help you understand what a “name” is and means to Hebrews.

In Jewish culture the practice of naming something or someone means that a person has control over that thing or person. In fact what Catholic theologian and Scripture professor John Bergsma writes in his book Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History throws some light on this Hebrew understanding of names.

Giving a name was a very important privilege. Only the creator of something could grant a name to it…God [made] Adam his deputy and [gave] him a divine privilege–the right to name God’s creatures.

The Hebrew word for “name” has the meaning of the English word “handle,” as in “I got a handle on him.” In the 1970s, CB radio users in the United States referred to their radio names as “handles.”

The ancient heathens believed that one had to use a deity’s name in order to get that deity to listen to their prayers and do what they asked. Often they would repeat the name or variants of it so often in a prayer that it would seem like babbling. This is what Jesus was referring to when he stated:

In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.–Matthew 6:7, 8.

God isn’t controlled by the utterance of a name as if one needed to grab God’s attention (God knows everything that is happening without any limitation). And no one can make God do anything, regardless of what name or title they use for God in a prayer.

Unlike the pagans who had control of their gods, the stories of the gods, and who were actually greater than their gods (after all, they named them), God rises so very far above that.

When God revealed his name to Moses, God stated that his name meant “I AM.” The NABRE footnote at Exodus 3:14 says that God’s name “resists unraveling.” “I Am What I Am” or “I Shall Prove to Be What I Prove to Be” basically means that God is defined not by what you or I can call God. God is Self-Defining. God is defined by God. God name is Circular Reasoning of the highest sort.

Judaism for Dummies states regarding why Jews do not utter the Name:

This was to be the Name beyond pronouncing, to remind people that God is beyond the limitations implied in being named.

While in English readers replace the Name of God with “Lord,” in Hebrew “Adonai” (the Hebrew equivalent of "Lord’) is read instead. In fact most Jewish persons say HaShem (meaning “The Name”) instead of uttering the word “God” in daily speech. Because the Scriptures were written in Hebrew reflecting the Hebrew culture, one needs to understand names from the Jewish viewpoint when it comes to use of the Name. Your name and my name our mundane, titles of mere mortals, and can be uttered over and over again. But God’s name is holy, not something to be used as freely or in the same manner as a mundane mortal’s name. And, in fact, the Name is not meant to be fully grasped and handled by the human mind.

You cannot “get a handle” on God.


#5

[quote="Coemgenus_O, post:3, topic:313076"]
Also, the Septuagint is a pre-Christian Jewish translation and the four-letter name is always translated, never transliterated (though that would be cool, since it would give us a better idea as to its pronunciation :P )

[/quote]

Not always the case (although this is known). We have some (pre-Christian) copies of biblical books in Greek where the Name is either transliterated as ιαω Iao (so in a fragment of Leviticus from Qumran, 4Q120) or written in either Paleo-Hebrew or 'Hebrew' script.


#6

I was once scolded by a Jewish friend for saying the name YAHWEH.

But in light of our adoption as children of God the issue is not so difficult. Imagine if you were a poor orphan and a great man adopted you as his child. As soon as he signs the papers you say, "Thank you Mr. So-and-So" and he turns to you and says, "Please, from now on call me Dad." You would never want to call him by his proper name again as everyone else must do.

Remember how Jesus taught us to pray. We call God our Father but we also never forget to revere his name as holy.


#7

[quote="Augustine3, post:1, topic:313076"]
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

209 Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios).

Is there any documentation to support this? I’m particularly interest in Jewish evidence...

[/quote]

...I think you should word this differently... the Jewish people cannot demonstrate why the Catholic Church has determined to do anything...

...as far as proof, even the word God, online, is spelled out G-d by religious Jews due to their belief that pronouncing the name of God is blasphemous/disrespectful... interestingly enough Scriptures never Commands that God's Name be stricken or not pronounced!

Maran atha!

Angel


#8

Actually 'Allah" would have been the earliest usage to refer to God.


#9

Hi, CJeplin!

Welcomed to the forum!

Thank you for your clafication… I hope you become a regular on the forum… and I hope I can drop a few PMs on you dealing with… well… Scriptures and Judaism!

Maran atha!

Angel


#10

[quote="johnnyjones, post:8, topic:313076"]
Actually 'Allah" would have been the earliest usage to refer to God.

[/quote]

...not sure you got it right... considering that the Muslim religion began in the 7th century (610 AD)!

Maran atha!

Angel


#11

All that we know with certainty is that the pronunciation of the shortened form of YHWH is YAH. Psalm 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH (in Hebrew: YAH), and rejoice before him.

Also, we have all of the names that incorporate the divine Name: Elijah (EliYahu), Zechariah (ZecharYah), Isaiah (YeshaYahu), etc. We also have Hallelujah (HalleluYah).


#12

[quote="jcrichton, post:10, topic:313076"]
...not sure you got it right... considering that the Muslim religion began in the 7th century (610 AD)!

Maran atha!

Angel

[/quote]

The Antiochian and other Arabic speaking Christians called God, Allah. We use the word, Allah, in my Melkite parish when we use Arabic. Allah was used by Christians hundreds of years before Islam.


#13

[quote="jcrichton, post:10, topic:313076"]
...not sure you got it right... considering that the Muslim religion began in the 7th century (610 AD)!

Maran atha!

Angel

[/quote]

It has nothing to do with Islam. It is a language issue. Allah means God, it is not the Muslim name for God, although it has evolved to appear that way.


#14

[quote="Zekariya, post:12, topic:313076"]
The Antiochian and other Arabic speaking Christians called God, Allah. We use the word, Allah, in my Melkite parish when we use Arabic. Allah was used by Christians hundreds of years before Islam.

[/quote]

Exactly. Allāh is derived fromthe definite article al- 'the' and ʾilāh 'deity, god'; in other words, 'the God'. Now ʾilāh is cognate with Hebrew ʾēl (cf. ʾelōah, plural forms ʾēlîm / ʾelōhîm), Ugaritic ʾil (plural ʾlm / ʾlhm), Akkadian ilu (plural ilānu), and Aramaic ʼĕlāh(ā) / ʼalâh(â) (note how the Arabic and Aramaic forms, as well as the Hebrew ʾelōah, have an extra h). All these terms are thought to derive from Proto-Semitic *ʾil- or an extended form *ʾilāh-.


#15

[quote="jcrichton, post:7, topic:313076"]
...I think you should word this differently... the Jewish people cannot demonstrate why the Catholic Church has determined to do anything...

...as far as proof, even the word God, online, is spelled out G-d by religious Jews due to their belief that pronouncing the name of God is blasphemous/disrespectful... interestingly enough Scriptures never Commands that God's Name be stricken or not pronounced!

Maran atha!

Angel

[/quote]

They don't of course, but they get this from the commandment which prohibits misusing the name of God (traditionally "taking His name in vain") and the mandate that "he who blasphemes the Name of Yhwh must be put to death." In the later targumim (translations of OT books into Aramaic) the passage is often rendered as "he who pronounces the name in blasphemy..." or "pronounces and blasphemes the Name..."


#16

[quote="Augustine3, post:1, topic:313076"]
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

209 Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios).

Is there any documentation to support this? I’m particularly interest in Jewish evidence...

[/quote]

There's tons of "documentation" to demonstrate this in the modern context. The Jewish Publication Society has a Torah commentary series which illustrates it, based as it is on the JPS translation of 1985 of the Hebrew scriptures.

I have only a few books from the Artscroll Jewish publishing house but it amply illustrates this rule, if only briefly explaining it. These books also use the term Ha Shem, Hashem which means "the Name."

Abraham Cohen's Everyman's Talmud might be on the shelf of a well-stocked public library. It explains the Talmud for Jewish and non-Jewish readers. Again, this is a modern book which illustrates/defines it. I don't recall where it is in the book, but the book is well-organized and easy to read. It's surprising how much there is in common between Jewish and Catholic faith. Cohen explains the Jewish version of purgatory, for example, but the origin of that belief in OT literature is not clear.


#17

[quote="Zekariya, post:12, topic:313076"]
The Antiochian and other Arabic speaking Christians called God, Allah. We use the word, Allah, in my Melkite parish when we use Arabic. Allah was used by Christians hundreds of years before Islam.

[/quote]

...I stand (sit) corrected! :o:o:o

Maran atha!

Angel


#18

[quote="johnnyjones, post:13, topic:313076"]
It has nothing to do with Islam. It is a language issue. Allah means God, it is not the Muslim name for God, although it has evolved to appear that way.

[/quote]

...I've known a few people (NY/NJ) who are Jews (some practicing Judaism, some not) and this never came up... the only people refering to God as Allah were Muslims (NY/NJ/DE), my understanding had been limited to that experience!

Maran atha!

Angel


#19

[quote="patrick457, post:15, topic:313076"]
They don't of course, but they get this from the commandment which prohibits misusing the name of God (traditionally "taking His name in vain") and the mandate that "he who blasphemes the Name of Yhwh must be put to death." In the later targumim (translations of OT books into Aramaic) the passage is often rendered as "he who pronounces the name in blasphemy..." or "pronounces and blasphemes the Name..."

[/quote]

I fully concur!

Maran atha!

Angel


#20

[quote="sirach2v4, post:16, topic:313076"]
There's tons of "documentation" to demonstrate this in the modern context. The Jewish Publication Society has a Torah commentary series which illustrates it, based as it is on the JPS translation of 1985 of the Hebrew scriptures.

I have only a few books from the Artscroll Jewish publishing house but it amply illustrates this rule, if only briefly explaining it. These books also use the term Ha Shem, Hashem which means "the Name."

Abraham Cohen's Everyman's Talmud might be on the shelf of a well-stocked public library. It explains the Talmud for Jewish and non-Jewish readers. Again, this is a modern book which illustrates/defines it. I don't recall where it is in the book, but the book is well-organized and easy to read. It's surprising how much there is in common between Jewish and Catholic faith. Cohen explains the Jewish version of purgatory, for example, but the origin of that belief in OT literature is not clear.

[/quote]

...when we read the books of Macabbees we find several practices not well known or seen throughout Scriptures... such as praying for the dead... that coupled with those who descend into Sheol (not Hell) could well be the source of "purgatory"--now if we throw in the emerging Church's practice of being Baptized for the dead and St. Paul's admonishion about how well we build upon the foundation (Christ) since we will pass through some sort of purification where these materials will be burnt and those who have built with the lesser materials will be scarcely Saved... then, throw in Apocalypse's warning that nothing impure will enter into the City... well... there's some heavy purging going on (purgatory)!

Maran atha!

Angel


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