Using the Lord's name


#1

Hi everyone.

Just looking for some clarification about why we as Christians tend to use "God" or "Lord" instead of His proper name. Is this primarily to keep in line with Jewish tradition? I understand that we can't know for certain the correct pronunciation, but, I mean, we say "Jesus" not "Yeshua" and that doesn't seem to be a big deal.

I was raised Catholic and went to church pretty regularly as a kid, went to CCD, etc. Now admittedly, we weren't the most religious family in the world, but I literally grew up never knowing God had a name. It wasn't until a year ago, when I started becoming more interested in my faith and taking a look at the daily mass readings online from a site using the New Jerusalem Bible, that I realized God had a name. Sure, I'd heard of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I had always assumed that was some foreign translation of the word "god." I think it's kind of strange that it's not common knowledge, within Christianity, to know God has a name. I think most Jews are at least familiar that "adonai" stands for something else. Was I the only one so oblivious, or have others experienced this?

I don't necessarily think we should switch to using it suddenly in mass, prayer, etc. - after all, in Jesus' day no one was - but I don't really understand why its use diminished in the first place, and I certainly don't understand why most bibles today don't print it.


#2

I don't have time to post a full answer now, but you can get started on the history of the name here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JHVH


#3

[quote="DaveBj, post:2, topic:321545"]
I don't have time to post a full answer now, but you can get started on the history of the name here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JHVH

[/quote]

I don't know if you fully understood my question. For sure, I've read the Wikipedia pages about it before. I'm relatively familiar with the name's history. For most of history, the use of the name was avoided out of respect, at some point its usage picked up somewhat, and in 2008 it was banned from liturgical use. I guess I don't really get how avoiding saying the name out of respect ever made sense in Christianity - why can we say "Jesus" then? Second, I'm confused about why it seems that knowledge of the name's existence seems to be fading. Regardless of whether we say it aloud, shouldn't we know it exists? When you get to the point that people think God name is actually "God" or "Lord," I feel like there is an issue.


#4

The Congregation for Divine Worship wrote, in a 2008 letter to bishops, "Christians, too, from the beginning never pronounced the divine tetragrammaton." This was the same letter prohibiting the use of the name of God in hymns or songs used at Mass. It would be interesting to read the research behind this.


#5

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:4, topic:321545"]
The Congregation for Divine Worship wrote, in a 2008 letter to bishops, "**Christians, too, from the beginning never pronounced the divine tetragrammaton." **This was the same letter prohibiting the use of the name of God in hymns or songs used at Mass. It would be interesting to read the research behind this.

[/quote]

That is probably true, since by then the Jews had been out of the habit of pronouncing it for several centuries; however, it is not something we can know for sure. It is an unprovable assertion.


#6

[quote="DaveBj, post:5, topic:321545"]
That is probably true, since by then the Jews had been out of the habit of pronouncing it for several centuries; however, it is not something we can know for sure. It is an unprovable assertion.

[/quote]

Yes, I felt the CDW really overstated the case. There is evidence in both art and religious music that at least in Germany, using "Jehovah" was not verboten over the last few centuries.


#7

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