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How, why the sacred name was deleted from the Bible


Tue Apr 9, 2013

Editor: When someone who knows the Hebrew language reads the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, he is confronted with an unavoidable decision when he encounters the Tetragrammaton (the four letters that represent the name of the Almighty Heavenly Father in the Old Testament text). He must make a decision as to what will he do with this Sacred Name?{{more}}

Shall he translate it, as was done by James Moffatt, who placed the term the Eternal in the text of his translation? Shall he substitute a term totally unrelated in meaning, as did the King James translators, who inserted the term the LORD where the four letters of the Tetragrammaton appeared in the text? Shall he follow the practice of the American Standard Revisors of 1901 when they utilized a hybrid transliteration – Jehovah?

Or, shall the reader of the Hebrew text render the Name of the Almighty Heavenly Father — Yahweh, as it should be accurately transliterated?

Please note that “transliterate” is not the same as “translate”. To transliterate means that the sound of the letters of a word are carried across from one language and letters of equivalent value in the second (receptor) language are selected to represent the phonetics of the original word.Without a doubt, logics alone insist that where proper nouns are concerned, it is vital to transliterate them. Many of the names of the patriarchs, prophets (David, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, Solomon, Isaiah, etc) and various other characters in the Bible were faithfully and even slavishly transliterated. Imagine the name of the evil spirit, Satan, was faithfully transliterated, while the name of the true author of the Bible, the one who caused it to be written — Yahweh, was completely removed and a foreign term (Baal) substituted for His Name.

One will immediately asks how it happened. Dr J. B. Rotherham asserted in the introduction to his noted translation of the Bible that it was the Jewish Rabbis and Scribes who sought to eliminate the Name of the Almighty from the reading of the Hebrew Bible. They imposed a kethiv-qere (which means “a word written in one way, that is read or pronounced differently”) where the Almighty Name is concerned.

The following is a quote from the Holy Bible — The New King James with Dictionary Concordance in describing the meaning of Yahweh “… According to Jewish customs, because of reverence the divine name was not to be spoken, so the Hebrew words for LORD and GOD were substituted. Whenever the words LORD and GOD appear in large and small capital letters, the original Hebrew reads YHWH.” Can you imagine that you are worshipping a substituted mighty one?

This misconception was derived from the extreme – reverent interpretation of Exodus 20:7, by scholars who trace this kethiv-qere element. Exodus 20:7 reads “You shall not make wrong use of the Name of Yahweh your Elohim; Yahweh will not leave unpunished the man who misuses his Name”. But, Isaiah 42:8 says “I am Yahweh, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to carven images.”

Why should you use a name that was given to the Almighty by man? Let’s not give Yahweh a nickname, but let us call him by the Name He Himself has chosen to be called and which He recorded in His Word. Most people are irritated when they are so misnamed. Ps. 116:10 – 19; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 52:6 and Hos. 2:16 – 17 are some passages that show the importance of Yahweh’s Name. Let’s not contrive excuses for avoiding the issue, but allow the Word of Yahweh to direct us.

Sheldon Govia
Assemblies of Yahweh – Cedars.