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A Scriptural Challenge to all Christians

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The Tetragrammaton

In the course of the history of the latest creation in which we live, the name of our Creator Yahuwah, our Father and the Father of our Savior Yahushua, was spoken aloud in praise, worship, and everyday speech for millennia by the Ibriy speaking people. He was called El (Mighty One) by many peoples of the earth before He set Yisra’el aside as His special people, but many were also aware of his true name prior to that time. The reason for this “setting aside” of that nation is quite involved and too big a story for this article, but the reason is readily apparent when you study scripture. When Yisra’el was sent into captivity in foreign countries due to their disobedience to the statues and laws given to them by Yahuwah (the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton), they never forgot His name, but they did disguise it to prevent it being blasphemed by their captors. Early in their captivity they restricted its use, meaning speaking the name aloud, to private gatherings. As time went by the rabbis increased the restrictions, just as they did for the shabbath, until it was not spoken aloud at any time by anybody. When reading scripture the reader spoke the word “Adonay” whenever he came across the Tetragrammaton. Eventually the name became “ineffable,” or not supposed to spoken aloud under any circumstances.

B’ereshiyth (Genesis) 2:4 is the first place in scripture where the Tetragrammaton appears.

Most English versions render that passage as LORD or GOD similar to the manner of the 1611 KJV and through its several revisions right up to the 1769 KJV in use today.

Of the English versions I have on my computer, all of the following versions follow the KJV in their rendering.

Two English versions render the Tetragrammaton as “YAHWEH,” which is almost as bad as “GOD.” I am sure there are others that do this also, I just don’t have them on my computer.

Others render it as “JEHOVAH” which is admittedly an attempt at getting it right, but it misses the mark for several reasons, among them the fact that there never has been a letter in the Ibriy language that corresponds to the English letter “J” in sound or shape.

At least one version (below) continues the rabbinical disguise placed on the Tetragrammaton.

The Basic Bible in English and the TANAKH omit a rendering completely.

Below is the actual transliteration of that passage from the Masoretic Text. Note that the Tetragrammaton YHWH is here rendered as “adonay” also.

Finally, the rendering from “The Sacred Scripture of Yahuwah, Restored Names Version.”

Since we know that the Tetragrammaton represents a name and not a title (lord, god, etc.), and He has given us that name almost 7,000 times in His written word, it seems to me that the prudent thing that we should be doing is using His name as given and not replacing it with pagan names and secular titles. Read the following passage closely and pay very close attention to the last sentence.

I will continue to ask those who insist on calling Him LORD or GOD the following question.

“Scripture is so adamant about His name and that in order to be part of His family we MUST call on that name, how then can you call on a name you do not know or refuse to acknowledge?” (See Proverbs 30:4)

C.F. Castleberry
buck@considerthis.net
http://www.considerthis.net