Author Topic: Tetragrammaton  (Read 1831 times)

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Offline Rosehip

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Tetragrammaton
« on: October 02, 2009, 07:37:03 PM »
I've always wondered why some Christians insist upon calling God "YHWH'. What is the Orthodox opinion of this practice?
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2009, 10:57:20 PM »
It's just the Messianic Jews who follow this practice. Everyone else calls him God, as we Orthodox do.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 11:01:11 PM »
trying to create non-existent roots.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 11:04:05 PM »
Oh, sorry, I discovered too late that there already is a thread about this... :-[ At any rate, there are some people who always say 'YHWH' who aren't Messianics.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2009, 11:10:06 PM »
Oh, sorry, I discovered too late that there already is a thread about this... :-[ At any rate, there are some people who always say 'YHWH' who aren't Messianics.
Yeah, those people are

trying to create non-existent roots.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2009, 11:58:04 PM »
Would it be right to assume that Orthodox should refrain from trying to even pronunciate the word? I know that in Traditional Roman Catholicism it was considered tantamount to blasphemy to say it. I find it troubling when these "messianic" or "charismatic" groups do so. It just doesn't sit well with me.

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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 12:32:10 AM »
Would it be right to assume that Orthodox should refrain from trying to even pronunciate the word? I know that in Traditional Roman Catholicism it was considered tantamount to blasphemy to say it. I find it troubling when these "messianic" or "charismatic" groups do so. It just doesn't sit well with me.
Nah, saying Yahweh isn't blasphemous, just weird. The Apostles used the term "our Lord Jesus Christ" or a variant thereof, so it stands to reason that we should also.

On the other hand, the word "pronunciate" is blasphemous and should be replaced with the much more holy "pronounce." ;D
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline AlexanderOfBergamo

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 07:19:49 AM »
Some Church Fathers tried to reconstruct the pronunciation for the Tetragrammaton, but the fact is that the LXX, the Greek New Testament, Liturgy and all the quotations thereof use the translations "Lord" and "God" instead. Knowing a name is knowing a reality, but we know (and own) God's essence. The Name was pronounced even in Judaism only in a limited form (in particular, the High Priest in the Holy of holies). I know that Jehovah's Witnesses use the reading "Jehovah" for the Holy Name using specific quotes, such as
Quote
O magnify Jehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3)
  to say that pronouncing the name is necessary to fulfill God's will. The truth is that:
1) None, even the church fathers, know/knew the real pronounciation of God's Name, the Tetragrammaton.
2) The Name of God, for Christians, is 'Father'.
3) When we are baptised in God's name, we are baptised "in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", which has been correctly named the Holy Trinity by the Church. That's the true Name of God we have been given to pray and praise Him.
4) The New Testament, despite all claims from JWs, has never used the Tetragrammaton, and so did the LXX whence the NT quotations come from.

Now, the question is: can God's name be pronounced? I would say: yes and no. Yes: when we need to explain its meaning, for example when reading God's name in Exodus 3:14. No: when in ordinary life we have to invoke or name Him, because we have plenty of other useful titles for YHWH such as Lord, God, Father, Almighty, Most High, and Holy Trinity. Personally, if I am to name God as in the first case, I embrace no official pronunciation and adopt a spelling Yod-He-Waw-He which serves correctly for its purpose. Our salvation isn't - as JWs claim - dependent on our invoking of God with the name he adopted to reveal to Moses, but on our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in the church He built 2000 years ago.

In Christ,  Alex
"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")

Offline Nazarene

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 04:57:05 PM »
Some Church Fathers tried to reconstruct the pronunciation for the Tetragrammaton, but the fact is that the LXX, the Greek New Testament, Liturgy and all the quotations thereof use the translations "Lord" and "God" instead. Knowing a name is knowing a reality, but we know (and own) God's essence. The Name was pronounced even in Judaism only in a limited form (in particular, the High Priest in the Holy of holies).

Some of the Greek Qumran mss have the Tetragrammaton inscribed in paleo-Hebrew script, eg:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lxx_Minorprophets.gif

Papyrus fragment from Nahal Hever scroll including Habakkuk 2:19, 20 dated to between 50 BCE and 50 CE.

I know that Jehovah's Witnesses use the reading "Jehovah" for the Holy Name using specific quotes, such as
Quote
O magnify Jehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3)
  to say that pronouncing the name is necessary to fulfill God's will. The truth is that:
1) None, even the church fathers, know/knew the real pronounciation of God's Name, the Tetragrammaton.
2) The Name of God, for Christians, is 'Father'.
3) When we are baptised in God's name, we are baptised "in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", which has been correctly named the Holy Trinity by the Church. That's the true Name of God we have been given to pray and praise Him.
4) The New Testament, despite all claims from JWs, has never used the Tetragrammaton, and so did the LXX whence the NT quotations come from.

Jehovah, *cringe*, don't those over zealous door to door evangelists know that there is no "J" sound in Hebrew.

And regarding the Tetragrammaton in the NT, the Peshitta has MarYah (Master Yah) which comes close and is much more specific than Kurios.

Now, the question is: can God's name be pronounced? I would say: yes and no. Yes: when we need to explain its meaning, for example when reading God's name in Exodus 3:14. No: when in ordinary life we have to invoke or name Him, because we have plenty of other useful titles for YHWH such as Lord, God, Father, Almighty, Most High, and Holy Trinity. Personally, if I am to name God as in the first case, I embrace no official pronunciation and adopt a spelling Yod-He-Waw-He which serves correctly for its purpose. Our salvation isn't - as JWs claim - dependent on our invoking of God with the name he adopted to reveal to Moses, but on our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in the church He built 2000 years ago.

In Christ,  Alex

The Samaritan pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton is Yahwah but proper study into the antiquity of this pronunciation has been largely ignored. If their pronunciation dates to the 2nd Temple era we may have the true pronunciation. I have heard that there is a story in the Jerusalem Talmud of Yeshua (yes our Messiah) healing someone in the "Divine Name" and this can only refer to the Tetragrammaton. In any case I'm pretty sure Messiah knew how to pronounce it.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 04:58:42 PM by Nazarene »

Offline AlexanderOfBergamo

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2009, 08:02:04 AM »
Well, Jesus didn't need to pronounce His own name in the third person, to tell the truth. In fact, in the Gospel of John he called himself with His own name in the first person: "I AM", like God did with Moses, before being arrested, and the name had power enough to make the soldiers fall onto the ground LOL
I know the Peshitta used MarYah. In fact, we ordinarily pronounce the brief form "Yah" for God's name continuously when we say "Halleluyah" or, in a variant of the Name, in all Biblical names including the Y-h letters, such as Jesus, Joseph, James, John, Isaiah, Zechariah, Ezechiah, Joshua, and so on. So, the problem isn't "can God's name be pronounced"? The problem is: can we dare to pronounce the full name of God, when there's no unanimous knowledge of the Name's pronounciation? This encourages to keep the name translated as "the Lord" or to quote it as the proper Tetragrammaton in case of necessity (as I already said above).
As for Jehovah: do you know that in Italy they use the form "Geova" (pronounced Jeh-oh-vah) which is completely different in its written form than the original "Yehovah"? Sincerely, I wouldn't take those heretic so seriously, they don't merit such attention with their novelties.

In Christ,   Alex
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Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 04:49:29 PM »
The truth is that:
1) None, even the church fathers, know/knew the real pronounciation of God's Name, the Tetragrammaton.
2) The Name of God, for Christians, is 'Father'.
3) When we are baptised in God's name, we are baptised "in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", which has been correctly named the Holy Trinity by the Church. That's the true Name of God we have been given to pray and praise Him.
4) The New Testament, despite all claims from JWs, has never used the Tetragrammaton, and so did the LXX whence the NT quotations come from.


Good points all.
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Offline mathetes

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 04:11:47 AM »
It's just the Messianic Jews who follow this practice. Everyone else calls him God, as we Orthodox do.

Actually, Messianic Jews say Lord, God, Adonai, and sometimes HaShem (The Name) just as Rabbinical Jews do.  Sacred Namers are the ones who try to pronounce the Tetragrammaton and sometimes refer to Jesus as Yahshua or Yahushua instead of as Yeshua.

As one poster correctly notes later in this thread, our Lord said we should address God as our Father in prayer (Matthew 6:9).
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Offline believer74

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2009, 01:00:40 AM »
I think it's err on the side of being careful and not pronounce God's personal name. I also like the symbolism - maybe this is also a Messianic thing - of writing G-d so as not to accidentally disrespect things written about Him.

Offline GammaRay

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Re: Tetragrammaton
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 07:14:48 AM »
Because it's eeasier. :P
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