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    Yahweh Version of the Bible

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    Nathan James Norman
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    Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Nathan James Norman on April 21st 2014, 10:20 am

    Paeter mentioned his mentor wanting a "Yahweh" version of the Bible in the most recent podcast.
    For those who aren't aware, every time you see "the LORD" (with LORD all in caps) in the Old Testament, that's actually the name YHWH or Yahweh in the original Hebrew.

    There's reasons why we've substituted the personal name of God, Yahweh, with LORD in English Bibles. But I don't think we were correct to do so. (Although I understand why.... and we could discuss those reasons if anyone is terribly interested.)

    There is, however, a great and accurate translation that actually uses the name Yahweh throughout the Old Testament: The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

    I've been reading and preaching from this version for about four years now and I love it for it's accuracy (yes... I do use the original Hebrew and Greek texts in my sermon prep) and for it's readability.

    It doesn't translate Yahweh every single time. And I think they were wise to do this. For the simple reason that the average man on the street or in the pew doesn't recognize the name Yahweh. (In fact, I'm preaching through Genesis right now... and I usually add at least one aside whenever I mention Yahweh.)

    Here's a couple of videos the publisher put out.




    Full Disclosure - I am an ordained Southern Baptist pastor who graduated with an M.Div. from the evangelically-minded, inter-denominational seminary, Talbot School of Theology (part of Biola University)

    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Nathan James Norman on April 21st 2014, 10:23 am

    Oh! And let me say that there are PLENTY of great Bible translations out there!

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  WhiteBoy on April 21st 2014, 12:19 pm

    There's reasons why we've substituted the personal name of God, Yahweh, with LORD in English Bibles.
    I'll bite. Smile Other than the one you mentioned, I'm interested in why this is done. I've never really considered it. I know some think it is too holy so refuse to call him by name. Perhaps it has its roots in that?

    Nathan James Norman wrote:Oh! And let me say that there are PLENTY of great Bible translations out there!
    No, no!  I heard you clearly say that the HCSB is the *only* truly inerrant translation!  Smile

    I have checked out the HCSB a little and do use it occasionally.  I mainly use NASB (personally) or ESV (what our pastor uses).  

    More to your point, though, I have thought before that it would be nice to have something that did use the names of God like you described.  I think there is a Jewish translation that does, and maybe that's the version to which Paeter is referring.  (I haven't listened to the episode yet.)

    Passages like Psalm 110:1 would be enlightened if instead of:
    The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
    it read
    Yahweh says to Adonai: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
    .
    (Really hoping I remembered the correct names there in my substitutions!)  Smile  The first might be a little confusing if you don't notice the capitalization techniques used by translators.  The second makes it more clear that there are two persons involved.  One can easily conclude that it is an account of intra-Trinity communication.

    Plus I think in today's time of emphasis on "inclusion" it's good to be reminded of God's names (none of which are Allah).


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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Nathan James Norman on April 21st 2014, 5:27 pm

    WhiteBoy wrote:
    I'll bite.  Smile  Other than the one you mentioned, I'm interested in why this is done.  I've never really considered it.  I know some think it is too holy so refuse to call him by name.  Perhaps it has its roots in that?

    In very simplistic terms (so don't quote me in a scholarly paper from here... or ever):

    1. During the inter-testamental period the Jewish people, very concerned with keeping the Law (because they never again wanted to experience exile) built a hedge of rules around the actual Law itself. The thought process was, that if they violated the hedge... well then they hadn't actually violated the Law and everything would be okay. So, in order to not violate the command "thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain" the personal name of God was not spoken.

    2. In place of Yahweh, they began saying "Adonai" which means "lord, master".

    3. Saying "Yahweh" became blasphemy.

    4. In the Greek version of the Old Testament (translated before the New Testament), Yahweh was translated "Adonai"

    5. After the New Testament was written and the Hebrew language was beginning to wane, a group of Jewish scholars added "points" under and above the text to indicate the vowel-sounds the words should make.
    5a. When it came to adding vowels to the name "Yahweh" instead of adding the correct vowels, they added the vowels from Adonai... just in case someone was reading outloud and said the word... they would say a nonesense word instead of saying the sacred name. (So "Jahowah").
    5b. Good readers were supposed to substitute "Adonai" in the place of "Yahweh."

    6. This tradition went on for centuries.

    7. When the Bible was translated into English several factors decided on "LORD"
    - Tradition
    - Limited understanding of Hebrew
    - Superstition
    - No knowledge on what the sacred name of God actually was, or how to pronounce it
    - The problem was compounded by German Scholarship which confused both consonants and vowels of "YHWH"
    - Tradition

    8. Fast-forward to last century. Non-scholarly Christians and first year Hebrew students "discovered" the secret name of God: "Jehovah"! There was only two problems with this name - the consonants, and the vowels. Ancient Hebrew has no "J" or "v". Those were adopted from German scholarship (whoops!) And the vowels were not the vowels of Yahweh... but from "Adonai". Whoops!

    9. So, because of tradition. Poor scholarship. Limited Hebrew resources. Superstition... and once again Tradition... the personal name of God has been largely excluded in English translations.... until the last few years.

    (Also note... there is a very poor translation out there, which inserts the name "Yahweh" into the NT. The NT never uses the personal name... it often eludes to it, but never directly.)


    WhiteBoy wrote:
    No, no!  I heard you clearly say that the HCSB is the *only* truly inerrant translation!  Smile

    You have my sense of humor! Awesome!  lol! 


    WhiteBoy wrote:Passages like Psalm 110:1 would be enlightened if instead of:
    The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
    it read
    Yahweh says to Adonai: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
    .
    (Really hoping I remembered the correct names there in my substitutions!)  Smile  The first might be a little confusing if you don't notice the capitalization techniques used by translators.  The second makes it more clear that there are two persons involved.  One can easily conclude that it is an account of intra-Trinity communication.

    Plus I think in today's time of emphasis on "inclusion" it's good to be reminded of God's names (none of which are Allah).
    [/quote]

    This is a great point and clarification you've made.

    The distinction of persons is very important.
    Also, "Yahweh" just feels so much more personal and concrete than the title "Lord". Great points!

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  WhiteBoy on April 21st 2014, 7:17 pm

    Nathan James Norman wrote:There was only two problems with this name - the consonants, and the vowels.
    I laugh out very loudly at this!!    lol!  Smile

    Nathan James Norman wrote:So, because of tradition. Poor scholarship. Limited Hebrew resources. Superstition... and once again Tradition... the personal name of God has been largely excluded in English translations.... until the last few years.

    You know, I think you mentioned tradition about four times in your explanation.  A simple oversight on your part I'm sure.  Wink  tongue 

    Very enlightening.  Thanks for the background on that, Nathan!

    Chad


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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Nathan James Norman on April 21st 2014, 7:45 pm

    WhiteBoy wrote:
    Nathan James Norman wrote:There was only two problems with this name - the consonants, and the vowels.
    I laugh out very loudly at this!!    lol!  Smile

    I stole that line from my hilarious and elderly Hebrew professor!



    WhiteBoy wrote:You know, I think you mentioned tradition about four times in your explanation.  A simple oversight on your part I'm sure.  Wink  tongue 

    Very enlightening.  Thanks for the background on that, Nathan!

    Chad

    You are welcome Chad!

    And yes... the tradition thing has been huge! The superstition is almost as bad.

    Truth be told... if I'm being really honest... I had to struggle through the superstition thing myself about six or seven years ago

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  tmorrill on April 23rd 2014, 1:42 am

    WhiteBoy wrote:
    Plus I think in today's time of emphasis on "inclusion" it's good to be reminded of God's names (none of which are Allah).

    I get what you meant to say. The god of Islam is not Yahweh, and the Koran goes out of it's way to deny core aspects of Christianity like the death and resurrection of Jesus and the Trinity, so obviously the two religions are irreconcilable theologically speaking.

    At the linguistic level however Allah means God in Arabic, just like Elohim is a Hebrew translation for the God. So, when Arab Christians are worshiping in their native language, they use the word Allah when they worship the God of the Bible.

    Oh and I like to refer to Jehova as God's nickname. Not out of disrespect to Him, but as a way of mocking tradition overriding truth.

    Edit: Also, hooray for me being the 1000 post in this forum. Go Travis.

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  rossmcclure4 on May 4th 2014, 8:07 am

    Nathan James Norman wrote:5. After the New Testament was written and the Hebrew language was beginning to wane, a group of Jewish scholars added "points" under and above the text to indicate the vowel-sounds the words should make.
    5a. When it came to adding vowels to the name "Yahweh" instead of adding the correct vowels, they added the vowels from Adonai... just in case someone was reading outloud and said the word... they would say a nonesense word instead of saying the sacred name. (So "Jahowah").
    5b. Good readers were supposed to substitute "Adonai" in the place of "Yahweh."

    Wow I didn't know that...ummm...isn't there like a whole demonination based on that name? Oh no :-(

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  tmorrill on May 4th 2014, 11:56 pm

    rossmcclure4 wrote:
    Nathan James Norman wrote:5. After the New Testament was written and the Hebrew language was beginning to wane, a group of Jewish scholars added "points" under and above the text to indicate the vowel-sounds the words should make.
    5a. When it came to adding vowels to the name "Yahweh" instead of adding the correct vowels, they added the vowels from Adonai... just in case someone was reading outloud and said the word... they would say a nonesense word instead of saying the sacred name. (So "Jahowah").
    5b. Good readers were supposed to substitute "Adonai" in the place of "Yahweh."

    Wow I didn't know that...ummm...isn't there like a whole denomination based on that name?  Oh no :-(  




    Although I do like it when they come to my door, it's the mission field coming to me and I don't even need to put pants on.

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Paeter on May 6th 2014, 4:01 pm

    rossmcclure4 wrote:

    Wow I didn't know that...ummm...isn't there like a whole demonination based on that name?  Oh no :-(  

    As a side note, I would describe Jehovah's Witnesses as part of another religion that off-shoots from orthodox Christianity rather than a denomination/flavor within orthodox Christianity. Much like those of the LDS persuasion, JW's use much of the same vocab words as Christians, but with very different definitions from the same words used in the context of orthodox Christianity.


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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  tmorrill on May 6th 2014, 4:53 pm

    Paeter wrote:
    rossmcclure4 wrote:

    Wow I didn't know that...ummm...isn't there like a whole demonination based on that name?  Oh no :-(  

    As a side note, I would describe Jehovah's Witnesses as part of another religion that off-shoots from orthodox Christianity rather than a denomination/flavor within orthodox Christianity

    Or as I call it a damnable heresy that's deceived millions into hell while some Christians quickly turn their lights off and hide when they (or LDSers) show up at the door.

    That's not a condemnation of any specific person here except me, and just a general condemnation of a train of thought I've seen from several people at multiple churches. That's also a separate issue.

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Paeter on May 6th 2014, 5:23 pm

    tmorrill wrote:
    Paeter wrote:
    rossmcclure4 wrote:

    Wow I didn't know that...ummm...isn't there like a whole demonination based on that name?  Oh no :-(  

    As a side note, I would describe Jehovah's Witnesses as part of another religion that off-shoots from orthodox Christianity rather than a denomination/flavor within orthodox Christianity

    Or as I call it a damnable heresy that's deceived millions into hell while some Christians quickly turn their lights off and hide when they (or LDSers) show up at the door.

    That may be true. But I'm not sure that label is helpful to even-tempered dialogue should any JW's or Mormons be lurking these forums.

    I can totally relate to your passion on the issue, however. It's one of many invisible tragedies playing out in front of us.



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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  mindspike on May 6th 2014, 6:34 pm

    Ken Ham has some things to say on the subject that I've found very helpful. He's written several books on the subject, and has multiple resources dedicated to bridging the gaps between the Hebraic faiths (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, LDS, Jehova Witness, etc.).

    Ham begins and ends his arguments with the book of Genesis, on the premise that it is the one source material on which everyone agrees. He then lays out an argument for the necessity of salvation by grace through faith as a free gift of God. His material is very educational and well worth spending some time studying if you desire to be able to dialog in a meaningful way with sincere people of these other faiths.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/


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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  tmorrill on May 6th 2014, 9:08 pm

    mindspike wrote:Ken Ham has some things to say on the subject that I've found very helpful. He's written several books on the subject, and has multiple resources dedicated to bridging the gaps between the Hebraic faiths (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, LDS, Jehova Witness, etc.).

    Ham begins and ends his arguments with the book of Genesis, on the premise that it is the one source material on which everyone agrees. He then lays out an argument for the necessity of salvation by grace through faith as a free gift of God. His material is very educational and well worth spending some time studying if you desire to be able to dialog in a meaningful way with sincere people of these other faiths.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/

    Personally I'm not a fan of Ham, I think he's overly dogmatic about scripture in regards to Creation.

    That being said, I just read one of the articles on AiG about Islam, and it's pretty spot on. There are minor points I'd quibble with him on, but nothing major. I might give some of his other stuff a look.

    There was a Pastor I found on Sermon Audio who did a message on how to witness to JWs. This is a quick summary I found of it on a different forum.

    First have them read from the NWT Revelation 1:8. Then ask them who the Alpha and the Omega is. They will say that Jehovah God the Almighty is the Alpha and Omega.

    Then, ask them to read Revelation 21:6. Ask them who is the beginning and the end. They will say that Jehovah God, who is the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty is the beginning and the end.

    Then ask them to read Revelation 22:13. Ask them who is the first and the last. They will say Jehovah God. Do not go to verse 16 next as they will just tell you that the speakers change throughout this passage, don't argue. Up until now we have been non-confrontational. Next is the confrontational part.

    Ask them to go back a read Revelation 1:17-18. Then ask them when Jehovah God died. Then quickly go to Isaiah 44:6 where God says that He is the first and the last and that there is no god besides Him.

    Apparently, asking them when Jehovah God died will throw them into a state of confusion and they will try to leave.

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  WhiteBoy on May 7th 2014, 7:34 am

    tmorrill wrote:At the linguistic level however Allah means God in Arabic, just like Elohim is a Hebrew translation for the God. So, when Arab Christians are worshiping in their native language, they use the word Allah when they worship the God of the Bible.

    Good to know.  Thanks.  I'm glad you understood my intent, even though what I said was not accurate.  Smile

    I typically like Ken Ham's stuff (including his creation stance) ...I'll check it out.


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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  rossmcclure4 on May 28th 2014, 1:49 am

    tmorrill wrote:Although I do like it when they come to my door, it's the mission field coming to me and I don't even need to put pants on.

    For Jehovah's sake, tmorrill put your pants back on!  Laughing 

    Also you guys should really stop picking on people that abuse LDS, I've heard that stuff can be really addictive and make you see zoo animals and smell colors.

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    Re: Yahweh Version of the Bible

    Post  Paeter on May 28th 2014, 3:28 pm

    [quote="rossmcclure4"]
    tmorrill wrote:

    Also you guys should really stop picking on people that abuse LDS, I've heard that stuff can be really addictive and make you see zoo animals and smell colors.

     lol! 

    I don't know. I grew up around a bunch of LDS and never experienced those effects...


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