Journal of Heresies

My search for truth in a world of deceit.

Location: United States

I have what is probably an insatiable desire to search out the answers to what may be impossible questions.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Does it matter how God's name is translated?

Blind beggar left a comment on Dr. Mariottini's recent post on The Name of God in bible Translations. My reply to his/her comment was getting too long for the comment page as well, so I'm posting it here.

blind beggar said:

I’m not sure why it matters since Jesus told us to address him as Father. I don’t go around calling my father by his given name, he is dad.

I’m sure I must be missing the point (and I apologize for doing so), but does it matter how YHWH is translated?

This is an important question to consider. Here are my thoughts:

If someone asked you what your father's name is, how would you reply?

More importantly, however, YHVH's name clarifies who He is. He isn't just any god, He isn't Allah, or Zeus who both are viewed as fathers of gods and men. He is the One who is, the eternal One, Creator of all, the gracious God of Israel, and King of the universe about whom the Bible is written. Would it not be silly to write a book about someone and never say who that someone is? If you made a photo album for your grandchildren, would you only list your dad, as "Dad" or would you make sure that somewhere in there they saw his full name, and that they saw it often enough to remember it? Just as there can be many fathers, but only one who is yours (and whose name you yourself have as your own), so there are many 'gods' and 'lords', but only one who is YHVH. If a persons name is important, how much more important is the name of our God?

Those who collected the books of the Old Testament thought the name was so important that inclusion of the name YHVH was one of the requirements for canonization (which is why the inclusion of the book of Esther is sometimes questioned). Yet, ironically todays English Bibles hardly even mention the name.

Also, many people think that the terms LORD, Lord, GOD and God as used in our Bibles are equivalent terms. But the Hebrew distinguishes between these and sometimes knowing which Hebrew word was meant brings a better understanding of the passage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling YHVH "Father," but allowing His name to be lost and relatively unknown to the world is in my opinion as tragic as taking His name in vain. I realize that the issue doesn't even come to the minds of most people, but that itself is part of the tragedy. We should not allow our Father's name to be blotted out of our books and ultimately our minds.


Blogger lkn4truth said...

Also, the ommiting of the personal name makes it easier for those who want to make "Jesus" out to be god to make him out as being the SAME God. Notice the difference between:

"I am the LORD, you shall have no other gods before me"


"I am YHWH, you shall have no other gods before me."

By using a generic "Lord" then the Christian can claim that since "Jesus" is called "Lord" and the Father is called Lord that this must be the same Lord (a multiplicity being both called Lord). Only when you realize that YHWH spoke these words about HIMSELF and that "Jesus" never claimed to be YHWH do you realize they CANNOT be equivilent statements.

"I am YHWH, before me no gods were created and there will be none after."

The true power of monotheism is only seen when one realizes the creator has a presonal name.

9:17 PM, August 14, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...

It is important to realize that the Father has many, many, names, each describing an aspect of Himself. Therefore He is the Father, the God of Gods, etc.

Another thing you should realize, is that the Godhead is made up of many, many beings, each bearing the common titles Lord and God. Also, all the beings in this kingdom of God, form a perfect union and are hence one. That is why Christ both distinguished Himself from the Father, yet claimed that the two of them are one.

Therefore when the God in the Old Testament said that you should have no other Gods besides Him, He meant that you should have no Gods except those that belong to the union of God. Remember, the union of God is spiritual body having many members - just like the human body has many members. If the head of my body was to say to you that you should regard it only as your God, wouldn't you also regard my eyes, nose, ears, and shoulders as your God as well?

Please don't sweat over the name Yahweh. Ensure that you have faith correctly, and you will be in full compliance with all of God's law.

11:06 PM, August 14, 2006  
Blogger שמע יהוה said...

So it seems Mr Douglas here is going to be regularly using your comment section to tell you what you are doing wrong by listening to scripture rather than churches even though you are significantly more ground in scripture than him.....

Oh well perhaps some prayer that Mr. Douglas will start studying scripture and start thinking about what he believes is in order

I'm suddenly getting urges to mention that comments can be deleted...even though you obviously know that....I am so turning into my grandfather

7:37 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...

How is Fencekicker more grounded than me is scripture? By virtue of what? Also, if you guys don't want me hanging around here, just say so and I'll leave.

9:34 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger fencekicker said...

Those who comment here are entitled to their viewpoints.

Please don't feel you need to defend me, and please don't assume that the opinions of other commenters are the same as my opinion. Do feel free to expound on why you believe what you believe.

Also, I have grown accustomed to people thinking/saying that my beliefs are wrong. That is one reason I titled my blog "Journal of Heresies." Depending on the perspectives of my readers, some may think I am a heretic, while others may think I am correct. I suspect that there are more who would list me as a heretic than there are of those who would not. Naturally, almost everyone thinks their own opinion is more correct than that of others.

I do not like censoring anyone, and will likely only delete spam and foul language. I am glad for the additional visitors that the past several posts have brought. Having my beliefs challenged with alternate views helps me to study more, and ultimately results in even stronger faith.


10:14 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...


I appreciate your response. I can’t imagine Christ turning anyone away, who would like a serious discussion on godly issues.

You said the following in your post:

Do feel free to expound on why you believe what you believe.

Regarding not sweating over the name Yahweh, remember someone is saved and justified by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28, Romans 4:1-8). Therefore if a person’s faith justifies him, that person’s faith keeps him in full compliance with all of God’s law.

Regarding the Father having many names, each one describing an aspect of Himself, you are aware of this?

Regarding the Godhead being made up of many, many beings, please note the following scriptures:

John 10

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?

Romans 9

3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,
4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.

The scriptures above indicate that those who have faith are in fact gods, and that they are destined for divine glory. (Please read here for more on the subject.) Therefore the ranks of God at the very least include a vast number of men and women who have faith - plus there are many other scriptures tossed out by Orthodox Church which speak of many orders of God (including the Archangels. That is why various people throughout the Old Testament addressed at least some of the angels they saw as Lord.) The above is consistent with the following scripture:

Matthew 18

12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

The one sheep that wondered off is mankind, and the ninety-nine sheep God left on the hill is the rest of the Godhead.

6:22 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger שמע יהוה said...

Clarification: I do not think you need to be defended......If there is anyone here I would be worried about, fencekicker is not one of them

My point was that Mr. Douglas is going to continue to do this....and who knows who is reading your blog and what could happen....What if anything you want to do about it is up to you.

I have no idea what is the purpose of this blog, or what you want to do /accomplish (if anything) with it
Perhaps "protecting the flock" is not part of your style....but it remains a option whether or not it is chosen

7:44 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...

From whom would you like the 'flock' protected? Should the Pharisees have done a better job protecting the Jewish flock from Christ - who they considered a false prophet? You don't even know how to distinguish someone from God from someone who is not from God: you do so by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20). So then, how have I borne bad fruit? It is you who have spoken disparagingly to me without cause. Also, what did I say that was wrong or misleading?

10:13 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger fencekicker said...

Shema YHVH,

I have always been terrible at journaling. A friend of mine journals all the time and she lent me a book about journaling, which was interesting. The book helped me to realize that I had trouble journaling because it seems silly to me to write something that no-one will ever read. Blogging seemed to be a way to remove that barrier to journaling. So, the main point of my blog is to journal. Mostly it is a journal about living for YHVH.

I think the best way to "protect the flock" is to educate it. Civil discussions between differing viewpoints is one way of doing that. Besides that, I don't have a flock to protect. I'm just one of the sheep following after the voice of my Master. The funny thing is that when one sheep seeks after something good and the others take notice, they all rush headlong after the same goal. So, if anything, I'm just a sheep that has found something good. I hope that others will see it too.

10:21 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger שמע יהוה said...

My posts were not meant to be criticisms, if you took it that way perhaps I phrased them poorly.

Wow they actually have books about journaling?

I have no idea what is considered good journaling or bad journaling, or how journals should be run....I'm certainly in no position to tell anyone that thier journal was not being run corectly.

Anyway it was just a idea that was thrown on the table, and already it has been overemphasized and overdiscussed. How about we just end what ever this sort of dialogue exchange is called.

May the few hours left of the week go well
And Shabbat Shalom for when the sun goes down

9:17 AM, August 18, 2006  
Blogger fencekicker said...

Shema YHVH,

There really isn't any such thing as a good journal or a bad journal. A journal is just your personal space for writing and processing whatever it is you want/need to write or process. Some people have journal themes/topics, some simply write about their day. Some people don't even 'write' in their journals, they draw or put in photos, press flowers, keep little momentos, etc. Some never show anyone their journals, others do. I happen to like feedback about what I write.

Just so you know, as far as I am concerned there are no hard feelings between us.

Shalom :)

9:48 AM, August 18, 2006  

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