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.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The name of Yahweh in Bible translations

In this post by Dr. Claude Mariottini, he stated: "I agree with the decision to leave the tetragrammaton untranslated, but the use of Hebrew letters to represent the name of God will confuse many American readers who are not familiar with Hebrew."

Something I don't understand is the decision by nearly all american translators to continue the practice of using "LORD" to translate the tetragramaton. Most Bibles will include a very small explanation in their introductory pages stating that LORD is used in place of the name of Yahweh. Why is it that teaching the name to seminary students is quite simple, but teaching it to laity is viewed as "too difficult?" I think that if scholars and pastors and other spiritual leaders would tell people what the name is they would gladly use it. Those who have memorized verses the current way, may not switch to quoting with the name included, but they would still be enriched by knowing the name of their God. If Bible editors would not take away the name and then explain why previous versions did not contain the name, people would readily learn and appreciate knowing it.

I most often use the NASB study Bible. This version often mentions in the margin notes that LORD is actually the Hebrew YHWH. If there is concern that people will have difficulty with the transition, why not note in the margins "YHWH, God's name,rendered LORD in many translations, see page.."

The laity is quite capable of learning many spritual things. In fact scripture appears to indicate that new believers were expected to study and learn, and to proceed to do all that most christians now expect only pastors to do. The Israelites were at times read entire books of the Bible in a matter of a day or two. It wasn't enough for the priests or rulers to know these words. It was proclaimed in its entirery to everyone.

Pastors aren't some special elite group that are to do everything for everyone; and lay people aren't a bunch of morons unable to handle learning a few facts about their God. There were some times in history when church leaders made access to the Bible and religious material at best inaccessible, at worst, illegal. They claimed it was because the laity would misinterpret and promote heresies. Meanwhile, those same church leaders were full of corruption and teaching/practicing their own heresies. Had the laity been given full access to the Bible, they would be able to stand up to the people leading them astray. Today, we have access to a vast archive of materials and information. Why then in this age of information, is information still being held back? Is the pervasive attitude which considers laity to be stupid peasants and priests/pastors/scholars as the worthy elect the haunting whispers of shameful periods of church history? I hope that those who possess the power to correct glaring errors (such as denying people easy access to the name of their God) would make every effort to do so.


Blogger Bible Discernment said...

The Bible is under attack from all sides. Satan knows it tells the truth about him, the victory that Jesus had at the cross, and what will happen in the future. As such, Satan has and still is making every attempt to destroy the Word of God. What better way to do this, than to change the meaning of the Bible over time with different bible versions; each version as it comes along claiming it is the truth and the most accurate of all the versions up until that point.
The line must be drawn where we say, "If the King James Bible was good enough for 400 years, then it is still good enough for me." For by it men and women have been saved and the knowledge of God imparted unto them. When new bible versions come along, they always take something away that is never replaced, only to be lost forever. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then stand up for it. Take a stand and speak out against these new bible versions. An objection often raised against the "King James Only Crowd" is that people learn something from the other (modern) versions, too, and that some even get saved: but I dare say that this occurs in spite of these errant versions, not because of them!
The Authorized Version of 1611, or, in other words, the King James Bible, stands alone in its uniqueness, integrity, and fidelity to the truthfulness of God’s Word. Among reasons why this writer holds this conviction is because of the great harm done not only to the Word of God, but the detriment wrought in the local church in its public worship, and, of course, because of the confusion created in countless group and individual Bible studies. After all, it could be said: How do you think your professor would think or feel if all of his students used different textbooks in his class?! In our case, God is our Great Professor! He alone is the one true God, who has walked among us upon this earth and left us the living and enduring legacy of His Word and His Spirit. Until He comes, Amen.

1:44 PM, October 06, 2006  

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