Book on the Tetragram

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R.J. Furuli
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Book on the Tetragram

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:13 am

Dear list-members,

Some listmembers have shown that they are interested in the Tetragram. Therefore, i present the contents of my book: THE TETRAGRAM—ITS HISTORY, ITS PLACE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND ITS PRONUNCIATION

The book is at present being printed. It can be ordered from Awatu Publishers (awatu-publishers@sf-nett.no). It is paperback in colors, and it has 250 pages. The price is 350 Norwegian kroner, plus postage. You are welcome to ask questions regarding the points below.

PRESENTATION:



PART ONE The Tetragram in Hebrew Sources in BCE and the First Century CE

1) The divine name yhwh is freely used in the Hebrew Bible from the oldest to the youngest books. The appellative ’adōnāi is used in the Bible as a complement to yhwh and not as a substitute.
2) A detailed study is made of the Great Isaiah Scroll among the DSS. The argument that the scribe wrote at dictation and that he made some errors because yhwh was pronounced as ’adōnāi is shown to be without basis.
3) All the divine designations in the DSS are listed: 73 examples of ’adōnāi, 352 examples of yhwh, 368 examples of ’ælōhim, and 648 examples of ’ēl. There were two views among the members of the Qumran community regarding the use of yhwh. Some members used ’ēl (god) as a substitute, while others continued to use and pronounce yhwh as long as the community existed. There is no evidence in the DSS that the Aramaic word mārē’ (lord) or the Hebrew word ’adōnāi (lord) was used as a substitute for yhwh.
4) It is shown that the almost universal view that ’adōnāi was used as a substitute for yhwh in BCE and in the 1st century CE has no basis whatsoever. The first possible but not certain evidence for ’adōnāi being used as a substitute is seen in Ben Sira’s Masada manuscripts—written before 73 CE. But the writings of Josephus suggest that ’adōnāi as a substitute was not in general use among the Jewish population around 90 CE.

PART TWO The Tetragram in Greek Sources in the First Centuries CE

1) All the LXX manuscripts from BCE and until 50 CE contain the divine name, either as yhwh in old Hebrew or square Aramaic script, or as the Greek letters iaō —kyrios is not found.
2) Philo’s writings are considered, and it is shown that his treatise, “On the Life of Moses” shows that God-fearing persons used and pronounced the divine name around 40 CE.
3) The prohibition against the pronunciation of the divine name in Leviticus 24:16 LXX is considered in detail. The evidence shows that this prohibition did not occur in the LXX autograph but is a later addition.
4) The Greek translations of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion are discussed, as well as Origen’s Hexapla. All these used yhwh.
5) The Syro-Hexapla from the 7th century is also discussed. The mentioned translations show that Greek manuscripts with yhwh in old Hebrew and square Aramaic script existed in all these centuries.

PART THREE Did the Tetragram Occur in the New Testament Autographs?

The chapter begins with the following words:
“The argument is almost universal: ‘Any claim that the NT originally contained yhwh must be rejected, because no Greek manuscript contains that name.’ This argument is strange, because we can also say: ‘Any claim that the NT originally contained kyrios as a reference to God must be rejected, because no Greek manuscript contains this word.’ This is true for the first five centuries CE.»

1) At the end of the 1st century, or at the beginning of the 2nd century, someone tampered with the text of the NT. Words that referred to God were removed, and the nomen sacrum ks was written instead.
2) The ks in LXX manuscripts from the end of the 2nd century goes back to yhwh in earlier LXX manuscripts. Therefore, it is logical that ks in NT manuscripts from the end of the 2nd century CE goes back to yhwh as well. Thus, ks cannot be used as evidence that the NT autographs contained kyrios.
3) There is no evidence that ’adōnāi was used as substitute for yhwh during the time NT was written. So, there was no Hebrew antecedent for the use of kyrios for the NT writers.
4) Both the Hebrew text and LXX manuscripts that were quoted in the NT included the divine name. Therefore, the writers naturally included the name in their quotations as well.
5) The divine name should continue to be used for ever (Exodus 3:15). Not to include the name in the NT would be a violation of God’s expressed will.
6) Most of part three is a detailed study of the internal evidence of the NT regarding the use of divine designations. This study presents strong evidence in favor of the view that the divine name was used and pronounced by the general Jewish population and by those who wrote the NT books when these books were written, and that the name occurred in the NT autographs.

PART FOUR The pronunciation of the Tetragram

1) In Hebrew words ending with the letter h, this h with few exceptions is not a consonant, but it represents a long vowel.
2) It is argued that the Tetragram consists of the three consonants yhw and one vowel, represented by the last letter h.
3) Hebrew inscriptions and bulla have Jewish names that either begins or ends with yhw—the full name of God.
4) On the basis of Origen’s Hexapla it can be argued that the Greek iaō is a pseudo-transliteration of the three letters yhw of the divine name. This means that iaō is not an abrreviation but represents the full form, yhw, of the divine name.
5) In the beginning of theophoric names in the MT, yhw is written as ye-ho. The long o represents the third letter w of yhwh. The fourth letter h of yhwh represents a vowel, and therefore, the divine name must have one syllable more than ye-ho. The two-syllabic form Yahweh must be rejected on the basis of the phonological rules of the Masoretes.
6) The first and last parts of theophoric names have the same basic consonants—yhw. The reasons why the endings are ya and ya-hu are the rules of stress and abbreviations—an open syllable with stress must have a long vowel and endings are abbreviated.
7) The Hebrew theophoric names show that the two first syllables of the divine name are ye-ho. But they do not show what the third syllable is.
8) Akkadian cuneiform has both consonants and vowels. The name of many Jewish exiles were written with cuneiform script. Some names have ye-ho as the first two syllables, and other names have ya-hu as the last syllables. Even the long o and long u are marked in the cuneiform script.
9) Also, the full name of the God of the Jews are found at the beginning or end of Jewish names as three syllables. Each cuneiform sign can represent different sounds (syllables). But three cuneiform signs that represent a name, must, when they are read together, give a meaningful name Several endings of Jewish theophoric names can be read as ie-’u-wa. Thus, the third syllable of the divine name is wa.
10) The conclusion is that both the Masoretic text and Akkadian cuneiform clearly indicate that the divine name was pronounced as ye-hō-wā.

kwrandolph
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby kwrandolph » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:29 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:Dear list-members,



PART THREE Did the Tetragram Occur in the New Testament Autographs?

The chapter begins with the following words:
“The argument is almost universal: ‘Any claim that the NT originally contained yhwh must be rejected, because no Greek manuscript contains that name.’ This argument is strange, because we can also say: ‘Any claim that the NT originally contained kyrios as a reference to God must be rejected, because no Greek manuscript contains this word.’ This is true for the first five centuries CE.»

1) At the end of the 1st century, or at the beginning of the 2nd century, someone tampered with the text of the NT. Words that referred to God were removed, and the nomen sacrum ks was written instead.
2) The ks in LXX manuscripts from the end of the 2nd century goes back to yhwh in earlier LXX manuscripts. Therefore, it is logical that ks in NT manuscripts from the end of the 2nd century CE goes back to yhwh as well. Thus, ks cannot be used as evidence that the NT autographs contained kyrios.
3) There is no evidence that ’adōnāi was used as substitute for yhwh during the time NT was written. So, there was no Hebrew antecedent for the use of kyrios for the NT writers.
4) Both the Hebrew text and LXX manuscripts that were quoted in the NT included the divine name. Therefore, the writers naturally included the name in their quotations as well.
5) The divine name should continue to be used for ever (Exodus 3:15). Not to include the name in the NT would be a violation of God’s expressed will.
6) Most of part three is a detailed study of the internal evidence of the NT regarding the use of divine designations. This study presents strong evidence in favor of the view that the divine name was used and pronounced by the general Jewish population and by those who wrote the NT books when these books were written, and that the name occurred in the NT autographs.


Are there any extent copies of NT books that were made in the first centuries of the church that have either the tetragrammaton or a Greek transliteration thereof?

If not, then this whole section is speculation, not evidence.

Already in the first century, copies of NT books were made and spread far and wide. An example is that Peter in what’s modern Iraq read copies of Paul’s epistles, at least some of them. How many other copies were already in other markets? Therefore no one person early in the second century could have tampered with the text to remove either the tetragrammaton or the transliteration thereof, without leaving traces in manuscripts that were in other places.

Therefore my question remains: are there any extent copies of NT books that were made in the first centuries of the church that have either the tetragrammaton or a Greek transliteration thereof?

R.J. Furuli wrote:PART FOUR The pronunciation of the Tetragram


That’s another discussion that I won’t touch at this time.

Karl W. Randolph.

Isaac Fried
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:41 pm

R. J. Furuli says
On the basis of Origen’s Hexapla it can be argued that the Greek iaō is a pseudo-transliteration of the three letters yhw of the divine name. This means that iaō is not an abrreviation but represents the full form, yhw, of the divine name.

Says I
This "pseudo-transliteration" iaō lend, I feel, more credit to my understanding that the Tetragram is but the personal pronoun היא-הוּא, 'He'. The God of Abraham is but one and כבודו מלא עולם and so he needs no name; he is the one and only one: He.

The W of yhw is thus for a U, and became by sight a WA.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:05 am

Dear Isaac,

Isaac Fried wrote:Says I
This "pseudo-transliteration" iaō lend, I feel, more credit to my understanding that the Tetragram is but the personal pronoun היא-הוּא, 'He'. The God of Abraham is but one and כבודו מלא עולם and so he needs no name; he is the one and only one: He.

The W of yhw is thus for a U, and became by sight a WA.


Transliteration is to move a word, letter by letter, from the source languge to the target language. Greek does not have letters that correspond to yod, he, and waw. When Origen transliterated Hebrew letters into Greek and he came to yhw, he used the Greek vowels iota, alpha, and omega to represent the Hebrew consonants yhw. This is not real transcription, because no Greek letters correspond to the Hebrew letters yhw. But neither is it transcription (to move the pronunciation from the source language to the target language). Therefore, I call it “pseudo-transliteration.” We should note that that also in Hebrew the letters yhw may represent the vowels hireq, qamets, and holem. Moreover, the full name of God is yhw + a vowel represented by h. In inscriptions and on bulla the name is written by three consonants.

Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:25 am

kwrandolph wrote:
R.J. Furuli wrote:


Are there any extent copies of NT books that were made in the first centuries of the church that have either the tetragrammaton or a Greek transliteration thereof?

If not, then this whole section is speculation, not evidence.

Already in the first century, copies of NT books were made and spread far and wide. An example is that Peter in what’s modern Iraq read copies of Paul’s epistles, at least some of them. How many other copies were already in other markets? Therefore no one person early in the second century could have tampered with the text to remove either the tetragrammaton or the transliteration thereof, without leaving traces in manuscripts that were in other places.

Therefore my question remains: are there any extent copies of NT books that were made in the first centuries of the church that have either the tetragrammaton or a Greek transliteration thereof?

R.J. Furuli wrote:PART FOUR The pronunciation of the Tetragram


That’s another discussion that I won’t touch at this time.

Karl W. Randolph.


The oldest NT manuscripts with passages with the divine name are dated to the end of the second century CE. These manuscripts contain nomina sacra ks and ths. I have never seen any scholar claim that ks and ths and other nomina sacra were written in the NT autographs.

EVIDENCE: After the end of the first century and before the end of the second century, someone removed the letters that represented the divine name from the NT manuscripts and used ks, and a few times ths instead. This is what I meant by the words “tampering with the text.”

Which letters that represented the divine name were removed? There is no physical evidence, because we do not have the autographs.

EVIDENCE:

LXX manuscripts from the end of the second century CE have the nomina sacra. What are the entecedents of the nomina sacra? One LXX manuscript from 50 CE has tetragrams in old Hebrew letters, and all the other LXX copies from BCE have the tetragram or iao. Thus, the evidence is that ks in the LXX manuscripts from the end of the second century was written instead of the tetragram. Thus, the argument that ks in the oldest NT manuscripts shows that the NT autographs contained kyrios is null and void. In the mentioned LXX manuscrupts ks does not represent kyrios but yhwh. With one or two exceptions, kyrios is not found in any NT manuscript until the fifth century CE.

The fact that the LXX manuscripts from the end of the second century contains ks, and this goes back to the tetragram, tips the balance in favor of the view that the NT autographs contained the tetragram and not kyrios.

EVIDENCE:

1) When NT was written, 'adonai was not yet used as a substitute for yhwh, so the writers had no antecedent for writing kyrios.
2) The Hebrew manuscripts and LXX contained the tetragram. And the NT writers had no reason to use kyrios instead in their quotations from these sources.
3) Not to use the tetragram in the NT would be a violation of God's expressed will (Exodus 3:15).
4) The internal evidence of the NT indicates that pronouncing the divine name was the custom of the Jewish population.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

kwrandolph
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:40 am

R.J. Furuli wrote:
The oldest NT manuscripts with passages with the divine name are dated to the end of the second century CE. These manuscripts contain nomina sacra ks and ths. I have never seen any scholar claim that ks and ths and other nomina sacra were written in the NT autographs.


Just to be completely sure, what you claim is that there are NO NT MMS that have other than ks and ths and other nomina sacra written in them. Do I understand you correctly?

R.J. Furuli wrote:EVIDENCE: After the end of the first century and before the end of the second century, someone removed the letters that represented the divine name from the NT manuscripts and used ks, and a few times ths instead. This is what I meant by the words “tampering with the text.”

Which letters that represented the divine name were removed? There is no physical evidence, because we do not have the autographs.


The Byzantine, or Majority Text, is so accurate that in transliterations of names from Galilee, it preserves something as irrelevant and unimportant as clues to the Galilean accent spoken by Peter, clues that were “corrected” in North African MMS such as Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

In reading through Tanakh time and again, I came to the conclusion that the BGD-KPT letters originally each had only one pronunciation, not two as in the Tiberian and Yemini pronunciations, and that one pronunciation was the same as those letters containing the dagesh.

I also came to the conclusion that there was a pronunciation shift in Hebrew, a pronunciation shift that probably started in Egypt then spread north to the diaspora and Judea, with “backwards” Galilee holding out for the older pronunciation. Yet even in Galilee, the “new” pronunciation had made inroads in the first half of the first century, but not yet a complete shift. Clues to this conclusion are found also in the Byzantine, or Majority Text family of MMS.

In so far as there is evidence that all of the NT but the writings of John were written before the Jewish revolt of 66 AD, and that they were copied and geographically widely spread almost immediately, that rules out any one person being able to “tamper with the text” without leaving traces of that “tampering” of the text. As I understand you, there’s no evidence of that “tampering”.

R.J. Furuli wrote:EVIDENCE:

LXX manuscripts …


I find the LXX as weak evidence, at best. It was written a couple of centuries before the NT, with the NT reflecting the practices of its time.

In fact, that the tetragrammaton was written in Hebrew letters in Greek MMS of the LXX can be taken as evidence that the name was to be recognized but not pronounced, that there was an oral substitution.

R.J. Furuli wrote:EVIDENCE:

1) When NT was written, 'adonai was not yet used as a substitute for yhwh, so the writers had no antecedent for writing kyrios.


What evidence do you have for this claim? What evidence is there that there was no oral tradition, one that the NT writers made explicit in writing?

R.J. Furuli wrote:2) The Hebrew manuscripts and LXX contained the tetragram. And the NT writers had no reason to use kyrios instead in their quotations from these sources.


See above.

R.J. Furuli wrote:3) Not to use the tetragram in the NT would be a violation of God's expressed will (Exodus 3:15).


I don’t see the connection here.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:46 am

Karl Randolph wrote:

kwrandolph wrote: R.J. Furuli wrote:

The oldest NT manuscripts with passages with the divine name are dated to the end of the second century CE. These manuscripts contain nomina sacra ks and ths. I have never seen any scholar claim that ks and ths and other nomina sacra were written in the NT autographs.

Just to be completely sure, what you claim is that there are NO NT MMS that have other than ks and ths and other nomina sacra written in them. Do I understand you correctly?


The few fragments of the NT that may be dated before the end of the second century CE have no passages where the divine name is written. All the NT manuscripts from the end of the second century CE and into the fifth century have the nomen sacrum ks for the divine name, or rarely ths. No manuscripts has kyrios except one or two. The Old Latin translation was probably made at the end of the second century CE, and it has only nomina sacra. The OT apochrypha and the Apostolic Church Fathers (Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas etc) have ks and not kyrios.


kwrandolph wrote: 1) When NT was written, 'adonai was not yet used as a substitute for yhwh, so the writers had no antecedent for writing kyrios.


What evidence do you have for this claim? What evidence is there that there was no oral tradition, one that the NT writers made explicit in writing?


Here you turn the situation upside down. Anyone who claim that the oral tradition was to pronounce 'adonai as a substitute for yhwh, has the onus of proof. You cannot ask a person for evidence regarding what is not existing; evidence relates to what is existing.
The only original writings from BCE and the first part of the first century CE are the DSS. There is no evidence in these writings that 'adonai was used as a substitute. The first possible evidence for this comes from the Ben Sira manuscripts from Masada (written before 73 CE). But this evidence is not clear. If you read my book, you will see that there is much positive evidence that the divine name was used and pronounced down to 70 or 90 CE.


Best regards,

Rolf J Furuli
Stavern
Norway.

kwrandolph
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Book on the Tetragram

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:40 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:
kwrandolph wrote: 1) When NT was written, 'adonai was not yet used as a substitute for yhwh, so the writers had no antecedent for writing kyrios.


What evidence do you have for this claim? What evidence is there that there was no oral tradition, one that the NT writers made explicit in writing?


Here you turn the situation upside down. Anyone who claim that the oral tradition was to pronounce 'adonai as a substitute for yhwh, has the onus of proof.


Nope, I’m not making the claim either way. But I see evidence for both sides. One substitution would have been יה (pronounced “Yahe”) for יהוה. Another would be אדני.

When one goes to a synagog today and reads the Torah scrolls, what evidence would you find that יהוה is pronounced “Adonai”? The scrolls have written יהוה. Just from the written record, which conclusion would you draw?

Yet in the DSS we find יהוה in some of the MMS set apart from the rest of the text. Why? Is that not evidence that a substitution was being made?

We know from later practice that substitutions were/are being made, the question we have, how soon did that practice start? Was it already a practice among at least some during the DSS period? If it was, how would we recognize it?

R.J. Furuli wrote:You cannot ask a person for evidence regarding what is not existing; evidence relates to what is existing.


Exactly. And the evidence that exists can be read both ways.

You made the extra-ordinary claim that a practice that we know from later had not yet started in the first century. That practice is to read orally differently from what is written, in other words, a practice that does not leave a written clue. The onus is on you to prove that that practice had not yet started during the DSS period.

R.J. Furuli wrote:The only original writings from BCE and the first part of the first century CE are the DSS. There is no evidence in these writings that 'adonai was used as a substitute. The first possible evidence for this comes from the Ben Sira manuscripts from Masada (written before 73 CE). But this evidence is not clear. If you read my book, you will see that there is much positive evidence that the divine name was used and pronounced down to 70 or 90 CE.


Both of us are looking at the same evidence, but drawing different conclusions. That indicates that the evidence is not definitive either way. As a result, I don’t want to argue about it, just say that the evidence is inconclusive.

Further, we are looking at a very diverse population. Linguistically, some spoke only Aramaic. Some spoke only Greek, Further, there were Jews who lived in different countries who spoke only the local languages. Secondly, we deal with a population of diverse religious practices. The combination of the two could very well result in that κυριος or a local equivalent could have been common, with the poor preservation of texts making it impossible for us today to make a definitive statement on what were those practices.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,

Rolf J Furuli
Stavern
Norway.


To throw a further wrench into the works, many ancient MMS substituted abbreviations for whole words, of which KS is one. Modern printed editions print out what the ancients abbreviated.

In closing, I don’t want to argue about something where there isn’t sufficient evidence either way. That’s why I didn’t make a claim either way in the first place. All I did was to call into question your claim.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.


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