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Vowel points did not come into use in Hebrew until the second half of the first millennium C. (See HEBREW, II [Hebrew Alphabet and Script].) Furthermore, because of a religious superstition that had begun centuries earlier, the vowel pointing found in Hebrew manuscripts does not provide the key for determining which vowels should appear in the divine name.
At some point a superstitious idea arose among the Jews that it was wrong even to pronounce the divine name (represented by the Tetragrammaton).
10:1, in listing those “that have no share in the world to come,” states: “Abba Saul says: Also he that pronounces the Name with its proper letters.” Yet, despite these negative views, one also finds in the first section of the Mishnah the positive injunction that “a man should salute his fellow with [the use of] the Name [of God],” the example of Boaz (Ru 2:4) then being cited.9:5.
Taken for what they are worth, these traditional views may reveal a superstitious tendency to avoid using the divine name sometime before Jerusalem’s temple was destroyed in 70 C. Even then, it is primarily the priests who are explicitly said to have used a substitute name in place of the divine name, and that only in the provinces.
If such a change were made, then, to be consistent, changes should be made in the spelling and pronunciation of a host of other names found in the Scriptures: Jeremiah would be changed to (as in Greek).
The purpose of words is to transmit thoughts; in English the name Jehovah identifies the true God, transmitting this thought more satisfactorily today than any of the suggested substitutes. Many modern scholars and Bible translators advocate following the tradition of eliminating the distinctive name of God.
The oldest Hebrew manuscripts present the name in the form of four consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek ).
(Isa 42:8; 54:5) Though Scripturally designated by such descriptive titles as “God,” “Sovereign Lord,” “Creator,” “Father,” “the Almighty,” and “the Most High,” his personality and attributes—Ps . “Jehovah” is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although “Yahweh” is favored by most Hebrew scholars.
Such a view receives no support from the inspired Scriptures, either those of pre-Christian times or those of the Christian Greek Scriptures.
(Isa 64:2) The name was in fact known and used by pagan nations both in pre-Common Era times and in the early centuries of the Common Era. If so, this was poor reasoning, as it is obvious that the more mysterious the name became through disuse the more it would suit the purposes of practicers of magic. 326) It regularly presents the Tetragrammaton, written in square Hebrew characters, in each case of its appearance in the Hebrew text being translated. Josephus, a Jewish historian from a priestly family, when recounting God’s revelation to Moses at the site of the burning bush, says: “Then God revealed to him His name, which ere then had not come to men’s ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak.” (II, 276 [xii, 4]) Josephus’ statement, however, besides being inaccurate as to knowledge of the divine name prior to Moses, is vague and does not clearly reveal just what the general attitude current in the first century was as to pronouncing or using the divine name.
Just as the reason or reasons originally advanced for discontinuing the use of the divine name are uncertain, so, too, there is much uncertainty as to when this superstitious view really took hold. This theory, however, is based on a supposed reduction in the use of the name by the later writers of the Hebrew Scriptures, a view that does not hold up under examination. This papyrus is dated by scholars as being from the first century B. E., and thus it was written four or five centuries earlier than the manuscripts mentioned previously. The Jewish Mishnah, a collection of rabbinic teachings and traditions, is somewhat more explicit.
Paul’s reference to “God the Father” does not mean that the true God’s name is “Father,” for the designation “father” applies as well to every human male parent and describes men in other relationships.
(Ro , 16; 1Co ) The Messiah is given the title “Eternal Father.” (Isa 9:6) Jesus called Satan the “father” of certain murderous opposers.