GOD, DEITY OF THE NATIONS
By: Angelo B. Traina (Revised by Philip B. Wisman)
GOD, A PAGAN IDOL
A teacher and a leader, called an apostle in a certain denomination, has gone on record as opposing the worship of Yahweh the Mighty One of Israel, who revealed Himself to the Patriarchs and prophets in the Old Testament, and through His own dear Son in the New Testament.
In a series of articles in the denomination’s periodical, “The advocate of Truth,” titled “Yahweh or God,” he takes issue with the worshippers of Yahweh, and contends for the worship of God, against the worship of Yahweh, the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
According to the aforementioned articles, it is evident the author is not aware that (popular belief and the King James version of the Bible notwithstanding) the word GOD is NOT revealed in the Scriptures as the Name, nor as a title of the Creator of the Universe, and the Father of all mankind. In fact, according to the original language of the Bible, the very opposite is true, and the word GOD appears in the Scriptures as the name of a heathen idol, as we shall endeavor to prove by Biblical and historical evidence.
The following listings of encyclopedic and dictionary definitions of the word “GOD” may be checked by on one interested in truth—saving truth which establishes the soul.
According to “The World’s Popular Encyclopedia” Volume 6, which reads: “GOD, OE. god, Dutch god, Ger Gott, was in heathen times, an idol, or object of worship. Since the Teutonic acceptation of Christianity, it is the name reserved to the Creator of the Universe.”
Please notice that the word GOD is a pagan idol, but Christianity (the Catholic church, and her daughters) has substituted this pagan name in place of the Name of the Holy One of Israel, Who revealed Himself to the Patriarchs as Yahweh.
Next, let us read from “Webster's New International Dictionary,” and read as follows: “God, AS, akin to OS and D. god, OHG. Got, Ger. Gott, ON. Guth, SW and Dan., gud, Gothic guth. Originally a being invoked by incantation, past part. From a root appearing in Sanskrit ‘havate’ - (he called upon a god) past part. ‘Huta’ Lith. Zaveti.—to conjure, to practice magic.
1st. A being of more than human attributes and powers. Especially a superhuman person conceived as dominating nature or some province of nature, and to whom worship is due and acceptable; a deity, especially a male deity. Not all gods, even of the higher orders, are thought by their believers as objects of worship, and the beings worshipped by the pagans and savages, ordinarily only the higher orders are called gods, the lower beings are termed demi-gods, demons, godlings, heros, etc.
2nd. Any object, whether artificial as a carved idol or image, or natural, as a meteor or as an animal or a tree which is thought to be the seat of divine powers, the expressions of a divine personality, or itself a supernatural or divine agency.
3rd. God, the Supreme Being, the Eternal and Infinite Spirit, Creator and Sovereign of the Universe. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, the First, the Second and the Third Persons of the Trinity.
4th. The Ruler or Sovereign embodiment of some attribute or dept. of reality as the god of Love, of Justice, of Nature; also a supreme being conceived as the dominant or ultimate principle or the Universe, or a world soul, as the pantheistic god.
5th. A person or thing deified and honored as god.
6th. Figuratively one who wields great despotic powers.
7th. One of the occupants of the gallery or a theatre.”
Do any of the above definitions define the object of your devotion and love?
Let us continue: “The New International Encyclopedia” says, “God, AS. OS. Dutch god, Gothic gud, OHG. got, Ger. Gott, of doubtful etymology, perhaps connected with Sanskrit hu, Greek Xein or Chien to pour. The word is evidently originally a passive participle; the frequent derivation of God from god AS. God, Gothic gods, OHG guot, Ger. gut is entirely erroneous.
Two types of definitions of god are possible. One is the maximum definition which defines God in terms of highest conceivable religious ideas. According to this, God is the eternal and infinite personal spirit, the creator and governor of the universe; framed as to include the gods of any tribe or nation; the other is the minimum definition of historical religions however primitive or pagan.”
Next, let us turn to “The New Standard Dictionary” and read: “God, a being regarded as possessing superhuman or supernatural qualities or powers, and made an object of worship propitiation; a higher intelligence, supposed to control the forces of good or evil, a personification of any of the forces of nature or of human attribute, interest or relation: a deity, a divinity.
Every people is the chosen people of its own god or gods.
From here let us read from “The Century Dictionary and Encyclopedia,” “God, ME. God, godd, pl. godes, goddess, AS. god pl., goas, also god pl. gadu, rarely goda, in gen. pl. godena, OS. Ofries, Dan. God—MLG got, LG got—OHG, got, cot, later gudh, pl. gudhir, SW. Dan gud, Gothic guth gutha, guda, neut. pl. a god. God, a word common to all Teutonic tongues, in which it has numerous derivations not identified outside of Teutonic. It was originally neuter and generally in the plural. Being applied to HEATHEN DEITIES, and elevated to Christian sense upon the conversion of the Teutonic peoples. Popular etymology has long derived god from good, but a comparison of the forms shows this to be an error; moreover the notion of goodness is not conspicuous in the heathen conception of the deity.”
Now let us turn to “The Encyclopedia Britannica” which defines God as follows:
God, the common Teutonic word for a personal object of worship. It is like the Greek Theos and the Latin Deus (Zeus) applied to all superhuman beings of heathen mythologies supposed to have power over nature and man; and also to images, beings, or trees, pillars, etc., used as symbols. The word ‘GOD’ ON THE CONVERSION OF THE TEUTONIC RACES TO ‘CHRISTIANITY’ was applied to the ONE Supreme Being, and to the persons of the Trinity.
(We may ask, “By whose authority?”) The answer is obvious—MOTHER BABYLON, the great harlot of Rev. 17, who has made all nations drink her poisonous mixture. But let us continue to quote from the “Encyclopedia Britannica.” “According to the “New English Dictionary,” the original may be found in two Aryan roots, both of the form ghew—one of which means “to mooke” and the other to “pour.” The last is used in sacrificial offering. The word would thus mean the object of either religious invocation or of religious worship by sacrifice.”
Now, please notice, in all of the different definitions by so many different dictionaries and encyclopedias (and the number of these can be multiplied), all of them agree that “God” is the name of a heathen idol, which the heathen worshipped. Since the conversion of the TEUTONIC RACES to CHRISTIANITY, the name of THEIR IDOL, which THEY CALLED GOD, has been substituted as the name of the Holy ONE of Israel.
And not only this, but all the national deities of the heathen, such as Pan, the goat-god, which is now the name which the Polish people apply to the MIGHTY ONE of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Zeus, of the Greeks (Theos); Deus, of the Latins, Dio of the Italians; Dieu of the French; Dios, of the Spaniards, and hundreds of other names, all were formerly applied to heathen idols; but these have now been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as substitute names of the only true Elohim, Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel. To all of this the Protestant Church has NOT protested, but has, as an obedient child, taken the milk bottle from Mother Babylon, and has drunk to the full. No wonder then the Scripture says that the nations of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her (Babylon’s) fornication. See Rev. 17:2.
While all of this evidence, which we have presented from these authorities, conclusively proves the word God is a heathen name for a heathen idol, we still have more positive evidence of its paganism and its usurpation of the honor which rightly belongs to the true Creator of heaven and earth, recorded in the Bible itself. The prophet Isaiah, in his 65th chapter, 11th verse, openly accuses the people, especially the church, as having left the worship of the true Creator and Redeemer of Israel, and turned to the worship of GOD.
Here are the words of Holy Writ, as recorded by Isaiah, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. “But ye are they that have forsaken Yahweh, and forgotten MY Holy mountain, and prepare a table for Gawd (God), and fill the cup for Meni” (Isaiah 65:11, from the original Hebrew text).
Here follow some other recognized translators of the same verse,
But ye are they who forsake Yahweh, who forget My Holy mountain, and prepare for FORTUNE a table, and who fill for DESTINY mixt wine (Isaiah 65:11, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible).
But ye who have forsaken the Eternal, ye who ignore His Sacred Hill, spreading tables for GOOD Luck, pouring libations to FATE (Isaiah 65:11, James Moffatt’s translation).
But ye that forsake Jehovah, that forget My Holy Mountain, that prepare a table for FORTUNE, and fill up mingled wine unto DESTINY (Isaiah 65:11, American Standard version).
Now in Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, in the margin, is an explanation of the names of the idols in the text. He has this to say, “Gad (Heb., pronounced GAWD) and Meni, two well-known Syrian deities.”
As for Dr. James Moffatt, he translates GAWD, the Heb. GD., as the deity of GOOD LUCK, and Meni as the Fate Deity. Even the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible has the Heb. GAWD “The God FORTUNE,” and for Meni has “DESTINY.”
These facts add up to show that the Name God, Gawd, GD, Gott, GUTH, or any other form, is a heathen idol, and as such, is an alien deity opposed to the Mighty One of Israel, Who has revealed Himself to His people by His name Yahweh.
If we accept the Bible as our guide in the Spiritual life, then we must accept all of its precepts. The Scripture states clearly that the Holy One of Israel said, “I am YAHWEH, that is MY NAME, and MY GLORY to another I will not give, nor My Praise to images” (Isaiah 42:8, Rotherham version).
Now, if “God” is the name of a pagan idol, WHAT are we going to do with the FIRST COMMANDMENT, which, in the Original, states, “I am Yahweh thy Elohim, thou shall have no other Elohim before Me?” And, again, “In all things which I have said unto you be ye circumspect and make no mention of the names of other Elohim, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth” (Ex. 23:13. See also Josh. 23:7; Psalm 16:4).
A man is either ignorant or dishonest who claims to be a teacher of the Bible and yet who willfully disregards the instructions concerning the “Sanctification of the Name” by which the Creator has revealed Himself; the same man who endeavors to uphold the name of a pagan deity, which has been substituted by the Babylonian church. Is he not standing in the way of the light, and hindering those who would be enlightened? (See Matt. 23:13; Luke 11:52).
The author of the series of articles titled, “Yahweh or God,” makes this statement: “As close as we can come to what God said to Moses at Sinai, in our English language is “Thou shall not take the Name of YHWH thy (God in English) in vain, for YHWH will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.”
No Bible student would try to make the word GOD the equivalent to the Tetragrammaton YHWH nor define the Tetragrammaton YHWH as meaning God. An honest seeker for truth would take the Hebrew Bible and turn to Ex. 20:7 and read as follows: “Thou shall not take away the NAME of YHWH thy Elohim to bring it to naught for YHWH will not hold him guiltless who taketh away His Name to bring it to naught.”
As you may note, there is no “GOD” in English in the text. The word “god” in the King James version of the Bible is from an erroneous translation of “Elohim,” and NOT YHWH.
Following up the writing of the Dean of Salem Bible Institute, I again quote from his article, “And God said unto Moses, ‘I am that I am;’ and He said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ‘I am hath sent me unto you.’ (Here then is the meaning of the four letters YHWH. Y-I , H—Am, W — that, H —Am. or, I always Am. This means He is the Eternal God. No other God can claim this title.”
We would suggest that the dean go back and read that verse more carefully. The answer which Yahweh gave to Moses in Ex. 3:14 is, as follows: “AhaYah Asher AhaYah Woyee amor ka to-amor lobeni ishurel, AhaYah shalokino aleikum,” that is, I will be what I will to be, and He said, “Thus say to the children if Israel, ‘I-will-be hath sent me unto you.’”
This is a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew of Ex. 3:14: “Hayah” is the root of the verb “to be,” and undoubtedly is the etymon of the NAME Yahweh.
As to the meaning of the letters of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, the only one which the “teacher” has correct is the first letter Y, which is the equivalent of the letter I. This can be verified in Webster’s International Dictionary, under the letter I, where Webster says that the “I” comes from the Greek Iota, and the Greek Iota comes from the Hebrew Yod, erroneously translated as “Y” and “J” in English. The “H” is NOT am, as he says but is the equivalent of the letter “E” as in gEt, and also the “A” as in cAr. The “W” is NOT “that” as he defined it, but it is the letter “U.” See also Webster’s Dictionary, under U, and you will learn that the letter “U” is the equivalent of the letter “WaW” in Hebrew.
Again this teacher of the Bible makes this statement: “This means He is the Eternal GOD. No other God can claim this title.” How does he apply the term “God”—as a title, or as a name? If as a name, how many objects of worship are there by the name of God? In his statement, “No other God can claim this title,” he precludes that there are more than one; and, if so, which one does he worship?
The Tetragrammaton, YHWH, is NOT a TITLE; it is a name, and it is the NAME of the Holy One of Israel. See Isaiah 48:2 and Jer. 33:2. And this shall NOT be kept SECRET; but, as the Holy Spirit said, through Isaiah, “MY PEOPLE SHALL KNOW MY NAME” (Isaiah 52:6).
Further on in his article the Dean says of the Sacred Name people: “These name people say they reject Jehovah because it is a hybrid name for God. Here is how the name Jehovah came into use. The Israelites felt that to call God by His proper Name YHWH was blasphemy. They had a word Adonai, which meant Lord. They took the vowels of this word and placed it between the letters and came up with Jehovah.”
In the above quoted statement, has not the author greatly erred? For the Israelites, or Jews, as he has them in mind, did no such thing. The Jews did not invent this hybrid name. Nowhere in the realm of literature can a statement be found that the Jews were ever guilty of producing such a monstrosity. The truth about the invention of this hybrid monstrosity is recorded in “The Jewish Encyclopedia” Vol. 7, Page 88, which says, “The reading Jehovah is a comparatively recent INVENTION. Jehovah is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo the 10th’s Confessor, Peter Galatin (DeArcanis Catholic Veritates 1518, Folio XLIII) who was followed in the use of this hybrid form by Fagius Drusius Van de Driesche, who lived between 1550 and 1616 was the first to ascribe to Peter Galatin the use of Jehovah, and this view has been taken since his days.”
Therefore it is evident from this evidence of record that NOT the JEWS, but the Roman hierarchy is the inventor of the hybrid name. Protestantism has accepted it also, because the ministers have been blind, and have followed the line of least resistance, as described in Isaiah 56:10-11.
Going back again to the Dean’s article, he states, “When these so-called sacred name people say YaHWeH, they still use two vowels of Lord. Therefore every time they say Jehovah, or Yahweh, they still say Lord. Even the abbreviated form Y-H, I AM, with Yah, is using a vowel point of Lord.”
In the first place, the two vowels which are in the Canaanitish name Adonai (Lord), when written in Hebrew, are aleph and yod, which are the equivalents of the English A, and I, respectively. In the second place, the form letters of the Tetragrammaton, or of the Name, which have been transposed as YHWH are NOT the true equivalents of the original Hebrew Letters Yod—He—Waw—He, modern scholarship notwithstanding.
The belief that there are no vowels in the Hebrew alphabet is baseless when an honest investigation of the subject matter is made. A careful comparison of all the Semitic alphabets will prove that there are five vowels in the Hebrew alphabet, the very same five vowels which are found in all European alphabets.
It is a well-known fact that consonants do not generally change their sounds. They are usually pronounced the same; but it is not so with the five vowels in the English alphabet. Take, for instance, the letter “A”. It is the first letter of the English alphabet, and it has at least three distinct pronunciations. Note them in the following words: “fan,” “pale,” “far.” Now notice the different pronunciations of the letter “E” in “Eve” and “Ever.” Notice two pronunciations of the “E” in “Secret.” Now take the vowel “I” as we pronounce it in “tin” and the same letter in “dime.” Next, let us take the “O” in “on” and in “one.” Also the letter “U” in “usual,” yet so different in “up.” The very fact that these letters change their sound with different combinations of consonants proves that they are vowels. The very SAME principle is true of the Hebrew.
In conclusion to this installment of the answer to the exception the Dean takes in the Sacred Name Movement, I leave it to the good judgment of the reader to discern the truth. Does not the Dean’s position appear untenable? What will you do with the Name that our Savior prayed that we might “SANCTIFY?” (See Matt. 6:9).
The appellations Lord, God, and even Jehovah are concoctions of Ecclesiasticism. The Spirit of Yahweh says to the Bride, “Come out of her My people, and be NOT partakers of her sins, and receive NOT OF HER plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
May Yahweh help you to make the correct decision. Remember the statement of the Holy Spirit speaking through Isaiah saying, “MY PEOPLE SHALL KNOW MY NAME” (Isaiah 52:6). Remember also the exhortation of the prophet Micah, “For all the PEOPLES walk every one in the NAME of his GOD, BUT, WE WILL walk in the NAME of YAHWEH our MIGHTY ONE, forever and EVER” (Micah 4:5). Peace to those of good will.
Our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, admonished Nicodemus thusly: “We speak (of the things) that we do know, and testify that which we have seen,” (John 3:11). However, Paul, or more correct, Saul, speaking by the Spirit, tells us that we should prove all things; and then hold fast to those things that are true (1 Tim. 5:21).
The Dean of the Salem Bible Institute says, “One of the greatest Prophets of the Old Testament, Elijah, bore not only Jah, pronounced YAH, at the end of His Name, but had the EL for Elohim in front of his name. His name equals God the Lord.”
“EL” signifies MIGHT or STRENGTH. “I” is the possessive MINE, or MY. Thus El would signify MY EL (is). Complete the Name with YAH and we have the clear, unadulterated sentence in the Name of the Prophet, as declaring, “My El (is ) Yah,” which means, “MY MIGHTY ONE is YAHWEH.” See any Bible dictionary or Strong’s Concordance.
Next in his article, the Dean gives, what he calls, a partial list of those who bore the Name of Yah, and adds, “Every one knows they did no sin to bear that Name; however if they had only born the letters YH without the ‘A’ between, which mean the Eternal, then they would have done wrong.”
If the Dean had read the Hebrew, he would have found that all those names do have only TWO letters he calls “YH” and there is no “A” between these two letters in Hebrew. The “A” is only used in English, or any other European language, in order to obtain the same vocalization in these languages as in Hebrew.
Now for the stock phrase that “no one can know the Name of the creator of the Universe,” the Dean says, “God has never revealed His true Name to any one.” In support of that he quotes Gen. 32:28-30. “And He said, ‘Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince thou hast power with God and with men, and has prevailed.’ And Jacob asked Him and said, ‘Tell me I pray thee Thy Name,’ and He said, ‘Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after My Name?’ And He blessed him there.”
Still quoting the dean: “Here we find that this Angel refused to give his Name. Now who did Jacob say he had talked with (verse 30)? ‘And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.’ Jacob did not know God’s Name, and God did not reveal it to him.”
Now, let us go back and examine the above-quoted statements of the Dean with the recorded words of the Holy Scriptures. In the first place, Yahweh revealed His Name to His people from the beginning of time. We read in Gen. 4:26 as follows: “And to Seth, to him also was born a son, and called his name Enosh; then was a beginning made to call upon the Name of YAHWEH” (Rotherham’s Translation. See also margin in the King James Version, or any other reliable translation.) Moffatt’s translation reads, as follows: “Seth also had a son born to him and called his name Enosh; he was the first to worship the Eternal (Yahweh ) BY NAME.”
Now as to Jacob not knowing the Name, let us examine this matter. After Jacob left the parental home to go to Padan-Aram to find himself a wife, according to the wishes of his parents, he came to Luz and tarried there for the night. We all know his dream, and of the ladder that he saw being set up between the earth and heaven, and the angels of Elohim ascending; and lo, Yahweh standing by him; and said, “IAM YAHWEH, the Elohim of Abraham thy father, and the Elohim of Isaac; and the land where thou art lying to thee will I give it and to thy seed” (Gen 28:13, Rotherham’s Translation. See also Moffatt’s, American Standard Version, and many others.) Now let us read down to the 20th and 21st verses, and we will find not only the Holy One revealing His Name to Jacob, but Jacob also acknowledged the revelation. In the 16th verse, he said, “Surely YAHWEH was in this place, and I knew it not.” Then in verses 20 through 22, he says, “If Elohim will be with me and keep me in this way wherein I am going, and gives me bread to eat and raiment to put on, and I come back in prosperity unto the house of my father, then will YAHWEH prove to be MY ELOHIM, and this stone which I have put up for a pillar, shall be the house of El (Beth-El), and all which thou shall give me, I will tithe unto Thee”. (Rotherham Translation. See also American Standard Revision, and Moffatt’s Translation.) In spite of the fact that he uses “The ETERNAL,” Moffatt nevertheless acknowledged in the preface of his translation that the TRUE NAME IS YAHWEH, but for policy sake, he chose to use ‘The Eternal” instead of Yahweh.
In the face of these facts, how can anyone say Jacob never knew the Name of his MIGHTY ONE?
Now let us regard the Dean’s quotation of Gen. 32:29, in light of the revelation which Jacob received in Gen. 29:13. The Dean quoted, “Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after MY NAME?” (Gen. 32:29) The question was intended as a rebuke to Jacob in that he had so soon forgotten his “Beth-El” experience. It was not a denial of the request. In other words, the Mighty One of Abraham and Isaac was in effect saying to Jacob, “What? You ask after MY NAME? Have you forgotten that when I revealed Myself to you at Luz, I told you, ‘I AM YAHWEH,’ and that I would be with you wherever you went and that I would bring you back safely to your father’s house? You already know MY NAME, so why do you ask?” Then, realizing this, Jacob called the name of the place Peni-El (the face of El).
Now we come to the quotation of Judges 13:17, 19, 21 and 22 where the Dean follows the King James translation, or I should say MIS-translation. Let us read it from the Rotherham Translation, and also from the Hebrew text itself, which translates the following from Judges 13:17, 18: “And Manoah said unto the Angel of Yahweh, ‘What is Thy Name, that when Thy words come to pass, we may do Thee honor;’ and the Angel of Yahweh said unto him, ‘Wherefore asketh thou after MY NAME, seeing it is WONDERFUL.’ ” Even the erroneous King James Version has the correction in the margin, and says it is the same name which is given in Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 6. The Hebrew word is “peli,” translated wondrous, or wonderful. Every time it appears in the Bible, with the exception of this occurrence, even the publishers of the King James Version admit that the translators made a blunder.
Reading again from the Dean’s article, he asks: What was the Angel called that appeared to Moses, Jacob, Manoah and many others in Isaiah 63:8, “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity, He redeemed them; and He bare them and carried them all the days of old.”
“This text” (says the Dean) “is talking about God the Father, and the Angel of His presence was God Himself, as Jacob and Manoah confessed. He never told them His Name, and no one knows it today. His Name by which He is known to us is ‘THE ETERNAL.’ This name is above all other names and Gods. For others shall vanish, but our God shall remain.”
In the first place, let us investigate the Dean’s citation of Isaiah 63:9. Let’s begin by reading the two preceding verses, and by so doing we will be able to recognize who it is that is meant in the 9th verse. “The loving kindness of YAHWEH will I recall, the praises of YAHWEH according to all that YAHWEH has bestowed upon us, even the abundance of goodness to the house of Israel which HE bestowed upon them according to His compassions, and according to the abundance of His loving kindness. Therefore He said, ‘Surely MY people are sons; they will not act falsely! So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Messenger (Angel) of His Presence saved them” (Isaiah 63:7-8, Rotherham’s Translation). See also the Hebrew text.)
By reading the previous citation in full context, we find that He who redeemed them was known to them by the NAME of YAHWEH (in the 7th verse); and, particularly (in the 16th verse), where Isaiah is speaking of Israel’s testimony in the reconstruction period, and says, “Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not; THOU O YAHWEH, art our father, our Redeemer; THY NAME IS FROM EVERLASTING.”
Perhaps the Dean did not see these verses. As to his statement that the Mighty One “never told them His Name, and no one knows it today,” let us carefully note his next sentence. He says, “The Name by which He is known to us is THE ETERNAL. This Name is above all other names and Gods, for all others shall vanish, but our God shall remain.”
The Dean did not derive this from the King James version of the Bible, for the word ETERNAL, as a proper NAME of the Holy One of Israel, does NOT appear in that version of the Bible. The ONLY English Bible where the word ETERNAL appears as the Name of the Holy One of Israel is the Moffatt Translation, and there, as Mr. Moffatt explains in the preface of his Bible, the title “ETERNAL” is being “SUBSTITUTED” for YAHWEH, which is the TRUE NAME. To substitute this, I will here quote from Dr. James Moffatt himself, who in the introduction to his Bible translation, on pages XVIII and XIX, says, “One crucial instance of the difficulty offered by a Hebrew term lies in the PREHISTORIC NAME given at the exodus by the Hebrews to their God (Elohim). Strictly speaking, this ought to be rendered ‘YAHWEH’ which is familiar to modern readers in the erroneous form of ‘Jehovah.’ Were this version intended for students of the original, there would be no hesitation whatever in printing ‘YAHWEH,’ but almost, at the last moment, I have decided with SOME RELUCTANCE to follow the practice of the French scholars, and of Matthew Arnold, though NOT for the same reason, who translate this NAME (YAHWEH) by ‘THE ETERNAL,’ except in an enigmatic title like ‘The Lord of Hosts.’ There is a DISTINCT LOSS in this, I fully admit. To drop the racial archaic term is to MISS SOMETHING OF WHAT IS MEANT for the Hebrew nation.” ( Moffatt’s introduction to his translation of the Bible.)
Now we have seen that Moffatt is the only one of the Bible Translators to use the term ‘Eternal’ in the entire OLD Testament. He also freely acknowledges that he used the term, ‘THE ETERNAL,” reluctantly as a substitute for YAHWEH. Then the Dean admitted, even though unconsciously, that THAT NAME IS YAHWEH; and even as he says, “IT SHALL REMAIN WHEN ALL OTHER NAMES ARE DONE AWAY.”
What then? What’s going to become of GOD and LORD, and all other pagan names which are NOW being substituted for the SACRED NAME? The Dean stated that the ALMIGHTY never revealed His Name, and NO ONE can KNOW IT, and NO ONE KNOWS IT today. Then we would ask, what will he do with such statements as are written in Isaiah 42:8? Read carefully: “I AM YAHWEH, THAT IS MY NAME, and My glory to another I will NOT give, nor My praise to images” (Rotherham’s Translation). And what will he do with Isaiah 52:5-6, which reads, “Now therefore...My people have been taken away for nought; they who rule them do howl; and continually all the day is MY NAME BROUGHT INTO CONTEMPT: THEREFORE MY PEOPLE SHALL KNOW MY NAME” (Rotherham’s Translation).
The Dean makes another incorrect assumption. He says, “There are many people who try to prove that God is taken from a heathen god called ‘Gawd.’ Let us investigate this claim. God is from the Saxon root for good. This attribute is distinctive. It is the same as two Hebrew words ‘UL” and “EL” meaning to be strong.”
Our answer for this is to call his attention to our previous article where we quoted the “New International Encyclopedia,” which says, “Popular etymology has long derived God from GOOD, but comparison of the forms shows this to be an ERROR: moreover the notion of goodness is NOT conspicuous in the heathen conception of the deity.”
Again the Dean says, “Jehovah is the revealed Elohim. It means the manifest, only, personal and holy Elohim. Elohim is the CREATOR, Jehovah the Redeemer.”
In Gen. 2:4 it is written, “These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh Elohim made the heaven and the earth” (from the Hebrew text; see also the American Revised Translation and Moffatt’s Translation.
In the verse quoted above, Yahweh IS revealed as a CREATOR, as well as Redeemer.
The Dean quoted from McClintock and Strong, Vol. 3, page 901, which says: “Jehovah, the IMPERFECT of JAHVE (YAHWE or Jehovah or Jahwe (Yahweh), He is self existing.” Again, we would ask, WHY does the Dean quote a very clear reference and not believe it? He should be teaching it to the readers of the “Advocate of Truth.”
Again the Dean, quoting from McClintock and Strong, Vol.3, page 905, says: “Jehovah, translated Kvolac, usually means Lord, the name by which God was pleased to make Himself known to the Hebrews, Ex. 2, 3.”
Is he not contradicting himself a little? All along he has maintained that the Almighty never revealed His Name to anyone, yet here he believes the McClintock and Strong’s statement which says that Jehovah, which is the imperfect form of YAHWEH, is the NAME that God was pleased to make himself known to the Hebrews.
Again the Dean quoted from McClintock and Strong: “Hebrew names for God and their meanings: Elohim--Gods, persons, Adorable, Though One He is, Jehoveh or Jahwe (Yahweh) He is self-existing El—the Mighty or Shaddai, Omnipotent, All-sufficient, Adonai—Lord, Ruler, Judge.”
Let us analyze the foregoing. First, in quoting from McClintock and Strong, we have no objections against his using the meanings of Elohim, except his use of the word God; for GOD originally was, is , and forever will be the proper name of a pagan Syrian deity, and NOT a true translation of the word Elohim. The correct meaning of Elohim is “Mighty Ones,” or “Strong Ones” (plural), the singular of Elohim is “El and Eloah.”
For the second quotation from this same source, the definition of Jehovah, or JAHWE, is “He is self-existent.” The pronunciation of the name “Jahweh” in English is correctly spelled and pronounced YAHWEH. Thus the Elder actually is agreeing with us that the NAME of the Elohim of Israel is Yahweh, the ONE WHO IS, WAS AND EVER WILL BE.
Let us note the third previous quotation: “El—the Mighty, or the Almighty.” We have no objection to this, for this is correct.
The fourth quotation is: “Shaddai—Omnipotent, All sufficient.” There can be no objection that the definition of “Shaddai” is Omnipotent, All Sufficient, or All-Providing—the ALL—BREASTED ONE; but the application is not wholly correct, for “Shaddai” is usually used as a “descriptive” characteristic and as an adjunct to El. Thus we have EL SHADDAI.
The last quotation in the list is: “Adonai,” which is defined as “LORD, RULER, JUDGE.” We readily admit that Adonai is LORD or RULER: but, nevertheless, we object to its use in referring to our Heavenly Father, because, first of all, it is the name of a pagan deity. It was also the name of a heathen King who was named after his pagan deity. See Joshua 10:1 and 3. Secondly, we disagree with its use because Yahweh objects to being called or classified, by the name of a pagan deity. (See also Ex. 23:13; Joshua 23:7; Psalm 16:4; 1 Kings 22:5-7; Hosea 2:16,17, in marginal readings and many other passages.)
The Mount Carmel incident, or showdown between EliYAH and the 400 prophets of Baal, was definitely between the use of the Adonai—Baal—Lord—as opposed to YAHWEH, whom Elijah upheld. See the Hebrew text of the Mount Carmel controversy.
The Elder next acknowledges: “The vowels making Jehovah, or Yehovah, are taken from the Hebrew Adonai.” That is true, BUT, “ADONAi” is the pagan Phoenician and Canaanite name given to their pagan deities, and thus JEHOVAH is a corruption, the result of what is known as SCRIPTURAL FORNICATION, that -ism—the combining of the TRUE NAME of the CREATOR with the name of a pagan deity, and thus creating a hybrid.
Let us examine the statement that IAW (or Yao), an erroneous spelling of Yahweh, is the Greek Sun God. In “Webster’s International Unabridged Dictionary,” we find that the GREEK Sun God is Zeus, the Latin Jupiter, or the Sanskrit Dayus. We will further find that the “holy” picture if Ie-Zeus is found in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican at Rome, of which Webster’s Dictionary has a pretty, clear reproduction for us to compare it with.
The Dean quoted from Schaff and Herzog, Vol.2, pages 1342 and 1343, as saying, “Lord is from Adonai, or Adon and very seldom means Jehovah.” To this we surely agree; in fact, we would add, it NEVER means Jehovah, or Yahweh. This is the VERY THING for which we are contending. The word “Lord” is the English translation of both the Hebrew Baal and Hebrew Adonai, and we WILL NOT substitute them for the sacred, revealed Name of YAHWEH. That is why we are dedicated in following the instructions to “hallow” our Father’s Name and also the Messiah’s Name. We strongly object to the substitution of the pagan names in the worship of the TRUE and Only ONE over all the earth. See Psalm 83:17,18.
There NEVER was any Greek deity by the name IAW. The Gnostics who endeavoured to establish the Tetragrammaton were trying to establish that IAUA, or YAHWEH, (which modern scholarship transliterates as YHWH) was the LOST WORD, the ancient Name of the Almighty, which the Hellenization of the scriptures succeeded in obscuring. Yahweh, or IAUA, is pure Hebrew and is attested by every theological seminary in Europe and America.
To sum up, we want to call attention to another statement made by Elder Bartholomew when he said, “Furthermore, it is the writer’s CANDID opinion that God did not want man to know His real Name.”
How does this statement line up with the Scriptures? See Isaiah 52:6, which even in the King James version, reads as follows: “My people SHALL KNOW MY NAME,” and Psalm 9:10 which says, “They that KNOW THY NAME will put their trust in Thee.”
Yes, we do believe that our Heavenly Father has made known to us His Name, and that NAME is YHWH in English consonants. It is hwhy in Hebrew, which is vocalized (transliterated) in English as “YAHWEH.” HalleluYAH.
The Polish Pan, Greek Kurios, and English Lord have been robbing Yahweh of His honor and glory, but we will no longer be guilty of perpetuating this horrible thing, for we have heard the voice of the Spirit of Yahweh saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, nor receive of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
Now for the last of the Dean’s statements in his first article of the series. He says, “Another thing this writer is confident of, after much research, is that God never intended YAHWEH to become a word. It is not a word, as I have explained. It is four letters, and each letter is a word. When we place the English vowel “e” between the W and H, or any other combination of vowels between these four letters, we are desecrating the four letter Name of God, I am that I am, I am the Eternal.”
Has the Dean really done very much research in this field? It is now established that these four Hebrew letters are really four VOWELS. They are “yod,” which equals I, or Y, “hey,” which is the Hebrew of the English equivalent of A, as in “father,” and “waw,” which is the Hebrew for the English W or German U. The last letter is again “hey,” which, as we said before, is the Hebrew equivalent of the A in Father. It is also sounded as E in Emblem. Both vocalizations are used in Hebrew. Therefore, place these four Hebrew letters together and you have NOT only a word, but you have a GREAT NAME, with a great meaning, IAUA (pronounced Yahweh), which Name the Savior came to reveal (John 17:6,26).
Next, the Dean of the Salem Bible Institute quotes what he calls authoritative sources. The first authority from which he quotes is a Mr. Israel Klar, who knows very little Hebrew. Mr. Klar has been a consistent opposer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lately, he has repudiated Yahshua the Messiah as the Son of the Most High, and returned once more to anti-messianic Judaism. It is from such a source that the Dean of the Salem Bible Institute quotes the following: “The word SHUA means shallow cry, trouble, false, destroy.”
“This,” he says, “is taken from Strong’s Analytical Concordance.” The Dean should have wisely looked up the information himself from Strong’s Analytical Concordance; but, instead, he accepted what Israel Klar had said.
Let us look up the word, “SHUA” as quoted by the Dean, from Mr. Klar, who supposedly gleaned it from Strong’s Analytical Concordance. This is NOT the word which is used in the Sacred Name Yah-SHUA, but an entirely different word for which the English equivalent is SHOA. It is from the root of the word which is used in the third commandment and translated, or I should say MIS-translated VAIN. The word quoted by Mr. Klar as meaning “shallow cry, destroy, trouble false,” etc., is such of which the Hebrew is hac while the SHUA of the Sacred Name is uwc. No wonder then that the Elder is misinformed. If the Elder had investigated the information he accepted from Mr. Klar, and had looked it up for himself in Strong’s Concordance, he would have found the truth.
The Dean then turns to some eminent scholars, and, based on what he received from them, he arrives at the erroneous conclusion that Hebrew was not the original language. He says that he sent out questionnaires to 15 different Hebrew authorities in 15 different leading universities of this country, and he gives us some of their statements.
These statements, when correctly analyzed, show that they agree that the Name by which the Creator revealed Himself to Moses, and the Patriarchs before him, was Yahweh.
The Elder first quotes from Dr. Charles D. Brokenshire, Dean Emeritus of Bob Jones University, who says first, “There is no reason to think that Hebrew was the original language. The original language seems to be lost.”
How does Dr. Brokenshire come to this conclusion? Is he sure of his ground? He goes on to say, “The original language seems to be lost.” Has Dr. Brokenshire any evidence that it was lost? We think that if Dr. Brokenshire and the Dean of the Salem Bible Institute, would read Gen. 9:26, they would read of Yahweh’s selection of race. Here the account shows that, of the three sons of Noah, the Spirit of Yahweh chose Shem, (which in Hebrew means NAME) as the vehicle of blessing. Later, from the seed of Shem, Yahweh again made another selection and chose Heber from which the Hebrew race descended (See Gen. 10:21). And it is evident from Gen. 11:17 that the blessing is passed over to Peleg, from which line descended Abraham, who is rightly called “the Hebrew” in Gen 14:13.
It is Biblically manifest that the Semitic seed, carried through Heber, or the Hebrew line of the descendants, spoke the Semitic-Hebrew language, just as naturally as the people of China speak the Chinese language.
Dr. Brokenshire apparently well knows that Hebrew is the CLASSICAL language, while Aramaic is the vernacular language of the Shemites. In much the same way, Oxford English differs from the English spoken in our southern states, yet we all speak the English language.
It is true that Yahweh, as we read in Gen. 11:7, confused the language of the rebels who were building the Tower of Babel. But let us remember it was not the selected ones of Yahweh (the Semetic seed) whose language was confused, rather the confusion was visited upon the Hamitic and Japhetic combination which were under the sway of Nimrod. Since he rebelled against Yahweh’s plan, therefore, it was their language that was confounded. The Hebrew tongue was the original language. From that, all other languages developed, some from the direct consequence of the “act of the Most High,” as written in Gen 11:7; and some from those who spoke the Semitic languages through commerce, or through religious contact with pagan forms of worship and practices.
No wonder Yahweh has promised to restore to the people the pure language, so that we may again worship Him with one consent. See Zephaniah 3:9.
Dr. Brokenshire, as quoted by the Dean of the Salem Bible Institute, says, “Yahweh is a modern attempt to pronounce hwhy, or YHWH, the pronunciation of which is lost. The Hebrews (he means Jews) avoided pronouncing it, and said Adonai instead. Adonai means ‘Lord.’ When the NAME YHWH appeared in Hebrew, the King James English Old Testament reads (LORD). When Lord appears in the King James version, the Hebrew word Adonai stands in the Hebrew Old Testament.”
We agree in principle with Dr. Brokenshire, BUT, we wish to emphasize the true pronunciation was lost to the people because of DIS-USE, and NOT because it could not be pronounced. We have Bible evidence for this. Please turn to Isaiah 65:11, and read, “Ye are they who forsake Yahweh, who forget My holy mountain, who prepare for Fortune (Heb. G-D,—GOD) a table, and who fill for Destiny mixed wine.” Rotherham’s translation.
Please note: the reason for forsaking the Name was NOT because it could not be pronounced, BUT because of the orgies connected with the pagan worship of GOD and MENI, of whom Rotherham, in his reference says, they are “TWO SYRIAN DEITIES.”
Let us also read from Jer. 23:26,27, which is, as follows: “How long shall it be in the heart of the prophets to be prophets of falsehood, and prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who lay a plot to cause My people to FORGET MY NAME, by their dreams (imaginations) which they relate every man to his neighbor, just as their fathers FORGOT MY NAME FOR BAAL” (Lord). See Rotherham’s translation.
It is true, as Yahweh says: The people have forgotten His name. But why? Because they love the name of the Lord, which is the English equivalent of Baal, and Adonai, as evidenced by the Old Testament prophets. But Yahweh has declared that His people SHALL KNOW HIS NAME (see Isaiah 52:6), even in spite of modern prophets trying to uphold the pagan names of the national idols. These teachers insist that the true VOCALIZATION is lost, thus leaving no alternative for the people but to use the pagan substitutes.
Dr. Brokenshire continues by saying, “The original manuscripts do not have vowels: these are supplied by the readers.” (end of quote) With the late archaeological discovery of the ancient Isaiah Scrolls, we have learned that the Aleph (A), Hey (E and sometimes A), WaW (U), Yod (I, or as some prefer, Y), are used in this earliest of manuscripts so far discovered. Now these letters, heretofore thought to be consonants, are used as vowels. See Biblical Archaeology of Sept. 1948, Vol. XI, page 60. Therefore, we are able to pronounce the Tetragrammaton as four vowels: “IAUA”. In English, they are written by the six-letter word YAHWEH to obtain the same vocalization.
We readily agree that there are no original Biblical manuscripts dating from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, since the Biblical writings, as we understand them, begin with Moses and subsequent authors. BUT there are extant written documents, not only of the times of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but much earlier still and they are written in the same early Semitic Hebrew letters. This alphabet was NOT the so-called modern Hebrew, which in reality is the Assyrian square letters that the Jews learned during their Babylonian exile in Babylon. The original Hebrew is the ancient Semitic Hebrew alphabet better known as the Phoenician alphabet. This is the parent of the Greek, the Latin, and kindred alphabets, including our own English, as well as all European alphabets.
It is evident that these gentlemen have not kept abreast of the archaeological findings of these last days, in which the stones are crying out the truth to those who have ears to hear.
Of course we agree with Dr. Brokenshire when he says, “The Jews pronounce the Hebrew Old Testament differently in different parts of the world,” just as we pronounce the English language differently in different parts of the English-speaking world. We do not all speak the classical Oxford or Bostonian English. But we do all speak a form of English that can be understood in different parts of the English speaking world. Is that any reason not to obey the Saviour, and sanctify and hallow the Name of our father who is in Heaven?
We are glad to note that Dr. Brokenshire admits the possibility that, “to pronounce the Hebrew with English sounds fairly well.” But when he said, “Our Hebrew pronunciation in theological seminaries does not exactly reproduce the Hebrew sounds,” we would hold up a parallel case, concerning the Polish, Spanish, Italian and Greek laborers who come to this country. Here they learn a working vocabulary with which they express themselves in English, but do they exactly reproduce the exact sounds of the classical English or American language? Then why not use the same yardstick under the same condition? How can theological students, who are trying to master the Hebrew language, obtain perfect vocalization of the Hebrew, when they may have but few capable teachers to teach them?
In the University of Jerusalem, a great effort is now being made to restore the classical uniform Hebrew. May Yahweh speed the accomplishment of this undertaking in fulfillment of Zephaniah 3:9, so that we may all call on the Name of Yahweh with one consent.
Dr. Brokenshire, as quoted by the Dean, says, “God told Moses He was Y.H.W.H. We do not know the exact pronunciation. We reproduce the word by LORD or Jehovah.” End of quote.
The Most High did not say to Moses, nor to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, “I AM, Why, Eich, Double-You Eich.” The Most High did reveal His name to Moses and to the ancient worthies by speaking out the Name by which He wished to be called. And Moses committed to writing what he heard, for the benefit of posterity, by using such letters of the Hebrew alphabet whose pronunciation would reproduce the very identical sounds which he had heard Yahweh speak.
Every letter has its own sound and by putting the sounds of these letters together, we form syllables which make up the words by which we express ourselves.
Dr. Brokenshire says, “We do not know the exact pronunciation. We reproduce the word by Lord or Jehovah.” BUT we would ask, does Lord or Jehovah sound anything like Y.H.W.H.? Then why use such words if they are not the sound of four letters by which the Name is written? Is that not being arbitrary?
Again the Dean quotes Dr. Brokenshire, as saying, “There is really no Hebrew word Jehovah. It is made up by putting A and O and E into Y.H.W.H., Y.H.V.H., or J.H.V.H. J equals Y and W equals V. It was a gentile invention in the 16th century of the Christian era. God also called himself hyha, Ehyah, I AM, or Shall be, from the same root as Y.H.W.H.”
We readily agree with Dr. Brokenshire, that there is no such word in the Scripture as Jehovah. This is what we have been contending for. But we question the statement that J equals Y and W equals V. Is it not a fact that J in Latin is the capital form of I, and that it was thus used in the Old English before the 17th century? Also is it not true that our modern J sound was imported into England by the French in the 17th century? See any reliable encyclopedia on the letter J. And as to the letter W equaling V, why not continue and say that the V was the capital form of U which, in continental Europe, has the same sound as our English W? When the King James translators translated the Bible, why not state they used the V and U interchangeably? Consult any reliable encyclopedia on the letters U, V and W.
Dr. Brokenshire most probably knows that the sound of our English V in Hebrew is a secondary vocalization of the Hebrew Beth (B). Thus Abraham in Hebrew is pronounced AVRAHAM, Jacob pronounced IacoV, or Yacov.
Again, Dr. Brokenshire, as quoted by the Dean, says, ‘‘YAHWEH, or Jehovah, apparently is derived from HAWAH, or HAYAH, a root meaning to be, or to become, to exist.” End of quote.
To the above we answer, we agree to the fact that YAHWEH is derived from “HAWAH and HAYAH,” but we disagree that the same can be said of Jehovah. Jehovah is an acknowledged hybrid, and unfit for sacred use. We agree that both of these words are the root words meaning “to be, to become, to exist,” and both are used in the Sacred Name. The first syllable of the four-letter Name is IA, (Yah) and is taken from HAYAH. The second syllable is OO-A (WAH or WEH, either spelling is permissible). When these two syllables are joined together, the NAME YAHWEH is formed, by which the Almighty emphasized His SELF-EXISTENCE.
The next quotation the Dean makes from Dr. Brokenshire is as follows, “In place of Yahweh, we may say as the Jews did, who translated the Old Testament into Greek, O KURIOS, ho-Kyrios which means the Lord. This is the form used also in the Greek New Testament. The word Lord is reproduced in many modern languages as in French, German, Italian.”
It would be advisable to consult the Nash fragment of the Greek Old Testament, which is the oldest manuscript portion of the Greek Old Testament. It contains the Ten Commandments and the SHEMA (Deut. 6:4), and antedates the Herodian age preceding the Maccabeean Period. To the same period belong the Faud Manuscripts and the Rylands Manuscripts which also date from the 2nd Century, B.C. Here it is found that the 70 Jewish scholars who translated the Bible into Greek (the Septuagint) DID NOT TRANSLATE, nor TRANSLITERATE the 4 letter NAME hwhy. But they blocked off blank spaces where the Name should be, and then in those blank spaces they inserted the square, so-called Hebrew, letters hwhy in GOLD.
The Greeks, after they got the translation from the 70 Jews, could not make out the Name which had been left in its Hebrew form. They read it as PIPI (II I II I), for the Hebrew letters resembled somewhat the Greek form of the letters PIPI. Identifying the name of their chief deity, Theos, (another form of Zeus, Dios, Deus) for Elohim; and likewise, KUROS, the Greek, form of the Egyptian, Horus, they put them in place of the original Name YAHWEH. The Greek Zeus is the same as the Latin Deus, the Spanish Dios, and the Sanskrit Dayus. See Webster’s New International Unabridged Dictionary, under Zeus.
It is to be regretted that theologians do not keep abreast of archaeological discoveries, so as to keep themselves informed of Bible truths which are being rediscovered after lying buried over two thousand years.
Again we are told that “Jesus is the equivalent of Jeshua, or Yeshua, which is the same as Joshua, or Jehoshua, the conqueror of Palestine. Jesus (Ie-sus in Greek) comes from the LATIN, which is derived from the Greek. It suggests that Jehovah, the Lord, is salvation.” End of quote. Our answer to this is an emphatic NO. This is not true. Jesus is no more the equivalent of Yahshua than Lord is the equivalent of Yahweh. It is a SUBSTITUTION: it robs the Creator, Who has revealed His Name, of His honor, glory and praise; even as He said in Isaiah 42:8 “I am Yahweh, that is My name, and My glory to another I will not give, nor My praise to images,” Rotherham’s Translation.
The next authority that the Dean calls upon is Dr. Millar Burrows, of the Department of Near East languages, Yale University.
Now be it far from me to question Dr. Millar Burrow’s scholarship, especially on the Near Eastern languages. I know that he understands the subject thoroughly, but I do doubt that he understood the Dean’s motives for his questions, and I also doubt that the Dean understands the answers he received from Dr. Burrows. Here then follows the questions, the answers, and our comment upon them.
First question: “Is Hebrew the original language?” Dr. Burrows answers, “If you mean by this the original language of mankind, the answer is no. Hebrew is a language of the Northwest Semitic group, closely related to the Moabite, Canaanite, Phoenician, etc. All these languages, together with other Semitic languages, go back to an original language which no longer exists. Comparative study of all these Semitic languages indicates that the one which comes nearest to the original Semitic language is Arabic.”
Dr. Burrows plainly states that Hebrew is the language of the North Semitic group related to the Moabites. Well, were not the Moabites descendants of Moab? Was not Moab the descendant of Lot? Was not Lot the nephew of Abraham, WHO WAS A HEBREW? See Gen. 14:13. And by the same token, are not the Arabic group, the Ammonites, also descendants of Lot; Esauites, descendants of Esau, and Ishmaelites also descendants of the same line of Hebrews, all of these being descendants of Abraham? As for the Phoenicians, are they not the descendants of Joktan, the brother of Heber from whom came the Hebrews? Of course their language would be related, originating as they do from grandfather Shem, the fountain-head of the Semitic race.
What many theologians do not realize is that there is a definite relationship within the racial groups and the languages they use. Even though they be divided into local dialects, it is one stem.
Now Dr. Burrows continues with question number 1: “If by the original language, you mean the language the Old Testament was written in, the answer is YES, except for parts of the book of Daniel and Ezra, and one verse in Genesis which were written in Aramaic.” End of quote.
We heartily agree with Dr. Burrows.
To question number 2, evidently referring to the Name, Dr. Burrows answers, as follows: “The Name came to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, except by the High Priest, on one or two very sacred occasions. Instead of pronouncing it, therefore, the readers of the Scriptures SUBSTITUTE the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning Lord.”
From the reply which Dr. Burrows gives to the Dean’s question, it is clear that the LORD is NOT the equivalent of the Sacred four-letter Name, but is a SUBSTITUTE, which the Holy One of Israel disclaims. See Hosea 2:16 margin. It was not, and is not, a part of: THUS SAITH YAHWEH, but is the tradition of men, to nullify the commandments of Yahweh.
Next, Dr. Burrows says, “The Hebrew text originally was written without vowels, because the Hebrew alphabet consists of only consonants. The consonants of the Divine Name are letters corresponding to our letters Y.H.W.H.”
Now far be it from me to question his motive for the statement quoted above. It is true that, heretofore, scholarship has maintained that the Hebrew alphabet was composed of 22 consonants. But as we have said before, recent archaeological discoveries have exploded this theory. In ancient times, because of a scarcity of writing material there was the omittance of vowels when the consonants themselves indicated the vowel sound. It was a sort of shorthand writing, but that does NOT MEAN that they had no vowels. They had vowels, and they were included in, and were a part of, the 22 letters of the Semitic, Hebrew and Phoenician alphabet. They were, Aleph (A), Hey (E), Waw (U), Yod (I or Y), and Ayan (O).
Dr. Burrows was one of three leading experts in Semitic languages, so that he and Dr. John C. Trever of the International Council of Religious Education, and Dr. William H. Brownlee, examined the Isaiah Scrolls which were discovered in a cave in Palestine in 1947. Dr. Millar Burrows reported on these findings and on the result of their examinations in the Biblical Archaeologist of Sept. 1948, from which I shall quote two paragraphs, which follow:
For students of the Bible, the manuscript of Isaiah is THE MOST INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT OF ALL. It is the only complete manuscript of the Bible from such an early date. At the latest date which can possibly be assigned to it, it is older by several centuries than any other extant manuscript of a whole Old Testament Book in Hebrew. For this reason, IT IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT WITNESS to the text of Isaiah, taking us back much nearer to the time of the original composition of the book than our other manuscripts do. Together with the Septuagint, which, in the Greek translation, reproduces a still earlier form of the Hebrew text, our manuscript is AN IMPORTANT TOOL for establishing the ORIGINAL WORKING OF THE BOOK.
From this point of view, the most significant fact about the Isaiah Manuscript is the degree to which it agrees with our traditional Hebrew text. The agreement is by NO MEANS EXACT IN EVERY DETAIL. In the spelling of words, there are a great many DIFFERENCES. Our manuscript was written long before the system, indicating vowels by points, had been developed, and IT MAKES VERY FREE USE OF THE CONSONANTS, especially W and Y, but of H and Aleph TO INDICATE VOWELS. In some cases, grammatical forms are different from those to which we are accustomed in our Hebrew Old Testament, especially in the verbs, pronouns and suffixes. THE GRAMMARIAN OF THE LANGUAGE will find CONSIDERABLE NEW MATERIAL HERE for the HISTORICAL GRAMMAR OF THE LANGUAGE.”
In the preceding two paragraphs, we have quoted Dr. Burrows verbatim, only the emphasis is ours. The doctor made this report in 1948. It is evident from this report that the tradition of there being no vowels in the Hebrew language is at last being exploded. For as Dr. Burrows and his colleagues, who made up the committee examining this important document, have found, the very letters which, for centuries, were thought to be consonants, but, in fact, were vowels, were used freely by ancient writers, even those as late as the second century B.C.
Also note this: How does it happen that these so-called consonants (of which the writers of the Isaiah Manuscripts make a free use) are the very same letters which the Caucasian race uses: the Aleph (A), Hey (E), Yod (I), Ayin (O), and Waw (U)?
And is it not a fact that consonants rarely change their sounds, but the vowels change their sounds frequently in English, which is also the rule of the Hebrew vowels? Surely in these Isaiah Scrolls there is MUCH THAT GRAMMARIANS CAN USE AND LEARN.
Beside all of this information, as to the use of vowels in the text of the above-mentioned Isaiah Scrolls, let me quote from a more ancient authority than Dr. Burrows, who states not only that the ancient prophets used vowels, but that the Tetragrammaton was composed of “four vowels.”
Herein follows the proof. Josephus, the great Hebrew historian, in his “Wars of the Jews,” Book 5, chapter 5, section 7, very clearly states: “A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his (the High Priest) head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraved, THE SACRED NAME; IT CONSISTED OF FOUR VOWLES.”
We do not question the scholarship of Dr. Burrows, but in the face of these facts, should we not perhaps question his motives? Is he trying to bolster up Christian theology, which appears as though it may be beginning to fall apart?
In the next paragraph, Dr. Burrows says, “Many centuries after the completion of the Old Testament, a system of signs to indicate vowels were introduced. When this was done, the vowels accorded to the Sacred Name were those belonging to the word, ADONAI, indicating that this word was to be pronounced instead of the Name itself. This is why our King James version of the Bible uses the word LORD spelled with capital letters, instead of the divine Name.” End of quote.
Let us examine the above statement closely: “… the vowels accorded to the Sacred Name were those belonging to the word, ADONAI …” The Hebrew letters of the word ADONAI are ynda of which the English equivalents of these letters are A D N I (the vocalization of the last letter “I” is the same as Y). In this word, you will notice that there are two visible vowels, the first and the last letters. Please notice in the full spelling of ADONAI (in English), there are 4 vowels. So according to the doctor, there are two visible vowels. The invisible vowels are those which were added in the word ADONAI, proving that the first and last letters of the Hebrew word, which were not added, were actually VOWELS. The first was ALEPH (A) and the last YOD (I), again teaching us that there are vowels in the natural Hebrew alphabet. The addition of the so-called vowel points was a hoax on mankind. The substitution of the word ADONAI (Lord) in the place of the Tetragrammaton—Yahweh—was done because the Jews, in their apostasy, put to dis-USE the Holy Name. They SUBSTITUTED for it the pagan name, Adonai, which Yahweh repudiated (See Hosea 2:16, margin). The Christians follow suit and SUBSTITUTE the equivalent of the same pagan name the Jews used, “THE LORD.” Remember LORD is Lord no matter what kind of letters you use in writing it. In both the small or capital letters, the sound is the same. “The Lord” (Adonai) is a pagan substitute, robbing Yahweh of His glory and praise.
In the next paragraph, Dr. Burrows says, “In the Latin language, the sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V. The consonants of the Divine Name become in Latin J.H.V.H.”
In Latin, the letter J is the initial or the capital of the cursive or small “i” and it does not have the sound of the English J, but the sound of I as ee. The vocalization of the Latin V is the very same as our English W or the European U, pronounced oo. In Latin, V is the initial or the capital form of the cursive or small ‘u’. In the original translation of the King James Bible, the letters ‘U’ and ‘V’ were used interchangeably. For instance, in our government buildings, we can see, even in these days, the interchangeability of the V and U in the Latinized form of “Vnited States of America.” The V is used in place of the U in United. With this in mind, we can take Dr. Burrows’ Latinized Tetragrammaton JHVH, and, as he well knows, we have IAUA as the equivalent of the Hebrew hwhy.
The Dean then asks the question of Dr. Burrows: “Can we be sure that the Hebrew, now in the possession of mankind, is the original Hebrew spoken by Abraham?” To which Dr. Burrows replies, “No, it is not even certain that Abraham spoke Hebrew, since we are told that he came from Haran and, before that, from Ur of the Chaldees. He may have spoken Aramaic, or even the language of the Babylonians. It is possible, though not certain, that the Israelites did not use the Hebrew language until they entered the land of Canaan. This is a difficult question and we have no decisive answer.” End of quote.
Is this not a strange paradox? Abraham was a Semitic (SHEM-ITE) and a Hebrew, as we learn from Gen. 14:13. As such, he was opposed to the Babylonian system, both social and religious. Therefore, how could he make use of a language foreign to him, and which was basically pagan?
We think Dr. Burrows did well to say, “This is a difficult question and we have no decisive answer.” But Abraham’s intimate associations with Shem, Eber, Abimelech and Melchizedec (who were Semitics) tend to prove the affinity of languages among them. The Babylonian original language was the same as that of the Assyrian. We learn from the Bible that Nimrod went from Babylon to Assyria and built Nineveh. No doubt he (Nimrod) brought the Babylonian language into Assyria when he established Nineveh as the Capital of his empire. Thus Babylon became a province of Assyria until the fall of Assyria in the days of Nebopolassar, who took over the province of Babylon and built it into an empire long after Abraham. The official language of Assyria was the original Babylonian, which latter language developed from the confusion of languages. The alphabet of the Assyrians was the Cuneiform, or a wedge-shaped alphabet. This bears no resemblance to the Semitic-Hebrew alphabet which scholars today call Phoenician.
The next question the Dean asks is: “Is it possible to pronounce Hebrew in English?” We are glad to note Dr. Burrows answer: “YES, the Jews still living in the Orient STILL RETAIN the PRONUNCIATION which MUST have been the ancient Hebrew pronunciation.” Should not this answer have convinced the Dean that the ancient Hebrew pronunciation HAS NOT BEEN LOST?
The Dean then asks, “Did God say He was Yahweh when He gave the Ten Commandments?” Dr. Burrows replies, “YES, in Exodus 20:1 He says, “I AM YAHWEH thy God” (Elohim). End of quote.
To this we would say, “Praise Yahweh for a true answer.”
Again the Dean asks, “Is Lord and God as good as Jahweh, and Jesus the equivalent of Jahshua?” To this Dr. Burrows replies, “The form Jahweh is NOT correct in any language; IT SHOULD BE YAHWEH in English. Jahveh would be right in Latin.” Here again the Dean gets a plain YES, the name should be YAHWEH.
The reason why Dr. Burrows says that Jahveh would be correct in Latin is because the Latin pronunciation is IAUA, the equivalent of the English vocalization YAHWEH.
But here again we have another paradox. While Dr. Burrows admits the correct pronunciation of the Sacred Name is Yahweh, he then defends the use of the substitute, which in no way represents the Sacred Name. He favors the use of the pagan word, Lord, and gives the following reason: “To my mind, the final conclusive reason for doing this is that ‘YAHWEH’ was THE NAME OF THE NATIONAL GOD OF THE HEBREWS, and is, therefore, unsuitable for use in Christian worship of the Universal God.”
Please read the preceding over again, and meditate prayerfully. “YAHWEH was the NATIONAL MIGHTY ONE OF THE HEBREWS” (of the Patriarchs and of the Prophets, and He was the Father of our Savior, Yahshua), “AND IS THEREFORE UNSUITABLE for CHRISTIAN WORSHIP.” In other words, Dr. Burrows is unwittingly saying that the NATIONAL MIGHTY ONE of the HEBREWS is YAHWEH, but the acknowledged god of the GENTILES is the “UNIVERSAL GOD”—the “universal” SUN-GOD.
The God of Christian worship comes directly from the GREEK ZEUS, the Latin DEUS, the French DIEU, the Spanish DIOS, the Italian DIO, and the Sanskrit DAYUS. These deities, according to Webster’s International Unabridged Dictionary, are the names attributed to the “SHINING-SKY,” or, in other words, the SUN-GOD. No wonder then that the UNIVERSAL DAY OF WORSHIP of the CHRISTIAN is SUNDAY, and not the SABBATH which YAHWEH SANCTIFIED.
We must all guard against following mere opinions. It is the scholastic and candid, affirmative answers of Dr. Burrows concerning the Name YAHWEH which we should accept. So the Dean of the Salem Bible Institute closes his second installment by rejecting the Name of the Holy One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, WHOSE NAME IS YAHWEH. Apparently the Dean shares the ventured opinion of Dr. Burrows and concludes: “Neither YAHWEH nor YASHUA are suitable for Christian worship.”
We, at Yahweh's Assembly in Messiah, sincerely pray that you are finding Elder Traina's book to be informative, enlightening and a blessing to you. This was only one-third of his book and due to its size, we have not put the entire contents here. Please contact the office to order your complete copy. We request a donation of $3.00 to print and mail. You may contact us via our Contacts page (via e-mail, snail mail, or telephone).