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BT Vol. 62, No.

3: 185-194

Sacred Name Bible Translations in English: A Fast-Growing Phenomenon


pete_unseth@gial.edu The author is a member of SIL and is currently on the faculty of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Peter Unseth

Distinctive theological convictions regarding the divine names Since 1960, over a dozen translations of the Bible have been produced in English with the explicit goal of restoring the original Hebrew forms of the divine names, consistently using forms such as Yahweh and Yeshua in both the Old and New Testaments (in contrast to ASVs use of Jehovah in the Old Testament alone).1 However, Bible translation scholars have paid no attention to these translations in any of the books on English Bible translations (e.g., Daniell and Dewey2). I have found only one published discussion3 of these translations in literature that was not produced by writers in the Sacred Name Movement, though there are many websites that discuss them, positively and negatively. This article will briefly introduce readers to this group of Bible translations, explain some of the motivations for such translations, give a list of these Sacred Name Bibles (SNBs), and compare the variety of results from such similar guiding principles. This article does not review the extensive literature on translating the names of God, but is focused on this one specific approach for handling Gods names. These SNBs are of interest to the broader Bible translation community for at least two reasons. First, they represent the full implementation of a distinct approach to Bible translation, worth studying closely to sharpen our thinking. Secondly, Bible translators around the world are more and more likely to come across somebody who has a copy of an SNB and is promoting this approach, so prior knowledge of the approach is helpful. SNB translations have been done by people with a very strong commitment to conveying the sacred names in forms that are as phonetically similar as possible
1This paper focuses on Sacred Name Bibles in English, translations that consistently use Hebraic forms of Gods name in both Old and New Testaments, but I am aware of two such translations in other languages: Chouraquis French La Bible (1985) and the Indonesian Kitab Suci (Daud Soesilo, Translating the Names of God: Recent Experience from Indonesia and Malaysia, The Bible Translator 52.4 [2001]: 414-23 [416]). 2David Daniell, The Bible in English (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003); and David Dewey, A Users Guide to Bible Translations: Making the Most of Different Versions (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004). 3David Bivin, The Fallacy of Sacred Name Bibles, Jerusalem Perspective 4.6 (1991): 7, 12.

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to their forms in the Hebrew language. Not surprisingly, most of these translations contain long introductions that argue the need for this approach to translation and explain some of the reasons for their decisions. The translators are eager to correct what they perceive to be an immense failure on the part of present-day religious leaders and their institutions, regardless of their claim to scriptural authority, to adequately address the important doctrine of the sacred name.4 The translators behind all these SNBs are motivated by the conviction that the Tetragrammaton ( YHWH), and other divine names in the Bible, are commanded to be known and used by all who worship, in all ages. One author from this school of thought wrote, The sacred name [Yahweh] is not a Hebrew or Jewish invention. It is an eternal name, a name that existed before any human walked upon the face of the eartha name that shall continue for eternity.5 They point to such verses as This is My name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations (Exod 3.15). They do not think that we are merely allowed to say Gods name, but we are commanded to use it. Rather than using any substitutes, such as LORD, they believe not only does this substitution steal from the richness and fullness of the original languages, but probably directly breaks the third commandment.6 The various SNBs differ in a variety of ways, but this article tries to describe the exegetical convictions and translation techniques that they have in common. When describing a movement, the best that we can hope for are broad characterizations, not minute details shared by all. Some of these translations limit their scope to giving Hebrew forms for a very few words; others apply their principles to a wider variety of terms. The one word that all focus on is the name spelled with four Hebrew letters ( YHWH), often called the Tetragrammaton. These translations do not agree with each other on how to write it, their renditions of it including YHVH, YHWH, Yahweh, YAHVAH, and even in Hebrew script and hwhY in Paleo-Hebrew script. In these SNBs, other words that are frequently converted into spellings that try to mimic Hebrew pronunciations include God (), Jesus (), Christ (). Again, there is not unanimity in spelling. For example, various SNBs spell Jesus as Yeshua, Yahshua (also upper case YAHSHUA), Yahushua, in Hebrew script, and o[vwHY in Paleo-Hebrew script. Some of the translations also spell Hebrew-derived names in ways that reflect this, e.g., MattithYahu for Matthew (Besorah) and Yehudah for Judas (The Scriptures). The cover of one translation even mixes scripts in the name Matthew, MATITwHY (Book of Matityahu: Palaeo Name Version). Also, some use Hebrew-based

4 The Sacred Name YHWH: A Scriptural Study, (3rd ed.; Garden Grove, CA: Qadesh La Yahweh Press, 2002), 257. Available on the Web: http://www.yahweh.org/PDF_index1.html /. 5 The Sacred Name YHWH, 256. 6 Preface to Word of Yahweh, vii.

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Shaul (or Saul) throughout Acts and in the Epistles instead of Greek-based Paul (e.g., The Scriptures).7 In some SNBs, names of some books of the Bible are also spelled in Hebrewbased ways, e.g., Bereshith for Genesis (The Scriptures, The Book of Yahweh, The Besorah). Also, some arrange the OT books in the traditional Jewish order (The Scriptures, The Besorah). Place names in Palestine are frequently spelled in ways that more closely reflect a Hebrew pronunciation, e.g., Yerushalayim for Jerusalem. The translators of these versions generally believe that The original language of the New Testament ... was Hebrew and Aramaic,8 rather than Greek. The present Greek text of the New Testament is seen, then, as a translation and as flawed in not having preserved the Hebraic forms of names, particularly sacred names. Therefore, they believe it appropriate to insert/restore Semitic-based names in their translations of the New Testament. They believe that use of Hebrew-based sacred names are for all people, not just Jews, and for all time.9 This belief leads them to require Hebrew-based forms for divine names in the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament. Many scholars debate the exact original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. Josephus (Jewish War 5.235) wrote the sacred name: it consists of four vowels. The Samaritans of the fourth century A.D. (sharing the same Torah, but following a different tradition regarding speaking the Tetragrammaton) were reported by Theodoret of Cyrus as pronouncing it in a Semitic way, which he symbolized as .10 However, we cannot know the exact phonetic values he tried to symbolize with these letters. A few Septuagint (LXX) manuscripts contain a spelling of the Tetragrammaton in Greek letters, but these spell it differently: A (e.g., 4QpapLXXLevb 20 4). Many scholars generally believe it was pronounced in a way approximated by the spelling Yahweh (using English values for these letters). The one thing that all scholars agree on is that the Tetragrammaton was not pronounced as an English reader would pronounce Jehovah. Translators of SNBs have taken two basic approaches to this issue. Some have simply written the Tetragrammaton in Semitic letters (Paleo-Hebrew or later shapes), thereby being graphically accurate, but leaving pronunciation to the reader.11 Others have chosen to spell it with Roman letters in a variety of ways, including Yahweh, Yah Veh, YAHVAH, and the phonetically unspecific YHWH.
7This practice hides a distinction that was made in the Greek text. Since these translators view the Greek text as a flawed translation, they do not see their work as obscuring a point that was originally intended and inspired. 8 Hebraic Roots Version, xvii; similarly The Scriptures, xvi, and Word of Yahweh, viii. 9 The Sacred Name YHWH, 89ff. 10 Robert C. Hill, ed., Theodoret of Cyrus: The Questions on the Octateuch, Volume 1 On Genesis and Exodus (Library of Early Christianity; Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2007), 251. 11 For example, We decided to avoid controversy over the precise pronunciation and to render it in Hebrew characters (The Scriptures, xii).

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Other theological distinctives of the Sacred Name Movement Those who produce and use Sacred Name Bibles are not theologically uniform, but there are several theological distinctives that frequently reoccur. They are united in their belief in the vital importance of using Hebraic forms of sacred names. Additionally, most of them observe a seventh-day Sabbath and the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrate the new moon, and do not eat pork. Some stress the exact form of sacred names so much as to say that those who worship JEHOVAH and JESUS or whatever you choose to call him, they will have the Mark of the Beast.12 Also, We find salvation in only one name: the sacred name Yahweh. It is not found by uttering the name Jesus Christ or even its original Hebrew form Yahushua ha-messiah.13 Many of their websites claim that the name Jesus is derived from the name for the god Zeus and Christ is from Krishna, but without credible evidence or scholarly support. Previous translation practice Since the Babylonian exile, fearing that they might take Gods name in vain, Jews were taught to refrain from pronouncing the name represented by the Tetragrammaton. Instead, they customarily substituted the words Adonai (Lord) or HaShem (The Name) when reading ( YHWH). Some scholars believe Jesus observed this custom only when reading Scripture.11 However, those who have produced SNBs disagree, some even claiming that Jesus was crucified because he pronounced the name.11 The LXX, following the Jewish practice of not pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, translated it with the Greek (Lord). This practice of translating (rather than transliterating) the Tetragrammaton was continued by later translations, such as the Ethiopic (Geez), Latin Vulgate, and Luthers German Bible. The practice of avoiding pronouncing the Tetragrammaton was continued by English Bible translators, following the same basic method as used in the LXX. They generally wrote Lord (often LORD with all capital letters), to indicate that it represented the Tetragrammaton (e.g., KJV, RSV, NLT, Lamsa, Confraternity, NEB, TNIV). This pattern has been continued by most Jewish translators (e.g., the Jewish Publication Societys translations of 1917 and 1985). Fox uses YHWH in his multi-volume project in progress, The Schocken Bible. Interestingly, Kaplans Living Torah reversed the traditional use of God and Lord, using God for the Tetragrammaton and Lord for Elohim. A few older English Bible translations are noted for their early diversion from this traditional practice of translating the Tetragrammaton with LORD.16 Darbys translation (1890), ASV (1901), the Jehovahs Witnesses New World Translation
12 Letter in The Midnight Call, Feb. 2008: 48. 13 The Sacred Name YHWH, 257. 14 Ray Pritz, The Divine Name in the Hebrew New Testament, Jerusalem Perspective 4.2 (1991): 10-12. 15 The Sacred Name YHWH, 256. 16 A few obscure early translations also used a Semitic-based form of the Tetragrammaton, but they have made no impact.

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(1961), and The Bible in Living English17 (1972) all use Jehovah throughout the Old Testament, while JB (1966) similarly uses Yahweh in the Old Testament. The Berkeley translation (1959) used Yahweh four times in the Old Testament. However, this trend to use Yahweh has met some resistance: In August 2008 the Vatican directed bishops to remove Yahweh from songs and prayers, and some Protestants agree.18 An important distinctive of the SNBs is that unlike the translations just listed, the SNB translators consistently19 use a Hebrew-based spelling of the Tetragrammaton in the New Testament also, not just in the Old Testament. History and the sacred names Discussions about whether Christians are bound to use Hebrew-based forms of the sacred names are not new. Justin Martyr (second century) argued that YHWH is not a personal name, writing of the namelessness of God.20 Origen (third century) is reported to have retained a Hebrew form of the Tetragrammaton in his Greek form of the Hebrew Scriptures (Hexapla), but only derived copies of his work survive. Many others have wrestled with the question as to whether or not the Tetragrammaton is a proper name, including such varied scholars as Eusebius, Dionysius the Areopagite, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Moses Maimonides. Sacred Name Bibles SNBs generally trace their inspiration back to Joseph Rotherham, who asked in the preface to his translation, The Emphasized Bible (1897), Mens names are throughout the Scriptures fraught with significance, ... why should the Name of the Ever-Blessed be an exception to this rule? Having said this, however, in his translated text Rotherham did not significantly depart from earlier practice in translating divine names. The SNBs began to appear some decades later, beginning with Angelo Trainas Holy Name Bible in 1963. Some of these translations are largely derived from KJV or ASV, substituting Hebraic forms of the divine names and little more. Others have been original translations, done by consulting Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac manuscripts, giving more weight to the Aramaic and Syriac manuscripts of the New Testament (as opposed to Greek manuscripts) than traditional translators. In very direct contrast to the practice found in all previous English Bibles, the translators of SNBs place a high value on consistently pronouncing the Tetragrammaton in the Old Testament and the New Testament, seeing it as the revealed, eternal, and proper name of God. In the last 150 years, as Scripture has been translated into hundreds of languages, most have used some local name for God, not trying to preserve a
17 Note that this is not Taylors Living Bible, but a translation by Stephen T. Byington. 18 Barring Yahweh, Christianity Today 52.10 (October 2008): 15. 19The New World Translation uses Jehovah over 200 times in the New Testament, mostly in quotations from the Old Testament, and does not otherwise use it consistently in the New Testament, where it generally translated as God and as Lord. 20 Justin Martyr, Hortatory Address, ch. 21.

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Hebrew name. Moomo21 and many others have argued that local names for God should be used. In contrast to this practice, Daams22 has made a clear call for Bible translators to transliterate YHWH, at least in some OT contexts. Wardlaw23 leans toward Daamss solution, arguing against using the names of local deities, but allowing for the use of vernacular titles, e.g., lord. Some examples of translations that have used transliterated forms of YHWH, often something like Jehovah and generally in the Old Testament only, include Kapingamarangi in the Solomon Islands,24 Ga, Ewe, Dagbani in Ghana,25 Assamese, Hindi, Nepali,26 and Natqgu and Pijin in the Solomon Islands.27 Other examples include translations into Korean, Portuguese, and Choctaw.28 The Indonesian translation Kitab Suci is noteworthy in that like the English SNBs, it too was deliberately created to use Hebraic forms of sacred names by taking an existing translation (Shellabears) and replacing the sacred names in both the Old and New Testaments.29 Chouraquis French La Bible 30 uses a transliteration of YHWH in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, using the French spelling IHVH. However, it does compromise a bit, not using IHVH alone, but using it together with another name for God: IHVH-Adona (see, e.g., Exod 3.14 and Matt 7.21). There are some Jewish-friendly English translations that use Yeshua instead of Jesus in the New Testament, such as The Jewish New Testament, The Living Scriptures, and the Web-based World English Bible: Messianic Edition. However, unlike the SNBs, these translations follow traditional English practice in translating the Tetragrammaton and with Lord. None of the SNBs are published by well-established publishers. Instead, most are published by the same group that produced the translation. Some are available for download on the Web. Several of the translations do not identify any translator by name. A list of SNBs is given below, according to name and source:

Holy Name Bible, Angelo Traina, Scripture Research Association, 1963. Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (ROSNB), Missionary Dispensary Bible Research, 1st ed. 1976, 5th ed. 1977. The Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition, Assemblies of Yahweh, Bethel, PA, 1981.

21 David Moomo, Translating YHWH into African languages, Scriptura 88 (2005): 151-60. 22 Nico Daams, Translating YHWH, Journal of Translation 1.1 (2005): 47-55. 23Terrance Wardlaw, Conceptualizing Words for God within the Pentateuch (Library of Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament Studies 495; New York: T&T Clark, 2008), 163. 24Daams, Translating YHWH, 51. 25 John David Ekem, The Rendering of the Divine Name YHWH in Some Ghanaian Bible Translation Projects, The Bible Translator 56.2 (2005): 71-76 (74). 26 Benjamin Rai, What Is His Name? Translation of Divine Names in Some Major North Indian Languages, The Bible Translator 43.4 (1992): 443-46. 27 Brenda Boerger, personal communication, 2009. 28Helmut Rosin, The Lord Is God: The Translation of the Divine Names and the Missionary Calling of the Church (Amsterdam: Netherlands Bible Society, 1956), 97ff. 29 Soesilo, Translating the Names of God, 416. I want to thank Michael Martens for telling me about Kitab Suci. 30 Andr Chouraqui, La Bible (Paris: Descle de Brouwer, 1985), http://nachouraqui.tripod.com/id83. htm. Thanks to Roger Omanson for telling me about Chouraquis translation.

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Ebionite (portions), 1985, 1986. http://ebionite.org. The Scriptures, Institute for Scripture Research, South Africa, 2d ed. 1998. Restored Name King James Version, 1998. http://www.eliyah.com/Scripture/. Zikarown Sayfer (a.k.a. Sacred Scriptures, Family of Yah Edition) , James Meyer, 2000. http://www.wordofyah.org/scriptures/. The Word of Yahweh, Assembly of Yahweh, 2d ed. 2003. Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition, Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky, 2003; 3d ed., 2006. Hebraic-Roots Version, James Trimm, Institute for Scripture Research, 2004. Sacred Name King James Bible, by John Hurt, 2005. THE HEBREW BIBLE: The Old Testament, KJV, Holy Name & Divine Titles Edition, 2006. http://www.israelect.com. Natural Israelite Bible, English Version (NIBEV), 2006. http://www.yahsheua.com/ natural_israelite_bible.htm. The Besorah,31 Pamela Stanford, Urchinsea Designs, 2008. Human Instruction Manual (HIM), Nazarite.net. Halleluyah Scriptures, Halleluyah Scriptures.com. exeGeses companion BIBLE, Herbert Jahn. Transparent English Bible: Underway, only small portion available. Paleo Name Version (portions only), Todd Effren. http://www.torahzone.net/. Aramaic English New Testament, Andrew Roth, Netzari Press.

The following chart shows what forms some SNBs have used to translate some sacred names, based on Deut 6.4 and Mark 12.29.
Original (traditional) Besorah (God) Elohim

The Scriptures ROSNB Word of Yahweh Sacred Name KJV NIBEV exeGeses companion BIBLE

Elohim Elohim Elohim ELOHIYM God Elohim

(LORD) hwhY (Yahua and Yah in front matter) YAHVAH Yahweh YHVH Yahweh Yah Veh

(Jesus) o[vwHY (Yahusha in front matter) YAHSHUA Yahshua YAHSHUA Yahshua Yah Shua

(God) Elohim

(Lord) hwhY

Elohim Elohim Elohim ELOHIYM God Elohim

YAHVAH Yahweh YHVH Yahweh Yah Veh

33Intriguingly, The Besorah (2008, from Florida, U.S.A.) appears to be identical to The Scriptures (2d ed. 1998, from Northriding, South Africa) except that it uses Paleo-Hebrew script instead of the later Hebrew script for divine names, i.e., hwhY for , and also some bolded print. Publicity literature for The Besorah speaks of the Natsarim Translation Project and the Natsarim translators, but it is not clear what is meant.

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At least five have printed the sacred names in a Semitic script, inserting these in the middle of English text (e.g., Now after that John was put in prison, came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Mark 1.14, Restored Name King James Version). Analysis of translation principles SNB translators believe that divine names must always be in Hebrew form, so they assume that the few LXX manuscripts that indicate Hebrew pronunciations (whether they use Hebrew or Greek script) are older and more reliable than those that do not. However, Pietersma32 and Rsel33 have presented cogent evidence that manuscripts that used Hebrew letter forms were later copies. The SNB translators also believe the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic and that the Greek manuscripts are translations, corrupted in their translations of divine names. In this they differ from almost all other Bible translators, who view the Greek New Testament as the authoritative text of the New Testament. In contrast, the SNB translators see it as an inadequate reflection of what the Semitic original must have contained and strive to correct it in a number of ways. SNBs have done a better job than most English translations when translating the quotation of Ps 110.1 found in Mark 12.36. Most English translations word it in such a way that it is not clear that two separate referents are indicated in the Hebrew original, translating it as The Lord said to my Lord (KJV, ASV, RSV, NASB, GNB, NIV, REB). However, since SNBs resort to the MT form of the quotation rather than the LXX form, and automatically use a different form for representing the Tetragrammaton, the first of the two nouns in the MT, they produce clearer results, e.g., Yahweh said to my sovereign (Word of Yahweh) or YAHVAH hath said unto my Master (Restoration of the Original Sacred Name Bible).34 Another context in which the translation principles of SNBs may lead to a surprising solution is verses containing both the Greek form s and the Semitic-derived form (John 1.41 and 4.25). The Samaritan woman uses both: . Word of Yahweh uses Anointed where the Greek has , while using Messiah where the Greek has : I know that the Anointed cometh, which is called the Messiah. (NIBEV is similar.) Some of the SNBs have gone farther than others in substituting Hebrew forms in the New Testament. Instead of limiting their substitution to a restricted set of words (such as , , , , and some proper names of people and places), they have used Hebrew-based forms where the NT Greek text uses forms that are reminiscent of the LXX. For example, in Rev 21.22 the Greek text is the Lord God Almighty. Word of
32 Albert Pietersma, Kyrios or Tetragram: A Renewed Quest for the Original LXX, in De Septuaginta: Studies in Honour of John William Wevers (ed. Albert Pietersma and Claude Cox; Mississauga, Ontario: Benben Publications, 1984), 85-101. 33 Martin Rsel, The Reading and Translation of the Divine Name in the Masoretic Tradition and the Greek Pentateuch, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 31.4 (2007): 411-28. 34 Chouraqui translated this in French with Harangue de IHVH-Adona mon Adn.

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Yahweh, for example, translates this as Yahweh El Shaddai; and The Scriptures, as l Shaddai. Halleluyah Scriptures uses Hebrew forms for a number of words which were deemed to have special theological significance. On p. 3 of Mattithyahu (Matthew), one finds nebi'im (prophets), shamayim (heaven), Rua ha'Qodesh (Holy Spirit), Bn (son), qodesh city (holy city), and miqdash (temple). Another group of Bible translators has used Semitic-based forms for divine names in the Old Testament, but for totally different motives. Guided by a desire to remove masculine labels for God, The Inclusive Bible uses Adonai where most other translations use Lord (see, for example, Ps 23.1 Adonai, you are my shepherd). Clearly, the use of Hebraic forms of sacred names in this translation is prompted by different motivations. Exegetical choices we all face There are at least three crucial points in deciding whether to follow the practices of the SNBs. The first is how one interprets the Hebrew word ( shem name). Those who produce Sacred Name Bibles interpret this consistently as referring to the name by which to address or refer to someone. Others understand the word more broadly, including such concepts as reputation, character, authority, and identity. This latter group would understand the use of name in Isa 9.6 as referring to more than simply labels: His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There are many other passages where the LORDs name refers to more than the consonants (and vowels?) in : 2 Chr 2.1 a temple for the name of the LORD Ps 20.7 We trust in the name of the LORD our God Ps 23.3 in paths of righteousness for his names sake Ps 89.24 in my name shall his horn be exalted Ps 102.15 the nations will fear the name of the LORD Ps 135.1,3 Bless the name of the LORD ... sing to his name Prov 18.10 the name of the LORD is a strong tower Mic 4.5 We will walk in the name of the LORD Mic 5.4 in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God Zeph 3.12 they will take refuge in the name of the LORD Similarly, in the New Testament, when Jesus spoke of Gods name in John 17.26, I have made your name known to them, most interpret this as referring to something more important than merely informing them about what name to call God. Later we find Paul preaching boldly in the name of the Lord (Acts 9.28). Certainly name here means something more than a personal label. Similarly, in Ephesus, when the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled (Acts 19.17), people were certainly not just extolling a name, but the person who bore the name. When Paul wrote do everything in the name of the Lord (Col 3.17), he certainly meant more than simply pronouncing the name as they did it.

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A second crucial point is ones interpretation of the Greek New Testaments practices in writing divine names. Most who produce SNBs claim that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew,35 and they see these Greek texts as corrupted translations that did not correctly represent the divine names. Translators who do not follow this unique set of assumptions interpret the Greek manuscripts replacement of Hebrew-based forms as a sign that the Hebrew forms of divine names are not required. This is a vital point: If the NT writers did not use Hebraic forms for divine names, but used Greek words for divine names, then as we translate into other languages, we too are free to use local names instead of transliterating Hebrew forms. It should be remembered that Greek and had earlier been used to refer to pagan deities, but were adopted and frequently used by the NT writers. This is a point of major difference between the position of SNB translators and most Bible translators today. Related to this, though less crucial, is how one understands the LXX spelling of the divine name. Generally, the LXX simply uses to represent the Tetragrammaton. There are a very few LXX manuscripts that contain a form of the Tetragrammaton that reflects the Hebrew original: in Paleo-Hebrew script (hwhY), in Hebrew (), or in Greek (). Those who promote SNBs believe that the copies that use only Greek letters are either in error or believe that the Greek form was still pronounced in the Hebrew manner. However, Pietersma33 and Rsel33 have given evidence that those manuscripts that used Hebrew letter forms were later copies. The third crucial point that we must face is the question of the universal, absolute necessity of using Hebrew forms for sacred names. Some from the Sacred Name Movement clearly believe this is a necessity. We find salvation in only one name: the sacred name Yahweh. It is not found by uttering the name Jesus Christ or even its original Hebrew form Yahushua ha-messiah.38 Rosin, by contrast, says There is but one answer to the question, which proper name has to be proclaimed by the Church: Jesus Christ, the name of the Son of God is this name in which God Himself is found and praised and glorified, to which all those who believe, Jews and Gentiles, are bound, and beside which no other name may be proclaimed. Not even the name Jehovah, not even the name Yahweh!39 Rosin argues clearly for using localized versions of divine names, not for preserving theological correctness by phonetic purity. Application The basic goal of this article has been to introduce these SNBs to a broader audience. Having examined the assumptions, claims, methods, and results of those producing such translations, readers can decide if they think that translating in such a way is a requirement, an option, or folly.
35 Hebraic-Roots Version, xvii. 36 Pietersma, Kyrios or Tetragram. 37 Rsel, Translation of the Divine Name. 38 The Sacred Name YHWH: A Scriptural Study, 257. 39 Rosin, The Lord is God, 91.