"My God and My Lord" Ps. 35:23 - Need OT version

by jonathan dough 40 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    When Thomas said "My Lord and my God," he used the exact words that David used at Psalm 35:23 with reference to God, writing, "Awake, be vigilant in my defense, in my cause, My God and my Lord," (RSV, NAB, KJV and Green's Literal Translation). "Lord" here is translated from the Hebrew adonai used exclusively of God. Thomas would never have used these same words when addressing the risen Christ if he were just a man. The Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation changes verse 23 to read in part, "My God, even Jehovah."

    My question is, does anyone know of a literal OT version of Ps. 35:23 that reads "My God, even Jehovah" as the JW NWT provides? A scan of that would be helpful. Thank you.


  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    Not a translation but thought this might be of some help.

    The Jewish Soferim had also made significant textual effort to entirely usurp the Holy Name with that title, Adonai. Simply, every occurrence of Adonai within the Masoretic Text which stands alone (apart from Yahweh) should read Yahweh,the sole exception to this being Psalm 35:23where the text reads: my Elohim & Adonai (my God and my Lord) – perhaps the earliest usage of the plural possessive Adonai.

    Full article - http://isra-elect.com/bible/

    ie - the NWT shouldn't have changed adonai to Jehovah...

  • Narkissos

    I don't know if another translation has ever been as stupid as the NWT here. The substitution of Yhwh to 'dny here is based on global, systematic, indiscriminate, uncritical interpretation of the tiqqune sopherim as indicating that the Tetragrammaton was there in the first place. Even if that runs against the context and phrase structure, as is the case here.

    The suffix of 'dny is morphologically (has the form of, looks like) a 1st-person singular possessive -- applied to a morphologically plural according to the Masoretic vowel-pointing. I.e., 'dny can be read as 'adôni, "my lord", or 'adonay, "my lords" in the ordinary sense; but both the possessive ("my") and the plural ("lords") meanings are lost in the the quasi-technical use 'adonay as a title-name for Yhwh; this is especially true when 'adonaysubstitutes Yhwh, which as a proper name cannot be used with a possessive in Biblical Hebrew usage (you cannot say "my Yhwh" anymore than "my David"). The construction in Psalm 35:23, 'lhy w'dny, Masoretic vowel-pointing 'elohay wa'dônay, clearly involves parallel expressions both in a (real, not just formal) possessive form: my g/God and my l/Lord, not the odd connection of (noun + possessive) + name (without a real possessive by definition), 'my g/God AND Yhwh", which makes no sense unless you change the usual sense of the conjunction (w, "and") to a way less usual, "epexegetical" one, as the NWT does with its awkward "even".

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Thanks very much to both of you.

  • Leolaia

    I checked to see if there was a reading in the Dead Sea Scrolls (which antedate the activity of the sopherim), but wouldn't you know it, this verse falls into lacunae in all three manuscripts. I hate it when that happens. Regardless, Narkissos' point is sufficient to settle the question.

  • jonathan dough
  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Thanks, Leolaia.

  • possible-san

    Hi, jonathan dough.

    Your explanation about John 20:28 is interesting.

    My question is, does anyone know of a literal OT version of Ps. 35:23 that reads "My God, even Jehovah" as the JW NWT provides? A scan of that would be helpful. Thank you.

    Probably, it is only Aleppo Codex which we can read on the Internet.

    Ps. 35:23 is here.
    It is the 10th line from the top on the right-hand side of this picture.

    The divine name of that part in the NWT is restored.
    So, in every Masoretic Hebrew text, I think that there is no divine name in that part, IMO.


  • Leolaia

    Thanks for posting that, great to see the MS itself. And one can see in the 8th and 9th line in the preceding verse that yhwh occurs in poetic parallelism with 'dny, making it quite unlikely that 'dny stands in for yhwh here.

  • wobble

    What an interesting thread ! Thanks J Dough for posting, and thanks all for the erudite replies.

    This brings two questions from me, being ignorant as I am of the original languages ,I rely on translations, I believe the NWT to be unreliable because of the many instances of the WT theology dictating the translation.

    Are there in fact many instances in the O.T where the NWT has no mandate to insert " Jehovah ", I always assumed that their 7000 or whatever times they put it in had solid backing from the manuscripts, but have they inserted it many times without warrant ?

    (It is my belief there is no reason to insert the name anywhere in the NT, apart from the word Hallelujah)

    My second question is, do we have enough proof to say that Thomas quoted from the Psalms in John 20 v28 ?

    If we do then by the WT's own twisted way of translating they should put "My Lord and my Jehovah" in John 20v28 which, ironically is probably what Thomas was conveying, My Lord (God) and my YHWH ( the one who causes the promises to come about) of course this would shatter the weird WT theology.



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