Removal of Tetragrammaton from Early Greek Manuscripts

by jhine 25 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jhine

    A while ago I posted on another thread that I had been told by some Witnesses that the Tetragrammaton had been in the original Christian Greek Scriptures but had been removed when apostacy came into the church . I did not know where this came from at the time .However while looking something else up I came across this .As I could not find the original thread I have started a new one .Here is a quote from NWT Reference Edition 1984 :-

    " Matthew made more than a hundred quotations from the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. Where these quotations include the divine name he would have been obligated faithfully to include the Tetragrammaton in his Hebrew Gospel account . When the Gospel of Matthew was translated into Greek , the Tetragrammaton was left untranslated within the Greek text according to the practice of that time .

    Sometime during the second or third century CE the scribes removed the Tetragrammaton from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with Ky'ri-os "Lord " or The-os "God "

    (Quoting George Howard ) " In the following pages we will set forth a theory that the divine name was originally in the NT quotation of and allusions to the OT and that in the course of time it was replaced mainly with Ky'ri-os "

    We concur with the above , with this exception : We do not consider this view a "theory " , rather a presentation of the facts of history as to the transmission of Bible manuscripts "


  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    There are NO versions of Matthew with the Tetragrammation in it (Except for more modern Hebrew translations)

    This post is a copy from the back of the 1984 Referance Bible NWT.

    None of the Gospels likely had the name of YHWH in them. All were Greek. Even John which comes for an early Jewish Messianic cult is in Greek.

    The CUSTOM of the time is actually after 70CE was to not use the name YHWH i the Greek texts. Version of the LXX after this time don't use it and neither does the NT. The only exception of Revelation which contains a quote for Ps 104:35 4 times in chapter 19 BUT this this is in Greek charecters as the word Halleiujah

  • fulltimestudent

    Another side issue: quoting from jhine post:

    but had been removed when apostacy came into the church.

    The idea that there was an "original" truth, that became perverted as the early church became apostate is not supported by the evidence.

    What we can find is a wide variety of ideas and concepts that are gradually consolidated into a standardised belief system. A quite different process to the witness (and others) concept of a great apostacy.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    There were several versions of the Greek Septuagint. The texts located at the Dead Sea shows great variations. apart from the Isaiah scroll.

    In its NT, the WTS does not limits its use of "Jehovah" (not the Tetragram) to places where the OT might have used the Tetragram. In places where the Greek text does include it, we see ancient Hebrew characters in a Greek text. These characters were so ancient at the time of the DSS community, that they were no longer in use.

    I have a copy of a recent letter from Professor Howard in which he once again complains of the WTS's misuse of his work. He, of course, limited his work on Matthew's gospel, based on a middle age Hebrew text which used "H" to represent "Hashem" - The Name.


  • Crazyguy

    Good posts, I have read where old writers around the first century said the Israelites worshipped IAO and this Name was even written on one of the scrolls of the dead sea texts. I have researched the Tetragrammaton's use in the older Hebrew scriptures and other places and found that the it was just a partial, meaning all four letters are not found a lot of times just three. Then we also have to consider that in the original oldest writings of the Hebrew texts the word Elohim is used most often meaning GODS not god. Its clear to me how they could of changed the word from Elohim to Baal to then Adonia or Lord which is what Baal means, but when and how these titles and descriptions changed to a set of 3 to 4 letters now none as the Tetragrammaton to me is unclear.

    Back to the word or title IAO, many say that's the Greek language version of the Tetragrammaton, but the research I have done indicates that this may not be correct at all because this title was also used for the god Helios a sun god deity which is connected to the Greek god Cronus and Saturn. Helios also traces back to the Egyptian city the Greeks called Heliopolis and where the sun deity of Egypt Amon-Ra was worshipped.

  • jhine

    Full Time Student ,

    Yes that is exactly the point . The WT maintains the fallacy that there was a huge conspiracy in Christendom to remove the Tetragrammaton from the NT . Why Christians would want to do that is unclear ! And of course that did not happen anyway - the T was never in there in the first place .


    I am not surprised that Prof Howard complains about the WT , many people whom they quote complain about the misuse of quotes .The Early Church Fathers would gave a field day in court if still alive !

    Can you post some of the letter ? If it isn' t too much trouble .


  • Phizzy
    Put George Howard into the Search Box and a good number of Threads on this pop up.
  • jhine

    , Thanks Phizzy , will do .


  • janusfulcrum
  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    I have made Professor George Howard's recent handwritten available letter at:

    I apologise for the quality but that is beyond my control.


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