it is a pity that most of the discussion on Justin’s videos is on Facebook, since I do not like Facebook (due to privacy issue).
In this post, I prefer to write the name “Yehovah” instead of “Jehovah.” I respect the KJV spelling ”Jehovah,” but prefer to write as “Yehovah” in English context. In the days of KJV translators, they did not pronounce the letter J as we do today, i.e., not with the sound J as in “James,” but with the sound Y as in “yellow.”
My initial thoughts on Justin’s attack on the holy name of Yehovah.
First, Justin does not explain why there is absolutely no manuscript with scribal notes indicating that the vowel points EOA (Shva, Holam, Qamatz
) were Qere-Ketiv pointing to “Adonai,” even if we suppose that YeHoVah is Qere Perpetuum. Even if we were dealing with Qere Perpetuum
, there would be at least once mentioned. According to Nehemiah Gordon,
“Now it is true that in such instances [of Qere Perpetuum
] that the scribal note is sometimes left out. But in the other instances of Qere Perpetuum
the scribal note appears sometimes and is omitted other times for brevity. Yet nowhere in Scripture is there an instance of Qere Perpetuum
in which the word written one way but read another way always lacks a scribal note. If we were to apply the Qere Perpetuum
rule to YHVH it would be unique in this class of Qere-Ketiv since it never has a scribal note saying "read it Adonai
", not once in the 6828 times the word appears” [Nehemia Gordon, “The Pronunciation of the Name,”
p. 3, accessed 24. March 2021].
Second, he does not come with an adequate explanation why is the vowel O (Holam) in most instances omitted (for instance about 93 percent in Aleppo Codex), if Yehovah reading is not
forbidden. If “Yehovah” is not the true name of the God of the Bible, then there is no danger of accidental pronouncing it when reading it as it is written
with EOA vowels. But the full vowels with EOA are very few, where O is in most instances omitted. Why is it omitted? The explanation is that it would give an ”impossible“ reading. But why making it impossible to read by omitting holam
if Yehovah reading is not
(After writing the first version of this post, I realized that I have not watched his fifth video dealing with this issue. Here comes some of my thoughts on some of his explanation.)
His explanation is that the scribes omitted the holam
(vowel O) so that we would not read the gibberish, i.e., pronouncing wrongly the name of the Creator. His evidence for this is that there are cases of YeH?ViH (vowel points to Elohim) where O is missing. However, the question is how many are such cases against the cases with full vowel points (i.e., YeHoViH). I have not checked the Leningrad Codex, but in Aleppo Codex, there are only two times with missing holam
against 291 times where holam
is present. This indicates that the scribe of the Aleppo Codex was not worried if we read the gibberish YeHoViH. He was more worried about YeHoVah given the fact that there were six instances of YeHoVaH against the 4000 times of YeH?VaH. The scribes were more worried not
to pronounce the true name of God, as Justin demonstrated this fact in his second video.
I have not completely watched his fifth video, and maybe he takes this issues in his video. I will watch it later today.
Third, I am not convinced by his explanation why the first vowel is shva
(E) instead of hateph pathach
(A) as it appears as the first vowel of the word Adonai.
Even if we allow for grammatical correct conjugations where there is a vowel change from A to E, it does not show that these conjugations applies to Qere-Ketiv. One thing is to say that “Adonai” can have vowel change, but another is to apply this change to a whole different word YHVH.
I have not watched all videos, but I am curious how is his explanation of theophoric names that stars with YE, such as Yehoshua (Jesus) and Yehonathan (Jonathan). For me is such theophoric names the strongest evidence for Yehovah!
I also think that the translators of the Protestant Bibles during the Reformation were quite familiar with the scribal practices and knew about Qere-Ketiv. They were not so ignorant as the modern academics like to think of them.