Created Friday, July 25, 2008            Updated  2017  Jan 21

On The Greek Septuagint Translation
Also called
The Septuagint in God's Purpose
Also called
On The Proper Names of God & His Son

Sub-headings:
Modern Criticism of the LXX
The Gentiles Are Welcomed!
More about Translation
Greek Inspired, not an Error!
A Lesson in Linguistics
Obsession with Paganism
Jewish Praise of the Septuagint!
Josephus, A Most Important Witness
Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), Chapter 1
Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), Chapter 2
Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), Chapter 3
Philo of Alexandria

Christian Writers/Witnesses
Justin Martyr
Justin's FIRST APOLOGY
HORTATORY ADDRESS TO THE GREEKS

Justin - Against Trypho CHAP. LXXI (71)
Irenaeus' Against the Heresies, Book 3, Chap. 21
Eusebius' Church History: Book VII (7), Chap 32

TERTULLIAN, APOLOGY, CHAP. XVIII (18)

A Review and Summary
Proper Divine Names of God & Son   New 2011 Nov 17

Theophoric Name Elements    New Jun 27, 2013

Some Rumors, Intrigues    New Jun 27, 2013
Jesus? Joshua?   updated 2017 Jan 21
Other Recommendations

Related Articles



Modern Criticism of the LXX

In case you are not aware, many do not approve of Greek translations of the Old Testament, known as the Greek Septuagint or LXX, or the Greek New Testament, the oldest language version to exist in complete form.

The Septuagint is often identified by the Roman numerals LXX, meaning 70, for the Septuagint was said to be translated by 70 translators in 70 days and not any variance in any of them from each other. Some accounts say 72 men in 72 days. Some even say both. More on that later.

I have posted on my site here what 2nd century writers had to say about the reputation of the Septuagint. But any good criticism deserves to be heard and Floyd Nolen Jones, author of an absolutely great work on Biblical Chronology (The Chronology of the Old Testament), has some criticisms to consider. And incidentally, his book is under $20 and possibly available used, on Amazon for even less and if you respect the Bible at all, this book is an essential part of any good Christian library as far as I am concerned.

But as far Jones' critique of the Septuagint goes, it has some good points and some lacking. He does point out correctly that dates in the LXX on the ages of the pre-flood patriarchs and the years they started having sons in the family line differed from the Hebrew text, as did the years given for the kings of Judah and Israel. He points out that those of the LXX fail to internally harmonize, using the example of the years assigned to Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, which when figured, put Methuselah as living 14 years beyond the flood whereas the Hebrew years assigned have Methuselah dying in the very year the flood was to occur. He points out other problems with the years assigned to these periods and people in the Bible on pages 10-12. He deals extensively with the subject of the LXX throughout pages 10-19.

Jones mentions other disagreements between Hebrew and the LXX but if they are aside from Chronology, he does not list a single example. However, he is absolutely correct when he points out that the priesthood of Israel was appointed by God to be the custodian of the Bible and Paul reaffirmed this, and there was no doubt that the Jews of the house of Israel in Jesus' time were Hebrew and Aramaic speakers, primarily and that what was in the synagogues was in Hebrew. No doubt that Jesus, sent primarily to the house of Israel, preached in Hebrew and Aramaic for the most part. He could have, at times, addressed Greek speaking Jews during the festivals who would visit at those times but for most times, it was Hebrew.

Further, there is no doubt that any errors that might have or could have crept into the LXX, if there were any, would have been corrected by the Apostles moved by the spirit. What flowed from the Apostles was passed on to the Churches of their day to go forward.

Now it is claimed that the scriptures quoted in the New Testament from the Old, were quoted from the Greek LXX and that seems to be the case and is claimed by 2nd century ante-nicene writers. Further, we have to consider that there were many Jews throughout the Roman empire and even before Rome, who spoke Greek after Alexander the Great made it the common language of the empire he created. Men of these Jewish descendants could not even speak Hebrew after a generation or two. They depended on the LXX and it continued to be used past the days of Jesus and commonly used throughout the Roman empire by Christians for some time.

Eventually, the Latin language became the preferred language of the Churches, particularly those of the Roman Catholic persuasion, but Greek and the LXX still were a dominant force in the Eastern Empire, who commonly spoke Greek in many places. Those wanting to receive favor from the Roman church stuck to Latin. They are the ones who got promoted as a result by the church. As the two blocks of religious power, the Eastern and Western churches, grew bigger, each sought to out muscle the other and eventually a break, a schism, developed between the 2. But Greek never ceased being a force in the religious world, by any means. One may note that Latin had no place in early Christianity. Even Rome still used Greek to communicate in many provinces.

Jones asserts that "one cannot be certain that a Greek Old Testament did not exist before the time of Christ." He quotes another well respected writer of Biblical subjects (Terence Brown) who points out that where the Apostles site the LXX, their authority is higher than the original translator. That is assuming God's spirit was not initially involved in translation or otherwise, we would be saying that the spirit of God is stronger at some times and weaker at others. God's spirit is fully God's spirit, when ever it is active and wherever it is active.

But what Jones has not discerned is perhaps suggested in that we do not know about the LXX for sure and when it came into existence, I have a few words to say. First, it had been God's intention from the beginning of time, that the lost sheep of the house of Israel would have the message first brought to them and the offer to be among those who would rule with Jesus in his kingdom. This would all be done before the offer was then opened to the Gentiles, the nations. So a way had to be made that would allow Greek speaking Jews to remain educated as to their faith. So I have no doubt that Ptolemy was moved by the spirit of God to translate the sacred Hebrew scrolls into Greek. But regardless, we also have the endorsement of the Apostles which certainly authorizes the prevalent Greek scriptures that had been in circulation since Ptolemy according to all traditions with no challenge ever being made till recently. Making a challenge nearly 2000 years later grossly fails any reasonable statute of limitations for such a challenge without good evidence for which there is none forthcoming.

Besides, you have to understand that the Ptolemys were all of the strong conviction that the knowledge and sacred beliefs of all the nations were a definite advantage to have. They sought every book and scroll that could be obtained. They passed laws that allowed any book brought into Alexandria to be copied before it could again leave Alexandria. The Ptolemys believed that knowledge was power and they didn't want to miss out on any of it.

Most nations today also believe that knowledge, especially technical, industrial, and scientific knowledge, are more valuable than gold and often try to steal each other's secrets and keep their own secret. It is a very common conviction among those that rule and has been for millennia.

So it is inconceivable that the Ptolemys would have left the Hebrew knowledge and sacred texts out. Israel had, at one time, been a very reputable kingdom, if the scriptures are to be believed. The Greeks would have sought them out. So I think we can be assured that the reputation of the Septuagint was a deserved one. No one has ever disputed the authenticity of the LXX as having been authorized by Ptolemy II. I will demonstrate later why the authenticity is unassailable and golden.

If the Lost Jews/sheep of Israel were to be preserved, they would need some help and they got some. Again, the spirit through the Apostles would have made up for any deficiencies, had there been any. We do not know that any errors existed, save the years of lifespans and reigns in Genesis and Kings/Chronicles. Those were not necessary to preserve the Greek speaking Jews, anyway. And after the Apostles, we would still have the divinely inspired and protected Hebrew scriptures to guide us as they eventually became translated into many different languages.

The Greek version was there perhaps to get God's purpose over a hump, so to speak. In the end, everything would be accomplished as the new covenant was established by Jesus and his Apostles and the newly established (out of the old) church and direction were begun, awaiting the devil to sow his weeds among the good wheat to corrupt the faith for a time till the son of man should come again to separate one from the other.

So the LXX was, at the very least, adequate to accomplish what it was intended to accomplish, but not necessarily error free. The Hebrew Bible would be more reliable in that respect. But even with the Hebrew, it could be said that it was flawless for what it had to accomplish but not without some trivial errors, though of no real consequence.

I am a little surprised at Jones going so far as to suggest that possibly, though not certainly, there was no Greek LXX and that there was no Greek text till the time of Jesus. How would Greek Jews know to believe in Jesus or believe the Apostles about Jesus, if they had not had the Bible in some form for the last 300 years leading up to Jesus! I am not aware of any real protest as to the LXX reputation, even among secular academics. Jones seems so dedicated to the Bible and good reason that this stance takes me a little off guard.

Jones does point out that Josephus had some 8 discrepancies with the Hebrew text and yet none of those are the ones found with the LXX. But while we have copies of the LXX that have errors and discrepancies, do we know whether these are the only versions in circulation around 1 AD or 100 AD? Was there a version less messed up, or an improved or corrected form that got lost? We will likely never know unless one turns up unexpectedly in a cave somewhere. Luckily or perhaps by Providence, the Hebrew text came to our rescue at the appropriate time as the likes of Jerome (4th century) and others began to study the Hebrew text and translate from it.

But I still believe that it can only be helpful to also consult the Greek to see how they might have thought about the Hebrew text when translating it. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom and in many counselors there is salvation, right? Remember the Proverbs?

But here is the main point. Not long after the Apostles, the 2nd century writers passed on to us the beliefs that were well established and for the most part, claimed to be what the Apostles had handed down to them. The reputation of the LXX and how it came to be was highly regarded and said to be divinely inspired. While we might do well to reserve some caution on that claim, there is the likelihood that this is as it was handed down (passed on) by the Apostles who definitely would have been in a position to know. We should not be quick to dismiss this possibility.

As if that was not enough, there are 2 Jewish writers who also have great praise for the LXX, Namely Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, both of the 1st century AD. And they report that all Judah loved the LXX when it was done. Before the advent of Jesus, everyone respected the LXX.

I have gained much from reading the writings of 1st century witnesses and these early 2nd century writers and I have found much verified by the Bible that seems to be unknown to most religious preachers and teachers today. I have brought these points out on this site. I will show how the LXX also came from good authority. Hence, any accusations hurled at the LXX should have good evidence and not just uncomfortable feelings of doubt, so reminiscent of the rampant doubt and skepticism among latter day academics and "godless atheistic evolutionists." The Greek Septuagint (LXX) had and has much to be said for it.

I find it hard to believe that if the LXX was around at the time of the Apostles, and it certainly was by that time, that the Apostles would not have commented on it. I am sure they would have set the record straight, though it might not stay that way forever. Hopefully it lasted 100 years and would appear that it did.



The Gentiles Are Welcomed!
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It is also important to keep in mind that a large part of the Roman empire continued to use Greek in many places and Greek was important in spreading the gospel throughout the lands and territories of Rome and beyond. As such, a Greek version of the Bible had to be around and it was. Further, the oldest copies of New Testament books are only found in Greek. If there were Hebrew versions and it is claimed that there are, they have been lost. We do not know that there were any. Some say that given the situation in very early Christianity, there had to be and I would say this is likely true. But then that could be said for the Greek versions as well for which we do have existing copies.

But with Greek being such a vital part of disseminating the good news, it would benefit from a well established Greek Bible existing before hand. Really, much of the good new comes to us principally and primarily by Greek for Greek was far more prevalent and established than was Hebrew in the Roman Empire. Rome was seeded throughout with Greek. The Byzantine Empire continued the Greek language and tradition first seeded in Alexandria. All things Greek are a large part of the classical Greek writings that come down to us even to this day.

Greek was the obvious path by which the Good news would come to many nations in Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Asia. With such a well established foundation in Greek, it is nearly inconceivable that our God Supreme, Jehovah, according to the English translations and traditions, would not avail Himself of that path. That certain looks to be the path He took.

A well established Greek Version would be essential and surely the Holy Spirit and the Apostles saw to it that one was had if it had not been already. I suspect it had been in existence before hand and that the reputation of the LXX was a sound one. How it got so different in chronology we can only wonder, although the main flaws seem to be the years attributed to life spans and reigns. Again, no other text discrepancies have been brought up by critics of the LXX that I am aware of. Additionally, a Greek version was never intended to supercede or supplant the Hebrew version. That would undermine the entire authorization and authentication of the Hebrew text, the Old Covenant installation, along with the Priesthood and mandate of Israel. Never may that happen!

And lastly, the Greek served a good purpose and was adequate till the Hebrew got world wide translation and distribution. It got the job done when it had to be done. But Greek would be the more important language for many centuries. And lastly in our time, English has become a prominent language by which the Bible has come to be known.

And again, the English version(s) would be in an adequate form for the job needed to be done, conveying God's messages of the prophets to God's servants so that they may get prepared for the coming day of Judgement. None could claim to be perfect or infallible and all should be carefully examined as to accuracy of translation from Greek or Hebrew into English. Diligence is always a requirement of God's people throughout the ages and always will be. But with that diligence, the truth can be obtained!



More about Translation
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A copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the Temple from which copies were made. The many copies found in synagogues throughout Israel in the days of Jesus were made from those in the temple. Jesus read from a scroll in a synagogue at the beginning of his ministry. The copy had been made from the one in the temple, no doubt.

Josephus reports that Titus, son of the Emperor Vespasian and General of the siege against Jerusalem in 70 AD, had obtained all the manuscripts that were in the temple at the time of the siege. From this collection, the Emperor Severus (220 AD) built a synagogue in Rome by his name and deposited a copy of the Pentateuch, the Law, to the synagogue. While the synagogue and its contents would later in time be destroyed, before that, several lists of variations with later texts were recorded. Variations such as differences in letters and words were listed. Two of those lists actually remain to this day. Now according to Jacob Meyer of the Sacred Name Broadcaster magazine, issue 5/2008, pg. 2:

"One of these was made prior to 1280 C.E. and remained in the possession of the Jewish community of Prague. The other took circuitous routes and is found today in Paris' National Library. The Companion Bible, in Appendix 34, provides a complete list of these variant texts. You might also consult Ginsburg's Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, pp. 409-420."

The primary variations were vowel markings, not letters. These vowel markings did not come about till maybe 600 AD. They are the work of well meaning Jewish scribes but can not be considered Divinely inspired, even if they are quite helpful in pronunciation at times. But they do add to the credibility of the copying/recording process and could have been the will of God or at least pleased God. But this is not the same as the authentication and installation of the first copy of the law by Moses, himself. But certainly the addition of the vowel points are evidence of the care and respect the scribes had for the Bible texts and their efforts to faithfully maintain the correctness/accuracy of the text. Further, the original consonant lettering is still intact so one can not really say there is a change, but only additions which are very distinguishable from what was original.

But Meyer does insist that the New Testament (NT) was not written in Greek, meaning that it was 1st written in Hebrew and then into Greek. Yet the evidence for that is beyond determination or verification. The evidence at hand, the oldest manuscripts in existence, are all in Greek, and none in Hebrew, the language claimed by Meyer. While it is obvious that the Christian religion was first a Jewish/Hebrew one, it does not follow that Greek was not the first or original language for most books of the NT. Since many of the letters were written to both Gentile and Hebrew and Greek speaking Jews as well, Greek may have been the first and only version made by the writers of most those letters, all of whom were divinely inspired or authorized.

And it is also quite possible that if some of the gospels were first in Hebrew, they may have also been written directly into Greek by their various authors or someone they authorized so that the Greek is, indeed, very Divinely inspired, every bit as much so as the Hebrew version. And with letters and gospels intended for a broader audience, empire wide and world wide, Greek may have been the only or primary version written to be spread so far abroad. That the oldest texts are all Greek is evidence of how extensively the Greek language was used to spread the Gospel to the nations. There were many languages in existence in the Roman empire and beyond yet Greek dominates, by far. It looks like the will of God to me. Such extensive use of the Greek is evidence that those who spread the gospel through that language likely saw it as inspired and official.

Is it any wonder, then, that the New Testament has such a strong Greek flavor, even when translated into English or whatever other language of the present? This is not a result of scribal error or prejudice. Greek was no doubt the language with which most if not all of the NT was disseminated by the Apostles and their followers in the early days of Christianity. We have no evidence for anything else. Certainly an Empire wide use of Greek translations was done under the eyes of the Apostles. It could not have happened otherwise.

Now I put this challenge out to the Hebrew language idolaters. If God is so great and powerful and swore to protect His own word in a form that would preserve that word of His, how come it is that we do not have versions older than Greek and Greek exclusively in many cases? Did God fail? Or did we miss what He did? It seems to me that God intended Greek to be the vehicle on which His word would ride and depend, at least for a few hundred years.

This much I know for sure. We can not argue for what we do not have evidence for. We have Greek gospels and letters and they are all we have. Some say Hebrew versions may turn up. Yeah, and they might not, too. We can only use and trust what we have and must assume that this is to be enough according to the will of God. If we say otherwise, then God's promises have failed. I certainly do not make that claim. Maybe one of these Judaizing Hebrew idolaters would like to go on record as saying this.

And I dare say that Jehovah/Yahuwah/Yahweh did this deliberately to make it clear that Hebrews were no longer in charge of His work or earthly interests. They had been rejected and what was God's was given to another nation, so to speak. God made it clear that the word would continue but that the law as in the temple and priesthood was no more a part of God's plan. It served its purpose and had been fulfilled. Now for phase 2! It had all been changed and a new covenant put in place. And now to emphasize that, even a new language had been employed to spread the new deal, leaving the old wine, the old language and the old deal behind. The new wine, new language would give the new deal a new flavor, a completely new wine skin for new wine, new light, a new phase to man's salvation.

But some have not been progressive and able to change or update, even though God warned that a new "Moses" was coming with a new deal and anyone not listening to that one must be destroyed, cut off. Most did not like the new deal or the new prophet, the new "Moses" and they rejected him and crucified him. And they resisted the new deal and urged a return to the law, even as a dog returns to his own vomit.

And even today, there are those who ignore that all we have by the apparent will of God is Greek translations of the new deal and want to make up their own versions and ways, clinging yet again to Hebrew for the new deal, which is non-existent. Like the Judaizers of old, those of the 1st centuries of Christianity whom the 2nd century Christian writers wrote and warned of, these modern day Judaizers harken back to the law and shall be judged by that law. And they hoist the son of man yet again upon his cross and freshly attempt to impale him yet again and spit on his face for trying to do what he has done in Greek rather than Hebrew. How dare he, they say! But their judgment shall surely overtake them if they do not soon repent. God's son has done what he has done and let no man tell him to do otherwise. Greek it is! Like it or not!

There is another modern day movement I call religious Zionists, who I also call Zionizers, who say we must resettle Israel with Jews to fulfill God's purpose and ultimately, restore the temple, the priesthood and all the other trappings of the law, while ignoring the spirit of the law and ignoring Christ as well. Really, many "Sacred Namers" are often Hebrew language worshippers and often are also Zinonizers or Judaizers or both.



Greek Inspired, not an Error!
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Some claim that God's name was in the first recordings of the NT but there is no evidence for that. One can not assume when it comes to assuring textual accuracy and truth. One must rely on what is available in existing manuscripts. That is all that God would ever accept. It is He who is responsible for what comes down to us preserved. Shall we argue with God?

We do know what is in the Law and Prophets, the Old Testament, but what we can not be sure of is how God wanted the New Testament worded. If He intended something to be preserved, it is His duty to preserve it. If it is not preserved, then it was not necessary. The gospel was transmitted through many languages and cultures, so that what each nation and tongue came to have, varied minorly from the Hebrew or Greek of the start. But God was established then and it was good then and continues to be good. This I say to modern Judaizers! Stop calling unclean what God has sanctified and made holy! In any nation, the man that fears God is acceptable to him, regardless of his language. It was good then and it is good now.

That we can go back to the original Hebrew and Greek and see how language evolved is great, but it does not change the fact that what came to be was fine if it was done in the right spirit. God's name is not really much different. A Swedish J is a Hebrew Y. The J got changed in English so that it does not sound like a Y anymore. But J was good at one time and it is good now. Once God is a part of a culture and language, as it changes, so does the sounds.

What is important is not the sounds but the meanings. Many get hung up on language and sounds, but meaning is all that is important. As long as the truth prevails, regardless of sounds made to convey it, it is holy! Some care more about form than content. Pay no attention to these. They will debate the letter of the law all day long with foolish questionings, etc.

Certainly God's name being in the Old Testament (OT) is plenty of justification and mandate to use God's name but God could have left His divine name out of the New Testament (NT) scrolls and Codexes for a number of reasons which remain His and not ours. We have to take what comes down to us and assume that is enough to get it right as far as God is concerned. It is enough to get the job done to God's satisfaction.



A Lesson in Linguistics
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Some also say that Jesus is translated wrong in Greek. I beg to differ. A very common ending of many Greek names is typically an sus, ses, sos, or sis. I will show you in a minute, but lets understand the Mediterranean area first. The Mediterranean was a great vast mixing pot of different peoples and languages. The various Hamitic Mediterraneans like the Caphtorim from whom the Minoans and Phillistines come, Egyptians, also of Ham, and the Greek tribes who the Bible says spread over the isles and coasts, Latin/Italian, Etruscan, Thracian/Tiras and Scythian/Celt/Gomer peoples and probably others as well, were all to be found in some measure in the Mediterranean.

But certainly as time went on, much of the Mediterranean came to have a Greek flavor to it, sue to their colonization around the Mediterranean. Now look up Greek names in a Greek atlas and you will see what I mean. I consulted, among others, the Atlas of the Greek World by Facts on File 1991, Peter Levi; Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings by Charles Hapgood; The Atlas of World Archaeology, by Paul Bahn; and various maps from the internet on more rare documents.

You will no doubt recognize many of these names. Ephesos, Ephesus, Halikarnassos, Ialysos, Knossos, Thasos, Tartessos, and many other too numerous to bother with here. The key is that 3 letter ending so common to certain Greek forms, appearing as either ses, sus, sos, or sis.
Moses can also be found as Mosis in the names of Egyptian Pharaohs, as after all, it was the daughter of Pharaoh who names Moses.

Tuthmosis/Thutmosis and Moses are Greek conventions of Egyptian names. In Greecianized Egyptian, it would be Mose (Mo-zay or Mo-say; or even Mo-seh or Mo-sah). In Hebrew it is Moshe (Mo-sheh). The plains of Shinar (Hebrew) would be Sinar (often Cinar in some sources) in Egyptian or close to it, just as we have Shiboleth and Shechem in Hebrew and Siboleth and Sekhem in Egyptian as the Hebrews used sh where Egypt would use s.
Rameses is again Greek where as Ramese or Ramose would be close to an Egyptian form. You will also find many names I have listed here with an sos ending, spelled with an sus ending in other sources.

Greeks believed that when converting a foreign name into Greek, that Greek conventions should be observed. Everything was to be Grecianized and made wholly and completely Greek to be acceptable to them. A little bit self centered perhaps but not unreasonable. It does not violate any commands of God. God does not require that men speak or observe only Hebrew. "In every nation, that man that fears God is acceptable to Him." Language and language conventions are not important to God. Knowledge and obedience are what He asks of all men, whatever language, sounds, or conventions that they may have or make use of. God created all those language conventions anyway in Genesis 10 when God confused the language at the Tower of Babel. So blame God for the Greek language if you want to fault the Greek.

So how did we get "Jesus" instead of "Yahushua" or "Yahshua?" Yah is an abbreviated form of God's name and is in the OT so it is Divinely sanctioned. It would appear that Yah was taken and an s-u-s added to form Yahsus. Vowels tended to vary without affecting meaning so one should not be put off if Yah becomes Yeh or if the h is left off. Yasus is just as valid as Yahsus. Further, some European nations used an I or a J in place of a Y, so in those nations and tongues/languages, it would read Jasus or Jesus. Ah, recognize that last one? Yes, it is the familiar Jesus we who speak English all know. It is a proper identification of the Son of God.

Brian Allen (of www.oilderrick.name), a former Seventh Day Adventist, now what I would describe as an advocate of using the sacred name of God, which I agree with, and who argues that if translated from Hebrew right now, would be Yahuwah, and I have been of that opinion, even before I met him by mail. He has made a good defense for that form, if one starts now with Hebrew into English. He also advocates observing the Sabbath as mandatory, which I strongly denounce and say is not necessary but that is another debate. He is knowledgeable on the law and has gathered quite a bit of linguistic evidence for God's divine name in a book he has put together than I highly recommend. Ask him about it! He also has some occasional good historical and cultural accounts as well.

Brain does not believe any other form of God's name is valid or proper. I have already stated why I say it is. Since vowels can and usually do innocently change, and the y and j are interchangeable as is the v and w, and due in part to the German languages and their evolution and collision with Roman languages, I see nothing wrong with what has come to be in English. Jehovah is fine. Yahuwah would be right had God's name not been established previously so as to have gained a reputation, identification, and understanding among the people with the form, Jehovah!

But the mere fact that there are disputes among Brian and his "friends," other sacred name advocates, many of whom prefer Yahweh, shows there is no definitive answer, though I would suggest the preponderance of evidence favors Brian's side very much. But all forms have come to be recognized and identified with only one God, that of the Bible. Any one of them will do. Meanwhile, Jehovah has been established for quite some time in English and that name would not be confused with any other God nor could it be construed as being pagan.

Many Hebrew idolaters love to also harp on all things pagan or claim many pagan origins and indeed, many things did originally have a pagan origin. But more important is whether they still have any pagan associations or not. Many roots were completely lost. And when you see how much, nearly everything in our culture has been influenced by or had, at one time, pagan origins, it would be absolutely impossible to eliminate all things pagan in a language or culture or you would otherwise need to completely eliminate the people and culture from the face of the earth. It is not necessary. We know that nearly all cultures and races were alienated from God in Genesis 10 at the tower of Babel. Now God seeks to reconcile them all to him.

But to attempt to eradicate all things with former pagan roots would be absurd. What is important to God is that we live by His rules. Most things formerly pagan have no such association now. Former things have bee long forgotten. We have more important things to worry about now. Word forms and origins are pointless. Read Acts 15 if you want to know what is important now. Christians had pagan names and used pagan words to convey Christian ideas, right in the Bible. You have seen Hades in the Bible, right?

Now Brain says that the oldest original Greek texts show "IC" as the name of Jesus. Yes, initials or symbols even more obscure than "Jesus." But I do not see Brain advocate "IC." But that is what has come down preserved. We are not to go beyond the things written. But what we have by traditional use and do not even really know when it began of why, is Jesus. There are many languages that have similar forms. When or how it got from IC, to Jesus, who can say?

But it is pretty obvious from examination, where "Jesus" came from. Since so very many Greek names bear the ending of either sus, ses, sos, or sis, we have Je - sus. The Je could be Ye, which could be a Ya, which is a short form of God's name, Yah, which is a legitimate form that appears in the Psalms. So it seems rather obvious to me that Yah-sus becomes Ya-sus, since the h is silent, which is then easily justified as Je-sus. As each language tends to pronounce vowels a bit differently, Je could sound like Jay or Jah. Spanish gives the J an H sound just as it does with Jose, Juan, or Javier. It is essentially the same name, regardless of language.

Brain argued that We have no precedent for Jesus and that it is pagan in origin. His evidence that it is pagan is not supported by his evidence or interpretations. Many Greek names end with "sus" including other gods. There is no pagan association that can be proven, only implied by some who see pagan in everything everywhere. Given that most languages are full of pagan origins is given and the Apostles used those words with pagan origins and continued to call on brothers with pagan names. So pagan can't be all that bad. I have covered the idea of Pagan origins in my "Conscience" article to be linked at the end of this article.

Further, no one identifies those names or forms like Jesus as pagan and they know exactly who is represented or indicated by those identifications. Therefore, the names and their forms are proper and holy! And that leaves those who split hares, argue over letters and punctuation, play semantics and word games, and argue like lawyers and Pharisees, as being out in the cold. They strain the gnat while gulping down camel. They argue all day long about pagan origins, proper word forms, and observing the law while ignoring far more important issues.

More importantly, it is the only form of his name we have in existence of those Greek manuscripts from which we obtain the NT translations we use. Now some argue that it is different in Hebrew and the OT and they are right. Hebrew is a very different language from Greek. Greek has unusual conventions compared to Hebrew or even English for that matter. That is not relevant.



Obsession with Paganism
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Let me share this with you from Jacob Meyer of the Sacred Name Broadcaster magazine, issue 5/2008, pg. 4:

" A very revealing quotation may be found in the outstanding work by Dr. F. F. Bruce called, The Books and the Parchments (Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963). On page 159 we read:"

""It is not always realized that the New Testament writers' task of recording the G-spel in Greek was made easier because the Septuagint already existed. They did not have to invent a Greek theological vocabulary; such a vocabulary lay ready to hand in the Septuagint. The general religious vocabulary of the Greek language was PAGAN IN CHARACTER, but several elements of that PAGAN VOCABULARY had been taken by the Alexandrian translators and used as equivalents of the great words of the Old Testament revelation. Thus it came about that in Greek-speaking Jewish circles these words did not bear their original pagan significance but the new significance which they acquired from the Hebrew vocabulary which they represented." (Emphasis Meyers)."

Meyer says "we must be careful not to construct a case for doctrine upon the Greek New Testament, since the roots of its religious vocabulary are attested to lie in pagan Hellenistic philosophy and idolatry."

I will tell you one way that could easily be taken. We must not form doctrine from the Greek New Testament, inspired of the Spirit of God, for it has pagan roots. Do you see how insane that is? What a ridiculous comment it is? God is pagan now! I am going to assume he didn't quite mean that as he said it.

Without any evidence to the contrary, we must assume that what comes down to us in Greek is what God, the Spirit of God, and the service of the Apostles, intended. We have no other evidence, otherwise. It probably goes without saying that most languages have a fair amount of pagan origin or influence. It also goes without saying that much of the pagan influence or understanding has been lost, as well. Further, regardless of word origins, the words of any language can be used to convey meanings from another language, culture, or understanding. It does not follow that because understandings once used words of pagan origins does not mean the understandings used or conveyed are themselves, pagan.

I will assume that Meyer meant that we must not construct doctrine solely upon the Greek New Testament, for fear we might get confused by words that some might construe as pagan or sanctioning pagan. Well, I agree that what we find in the NT should harmonize with the OT, but we want to be careful not to say the NT is pagan or useless by itself because of words created out of pagan concepts and beliefs for God is quite capable of conveying understanding by means of those words which are foreign and often influenced by pagan beliefs from the days of rebellion in Babel.

Jacob Meyer routinely features the dangers of holidays with pagan origins. He and Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) would make great friends. I believe he goes way too far, even avoiding words and language for fear of defiling his mouth. I have met others like this, though not members of Meyer's Assemblies of Yahweh.

Further, as Dr. Bruce points out in Meyer's quite of him, Jews did not use the Greek words with a pagan understanding. The meaning of those words were changed, and the pagan associations were dropped. That was proper and right. What resulted was clean, holy. It is not the form, it is the content that matters. Some just can't grasp that! By their fruits you will know them. Fanaticism tunnel vision could be one of those fruits to beware of.

Now if Meyer is suggesting that many Greek ideas have crept into Christian doctrine, he is correct and this should be avoided. I will assume this is what he intended with his statements as anything else would seem incomprehensible to me or anyone sane. But false teachings and doctrines are not the fault of the language. It is the fault of Greek philosophers, academics, and intellectuals, whose ideas seemed so attractive to some Christians, that they accepted them as practically Gospel! In fact, they did accept them as gospel truth, even though they were not.

But Greek vocabulary is not the corrupting problem. It was Greek ideas, not to be intimately linked exclusively with vocabulary. It was also followers of Christ who did not take care to remain vigilantly close and faithful to Bible words or their meanings and exercising care not to stray far from these.

Consider the English word "disaster." For us, it means terrible or horrible or horrible event. But the term, originating somewhat in Greek and Latin, borrows the word "aster." Aster was a pagan goddess of the stars. "Dis" was from discord. Discord in the stars was the meaning conveyed, and not an admission or an assumption that one worshipped or believed in Aster, though at one time, some might have. You might want to consider my article on "The Christian Conscience, subtitle 'On Pagan Associations'" ( http://www.truth1.org/conscience.htm#On Pagan Associations ) for a thorough discussion on why Pagan associations are generally overdone among so-called Christians. I link it at the end of this article.

I want to say that despite Mr. Meyer's preoccupation with pagan roots, he is a good source of all things to do with Mosaic Law, Hebrew language, and Old Testament prophets. He is also much more sound with interpretations of prophecy. I read his newsletter and have considered some of his other literature. He is not a bad man. I simply think he is on the wrong track with keeping the law as strictly as he does, believing it is a Christian's obligation to do so and avoiding any former pagan connections, however remote or lost they might be. I disagree with these things. But he is still useful and helpful. The Old Testament is still very much worth considering and understanding and he seeks to do that.



Jewish Praise of the Septuagint!
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Now if the Septuagint LXX used the Greek language and I do not know of any Jewish voice anywhere that has ever complained about the generally pagan nature/origins of the Greek vocabulary, or insisted that Greek was an unclean or defiled language that could not be spoken, written, translated or otherwise used, then Greek must have been OK in Jewish eyes. In fact, many Jews spoke Greek, often without even knowing Hebrew. Bar Khoba, who led the 2nd Jewish revolt against Rome, often wrote or gave out his directions in Greek, since many Jewish followers could not even speak good Hebrew.

Josephus, A Most Important Witness
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Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), Chapter 1

HOW PTOLEMY (Soter I) THE SON OF LAGUS TOOK JERUSALEM AND JUDEA BY DECEIT AND TREACHERY, AND CARRIED MANY THENCE, AND PLANTED THEM IN EGYPT.

I will condense this account. After Alexander the Great died, Ptolemy [Soter] I took over Alexandria and Egypt. And he remembered how subservient the Jews had been with Alexander and he thought that some of the Jews could be useful to him down in Egypt, due to their subservience and respect, things which were not common among conquered and vanquished peoples and nations. So he comes into Jerusalem pretending to want to offer sacrifice on the Sabbath when the guard of the Jews was down. He took the temple and the city without a fight. Jews refused to defile the temple with war and were in no position, either spiritually or physically to fight.

Ptolemy also took a number of captives from around Judea with him to Egypt. He saw them as useful to man his garrisons due to their being more subservient and trustworthy than what he could find elsewhere. But Ptolemy did treat them quite well in Egypt, giving them equal status and privileges with Macedonains, no small thing indeed. He made them take oaths to him, which he felt confidence in, due to how they acted with Alexander. Reasonable enough was the treatment of the Jews and their life that many other Jews left Judah for Egypt afterward.

But still, there may have been hard feelings among some that they were forced down into Egypt. But they gave the oaths asked of them and no doubt prospered as you will later read.

So in both the Syrian Kingdom and the Egyptian Kingdom, both ruled by Greeks who made Greek the official government language of the kingdoms. Most subjects seeking favor or good treatment also learned and spoke Greek. This is one reason why so many Jews ended up in these kingdoms and spoke Greek. After a few generations, many Jews could not speak Hebrew anymore. This sets up the next event when the 2nd Ptolemy comes along on the throne of Alexandria.

Now in this next account, tell me if you don't see a certain amount of Divine Providence in what goes on here. I am going to let Josephus do the talking here though I may skip some stuff here and there that is not that important.



Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), Chapter 2 [This is a biggy!]
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HOW PTOLEMY PHILADELPHUS PROCURED THE LAWS OF THE JEWS TO BE TRANSLATED INTO THE GREEK TONGUE AND SET MANY CAPTIVES FREE, AND DEDICATED MANY GIFTS TO GOD.

1. WHEN Alexander had reigned twelve years, and after him Ptolemy Soter forty years, Philadelphus then took the kingdom of Egypt, and held it forty years within one. He procured the law to be interpreted, and set free those that were come from Jerusalem into Egypt, and were in slavery there, who were a hundred and twenty thousand. The occasion was this: Demetrius Phalerius, who was library keeper to the king, was now endeavoring, if it were possible, to gather together all the books that were in the habitable earth, and buying whatsoever was any where valuable, or agreeable to the king's inclination, (who was very earnestly set upon collecting of books,) to which inclination of his Demetrius was zealously subservient.

And when once Ptolemy asked him how many ten thousands of books he had collected, he replied, that he had already about twenty times ten thousand; but that, in a little time, he should have fifty times ten thousand. But be said he had been informed that there were many books of laws among the Jews worthy of inquiring after, and worthy of the king's library, but which, being written in characters and in a dialect of their own, will cause no small pains in getting them translated into the Greek tongue that the character in which they are written seems to be like to that which is the proper character of the Syrians, and that its sound, when pronounced, is like theirs also; and that this sound appears to be peculiar to themselves. Wherefore he said that nothing hindered why they might not get those books to be translated also; for while nothing is wanting that is necessary for that purpose, we may have their books also in this library. So the king thought that Demetrius was very zealous to procure him abundance of books, and that he suggested what was exceeding proper for him to do; and therefore he wrote to the Jewish high priest, that he should act accordingly.

2. Now there was one Aristeus [{also spelled Aristeas in other sources}], who was among the king's most intimate friends, and on account of his modesty very acceptable to him. This Aristeus resolved frequently, and that before now, to petition the king that he would set all the captive Jews in his kingdom free; and he thought this to be a convenient opportunity for the making that petition. So he discoursed, in the first place, with the captains of the king's guards, Sosibius of Tarentum, and Andreas, and persuaded them to assist him in what he was going to intercede with the king for. Accordingly Aristeus embraced the same opinion with those that have been before mentioned, and went to the king, and made the following speech to him:

"It is not fit for us, O king, to overlook things hastily, or to deceive ourselves, but to lay the truth open. For since we have determined not only to get the laws of the Jews transcribed, but interpreted also, for your satisfaction, by what means can we do this, while so many of the Jews are now slaves in thy kingdom? Do you then what will be agreeable to thy magnanimity, and to thy good nature: free them from the miserable condition they are in, because that God, who supporteth thy kingdom, was the author of their laws as I have learned by particular inquiry; for both these people, and we also, worship the same God the framer of all things. We call him, and that truly, by the name of GREEK, [or life, or Jupiter,] because he breathes life into all men. Wherefore do you restore these men to their own country, and this do to the honor of God, because these men pay a peculiarly excellent worship to him. And know this further, that though I be not of kin to them by birth, nor one of the same country with them, yet do I desire these favors to be done them, since all men are the workmanship of God; and I am sensible that he is well-pleased with those that do good. I do therefore put up this petition to thee, to do good to them."

3. When Aristeus was saying thus, the king looked upon him with a cheerful and joyful countenance, and said, "How many ten thousands do you suppose there are of such as want to be made free?" To which Andreas replied, as he stood by, and said," A few more than ten times ten thousand." The king made answer, "And is this a small gift that you ask, Aristeus?" But Sosibius, and the rest that stood by, said that he ought to offer such a thank-offering as was worthy of his greatness of soul, to that God who had given him his kingdom.

[{ Compare these attitudes of the Greeks with the haughty arrogant attitudes of Babylon or the Pharaoh who battled Moses. And Ptolemy II is moved and consents to great generosity, as if to God and in respect of relative Jewish obedience to God at this time. Also recall the similar attitude of respect the Philistines showed when they discerned that it as the God of Israel who afflicting them due to their holding His ark.}]

With this answer he was much pleased; and gave order, that when they paid the soldiers their wages, they should lay down [a hundred and] twenty drachmas for every one of the slaves. And he promised to publish a magnificent decree, about what they requested, which should confirm what Aristeus had proposed, and especially what God willed should be done; whereby he said he would not only set those free who had been led away captive by his father and his army, but those who were in this kingdom before, and those also, if any such there were, who had been brought away since. And when they said that their redemption money would amount to above four hundred talents, he granted it. A copy of which decree I have determined to preserve, that the magnanimity of this king may be made known. Its contents were as follows:

"Let all those who were soldiers under our father, and who, when they overran Syria and Phoenicia, and laid waste Judea, took the Jews captives, and made them slaves, and brought them into our cities, and into this country, and then sold them; as also all those that were in my kingdom before them, and if there be any that have been lately brought thither, - be made free by those that possess them; and let them accept of [a hundred and] twenty drachmas for every slave. And let the soldiers receive this redemption money with their pay, but the rest out of the king's treasury. For I suppose that they were made captives without our father's consent, and against equity; and that their country was harassed by the insolence of the soldiers, and that, by removing them into Egypt, the soldiers have made a great profit by them.

Out of regard therefore to justice, and out of pity to those that have been tyrannized over, contrary to equity, I enjoin those that have such Jews in their service to set them at liberty, upon the receipt of the before-mentioned sum; and that no one use any deceit about them, but obey what is here commanded. And I will that they give in their names within three days after the publication of this edict, to such as are appointed to execute the same, and to produce the slaves before them also, for I think it will be for the advantage of my affairs. And let every one that will inform against those that do not obey this decree, and I will that their estates be confiscated into the king's treasury."

When this decree was read to the king, it at first contained the rest that is here inserted, and omitted only those Jews that had formerly been brought, and those brought afterwards, which had not been distinctly mentioned; so he added these clauses out of his humanity, and with great generosity. He also gave order that the payment, which was likely to be done in a hurry, should be divided among the king's ministers, and among the officers of his treasury. When this was over, what the king had decreed was quickly brought to a conclusion; and this in no more than seven days' time, the number of the talents paid for the captives being above four hundred and sixty, and this, because their masters required the [hundred and] twenty drachmas for the children also, the king having, in effect, commanded that these should be paid for, when he said in his decree, that they should receive the forementioned sum for every slave.

[{ God has the king pay reparations for unjust actions, almost like when Israel left Egypt with Moses and made request of Egyptians for "donations.," which they gladly gave at that time.}]

4. Now when this had been done after so magnificent a manner, according to the king's inclinations, he gave order to Demetrius to give him in writing his sentiments concerning the transcribing of the Jewish books; for no part of the administration is done rashly by these kings, but all things are managed with great circumspection. On which account I have subjoined a copy of these epistles, and set down the multitude of the vessels sent as gifts [to Jerusalem], and the construction of every one, that the exactness of the artificers' workmanship, as it appeared to those that saw them, and which workman made every vessel, may be made manifest, and this on account of the excellency of the vessels themselves. Now the copy of the epistle was to this purpose:

"Demetrius to the great king. When you, O king, gave me a charge concerning the collection of books that were wanting to fill your library, and concerning the care that ought to be taken about such as are imperfect, I have used the utmost diligence about those matters. And I let you know, that we want the books of the Jewish legislation, with some others; for they are written in the Hebrew characters, and being in the language of that nation, are to us unknown. It hath also happened to them, that they have been transcribed more carelessly than they ought to have been, because they have not had to this point, royal care taken about them.

Now it is necessary that you should have accurate copies of them. And indeed this legislation is full of hidden wisdom, and entirely blameless, as being the legislation of God; for which cause it is, as Hecateus of Abdera says, that the poets and historians make no mention of it, nor of those men who lead their lives according to it, since it is a holy law, and ought not to be published by profane mouths. If then it please thee, O king, you may write to the high priest of the Jews, to send six of the elders out of every tribe, and those such as are most skillful of the laws, that by their means we may learn the clear and agreeing sense of these books, and may obtain an accurate interpretation of their contents, and so may have such a collection of these as may be suitable to your desire."

[{ Notice the bureaucratic red tape involved here. As Josephus pointed out, kings and governments were always slow and careful about what they did. It was not rash or impulsive, ever! They were sure about what they were doing. And notice how carefully they go about attempting the task of translation so that no error might ocurr. They saw this law as being from God, not men. Their respect was very impressive. Little wonder that God would likely find Himself appeased and pleased with this attempt, even if he had not been, initially. }]

5. When this epistle was sent to the king, he commanded that an epistle should be drawn up for Eleazar, the Jewish high priest, concerning these matters; and that they should inform him of the release of the Jews that had been in slavery among them. He also sent fifty talents of gold for the making of large basins, and vials, and cups, and an immense quantity of precious stones. He also gave order to those who had the custody of the chest that contained those stones, to give the artificers leave to choose out what sorts of them they pleased. He withal appointed, that a hundred talents in money should be sent to the temple for sacrifices, and for other uses. Now I will give a description of these vessels, and the manner of their construction, but not till after I have set down a copy of the epistle which was written to Eleazar the high priest, who had obtained that dignity on the occasion following:

When Onias the high priest was dead, his son Simon became his successor. He was called Simon the Just because of both his piety towards God, and his kind disposition to those of his own nation. When he was dead, and had left a young son, who was called Onias, Simon's brother Eleazar, of whom we are speaking, took the high priesthood; and he it was to whom Ptolemy wrote, and that in the manner following:

"King Ptolemy to Eleazar the high priest, sends greeting. There are many Jews who now dwell in my kingdom, whom the Persians, when they were in power, carried captives. These were honored by my father; some of them he placed in the army, and gave them greater pay than ordinary; to others of them, when they came with him into Egypt, he committed his garrisons, and the guarding of them, that they might be a terror to the Egyptians. And when I had taken the government, I treated all men with humanity, and especially those that are your fellow citizens, of whom I have set free above a hundred thousand that were slaves, and paid the price of their redemption to their masters out of my own revenues; and those that are of a fit age, I have admitted into them number of my soldiers. And for such as are capable of being faithful to me, and proper for my court, I have put them in such a post, as thinking this [kindness done to them] to be a very great and an acceptable gift, which I devote to God for his providence over me.

And as I am desirous to do what will be grateful to these, and to all the other Jews in the habitable earth, I have determined to procure an interpretation of your law, and to have it translated out of Hebrew into Greek, and to be deposited in my library. You will therefore do well to choose out and send to me men of a good character, who are now elders in age, and six in number out of every tribe. These, by their age, must be skillful in the laws, and of abilities to make an accurate interpretation of them; and when this shall be finished, I shall think that I have done a work glorious to myself. And I have sent to you Andreas, the captain of my guard, and Aristeus, men whom I have in very great esteem; by whom I have sent those first-fruits which I have dedicated to the temple, and to the sacrifices, and to other uses, to the value of a hundred talents. And if you will send to us, to let us know what you would have further, you will do a thing acceptable to me."

6. When this epistle of the king was brought to Eleazar, he wrote an answer to it with all the respect possible:

"Eleazar the high priest to king Ptolemy, sends greeting. If you and your queen Arsinoe, and your children, be well, we are entirely satisfied. When we received your epistle, we greatly rejoiced at your intentions; and when the multitude were gathered together, we read it to them, and thereby made them sensible of the piety you have towards God. We also showed them the twenty vials of gold, and thirty of silver, and the five large basins, and the table for the show-bread; as also the hundred talents for the sacrifices, and for the making what shall be needful at the temple; which things Andreas and Aristeus, those most honored friends of yours, have brought us; and truly they are persons of an excellent character, and of great learning, and worthy of your virtue.

Know then that we will accommodate you in what is for your advantage, though we do what we used not to do before; for we ought to make a return for the numerous acts of kindness which you have done to our countrymen. We immediately, therefore, offered sacrifices for you and your sister, with your children and friends; and the multitude made prayers, that your affairs may be to your mind, and that your kingdom may be preserved in peace, and that the translation of our law may come to the conclusion you desire, and be for your advantage. We have also chosen six elders out of every tribe, whom we have sent, and the law with them. It will be your part, out of your piety and justice, to send back the law, when it hath been translated, and to return those to us that bring it in safety. Farewell."

[{ The Jews were delighted, were they not? All things took place in proper order as they ought to. }]

7. This was the reply which the high priest made. But it does not seem to me to be necessary to set down the names of the seventy [two] elders who were sent by Eleazar, and carried the law, which yet were subjoined at the end of the epistle. However, I thought it not improper to give an account of those very valuable and artificially contrived vessels which the king sent to God, that all may see how great a regard the king had for God; for the king allowed a vast deal of expenses for these vessels, and came often to the workmen, and viewed their works, and suffered nothing of carelessness or negligence to be any damage to their operations. And I will relate how rich they were as well as I am able, although perhaps the nature of this history may not require such a description; but I imagine I shall thereby recommend the elegant taste and magnanimity of this king to those that read this history.

[{ I skip 8-10 of this chapter which describe the treasures sent my Ptolemy to Jerusalem. Suffice to say they are impressive. They are easily obtained on the internet if you want to read them. }]

11. And these were what gifts were sent by Ptolemy to Jerusalem, and dedicated to God there. But when Eleazar the high priest had devoted them to God, and had paid due respect to those that brought them, and had given them presents to be carried to the king, he dismissed them. And when they were come to Alexandria, and Ptolemy heard that they were come, and that the seventy elders were come also, he presently sent for Andreas and Aristeus, his ambassadors, who came to him, and delivered him the epistle which they brought him from the high priest, and made answer to all the questions he put to them by word of mouth.

He then made haste to meet the elders that came from Jerusalem for the interpretation of the laws; and he gave command, that every body who came on other occasions should be sent away, which was a thing surprising, and what he did not use to do; for those that were drawn thither upon such occasions used to come to him on the fifth day, but ambassadors at the month's end. But when he had sent those away, he waited for these that were sent by Eleazar; but as the old men came in with the presents, which the high priest had given them to bring to the king, and with the membranes, upon which they had their laws written in golden letters he put questions to them concerning those books; and when they had taken off the covers wherein they were wrapped up, they showed him the membranes.

[{ Ptolemy was so eager to meet the Jewish elders and speak with them that he sent his other ambassadors from other nations away early. The respect in continual throughout. The Greeks understood that was some serious wisdom in these Hebrew scrolls. Membranes were the skins on which the scrolls were written. Sheep skin, most likely.}]

So the king stood admiring the thinness of those membranes, and the exactness of the junctures, which could not be perceived; (so exactly were they connected one with another;) and this he did for a considerable time. He then said that he returned them thanks for coming to him, and still greater thanks to him that sent them; and, above all, to that God whose laws they appeared to be. Then did the elders, and those that were present with them, cry out with one voice, and wished all happiness to the king. Upon which he fell into tears by the violence of the pleasure he had, it being natural to men to afford the same indications in great joy that they do under sorrows.

And when he had bid them deliver the books to those that were appointed to receive them, he saluted the men, and said that it was but just to discourse, in the first place, of the errand they were sent about, and then to address himself to themselves. He promised, however, that he would make this day on which they came to him remarkable and eminent every year through the whole course of his life; for their coming to him, and the victory which he gained over Antigonus by sea, proved to be on the very same day. He also gave orders that they should eat with him; and gave it in charge that they should have excellent lodgings provided for them in the upper part of the city.

12. Now he that was appointed to take care of the reception of strangers, Nicanor by name, called for Dorotheus, whose duty it was to make provision for them, and bid him prepare for every one of them what should be requisite for their diet and way of living; which thing was ordered by the king after this manner. He took care that those that belonged to every city, which did not use the same way of living, that all things should be prepared for them according to the custom of those that came to him, that, being feasted according to the usual method of their own way of living, they might be the better pleased, and might not be uneasy at any thing done to them from which they were naturally averse.

And this was now done in the case of these men by Dorotheus, who was put into this office because of his great skill in such matters belonging to common life; for he took care of all such matters as concerned the reception of strangers, and appointed them double seats for them to sit on, according as the king had commanded him to do; for he had commanded that half of their seats should be set at his right hand, and the other half behind his table, and took care that no respect should be omitted that could be shown them. And when they were thus set down, he bid Dorotheus to minister to all those that were come to him from Judea, after the manner they used to be ministered to; for which cause he sent away their sacred heralds, and those that slew the sacrifices, and the rest that used to say grace; but called to one of those that were come to him, whose name was Eleazar, who was a priest, and desired him to say grace; who then stood in the midst of them, and prayed, that all prosperity might attend the king, and those that were his subjects. Upon which an acclamation was made by the whole company, with joy and a great noise; and when that. was over, they fell to eating their supper, and to the enjoyment of what was set before them.

And at a little interval afterward, when the king thought a sufficient time had been interposed, he began to talk philosophically to them, and he asked every one of them a philosophical question and such a one as might give light in those inquiries; and when they had explained all the problems that had been proposed by the king about every point, he was well-pleased with their answers. This took up the twelve days in which they were treated; and he that pleases may learn the particular questions in that book of Aristeus, which he wrote on this very occasion.

13. And while not the king only, but the philosopher Menedemus also, admired them, and said that all things were governed by Providence, and that it was probable that thence it was that such force or beauty was discovered in these men's words, they then left off asking any more such questions. But the king said that he had gained very great advantages by their coming, for that he had received this profit from them, that he had learned how he ought to rule his subjects. And he gave order that they should have every one three talents given them, and that those that were to conduct them to their lodging should do it.

Accordingly, when three days were over, Demetrius took them, and went over the causeway seven furlongs long: it was a bank in the sea to an island. And when they had gone over the bridge, he proceeded to the northern parts, and showed them where they should meet, which was in a house that was built near the shore, and was a quiet place, and fit for their discoursing together about their work. When he had brought them thither, he entreated them (now they had all things about them which they wanted for the interpretation of their law) that they would suffer nothing to interrupt them in their work.

Accordingly, they made an accurate interpretation, with great zeal and great pains, and this they continued to do till the ninth hour of the day; after which time they relaxed, and took care of their body, while their food was provided for them in great plenty. Besides, Dorotheus, at the king's command, brought them a great deal of what was provided for the king himself. But in the morning they came to the court and saluted Ptolemy, and then went away to their former place, where, when they had washed their hands, and purified themselves, they betook themselves to the interpretation of the laws.

Now when the law was transcribed, and the labor of interpretation was over, which came to its conclusion in seventy-two days, Demetrius gathered all the Jews together to the place where the laws were translated, and where the interpreters were, and read them over. The multitude did also approve of those elders that were the interpreters of the law. They then commended Demetrius for his proposal, as the inventor of what was greatly for their happiness; and they desired that he would give leave to their rulers also to read the law.

Moreover, they all, both the priest and the oldest of the elders, and the principal men of their commonwealth, made it their request, that since the interpretation was happily finished, it might continue in the state it now was, and might not be altered. And when they all commended that determination of theirs, they enjoined, that if any one observed either any thing superfluous, or any thing omitted, that he would take a view of it again, and have it laid before them, and corrected; which was a wise action of theirs, that when the thing was judged to have been well done, it might continue for ever.

[{ Ground Rules! Same rules as at the temple! Do not change a thing or call them if something got changed so they could correct it. In other words, the elders and priests wanted to continue to service the copying and correction of the scriptures, if such became necessary.}]

14. So the king rejoiced when he saw that his design of this nature was brought to perfection, to so great advantage; and he was chiefly delighted with hearing the Laws read to him; and was astonished at the deep meaning and wisdom of the legislator. And he began to discourse with Demetrius:

"How it came to pass, that when this legislation was so wonderful, no one, either of the poets or of the historians, had made mention of it."

Demetrius made answer, "that no one dare be so bold as to touch upon the description of these laws, because they were Divine and venerable, and because some that had attempted it were afflicted by God."

He also told him, that "Theopompus was desirous of writing somewhat about them, but was thereupon disturbed in his mind for above thirty days' time; and upon some intermission of his distemper, he appeased God [by prayer], as suspecting that his madness proceeded from that cause." Nay, indeed, he further saw in a dream, that his distemper befell him while he indulged too great a curiosity about Divine matters, and was desirous of publishing them among common men; but when he left off that attempt, he recovered his understanding again.

Moreover, he informed him of Theodectes, the tragic poet, concerning whom it was reported, that when in a certain dramatic representation he was desirous to make mention of things that were contained in the sacred books, he was afflicted with a darkness in his eyes; and that upon his being conscious of the occasion of his distemper, and appeasing God [by prayer], he was freed from that affliction.

[{ Why would God keep men from proclaiming Him, Jehovah? In a word, these men might have started new centers of worship in Egypt, which would have brought competition for Jerusalem and perhaps caused many Jews to leave off coming to Jerusalem for worship and sacrifice. It was vital the Jerusalem and Jehovah's temple remain the only source and center of worship and salvation. It was God's will that all the lost sheep of Israel be given a chance to be a part of the Kingdom of God in heaven and that they have the first chance for that, before Gentiles be offered such a thing. Don't mess around with God and His puropse, no matter how good your intentions are. }]

15. And when the king had received these books from Demetrius, as we have said already, he adored them, and gave order that great care should be taken of them, that they might remain uncorrupted. He also desired that the interpreters would come often to him out of Judea, and that both on account of the respects that he would pay them, and on account of the presents he would make them; for he said it was now but just to send them away, although if, of their own accord, they would come to him hereafter, they should obtain all that their own wisdom might justly require, and what his generosity was able to give them.

So he then sent them away, and gave to every one of them three garments of the best sort, and two talents of gold, and a cup of the value of one talent, and the furniture of the room wherein they were feasted. And these were the things he presented to them.

But by them he sent to Eleazar the high priest ten beds, with feet of silver, and the furniture to them belonging, and a cup of the value of thirty talents; and besides these, ten garments, and purple, and a very beautiful crown, and a hundred pieces of the finest woven linen; as also vials and dishes, and vessels for pouring, and two golden cisterns to be dedicated to God. He also desired him, by an epistle, that he would give these interpreters leave, if any of them were desirous of coming to him, because he highly valued a conversation with men of such learning, and should be very willing to lay out his wealth upon such men. And this was what came to the Jews, and was much to their glory and honor, from Ptolemy Philadelphus.

End of Book 12, chap. 2



There is so much I want to comment on in this account. First, what moved Ptolemy and his court to consider these books of law of the Jews to be so desirable and be willing to pay so much for them? Well, they had done this another time with the Athenians in obtaining a copy of the Illiad, and keeping the original instead.

Then there was the repentance and release of the Jew formerly captured and carried off with a ransom given as well. Was this from God? It bears a similarity to the Exodus when Egyptians were asked to give/donate to Israelites and did. It would seem to me that God was still with Judah at this time since the law had not been fulfilled yet and it was God's pleasure and desire that it be fulfilled before He take His spirit away.

Further, Judah at this time exhibited enough of the fruits of the spirit such as being of sufficient trustworthiness in their oaths and words that kings would see them as desirable subject. The Jews recognized God's fulfillment as taking place through Alexander and submitted to the Macedonian. So God was pleased to continue with Judah at this time and bless them.

Jehovah also saw fit to see that Jews of foreign settlement and dwelling continue to have access to God's word and laws so that they might be ready when God's son would come along. So He no doubt was pleased with the translation of His word into Greek for the benefit of His people, if He was not the force behind its getting translated in the 1st place.

Very notable officials of both Egypt and Judah were involved and great care was taken, almost as if God was the force behind the translation. It was well attested to, and Josephus had access to the copies of the documents involved in this affair, which in itself is most interesting and gives good credence to what took place, when, how, etc. Credibility in a big way. Both sides would be able to verify what had taken place.

The terms of the translation were agreed upon by all and it was agreed that once the translations were said to be good, that no changes would be made or take place afterward, ever, as was the custom with the Hebrew version given by God through Moses.

Establishing with such verifiable sources and testimony what took place, the Septuagint could be or at least should be, solidly located in the days of Ptolemy Philadelphus, whose name even speaks of his character and lends credibility to this work. Not only the time, but the form as well.

And since this was a work fully overseen by the priesthood and the high priest of God's temple, we need not question if it was appropriate. And it was the high priest who picked men in every tribe to serve on this translation committee. All were evidently versed in both Greek and Hebrew and seen as qualified to do the job.

It does not seem reasonable that such a work would turn out deficient given that such appropriate and sound methods were employed to bring about this translation. Again, even if God were not behind it, surely He would be pleased with the efforts made in behalf of such a task.

All parties were delighted with the idea proposed by Ptolemy. The Priesthood was delighted. It seemed like the right thing to do and something that would have God's blessing and guidance. So many would benefit away from Judah. It certainly would appear to be God's will in preparing for Jesus' arrival in gong to the lost sheep of Israel. It was a great way of establishing the prophecies by a neutral 3rd party so that no dispute would be reasonable as to the fact that these scriptures were well attested to at least 200 to 300 years before the Messiah.

Really, I find it unlikely that it was not God's will and even if it were not, they certainly took the right approach to doing it, which must have pleased God, even if He was not concerned about the Greek translation.

But for me, the many circumstances around this project make it a good and likely possibility that God was the force behind this whole thing. Josephus certainly would not have gone to the detail he did if he, too, was not impressed by what took place and was available to him to copy of these accounts.

It has to be said that the opinion of Philo of Alexandria was also in praise of this work. It had the blessing and approval of Jews everywhere. So how did it fall into such dispute in our time? Good question! I'll get to it. Lets cover a few more things first.



Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book XII (12), chapter 3
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"1. THE Jews also obtained honors from the kings of Asia when they became their auxiliaries; for Seleucus Nicator made them citizens in those cities which he built in Asia, and in the lower Syria, and in the metropolis itself, Antioch; and gave them privileges equal to those of the Macedonians and Greeks, who were the inhabitants, insomuch that these privileges continue to this very day."

"2. We also know that Marcus Agrippa was of the like disposition towards the Jews: for when the people of Ionia were very angry at them, and besought Agrippa that they, and they only, might have those privileges of citizens which Antiochus, the grandson of Seleucus, (who by the Greeks was called The God,) had bestowed on them, and desired that, if the Jews were to be joint-partakers with them, they might be obliged to worship the gods they themselves worshipped: but when these matters were brought to the trial, the Jews prevailed, and obtained leave to make use of their own customs, and this under the patronage of Nicolaus of Damascus; for Agrippa gave sentence that he could not innovate. And if any one hath a mind to know this matter accurately, let him peruse the hundred and twenty-third and hundred and twenty-fourth books of the history of this Nicolaus."

[{Jews also found great favor with the Greek Ptolemys of Alexandria/Egypt so that Ptolemy II ordered that the Hebrew religious books be translated into Greek. The Greek Jews in Alexandria and other places were delighted. They did not fear pagan roots at all. I will place the accounts of those who spoke of this incident and let them speak 1st hand where possible.}]

3. . . . I will set down presently the epistles themselves which he wrote to the generals concerning them, but will first produce the testimony of Polybius of Megalopolis; for thus does he speak, in the sixteenth book of his history: "Now Scopas, the general of Ptolemy's army, went in haste to the superior parts of the country, and in the winter time overthrew the nation of the Jews?' He also saith, in the same book, that "when Seopas was conquered by Antiochus, Antiochus received Batanea, and Samaria, and Abila, and Gadara; and that, a while afterwards, there came in to him those Jews that inhabited near that temple which was called Jerusalem; concerning which, although I have more to say, and particularly concerning the presence of God about that temple, yet do I put off that history till another opportunity." This it is which Polybius relates. But we will return to the series of the history, when we have first produced the epistles of king Antiochus.

KING ANTIOCHUS TO PTOLEMY, SENDETH GREETING:

"Since the Jews, upon our first entrance on their country, demonstrated their friendship towards us, and when we came to their city [Jerusalem], received us in a splendid manner, and came to meet us with their senate, and gave abundance of provisions to our soldiers, and to the elephants, and joined with us in ejecting the garrison of the Egyptians that were in the citadel, we have thought fit to reward them, and to retrieve the condition of their city, which hath been greatly depopulated by such accidents as have befallen its inhabitants, and to bring those that have been scattered abroad back to the city. And, in the first place, we have determined, on account of their piety towards God, to bestow on them, as a pension, for their sacrifices of animals that are fit for sacrifice, for wine, and oil, and frankincense, the value of twenty thousand pieces of silver, and [six] sacred artabrae of fine flour, with one thousand four hundred and sixty medimni of wheat, and three hundred and seventy-five medimni of salt. And these payments I would have fully paid them, as I have sent orders to you. I would also have the work about the temple finished, and the cloisters, and if there be any thing else that ought to be rebuilt. And for the materials of wood, let it be brought them out of Judea itself and out of the other countries, and out of Libanus tax free; and the same I would have observed as to those other materials which will be necessary, in order to render the temple more glorious; and let all of that nation live according to the laws of their own country; and let the senate, and the priests, and the scribes of the temple, and the sacred singers, be discharged from poll-money and the crown tax and other taxes also. And that the city may the sooner recover its inhabitants, I grant a discharge from taxes for three years to its present inhabitants, and to such as shall come to it, until the month Hyperheretus. We also discharge them for the future from a third part of their taxes, that the losses they have sustained may be repaired. And all those citizens that have been carried away, and are become slaves, we grant them and their children their freedom, and give order that their substance be restored to them."

4. And these were the contents of this epistle. He also published a decree through all his kingdom in honor of the temple, which contained what follows:

"It shall be lawful for no foreigner to come within the limits of the temple round about; which thing is forbidden also to the Jews, unless to those who, according to their own custom, have purified themselves. Nor let any flesh of horses, or of mules, or of asses, he brought into the city, whether they be wild or tame; nor that of leopards, or foxes, or hares; and, in general, that of any animal which is forbidden for the Jews to eat. Nor let their skins be brought into it; nor let any such animal be bred up in the city. Let them only be permitted to use the sacrifices derived from their forefathers, with which they have been obliged to make acceptable atonements to God. And he that transgresses any of these orders, let him pay to the priests three thousand drachmae of silver."

Moreover, this Antiochus bare testimony to our piety and fidelity, in an epistle of his, written when he was informed of a sedition in Phrygia and Lydia, at which time he was in the superior provinces, wherein he commanded Zenxis, the general of his forces, and his most intimate friend, to send some of our nation out of Babylon into Phrygia. The epistle was this:

KING ANTIOCHUS TO ZEUXIS HIS FATHER, SENDETH GREETING

"If you are in health, it is well. I also am in health. Having been informed that a sedition is arisen in Lydia and Phrygia, I thought that matter required great care; and upon advising with my friends what was fit to be done, it has been thought proper to remove two thousand families of Jews, with their effects, out of Mesopotamia and Babylon, unto the castles and places that lie most convenient; for I am persuaded that they will be well-disposed guardians of our possessions, because of their piety towards God, and because I know that my predecessors have borne witness to them, that they are faithful, and with alacrity do what they are desired to do. I will, therefore, though it be a laborious work, that you remove these Jews, under a promise, that they shall be permitted to use their own laws. And when you have brought them to the places forementioned, you shall give everyone of their families a place for building their houses, and a portion of the land for their husbandry, and for the plantation of their vines; and you shall discharge them from paying taxes of the fruits of the earth for ten years; and let them have a proper quantity of wheat for the maintenance of their servants, until they receive bread corn out of the earth; also let a sufficient share be given to such as minister to them in the necessaries of life, that by enjoying the effects of our humanity, they may show themselves the more willing and ready about our affairs. Take care likewise of that nation, as far as you art able, that they may not have any disturbance given them by any one." Now these testimonials which I have produced are sufficient to declare the friendship that Antiochus the Great bare to the Jews.

The End of the account of Josephus as regards the Septuagint and the acts of kindness toward Judah.

It seems blatantly clear to me that God caused lots of undeserved kindness upon Judah and its people so that the nation and priesthood be preserved until such time as God's son might fulfill the law and purposed which God intended from the beginning. I can see nothing but Divine Providence in this whole affair. So if you want to pick on the Septuagint, be careful. You might be spitting in the face of God. At the very least, I would say that one ought to be slow to speak poorly of the going forth of the Septuagint. It was a very important work in preparing the world for the transmission of the word of God to the people of the Roman Empire.

Now I want to show the opinion of others on the Septuagint LXX.



Philo of Alexandria
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ON THE LIFE OF MOSES II

V. (25) And that beauty and dignity of the legislation of Moses is honoured not among the Jews only, but also by all other nations, is plain, both from what has been already said and from what I am about to state. (26) In olden time the laws were written in the Chaldaean language, and for a long time they remained in the same condition as at first, not changing their language as long as their beauty had not made them known to other nations; (27) but when, from the daily and uninterrupted respect shown to them by those to whom they had been given, and from their ceaseless observance of their ordinances, other nations also obtained an understanding of them, their reputation spread over all lands; for what was really good, even though it may through envy be overshadowed for a short time, still in time shines again through the intrinsic excellence of its nature.

Some persons, thinking it a scandalous thing that these laws should only be known among one half portion of the human race, namely, among the barbarians, and that the Greek nation should be wholly and entirely ignorant of them, turned their attention to their translation. (28) And since this undertaking was an important one, tending to the general advantage, not only of private persons, but also of rulers, of whom the number was not great, it was entrusted to kings and to the most illustrious of all kings.

(29) Ptolemy, surnamed Philadelphus, was the third in succession after Alexander, the monarch who subdued Egypt; and he was, in all virtues which can be displayed in government, the most excellent sovereign, not only of all those of his time, but of all that ever lived; so that even now, after the lapse of so many generations, his fame is still celebrated, as having left many instances and monuments of his magnanimity in the cities and districts of his kingdom, so that even now it is come to be a sort of proverbial expression to call excessive magnificence, and zeal, for honour and splendour in preparation, Philadelphian, from his name; (30) and, in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings.

VI. (31) He, then, being a sovereign of this character, and having conceived a great admiration for and love of the legislation of Moses, conceived the idea of having our laws translated into the Greek language; and immediately he sent out ambassadors to the high-priest and king of Judea, for they were the same person. (32) And having explained his wishes, and having requested him to pick him out a number of men, of perfect fitness for the task, who should translate the law, the high-priest, as was natural, being greatly pleased, and thinking that the king had only felt the inclination to undertake a work of such a character from having been influenced by the providence of God, considered, and with great care selected the most respectable of the Hebrews whom he had about him, who in addition to their knowledge of their national scriptures, had also been well instructed in Grecian literature, and cheerfully sent them.

(33) And when they arrived at the king's court they were hospitably received by the king; and while they feasted, they in return feasted their entertainer with witty and virtuous conversation; for he made experiment of the wisdom of each individual among them, putting to them a succession of new and extraordinary questions; and they, since the time did not allow of their being prolix in their answers, replied with great propriety and fidelity as if they were delivering apophthegms which they had already prepared.

(34) So when they had won his approval, they immediately began to fulfil the objects for which that honourable embassy had been sent; and considering among themselves how important the affair was, to translate laws which had been divinely given by direct inspiration, since they were not able either to take away anything, or to add anything, or to alter anything, but were bound to preserve the original form and character of the whole composition, they looked out for the most completely purified place of all the spots on the outside of the city. For the places within the walls, as being filled with all kinds of animals, were held in suspicion by them by reason of the diseases and deaths of some, and the accursed actions of those who were in health.

(35) The island of Pharos lies in front of Alexandria, the neck of which runs out like a sort of tongue towards the city, being surrounded with water of no great depth, but chiefly with shoals and shallow water, so that the great noise and roaring from the beating of the waves is kept at a considerable distance, and so mitigated. (36) They judged this place to be the most suitable of all the spots in the neighbourhood for them to enjoy quiet and tranquillity in, so that they might associate with the laws alone in their minds; and there they remained, and having taken the sacred scriptures, they lifted up them and their hands also to heaven, entreating of God that they might not fail in their object. And he assented to their prayers, that the greater part, or indeed the universal race of mankind might be benefited, by using these philosophical and entirely beautiful commandments for the correction of their lives.

VII. (37) Therefore, being settled in a secret place, and nothing even being present with them except the elements of nature, the earth, the water, the air, and the heaven, concerning the creation of which they were going in the first place to explain the sacred account; for the account of the creation of the world is the beginning of the law; they, like men inspired, prophesied, not one saying one thing and then another, but every one of them employed the self-same nouns and verbs, as if some unseen prompter had suggested all their language to them.

(38) And yet who is there who does not know that every language, and the Greek language above all others, is rich in a variety of words, and that it is possible to vary a sentence and to paraphrase the same idea, so as to set it forth in a great variety of manners, adapting many different forms of expression to it at different times. But this, they say, did not happen at all in the case of this translation of the law, but that, in every case, exactly corresponding Greek words were employed to translate literally the appropriate Chaldaic words, being adapted with exceeding propriety to the matters which were to be explained.

(39) For just as I suppose the things which are proved in geometry and logic do not admit any variety of explanation, but the proposition which was set forth from the beginning remains unaltered, in like manner I conceive did these men find words precisely and literally corresponding to the things, which words were alone, or in the greatest possible degree, destined to explain with clearness and force the matters which it was desired to reveal. (40) And there is a very evident proof of this; for if Chaldaeans were to learn the Greek language, and if Greeks were to learn Chaldaean, and if each were to meet with those scriptures in both languages, namely, the Chaldaic and the translated version, they would admire and reverence them both as sisters, or rather as one and the same both in their facts and in their language; considering these translators not mere interpreters but hierophants and prophets to whom it had been granted it their honest and guileless minds to go along with the most pure spirit of Moses.

(41) On which account, even to this very day, there is every year a solemn assembly held and a festival celebrated in the island of Pharos, to which not only the Jews but a great number of persons of other nations sail across, reverencing the place in which the first light of interpretation shone forth, and thanking God for that ancient piece of beneficence which was always young and fresh. (42) And after the prayers and the giving of thanks some of them pitched their tents on the shore, and some of them lay down without any tents in the open air on the sand of the shore, and feasted with their relations and friends, thinking the shore at that time a more beautiful abode than the furniture of the king's palace. (43) In this way those admirable, and incomparable, and most desirable laws were made known to all people, whether private individuals or kings, and this too at a period when the nation had not been prosperous for a long time.

And it is generally the case that a cloud is thrown over the affairs of those who are not flourishing, so that but little is known of them; (44) and then, if they make any fresh start and begin to improve, how great is the increase of their renown and glory? I think that in that case every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only; for their laws shining in connection with, and simultaneously with, the prosperity of the nation, will obscure all others, just as the rising sun obscures the stars.

End of Philo Account



As you can see, the Septuagint had nothing but the most absolute respect and admiration of all Jews and many Greeks, too. In fact, Alexandria and Egypt also enjoyed a great reputation under the Ptolemys, kings who also had a great reputation as well. In fact, much of the glory of Greece was due to the preservation of this classical era being preserved by Alexandria and the Ptolemys.

So if there is anything that ought to have unanimous respect, it was the work and effort to produce this excellent translation of God's word. I might point out the priesthood was installed and authorized by God and Moses to do this work and they were the ones who did it, not Ptolemy. Ptolemy provided the means for them but exercised no authority over the work of those picked by the High Priest for this task.

We note that Philo provided some information that Josephus does not so that it is reasonable to conclude that these are genuinely separate and distinct witnesses, one (Josephus) having lived in Judah and had the records of the temple available to him after their capture by Rome and Titus.

And the other, Philo, residing in Alexandria and having resources there that he had access to. The results are impressive, whether by the hand of God or man.

This translation and its circumstances helps very securely place and identify it in history so that no one need doubt that the Hebrew scrolls and their prophets had certain been in existence before this time of Ptolemy II and were certified and verified by Ptolemy and his court so that the existence of this witness of God could never be disputed.

This would be important for the prophecies that concern Jesus would certainly come under hot dispute due to there being so many of them and so precise and accurate. Now neither Academic, Jew, or Atheist could reasonably deny these scrolls. "Reasonably" being the key word here!

Indeed, this could not have been done at a much earlier time such as in Babylon for there were more books and prophets to add. But after Zechariah and Malachi, there was nothing left and God likely wanted a source to authenticate and verify the existence and content of God's prophets and law. Since Persia was still involved in Judah/Israel's affairs, it would be left to the next political power to make the authentication of the scrolls of God. Alexander only reigned for 12 years and then the Ptolemys took over. Only the 2nd Ptolemy took office when the deed was done. So God did not waste a lot of time, either, in having some neutral 3rd party authentication made.

But I have more witnesses, a cloud of them. Here are early Christian writers who spoke of this translation into Greek.



Christian Writers/Witnesses
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JUSTIN MARTYR

FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN, CHAP. 31 (the septuagint)

There were, then, among the Jews certain men who were prophets of God, through whom the prophetic Spirit published beforehand things that were to come to pass, where ever they happened. And their prophecies, as they were spoken and when they were uttered, the kings who happened to be reigning among the Jews at the several times carefully preserved in their possession, when they had been arranged in books by the prophets themselves in their own Hebrew language. And when Ptolemy king of Egypt formed a library, and endeavoured to collect the writings of all men, he heard also of these prophets, and sent to Herod, who was at that time king of the Jews, requesting that the books of the prophets be sent to him.

And Herod the king did indeed send them, written, as they were, in the foresaid Hebrew language. And when their contents were found to be unintelligible to the Egyptians, he again sent and requested that men be commissioned to translate them into the Greek language. And when this was done, the books remained with the Egyptians, where they are until now. They are also in the possession of all Jews throughout the world; but they, though they read, do not understand what is said, but count us foes and enemies; and, like yourselves, they kill and punish us whenever they have the power, as you can well believe.



JUSTIN'S HORTATORY ADDRESS TO THE GREEKS
CHAP. 13 History of Septuagint

But if any one says that the writings of Moses and of the rest of the prophets were also written in the Greek character, let him read profane histories, and know that Ptolemy, king of Egypt, when he had built the library in Alexandria, and by gathering books from every quarter had filled it, then learnt that very ancient histories written in Hebrew happened to be carefully preserved; and wishing to know their contents, he sent for seventy wise men from Jerusalem, who were acquainted with both the Greek and Hebrew language, and appointed them to translate the books; and that in freedom from all disturbance they might the more speedily complete the translation, he ordered that there should be constructed, not in the city itself, but seven stadia off (where the Pharos was built), as many little cots as there were translators, so that each by himself might complete his own translation; and enjoined upon those officers who were appointed to this duty, to afford them all attendance, but to prevent communication with one another, in order that the accuracy of the translation might be discernible even by their agreement.

And when he ascertained that the seventy men had not only given the same meaning, but had employed the same words, and had failed in agreement with one another not even to the extent of one word; but had written the same things, and concerning the same things, he was struck with amazement, and believed that the translation had been written by divine power, and perceived that the men were worthy of all honor, as beloved of God; and with many gifts ordered them to return to their own country. And having, as was natural, marveled at the books, and concluded them to be divine, he consecrated them in that library. These things, you men of Greece, are no fable, nor do we narrate fictions; but we ourselves having been in Alexandria, saw the remains of the little cots at the Pharos still preserved, and having heard these things from the inhabitants, who had received them as part of their country's tradition, we now tell to you what you can also learn from others, and specially from those wise and esteemed men who have written of these things, Philo and Josephus, and many others.

But if any of those who are wont to be forward in contradiction should say that these books do not belong to us, but to the Jews, and should assert that we in vain profess to have learnt our religion from them, let him know, as he may from those very things which are written in these books, that not to them, but to us, does the doctrine of them refer. That the books relating to our religion are to this day preserved among the Jews, has been a work of Divine Providence on our behalf; for lest, by producing them out of the Church, we should give occasion to those who wish to slander us to charge us with fraud, we demand that they be produced from the synagogue of the Jews, that from the very books still preserved among them it might clearly and evidently appear, that the laws which were written by holy men for instruction pertain to us.



Justin - Against Trypho Chap. LXXI (71)
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THE JEWS REJECT THE INTERPRETATION OF THE LXX., FROM WHICH, MOREOVER, THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY SOME PASSAGES.

"But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying; but since I am aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to these points, but I proceed (7) to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you. For you assent to those which I have brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive,' and say it ought to be read, 'Behold, the young woman shall conceive.' And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the proof."

Here Trypho remarked, "We ask you first of all to tell us some of the Scriptures which you allege have been completely cancelled."

[And Justin did in Chap 72 onward. This is so important to understand: The Jews in the early days of Christianity were creating alternate translations of the Bible in Greek, one not the same as that by Ptolemy. They probably imagined that since it was Greek, it did not matter if they changed it. Surely madness had completely overtaken them by this point. So it should be our expectation that the LXX is bound to be corrupted in many ways and many places since so many Greek speaking Jews were spread throughout the Roman Empire. But later Bible translators would resort to Hebrew to help make their translations. God's work would prevail no matter what. Tht does not mean we do not have to apply diligence in reading, interpreting, and translating the scriptures. But with all the aids we have such as concordances, dictionaries, original texts in Hebrew and Greek, Computers and seacrh engines, ante-Nicene (pre-Nicene) early Chrisitian Writers and many other commentaries and opinions to consider, it is not likely that the word of God will fail us when the time has come. Interpretation is not for the lazy!]



Irenaeus' Against the Heresies, Book 3, Chap. 21
The Septuagint, etc.
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2. For before the Romans possessed their kingdom, while as yet the Macedonians held Asia, Ptolemy the son of Lagus, being anxious to adorn the library which he had founded in Alexandria, with a collection of the writings of all men, which were [works] of merit, made request to the people of Jerusalem, that they should have their Scriptures translated into the Greek language. And they--for at that time they were still subject to the Macedonians--sent to Ptolemy seventy of their elders, who were thoroughly skilled in the Scriptures and in both the languages, to carry out what he had desired. But he, wishing to test them individually, and fearing lest they might perchance, by taking counsel together, conceal the truth in the Scriptures, by their interpretation, separated them from each other, and commanded them all to write the same translation. He did this with respect to all the books.

But when they came together in the same place before Ptolemy, and each of them compared his own interpretation with that of every other, God was indeed glorified, and the Scriptures were acknowledged as truly divine. For all of them read out the common translation [which they had prepared] in the very same words and the very same names, from beginning to end, so that even the Gentiles present perceived that the Scriptures had been interpreted by the inspiration of God. And there was nothing astonishing in God having done this,--He who, when, during the captivity of the people under Nebuchadnezzar, the Scriptures had been corrupted, and when, after seventy years, the Jews had returned to their own land, then, in the times of Artaxerxes king of the Persians, inspired Esdras the priest, of the tribe of Levi, to recast all the words of the former prophets, and to re-establish with the people the Mosaic legislation.

3. Since, therefore, the Scriptures have been interpreted with such fidelity, and by the grace of God, and since from these God has prepared and formed again our faith towards His Son, and has preserved to us the unadulterated Scriptures in Egypt, where the house of Jacob flourished, fleeing from the famine in Canaan; where also our Lord was preserved when He fled from the persecution set on foot by Herod; and [since] this interpretation of these Scriptures was made prior to our Lord's descent [to earth], and came into being before the Christians appeared--for our Lord was born about the forty-first year of the reign of Augustus; but Ptolemy was much earlier, under whom the Scriptures were interpreted;--[since these things are so, I say,] truly these men are proved to be impudent and presumptuous, who would now show a desire to make different translations, when we refute them out of these Scriptures, and shut them up to a belief in the advent of the Son of God.

But our faith is steadfast, unfeigned, and the only true one, having clear proof from these Scriptures, which were interpreted in the way I have related; and the preaching of the Church is without interpolation. For the apostles, since they are of more ancient date than all these [heretics], agree with this aforesaid translation; and the translation harmonizes with the tradition of the apostles. For Peter, and John, and Matthew, and Paul, and the rest successively, as well as their followers, did set forth all prophetical [announcements], just as the interpretation of the elders contains them.

Irenaeus here seems to make a mistake in attributing this to Ptolemy son of Lagus, when it was Ptolemy Philadelphus that did this. He made an error, no doubt taking this from his own memory and not some written account. But regardless, we can see his faith in the account and how he says the Apostles vouched for this translation and quoted it exactly. But there may be a solution when we consider another account related by Eusebius.

Eusebius quotes the account of Irenaeus in Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book V (5), Chapter 8.

But the noteworthy comments I mention appear concerning the passover meal of the Lord controversy in the time of Irenaeus as follows.



Eusebius of Caesarea
Church History: Book VII (7), Chap 32
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Wherefore we maintain that those who place the first month in it, and determine by it the fourteenth of the passover, commit no slight or common blunder. And this is not an opinion of our own; but it was known to the Jews of old, even before Christ, and was carefully observed by them. This may be learned from what is said by Philo, Josephus, and Musaeus; and not only by them, but also by those yet more ancient, the two Agathobuli, surnamed 'Masters,' and the famous Aristobulus, who was chosen among the seventy interpreters of the sacred and divine Hebrew Scriptures by Ptolemy Philadelphus and his father, and who also dedicated his exegetical books on the law of Moses to the same kings.

End of Eusebius account

I suppose it is possible that the 1st Ptolemy may have started or initiated a desire for the Hebrew scriptures but did not carry it out or only briefly began it and left off and that the 2nd Ptolemy then finished and carried it out or at least completed it. But it clearly was the 2nd, Philadelphus, who finally completed it and was the one related by Josephus and Philo related is such detail and who Justin is in agreement with as well.

But we do get a glimpse of more details, as one of the 70 is mentioned by name. As to the puzzle of whether it was the 6 men from each of 12 tribes of Israel, totaling 72 men, by the request of Ptolemy Philadelphus or whether they sent 70 as in 7 times 10 and more in accordance with the, the 70 years granted to Babylon to rule the nations, the 70 weeks of years of Daniel 9, as well as the 70 sent forth by Jesus to preach in Luke 10 later.

The translation was finished in 72 days, sometimes said to be 70. Maybe 70 was rounded from 72. Maybe the High priest or men sent brought 72 but requested 70 to be more in harmony with the scriptures and Ptolemy consented. It is probably not solvable till the Messiah returns but neither is it important. Some related those details more essential and perhaps not pointing out more specific details which come out in other accounts. But everyone agrees on the essentials.

It was only after the advent of Jesus that the Greek Jews began to hate the Greek translation and likely felt no hesitation to destroy or change the Greek more to their liking, believing they were justified since the Greek was not what they received from Moses, and not caring that regardless of language, it was the very same message and was not allowed to be tampered with in any language. But it is clear from Justin that they did try to corrupt the Greek Septuagint LXX.

It is even possible that Jehovah outsmarted the Jews by His providential foresight and have Hebrew scrolls around that were not tampered with so that s the Greek was corrupted by these wicked heretics, the Hebrew would later (4th century AD onward) turn up with legitimate verses.

Equally possible is that diligent comparisons between various Greek and Hebrew Translations would also provide enough to assure the proper message of God was conveyed, despite tampering. There is no need or good reason to exclude either one. At the mouth or 2 or 3 witnesses, let a matter be firmly established.

Prov. 11:14 "in an abundance of counselors there is safety."

Prov. 15:22 "Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed."

Prov. 24:6 "for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory."

Why limit ourselves to 1 or the other? Diligence would welcome both into consideration.



TERTULLIAN, APOLOGY, CHAP. XVIII (18)
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[TRANSLATED BY THE REV. S. THELWALL, LATE SCHOLAR OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CANTAB.]

But, that we might attain an ampler and more authoritative knowledge at once of Himself, and of His counsels and will, God has added a written revelation for the behoof of every one whose heart is set on seeking Him, that seeking he may find, and finding believe, and believing obey.

For from the first He sent messengers into the world,--men whose stainless righteousness made them worthy to know the Most High, and to reveal Him,--men abundantly endowed with the Holy Spirit, that they might proclaim that there is one God only who made all things, who formed man from the dust of the ground (for He is the true Prometheus who gave order to the world by arranging the seasons and their course),--these have further set before us the proofs He has given of His majesty in His judgments by floods and fires, the rules appointed by Him for securing His favour, as well as the retribution in store for the ignoring, forsaking and keeping them, as being about at the end of all to adjudge His worshippers to everlasting life, and the wicked to the doom of fire at once without ending and without break, raising up again all the dead from the beginning, reforming and renewing them with the object of awarding either recompense. Once these things were with us, too, the theme of ridicule.

We are of your stock and nature: men are made, not born, Christians. The preachers of whom we have spoken are called prophets, from the office which belongs to them of predicting the future. Their words, as well as the miracles which they performed, that men might have faith in their divine authority, we have still in the literary treasures they have left, and which are open to all.

Ptolemy, surnamed Philadelphus, the most learned of his race, a man of vast acquaintance with all literature, emulating, I imagine, the book enthusiasm of Pisistratus, among other remains of the past which either their antiquity or something of peculiar interest made famous, at the suggestion of Demetrius Phalereus, who was renowned above all grammarians of his time, and to whom he had committed the management of these things, applied to the Jews for their writings--I mean the writings peculiar to them and in their tongue, which they alone possessed, for from themselves, as a people dear to God for their fathers' sake, their prophets had ever sprung, and to them they had ever spoken.

Now in ancient times the people we call Jews bare the name of Hebrews, and so both their writings and their speech were Hebrew. But that the understanding of their books might not be wanting, this also the Jews supplied to Ptolemy; for they gave him seventy-two interpreters-men whom the philosopher Menedemus, the well-known asserter of a Providence, regarded with respect as sharing in his views. The same account is given by Aristaeus. So the king left these works unlocked to all, in the Greek language.

To this day, at the temple of Serapis, the libraries of Ptolemy are to be seen, with the identical Hebrew originals in them. The Jews, too, read them publicly. Under a tribute-liberty, they are in the habit of going to hear them every Sabbath. Whoever gives ear will find God in them; whoever takes pains to understand, will be compelled to believe.

End Of Tertullian



It is evident that Jews almost universally saw their "Bible" in Greek by Ptolemy as a great thing. Greek speaking Jews now had access to the writings of their ancestors that revealed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It would not be till the coming of Christ that things would change. But in the Greek speaking world of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Septuagint remained golden.

May I point out that among Bible fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Hebrew Masoretic Text (oldest known text in Hebrew), and the Oldest Greek Septuagint Text, that 95% of the differences between Masoretic and Septuagint are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls compared to the Masoretic. This shows that most of the Dead Sea Text was likely drawn from the Septuagint. Interesting, no?

But what should be understood is that nearly all those "discrepancies" are actually just variations in grammatical errors, spelling differences, or missing words, which are not really discrepancies at all. These are innocent human errors that are perfectly easy explain and understand and need not shake anyone's faith in the Bible or in any other document where various sources frequently have spelling errors or forgotten words or grammatical glitches.

The only real discrepancies which are meaningful are those pointed out by Floyd Nolen Jones discussed near the beginning of this article in regards to chronological years and dates, which do not affect doctrine but look like they were tampered with by someone, whose purpose was likely to cast doubt and justly so. Now I wonder who would do a thing like that?

And to repeat to absurdity, God's protection of the scriptures do not mean that there are not mistakes. God does not need a mistake free set of documents to deliver enough to allow the truth to be discerned. And the fact the Septuagint was tampered with by Greek Jews is evidence of what was said about their heart condition, and the extreme hatred the followers of Christ experienced in those early days after Christ. But we need not throw out the baby with the bath water. The Greek is still very useful with the exception of years given for birth and kings. And it does not change the very valuable part the Septuagint played in spreading the word of God for many centuries.

But aside from some unhappy Greek Jews, no one ever disputed then Septuagint whose reputation was pristine, golden! Well, not till maybe 1850 or 1900. And who were the critics now? Academics? No! Godless Evolutionists? No! Then who? How about Law Keeping and Law requiring modern day Judaizers?!! They are the ones, and this time not Jewish, but carrying on the tradition of the old Judaizers of the early centuries of Christianity of keeping the law and casting doubt on what was so well received by Jews in the days of Philadelphus, perhaps as noble and decent a ruler as the world has likely seen.

And I point out that many "Sacred Namers" as some call those who call for the proper name of God to be used at all times in place of God and LORD and who argue about whether it is Yahweh, Jehovah, or Yahuwah, that they are often the ones who say we have to keep the law, too. They sound more like the typical knee-jerk skeptical Academics so typical of the last few centuries, especially of the last 150 years or so. What strange bed fellows some of us hook up with, huh?

For me, I do not doubt anything related from the various witnesses who write from the time of Philadelphus or the early centuries of Christ, AD. Byt 2 or 3 witnesses, I consider it established and further, but reasonable statutes of limitation I apply, the uncontested and very high reputation that continued of the Greek Septuagint LXX is unassailable unless good, damn good, evidence can be shown and it certainly has not been shown yet, at all. Let the critics be silenced and ashamed!



A Review and Summary
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Now we had been talking about pagan associations being silly and that Greek was a clean and holy language for the purposes of God and His message.

It is nearly certain that many letters by Apostles were written first and only in Greek to typically "Greek" audiences, perhaps to be translated after by a translator reading, into other languages and sanctioned by the Apostle overseeing it. And they used that Greek language with all its so called pagan influence. The Apostles did that! Did not the spirit say to Peter, "stop calling unclean, what God has made holy" in reference to the Gentiles and their languages and being welcomed into Christ?

Was it not God, the Almighty and Supreme, who changed the languages in the first place in Genesis 10 & 11? Did God defile Himself by creating Greek in the first place? Of course it is crazy to suggest that!!! Yet, that is what some really seem to be saying when they condemn the Greek as a means of conveying the Gospel and NT.

I will state, to the point of extreme redundancy, that what we have in the NT comes to us, in its oldest forms, in Greek and that we must assume it has come down to us in a form that God sees as adequate and fulfilling His purpose and revealing His message properly in the right spirit. We have no other choice. We have no authority to second guess God or assume something we have no evidence for, in black and white text. He has left us without any alternative!

As regards the NT, Greek is sanctioned by God! It is as useful as any other language in conveying the messages of God to men! And it alone bears the message of the spirit at certain points in time, a point in time long past that due to us if we are to be prepared for the coming tribulation. We can accept what God has provided or spit in His face if you prefer. I would not prefer that, myself. I will take whatever God hands to me and be satisfied. Greek, it is!!! Between Greek and Hebrew, we should be able to discern anything, the spirit of God being willing!

May I also point out that the book of Daniel is written and copied in Aramaic, a language related to Hebrew since Aram (Born of Shem and who fathered Babylonians) was related to Arpachshad, (of Shem who fathered Hebrews). Aramaic was the language of the Babylonians, of whom Daniel was living under at the time. Now why God's spirit directed Daniel to write in Babylonian Aramaic instead of Hebrew, we can only wonder. But I'll take a stab at it.

First, God certainly foresaw Sacred-namers and others who insist only Hebrew is holy and accepted and God may have decided to throw a wrench in their crankcase by having Daniel write in Aramaic. It may be that God wanted to emphasize that He would no longer be publishing much in Hebrew, save Ezra and Nehemiah, and maybe Malichi, and that the nations were now ruling, and time was being kept according to their time records and that their languages would be used as well.

It is even possible that since most Jews did not return to Babylon as they were obligated to by God and the holy scriptures, that God wanted to give them a good warning and considered them belonging more to Babylon than to Him. So He "addressed" them as they truly were, rebellious "Babylonians" in their own new tounge.

But for whatever the reasons, the spirit directed Daniel in Aramaic, which Daniel well knew, being a top administrator in the Babylonian government, 1st under Nebuchadnezzar. God can and has the right to speak in any language He wants. And we, as representatives, have the obligation and right to speak to any person of any language and tell them the good news of the kingdom. And if we have the ability to translate in word or in writing, we have the liberty to do so. We do not have to learn Hebrew, speak in Hebrew, or write in Hebrew and command others to do the same. In any nation (or language), the man who fears God is acceptable to Him, God!


Proper Divine Names of God & Son
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I really need to address what the proper names of the Father and the Son are, since some make entire religion out of just this one issue, as if no other issues existed. Its ridiculous.

Jehovah appears in Genesis 2:4 and is mentioned 11 times in that chapter. But if you use the King James Version, you will only see in all caps, LORD. The original Hebrew Bible had the personal name of God there, commonly transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh. Now some have argued, quite appropriately, that Yahweh is not correct since the divine name has 3 syllables and that Yahweh is missing the middle vowel that would form the 3rd syllable. They are correct and I will show why now.

Exodus 3:14 had God the Heavenly Father introduce himself to Moses, who then shows Israel. Typical English renderings are:
I AM THAT I AM  --  KJV, ASV, GLT, Darby, ERV, Geneva, 
I AM WHO I AM  --  NIV, Douay, ESV, HCSB, NKJV, RSV

The Hebrew verb hayah (a-h-y-h) appears twice together with asher (a-sh-r) in between them. The "a" (aleph) appears in front of both hayah's. Hayah is the root word without the aleph, a defining article like the English "the." It is intended as a proverb or riddle to be solved by Israel and us. My main point here is that this description is 3 words, which should amount to at least 3 syllables in the name. The meaning is the Qal form, and yet "to become." Something was yet to be proved or shown to us but would be shown later.

1961 היה hayah haw-yaw
a primitive root [compare 01933]; v; {See TWOT on 491}
AV-was, come to pass, came, has been, were happened, become, pertained, better for thee; 75

1) to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out

1a) (Qal)
1a1)  —— 
1a1a) to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to pass
1a1b) to come about, come to pass
1a2) to come into being, become
1a2a) to arise, appear, come
1a2b) to become
1a2b1) to become
1a2b2) to become like
1a2b3) to be instituted, be established
1a3) to be
1a3a) to exist, be in existence
1a3b) to abide, remain, continue (with word of place or time)
1a3c) to stand, lie, be in, be at, be situated (with word of locality)
1a3d) to accompany, be with

1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to occur, come to pass, be done, be brought about
1b2) to be done, be finished, be gone 

Qal 08851, Imperfect 08811, Count: 19885

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Amplified Bible: Ex. 3: 14 And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!

Gill's Expository: And God said unto Moses, I am that I am
"This signifies the real being of God, his self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes his eternity and immutability, and his constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is, not only I am what I am at present, but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am."

 Both of the above references kind of show what might have been intended. I say this! God was saying that He exists and would show Israel and all exactly who He was and that He would prove to be God in a big way. He was going to show them  .  .  . in taking them out of Egypt as well as showing us all, over time, who He truly was. I am and I will become and prove to be, so much more. No one will doubt His existence when He is done!

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KJV) Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

The English letters representing the Hebrew letters are YHWH. Above uses JHVH. We'll get to that in a moment. Hebrews did not write out vowels. They were assumed.

Most translations use Jehovah but some use Yahweh. It should be 3 syllables, of course. Yahweh is only 2. The problem here is that Hebrew only uses consonants with the vowels left out and assumed, since the context usually makes it clear to those who speak it, what vowels those should be. A word beginning with a vowel or ending with a vowel will often have a special letter in front for that. "A" will typically have an aleph in front. Aleph is the Hebrew equivalent of the English A. Aleph is Alphe/Alpha in Greek.

If the vowel is on the end of a word, a consonant will be placed there to be used signifying a vowel sound. Example: Yahu is part of the name of Yahu-wah (or Yahweh). Yahu would look like this in Hebrew using English letters: y-h. We assume an "a" or "e" between the yh but what about after? Is there a letter after as well? There is! So it is common to see yhw written to represent Yahu. The Hebrew equivalent of "w" is also translated as "v" by some when a consonant. But when used as a vowel, the "w" implies an oo sound as in "root" or "boot." But what about vowels between 2 syllables like Yah-weh? If it is there, it should be commonly known that it belongs there. But since the Jews removed the divine name from their Bibles without the permission of God, and had been substituting LORD for it for centuries, they pretty much forgot what the name even was. It is too far in distant memory and lost now, sort of.


The following comes from the Wikipedia:    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mater_lectionis )

In the spelling of Hebrew and some other Semitic languages, matres lectionis (Latin "mothers of reading", singular form: mater lectionis, Hebrew: אֵם קְרִיאָה mother of reading), refers to the use of certain consonants to indicate a vowel. The letters that do this in Hebrew are א aleph, ה he, ו waw (or vav) and י yod (or yud). The yod and waw in particular are more often vowels than they are consonants. In Arabic, the matres lectionis (though they are much less often referred to thus) are alif ا, waw و, and ya' ي, even though informal, de facto orthographies of spoken varieties of Arabic also use ha to indicate a shorter version of alif, a usage augmented by the ambiguity of the use of ha and taa marbuta in formal Arabic orthography, and also a formal orthography in some languages that use Arabic script, such as Kurdish orthography. End of Wikipedia Quote

The Hebrew yod = English y;    waw = w;    aleph = a;    he = e,  as in "eh" where the e is short. In Latin and European languages, for a number of centuries, an i or a y was used as a vowel unless at the beginning of a word, where it became a consonant. Jehovah was spelled as Iehovah, with the I sounding like a Y.


At some point, Christian writers did know exactly what vowels to use for God's name. But Clement of Alexandria recorded in Greek letters, the vowel sounds of the name in the 3rd century AD (200s AD). Vowel sounds because that is all they could discern and pass on in that language. There were no strong percussive sounding consonants in the name. Clement said IAOE. Let me spell the sounds out. EE-AH-OO-EH/AY. Nearly identical to my suggested Yahuwah. EE-ah-hoo-wah. I use ah at the end for the shua sound. Ancient cuneiform texts of the Near East in flood accounts say the name of the God as EA (who spoke to Noah, called Utnapishtim in their accounts). That's EE-AH. Yah! Again, they spell out the vowel sounds with no consonants. Yah is in the Bible Psalms, too. Yah and Yahu can be found in ancient inscriptions on tablets and monuments of other nations.

A caution here. I have seen some claim that Clement spelled it IAOU or IAOUE. The OU is the same as our OO as in boot, root, or  shoot. The one ending in OU would be spelled by us as Yahu or Yahoo. Incidently, when I entered "yeho yahu" in the Yahoo search engine, it came up al references to them. They recognize the Yahu as Yahoo.so whether Yahu, Yahoo, Yaho, or Yeho, Yehu, Yehu, we are talking about the "oo" sound in Egnlish.

So I enter Clement as testifying that Yahuweh or Yahuwah, or Yehuweh is the correct form and that he knew of this form, that it was not foreign or unknown to him an quite possibly other writers/bishops of his time and earlier. But it is also clear that no NT writings ever made mention of it directly. We assume this is by Providence. Jehovah's Witnesses say that there are Greek manuscripts that have the 4 consonant letter name of God written in numerals are representative of that name. If so and I do not doubt this, unless and until someone shows me otherwise, then this may be cause to justify inserting the divine name when it is quoted from the OT. It would not justify inserting it into the NT works.

But though allowed, we do not find any NT scriptures that used the divine name. My judgment would be that we can not go beyond the things written. But we do know the Divine name was there and we do not have to hide that. But the divine name does not get much use or discussion in any Post-Jesus death writings. I assume God's will behind this, even though I do not know why. It is not mine to question or dispute God and His reasons.

Now while many dispute the name of God, saying it is Yahweh, what ever possessed earlier writers to translate it, Jehovah, as 3 syllables? Now the Hebrew shua is often translated as either e or a. The ending syllable the same thing. E or A. Why O instead of U or OO. Since the translators did not know the vowels since Jews did not know themselves or would not tell, they used the vowels of  Adoni (Hebrew for Lord) and Eli (Hebrew for God).  E from Eli A and O from Adoni and. Hebrew letters go from right to left so AOE was added from right to left as AOE or left to right as EOA in between the consonants. So Jh gets the e and hw or hv gets the o, and vh or wh gets the a. V and W are used interchangeably depending on Hebrew usage among the various nations they were in. Some use W and some use V. Germans pronounce v as w and w as v. Common switches through out Europe.

But the more typical vowels are the shua sound for the first and last vowels and the u or oo sound in the middle. But the translators did recognize 3 syllables for the name. As well, both Hebrews and later Christian translators translated many other names that had the divine name form within them as 3 or 4 syllables. In fact, the proper name of Judah is actually Jahudah or Jehudah if you prefer. Yahudah would be more correct. Some European languages pronounce a J like a Y. So J is not wrong, depending on your language. If you were Swedish, J would sound like a Y. But in English, if we were to translate it today, would use a Y to get the Hebrew sound. Our J sounds different.

Jews are called Yehudi or Yahudi by Arabs, and perhaps others. Yahudi and Yahudah. See the similarity?

Some dispute that an "a" would be used in Yah and that it should be an "e." Others insist it should be "a." Translation handed to us by the Jews uses both liberally, thereby making it very hard to say anything for sure. But that the Psalms use Jah/Yah in a few places, I would find "a" to be quite valid and likely. Many Jews today translate YHW as Yahu or YH followed by other letters as Yahu. I am going to show you some things on this now.


Theophoric Name Elements
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This is from     BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW     NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012      pgs 36-37
"The Persisting Uncertainties of Kuntillet 'Ajrud"  by Hershel Shanks

Ze'ev Meshel, a Tel Aviv University archaeologist, excavated, with a crew, the site named in the title above. 4 paragraphs divided between 2 pages hold an important piece of info relating to our dilemma. The site was just between Israel/Samaria and Judah. The question to solved was: Was this a site populated and controlled by Judah or Israel? Some fascinating considerations. Mind you, this is a reputable magazine who has numerous scholars writing articles for it all the time. These are usually Jewish authors who live in Israel and speak the language and have to know or know others who know, the ancient languages as well.

Page 36, right column:
"Another surprising conclusion: Although the site is on the southern border of Judah, the authors connect it to the northern kingdom of Israel. And they have some pretty convincing evidence. The northern connection is reflected most convincingly in the theophoric elements of the personal names found at the site. Let me unpack this: References to deities, called theophoric elements, are often incorporated into personal names; in this case the deity is Yahweh (YHWH). These abbreviations of Yahweh take two forms: In Judah the theophoric element is YHW, usually written "-yahu," as for example in the name of Israel's prime minister, Netanyahu—literally, "gift of Yahweh." In the northern kingdom of Israel the theophoric element is spelled YW, usually written "-yo." In Hebrew the difference in spelling is small—only one letter—although when written in Latin letters the two seem quite different."

>>First off, the author uses Yahweh, but that is not my concern here. There are lots of disagreements between scholars and in general, most cling to a fairly standard interpretation. Academics is like a union, where everyone backs the union policy, to protect and serve its interests, whatever those may be. Politics is never far from science and academics. Its just a fact of life. But the main thing to recognize here is that Israel and Judah had different ways of interpreting and spelling out God's name elements, known as theophoric elements. Theo is Greek for God. We will be consulting Wikipedia on the topic of Theophoric Elements after.

Israel says Yo when Judah says Yahu. Take the "H" away and you have just Ya in Judaic style. I do not know if the Israelite "O" is pronounced like our "oo" as in boot, or more like an "aw" as in lot or cot. It does not matter that much anyway. Vowels are often pronounced with variance even among those of the same language in various locations and dialects.

For clarification, any disputes between these 2 parties would be settled in favor of the Judaic interpretation, since the priesthood resided there and Judah was restored whereas Israel was not.<<

"Sometimes one of these "abbreviations" is used instead of the full name Yahweh. In one inscription at Kuntillet Ajrud, we find it once by itself as meaning YHWH. More often, the "abbreviation" appears as the last syllable of a name. In an inscription on the rim of a large 400-pound stone bowl the name Obadiah is spelled 'BDYW: "Of [or "To"] Obadiah [ending in YW] son of Adnah, blessed be he to YHW." The consistent use of the theophoric element "yo" rather than "yahu" in names at Kuntillet `Ajrud is a strong indication that it is an Israelite site, not a Judahite site."

>> So the Yo appears, and this would be evidence that the site was part of Israel, not Judah. But for our dispute, we are interesting in knowing that Yahu is the Judaic form and style of translation of the Bible. As the legitimate custodians of God's interests, this would have to take precedence in translating God's name. Ya, more than Ye or Yo! As well, they recognize a vowel after the "H," namely the "U." The oo sound!<<

"Other reasons also point to Kuntellet Ajrud as an Israelite, not a Judahite, site—such as the occasional use of Phoenician script and the reference to Yahweh of Samaria (in Israel)."

>> It might well be the Phoenician "influence" that helped slightly change the language of Israel, or at the very least, slight variances in pronunciation and spelling such as Yo for Yahu. As well, Israel's substantial apostasy from Jehovah and Judah also contributed to drifting further from what they started out as in the days of Moses and Joshua. These are 2 more good reasons for favoring Judah's Yahu over Israel's Yo.<<

"The excavator explains the Israelite identification as a result of an internecine conflict in which Joash (or Yoash [802-787 B.C.E.]), king of Israel, defeated Amaziah, king of Judah. As a result of Amaziah's defeat, Israel dominated Judah. The excavator suggests that Joash established the site of Kuntillet Ajrud to demonstrate his control and authority at the southern extremity of the kingdom of Judah (see 2 Kings 14:8-14; 2 Chronicles 15:17-24).* "
end of Article quote<<

I note that in 2 Kings 14:1, the Israelite names Jeho-ahaz and Jo-ash and the Judean name Jo-ash and Amaziah as well. Then in verse 8 we have Israelite Joash referred to as Jehoash and Jehu is mentioned as well. Let me show you how those are spelled in Hebrew using our alphabet. Caps indicate Hebrew consonants and small letter indicate assume vowels.
Verse 1:
Jeho-ahaz <> JeHAHaZ <> YoWAHaZ    I do not think the name matches up with the Hebrew letters. The Hebrew V/W is not reflected in the English, unless you blend in the o and a together. As well, the H is not justified, is not there! The V/W is.

Joash <> JoASH <> YoWASH <> The V/W is not in Joash, unless it is assumed to modify the o sound to more of a "oo" sound like loot.

Amaziah <> AMaZYaH <> seems OK.

Verse 8:
Jehoash <> JeHoWASH <> YeHoWASH <> This too, seems OK. To me, this looks like it should be Jeho-oo-ash <>Jeho-wash.

Jehoahaz  <> JeHoAHaZ <> YeHoWAHaZ <> Here the Hebrew V/W would be the "oo" sound, giving us Jeho-wahaz. This spelling is different from the same name in verse 1.

Jehu <> JeHWA <> YeHWA <> I see this as missing the A at the end, as Jehu-a. Perhaps Je-wah was in tended.

All these names beg more explanation.
-----------------------------------------------

Now for Wikipedia: Theophric name:            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophoric

A theophoric name (from Greek: θεοφόρητος – theoforētos, "bearing a deity" embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. For example, names embedding Apollo, such as Apollonios or Apollodorus, existed in Greek antiquity.

Yahweh

The name of the Israelite deity YHWH (usually shortened to Yah or Yahu, and Yeho or Yo) appears as a prefix or suffix in many theophoric names of the First Temple Period. For example, Yirme-yahu (Jeremiah), Yesha-yahu (Isaiah), Netan-yah, Yedid-yah, Adoni-yah, Nekhem-yah, Yeho-natan (Jonathan), Yeho-chanan, Yeho-shua (Joshua), Yeho-tzedek, Zekharya (Zechariah).

"Yahū" or "Yah" is the abbreviation of YHWH when used as a suffix in Hebrew names; as a prefix it appears as "Yehō-", or "Yo". It was formerly thought to be abbreviated from the Masoretic pronunciation "Yehovah". There is an opinion[6] that, as Yahweh is likely an imperfective verb form, "Yahu" is its corresponding preterite or jussive short form: compare yiŝtahaweh (imperfective), yiŝtáhû (preterit or jussive short form) = "do obeisance".

However, the name Judah (Yehūdah) is not an example: here the ye- is a verb imperfective prefix, and the name means "He adds [a son to my family]". Some other examples of "y-" in biblical Hebrew names are also verb imperfectives.

In the table below, 13 theophoric names with "Yeho" prefixes have corresponding forms (in bold type) where the letters "eh"' have been omitted. There is a theory by Christian Ginsburg that this is due to Hebrew scribes omitting the "h", changing Jeho (יְהוֹ) into Jo (יוֹ), to make the start of "Yeho-" names not sound like an attempt to pronounce the Divine Name.[7][8]
End of Article quote<<

I want you to note that it is suggested that whether it is Yahu or Yeho, depends on whether it is before the rest of the name or after. Given what I find in the King James Bible and many others, I find this reasonable and possible. I do not detect a "u" after say, Jeremiah. I would render it Yirmeyah or Jeremiyah.


Some Rumors, Intrigues
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 Now I have heard it said that the original name and pronunciation of God has been lost and now unknown. I want to show how very stupid this statement is. First, if we can say this about God's name, and we can, then we can also say it for all the Bible, since Hebrew has underwent many changes over the centuries. But the priesthood kept it up to date, in many respects, either as changing names as they got changed from past versions, or they simply remembered what the original rules were. But what has come down to us is reliable for what we need.

We trust that all words and names were understood and carried on in copies. From 1500 BC near to the time of the Exodus, to 1 AD, gives us 1500 years from the Bible's creation to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which show no meaningful changes, not do we see any changes of a meaningful sort from then, 1 AD, to now, some 2013 years later. If the Bible can survive for 2000 years, then it can also survive for 1500 years previous.

While God's name was taken out, without God's permission, so as to hinder its memory, we do have evidence, just the same, for it. Many names in the Bible have those theophric (godly) elements in them, that reveal some of God's name. We have the original consonants. But lets address vowel points.

Vowel points are nice. They can be helpful. But they were not started until about 1300 AD. Hebrew has likely changed or morphed some since 1AD or even 100 AD. How much, if any, we do not know. Can we trust the Masoretes? Read Wikipedia and decide:

"The Masoretes (Hebrew: בעלי המסורה, ba'alei hamasorah) were groups of mostly Karaite scribes and scholars who worked between the 7th and 11th centuries CE, based primarily in present-day Israel in the cities of Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as in Iraq (Babylonia). Each group compiled a system of pronunciation and grammatical guides in the form of diacritical notes on the external form of the Biblical text in an attempt to fix the pronunciation, paragraph and verse divisions and cantillation of the Jewish Bible, the Tanakh, for the worldwide Jewish community.

The ben Asher family of Masoretes was largely responsible for the preservation and production of the Masoretic Text, although an alternate Masoretic text of the ben Naphtali Masoretes, which differs slightly from the ben Asher text, existed. The halakhic authority Maimonides endorsed the ben Asher as superior, although the Egyptian Jewish scholar, Saadya Gaon al-Fayyumi, had preferred the ben Naphtali system, possibly because ben Asher was probably a Karaite. The ben Asher family and the majority of the Masoretes appear to have been Karaites.[1] Geoffrey Khan says that it is now "generally believed" that the ben Asher family were not Karaite.[2]

The Masoretes devised the vowel notation system for Hebrew that is still widely used, as well as the trope symbols used for cantillation."
End Article Quote<<

There is a lack of agreement, though how much is not known or specified. But with these vowels having appeared long after Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, I'd be a bit weary. Jews were viewed as apostates by the time of Jesus, not only by Jesus and his followers, but by the Dead Sea Scroll group in Qumran. In short, I do not find a lot of comfort in this. What we can be sure of are the consonants. It is always good to question and demand good answers. This is called textual criticism and such criticism is the hallmark of Western Society as well.

As well, various Masoretes are a sort of union or several unions or parties and they have a party platform and body of doctrine. They do not think or question a lot. They often have political concerns or ambitions. They say Yahweh is God's name, but since they can not say it, much less print it, how is it we trust them saying Yahweh? If that is what they are saying, we can almost be sure it is wrong since they are not allowed to reveal it. How's that?!

But they have no way to say whether YHWH has a vowel between each 2 consonants or not. But usually, there are vowels in between each 2 consonants. We know 3 words comprised the divine name so why not 3 syllables?

Now for those who used 3 syllables, it is said that Adonai (Lord) was used to assign vowels to Jehovah. I have 2 problems with that. Adonai has a-o-a, whereas Jehovah has e-o-a. Why e, when adonai clearly starts with an a? Now Jehovah's Witnesses used to say that the vowels were taken from Adonai and Eli. That is a-o-e. Wrong order! I have read doubts about the whole story and I find myself seriously doubting this story, too.

But the explanation in Biblical Archaeology Review and Wikipedia seem to suggest that Yeho is a natural way to translate part of the divine name when mixed with another name or word. This seems to make a lot of sense to me. At this point, I would need to know the exact source of this said info claming they just made up the vowel points with Adonai. I have never come across it yet. It has the feel of an old wives tale.

Those who argue for Yahweh, pay no attention to the other names such as those of kings or Jehudah, better known to us as the shortened Judah. How can 3 words become just 2 syllables? Answer? They can't! Too many ways to verify the spelling if you look at all the other related spellings. So if we translated new today, Yahuwah, Yehuwah, Yehuweh or Yahuweh would be the correct translation. Those who argue that if you do not use the divine name you are basically going to hell, so to speak, dogmatically ignore that Yahweh is even more poorly translated than Jehovah is. Jehovah gets the vowel sounds slightly off (maybe) and uses the J and V of certain Germanic (French/Frank/English) languages rather than the Y and W of other Germanic tongues. No big mystery or conspiracy against God.

English used to be Anglo-Saxon Germanic. But the Franks and Normans of France pronounced things differently so when they say the J, they pronounced it as the French would and not as old Anglo-Saxons did. The mixture of French and Old German created new sounds so that the English J is unique in how its pronounced. No big deal. Languages and their pronunciations change over time. The "I" was first used in Latin for our Y. And Germans later used a J for Y.

Now it is a fact that today, we would do it different in the English of today. Yahuweh! But back then, we would have likely spelled it as Jahuveh or Jehuvah. So Jehovah is not so far fetched at all. Its much better than Yahweh, for sure. At least we got all 3 syllables. But there is another reason for keeping Jehovah, rather than switching to Yahuwah. It is called tradition. You see, many do not even know God has a personal name. Those most familiar with it are those who read the really old versions such as the King James or Geneva Bible.

Or as well, Jehovah's Witnesses have made that name very well known since they believe the divine name should be known and used extensively and they are partially correct on that one. They replaced LORD with the original Divine Name, keeping the traditional European form, Jehovah, in their own bible translation, the New World Translation. They sought alternate wordings for many passages just to be contrary and separate themselves from mainstream Christianity, as if it would be helpful, somehow. I don't understand it, either.

Jehovah has been around for over 700 years, first brought to life when they first started translating Bibles into other European languages, which with John Wycliffe, Peter Waldo (1140-1218) and the like, started near to 1200 AD. But the printed form really promoted the publishing of the Bible and with that, God's name, Jehovah.

It is my opinion, that given the long tradition of the King James Version or even the Geneva Bible, if its choice of wording is understandable and correct, it ought to be kept by other translations unless another word choice really makes a difference in meaning to make the meaning more clear. But in order to make new translations, which can be copyrighted so that money and royalties can be made from their sale, they have to show significant difference between King James and their own. So they pick arbitrary changes to make their Bibles different, claiming it is so much better than previous translations, but my findings are that they are not better and usually worse or just arbitrary.

Also recall that Clement of Alexandria said God's name was IAOE <> EE-AH-OO-EH <> Yahuweh. This adds to my findings that suggested the very same. This is 2 ways to arrive at the same conclusion. The 3rd was suggested by the Wikipedia article on the Theophoric names. How different is this from Jehovah. The J is not really different since it was pronounced as a Y. The e differs from the A, but both are obtainable since the "shwa" sound of an upside down backward little e is the result of either vowel not strongly pronounced. The h is fine and the o could be closer to a u in pronunciation, anyway. Vah or wah, either one can be indicated, depending on context, which I do not fully understand but see Jews using both all the time in religious and archaeology articles. So either a v or a w is acceptable.

The big conclusion. Jehovah is not a bad, or even necessarily a wrong translation. It is possible. I favor Yahuweh, but languages evolved to the point that we can not be sure of exactly what the answer is. Will we die and burn in hell if we do not get this right? Well, if that is so, it just depends on who gets lucky with the right guess. But since I do not believe in a literal hell and am not concerned that we can not be sure of the exact name, we have a name that is not unreasonable and has been around for at least 700 years and matched up quite well with other names. What more can we ask?

God wanted to be distinguished from other gods. We have a name that does that. Some might argue that God's name has been used by pagan or black magic practice. Indeed, many names have probably been used that way, including Jesus. It is to be expected that Satan wants to abuse and disrespect those names as much as possible. It does not contaminate those names. They are still pure and clean.

But you might be surprised to know that many more denominations, though not as large as Jehovah's so called Witnesses, favor Yahweh, and a few rare ones like Brian, a friend of mine I met through letters on the subject, also favors Yahuwah. We both came up with that name independently. We are both proud of that fact. But what is most important is that people know who we are talking about. Among the few who know God has a name, most know it and respect is as being Jehovah, since the King James version is highly respected and revered. Do you want to use a version of that name that would be held suspect by many? Not me! Or not known at all, since most do not study original Hebrew? Not me! I want people to know who I am talking about. So I use the traditional, established, respected name of Jehovah.

Those who insist in using the right version have no claims since they use Yahweh, not Yahuwah. Those who use Yahuwah ignore that almost no one even knows who the hell that is. They know the King James Bible so I use that since it was a fairly legitimate attempt at translation at the time it was made. But I would say that Yahuweh is the most accurate form if we started all over again, translating into English.

It should also be known that God's personal name appears just short of 7,000 times in the Old Testament. The Jews took it out and substituted LORD in all capital letters, which they had no right to do. Some Translations put a form of the Divine Name back in all those places. The American Standard Version of 1901 does this. Young's,  Rotherham's, Byington's, Jerusalem Bible, New World Translation, Green's Literal Translation are among those who use either Jehovah or Yahweh.

Now Jesus called God "The Father." He has that right and so do we. But we are also authorized to use the proper name and are obligated to quote it wherever it appears in scripture, most of the time. Some use the proper name almost exclusively but that is not required. Jesus is never once quoted using it, though technically speaking, he is the one that authorized and directed the writing of the Bible, including the personal divine name of his Father. For those who forbid using "Father," they have the example of the son to overcome and apostles, too.

This is from the Wikipedia: Tetragrammaton:

Jehovah

The origins for the composite term Jehovah came from early English translators who transposed the vowels from Adonai to the Tetragrammaton, and read the word literally so that the Y in YHWH, was pronounced as a J in English, and the W as a V.[1] Taking the spellings at face value may have been as a result of not knowing about the Q're perpetuum, thus resulting in the term "Jehovah" and its spelling variants. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) states: "Jehovah (Yahweh), the proper name of God in the Old Testament".[14] Had they known about the Q're perpetuum, the term "Jehovah" might never have come into being.[15] Emil G. Hirsch was among the modern scholars that recognized "Jehovah" to be "grammatically impossible" (Jewish Encyclopedia (1901), Vol VII, p. 87).

Nehemia Gordon argues against what he calls the scholarly consensus and says that "the English form Jehovah is quite simply an Anglicized form of Yehovah", the pronunciation preserved by Karaite Jews, who included the Masoretes.[16] Scott Jones also argues that "modern scholarship has no evidence for the pronunciation of Yahweh whatsoever" and that its assumption is merely based on a series of other assumptions, while "the born again Christian knows - and the evidence testifies - that the first words ever written by man were simply - 'In the beginning God ...'"[16][17][18] Some argue that Jehovah is preferable to Yahweh, based on their conclusion that the Tetragrammaton was likely tri-syllabic originally, and that modern forms should therefore also have three syllables.[19]
End of Article Quote<<

An Attitude?

What I notice in all this, is that there does seem to be a hatred for God's name. Most would prefer to ignore it. Of those that address it, they are full of questionable motives. There is lots of disagreements at every turn. Among scholars, linguists, theologians, religious leaders! Controversy everywhere. There is no definitive answer and can not be. Why Jehovah is slandered so is baffling, if you look at the evidence. Yahweh is certainly unjustified. But that this name was taken out to begin with, is an outrageous betrayal of God and the assignment given to His people to copy and preserve the scriptures as they were delivered to the prophets. This could not possibly be a good thing.

All the fuss over Hebrew forms is also disturbing. God made all the languages. All are fair game to use to spread the word of God. It is the legacy of this spreading of the good news is that it came to most of the world by way of the Greek language. Naturally, it does cause variations with some Hebrew forms. The Hebrew translation, as a whole, is very good and the logical foundation for any disputes, with the exceptions being those scriptures that have been accused of being changed according to early Christians writers. Those deserve a more careful examination.

AS you noticed the kings' names I wrote out, there is reason to question a number of them. It does not mean they are wrong, but we deserve an explanation for variances. Are we missing some understanding of Hebrew, or was it tampered with? AS devotees of God's word, we must be at all times very careful and diligent and willing to check the original languages, there being 3 of them, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The truth is there to be found, but it does not mean we do not have to work to get it. that has always been the challenge before us.

It is my contention that all religion, especially religion that has been organized and controlled by hierarchical leaders and in bed with the nations and rulers of the world, is not to be trusted. It remains the obligation of individual and independent persons to decide for themselves what the truth is or is not. I have put together here, a good number of things to consider to help you along. While Jehovah is not perfect (maybe), it is a reasonable result of the continual translating that took place over the centuries. Yahuweh might well be the best attempt to spell God's name accurately, since we use J differently than many Europeans, who used the J as a Y. So Y would be proper in English, but without tradition.

The English (and Americans) have developed a long standing relationship with their language and the Bible in their language. There is nothing wrong with this. English is a mongrel language to begin with, blending Latin, Greek, French, and Anglo-Saxon Germanic. So if some confusion arose as languages were mixed and blended, it should be no surprise. Most languages are not pure. They have had many influences over the millennia.

Most important here is this! Its not the word form or pronunciation that is important. That is a case of straining the gnat, while gulping down camel. Regardless of which form of the name we know or use (if we use! I do!), the main thing is that God did have a name and put in in the Bible books nearly 7,000 times. It identifies Him and distinguishes Him from other gods and gives Him a personal identity. If His name was taken out, we need to put it back in. we do not need to rewrite the Bible, but to me, getting a Bible that uses that name in some form, is important.

And on this account, a Bible that uses Yahweh is not a bad deal. It may not be perfect or even accurate, but it at least admits the name and its place in the Bible. But if one is stuck on the King James, the American Standard Version is very nearly the same in most parts, using Jehovah instead of LORD. Green's literal translation, hard to find, is one I use. It has Jehovah in it. Jehovah and Yahweh are the only names in circulation in Bibles. No one wants to dare put in Yahuweh, because that would offend most denominations and religious and not sell. But it would likely be the most accurate (maybe). We are used to using J's, not Y's, for starters.

But if you know and use the name, then it does not matter. The King James' LORD is known to us as substituting for Jehovah. The King James version is a good solid work, though I do fault the very archaic language style. I strongly believe that the Bible should reflect the language of the day and times as they are spoken. This makes it easiest to understand since it removes barriers of unfamiliar words and styles. Understanding God's word is what is important.


Jesus? Joshua?        Updated Jan 21 017
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Jesus is a Greek translation of the son's name. We are told that Matthew wrote a Hebrew version of his gospel but we only have the Greek surviving in existence as is the case for the rest of the New Testament. So the form "Jesus" does appear to have divine providence on its side. Just off hand, Je-sus looks Greek. Je could be Ye or Ya, as would be the case in Hebrew as well. The sus ending is a typical ending for many Greek names. Sus, sos, ses, sis, and even sas are all common endings for Greek names. So Ya-sus or Je-sus seems perfectly reasonable.

Some try to work back from Hebrew. Jesus in Hebrew was Joshua, or Jehoshua. Yahushua or Yahushuah would be accurate if done today. To try to transliterate that into Greek would be quite the chore. When translating from one language to another, one can choose several options.
One: try to duplicate the sound and spelling of the sound into the new language.
Two: spell it in the way of the old language.
Or three: translate it by its meaning, using the new language words for meanings.

What was the decision of the Apostles and who they appointed? We don't know except that the spirit was strong upon them and the consistent name was Jesus. Again, Yasus/Jesus looks reasonable, using Greek conventions, rather than Hebrew ones. Who am I to argue with Divine Providence?

May I point out that James is the name for Jacob in the Greek New Testament. Ja-cob is Ya-cob. Ja-mes is the Greek version of Ja-cob. Both use the Ja or Ya, Jah or Yah and then add the -cob or -mes. Mes is a common Greek ending. So if some want to claim that Ja-sus or Je-sus is not Jehu-shuah, let them show me that Ja-mes is not Jacob. They can not do it. Greeks do not care about Hebrew conventions. Greeks follow Greek conventions and the Greek language was spread all around the empire of Rome. The Apostles and other Christians followed the Greek conventions so that the most people could be reached with the word of God, by order of His spirit.

I note that many Egyptian names were given Greek conventions and sounds. Rameses is Greek. Ramose is Egyptian. Mose is Egyptian. Moshe is Hebrew. Moses is Greek. Amenhotep is Egyptian and Amenophis is Greek. Hotep vs Ophis. Greeks have a different way of doing things and it is as approved by God as any other language on earth is. It fact, it seems rather certain that for a period of 400-500 years and more, Greek was the chosen language of Providence. Who are we to argue with the will of God?

2017 update    An idea came to me earlier in the evening. I wondered how James in the Greek scriptures of the NT was spelled in Greek letter. That is, was it a sound translation or by Greek language conventions.

Below shows Jacob as I-ak-obe  which changing the I to Y you get Yakob-e. Clearly Jacob, a sound translation, maybe from the Septuagint. Strong's dictionary lists Hebrew origin.

2384 Ιακωβ Iakob ee-ak-obe’

of Hebrew origin 03290 בקעי; TDNT- *, 344; n pr m

AV-Jacob 27; 27

Jacob =" heel-catcher or supplanter"

1) was the second son of Isaac

2) the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary

Now the next form in the NT is the common typical form, observing all Greek conventions rather than sound conventions

2385 Ιακωβος Iakobos ee-ak’-o-bos

the same as 2384 Graecised; ; n pr m

AV-James (son of Zebedee) 21, James (son of Alphaeus) 16, James (half-brother of Jesus) 5; 42

James =" supplanter"

Its not much different than above it. obe becomes obos at the end. 

But English spelling (James Ja-mes) is clearly a departure from the Greek.  So why did John Wycliffe translate Jacob as James? The answer:

---------------------------------------------

http://ask.studybible.info/246/why-did-wycliffe-translate-%E1%BC%B0%E1%BD%B1%CE%BA%CF%89%CE%B2%CE%BF%CF%82-as-james-instead-of-jacob

answered Jan 27, 2012 by anonymous
edited Jan 27, 2012

John Wycliffe was an early advocate for translation of the bible into the common language. (which wouldn't be so common to us today) He and his associates translated directly from the Vulgate. This work was started in 1382 and completed (with revisions) in 1388. The Vulgate is a fourth century Latin translation of the bible that was commissioned to unify all other existing writings and/or translations! It seems that Mr. Wycliffe (and many others) didn't see a need to properly translate the name “Jacob” and just used the Latin interpretation. There also seems to be an attempt to distance the New Testament from any Hebrew or Aramaic influence. (not necessarily by Mr. Wycliffe) When the bible was translated into Latin, the name “Iacobos” became transliterated into “Iacobus” and late Latin turned that into “Iacomus” the b and the m being somewhat similar in sound. (in nasal languages) The early French version of this Latin name became the shortened “Gemmes” which then traveled into the English speaking world as James. When the bible was translated into English, the translators shortened the Greek names into the versions we know now: Paulos became Paul, Petros became Peter and the name Iacobos didn't become Jacob, it became James, and this while King James VI of Scotland ordered in 1604, “a translation to be made of the whole bible, as close as possible to the original Hebrew and Greek.” The name James doesn't mean anything, but it came from the name Jacob, which means “supplanter.” This is just another instance where man has intervened to change the truth. This situation is minor, but where else has man changed the truth of the bible? Unfortunately, in many places! (contributed material included)

Jan 28, 2012 by daniel >>> Since Wycliffe was so consistent in his translation from the Latin Vulgate if he had had access to the Greek there is a good chance he would have translated Ἰάκωβος as Jacob. 

Jan 30, 2012 by anonymous >>> With all due respect, are you suggesting that a Greek translation of James (Jacob) was not available to Mr. Wycliffe? There has been an on going debate on which language that James (Jacob) was originally written: Arabic or Greek. In either case, there is ample evidence that many Greek translations survived. The Codex Alexandrinus has been available since the fifth century.

Jan 30, 2012 by daniel >>> No, perhaps I wasn't clear. Obviously the Greek text of James is extant. I don't know whether Wycliffe knew Greek or had access to any Greek manuscripts.

Mar 14, 2012 by anonymous >>> The fact is, the English translation of "ThEOC" is "God" and the English translation of IHCOYC is Jesus and the English translation of IAKWBOC is "James". This doesn't mean it's "man intervening to change the truth". It's "man faithfully translating the text"—notice that even in the Bible itself, names are translated, like Cephas/Peter or Thomas/Didymus. Names are quite simply words like any other, and translatable entities.

Jun 12, 2012 by daniel >>> You are correct about names being translatable entities. The point of translating Ἰάκωβος as Jacob instead of James is for the consistency between the Old and New Covenant scriptures.

Jan 20, 2014 by carl miller >>> Not true at all.  Names are not translated, but transliterated.  To translate a name is to give its meaning, but transliteration is the process by which sounds are passed from one language to another or adapted to a different alphabet.  James is not a transliteration of Ya'acov.  That transliteration would be Jacob in English.

Jan 20, 2014 by daniel >>> Carl, thanks for the clarification.

>>Truth1 >>> Wycliffe may have done the best he could with what he had available or he did not know Greek. Was it deliberate? I seriously doubt it. Is it an error? It is an inconsistency, but not a real error. James was the original Latin, not Greek. It was mixed fo one of 2 already given. Is it a sign of bible corruption? Given that we know why, no, it is not a corruption. Does it change the  meaning or intent of anything in the Bible? Not at all. We know why it happened and it is a legitimate excuse. Should we change the text to Jacob? That depends. Everyone speaking English knows James. If changing it is going to upset people or just make more confusion with little to gain otherwise, then I don't see the point of changing it. Again, this comes down the same issue with Jesus vs Yahshua. How many would understand the change? Not many. Why make it harder than it is?

Jesus does seem to conform to departure from Hebrew into Greek. How do you get Jesus from Yahshua? You Can't! Jesus is clearly Greek and Greek was the only language that the NT came in. Don't tamper with it. We do not have that right and we know who Hebrew and Greek can very. It does not affect our understanding of the Bible. Besides, for all we know, Jesus ran into Greek speaking Jews and identified himself as Jesus. And it may have been the will of God to have everything in Greek form to the vast number of those who could speak Greek in the Roman empire. The entire bible was put into Greek at the will of God. If you want and are foolish enough, You can take it up with God!

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On the other hand, Jesus such as in Matthew 2:1 shows:

2424 Ιησους Iesous ee-ay-sooce’

of Hebrew origin 03091 עושי; TDNT-3:284,360; n pr m

AV-Jesus 972, Jesus (Joshua) 2, Jesus (Justus) 1; 975

Jesus =" Jehovah is salvation"

This is clearly not an attempt to sound out Hebrew spelling but to obey Greek conventions. The "sooce" is more typically spelled in Greek as "sus," a very common ending for names and places in Greek. Not only "sus," but also ses, sis, sos, and sas. understand that the NT was never written in Hebrew as far as we know or have evidence for. It was only ever Greek and the Apostle were around to as late as John, in 98 AD. Paul and Peter were executed by Herod in the 60s AD. Jesus died 33 AD. So there was lots of time for the Apostles to correct Jesus' name if it was wrong. It was not and it was holding to Greek conventions, not Hebrew. And by the way, it was later Jews who altered the Greek OT in order to make it more closely adhere to the origin Hebrew rather than the typical Greek conventions of changing the spelling and sound to Greek forms.

So why does James Strong show a clear attempt to obey Hebrew sound translation with Greek letters rather than be Greek sounding conventions? I say he might have tampered with Greek text.

So Jesus is an acceptable form of the name of the Son of God. That name has no other associations other than what one or two might be trying to give it, even though it has no other association previously! From these turn away. Yes, if one were to translate directly from Hebrew, it might read Yahushua or Jahushua. But it was the Greek language that was the most common way by which the Bible was passed on to other peoples and languages and so we have Jesus and Jehovah, not Yahushua and Yahuwah.

Some complain that we must get all our names from the original Hebrew and ignore that we even got our message from Greek avenues and pathways. Where does it say in the Bible? And that the source language/culture of where I received the gospel must be ignored and even denied? You can speculate all day long but in the end, Jesus has been around in English for a very long time. It has a long established use in English. Will anyone even know who you are talking about if you use Joshua or Yahushua?

It is a fact that Hebrew varies from Greek. But there is a good deal of likelihood that both are Divinely authorized and inspired, putting those who insist on only Hebrew on precarious and uncertain ground. For with Hebrew only, they do not even have a New Testament. How ridiculous is that? It is not the path in which the good news travels that is right or wrong, good or bad. It is the process that matters. Was the path and process in good faith? If it was, than whatever came as a result is also good and clean. If we came to the good news by means of Greek, then what we received in Greek is good. We know it would have come out different in Hebrew but we did not get it directly from Hebrew. It is OK to get it from Greek or English or any other language. As long as we get it and recognize that regardless of language, the basic ultimate message is from God!

We must also keep in mind that not all people are wise scholars or academics. They may be simple humble farmers who understand enough to comprehend God but may not be up to debating Greek or Hebrew. God does not require them to be Greek or Hebrew scholars or speakers. They have the Bible in their own language and that is enough. What they do with what they have is what they will be judged by.

The Bible comes to us today from a round about way and source. It is still just as good. What is important is that people know who or what we are talking about. Since Jesus has been known as Jesus for quite some time, might it be more effective to call him Jesus, still, so that people know who we are talking about? Again, is it the word form, or the meaning, that is important? No! It is who we associate with that name. Who do you think of when you hear "Jesus?"

And we who speak English have come to know God as Jehovah, though barely. Shall we further confuse the people by switching to Yahweh or Yahuwah? Does Jehovah or Jesus identify anyone else? Not that I am aware of! So what is the problem?

Some will argue that since we have Hebrew now, we should use it and remain as close to the truth as we can. Fine! But how does calling God Jehovah rather than Yahuwah put us any closer to, or further from, the truth or from Him? We know who both names are referring to, correct? Then there is no confusion or loss of truth, is there? Both names uniquely identify God in a respectful manner that ultimately, He was responsible for, initially. And when one knows the evolution of the form Jehovah, it is not really much different from Yahuwah, anyway.

Some people are hung up on form and can not see the substance. Some like distinct black and white boundaries and that is nice if you can get them, but sometimes there are no black and white boundaries and everything is in multiple shades of gray. We have Greek and Greek only for our New Testament. By default, it is the only choice we have! We must accept it and God's will with it. Do not go beyond the things written! Do you recognize that scripture and what has come to us???

Divinely inspired can mean lots of things. It does not always mean certain or without error. It does not always require a specific form or route. We need to focus on what is essential and not get hung up on nit picky little things that do not truly make a difference. Rather than worry that Jesus is really Jehoshua or Yahushua, why not be concerned about what he preached and taught? Why not be concerned with prophecy? Those are important.

What we have are 2 separate installations/inaugurations of God with Moses and Jesus, the first in Hebrew and the 2nd, only ever surviving, in Greek, like it or not! Let God's will be done!!! And Accepted!!!

Some are hung up on the Hebrew and the Law. They will advocate keeping the law, including all its ceremonies and ritual observances and only in Hebrew, of course. This is why I further suspect that Jesus probably favored the Greek after he was resurrected. He completely broke with the Law and Hebrew so that it could not be missed that God's purpose did not depend on Jews, or Hebrews, or the temple and priesthood. It depended on spirit and truth, with no partiality toward any nation or tongue/language. And don't forget the love, right?

There are Hebrew fanatics out there. They may even be related to religious Zionists. But the message of the gospel to the nations went out first and only to survive in, in Greek. We do not worship a language or certain sounds. We worship concepts and ideas, regardless of sounds and labels. The most commonly known and understood labels in the English language of the USA are Jehovah and Jesus. This ought to be enough to settle an otherwise silly issue.



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On the net, I came across an out of print book on Google books which I read what was there, though a few pages were withheld:

The Septuagint, By Jennifer Mary Dines, Michael Anthony Knibb

However, it is not longer in print, published in 1980. You might find it in a library near you or used on the internet.

I found another book that looked similar and more recently published. I ordered this from Amazon to see what might be added to what I had accumulated since 2002:

Invitation to the Septuagint, Karen Jobes and

I believe either of these books would be useful to anyone curious about the Septuagint and wanting more info.

And I found further info on the internet from Jennifer Dines, University of Cambridge, 2005, discussing further the Septuagint translation and comparisons of various copies and methods for making determinations and judgments about the LXX you might find interesting.


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Forever It Is Not! This is why the Sabbath is not meant to be kept forever, even though that is how it looks in English. Original Hebrew is analyzed.



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