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Greek transliterations of the name by early Christian writers point in a somewhat similar direction with spellings such as which, as pronounced in Greek, resemble Yahweh.
Still, there is by no means unanimity among scholars on the subject, some favoring yet other pronunciations, such as “Yahuwa,” “Yahuah,” or “Yehuah.” Since certainty of pronunciation is not now attainable, there seems to be no reason for abandoning in English the well-known form “Jehovah” in favor of some other suggested pronunciation.
(Isa 64:2) The name was in fact known and used by pagan nations both in pre-Common Era times and in the early centuries of the Common Era. If so, this was poor reasoning, as it is obvious that the more mysterious the name became through disuse the more it would suit the purposes of practicers of magic. 326) It regularly presents the Tetragrammaton, written in square Hebrew characters, in each case of its appearance in the Hebrew text being translated. Josephus, a Jewish historian from a priestly family, when recounting God’s revelation to Moses at the site of the burning bush, says: “Then God revealed to him His name, which ere then had not come to men’s ears, and of which I am forbidden to speak.” (II, 276 [xii, 4]) Josephus’ statement, however, besides being inaccurate as to knowledge of the divine name prior to Moses, is vague and does not clearly reveal just what the general attitude current in the first century was as to pronouncing or using the divine name.
Just as the reason or reasons originally advanced for discontinuing the use of the divine name are uncertain, so, too, there is much uncertainty as to when this superstitious view really took hold. This theory, however, is based on a supposed reduction in the use of the name by the later writers of the Hebrew Scriptures, a view that does not hold up under examination. This papyrus is dated by scholars as being from the first century B. E., and thus it was written four or five centuries earlier than the manuscripts mentioned previously. The Jewish Mishnah, a collection of rabbinic teachings and traditions, is somewhat more explicit.
Moreover there is much in the contents of the Mishnah that moves in an atmosphere of academic discussion pursued for its own sake, with (so it would appear) little pretence at recording historical usage.” (translated by H. xiv, xv) Some of the Mishnaic traditions concerning the pronouncing of the divine name are as follows: In connection with the annual Day of Atonement, Danby’s translation of the Mishnah states: “And when the priests and the people which stood in the Temple Court heard the Expressed Name come forth from the mouth of the High Priest, they used to kneel and bow themselves and fall down on their faces and say, ‘Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever!
Taken for what they are worth, these traditional views may reveal a superstitious tendency to avoid using the divine name sometime before Jerusalem’s temple was destroyed in 70 C. Even then, it is primarily the priests who are explicitly said to have used a substitute name in place of the divine name, and that only in the provinces.
Paul’s reference to “God the Father” does not mean that the true God’s name is “Father,” for the designation “father” applies as well to every human male parent and describes men in other relationships.
(Ro , 16; 1Co ) The Messiah is given the title “Eternal Father.” (Isa 9:6) Jesus called Satan the “father” of certain murderous opposers.
He speaks of the living God, but never of the living Jehovah, for he cannot conceive of Jehovah as other than living.” It was applied alike to the true God and to such pagan gods as Zeus and Hermes (Roman Jupiter and Mercury).
(Compare Ac -15.) Presenting the true situation are Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 8:4-6: “For even though there are those who are called ‘gods,’ whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords,’ there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him.” The belief in numerous gods, which makes essential that the true God be distinguished from such, has continued even into this 21st century.
The Hebrew consonants of the name are therefore known.