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Why does the King James version of the Bible remove the divine name of God when the ancient holy scriptures preserved it?

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2009-04-06 00:06:07
2009-04-06 00:06:07

That is truly a good question. The Ancient Hebrew Scriptures which were inspired by God, did indeed preserve His Divine name. Any thorough research will reveal this. The Christian Greek Scriptures which were used by the Apostle Paul also had God's Divine name in it. It is not clear why the King James Version and other versions removed God's name from The Bible. It could only be found in a few places for instance Psalms 83:18. And more Bibles these days remove it completely. It goes without wonder why if God wanted us to know all about him then why would he approve of teaching from a source that removes His name. Any other contributions to this question are greatly appreciated! Actually it does not remove GOD'S NAME. It does however attempt to pronounce it in english. The Hebrew characters YUD HEY VAV HAY are usually pronounced or spelled YHWH in english. How would one pronounce that. In most Hebrew scriptures the NAME is simply pronunced YAH. The simplest translation of the tetragramaton as it is called is 'I AM'. Which for all practical purposes is 'I WAS' - 'I AM'- 'I WILL BE' I think the other answers make good points. I want to add that the KJV was made at a time when English was a much different language, and that the knowledge of its relations to other languages was not fully understood. The way we speak and the way we understnad the words today has changed a lot since 1611. For example, the traditional KJV describes the shepherds as being "sore afraid," and modern translations say "terrified." From a grammatical standpoint, they're pretty similar, but there are many who will tell you that the latter is more accurate. But I digress. The name YHWH is usually translated in a particular way for each edition of the Bible. For example, they put LORD in small capital letters, or explain it in footnotes. I don't think it's a matter of removing the name--it's a matter of preserving the mystery of God and the inherent beauty of the scriptures. More of an opinion, maybe, than an answer, but I felt it should be added. As a pastor this is a topic I studied in seminary. The above answers make some good points, but they are incomplete. A fuller answer requires some background information about the history of Bible transmission (copying) and translation down through the centuries, and the ancient Jewish reverence for the name of God. The Hebrew word for "God" is "El". God's personal name, as He revealed it to Moses (Exodus 3:14), in Hebrew (transliterated from the Hebrew alphabet to ours) is YHWH, as noted above. This is a form of the verb "to be" and means "I am" or "I will be" when spoken by God to Moses, or "He is" or "He will be" when spoken by Moses to the Israelites. God is thus the self-existant one, who IS, independent of all else. Now, ancient Hebrew had only consonants! Tiny dots and lines (called vowel points) were added below the consonantal text but not until around the 10th century AD (I believe). If there were no vowels, you might ask, how did they know how to pronounce each word? By hearing them read orally each sabbath in the synagogue and in family devotions at home. However, the Name of God was considered so sacred that it was not read aloud. The Israelites were afraid of disobeying the Third Commandment (out of Ten) to "not take the name of the Lord in vain." To make sure they didn't do this, they simply didn't pronounce the name at all! When they read Scripture aloud, instead of saying the name, which most scholars believe was pronounced "Yah-weh", they would say the Hebrew name for "Lord" which is "Adonai" (Ah-doh-nigh). A shortened form, "Yah" or "Jah" is added to many Hebrew names and words, e.g. Eli-jah (means "My God" [Eli - see Matthew 27:46] is Yah[-weh]); "Hallelu-jah" = "Let us praise Yah(-weh)", or "Praise the Lord". To remind readers not to say God's actual name when reading aloud, they added vowel points for the word "adonai" below the tetragrammaton YHWH. This clue meant "Read 'Adonai' (meaning 'Lord') rather than God's sacred name!" When the Hebrew Scriptures (= the Christian Old Testament) were translated into Greek in the first century BC (a translation called the Septuagint, or LXX), the translators followed this tradition by using the Greek word "KURIOS" (which means "Lord") instead of the Divine Name itself. The KJV and other English translations then followed this same custom by translating it as "Lord" or "LORD" instead of "Yahweh". By the way, the name "Jehovah" was never the name of God. This was a mistake by early translators who thought the vowel points for "Adonai" should be used with the consonants YHWH. In later Latin, Y became J (as Indiana Jones discovered in "The Last Crusade") and W became V, so the combination of the consonants and the vowels came out to be: J - ah - H - oh - V - ah - H, or Jehovah. I don't think God minds if you call Him that, I just wanted to point out it was never His name in the original Hebrew or Greek Scriptures. In any case, the answer to the question then, is, that out of reverence for the personal name of God, translators of the KJV and other English translations followed the ancient custom of the rabbis who translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint, and substituted the name Lord or LORD for the YHWH in the original. Answer I AM is written in superscription when Moses asked what his name was, and JESUS is also written as such before King James...

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