Over at the BibleWorks user forums, there was a post about new resources available for BW.
In it, I brought up the new ISV translation, to which a commenter named ISalzman remarked that it looked to be a good translation, moving me to this response:
Yeah, but (first glance)This moved a commenter named Dr. Dale A. Brueggemann to pursue my remarks about "Yahweh," even as far as distinguishing the meta to this post (mentioned earlier) with his own thoughts. You can see his comment there, in defense of using "Lord" instead of "Yahweh" when translating the Old Testament. He observed (correctly) that the Greek translation of the OT (Septuagint, or LXX) used kurios ("Lord"), not "Yahweh"; and the NT had preserved this practice. Further, that use helps the reader see passages where Jesus is called Yahweh by inference from OT passage citation.
- Gender neutering. Pah!
- Perpetuating the LORD superstition. Pah twice! When will some translation finally shake OFF those chains?
In response, I said this:
But why should we be bound to echo the LXX tradition? It's an odd text of uneven value, and we certainly don't feel bound to echo it in other ways (i.e. dropping verses from Proverbs, adding other verses, etc.).In another post started on the same subject by Dr. Brueggemann (isn't that a great name? seriously), I posed these questions, which I now commend to you as well (slightly edited), in the hopes that they would help clarify folks' thinking:
Of course I wouldn't insert "Yahweh" into the NT, because it isn't in the text. But it is in the given text of the OT, over 6800 times. The simple and, I think, undeniable fact is that God the Holy Spirit saw fit to move the writers to use Yahweh well over 6800 times.
For me to (A) know that and (B) lay out a rationale why I shouldn't honor the text, is to oppose my wisdom over God's. It amounts to saying "I have a better idea about how to honor God and Christ than God had." To go that way is to head off into Pharisaical/Roman Catholic human tradition.
For the Lord/Yahweh passages applied to Christ, it's enough to translate Moses and Isaiah faithfully to Moses and Isaiah (and the others), and Paul and Peter faithfully to Paul and Peter, respecting the text. They either (A) the reader can look up the original and note that Yahweh is used, or (B) pastors can bring it out in sermons, or (C) a note could be inserted marginally, to wit: "The OT text has 'Yahweh.'"
It's using "LORD" that misleads the readers and dulls the ears, since "Yahweh" does not possibly mean "Lord," for which there are at least two other Hebrew words.
Briefly and in sum: respect the text. It's the submissively believing thing to do. God knew what He was doing, and He's really good at communication.
- Is there anyone who thinks that Yahweh, in any sense, actually means "Lord"?
- Are there any other cases where we would insist on using a translation that we know with certainty absolutely cannot possibly be accurate?
- Do we know that "Yahweh" is meant by God to be a proper name, while "Lord" is a title?
- Do we know for certain why the LXX substituted "Lord" for "Yahweh"?
- Is it wise to chain ourselves to a practice whose rationale that we cannot even explain with certainty? Isn't that the very definition of superstition?
- For that matter, can we conceive or a rationale that would excuse our saying "No" to God when He tells us to call on His name, and never rescinds that command?
- Does the NT ever suggest that its adoption of LXX passages inserting kurios instead of Yahweh is meant retroactively to overrule and effectively erase the Hebrew text in its own context?
- If God, in moving men to write "Yahweh" over 6800 times, was not thereby indicating that He meant that Name to be used, then what more could He have said to indicate that intent?
- Do we have an objective, positive reason sufficient to overrule God's own employment of "Yahweh" over 6800 times, to excuse our own refusal to employ it as fully and robustly as He does?