Gerard Gertoux. PARADOX OF THE ANONYMOUS NAME . God’s name, which one finds about times in the Bible under the form YHWH, possesses the. ITS STORY, by Gérard Gertoux To return to here from an answer, use your Back button. Q1- Is it possible to pronounce the divine name if its genuine vowels are. Gérard Gertoux currently worked at the Laboratoire de Recherche HiSoMA – Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques, Université Lumiere Lyon 2.
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A1 – Is it possible to pronounce the divine name if its genuine vowels are not known? The question of knowing which vowels were with the four consonants of God’s name is absurd because the Masoretic vowels, which are the vowel-points, appeared after of our common era. Before this time the only vowels were the matres lectionis. Furthermore, the vowels e,o,a did not play any role to find again the true pronunciation among Hebrew Christian scholars.
On the other hand, in order to justify their pronunciation of the Name “according its letters”, they quoted the book of Maimonides The Guide of the Perplexed part 1 chapters 61 to 64 very often.
The present Masoretic vowels are not the genuine vowels because they appeared only after CE. Before this epoch, the Jews used a “mothers of reading” system some consonants were used as vowels to pronounce most of the proper names. A long time before, in the first century, Flavius Josephus, a Jewish writer, had written that the Tetragram is written with four vowels and not four consonants.
Flavius Josephuswho knew the priesthood of this time very well, clarified that, when Romans attacked the Temple, the Jews called upon the gertox name of God The Jewish War V: However, he gave some information of primary importance to rediscover the pronunciation he wanted to conceal. One can read indeed in the work The Jewish War the following remark: However, as each one knows, there are no vowels in Hebrew, but only consonants.
Regrettably, instead of explaining this visible abnormality, certain commentators influenced by the form Yahweh mislead the readers of Josephus by indicating in note that this reading was IAUE. Now, it is evident that the “sacred letters” noted the Tetragram wrote in paleo-Hebrew, and not in Greek. Furthermore, in Hebrew these consonants Y, W, H, are exactly used as vowels; they are moreover called matres lectionis “mothers of reading”.
Furthermore, the H was use as vowel only at the end of words, and never inside of it but between two vowels the H is heard as a slight E. Andersen – Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography in: Biblical and Judaic Studies vol. University of California pp. A second witness of this period about the pronunciation, is the Talmud itself, because the Tetragram is called the Shem Hamephorash which means “the name distinctly read” or “the name read according to its letters” Sifre Numbers 6: In spite of the fact that some cabalists affirmed that the word mephorash meant “hidden” it is easy to check the correct meaning of this word in the Bible itself Neh 8: Furthermore, the Talmud Sanhedrin a The sentence “to pronounce the Name according to its letters” means pronouncing the Name as it is written, or according to the sound of its letters, what is different to spell a name according to its letters.
The pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton according to Gérard Gertoux
A third witness, always from this epoch, gertouux from persons who had access to the priesthood, is that of the translators of the Septuagint. This text had indeed fixed the vocalization of proper nouns just before that was adopted the custom not to use any more the Name outside the Temple.
Another book Eulogy of John the Baptist In the codex Coislinianus dated 6th century, several theophoric names are explained owing to the Greek word aoratos meaning “invisible” is found in the LXX in Genesis 1: The words aoratos or arretos meaning “unspeakable” are the equivalents to the Latin word “ineffable”.
A2 – Is there a trace of the pronunciation of the Name in the Talmud or in the Bible? There are several places in the Talmud where it is written not to pronounce the Gerzrd ” as it is written ” or ” according to its letters “.
Maimonides, a good Talmudist, quoting geraard remarks in his book The Guide of gerrad Perplexed conclude that this Name was pronounced with no difficulty without giving any vocalization. He said to his readers that knowing the meaning of this name was more important than knowing gettoux pronunciation, because the meaning alone can incite to action.
There are several hundreds of theophoric names in the Bible, which retain the vocalization of the Tetragram. However the Septuagint used Zakaria instead of Zekaria because at this time before the third century BCE the first vowel was an “a”, which fall after this period, becoming a shewa.
Numerous linguists postulate that, even though YHWH was pronounced Yehouah in the first century, this pronunciation in fact would result from an “archaic” Yahowah or Yahwoh with a classic fall because of the stressed accent of the initial vowel, so the first syllable Ya- became Ye. Now, although change is witnessed in numerous names although the influence of the Aramaic language on the Hebrew could also explain this modificationthere is no trace of this phenomenon for the divine name.
A3 – Gerarx exactly does the expression “the Name read according to its letters” mean? In order to contend with cabalistic influences Maimonides, a Jewish scholar and famous talmudist, gave a whole new definition of Judaism. The central point of his reasoning was about the Name of God, the Ggertoux, which was explained in his book entitled The Guide of the Perplexedwritten inwhere he exposed the geeard following reasoning: Maimonides noted that the God of philosophers didn’t involve any worship because it is impossible to establish relations with a nameless God Elohimthen he proved that the Tetragram YHWH is the personal name of God, that is to say the name distinctly read Shem hamephorashwhich is different from all the other names like: Adonay, Shadday, Elohim such ones are only divine titles with an etymologyand so forth, because the Tetragram has no etymology.
However, Maimonides knew the problem about the pronunciation, because the Jewish gertouxx stated it had been lost. On the other hand, he also knew that some Jews believed in an almost magical influence of letters or a precise pronunciation of the divine gerfoux, but he informed his reader against such practices as pure invention or madness.
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The remarkable aspect of his argumentation lies in the fact of which he managed to avoid controversy on a subject so ticklish. He asserted indeed that in fact it was only the real cult that had been lost, and not the authentic pronunciation of the Tetragram, because this one was always possible according to its letters.
To support this basic idea real cult is more important than real pronunciationhe quoted Sota 38a to prove this name is the essence of God and that is the reason not to abuse it, then he quoted Zechariah Then, to prove that the pronunciation of the Name did not carry any problem in the past, and did not contain any magic aspect, he quoted at first Qiddushin 71a, which said that this name was passed on by certain rabbis to their sons.
Furthermore, according to Yoma 39b, this pronunciation was widely used before the priesthood of Simon the Just, what proves the insignificance of magic conceptions, because in this time if the Name was used it had no supernatural aspect, except the spiritual aspect. Maimonides insisted on the fact that what it was necessary to find was the spirituality connected to this Name, and not the exact pronunciation.
Well to demonstrate this major notion, to understand sense and not sound conveyed with this name, he quoted a relevant example. Indeed, in Exodus 6: To conclude his demonstration, Maimonides quoted Exodus gerarrd Because the Tetragram had no linguistic etymology, this link with the verb “to be haya ” expressed above all a religious “etymology”, that is a teaching on God, who can be defined as “the Being who is the being” or “the necessary Being”.
It is interesting to observe that Judah Halevi, another Jewish scholar, gave almost the same arguments in his book The Kuzari published some gerarr before, in He proved also that this name was the personal name of God idem IV: To prove again that was the meaning of this name which was important and not the pronunciation, he quoted Exodus 5: He clarified finally that the letters egrard the Tetragram have the remarkable property to be matres lectionisthat is the vowels associated to the other consonants, as the spirit is associated to the body and let it gegard idem IV: These two scholars gave so convergent information which marked a turning point in the history of the Name.
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However, the expression “pronounced according to its letters” which Maimonides called back vowel letters as clarified Judah Halevi is strictly exact only in Hebrew. Joachim of Flora gave also the three other names: The link between these two names will play afterward a determining role in the process of vocalization of the Tetragram.
In the following years, knowledge of the Hebraic language progressed strongly, involving notably the role of matres lectionis. For example, the famous scholar Roger Bacon wrote in his Hebraic grammar that in Hebrew there are six vowels aleph, he, vav, heth, iod, ain near to the usual masoretic vowel-points. The French erudite Fabre d’Olivet also explained in his Hebraic grammar the following equivalence: Antoine Fabre d’Olivet, renowned polyglot, knew numerous oriental languages, what brought him to privilege the philological choice rather than theologicalthat is to say he refused to mix the sound with the sense of the word.
According to geroux rudimentary indications, one already could read approximately the name YHWH “according to its letters”, as I-H-O-A because the letter H is never used as vowel inside words; in that exceptional case the use of the letter gertouux is preferred.
Gerard Gertoux, A history of the divine name – LOUVREBIBLE
He proved the silly way of criticisms against the form Yehova, as the charge of erroneous reading attributed to Galatino. He quoted Raymond Martin and Porchetus de Salvaticis to reject this assertion. In spite of the support of Vatican at this time, these denials had not great effect. Furthermore, this vocalization has always been considered as the most correct by the Jews themselves.
For example, in the yerard Jewish translation in French from to the Jewish translator Samuel Gertouxx systematically used the name Iehovah. He defended his choice owing to the work of the famous German grammarian W. The Jewish professor J. Levy explained why he preferred the form Y’howah, instead of Yahweh, in his article published in in The Jewish Quarterly Review.
At the present time, it can be seen in a book written for the Jews, prefaced by the French Chief Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, that the name Ye. In Hebrew, the majority of proper nouns, in full writing, can be read according to their letters. Furthermore, one has always alternation consonant – vowel in the reading of these names, except in the case of a guttural or of a H in final, which are vocalized a. When a vowel is not indicated in a name, consonants are vocalized with an a.
This style of reading is usual in Hebrew, for example with some famous names or a few names with an orthography close to the Tetragram.
One notices in the board above a remarkable agreement with the reading of these names according to the Septuagint and their reading according to their letters gettoux Hebrew language. In spite of this intrinsic handicap, this method of reading gives rather good results on the whole. The two sounds geroux and “o” are not archaic, because the original vowels in Hebrew, as in the other Semitic tongues are only a, i, u, that is to say e and o always arise from an obscuring or contraction of these three pure sounds A.
Furthermore, the Hebrew use of H for word-terminal o was anomalous F. Very often the Septuagint kept the sound oua. As professor James Barr wrote “phonetically and acoustically, there is no absolute and objective difference between the sound of the vowel i gertohx that of the consonant y and similarly with u and w.
As Abercrombie puts it, an element like the y in English yet, or the w in English wet, is a semivowel, but fertoux function is a consonantal element in a syllable pattern. On the other hand, the y in the name Yehudah is a consonant, but it becomes gertou vowel i in the expression Wihudah “and Yehudah”.
Cambridge University Press pp. Thus, an initial y consonant could have been read as i vowel P. Muraoka – Gerrtoux Grammar of Biblical Hebrew in: Pontificio Istituto Biblico p. Ambiguities exist only in Masoretical Hebrew, because gertuox later contraction of letters, but these ambiguities did not exist in Old Hebrew. A Study in Orthography. Textus 2, pp. Qimron -The Hebrew of the Dead sea Scrolls in: The “e” in I-eH-oU-Ah corresponds to the shewa in the same way the “modern” Shlomoh is pronounced Shelomoh with its shewa.
One notes that the verbal form yhwh in Qoheleth A5 – Did the name Jehovah come from a wrong reading which mixed together the consonants of the Tetragram with the vowels of the word Adonay? The word Yahowah has never been used in any Bibles.