Wednesday, March 28, 2007

YHWH in the New Testament

Matthew reminds me in chapter 3, in his quote of Isaiah 40:3, that the writers of the New Testament do not use the name YHWH when quoting scripture containing the name.

Why is that? They are changing the Word of God.

I understand that it was not culturally-acceptable at the time to use the Holy Name of God, to instead substitute the phrase "the Lord" for it (just like most of our modern English Bibles do, only they tend to put the word "Lord" in small caps).

But does this mean that God approves of changing his written word to accommodate cultural norms? If so, does this mean we are free to change phrases like "My brothers" into "My brothers and sisters", or "greet one another with a holy kiss" into "greet one another with a holy handshake"?

Or does it mean that the writers of the New Testament were not that "controlled" by the Spirit to such a fine level of detail, and that their writings were colored by their own understandings and misunderstandings and therefore may not be "inerrant"?

Or does it mean something else entirely? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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