Friday, December 12, 2008

What's up with the LORD stuff?

LORD in all capitals has a special meaning. It is a kind of TinyURL like you use to make URLs shorter for Twitter posts. Hebrews would use marks to replace the vowels around their consonant letters, such as C, H, K, L, M, for easier texting.

Then in an economic downturn they stopped putting the vowel pronunciation marks around the name of God. The marketing spiel was the name of God is too holy to write or speak, but actually it was to save ink. This movement caught on and within a couple generations no one knew how to pronounce God's name correctly, or how to write it.

All they knew was HWHY. Now, since they read right to left you see something that vaguely looks like HIGHWAY if you add vowels back, they see something to might have looked like YAWEH.

Anyway, left to right, right to left nobody liked any of it and it was decided to substitute LORD for YHWH. The bottom line, the whole world has forgotten the name for God.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. True, except that the vowel marks are actually a newer thing, an innovation that began around the 7th century A.D. So it's not that they stopped putting in the vowels of YHWH; as far as we know the practice of never pronouncing the NAME pre-dates the origin of vowel pointing.

    In fact, it was probably the Masoretes who introduced the practice of pronouncing YHWH as "Adonai," or substituting it, that is.