Pope Prohibits Yahweh

Pope Benedict XVI Sitting & Wearing White

Pope Benedictus XVI


The following unusual item was in the news yesterday:

No ‘Yahweh’ in songs, prayers at Catholic Masses, Vatican rules

Catholic News Service – Aug 12, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In the not-too-distant future, songs such as “You Are Near,” “I Will Bless Yahweh” and “Rise, O Yahweh” will no longer be part of the Catholic worship experience in the United States.

At the very least, the songs will be edited to remove the word “Yahweh” — a name of God that the Vatican has ruled must not “be used or pronounced” in songs and prayers during Catholic Masses.

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, announced the new Vatican “directives on the use of ‘the name of God’ in the sacred liturgy” in an Aug. 8 letter to his fellow bishops…

“By directive of the Holy Father, in accord with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this congregation … deems it convenient to communicate to the bishops’ conferences … as regards the translation and the pronunciation, in a liturgical setting, of the divine name signified in the sacred Tetragrammaton,” said the letter signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, congregation prefect and secretary, respectively.

The Tetragrammaton is YHWH, the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name for God.

“As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, it was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture by means of the use of an alternate name: ‘Adonai,’ which means ‘Lord,'” the Vatican letter said. Similarly, Greek translations of the Bible used the word “Kyrios” and Latin scholars translated it to “Dominus”; both also mean Lord. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0804119.htm

Now this who subject is a touchy one as there are many who falsely believe that the entire New Testament was originally written in Hebrew (it was basically written in koine Greek) and that not using the name Yahweh or Yahveh (or something similar) is a violation of the second commandment.

Of course, the New Testament was not originally written in Latin (Jerome translated into Latin and his translation has been the standard for the Catholics of Rome) either.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Tetragrammaton should be pronounced “Jehovah”.

In most Protestant translations of the Bible, the Tetragrammaton is not translated but instead the term LORD (all caps) is used.

Many of us in the COGs instead of worrying about precisely pronouncing a word whose pronunciation is not known for certainty, often translate the Tetragrammaton when reading scripture out loud as “Eternal”, “the I Am”, or “Self-Existing One” which is what the Tetragrammaton is defined to mean (cf. Exodus 3:14).

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Why the Names Jesus and Christ in English? Was the New Testament Written in Hebrew or Greek? Various groups believe that the name Jesus should not be used, but instead other pronunciations and spellings. This is an article, which appeared in the The Living Church News by the late evangelist John Ogwyn, addresses this, as well as if the New Testament was written in Hebrew or Greek.
God’s Names and the Jewish Reading Tradition This article which appeared in the The Living Church News by John Wheeler, addresses this, as well as a few other Hebrew and Greek points.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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