Hi Jan -
It's interesting that you mention the Jehovah's Witnesses, as my class on NT
Backgrounds just went over this "Tetragrammaton in the LXX" issue. This was
a direct fruit of B-Greek, by the way, so thanks everyone and feel free to
borrow what follows! I had them think through the implications of this
Assume that Paul is familiar both with the Hebrew and the LXX of Joel 2:32.
Work through the possible implications...
(1) if YHWH appeared in Paul's version of Joel 2:32LXX, but he
dictates "KYRIOS" when he quotes the verse in Rom. 10:13, a passage where
KYRIOS has Jesus as a referent due to 10:9-10, 14.
(2) if YHWH appeared in Paul's version of the LXX, and he also wrote
YHWH in Rom. 10:13 in reference to Jesus. Later copyists change YHWH to
KYRIOS throughout the NT.
In the course of discussion, I threw in: Does each scenario help or hinder
those like the Jehovah's Witnesses who say that Jesus is not Jehovah? The
consensus seemed to be that either development should be a frustration to
them. In scenario (1), Paul and the Roman Christians are familiar with what
underlies the LXX in Joel 2:32, a fairly standard Christian text, and both
parties are thus completely aware that he is calling Jesus YHWH even though
he uses KYRIOS; in (2) not only are they aware of this because of their
knowledge of the LXX - it is also put right in front of them in the
autograph of the epistle to the Romans.
There are several other NT passages in which an OT verse that has KYRIOS in
the LXX is applied to Jesus. That has always been a good argument against
the JW's, and I sense this new view of the Tetragrammaton can only
I'd be curious to hear how Jehovah's Witnesses put a different spin on the
data. I would guess they'd have to say that originally YHWH appeared in the
Jehovah verses in the NT, and KYRIOS in the Jesus verses (?).
Gary S. Shogren
Biblical Theological Seminary