Re: IAW Kurios Pantokrator = Jehovah/YHWH?

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 22:43:38 EDT

Rolf Furuli <> wrote:

(Quoted text of previous post omitted for brevity)

>Dear David,
>You have taken a sound philological approach, and the above material
>certainly speaks against Jesus using T. However, as in the case of NT
>manuscripts (The Majority vs the critical texts), we cannot just count
>occurrences, we must evaluate them. Because all the time "the problem of
>induction" is lurking in the background. So we have to process the data
>somewhat more.
>I agree with you that quotes from the OT made by Jesus does not illuminate
>our problem. Because even though both the LXX and and the H text had T, if
>it was his custom not to read T, he would read a substitute. However, when
>people use similar words as the OT in particular situations, this is
>something different. The central question is whether the proposed
>circumlocutions are substitutes for T, indicating that Jesus did not
>pronounce T,or that they represent an address to God which were fitting in
>the particular situation. I can find nothing in the Bible forbidding people
>to use any kind of honorable designations when addressing God, the bone of
>contention is whether one, YHWH, should be excluded because this became the
>custom in the first part of the Christian Era. And in this regard your
>approach is important.
>I suggest the following refinements:
>1. How does the NT SITUATION influence Jesus` choice of words used about
>God and in prayer to God?
>1.1 What was important, was to show that Jesus was the Son of Man, the
>Meshiah, the Son of God. In this context it was stressed that God was
>"Father". According to my notes (apart from Gramcord), in John, Jesus uses
>PATHR about God 77 times and QEOS 16 times. In prayer, Jesus adresses God
>as "Father" (Joh 11:4; 17:1,24), as "Holy Father" (17:11) and as "Righteous
>=46ather" (17:24). This was evidently conditioned by the situation, what he
>wanted to stress, and does not rule out that he used T, because he mentions
>"the name" (12:28; 17:6,12) A study of WHY Jesus used particular
>designations is important.
>1.2 Are the writers selective? In Mark, Jesus uses PATHR 4 times but QEOS
>13 times (very different from John). Jesus evidently used both "the kingdom
>of heaven" and "the kingdom of God". Are particular words selected by
>different writers for a certain purpose? The proposed circumlocutions, are
>they really substitutes for T, or are they simply natural designations used
>in the particular situations, to the effect that they could be used
>together with T?
>1.3 How do different groups speak about God? The ordinary people? The
>leaders? The disciples? Jesus? Do we find a pattern? (In Matt 21:9 and Mark
>11:10 for example the people seems to use T.)
>2. The conclusions we reach by (1), what do they tell when we compare them
>with the use of YHWH and `elohim (QEOS) in the OT?
>2.1. In Mark 15:34 Jesus uses ELWI, and David uses similar words in Psalm
>22:2. This does of course not mean that David did not use T, but do Mark=B4s
>words indicate that Jesus did not use T? A Gramcord search revealed 2602
>occurrences of `elohim in the OT, and of these are 1829 not preceded by
>YHWH. We find several instances of QEOS referring to the Father in the OT.
>When this was true in the OT times when T was pronounced, how do we know
>that occurrences of QEOS in the NT show that T was no longer pronounced?
>3. When Jesus used the word "name" how can we know that it does not refer
>to T which it principally does in the OT, but refers to authority or
>something similar? (The material above would be nice for a MA thesis)

        Seems to me it would need to narrowed down some! To follow Rolf
into all these questions is beyond the limits of time I have available and,
I think, impractical for a forum such as b-greek. So I'll leave them for
others to pick up, if they wish.

>Could you please elucidate why "it is possible that Mat. 21:3, Mk. 11:3 and
>Lu. 19:34 should be eliminated, since hO KURIOS AUT[WN] (etc.) XREIAN EXEI
>may mean
>something other than "The Lord has need of them."

        C. E. B. Cranfield, for instance, in his commentary on Mark, says
the following about Mark 11:3: "[By hO KURIOS, i]t is generally assumed that
Jesus means himself; but it seems unlikely that he would refer to himself as
'the Lord'. While his disciples may sometimes have addressed him by the
title _mari_ ('my lord') or _maran(a')_ ('our lord') ..., it is doubbtful
whether he was referred to in the third person as 'the Lord' until after the
Resurrection. In view of this difficulty it has been suggested that Jesus
was referring to God, as in v. [i.e. chapter 5] 19. Another possible
explanation is that hO KURIOS has been substituted in the course of
tradition for some other expression. But it is more satisfactory to
translate hO KURIOS 'his (i.e. the foal's) owner' (so Taylor) and to assume
that the owner was with Jesus at the time. This expanation is supported by
Mark's usage, by the fact that the message is not sent to the owner but to
anyone who may intervene, and by the fact that it explains Jesus' knowledge
of the foal" (Cranfield, _The Gospel According to St. Mark_, [Cambridge:
University Press, 1977], pp. 349-50). This pretty well sums up the various
interpretations that this passage might have.

        On another matter: in thinking about why Jesus used hO KURIOS in
reference to God in Mk. 5:19 whereas this was not customary for Him, it
occurs to me that this is one of the few instances in the Gospel when He
spoke with a Gentile. His use of hO KURIOS in reference to the God of
Israel would be in keeping with Koine usage which resulted in KURIOS
consistently being employed in the LXX for the tetragrammaton. The
probability being fairly high that he spoke to the man in Greek, is it
possible that have _ipsessima verba_ here in Mark?


David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
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