Re: The Tetragram (YHWH)

From: Otto Nordgreen (
Date: Fri Aug 15 1997 - 08:41:44 EDT

Dear Rolf,

many thanks for your answers to my questions. I think I would like to
conclude with the following remarks:

(1) As you - and others - have demonstrated, there is some evidence that
the Holy Tetragran c o u l d have appeared in (at least [some of]) the
quotations of the so-called OT in the original version/s of the so-called
NT writings.

(2) At the same time, there already is hard evidence that Palestine Jews in
the pre-Christian Era employed the _(the) Lord_ as a "substitute" for the
Hebrew Tetragram. Thus, we do have a possible Jewish background for this
practice; it does not have to be a Christian "innovation".

(3) As long as we do not have any (old) NT mss with the Tetragram I think
we can safely conclude that it probably never was there in the first place;
especially when we consider the fact that any substituton of YHWH with
_(the) Lord_ would not be in conflict with (parts of) the Jewish
socio-cultural background.

(4) However, if some ( - or only one - ) ols NT mss with the Tetragram
(preferably in Hebrew characters, as in most old versions of the Lxx)
should be found, I am willing to reconsider my position. We always have to
look at the evidence at hand. I f this happens, Rolf's line/s of evidence
that the Holy Tatragram once was in the (original) so-called NT would be
highly relevant, I think.

Who knows what will be - what we will know - in, say, 20 or 30 years?


Otto Nordgreen

Student at Department
of Germanic Studies,
University of Oslo


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