Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 20:22:31 EST
I would not call it "speculative" reconstruction. It is well known that KURIOS in
the LXX is a stand-in for YHWH. It is well known that the original texts from which
Matthew quotes (or has Jesus quote) contained the tetragrammaton in Hebrew. The
Greek LXX Papyrus Fuad 266, dating from the first century BCE, has the tetragrammaton
in its Greek text. Was this a "speculative reconstruction"?
George Howard writes, in "The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew
Text," (p. 202) that certain "extant pre-Christian copies of the Septuagint that
include passages incorporating the Divine Name preserve the Divine Name in the Greek
Text. These are (1) p. Fuad 266, ...;(2) a fragmentary scroll of the Twelve Prophets
in Greek ...;(3) 4QLXX(Levb)....From these examples it may be concluded that the New
Testament writers had access to copies of LXX that contained the Hebrew Divine Name.
Those who used such copies of LXX for their quotations of the Old Testament probably
preserved the Tetragrammaton in the quotations incorporated into their text."
We do not have the original of Matthew's gospel, in either Hebrew (as some early
church writers mentioned) or Greek. Any Hebrew version would be expected to contain
the tetragrammaton. In view of the practice of certain pre-Christian copiers of the
LXX of including the tetragrammaton in Hebrew amidst the Greek, I do not consider
such a reconstruction to be "speculative." It is a restoration clearly plausible in
light of the original text in quotation.
Memra Institute for Biblical Research
Steven Craig Miller wrote:
> It would be one thing to put in a footnote for Mt 4:4 a translation of the
> Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 8:3 which uses the term "Yahweh" (as the NJB
> translates the Hebrew). But to place the term "Yahweh" into Matthew's text
> at Mt 4:4 appears unconscionable. One is NO LONGER translating, rather one
> is doing very speculative historical reconstruction.
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