What/who is Yahweh?
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28-08-2012, 06:00 PM
What/who is Yahweh?
Recently I've heard the name Yahweh mentioned a couple of times. Am I at all right in thinking that this is God's personal name? If so, why do people call God God instead of Yahweh? And where do the origins for Yahweh come from?
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28-08-2012, 06:35 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2012 08:58 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
It's a long story.

Yahweh is the "realized" (phonetic) form of the "tetragramaton", (ie 4 letters), (YHWH), ... YaHWeH ... which represented the Hebrew deity, commonly called the Abrahamic god, or in the West, just, .. God.
Some say the shortened form, without the vowels inserted, is/was a mark of respect, and that they did not want to actually pronounce the real name. There is some evidence that may not be the whole story.

The first time the name is used in the bible is Genesis 2:4. BUT, the books of the Bible were NOT written in the order we have them today. So the naming of the god in Job is important, and I don't have that information, in terms of translational texts. I'd have to look that up, and see what they called that god. I don't remember. The first chronological use is Genesis, which in the Hebrew version, is YHWH-Elohim, (which is translated, "Lord God"), thereby loosing all it's historic meaning and context. There is a lot of controversy about what this means, but it's fairly clear that the Judean priests, (since there are so many other elements of the Sumerian myths in Genesis), took the council of gods in Sumeria, (the Elohim, plural), and identified it purposely with the Yahweh god, into a singular being. So basically it's the god of the Old Testament. When the Moses stories where written, they had Moses ask the name of the god, and he self-identifies himself as Yahweh. Thus the authors created, a heretofore non connected myth, with the new one, by use of the name.

How, and why that got to be that way, is rather complicated.
In short, the idea, probably originated in the Sumerian myth system, (it was found as one of the 70 sons of El Elyon), in the Enuma Elish, (the Sumerian Creation myth), found in the Royal Library in Ashurbanipal, by archaeologists, near ancient Nineveh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal , in the mid 1800's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En%C3%BBma_Eli%C5%A1

Yahweh, for much of the time had a wife, (Ashera, or Ashura).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

How, and why THIS god got assigned to the Hebrew peoples, (or they assigned it to themselves), has to do with the fact that Yahweh was the god of the armies, (you probably have heard "Lord of Hosts"), if you are a religious/church attending person. (A "host" is an assembled army) and they wanted help in the battles with their neighbors.

So that the basics.
Watch this video, if you care to. It has some of the Yahweh history. (Some of the video is not quite correct, but the origins parts are).

I group this information, in my head, as the Northern Sources, (the Babylonian/Sumerian) myth sources, as Babylonia/Assyria was to the North and East of Ancient Israel.
Actually even that name Isra-EL, retains some derivative relationship with the "EL" gods in the ancient myths, as does "Beth-EL", (Bethel), which we see all over the place today. Beth El was a site in the old Northern kingdom where Yahweh was worshiped.

There was also another god, (combo), called Javeh, which came from Southern Canaan, and the Jordan Valley. Javeh was the Edomite "mountain god", and is also thought to have origins associated with the Egyptian "volcano god". These traditions had within them the Moses stories, and so the origins of Moses, (Mosheh was a common Egyptian name), came from the South, and some from Egypt.

When the Judean priests were assembling the texts and myths, (around 550-575 BCE), of Genesis, they combined the materials .. which came from about 5 sources, in some ways, which are known, leaving many of the origins evident still in the texts. Scholars have known about this for about 150 years, and there isn't much dispute about it, except in very fundamentalist schools, who deny it all, a priori.





If you're interested in Mythology, I did a longer version of the context :

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ins?page=2

Karen Armstrong wrote a good book, called "The History of God", which isn't bad. It also has a video fomat.

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28-08-2012, 06:54 PM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
As a child my bible acknowledged that god's personal name was YHWH. I was kinda shocked that no one I knew who went to church, actually knew this.
I was like "It's in the bible. Did ya not read it" ? Later on in life, I now realize how little christians actually read their bibles.

In my teens, I made up what I thought each letter represented. (Youth, Health, Wisdom, Happiness). If I had these, then i thought that was all I needed.
Now that I'm older, I think I would put Health at the top of the list of things I treasure, with Happiness, then Wisdom and the Youth of my son and grandson to help me feel content.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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28-08-2012, 07:29 PM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
That was the perfect question for Bucky Ball. I knew he'd have the answer. I only knew about 20% of that, but I feel enlightened now.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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28-08-2012, 08:05 PM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
Nice work Bucky!

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29-08-2012, 01:09 AM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2012 02:37 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
Thanks guys. I love history !

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29-08-2012, 02:45 AM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
Yahweh or also Jehovah. JHVH.

God of the old testament.

If you are trinitarian (christian), then you believe Jesus is Yahweh/Jehovah.

They remove the tettragramaton by claims such as 'we don't know the correct pronunciation of the tettra' or 'it's too holy to say. They substitute the tettra with 'lord' or 'the lord.'

Both these claims are weak. No we don't know the correct pronunciation of YHWH/JHVH. But t we don't know the correct pronunciation of any name in the Hebrew text. That doesn't stop mainstream christian from saying Isaac, Jacob, Adam or Eve etc.....

Bottom line. If they kept the tettragrammaton then that would make the trinity that much more confusing.

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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29-08-2012, 04:28 AM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
Wow! Thanks very much guys!

Those answers were great - thanks for replying Smile
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29-08-2012, 06:17 AM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
(29-08-2012 01:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks guys. I love history !
I can tell. Laughat

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29-08-2012, 07:37 AM
RE: What/who is Yahweh?
(29-08-2012 02:45 AM)Atheist Chiefs fan! Wrote:  Yahweh or also Jehovah. JHVH.

Isn't it "IHVH"? Don't tell me that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade lied to me, or I'll be disillusioned for life.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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