Changing The Name of God
This week (Oct 21) on Shabbat Night Live, the Greeks needed to change a few things when Christianity came their way. They needed a Greek god, a Greek Jesus, and less of anything in the Bible that was Hebrew — including the name of YeHoVaH.
Dr. Miles Jones shares where this came from and how the Name has changed since the original inscriptions at the Exodus.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 14:30) Aside from the ongoing scholarly debate regarding the proper name of YeHoVaH which has been addressed many times in this forum, how does Psalm 138:2 speak to today’s believer who seeks an informed and sincere prayer life with his creator? How might the transcendent relationship portrayed here between name and word indicate the path to salvation?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 19:00) How do newly-discovered challenges to the Documentary Hypothesis of biblical inscription serve to support the controversial notion within the sciences of Intelligent Design, however indirectly? How might the concept of divine authorship be ironically enhanced by further discoveries of greater literacy among ancient peoples by the scientific community?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 23:00) If indeed the demarcation of “graven images” can be extended to inscriptions as well as idols or other pictorial representations, how can many otherwise conscientious individuals be credibly accused of offering obeisance to such figures in our sophisticated Western world? How have we arguably exchanged our true identities for exaggerated or misleading media profiles for personal gain rather than genuine witness to faith?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 27:00) As evidence of the ancient Hebrews’ chronicle continues to accumulate, our society ignores the importance of this people and their narrative at the peril of its own loss of salvation. How might the story of the Exodus, framed by its accounts of enslavement and entrance to the Promised Land, conceivably supplant such major Western epic tales as those of Homer or Virgil? How has its factual evidence ironically undermined its stature among these received works?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how might the integrity of ancient Hebrew become vindicated by a majority of scholars and students of scripture, in contrast to the longstanding academic deference to Aramaic and Greek? Furthermore, how might this initiate a paradigm shift in the enduring Eurocentric approach to Western culture in terms of intellectual history as well as language studies?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) Along with its relevance to the lineage of ancient Hebrew, the Tower of Babel continues to grow in stature as an exemplum of civilization’s need for honest and effective communication. How might this episode transcend its “folk tale” reputation in our present day through its dramatization of conflicts that can only be resolved through genuine discourse instead of euphemism and disingenuous language?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 39:00) How does the first-century distinction attributed to Hillel III between the invention of letters and the sin of idolatry serve to illuminate our contemporary weakness for similar cults of worship, such as those devoted to prominent figures in business, politics, or entertainment? How might this be viewed further as a function of illiteracy and pervasive aversion to the hard work of inquiry and research?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How could evidence of proto-Hebraic alphabetic characters from 15th century BC in Canaan conceivably impact the recurring attempt to create or synthesize a global language? How might a quixotic endeavor like Esperanto be viewed ironically as an artificial construction that bears retroactive resemblance to an organic, divinely-inspired creation like Hebrew?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) How does the ongoing controversy over the identification of Joshua’s Altar serve to dramatize the importance of this figure in the annals of the Hebrews? How might counterarguments to Adam Zertal’s theory ironically lead to a rediscovery by believers of Joshua as the successor of Moses and to the conquest of Canaan as the genuine climax of the Hebrew narrative?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 53:00) As discussed in previous episodes, the advent of wet sieving in archeology has proven to be a boon to researchers who seek evidence of the Hebrew presence throughout the ancient world. How might the latter-day interest in this method of discovery be viewed as an example of divine providence that compels us to recognize our limitations and to be prepared for major redefinitions in our received wisdom?