25 August 2008

Yahweh No More

While I was on vacation a few weeks back, several stories began to run in cyberspace about a ruling from Rome concerning the use of the name Yahweh in Roman Catholic liturgical circles. You can read an article from CNS at this link.


How pathetic.

Before you begin sending along the notes about how it is foreign to both Jewish and Christian tradition to actually speak the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) aloud, let me just say this: Jesus Christ has come to bring us to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship is so personal, so tender, that we can address God as Abba (Father). God, in Christ, has revealed his inmost self, the depths of his heart, to his people. That love, expressed in blood, abides with us today.

God is truly near to us, he embraces us intimately and opens to us the mysteries of the Kingdom. He is Yahweh! If we are to claim that Christ has come to reconcile us to the Father, then there is no legitimate reason for us to avoid proclaiming God's glory by using his holy name... for we, who have been marked with his holiness, are reflections of his love in the world!

Removing Yahweh from the sacred language of Catholic Christians is a huge step back to the insane fear-mongering that the Christian Church has, for far too long, used to coddle its people into a psudeo-relationship with Christ. We should follow Jesus not out of fear, but out of a sense of awe and wonder for what he has done for us. To quote the oft-repeated Protestant praise chorus, "Our God is an awesome God!"

I feel very sorry for those who will no longer be able to sing, with confidence, the words of songs like "Yahweh, I know you are near..." I was reared on these songs, and they introduced me to a loving, personal, immanent God. Rest assured that I will go on singing them, even if my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters are no longer allowed to do so.

I suppose this also means that Rome will soon ban the Alleluia from the liturgy, as the Alleluia is derived from Hallelujah, meaning "Praise to Yahweh!" Too bad. I thought that was an ancient part of Christian tradition. Oh well, I suppose we'll just have to come up with something else before the Gospel.


Jim Huffman August 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

Agreed to a point. However, my main gripe about saying YHWH is that we don't know how to say it. "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" are both educated guesses. I certainly have no issue with saying the word, if we knew how to say it. (The using of "G-d" to circumvent saying "God" and supposedly avoid offending our Jewish friends is really wrong).

Anonymous December 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

Great blog! They (those translating) have admittedly left out YHWH over 6,800 times. What a cause for great confusion. I would encourage others to avoid blaming the ancient Rabbi's for this foolishness. We are all adults, those translating knew what was suppose to be there and they chose to put the "GOD" and "LORD" in all caps to replace His name. Nothing stopping anyone from putting YHWH back in 6800 times! :)

Isaiah 42:8 "I am YHWH, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images."

All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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