Before I start, I would like you to read the first part of this article “Intimacy with God and His Great Name.” I did not call it part one because I did not foresee the need for a part two. I was wrong since questions came up. I did not think to answer them when I wrote this a couple years ago. See the following verse:
Exodus 6:1–3 (NIV)1
1 Then the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” 2 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD [should read: I am Yahweh]. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] I did not make myself known to them.
The last part of verse 3 is where the questions come from. Even though lots of you and I know what I am about to teach; there are those who really do not know. So I will explain! Verse 3 reads: I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] I did not make myself known to them. Okay Bob, if to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He only appeared as God Almighty, and He did not make Himself known as Yahweh, then why is He called Yahweh in Genesis? That is a good question!
Before I go much further, please understand that is not a stupid question! There are no stupid questions if you do not know the answer. Please, ask us anything you want to know about in what we write and we will explain. I ask those who wanted to know this to forgive me for not thinking it through and leaving this hanging. Many times I forget everyone is not like me and does not spend every day studying the Bible, writing, and teaching. I forget some do not know what I have learned. Please know I am not being arrogant and that I know I do not have all the answers, but what I am trying to humbly convey is that I forget every person does not know what I know. I am truly sorry for not explaining this in the first place.
Before we get to the answer, let us look at a few verses in Genesis. This is the first usage of Yahweh in the Bible.
Genesis 2:4 (NIV)
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] God made the earth and the heavens—
Remember, only where the word reads LORD [with ORD in small caps] is it Yahweh [which reads יְהֹוָה in the Hebrew], where it reads: Lord [with ord in lower case letters], it is the Hebrew word אֲדֹנָי, which is transliterated into the English as Adonai, which means Lord. Now, I do not expect everyone to know this, but those who own good Bible programs for their computer can look it up, or in a Lexicon, Concordance, Bible Encyclopedia, or Bible Dictionary. Some sources will only give root words, or a shortened version, like Adon, or Adown, but the entire word Lord, is Adonai. The second verse is:
Genesis 2:5 (NIV)
and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
So that I do not leave anything out, where the Hebrew text reads Yahweh, it is only four letters, YHWH. There were no written vowels in their language originally, and they wrote in all capital letters. I counted before Exodus 6:3, Yahweh is used, if I did not miscount 197 times. That would seem to contradict what Exodus 6:3 says! No, it does not! Everyone makes mistakes, even translators. We at “Living Love with Jesus” teach and believe that there are no contradictions in the Bible. If there are apparent contradictions the following usually answers the questions; this comes from a booklet listed in the endnote at the bottom.2 While we do not believe everything they produce to be sound biblically, this booklet is very good as a tool to eliminate apparent Bible contradictions. It contains 22 keys which will help anyone and is available free online. This is key number 5.
5. Apparent contradictions or errors are due to transmission errors, mistranslation, or misunderstanding.
Since the original text was perfect, apparent contradictions must be properly noted and attributed to one of the following three causes, and then they can be explained.
a. Our failure to understand the original meaning of what is written (remedied by #6 below).
b. An error in translation as translators attempted to reproduce the meanings from one language into another (remedied by #7 below).
c. An error resulting from the transmission of the text, as scribes who copied each manuscript made various mechanical mistakes or theological alterations to the text (remedied by #8 below).
We, at “Living Love with Jesus” would add a “d.”
d. The verses must be understood as to when it was written, and/or by whom.
We believe all these keys have merit, but the one I added will help here. You will see why “d.” is needed. Any Study Bible, Bible Dictionary, or Bible Encyclopedia, and any Theologian, or Jew will tell you Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. I will quote what is in my NIV Study Bible from its Introduction:
Historically, Jews and Christians alike have held that Moses was the author/compiler of the first five books of the Old Testament [Hebrew Scriptures]. These books, known also as the Pentateuch (meaning “five-volumed book”), were referred to in Jewish tradition as the five fifths of the law (of Moses). The Bible itself suggests Mosaic authorship of Genesis, since Acts 15:1 refers to circumcision as “the custom taught by Moses,’ an allusion to Genesis 17.…
We believe many verses in the Bible show God is the author. The men who put it on paper were in a sense secretaries writing down what God gave them by revelation, or they spoke what they had received from God to a scribe, who wrote it down for them. We do believe that Moses put those first five books on paper. Knowing that Moses was the man in the Bible who Yahweh shared His real name with, and that Moses was also given the first five books of the Bible, is important. Now knowing this, let us look again at those two first verses in Genesis 2, from above.
Genesis 2:4 and 5 (NIV)
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] God made the earth and the heavens—5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD [Yahweh, no article the] God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
It does not say anyone but the writer [Moses] knew it was Yahweh. He knew, so as he wrote it down said, “…Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens…,” etc. He could say that and it does not change the Truth of the Bible. There are a few places it sounds wrong, but when we work the Hebrew text it was only because the writer [Moses] was on a first name basis with Yahweh God. Now, I have to deal with one more issue from a questions I received.
Many, many people are King James Version only people. We do not agree with this teaching or thought. Some say, “it is, the Only True Word of God.” Others say it is “the Authorized Version” or “A.V.” and no other can be trusted. They say that because the source may be Latin; which they will say is Roman Catholic. I say, “hog wash,” because that is better than what I would like to say. I have explained before but want to go a little further this time. Those of you who believe that about the King James Version, can any of you tell me what a person used for a Bible before 1611 a.d.? That was when the KJV was written. Since then, it has only been translated into Spanish as a whole Bible and only certain verses in other languages. What do non-English speaking and reading people do? Also, do you know that parts of the King James Version were translated from the Stephanus [Stephens] Greek text from 1550 and parts of it were taken from the Latin text. Hey, another thing is if Latin was a problem for you, let us consider Paul. He was a Roman citizen and that is why they had to take him to Rome for judgment. When he wrote Romans, the first doctrinal book in the Church Epistles [Romans through Thessalonians is how they were canonized not the order he wrote them in] and sent it to Rome, where the folks spoke Latin, do you think he wrote it in Swahili or Latin? Stupid question I know, but hey, most think the Christian Scriptures [New Testament] was only written in Greek; sorry not true. If my ministry was to move the Word among the gentiles [as Paul’s was], and I was going to send an epistle [letter] to Germany, and I was serious, as Paul was, I would send it in the language of the people present. He would not have sent it to Rome in Greek or few would have read it. You may be asking yourself, “Where is this guy going?” Well, to a place few want to go; almost any other version other than the King James Version. We will see where those keys a., b., and c. from that booklet above come into play. The verse we need to address is my key verse from my original article Exodus 6:3. I used the New International Version in my original article, but as with some other verses I use often the translators missed the mark in the King James Version. We will read both NIV and KJV.
Exodus 6:3 (NIV)
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.
Exodus 6:3 (KJV)
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
I cannot handle Jehovah in this article as it would detract from this article and it is a big topic. I have it on my list to write, but suffice it to say that from the Hebrew it should be Yahweh. Most Hebrew scholars use Yahweh today, and we happen to agree with that research. The problem we need to talk about is the error in transmission. I have bolded the last part of each verse below, and they seem to disagree.
The NIV reads: “…but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.”
While the KJV reads: “…but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
One says, “I did not make myself known to them” while the other says, “was I not known to them.” How can one say the polar opposite of the other? So I went to other versions. I will put just the last part of the verse down for you to read from several versions.
The Revised Standard Version reads: “…I did not make myself known to them.” This reads just like the NIV.
The American Standard Version also agrees with the NIV: “…I was not known to them.”
The Bible in Basic English agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but they had no knowledge of my name Yahweh.”
In The Holman Christian Standard Bible it reads: “…but I did not make My name Yahweh known to them.” This also agrees with the NIV.
The English Darby Bible agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but by my name Jehovah I was not made known to them.”
The English Revised Version also agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but by my name JEHOVAH I was not known to them.”
The English Standard Version agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.”
The Geneva Bible of 1599 before the KJV agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but by my Name Iehouah was I not knowen vnto them.” This was before the “j” and “u” were standardized in the English language, but you cannot miss the point.
God’s Word to the Nations Version agrees with the NIV, and it reads: “…but I didn’t make myself known to them by my name, the LORD.”
I looked at many other versions besides these nine; which all agreed with the NIV. Few agreed with the King James Version; only The Webster Bible 1833 and the Revised Webster Update 1995 agree with it.
Here is a list of all that agree with the NIV; which I am not going to print here, but you can find most if not all online at Biblegateway.com [I did not check Biblegateway.com myself, because I use a computer program, and hard copies of these Bibles]. They are The Amplified Bible, The Complete Jewish Bible, The Douay-Rheims American Edition, Jewish Publication Society OT [Old Testament], The English Translation of the Septuagint or LXX English Translation [the Septuagint was done three centuries before Christ, nineteen centuries before KJV], The Geneva Bible 1560, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, The Message, The Moffatt Bible, The New English Bible, Holy Bible: Pilgrim Edition, The Holy Bible Lamsa Translation, Contemporary English Version, Good News Bible, The Holy Bible Revised Version, The New American Bible: Catholic Edition, The New Jerusalem Bible, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, The Orthodox Study Bible, The New Living Translation, The New American Standard Bible [both the 1977 and 1995 versions], The New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, The Tanakh, the Common English Bible, New Century Version, New English Translation, Orthodox Jewish Bible, World English Bible, and the Young’s Literal Translation. I also checked the WTT and BHS [Hebrew Scriptures], and the Greek Septuagint [Greek version of Hebrew Scriptures] and they agreed with the NIV.
So, after checking it seems to me that the overwhelming evidence is that the King James Version was most likely an error in transmission. Actually it is easy to do. Almost every language has the noun followed by the adjective and the verb followed by the adverb, but English is different as we put the adjective before the noun and the adverb before the verb. Also we have the verb after the noun. Here they just left the noun in the wrong place for English.
With only three versions saying it one way, and if I did not miscount there is the Greek text, the Hebrew text, and forty English versions which agree with the NIV. I am sure there are more versions I have missed. I could check more Hebrew and Greek texts, but I think I have proved my point.
So if you are someone who questioned my original article, or someone just wanting to learn more, this should satisfy both of you. I answered three questions.
First, it is very understandable why we see Yahweh in the Bible before Exodus 6:3, because Moses wrote it.
Second, the King James Version cannot be the A. V. [Authorized Version], or the “Only True Word of God.” Why? That would exclude every Christian before 1611 a.d. It would also exclude every other language except Spanish, and God would not do that; nor would His Son, Jesus Christ.
Third, the King James Version has an error in transmission. With all the computer work done by scholars today our understanding of the ancient languages today is much more thorough. In the last four hundred plus years of English Bible translation, every scholar, Bible dictionary, Bible encyclopedia, and every Bible I checked all, almost without exception, agree with the NIV. I previously noted that all agreed with the NIV translation except for The Webster Bible 1833 and the Revised Webster Update 1995.
We were told by Jesus to search the Scriptures [John 5:39], and we are doing our best here at “Living Love with Jesus.” Hope you are enjoying the ride!