Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pavlos D. Vasileiadis and the Tetragrammaton

There is a question that has troubled me for most of my adult life: "did Jesus and his early disciples use God's personal name"?

Note the following from Exodus 3:15 -

And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (ASV)

John 17:6 -

I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me; and they have kept thy word. (ASV)

John 17:11b, 12 -

Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (ASV)

And John 17:26 -

... and I made known unto them thy name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them. (ASV)

Since 1975, I have acquired and studied numerous articles and books which explore this question; and as with so many important Bible related issues, scholars are divided, with some affirming, and others denying. Earlier today whilst engaged in some online research, I came across two extraordinary resources, that I had no prior knowledge of, by one Pavlos D. Vasileiadis, an associate professor at the Aristotle University of Thessalonki, which are germane to my question:

Vasileiadas provides the following conclusions towards the end of the first paper:

In this article it was attempted to demonstrate that,

(a) Despite the various reasons that led to the silencing of the sacred Tetragrammaton, it long remained an utterable name, at least in some circles;
(b) A more systematic investigation of the various Greek renderings of the Tetragrammaton provides a better understanding of the methods that were used;
(c) There is no unique or universally “correct” rendering of the Hebrew name in Greek;
(d) The two Greek renderings of the Tetragrammaton presented for the first time here, namely Γεχαβά (early 13th century) and Ἰεοβάχ (early 17th century) are both following the /e–a|o–a/ vocalic pattern; and
(e) According to the available indications, a vocalic rendering pronounced /i.e.o.'a/ (/i.o.'a/), or /i.e.u.'a/ might probably have been the proper pronunciation of the full Tetragrammaton in Greek during the Second Temple period. (Page 71)

And just a bit later, he provides some beautiful color plates of Hebrew and Greek uses God's name in ancient manuscripts. (Pages 83-88)

In addition to Vasileiadas' above contributions, I would like to provide a few links to other online resources that I have found to be useful in my studies:

JBL article by, George Howard -

Masters thesis by, Joëlle Alhadef-Lake -

"Greek Transcriptions of the Tetragrammaton", G. Adolf Deissmann (in, Bible Studies, pp. 319-336) -

Enjoy !!!

Grace and peace,


Addendum - I forgot to include the following essay by Gérard Gertoux:

Gertoux, is also the author of the following book:

The Name of God Y.eH.oW.aH

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