Translating the Name of the Lord (Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields)
One of the many benefits of knowing a little Hebrew (and Greek!) is that it can help readers understand their English Bibles better. Understanding the name of the Lord is a good example.
There are many expressions used to refer to the God of Israel, but the one that may confuse English-only readers is the name of the Lord. There are several terms related to this. First we will look at pronunciation. Then we will explain Hebrew terms and translations.
The name of the Lord in Hebrew is יהוה, YHWH, known as the tetragrammaton (a Greek term meaning the “four-letter word”). The Jews often substitute the expression “the Name” for the actual name of the Lord, so that they do not even accidentally give offense to the Lord. It is a useful shorthand that we will use here. Many Jews…