Walter Moberly’s The God of the Old Testament– Part Thirteen

Walter Moberly’s The God of the Old Testament– Part Thirteen February 19, 2021

Q. Your discussion of whether Christians should go with Yahweh or with ‘the Lord’ as in many translations raises a further dilemma. The reason many Christians prefer Yahweh, the personal name of the God of the OT, is because they do not want to denude the name of its Jewishness, in some sort of supersessionist fashion. Indeed, they want to stress the Jewishness of God’s name as a way to counter the anti-Semitism of so much of the sad part of Christian history. What would you say to them on this matter?

A. I don’t think that respecting the Jewish dimensions of our Christian understanding of God and resisting anti-Semitism require use of the form “Yahweh”. After all, observant Jews resist the use of this name as a matter of halakhic principle, and consistently use reverential alternatives. Let’s respect Jewishness by following the Jewish lead!


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