The Earliest Non-mystical Jewish Use of I??
The publication of a fragmentary Septuagint (LXX) manuscript from the Judean desert, 4Q120, which contains a few instances of the earliest Greek form of the Jewish name of God, Iao (iota-alpha-omega in Greek), has brought up the problem of the role of this name in the LXX's textual tradition. After reviewing what little has been said on this matter, in order to investigate the issue, I examine all (or nearly all) the earliest non-mystical usage of Iao. This includes Christian copies of ancient onomastica which must go back to earlier Jewish originals, several classical/pagan sources, other Jewish instances, and ecclesiastical testimony. In addition to this material I bring to bear recent academic trends that are pertinent to my investigation, in particular, the now extensively acknowledged fact that antique Judaism was quite diverse, and the clearly discernable but widely scattered scholarly notion that the use of the divine name did not die out as early and as completely as had been previously thought. The conclusion I reach is that, if one is to understand the appearance of Iao in the LXX's textual history, one must look beyond the merely textual issue. Rather this Qumran MS is evidence of the fact that there was contention within ancient Judaism on the matter of the use and disuse of God's name. Not all Jews of the second temple period were eager to discontinue their employment of the divine name. Some likely motives for their persistent use of Iao and the historical situation that may have influenced their usage of the name are explored.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:ancient judaism divine name tetragrammaton septuagint ??
Date of Publication:01/01/2002