Sacred Name Bibles - Historical Background - Accuracy or Popularity

Accuracy or Popularity

Sacred Name Bibles are not used frequently within Christianity, even less (if at all) in Judaism. Similarly, only a few translations replace Jesus with Semitic forms such as Yeshua or Yahshua. Most English Bible translations translate the Tetragrammaton with LORD where it occurs in the Old Testament and do not transliterate (“bring over the sound”) into the English. These same patterns are found in languages around the world, as translators have translated sacred names without striving to preserve the Hebraic forms, often using local names for the creator or highest deity, conceptualizing accuracy as semantic rather than phonetic.

The limited number of Sacred Name Bibles suggests that phonetic accuracy is not considered to be of importance by mainstream Bible translators. The translator Joseph Bryant Rotherham lamented not making his work into a Sacred Name Bible by using the more accurate name Yahweh in his translation (pp. 20 – 26), though he also said, "I trust that in a popular version like the present my choice will be understood even by those who may be slow to pardon it." (p. xxi).

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