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The documentary hypothesis proposes that the Torah was compiled from various original sources, two of which (the Jahwist and the Elohist) are named for their usual names for God (YHWH and Elohim respectively).also known as the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "four-letter [word]").
"He is lord (singular) even over any of those things that he owns that are lordly (plural)." Theologians who dispute this claim cite the hypothesis that plurals of majesty came about in more modern times. This last name may have been suggested by the we used by kings when speaking of themselves (compare 1 Maccabees and ); and the plural used by God in Genesis and 11:7; Isaiah 6:8 has been incorrectly explained in this way).
Richard Toporoski, a classics scholar, asserts that plurals of majesty first appeared in the reign of Diocletian ( The Jewish grammarians call such plurals … virium or virtutum; later grammarians call them plur. It is, however, either communicative (including the attendant angels: so at all events in Isaiah 6:8 and Genesis ), or according to others, an indication of the fullness of power and might implied.
It was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Rabbinic Judaism describes seven names which are so holy that, once written, should not be erased: The Tetragrammaton written as YHWH and six others which can be categorized as titles are El ("God"), Eloah ("God"), Elohim ("Gods"), Shaddai ("God Almighty"), Ehyeh, and Tzevaot ("[of] Hosts").
but usually with some epithet or attribute attached (e.g.
El Elyon, "Most High El", El Shaddai, "El of Shaddai", El `Olam "Everlasting El", El Hai, "Living El", El Ro'i "El my Shepherd", and El Gibbor "El of Strength"), in which cases it can be understood as the generic "god".
Hebrew is a right-to-left abjad, so the word's letters Yōd, Hē, Vav, Hē are usually taken for consonants and expanded to Yahweh or Jehovah in English.
In modern Jewish culture, it is accepted as forbidden to pronounce the name the way that it is spelled.
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