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Debunking Sacred Namers #1

The myth of YHVH


Part I

By Carl D. Franklin December 9, 1997

Myth #1:

There was no letter "J" until about Five hundred years ago.

     The first symbol representing both "i" and "j" appeared
around 800 A.D. This symbol was invented by French monks, who
adapted it from Roman writings. In 1066 the symbol was
transported to Saxon England by William the Conqueror. Thus the
first symbol representing the "j" sound was introduced to the
English-speaking peoples more than nine hundred years ago--nearly
five centuries before Tyndale's transliteration of  (jhvh) as
Iehouah (pronounced Jehovah). About 1200 A.D., the lowercase "j"
was developed by tweeking the bottom of lowercase "i", in order
to distinguish the "i" sound from the "j" sound. Capital "J" was
not invented until the late 1500's or early 1600's. In Tyndale's
day, capital "I", when used before a vowel at the beginning of a
word, still represented the consonant sound of "j".

     Tyndale published his translation of the Pentateuch in the
year 1530 A.D. At that time in history, the English alphabet was
still developing. Many letters did not represent the same sounds
that they do today. You may find it difficult to understand some
of the words in the following passage, which is quoted from
Tyndale's translation. As you read, you will see that the letter
"v" appears in a number of words that are now spelled with "u".
Likewise, the letter "u" appears in the place of "v". Another
noticeable difference is the use of "f" in many words that are
now spelled with "s". These differences in spelling illustrate
the major changes that have taken place in the English alphabet
since Tyndale's day.
     When Tyndale published his translation, a number of letters
in the alphabet had only recently been invented and were not yet
in common use. Although the symbol "j" had been invented about
1200 A.D.--three hundred years before Tyndale's time--Tyndale
does not use it here in his translation. The capital "J" was not
invented until after Tyndale's translation was made.
     The following example of Tyndale's translation is taken from
Exodus 5:18-6:3 (the first and last verses are not completely
quoted). This passage in the book of Exodus contains three
examples of the use of "i" before a vowel to represent the
consonant sound of J". Notice the use of lowercase "i" before the
vowel "u" in Verse 21 below, and the two uses of uppercase "I"
before the vowels "a" and "e" in Verse 3 of the following
chapter. In each of these words, "i" or "I" represents the sound
of "J".

"18 sacrifice vnto the Lorde. Goo therfore and worke, for (Fo.
IX.] there fhall no ftrawe be geuen you, and yet fee that ye
delyuer the hole tale of brycke.
19   when the officers of the childern of Ifrael fawe them filfe
in fhrode cafe (in that he fayde ye fhall minyth nothinge of
youre dalye makige of
20 brycke) than they mett Mofes and Aaro ftondinge in
21 there waye as they came out fro Pharao, and fayde vnto them:
The Lorde loke vnto you and iudge, for ye haue made the fauoure
of vs ftincke in the fighte of Pharao and of his fervauntes, and
haue put a fwerde in to their handes to flee vs.
22   Mofes returned vnto the Lorde and fayde: Lorde wherfore
dealeft thou cruelly with this people: and
23 wherfore haft thou fent me? For fence I came to Pharao to
fpeke in thy name, he hath fared foull with this folke, ad yet
thou haft not delyuered thy people
VI, 1 at all. Then the Lorde fayde vnto Mofes. Now fhalt thou fee
what I will doo vnto Pharao, for with a myghtie hande fhall he
let them goo, and with a mightye hande fhall he dryue them out of
hys hande.

The VI. Chapter

2 AND God fpake vnto Mofes fayng vnto him: I am the Lorde, 3     
and I appeared vnto Abraham Ifaac and Iacob an allmightie God:
but in my name Iehouah was I not..."

     This translation by Tyndale shows the double usage of "i" to
represent both the "i" and the "j" sound. Those who read
Tyndale's translation when it was published understood that "i"
before a consonant (as in "Ifrael" and "Ifaac") represented the
"i" sound, and "i" before a vowel (as in "iudge," "Iacob" and
"Iehouah") represented the "j" sound.
     In the same manner that "i" was used as both a vowel and a
consonant, so also were the letters "u" and "v". Tyndale's use of
"u" as a vowel in "you" and "cruelly" and his use of "v" as a
consonant in "fervauntes" (servants) follows the modern usage of
the two letters. But Tyndale also uses "v" to represent the vowel
sound "u", as in "vnto" (unto) and "vs" (us), and he uses "u" to
represent the consonant sound "v", as in "geuen" (given), "haue"
(have), "fauoure" (favor) and "Iehouah" (Jehovah). This double
usage of the two letters shows that they were used inter-
changeably in Tyndale's day. In the decades that followed, a
distinct difference developed in the use of the two letters--"u"
was restricted to its present vowel sound, and "v" to its present
consonant sound. Likewise, "i" was restricted to its present
vowel sound, and "j" became the standard symbol for the consonant
     Sacred namers use the invention of the letter "j" to argue
that "Jehovah" is an illegitimate spelling of the Hebrew name 
(jhvh). They view "Yahweh" as the only correct way to spell and
pronounce the divine name. They are completely ignoring the fact
that the English letter "w"--used in the name Yahweh--was
invented two hundred years later than the first symbol for "j".
In addition, the letters "a" and "h" were not invented until the
1500's. Thus the same argument that they use against the name
Jehovah could be used even more strongly against "Yahweh."  The
spelling "Yahweh" was impossible before 1500! This same argument
could be used against "Yahshua" as well. Since lowercase "s" was
not invented until the 1500's, and lowercase "u" did not come
into regular use as a vowel until the 1500's, the spelling
"Yahshua" was also impossible before that time.
     The truth of the matter is that the invention of the letters
of the English alphabet neither proves nor disproves the
pronunciation of the Hebrew name (jhvh). Although some of the
letters in the English alphabet were invented in later centuries,
the sounds that they represent existed from the earliest times.
Only the symbols used to represent the sounds changed.

Myth #2: 

There is no "J" in Hebrew

     Unlike Yiddish, which modern Jews speak, the Hebrew language
that was spoken by Abraham and Moses and that is preserved in the
Scriptures DOES have the "j" sound. From ancient times, the "j"
sound has been represented by the letter "jod" (in ancient Hebrew 
and in Biblical Hebrew). Although Ashkenazi Jews have changed the
pronunciation of "jod" to the "y" sound, the Sephardic Jews have
retained the original pronunciation of "jod" as "j". The
Sephardic phonetic system is acknowledged by scholars as the most
accurate representation of the ancient Hebrew.
     As are all languages, Hebrew letters are classified
according to the organs of speech by which they are sounded.
Sephardic grammarians have divided the Hebrew letters into five
classes of sound: gutturals, labials, palatals, linguals, and
dentals. These classifications were recognized as the standard
for pronouncing the letters of the Hebrew alphabet long before
Tyndale transliterated (Hebrew is here given) to be read as
Jehovah in 1530 A.D.

The gutturals are (Hebrew is given) and  (not strictly a
guttural, but often treated as such)

The labials are (Hebrew letters given) 

The palatals are (Hebrew letters given)

The linguals are (Hebrew letters given)

The dentals or sibilants are (Hebrew letters given)

     Notice that the Hebrew letter (Heb.symbol given) (jod) is
classified as a palatal.

     Palatals are consonants voiced with the aid of the palate.
There are three different types of palatals:

     The first type is made when the part of the tongue just
behind the tip is raised against or near the hard palate. The
English y in "yes" or the German "ich" are made in this manner.
     A second classification of palatal is the fricative sound,
which is made on or near either the hard or soft palate.
Fricative palatals produce the sounds "sh" and "zh".
     The third type of palatals is the affricative sound. The
English j and ch are affricative palatals. Affricative palatals
produce a sound by the slow release of a consonant followed
immediately by a fricative. Examples are the sound of "ch" in
batch and the "j" sound in badge.

     When Tyndale translated the Biblical Hebrew text into
English, he followed the phonetic system of the Sephardic Jews,
who had preserved the original pronunciation of the Hebrew
letters. All Hebrew grammars in Tyndale's day used the Sephardic
phonetic system, which classifies "jod" as an affricative
palatal. That is why Tyndale gave the Hebrew letter ' (jod) the
sound of "j".

     Most Jews today have been taught that the Hebrew alphabet
has no letter for the "j" sound. European Jews who have grown up
speaking Yiddish have been taught to pronounce the letter  (jod)
as "y", believing that this has always been the sound of "jod".
But this Ashkenazic pronunciation of "jod," used by all Jews of
German and Polish descent, is not the original pronunciation of
this Hebrew letter. As Gesenius attests, "The pronunciation of
Hebrew by the modern German Jews [Ashkenazi], which partly
resembles the Syriac and is generally called 'Polish', differs
considerably from that of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews
[Sephardic], which approaches nearer to the Arabic. The
pronunciation of Hebrew by Christians follows the latter
[Sephardic] (after the example of Reuchlin), in almost all cases"
(Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar).

     In the days of Gesenius, no reputable scholar challenged the
authenticity of the Sephardic pronunciation of "jod" as "j".
     Reuchlin, recognized as the leading authority of that era,
followed the Sephardic pronunciation of this Hebrew letter. When
Tyndale transliterated the "jod" in "jhvh" with the "j" sound, to
be read as Jehovah, he did so after the example of Reuchlin.

Myth #3.

The name Jehovah was invented

     In arguing against the use of Jehovah, sacred namers claim
that this name was unknown in Biblical times. They insist that
the name Jehovah is a recent invention, concocted in the 1500's
by a Catholic priest. They quote well-known Biblical writers and
editors who support this view. One sacredname publication states:

"In the introduction to The Emphasized Bible, editor Joseph
Rotherham writes, 'The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until
1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by
Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical
and historical propriety' (pp.24-25)" (The Mistaken J, p.17).

     Sacred namers believe that they have the real facts
concerning the name Jehovah because a number of sources support
this view. Among these sources is the Jewish Encyclopedia, which

"The reading Jehovah is a comparatively recent invention. Jehovah
is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo the
10th's confessor, Peter Galatin (De Arcanis Catholic Veritates
1518, Folio XLIII) who was followed in the use of this hybrid
form by Fagius Drusius. Van de Driesche, who lived between 1550
and 1616, was the first to ascribe to Peter Galatin the use of
Jehovah, and this view has been taken since his days" (vol. 7,
s.v. "Jehovah").

     Is it true that the name Jehovah was invented by a Catholic
priest named Galatin or Galatinus? Or is this view of scholars
itself an invention? Let us examine other historical and Biblical
sources to shed more light on the subject.

Who was Galatinus?

     The real name of Peter Galatin, or Petrus Galatinus, was
Pietro Colonna Galatino. Here is a brief summary of his life and
work as stated in the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

"Galatino, Pietro Colonna [alias Petrus Galatinus], Friar Minor,
philosopher, theologian, Orientalist; b. at Galatia (now Cajazzo)
in Aplia; d. at Rome, soon after 1539; received the habit as
early as 1480, studied Oriental languages in Rome and was
appointed lector at the convent of Ara Coelie; he also held the
office of provincial in the province of Bari, and that of
penitentiary under Leo X. Galatino wrote his chief work 'De
Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis', at the request of the pope, the
emperor, and other dignitaries, in 1516, at which time, owing
mainly to John Reuchlin's 'Augenspiegel', the famous controversy
on the authority of the Jewish writings was assuming a very
menacing aspect. Galatino took up Reuchlin's defence. Resolved to
combat the Jews on their own ground, he turned the Cabbala
against them, and sought to convince them that their own books
yielded ample proof of the truth of the Christian religion, hence
their opposition to it should be branded as obstinacy. He gave
his work the form of a dialogue. The two conflicting Christian
parties were represented by Capnio (Reuchlin) and the Inquisitor
Hochstraten, O.P. In conciliatory terms, Galatino responded to
the queries and suggestions of the former, and refuted the
objection of the latter. He had borrowed largely from the 'Pugio
Fidei' of the Dominican Raymond Martini, remodelling, however,
the material and supplementing it with copious quotations from
the 'Zohar' and the 'Gale Razayya' "(1912 ed., s.v. 'Galatino')."

     Now that we have learned more about Galatinus, let us look
at the assertion that he invented the name Jehovah. If Galatinus
had invented the name, Jehovah would not have been known before
his time. Yet it is a historical fact that the name Jehovah was
known and used centuries before Galatinus finished his "De
Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis." Notice:

"But the writers of the sixteenth century, Catholic and
Protestant (e.g. Cajetan [Tommaso de Vio Gaetani, died August 7,
1547, alias Cajetan Toledo--best known for his dealings with
Luther; see Kingdon, Execution of Justice in England and Defense
of English Catholics, p.144] and Theodore de Beze [a great
Reformation scholar], are perfectly familiar with the word
[Jehovah]. Galatinus himself ('Arcana cathol. veritatis', I,
Bari, 1516, a, p.77) represents the form as known and received in
his time. Besides, Drusius (loc. cit., 351) discovered it in
Porchetus, a theologian of the fourteenth century. Finally, the
word is found even in the 'Pugio fidei' [Dagger of Faith] of
Raymund Martin, a work written about 1270 (ed. Paris, 1651, pt.
III, dist. ii, cap. iii, p.448, and Note, p.745). Probably the
introduction of the name Jehovah antedates even R. Martin"
(Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1912 ed., s.v. "Jehovah").

     Historical records clearly demonstrate that the name Jehovah
was known centuries before the time of Galatinus. How, then, did
the myth develop that Galatinus invented the name? Let's take a
closer look at this claim as presented in the Jewish

"The reading Jehovah is a comparatively recent invention. Jehovah
is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo the
10th's confessor, Peter Galatin (De Arcanis Catholic Veritates
1518, Folio XLIII) who was followed in the use of this hybrid
form by Fagius Drusius. Van de Driesche, who lived between 1550
and 1616, was the first to ascribe to Peter Galatin the use of
Jehovah, and this view has been taken since his days" (vol. 7,
s.v. 'Jehovah')."

     In this article, the Jewish Encyclopedia states that a man
named Van de Driesche was the first to link the name Jehovah to
the works of Galatinus. But at the same time, the use of Jehovah
was supported by a man named "Fagius Drusius." Who were these
men, and what shaped their views?

     When we delve into historical records of the time, we find
that the Jewish Encyclopedia has mistakenly combined the names
"Fagius" and "Drusius," and that these names actually belong to
two different men. The man who was known by the Latin name Paulus
Fagius was the German scholar Paul Buechelin. The man known as
Drusius, also known as Van Der Driesche, was the Dutch theologian
Johann Clemens. Both men lived in the 1500's, but Fagius died a
year before the birth of Drusius. Let us examine the lives of
these two men to learn the circumstances that shaped their
opposing views of the name Jehovah.


Paulus Fagius Paul Buechelin (1504-1549)

     As the Encyclopaedia Judaica relates, Fagius, whose real
name was Paul Buechelin, was a professor of Hebrew who had
studied under the great Elijah Levita. Notice:

"Fagius, Paulus (Paul Buechelin; 1504-1549), Hebraist. Born at
Rheinzabern, in the Palatinate, Germany, he was professor of
Hebrew first at Strasbourg and later at Cambridge. He learned
Hebrew from Elijah Levita, whom he invited to supervise the
Hebrew press he established in Isny (Bavaria). He translated the
following Hebrew books into Latin: 'Elijah Levita's Tishbi'
(Isny, 1541; Basle, 1557) and 'Meturgeman' (Isny, 1542); the
Talmud tractate Avot (Isny, 1541). He edited a Hebrew version of
the book of Tobit with a Latin translation (Isny, 1542); the
Alphabet of Ben Sira (Isny, 1542), and David Kimhi's commentary
to Psalms 110 (Constance, 1544). He edited several chapters of
Tatgum Onkelos (Strasbourg, 1546) and wrote an exegetic treatise
on the first four chapters of Genesis, ('Exegesis sive expositio
dictionum hebraicarum literalis in quatuor captiula Geneseos,'
Isny, 1542). He was the author of an elementary Hebrew grammar
(Constance, 1543) and of two books, 'Liber Fidei seu Veritatis'
and 'Parvus Tractulus,' in which he endeavored, with reference to
Jewish sources, to prove the truth of Christianity. He began the
republication of a revised edition of the concordance 'Me'ir
Nativ.' After his migration to England, where he died, this work
was completed by Reuchlin (Basle, 1556)" (vol. 6, s.v.

"Bibliography: L. Geiger, 'Das Studium der hebraeischen Sprache
in Deutschland' (1870), 66; Steinschneider, Cat. Bod. 977, no.
5048 3080, no. 9397; idem, in: JEJ, 4 (1882), 57-67; idem in ZHB,
2(1897), 149 50, no. 178; Perles, Beitraege, index; M. Stern,
Urkundliche Beitraege ueber die'Fagius')."

     We find additional information about the life and work of
Fagius, or Beuchelin, in "The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of
Religious Knowledge," which states that he also studied under the
renowned Reuchlin. Fagius was a --- "German theologian; b. at
Rheinzabern (9 m. s.e. of Landau), Rhenish Bavaria, 1504; d. at
Cambridge, England. Nov. 13, 1549. He studied at Heidelberg
(1515) and at Strasburg (1522), where Capito [Johann Reuchlin]
taught him Hebrew; he became rector of the school at Isny, 1527;
was a student of theology at Strasburg, 1535; returned as
Evangelical pastor to Isny, 1537; and became pupil in Hebrew of
Elias Levita; he succeeded Capito as pastor and theological
professor in Strasburg, 1542. Violently opposed to the Interim
when it was introduced (1549), he accepted Cranmer's invitation
to come to England and became professor of Hebrew at Cambridge
and soon died of a fever. Under Queen Mary his and Butzer's bones
were exhumed and burned (Feb. 6, 1557) and their university
honors were taken from them; but Queen Elizabeth ordered that the
university formally restore to them their honors (July 22, 1560)"
(vol. IV, s.v. 'Fagius')."

     The Fagius of history was the German Hebraist Paul
Buechelin, a Reformation scholar and a Protestant theologian!
Buechelin was one of the leading Hebrew scholars of his
generation, having studied under the greatest Christian Hebraist
of all, Johann Reuchlin. He had also studied Hebrew under the
greatest of all the Sephardic Hebraists, Elias or Elijah Levita.
Beuchelin's expertise in Biblical Hebrew was acknowledged by all
Protestant scholars of his day, and his qualifications are still
unquestioned by the scholarly community today.
     Based on the teaching he had received from the learned
Reuchlin and the great Elias Levita, Buechelin--or
Fagius--supported the use of Jehovah as the true pronunciation of
the Hebrew name jhvh. No one could convince this leading
Protestant scholar that the name Jehovah was invented, because he
had been taught by the most knowledgeable Hebrew scholars of his
day. He was thoroughly familiar with the letters of the Hebrew
alphabet and the pronunciation of every consonant and vowel
marking. His expert knowledge of the Hebrew language formed a
solid basis for his use of the name Jehovah as a legitimate
pronunciation of the divine name.

     Historical records confirm that the man known as Fagius--in
reality, Paul Buechelin, leading German scholar and professor of
Hebrew--was eminently qualified to evaluate the legitimacy of the
name Jehovah. However, soon after the death of Fagius, another
man came on the scene, promoting a very different view of
Jehovah. This man, known by the Latin name Drusius, was none
other than the Dutch theologian Johann Clemens--also known as Van
Der Driesche. As quoted earlier in an article from "The Jewish
Encyclopedia," it was Van Der Driesche who first claimed that the
name Jehovah was invented by Galatinus.

     Was this view of the name Jehovah based on unbiased
scholarship and careful consideration of the historical facts, or
was it the result of outside influences and glossing over the
records of history? Let us investigate the life of Van Der
Driesche, or Drusius, to find the answer.


Van Der Driesche Johann Clemens (1550-1616)

     The Encyclopaedia Judaica states the following: 

"Drusius (Van Der Driesche), Johann Clemens (1550-1616). Dutch
theologian, Hebraist, and Bible scholar. A native of Oudenarde
(East Flanders), he was professor of oriental languages at Oxford
(from 1572) and later in Leiden, Ghent, and Francker. Drusius
wrote several books on Hebrew grammer, including 'Alphabetum
ebraicum vetus' (1587) and 'Grammatica linguae sanctae nova'
(1612). 'Nomenclator Eliae Levitae,' a book on Elijah Levita's
works (1652), was written in collaboration with his son Johann
and many other scholars. He wrote several works on biblical
exegesis"(vol. 6, s.v. 'Drusius')."


     Either the editors of the Encyclopaedia Judaica erred in
their dates, or Drusius worked on his book on Elijah Levita's
works posthumously. Drusius died in 1616.

     Concerning Drusius' works on Biblical exegesis, The New
Schaff-Herzog comments, "When a committe was organized in 1596
for the preparation of a new Dutch version of the Bible, Drusius
was made a member upon the recommendation of Arminius and
Uytenbogaert; but subsequently the committe was obliged to
dissolve. In 1600 Drusius was commissioned by the States General
to annotate difficult passages of the Old Testament, to which
task he devoted himself with great industry, but had often to
hear reproaches of tardy progress. He was also attacked by
theologians of other opinions for being a friend of Arminius and
Uytenbogaert.... in [t]his age of stormy conflicts he passed for
an undecided man because, having applied himself with all his
might to the advancement of Biblical science, in connection with
his investigations he could not admit dogmatic definitions as
authoritative. He repeatedly appeals to the 'judgment of the
Church catholic' against particular churches and ecclesiastical
factions, by which he will not suffer himself to be restricted in
his scholarly activity. Only a small portion of his notes on the
Old Testament appeared in his lifetime; the rest were published
by Amama and others, 1617-36. He also wrote comments on the New
Testament, containing especially elucidations from the Talmud and
rabbinical sources (Francker, 1612; 2d ed., 1616). His collective
works were issued by Amama (10 vol, Arnheim and Amsterdam,
1622-36). Lists of Drusius's numerous writings are to be found in
Meursius, Vriemoet, and Niceron. In the 'Critica sacra' his
annotations stand after those of Munster, Fagius, Vatablus,
Castalio, and Clarius; they rank among the most important in the
great compilation" (vol. IV, s.v. 'Drusius')."

     These reports of Drusius' life and work make it clear that
Drusius was not noted for good scholarship. It is recorded that
he was "tardy" in his scholarship, "could not admit dogmatic
definitions as authoritative," repeatedly appealed "to the
judgment of the Church catholic" even though he was Protestant,
and elucidated the New Testament from Talmudic and rabbinic
sources. These facts indicate that Drusius was influenced by both
Catholic and rabbinic opinions in forming his conclusions.
     Further evidence of Drusius' poor scholarship can be found
in his own words, published on page 351 of his article in the
"Critici Sacri," admitting that he had discovered the name
Jehovah in the work of Salvagus de Porchetus, a theologian of the
fourteenth century--a full 200 years before Galatinus! Porchetus'
work, entitled "Victoria Porcheti adversus impios Hebraeos"
(Porchetus' Victory Against the Ungodly Hebrews), was published
in 1303.
     Drusius had apparently forgotten his own discovery in
Porchetus' work when shortly before his death he published his
view that the name Jehovah was invented by Galatinus. As an old
man with a failing memory, he unwittingly set into motion a
myth--a false notion that was perpetuated by scholars down
through the centuries and is now accepted by many as a historical

     As quoted on page 8 of this paper, two other men of Drusius'
era publicly opposed the name Jehovah, claiming that it was
"against grammatical and historical propriety." They are
identified as "Le Mercier" and "L. Capellus." Capellus, or Louis
Cappel, was able to convince the scholarly world of his day to
accept the myth that Jehovah was an invented name. Let us examine
the historical records to see how this was accomplished.

L. Capellus

Ludovicus Capellus Louis Cappel (1585-1658)

     The Encyclopedia Britannica states the following: 

"Latin Ludovicus Capellus (b. Oct. 15, 1585, St. Elier, Fr.--d.
1658), French Huguenot theologian and Hebrew scholar. Cappel
studied theology at Sedan and Saumur, both in France, and Arabic
at the University of Oxford, where he spent two years. In 1613 he
accepted the chair of Hebrew at Saumur, and in 1633 he became
professor of theology there. Cappel's important 'Critica Sacra'
(1634) met with such theological opposition that he was not able
to print it until 1650, at Paris, and then only with the aid of a
son who had turned Roman Catholic. The various readings in the
Old Testament text and the differences between the ancient
versions and the Masoretic text convinced him that the integrity
of the Hebrew text, as held by Protestants, was untenable. This
amounted to an attack on the verbal inspiration of Scripture.
Bitter as was the opposition, however, it was not long before HIS

     As this article reveals, Cappel's publication "Critica
Sacra" was instrumental in convincing scholars of his day that
the Masoretic text was defective, and that other ancient
manuscripts were more accurate. This was, of course, an attack on
the King James Bible, which had been published only two decades
earlier. Cappel was initially opposed by the Protestant community
of France but, with Catholic support, eventually overcame all
opposition. With the acceptance of his views, the King James
Version was discredited, and the seeds of higher criticism were

     Cappel's rejection of the Masoretic text as the most
accurate of the ancient manuscripts was the basis for his
opposition to the name Jehovah. Cappel rejected the true
pronunciation of the divine name jhvh as preserved in the
Masoretic text and turned instead to corrupted manuscripts that
used other pronunciations of the divine name. Let us not forget
that it was Pope Leo X (Giovanni De Medici) who sponsored the
first rabbinic Bible (1516/17) compiled by Rabbi Felix Pratensis.
Rabbi Pratensis had converted to Catholicism, becoming an
Augustinian Hermit. Pope Clement VII sponsored the second
rabbinic Bible (1523/24), compiled by Rabbi Jacob ben Chayyim.
Rabbi Chayyim "converted" to Catholicism before his death. It was
to these corrupt texts that Cappel appealed when he labeled the
Masoretic text of Ben Asher, used for the King James Version, as

     Cappel's publication "Critica Sacra," accepted by scholars
in 1650 as "gospel truth," was used forty-eight years later in a
British encylopedic work entitled "Critici Sacri" to reenforce
the myth begun by Drusius--that the name Jehovah had been
invented by Galatinus. Notice:

"Article 'Tetragrammaton,' 8-10, in 'Critici Sacri,' published
Amsterdam, 1698, I, p. ii col. 339-42. On page 344 of 'Critici
Sacri' Drusius '...represents Peter Galatinus as the inventor of
the word Jehovah, and Fagius as its propagator in the world of
scholars and commentators' " (Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1912 ed.,
s.v. 'Jehovah')."

     The "Critici Sacri," which laid the groundwork for higher
criticism, was produced in England. It is described as "a
thesaurus of Bible aniquities and exegesis, undertaken as an
appendage to Walton's Polyglot at the instigation and expense of
Cornelius Bee, a London bookseller, and prepared under the
direction of John Pearson, archdeacon of Surrey (afterward bishop
of Chester); Anthony Scatergood, canon of Lincoln; Francis
Gouldman, rector of South Ockendon, Exxex and Richard Pearson,
fellow of King's College (brother of John). The full title is
'Critici Sacri: sive doctissimorum virorum in SS. Biblia
annatationes et tractatus' (9 vols, London, 1660). The work
combines the labors of many of the best English and continental
scholars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was
reprinted twice at Frankfort, and a new edition, augmented and
provided with index, appeared at Amsterdam in nine volumes, 1698.
'The Thesaurus theologico philologicus sive sylloge
dissertationum elegantiorum ad selectora et illustriora Veteris
et Novi Testamenti loca, a theologis Protestantibus in Germania
separatim diversis temporibus conscriptarum' (2 vols., folio,
1701-02) and the 'Thesaurus novus theologico philologicus' (2
vols., 1732), both works edited by Theodor Hase and Conrad Iken,
constitute a supplement. The Synopsis criticorum of Matthew Poole
(q.v.) is an abridment of the original wor" consult James Daling,
Cyclopaedia Bibliographies (London, 1854), 815-826" (The New
SchaffHerzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 111, s.v.
"Critici Sacri").

     Through the "Critici Sacri" and other influential
publications, most of the scholarly community was convinced to
accept the myth that Jehovah was an invented name. This myth was
perpetuated by quoting the words of one scholar in particular--a
German scholar named Bottcher.

Bottcher 1866

     It was Bottcher who stated in 1866 that "...the
pronunciation of Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when it was
introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by Le Mercier, J.
Drusius, and L. Capellus as against grammatical and historic

     Bottcher apparently got this information from the "Critica
Sacra" of Cappel or the "Critici Sacri" of Bee. Bottcher was the
conduit through which this myth passed into the works of Brown,
Driver and Briggs and Joseph Bryant Rotherham.

     The following quote, taken off the Internet, illustrates how
Bottcher's words were passed down through later publications.

The Oxford Gesenius 1892-1900

     Notice how Bottcher's words, as quoted in The Oxford
Gesenius, are being used by sacred namers today to argue against
the legitimacy of Jehovah:

"First as to age, the pronunciation of Jehovah was unknown until
1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by
Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus as against grammatical
and historic propriety (Oxford Gesenius, pg. 218)" (Yahweh is the
Undeniable Name,,
April, 1997).

     The reference should be to "The Oxford Gesenius" and not
Oxford Gesenius. (Once a mistake enters the information pipe
line, it seems to flow along without challenge.) "The Oxford
Gesenius" first appeared in a series during the years from
1892-1900. The complete set, with additions and corrections, was
republished in 1906 by Brown, Driver and Briggs.

Gesenius-Buhl 1899

Handworterbuch 13th ed p.311

     A German scholar named Buhl, who served as editor of "The
Oxford Gesenius," helped to perpetuate the myth concerning the
name Jehovah. Buhl apparently adopted his view that Jehovah was
invented in the 1500's from the "Critici Sacri."

"It has been maintained by some recent scholars [Jewish included]
that the word Jehovah dates only from the year 1520 (cf.
Hastings, 'Dictionary of the Bible', 11, 1899, p.199;
Gesenius-Buhl, 'Handworterbuch', 13th ed., 1899, p.311). Drusius
(loc. cit., 344) represents Peter Galatinus as the inventor of
the word Jehovah, and Fagius as its propagator in the world of
scholars and commentators (Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1912 ed., s.v.

James Hastings 1899

     At this same time, James Hastings began to publish his
"Dictionary of the Bible," which also perpetuates the myth that
Jehovah was invented by Galatinus.
     Hastings appears to have referenced the same source as Buhl.

"It has been maintained by some recent scholars [Jewish included]
that the word Jehovah dates only from the year 1520 (cf.
Hastings, 'Dictionary of the Bible', 11, 1899, p.199;
Gesenius-Buhl, 'Handworterbuch', 13th ed., 1899, p.311). Drusius
(loc. cit., 344) represents Peter Galatinus as the inventor of
the word Jehovah, and Fagius as its propagator in the world of
scholars and commentators (Ibid.)."

Joseph Bryant Rotherham 1902

The Emphasized Bible

     Three years after the myth concerning Jehovah appeared in
"The Oxford Gesenius," Joseph Rotherham published this same myth
in his "Emphasized Bible." On page 24 of his Introduction to the
"Emphasized Bible," Rotherham quotes the words of Bottcher. He

"Why not in the form 'Jehovah'? It is, and may still be freely
employed to assist through a period of transition. But is it not
hallowed and endeared by many a beautiful hymn and many a pious
memory? Without doubt; and therefore it is with reluctance that
it is here declined. But why is it not accepted? There it
is--familiar, acceptable, ready for adoption. The reason is, that
it is too heavily burdened with merited condemnation--as modern,
as a compromise, as a 'mongrel' word, 'hybrid,' 'fantastic,'
'monstrous.' The facts have only to be known to justify this
verdict, and to vindicate the propriety of not employing it in a
new and independent translation. What are the facts? And first as
to age. 'The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when
it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by Le Mercier,
J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and
historical propriety.'" 
Footnote b lists Rotherham's source as "Oxford Gesenius, p.218."

     Sacred namers have accepted Rotherham's writings as accurate
and authoritative without ever investigating the source of his
information. Consequently, they firmly believe that the myth
created by Drusius and spread by Capellus is a historical fact.
As quoted previously, one sacrednames publication uses
Rotherham's quote of Bottcher's words to promote the mythology
concerning Jehovah: 

"In the introduction to 'The Emphasized Bible,' editor Joseph
Rotherham writes, 'The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until
1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by
Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical
and historical propriety' (pp. 24-25)" (The Mistaken J, p.17).

Brown Driver and Briggs 1906

Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament

     Six years after "The Oxford Gesenius" was published, Brown,
Driver and Briggs published an expanded edition, which they
entitled Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. In
their article on Jehovah, they also quote the words of the German
scholar Bottcher:'The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until
1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but it was contested
by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against
grammatical and historical propriety' (cf. Bo 88)" (BDB p.218).

The Jewish Encyclopedia 1907

     One year later, The Jewish Encyclopedia published the same
myth, but their article inaccurately links the names of Fagius
and Drusius. (Drusius was actually Van de Driesche, whose name
also appears in the article).

"The reading Jehovah is a comparatively recent invention. Jehovah
is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo the
10th's confessor, Peter Galatin (De Arcanis Catholic Veritates
1518, Folio XLIII) who was followed in the use of this hybrid
form by Fagius Drusius. Van de Driesche, who lived between 1550
and 1616, was the first to ascribe to Peter Galatin the use of
s.v. 'Jehovah')."


     The scholarly community today has inherited a myth from the
past. Historical records bear ample evidence that the name
Jehovah was not invented by Galatinus. The pronunciation of the
divine name jhvh as Jehovah was used by European scholars as
early as the 10th century A.D. This fact confirms that the vowel
points of jhvh were accepted as a legitimate part of the Hebrew
text during this period of history. The pronunciation of jhvh as
Jehovah predates Galatinus, Tyndale, Reuchlin and Buechelin
(Fagius) to the time when the Levitical families began migrating
to Spain from Palestine with their pointed Masoretic Texts. These
texts had been consistently pointed since the 400's A.D. There is
no historical evidence to support the claim that the Masoretes
had falsified the vowel points in the text.

     When the Ben Asher text was finally sealed by 980 A.D. and
the work of the Masoretes became the standard Hebrew text for all
time, the divine name jhvh was pointed to be pronounced Jehovah.

     When Fagius, or Buechelin, supported the name Jehovah, he
was following the vowel markings that he had learned from the
Hebrew text of Ben Asher. When Tyndale translated jhvh to be
pronounced as Jehovah, he was following the vowel markings that
he had learned from the Hebrew text of Ben Asher.

     Contrary to the claims of sacred namers, the name Jehovah
was not invented by Galatinus. The records of history testify to
all who are willing to examine them that Jehovah is the true
pronunciation of the divine name jhvh.


To be continued

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