There are only two proper names by which God refers to Himself - I AM and Jesus. The others are colorful appellations but not proper names. Jesus commanded unto Simon bar-Jonah a new proper name - PETER - just as God commanded unto Himself a new proper name - JESUS.
24 posted on 03/19/2007 7:33:17 AM MDT by Rutles4Ever
The true names are :b'shem Yah'shua
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. Deu 32:1-4
And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. Rev 15:3
Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.
The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.
Background on the Masoretic Text:
The basic Hebrew text is called the Masoretic Text (MT), which is named after a group of scribes in the ninth century that preserved the text and added vowels and punctuation marks. The original Hebrew just had consonants, but a few consonants functioned as vowels. No one would know how to pronounce the Hebrew words unless vowels marks were added. This is a great help in understanding the text. (Hebrew Bible)
There were three different tasks of copying the OT. The Sopherim wrote the consonantal text. The Nakdanim added the vowel points and accents. The Masoretes added the marginal notes. An example is the Kethib (what is written) and Qere (what should be read). There are over 1,300 of these. The vowels of the Qere were written in the text of the Kethib. There are three different systems of vowel pointing, the Babylonian, Palestinian and Tiberian which the Masoretes created. The marginal notes called Masora were mainly written in Aramaic and were like a concordance.
Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nash Papyrus was the oldest known witness to the OT which dated to the first or second century AD. It contained the decalogue. The second oldest were the Cairo Geniza fragments (about 200,000) which date to the fifth century AD (See Princeton Geniza Project). Most of these are in the Cambridge University Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Today the oldest known text of the OT was discovered in 1979 in tombs across the Hinnom valley from Jerusalem. The text is the benediction of Aaron (Numbers 6:24-26) written on a silver amulet from the 7th century BC (Hoerth 1998, 386).
The oldest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible is the Codex Leningradensis which dates to 1008 AD. A Facsimile edition of this great codex is now available (Leningrad Codex 1998, Eerdmans for $225). The BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) follows this codex. The most comprehensive collection of old Hebrew manuscripts is in the Russian Public Library in St. Petersburg formerly called Leningrad. Another important text is the Aleppo Codex which is now in Jerusalem. The HUB (Hebrew University Bible) follows the Aleppo Codex. The Isaiah and Jeremiah editions are now available. For a more detailed study see The Text of the Old Testament by Ernst Wurthwein and Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.
As to antiquity, Deuteronomy is the second most copied book at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) 33 copies, second only to Psalms. Some are copied in fragments like literature, poems or hymns. However, generally speaking, carbon dating of manuscripts at Qumran establish true antiquity of copies at several centuries B.C.
The Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies does not mention any change to the Masoretic Text needed with reference to Deuteronomy 32:1-4. However, although we do have a non-MT Hebrew version of Deutoronomy 32 from cave 4, 4QDt(q) it only contains lines 37-43. So we cannot read anything into an omission here in comparing the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Septuagint (LXX.)
To see the history of the Hebrew Alphabet, the signs and the care in forming letters in Holy Scriptures: Hebrew Alphabet
To understand the methods of translating Ancient Hebrew - poetic v mechanical v literal.
Extra-Biblical ancient manuscripts in the pseudepigraphra have a few things to say as well.
Testament of Moses which is supposed to be a summary of Deutoronomy, but is very fragmented and the parts which would address the name, the Rock, may be missing. The scholars dispute the age of the manuscript but put it somewhere between 168 BC and 135 AD. The bearing it may have (if any) to this discussion is that Moses instructs and assures Joshua to protect the Scriptures (last part of chapter 1) in a manner that suggests there will be another find like the Dead Sea Scrolls as we get closer to Christs coming again: