So far this has been a very interesting study for me. I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks and I’m trying to catch up, but still a little behind. I’m going to try to make a couple of posts just to try to express some of my thoughts on the readings, and I want to separate them so they make more sense. First, I wanted to respond to the article “The Name of G-d.”
I found it very interesting that in Judaism the name of God is treated with such respect and reverence. I’m not very familiar with Jewish tradition and thought, so it came as a surprise to me that they won’t even casually write the name of God for fear that it might be erased of defaced in some way, even to the extreme that they have had to discuss and come to the conclusion that it is ok to type the name of God and backspace over it because typing on a computer is not considered a “permanent form.”
I was especially interested in the most important of God’s Names, (YHVH), or as we say, Yahweh. I knew that I had heard something else about this, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I did a little digging and found a DVD called “Breathe” with the popular teacher and preacher Rob Bell from his Nooma video series. I watched it again, and it’s interesting that he explores this subject in not as much detail, but one of his conclusions is that the name of God is not able to be spoken, but rather the letters used, Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei, are very breathy sounds. And that in many traditions the name isn’t pronounced because it’s considered so sacred and holy.
And that the ancient rabbis believed that these letters were breathing sounds that were ultimately unpronounceable because they were just essentially the sounds of breathing. And what I think is so interesting is how the Bible talks about breathing. In Genesis 2:7, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Could it be possible that when God breathed life in Adam, and all man-kind, He was using that as a metaphor to say I am putting a small part of myself into mankind? Certainly through His Spirit, and by Christ’s sacrifice, we do receive a part of God, on a certain spiritual level.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:17 that if we are God’s children then we “are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” I know as a parent that when I look at my son I see a part of myself, and a part of my wife, and I believe that when God looks at us He sees a part of Himself, and knowing that the Bible teaches that we were made in His image only clarifies that idea in my mind. And knowing that truth, and considering the possibility that perhaps God’s Name is so sacred and so glorious that the closest we can get to even speaking it is by our breathing- the life breath that God has given each of us, just amazes me. It gives fresh new meaning to the scripture in Acts 17:28, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
I apologize for my rambling, but I thought I would share how this particular topic impacted me. Thanks for reading!
Filed under: Student Post