1C The Divine Name in Ancient Greek Versions
Over the past several decades many fragments of ancient Greek versions of the Hebrew Scriptures have been discovered wherein the divine name was found written, usually in Hebrew letters. This indicates that the divine name was used in Greek versions until well into the ninth century C.E. We are presenting ten manuscripts that contain the divine name, along with pertinent information.
(1) LXXP. Fouad Inv. 266 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in square Hebrew characters in the following places: De 18:5, 5, 7, 15, 16; De 19:8, 14; De 20:4, 13, 18; De 21:1, 8; De 23:5; De 24:4, 9; De 25:15, 16; De 26:2, 7, 8, 14; De 27:2, 3, 7, 10, 15; De 28:1, 1, 7, 8, 9, 13, 61, 62, 64, 65; De 29:4, 10, 20, 29; De 30:9, 20; De 31:3, 26, 27, 29; De 32:3, 6, 19. Therefore, in this collection the Tetragrammaton occurs 49 times in identified places in Deuteronomy. In addition, in this collection the Tetragrammaton occurs three times in unidentified fragments, namely, in fragments 116, 117 and 123. This papyrus, found in Egypt, was dated to the first century B.C.E.
In 1944 a fragment of this papyrus was published by W. G. Waddell in JTS, Vol. 45, pp. 158-161. In 1948, in Cairo, Egypt, two Gilead-trained missionaries of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society obtained photographs of 18 fragments of this papyrus and permission to publish them. Subsequently, 12 of these fragments were published in the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, 1950, pp. 13, 14. Based on the photographs in this publication, the following three studies were produced: (1) A. Vaccari, “Papiro Fuad, Inv. 266. Analisi critica dei Frammenti pubblicati in: ‘New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.’ Brooklyn (N. Y.) 1950 p. 13s.,” published in Studia Patristica, Vol. I, Part I, edited by Kurt Aland and F. L. Cross, Berlin, 1957, pp. 339-342; (2) W. Baars, “Papyrus Fouad Inv. No. 266,” published in the Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift, Vol. XIII, Wageningen, 1959, pp. 442-446; (3) George Howard, “The Oldest Greek Text of Deuteronomy,” published in the Hebrew Union College Annual, Vol. XLII, Cincinnati, 1971, pp. 125-131.
Commenting on this papyrus, Paul Kahle wrote in Studia Evangelica, edited by Kurt Aland, F. L. Cross, Jean Danielou, Harald Riesenfeld and W. C. van Unnik, Berlin, 1959, p. 614: “Further pieces of the same papyrus were reproduced from a photo of the papyrus by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the introduction to an English translation of the New Testament, Brooklyn, New York, 1950. A characteristic of the papyrus is the fact that the name of God is rendered by the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew square letters. An examination of the published fragments of the papyrus undertaken at my request by Pater Vaccari resulted in his concluding that the papyrus, which must have been written about 400 years earlier than Codex B, contains perhaps the most perfect Septuagint text of Deuteronomy that has come down to us.”
A total of 117 fragments of LXXP. Fouad Inv. 266 were published in Études de Papyrologie, Vol. 9, Cairo, 1971, pp. 81-150, 227, 228. A photographic edition of all the fragments of this papyrus was published by Zaki Aly and Ludwig Koenen under the title Three Rolls of the Early Septuagint: Genesis and Deuteronomy, in the series “Papyrologische Texte und Abhandlungen,” Vol. 27, Bonn, 1980.
(2) LXXVTS 10a renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters in the following places: Jon 4:2; Mic 1:1, 3; Mic 4:4, 5, 7; Mic 5:4, 4; Hab 2:14, 16, 20; Hab 3:9; Zep 1:3, 14; Zep 2:10; Zec 1:3, 3, 4; Zec 3:5, 6, 7. This leather scroll, found in the Judean desert in a cave in Naḥal Ḥever, was dated to the end of the first century C.E. The fragments of this scroll were published in Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, Vol. X, Leiden, 1963, pp. 170-178.
(3) LXXIEJ 12 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters in Jon 3:3. This shred of parchment, found in the Judean desert in a cave in Nahal Hever, was dated to the end of the first century C.E. It was published in Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 12, 1962, p. 203.
(4) LXXVTS 10b renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters in the following places: Zec 8:20; 9:1, 1, 4. This parchment scroll, found in the Judean desert in a cave in Naḥal Ḥever, was dated to the middle of the first century C.E. It was published in Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, Vol. X, 1963, p. 178.
(5) 4Q LXX Levb renders the divine name in Greek letters (IAO) in Le 3:12; 4:27. This papyrus manuscript, found in Qumran Cave 4, was dated to the first century B.C.E. A preliminary report of this manuscript was presented in Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, Vol. IV, 1957, p. 157.
(6) LXXP. Oxy. VII.1007 renders the divine name by abbreviating the Tetragrammaton in the form of a double Yohdh in Ge 2:8, 18. This vellum leaf, dated to the third century C.E., was published in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Part VII, edited with translations and notes by Arthur S. Hunt, London, 1910, pp. 1, 2.
(7) AqBurkitt renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters in the following places: 1Ki 20:13, 13, 14; 2Ki 23:12, 16, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27. These fragments of the Greek text of the version of Aquila were published by F. Crawford Burkitt in his work Fragments of the Books of Kings According to the Translation of Aquila, Cambridge, 1898, pp. 3-8. These palimpsest fragments of the books of Kings were found in the synagogue genizah in Cairo, Egypt. They were dated to the end of the fifth century or the beginning of the sixth century C.E.
(8) AqTaylor renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in ancient Hebrew characters in the following places: Ps 91:2, 9; Ps 92:1, 4, 5, 8, 9; Ps 96:7, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13; Ps 97:1, 5, 9, 10, 12; Ps 102:15, 16, 19, 21; Ps 103:1, 2, 6, 8. These fragments of the Greek text of the version of Aquila were published by C. Taylor in his work Hebrew-Greek Cairo Genizah Palimpsests, Cambridge, 1900, pp. 54-65. These fragments were dated after the middle of the fifth century C.E., but not later than the beginning of the sixth century C.E.
(9) SymP. Vindob. G. 39777 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in archaic Hebrew characters in the following places: Ps 69:13, 30, 31. This fragment of a parchment roll with part of Ps 69 in Symmachus (68 in LXX), kept in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, was dated to the third or fourth century C.E. It was published by Dr. Carl Wessely in Studien zur Palaeographie und Papyruskunde, Vol. XI., Leipzig, 1911, p. 171.
Here we reproduce the fragment of this papyrus containing the divine name.
(10) Ambrosian O 39 sup. renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in square Hebrew characters in all five columns in the following places: Ps 18:30, 31, 41, 46; Ps 28:6, 7, 8; Ps 29:1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3; Ps 30:1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 10, 12; Ps 31:1, 5, 6, 9, 21, 23, 23, 24; Ps 32:10, 11; Ps 35:1, 22, 24, 27; Ps 36:Sup, 5; Ps 46:7, 8, 11; Ps 89:49 (in columns 1, 2 and 4), Ps 89: 51, 52. This codex, dated to the end of the ninth century C.E., has five columns. The first column contains a transliteration of the Hebrew text into Greek, the second column has the Greek version of Aquila, the third column has the Greek version of Symmachus, the fourth column contains the LXX and the fifth column contains the Greek version of Quinta. A facsimile edition of this palimpsest, together with a transcript of the text, was published in Rome in 1958 by Giovanni Mercati under the title Psalterii Hexapli Reliquiae . . . Pars prima. Codex Rescriptus Bybliothecae Ambrosianae O 39 sup. Phototypice Expressus et Transcriptus.
These ten manuscript fragments indicate that the translators of the Hebrew text into Greek used the divine name where it occurred in the Hebrew text. Moreover, the occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in Zec 9:4 corroborates the claim that the Jewish Sopherim replaced the Tetragrammaton with ʼAdho·naiʹ (Sovereign Lord) in the Hebrew text in 134 places.—See App 1B.
[Pictures on page 1562]
LXXP. Fouad Inv. 266, first century B.C.E., retained the divine name (יהוה) in the Greek translation in De 32:3, 6.
Codex Alexandrinus (A), fifth century C.E., replaced the divine name (יהוה) with abbreviated forms of Kyʹri·os in the Greek translation in De 32:3, 6.
The Aleppo Codex (Al), tenth century C.E., in Hebrew, preserved the divine name (יהוה) that appeared in the early Hebrew text in De 32:3, 6.a
a From The Aleppo Codex, edited by Moshe H. Goshen-Gottstein (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1976). Copyright © by Hebrew University Bible Project and reprinted with their permission.