The word curious comes from Latin according to etymoline.com. “mid-14c., “subtle, sophisticated;” late 14c., “eager to know, inquisitive, desirous of seeing” (often in a bad sense), also “wrought with or requiring care and art;” from Old French curios “solicitous, anxious, inquisitive; odd, strange” (Modern French curieux) and directly from Latin curiosus “careful, diligent; inquiring eagerly, meddlesome,” akin to cura “care” (see cure (n.)).”
I am playing with words because the word we are looking at in this blog post is the Greek word Kurios, which sounds something like curious. So, we are being curious about the word Kurios.
Why do we not see the name of Yahweh in the New Testament? It appears over 6000 times in the Old Testament. In most English Bibles it is rendered LORD. Many Bible prefaces with explain that LORD replaces the name of Yahweh. Yet in the New Testament, we do not see LORD; typically, we simply see “Lord”. LORD will only show up in an obvious, direct quote from the Old Testament that includes Yahweh. Is the term “Lord” speaking of a different Lord, or the same LORD?
Jer 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
Jer 23:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
Baal is Strong’s H1168, meaning lord.
Baal = “lord”
1) supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Canaanites (noun proper masculine)
2) a Reubenite (noun proper masculine)
3) the son of Jehiel and grandfather of Saul (noun proper masculine)
4) a town of Simeon, probably identical to Baalath-beer (noun proper locative)
Perhaps I am overthinking this, but Yahweh said we would forget His name for Baal. Baal here is presumed to be a Phoenician deity, but ask any average Christian today and they will call the Creator, lord and Jesus lord, yet not know the Creator’s name or how it relates to the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yeshua or Yahusha.
The Greek translation of what we call the Old Testament was around, at least in part, as early as 200 BCE. It is called the Greek Septuagint, and it replaces the name of Yahweh, יהוה, with the Greek word Kurios.
Here are three translations of Genesis 2:8:
Lexham English Bible:
Gen 2:8 And Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
King James Version:
Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The Scriptures 2009 Version:
Gen 2:8 And יהוה Elohim planted a garden in Ěḏen, to the east, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
I like the Scriptures Version, where they just leave the four Hebrew letters of the name without translating, transliterating or substituting it.
The Old Testament is easy in terms of the name of God because we have really old Hebrew manuscripts that show us the name of God in Hebrew. When we get to the New Testament, we only have Greek manuscripts, mostly. Let’s look at the Greek Septuagint rendering of Genesis 2:8 for a reference point.
Gen 2:8 και G2532 CONJ εφυτευσεν G5452 V-AAI-3S κυριος G2962 N-NSM ο G3588 T-NSM θεος G2316 N-NSM παραδεισον G3857 N-ASM εν G1722 PREP εδεμ N-PRI κατα G2596 PREP ανατολας G395 N-APF και G2532 CONJ εθετο G5087 V-AMI-3S εκει G1563 ADV τον G3588 T-ASM ανθρωπον G444 N-ASM ον G3739 R-ASM επλασεν G4111 V-AAI-3S
The Greek word used for Yahweh is Kurios, Strong’s G2962.
1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
1a) the possessor and disposer of a thing
1a1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
1a2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor
1b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
1c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah
The Greek Septuagint predates the writings of the New Testament, and we can easily see the influence of using Kurios for the name of Yahweh in the Greek manuscripts. “Angel of the Lord” is a recognizable phrase from the Old Testament. In the New Testament, this phrase is used quoting Old Testament verses and on its own, such as the angel of the Lord who spoke to Joseph. In Acts chapter seven, Stephen is retelling the story of the angel of the Lord appearing to Moses.
King James Version:
Act 7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
The Scriptures 2009 Version:
Act 7:30 “And after forty years were completed, a Messenger of יהוה appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, Exo 3:2 in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.
Exodus 3:2 is being quoted here in Acts 7:30. “Angel of the LORD” is Angel of Yahweh, with the name being in the Hebrew as יהוה. The Scriptures translation simplifies this for us.
Exo 3:2 And the Messenger of יהוה appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. And he looked and saw the bush burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
This can all seem very confusing, which reinforces the prophesy of Yahweh in Jeremiah 23, saying the prophets would lie and hide his name, replacing it for Baal, or lord.
If we look at Acts 7:30 in the New Testament Greek manuscripts, we can see the Greek word is Kurios, Strong’s G2962, just as is used for the name Yahweh in the Greek Septuagint.
It appears that wherever Kurios is used in the Greek, the writers were substituting it for the name of God, Yahweh, just as English translations use LORD in the Old Testament and Lord in the New Testament. What is very confusing is using Lord in the New Testament could mean lord, master or Yahweh, depending on the context. Here is a verse using Kurios twice, which would not appear to be substituted for Yahweh the first time and master the second time.
Act 2:34 For G1063 David G1138 is not G3756 ascended G305 into G1519 the G3588 heavens: G3772 but G1161 he G846 saith G3004 himself, The G3588 LORD G2962 said G2036 unto my G3450 Lord, G2962 Sit G2521 thou on G1537 my G3450 right hand, G1188
Act 2:35 Until G2193 I make G5087 G302 thy G4675 foes G2190 thy footstool. G5286 G4675 G4228
Both times Strong’s G2962 is used for Lord, even though the first time is all capitals quoting Psalms 110 for Yahweh, and the second time is simply Lord or Master. Here is the verse being quoted in Psalms using the Lexham English version.
Psa 110:1 Of David. A psalm. A declaration of Yahweh to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”
In the Greek Septuagint, Strong’s G2962 is only used once, seemingly for the name Yahweh.
Psa 110:1 αλληλουια G239 INJ εξομολογησομαι G1843 V-FMI-1S σοι G4771 P-DS κυριε G2962 N-VSM εν G1722 PREP ολη G3650 A-DSF καρδια G2588 N-DSF μου G1473 P-GS εν G1722 PREP βουλη G1012 N-DSF ευθειων G2117 A-GPF και G2532 CONJ συναγωγη G4864 N-DSF
Why does Luke use Kurios twice in Acts, quoting a verse that only uses it once in the Septuagint? Probably because the reader knew how to differentiate, or we do not have the original manuscripts. The Scriptures 2009 version seems to translate these verses in a way that would be consistent with the Hebrew scriptures.
Psa 110:1 יהוה said to my Master, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
Act 2:34 “For Dawiḏ did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself said, ‘יהוה said to my Master, “Sit at My right hand,
Act 2:35 until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’ Psa 110:1.
Another translation that attempts to correct the Kurios confusion of the New Testament is the eth-Cepher. Here are the verses we used for examples in this translation.
Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, Yahuah said unto my Adonai, Sit on my right hand,
Act 2:35 Until I make your foes your footstool.
Psa 110:1 YAHUAH said unto my Adonai, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footpath.
The name of the Creator of the universe is very important. It is not just the phonetics and spelling, but the reputation and fame as the word “name” means. A verse that would be nice to have a proper translation for, is Philippians 2:11. Is Paul claiming Jesus is Yahweh here, or does He mean something else?
King James Version:
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Scriptures 2009 version using the Hebrew name Yahusha, in Hebrew, for Jesus:
Php 2:9 Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name,
Php 2:10 that at the Name of יהושע every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
Php 2:11 and every tongue should confess (Isa 45:23) that יהושע Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father.
Finally, the eth-Cepher version:
Php 2:9 Wherefore Elohiym also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Yahusha every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Yahuah is Yahusha Ha’Mashiach, to the glory of Elohiym the Father.
The eth-Cepher actually translates the verse to say that “Yahweh is Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father”. In light of Isaiah 45, I can see how it could be translated this way. These are the verses Paul is quoting.
Isa 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none besides me.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself; a word that shall not return has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness: ‘Every knee shall kneel down to me; every tongue shall swear.’
Isa 45:24 ‘Only in Yahweh,’ one shall say to me, ‘are righteousness and strength.’ He shall come to him, and all those who were angry with him shall be ashamed.
Isa 45:25 In Yahweh all the offspring of Israel shall be in the right, and they shall boast.”
This offends many people who picture three separate gods in a trinity. I am not saying one of these translations is better than the other, just pointing out the differences in case people are ignorant of them. It will be up to the reader to interpret what all this use of Kurios means. Jesus points out the importance of declaring the name of God.
Joh 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus also points out that He is one with the Father.
Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
If Yeshua is not Yahweh, then He is a mirror image according to this, He definitely is not a new god with His own agenda as some like to say.
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