Press "Enter" to skip to content

I’m presenting an academic paper and need to talk about the Aramaic name for God at the temple in Elephantine in the 5th century BCE – what’s the most respectful way to do that?

I’m presenting a paper at an academic conference soon in which I will discuss the Jewish community at Elephantine, Egypt during the 5th century BC.

If you’re not familiar with the community, it’s absolutely fascinating. Basically it’s a group of people from Judah, who called themselves “Yehudaya”, who worshiped the Judean God, and, notably, had their own temple on the island in which they performed sacrifices to their God. At one point, their relationships with the local Egyptians soured, and the Egyptians tore down their temple and the Elephantine Jews wrote to Jerusalem requesting assistance in rebuilding, suggesting they had no idea their temple wasn’t supposed to exist.

The community was Aramaic speaking and writing, and when they referred to their deity, they called him by the Aramaic form of God’s name, which is just three letters instead of 4: YHW.

In presenting at this conference, I recognize that there will be a lot of people present who avoid saying the name of God. I would like to be as respectful as possible while still being accurate in describing the situation (there were also other deities being worshipped on the island, some of whom were also apparently worshipped by the Jewish population). It’s not technically the Tetragrammaton, because it’s only 3 letters. But it is still the Aramaic form of the name of God. So what might be the best way to talk about it in a way that is respectful and inclusive, while still being accurate and concise?

Should I just say the name (pronounced Yaho or Yahu, and I’d opt for the first pronunciation), should I use an epithet like “The Judean deity”, or is there some other option that might work better? I would prefer to avoid overtly religious designations just because it’s an academic paper and I’m also not personally Jewish and don’t want to falsely represent myself. But I do want to be as respectful as possible, which means if using the Aramaic name for the deity would cause discomfort, I’m willing to find a suitable workaround.

Similarly, I have PowerPoint slides which have images of some of the documents which include the name. The images will be part of my slides because they’re important to the research, but should my translations render the name in any particular way?

I appreciate any input!

submitted by /u/ACasualFormality
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt