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Title: Semantic and stylistic differences between Yahweh and Elohim in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Yoffe, Laura
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis attempts to understand the authorial and editorial choice between the two most common designations for God in the Hebrew Bible: Yahweh and Elohim. The main body of the thesis divides into four sections, the first two parts containing the background and methodological material against which the second two are to be read. Part one deals with the major methodological issues relevant to the thesis. It examines previous academic debate relating to the divine names (=DNs), especially the works of Cassuto and Segal, the documentary hypothesis, the Rabbinic tradition, and Dahse's preference for the Septuagint. It outlines the approach taken here (synchronic, based on the MT), and justifies this as being the most appropriate for this particular task. Part two is also preliminary in character, giving a brief but comprehensive account of the meanings and uses of three designations (Elohim, Adonai Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim) throughout the Hebrew Bible, so that their significance (or lack of significance) will be recognized when they appear in parts three and four. Part three gives a quantitative account of DN usage in two corpora - Psalms and Wisdom Literature. This reveals a number of facets of DN choice: suitability to genre, arrangement of sections, poetic sequence, and in the case of the Elohistic Psalter, editorial change. A possible reason for this editorial change is offered in an appendix. Part four consists of a series of qualitative analyses of texts which display a high degree of DN variability (including Exodus 1-6, Jonah). It is argued in each case that DN variation is a literary device intended to highlight certain aspects of the text. Examination of a prophetic text (Amos) reveals possible structural reasons for the placement of Yahweh and other designations. As the criteria for DN use are different in each text examined, it is suggested that the significance of each DN is dependent on, and limited to the text in which it is found.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available