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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 16 Dec 2001

YAHWE QUESTION from Dee May 30, 2000 Dear Sir
I would like to know why Catholics do not use the above sacred name in services or mass. Catholics in general do not know this name which occurs in all the early sacred writings such as Sea Scrolls, etc. The bible states whoever calls on MY NAME.......
I would also like to know what is the meaning of the images in the CATHOLIC church as the bible forbids us to make any image on earth or in heaven. Thank you
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on June 17, 2000 Dear Miss Dee:
When reading Scripture one must be careful to read ALL of Scripture and not just parts of it. When trying to interpret a passage it must be taken in context of the whole book, the whole Bible, to be interpreted properly.
Protestants are notorious for improper interpretive methods, careless reading of Scripture, and actually a profound lack of knowledge of Scripture.
You typed the name of God as YAHWE. You probably mean Yahweh, but even that is not the original. The original designation was YHWH (no vowels) and as such it is impossible to know what the ancient Hebrew pronunciation might have been.
This name of YHWH is but one of many names God uses to describe himself.
YHWH is the covenant name God used with Moses. Although some traditions trace the name back to Genesis 4:16, other Hebrew traditions affirm that the name was not used by God until God introduced Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:11ff
The abbreviation of this name for God (Yahweh) is Yah. This abbreviation occurs 25 times in the Old Testament. For example, this abbreviation for God's name appears in the word hallelu-Yah. Sometimes the abbreviated forms of Yahm or Yo are found in proper name such as Yahm is salvation (Isaiah), and Yo is God (Joel)
Catholics say hallelu-Yah ALL THE TIME. It is said constantly in the official prayer of the Church called the Divine Office. Outside of penitential seasons, this abbreviated praise of God (hallelu is praise, Yah is God), is said repeatedly several times per day. This is also said in Mass.
hallelu-Yah literally means Praise ye Yahweh
This from this one example alone Catholic probably refer to God as Yahweh more often than you do.
But, be that as it may, Yahweh, is but ONE name God has given us for Him. To limit ourselves to this one name of Yahweh is improperly scrupulous.
As Christians, the primary call me by name that we call upon is Jesus Christ who is our mediator between man and Yahweh.
We call upon the name of Jesus, because GOD (Yahweh) tells us to.
As for the graven image thing, you are wrong. The Bible DOES NOT tell us we cannot have images. It tell us we are not to WORSHIP graven images.
The FACT that graven images are not sinful is easily proven is one will READ scripture.
Exodus 20:4-5 says: do not make and WORSHIP any graven images.
We KNOW this does not mean don't make graven images at all, because five chapters later we read: Exodus 25:18-19, make two cherubim of beaten gold.
The Ark of the Covenant has graven images on it. It had images of angels.
Moses himself made graven images ion Numbers 21:8-9. He made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. This was done by orders of YAHWEH
1 Kings 6:23-29 we find that the temple of God has engraved angels, trees, and flowers on it.
I Kings 7:25-45 we read that the temple had bronze oxen, lions, and pomegranates on it.
Think, dear, think. And READ. If graven images are sinful why did Yahweh order the making of graven images for the Ark of the Covenant and for Moses pole?
It is not graven images that is sinful, it is WORSHIP of graven images or ANYTHING OTHER THAN GOD, that is sinful.
Catholics worship God and God Alone. We do not worship statues, paintings, plants, warts, ideas, spirits, Martians, dirt, or the Bible. We worship GOD.
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