What to do with the LORD

When I memorize the Old Testament, I memorize the name Yahweh rather than “the LORD” because I believe it is closer to the original sense of what was written.

A good example springs out of Psalm 19. In this example, the meaning of the text is understood better when seeing the contradiction between using God’s name (Yahweh) instead of a general name for God (el) or a title (lord).

Here is the verse in the ESV (English Standard Version).

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

Here is how I have it memorized:

Psalms 19:7 The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple;

Sometimes, you need help from a Hebrew scholar because there are some variations which the English hides, like when you read LORD GOD in all caps.

For example, I have memorized Isaiah 26:4

Isaiah 26:4 ESV Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

But in my memory, I actually have it memorized this way

Isaiah 26:4 Trust in Yahweh forever, for Yah Yahweh is an everlasting rock.

Here are some articles that explain why this is an important way to read the OT. It is even more important when reciting or listening audibly, because you won’t know the distinction between LORD and lord in the OT if you are not looking at the text.

THE Dan Phillips on the topic…

The Cripplegate Blog