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A Study of Change of Personal Names in the Old Testament

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2021, 27(4), pp.8-45
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2021.27.4.8
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : September 22, 2021
  • Accepted : November 20, 2021

Hoo-Goo Kang 1

1서울장신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper explores personal names mentioned in the Bible which include divine elements (Yeho-, Yo-, -yah, -yahu, El-, -el). Comparing with the names known from the archaeological findings (seals, seal impressions, bullae, inscription etc.), it analyzes them to understand their general characteristics. In order to examine the change of biblical personal names with divine elements, all personal names in Torah, Deuteronomistic Books and Books of Ezra-Nehemiah are analyzed and the results are compared with 977 names known from archaeological finding in the Iron Age. It comes to conclude as follwing: 1) even though personal names with the general noun for god, Elohim element do not yield prominent characteristic changes, those with the proper noun, Yahweh element are few found in Torah and in Deuteronomistic Books, they become larger when it comes to late period. The fact that names with Yahweh element were widely used in post-exilic period negates the opinion of anachronic understanding of Torah that they reflects situations of the late periods. In the analysis of personal names in the Bible, Torah can be understood as the earlier phase in the process of development of names with divine element of Yahweh. 2) If we compare the results of analysis of characteristics and changes of biblical names of the Old Testament with those known from archaeological findings, it can be said that the Old Testament was described in the central role of the southern Judah. 3) The analysis of change of ratio of names with Yahweh elements and those with Elohim elements indicates that in Torah, names with Elohim elements outstandingly occupy more than those with Yahweh elements(28.5 times), in Deuteronomistic books, the ratio is conversed to (18.7%- names with Yahweh elements vs. 7.7%- names with Elohim elements) while in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah the latter is less than the former (3.8 times). To compare with names archaeologically known, it is said that the archaeological evidences of the Iron Age match not with names from Torah, nor those from the earlier books of Deuteronomistic History (Joshua-Judges-Samuel) but rather with names of the book of Kings and correspond with those of the book of Ezra-Nehemiah.

Citation status

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