"And we find the name of God, the Tetragrammaton [i.e. YHVH], in certain
Greek volumes even to this day expressed in ancient letters."
In a letter written at Rome in 384 A.D., Jerome states:
"The ninth [name of God] is the Tetragrammaton, which they [the Jews]
considered [a.nek.pho'ne.ton], that is, unspeakable, and it is written with these
letters, Iod, He, Vau, He. Certain ignorant ones, because of the similarity of the
characters, when they would find it in Greek books, were accustomed to read PIPI
[Greek letters corresponding to the Roman letters PIPI]" (Papyrus Grecs Bibliques,
by F. Dunand, Cairo, 1966, p. 47, ftn. 4).
While the Jews didn't change the Divine Name in the Hebrew and Greek texts, they
avoided saying the Tetragrammaton because they believed that in doing so they
would take God's Name in vain. When reading a passage of the Hebrew Bible that
contained it, they referred to God by another one of His names -- 'adonai or
Gentile Christians Discard the Tetragrammaton
But Gentile Christians, unlike the Jewish Christians, had no traditional attachment
to the Hebrew Tetragrammaton and no doubt often failed to even recognize it.
Early in the second century A.D., after the last of the apostles had died, the falling
away from the true Christian faith foretold by the Messiah and his followers began
in earnest. Pagan philosophies and doctrines infiltrated the congregation of
believers; sects and divisions arose, and the original purity of faith corrupted. And
God's Name ceased to be used. Gentile scribes, who had never before seen Hebrew
writing (especially in its archaic form), stopped preserving the Divine Name. This
contributed to the use of kyrios and theos for the Tetragrammaton, and toward the