Thursday, June 03, 2010

Herman Bavinck on the Tetragrammaton

On page 105 of The Doctrine of God, Herman Bavinck writes regarding Exodus 3:14:

"God does not call himself 'the One who is' in the abstract. He gives no explanation of his aseity, but he declares very explicitly what he is and what is his character. Now what is he and what is his character? This cannot be expressed in a single word, but 'he will be that he will be.' Everything is included in this expression; to be sure this qualification is general and indefinite, but for that very reason it is so rich and so full of meaning: he will be what he has been for the patriarchs, what he is now, and what he will remain: for his people he will be everything."


Memra said...

Thanks for the great quote. It's good to see scholarly recognition of the fact that what God says at Exodus 3:14 is not someinscrutable or meaningless "mystery," not a mere word game, nor a stative expression of ontology. Modern Bible translations that continue to render Hebrew ehyeh as "I AM" are conveying a mediocrity, not a revelation.

Edgar Foster said...

I appreciate your additional comments. It is also my plan to post more information on what scholars have observed about the Tetragrammaton and the passage in Exod 3:14.