(This church is now totally destroyed due to fire)
At the east side church in Porsgrunn (from
1760 CE), the Divine Name is not written the way we usually see it. Behind
the altarpiece there are two large statues that represents Aaron and
Moses. If you walk right beside the statue of Moses, you can se that he is
holding a stone slab with extractions of the ten commandments.
On this slab we can find God's name
written with the spelling YeYa (in Hebrew: ).
On top of the name it is drawn a symbol that looks like the symbol for
The spelling YY can be due to a confusion
between the Hebrew letters Y and W. God's name was often shortened to YH,
YW or just Y, in Hebrew writings. In writings found in Qumran you can see
that the Hebrew letters Y and W are easy to confuse. The spelling YY is
probably a misreading of the shortened spelling YW. After some time this
spelling was also written YYY or YWY, or even YYYY. A papyrus of the
Bible, from the third century CE has been found, where the Divine Name
is written YY.
(In the syntax YeYa, YY is kethib,
while e and a is qere drawn from the Aramaic word SHeMa
which means 'the name'.)
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)
It seems like the person who made this slab
didn't know the Hebrew language himself, because some places the same
letter is written different ways.
For example in the second last line it
looks like the line begins with the letters waw-resh-waw-resh, but
it shoud read zayin-khaf-waw-resh. The last letter written on the
last line, should actually be two letters, yod-khaf.
The following is written on the slab, translated into English:
I YHWH your God... (The first words in the opening of the ten comm.)
You shall not have... (The beginning of the first commandment)
You shall not carry the name YHWH... (The beginning of the third
commandment, about not carrying
the name YHWH in a
Remember the day of the Sabbath... (The beginning of the fourth comm.)
Honor your father... (The beginning the the fifth commandment)
(Notice that they have left out the
second commandment with the prohibition of making any picture for worship)