The 2001 Translation Translator NotesNote

Jehovah in the New Testament: Maryah in the Aramaic New Testament (Category B)

It’s possible that large parts of the New Testament were originally penned in Aramaic and only translated into Greek (although Mark, Luke, and Acts were likely originally in Greek). Even if this were not the case, then the Aramaic version would still be very useful to us. Why? Because it would be a very early translation, and would show how people understood these books back then.

Jews and early Christians used ‘Lord’ as a euphemism for the Divine Name, YHWH (Jehovah/Yahweh).

In Greek this was kyrios (‘Lord’), used without the article (‘the’) beforehand. This ‘grammar error’ was a special signal to the reader that Lord was replacing YHWH.

Aramaic also used Lord as a euphemism, but since Aramaic doesn’t have the word “the,” they would use a different trick to let readers know when it was replacing YHWH. What? Well, the word has several different spellings, a full spelling, maryah (written without vowels as mryh), and several shortened versions: mary (mry), marah (mrh) or mar (mr).

In Palestine, the tradition arose that people would use the shorter versions (usually mara or marah) to refer to ordinary human Lords, and reserve the full version, maryah, as a euphemism for YHWH.

Indeed, it was a useful coincidence that it has the -yah ending, as this would remind Jews of the shortened form of God’s Name, Jah/Yah. This is much like the Jah/Yah- on many peoples’ names, like Jeremiah and Jesus. So to Jews, the Aramaic word maryah could look like a word meaning ‘Lord Jah.’

Remember, maryah is not a Jewish invention. It is an Aramaic word, invented by the Syrians and Babylonians. Maryah was used in official Aramaic of the Syrian royal court. So it’s rather unlikely that the Babylonians intended to say ‘Lord Yah’ to mean ‘Lord Yahweh.’ The Jews saw this handy coincidence and adopted it as a euphemism later on.

However, maryah doesn’t necessarily always mean YHWH. It is still an ordinary word meaning Lord. This longer version may be seen as more formal or respectful, rather than the shorter marah/mara/marya/mar versions.

So maryah has two meanings:

  1. The full, formal version of Lord (used by all Aramaic-speakers).
  2. A euphemism for YHWH (used only by Jewish and Christian Aramaic-speakers).

Therefore, the 210 occurrences of maryah in the Aramaic New Testament are all potential YHWH euphemisms. Of course, in some places it may just mean Lord and nothing more.

How can we tell which is which?

By the same methods that ancient readers used: the context, recognizing common quotes and sayings, and common sense.

The uses are:

To see a list of all instances, please see our page All instances of Maryah in the New Testament.

Jesus, maryah, and the Holy Trinity

There are a few occasions where Jesus seems to be called maryah. Each one is listed and described below on this page.

Some translators of Aramaic see maryah being occasionally applied to Jesus as support for the Trinity doctrine. Some translators of the Aramaic Peshitta use this as justification to display every instance of maryah as Jehovah-Jesus.

However, maryah is not just a euphemism for YHWH, it is also a normal title meaning Lord. It appears to be the full spelling, rather than the more common shorter spellings. It may be quite proper to sometimes use it to describe Jesus as Lord, with no implication that the Father and Son are one and the same.

The number of places where Jesus is without doubt referred to as maryah (all shown below) is very small, and none of them use maryah as a name for Jesus. The context shows that they are titles describing him, and are not being used as proper nouns. Some appear to be later corruptions. Some are certainly translator errors (we say that Mark, Luke, and Acts were originally in Greek). Some places could even be copyist errors, as the only difference between maryah and marah is one tiny letter (ܡܪܝܐ versus ܡܪܐ) which is basically a big dot.

The New Testament writers may have been aware that it was confusing to have two people called Lord, at least in Greek. So it’s interesting to note that the expression “Lord God” only refers to the Almighty Father and never to Jesus.

Likewise, the term “Lord Jesus” is only used to describe Jesus, and never the Almighty Father.

When Jesus is called maryah, it appears (at least to us) to just be the full spelling of Lord, as the context doesn’t seem to suggest that it’s a euphemism for the Divine Name. So we’re sorry to disappoint our trinitarian friends, but there appears to be no support for the doctrine here.


Verses where maryah refers to Jesus

Matthew 22:43; 22:45 (likely corruptions) – These instances of maryah could well be later corruptions, since the parallel accounts in Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-42 do not quote Jesus as referring to himself as maryah at all. Indeed, our research shows that Matthew has more corruptions and later insertions than any other Bible book. These seem to be just two more.

Luke 2:11 (possible mistranslation and not a proper noun) – Jesus is called the ‘Lord (maryah) Messiah.’ However, if Luke was originally written in Greek (and we suspect it was), then it only says kyrios, with no implication that it is a euphemism for YHWH. This means that the translator decided to put maryah here off his own back, and it is not inspired. We don’t know when this translation was made, so it could be a later trinitarian mistranslation, or even a copyist error. Alternatively, the translator may have been trying to be respectful by using the full spelling of Lord. The same issue arises at Acts 2:36.

John 8:11 (spurious text) – This reference to Jesus as maryah is within the spurious account of the woman caught in adultery. This was added years after John wrote his Gospel and is not genuine.

Acts 2:36 (possible mistranslation and not a proper noun) – Jesus is called the ‘Lord (maryah) Messiah.’ However, if Luke was originally written in Greek (and we suspect it was), then it only says kyrios, with no implication that it is a euphemism for YHWH. This means that the translator decided to put maryah here off his own back, and it is not inspired. We don’t know when this translation was made, so it could be a later trinitarian mistranslation, or even a copyist error. Alternatively, the translator may have been trying to be respectful by using the full spelling of Lord. The same issue arises at Luke 2:11.

Acts 2:38 (spurious addition) – Jesus is called ‘Lord (maryah) Jesus’ here in the Aramaic. However, in (what is likely to be) the original Greek, there is no mention of ‘Lord’ here. So this maryah is a spurious addition by the Aramaic translator. It is also clearly not intended to be a euphemism for YHWH, since “get baptized in the name of Jehovah Jesus the Anointed One” not only makes no sense, but also contradicts the other verses that clearly say to be baptized in the name of Jesus only.

Acts 9:10 (possible mistranslation) – From the context, it is clear that the Lord here is Jesus, and the Aramaic text says maryah. However, this book was written in Greek and then translated into Aramaic, so maryah was the choice of the translator. The original Greek shows no implication that this was a euphemism for YHWH as there is no Greek ‘grammar error’ nor any other indication. The Greek just says ο κύριος (the Lord) and κύριε (o, Lord), so ought to have been translated as variants of mara, not maryah, unless the Aramaic translator was just wishing to use the full spelling of Lord to be respectful.

Acts 9:27 (not a proper noun) – This book was originally in Greek, and the use of maryah in the Aramaic is the translator’s choice. The Greek does not have the ‘grammar error,’ so this evidently originally meant to just say Lord, and is not a euphemism for YHWH.

Acts 18:25 (mistranslation) – Here the reference to Lord is likely to Jesus, based on the context. Also, the Greek has the article (‘the’) beforehand. Therefore, this is not a euphemism for YHWH. However, Acts was likely originally written in Greek, so using maryah here was the choice (or misunderstanding) of the translator, and is not inspired. The next verse, Acts 18:26, is also mistranslated (see above).

Romans 14:9 (not a proper noun) – Jesus is described as the Lord (maryah) of both the living and the dead. The use of maryah does not appear to be a euphemism for YHWH, as the word is not actually naming him, but describing his role. Therefore, it should be translated into English as Lord. The use of maryah is appropriate, since he has total authority. The word was likely chosen because it is the full version of Lord.

Romans 14:14 (not a proper noun) – The verse clearly says ‘Lord Jesus’ so this is not a euphemism for a proper noun.

1 Corinthians 8:6 (not a proper noun) – Jesus is described as the ‘one Lord (maryah).’ However, this is not a euphemism for YHWH because it is not a noun here; maryah is being used as a description. Using the full spelling of Lord would be appropriate for this, because he has the highest authority. Note also that the Apostle goes to pains to separate the Father and son here by describing the two as ‘one God, the Father,’ and ‘one Lord, Jesus.’ ‘We’ are described as being in the Father, but through Jesus, just like we go through a passageway to go in a room.

1 Corinthians 11:27 (not a proper noun) – Jesus is called Lord, or maryah here, twice. However, it does not appear to be a euphemism for YHWH since the Greek translation has the article (‘the’) before both instances, implying that it was understood to mean Lord as a title, and is not where a proper noun would go. The full spelling was evidently used to stress his authority, perhaps using a stronger version of Lord for emphasis. Note that the previous verse calls Jesus mara, not maryah (in the spelling d’maran).

1 Corinthians 11:29 (not a proper noun) – Jesus’ body is called the body of maryah here. However, it does not appear to be a euphemism for YHWH since the Greek translation has the article (‘the’) before it, implying that it was understood as a title, not as a proper noun. It is simply the full spelling of Lord. Note that verse 26 calls Jesus mara, not maryah (in the spelling d’maran).

1 Corinthians 12:3 (not a proper noun) – Jesus is called Lord, or maryah. This is describing his role as Lord with complete authority. It is not a euphemism for YHWH.

Ephesians 4:5 (not a proper noun) – Here maryah is clearly not a euphemism for YHWH as there is nobody claims that there is more than one YHWH. However, different ones may claim that there are different Lords to follow. So here Jesus is described as a Lord using the full spelling maryah.

Philippians 2:11 (not a proper noun) – Jesus is clearly called maryah (as d’maryah) as a title meaning Lord, and this is not a euphemism for YHWH.

Colossians 3:24 (not a proper noun) – The second instance of Lord in this verse is maryah, where it says ‘the Lord (the Anointed One)’. Therefore this is clearly a full use of the word Lord, and not a euphemism for YHWH. The Greek translator understood it this way, as it does not have the ‘grammar error’ beforehand. Interestingly, the Greek translator thought that the earlier instance of Lord in this verse, inflected as maran, may have been a euphemism, as he gives it the ‘grammar error’. However, maryah is typically the euphemism, not mara or maran.

James 5:7 (not a proper noun) – This cannot be a euphemism for YHWH because Jehovah is not expected to come arrive, Jesus is. Also, in the next verse, it says that the maryah will make an appearance, and the Bible says that no man can see God. Therefore, maryah must just be the full spelling of Lord, and not being used as a euphemism.

James 5:8 (not a proper noun) – The Aramaic says ‘our Lord’ (our maryah), therefore this is not a euphemism for YHWH, but the full spelling of Lord being used as a title for Jesus.

1 Peter 2:3 (not a proper noun) – Here maryah could refer to Jesus, as the next verse describes approaching him. The Greek translation uses the article and says ‘the Lord,’ indicating that it was not understood to be a euphemism for a proper noun. Therefore, here maryah is just the full title of Lord.

1 Peter 3:15 (not a proper noun) – Here the Aramaic text differs from the Greek text quite wildly. The Greek refers to the ‘Lord God’, while in Aramaic, it says ‘Lord (maryah) Anointed One’. We choose to use the Aramaic version, since that could be the original. Here maryah is clearly not a proper noun and euphemism for YHWH, but it clearly a full title applying to Jesus.

Revelation 22:20 (not a proper noun) – Used in the phrase ‘Lord Jesus,’ so clearly maryah is not used as a euphemism for the Divine Name here, but is just the full version of Lord, showing respect for his full authority. Note that Jesus is referred to as maran in the next verse.


Verses where maryah refers to the Almighty Father

All of the verses in Category #5 on our page on The Divine Name in the New Testament.

In addition, the below instances are where the Aramaic uses maryah, but our translation either says Lord or God instead or omits it entirely. We give the reason(s) for this decision.

Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23 – This quote is from Isaiah 40:3, which says YHWH in the Hebrew. The context (at Isaiah 40:9) makes it clear that the Lord who is coming is YHWH. However, in our translation we use Lord in Isaiah 40:3, not Jehovah, and therefore quote it that way here in Matthew 3:3. We believe that at some point, the Rabbis removed all instances of “YHWH” from the Hebrew, and then later restored them. In so doing, some references to YHWH were accidentally ‘restored’ where they were not there originally. We think that this is one of those places. However, we’re not dogmatic about this, and could be wrong.

Mark 2:26 (mistranslation) – The Aramaic wording mentions the table of maryah here, just as the parallel account in Matthew 12:4 does. However, the Greek text does not mention the table of kyrios, and such words are omitted. We believe that Mark was originally written in Greek (albeit based upon Matthew), so our translation goes by the received Greek text and leaves this reference out.

Luke 2:24 and Luke 6:4 (mistranslations) – If Luke was originally written in Greek (and we suspect that it was), then there is no mention of Lord or God here. The Aramaic translator added maryah here and this mention is not inspired.

Luke 2:38 – If this was originally in Greek, the Aramaic translator chose to put maryah here because from the context it’s obvious that AnNa was thanking Almighty God in heaven, not the nearby baby Jesus. However, since there is no Greek ‘grammar error’ here, this was probably not understood as euphemism for YHWH by the author (assuming there was no later tampering, of course). However, AnNa was probably speaking Aramaic when she said those words. So it’s possible that she was saying maryah as a euphemism for YHWH, and when her words were translated into Greek to write the gospel, this inference was lost somehow. So perhaps this should read as Jehovah after all. We just don’t know.

Luke 17:29 (mistranslation) – This says that the Lord, maryah, rained down fire on Sodom, however Luke was probably originally written in Greek, and the Greek version does not mention the ‘Lord’ here. So the our ancient translator friend chose to add a reference to maryah, confirming that he understood it to be a euphemism for YHWH. However, it likely does not belong in the text.

Acts 4:24 (mistranslation) – We believe that Acts was originally in Greek, and the Aramaic translator chose to put maryah here, but the Greek says ‘God,’ not ‘Lord.’ It’s possible that God is also a euphemism for YHWH here, but we cannot be sure, so we leave it saying God.

Acts 6:3 (mistranslation)– The Aramaic translator has added Lord (maryah) here, but it does not appear in (what is likely) the original Greek.

Acts 7:31, Acts 7:33, Acts 9:15 – Here Paul describes the voice of maryah speaking to Moses. However, if we look up the account, it was actually the voice of a spirit messenger (an angel), which we believe the Hebrew originally described as Lord, not YHWH. The reference to YHWH was (possibly) added by the Rabbis sometime after the 1st century CE. Also, this verse in Acts was originally written in Greek, so putting maryah instead of mara or mary could just be the uninspired opinion of the translator. However, we’re not 100% sure of this.

Acts 7:37 (mistranslation) – If this verse was originally written in Greek, then the inspired account says ‘God’ not ‘Lord.’ Thus the Aramaic translator chose to put maryah here. Therefore our translation says God.

Acts 15:17 – This verse was originally written in Greek, thus the Aramaic translator chose to put maryah here. However, it’s likely that this is not a euphemism for YHWH since ‘our Jehovah’ just isn’t a common phrase. It’s possible that Paul really did just mean Lord, and our ancient translator colleague then used maryah just to mean Lord, and not as a euphemism for the Divine Name. He simply couldn’t use any other version of the word Lord to describe the Almighty. However, it’s possible that this is another euphemism for YHWH.

Acts 16:32 (possible mistranslation) – Some Greek texts say the word of the Lord, others say the word of the God. It’s not possible to tell which is correct. Either way, the article is present beforehand, so it’s probably not a euphemism for YHWH. Therefore, maryah may just be the opinion of the Aramaic translator. Note that the previous verse mentions Lord Jesus as mara (inflected as b’maran), not maryah. So while this verse is likely referencing God Almighty, it is probably not a euphemism for YHWH.

Acts 18:26 (mistranslation) – The original Greek does not say Lord here, but God. This is the same error found in many other places (see above).

Revelation 6:10 – By calling Him ‘Sovereign Lord,’ no other version of Lord could be used. Therefore, this is probably not a euphemism for YHWH.


Verses where it’s unclear to whom maryah is referring

Luke 1:17 – Here the messenger is referring to the prophecy made at Isaiah 40:3. Although in most manuscripts it says ‘prepare the way for Jehovah/Yahweh’, this is one of the places we suspect that YHWH was inserted into the text incorrectly at some point. See our page about the Divine Name for more information. However, we cannot be certain about this, as the Greek has the usual ‘grammar error’ here that we would expect to be a euphemism for YHWH. The Aramaic translation also puts maryah here, so people understood the verse in Isaiah to be referring to Yahweh.

Acts 2:20 It seems that Acts was originally in Greek, so the Aramaic translator may have chosen to put maryah here off his own back. Why ‘may?’ Well, our translation usually translates expressions like Day of the Lord using Lord, even though the Hebrew Masoretic text usually says “day of Jehovah”. This is because we believe this expression is probably corrupted in the Hebrew text and said Lord originally.

Acts 2:21 – This is quoting Joel 2:32, which reads “name of Jehovah” in the Hebrew Masoretic text. However, our translation says “name of the Lord” in that verse. We believe it’s (probably) a corruption of the Hebrew text. Although Acts 2:21 says maryah here, the Aramaic translator probably just put that there from his own opinion from assuming that Lord here was a euphemism for YHWH. Alternatively, the translator could have just been using the full spelling of Lord, with no implication that it’s a euphemism for the Divine Name. We just don’t know.

Acts 5:14 – This verse was originally written in Greek, so it was the choice of the Aramaic translator to put maryah here rather than another form of Lord. The context suggests that the Lord mentioned is Jesus, since the apostle is preaching in the temple, it would seem odd for the people who began believing in ‘the Lord’ to be just starting to believe in Jehovah, otherwise why would they be at the temple to begin with? Therefore this is likely not a euphemism for YHWH.

Acts 10:36 – This verse was originally written in Greek, so it was the choice of the Aramaic translator to put maryah here rather than another form of Lord. The translator may have assumed (which may be correct) that Lord is not referring to Jesus, but refers back to Almighty God mentioned in verse 34 and 35. Alternatively, maryah may be chosen because it is the full form of the word for Lord, implying the greatest form of Lord, rather than it being a euphemism for YHWH. We simply don’t know.

Acts 11:21 – There are two mentions of maryah in this verse. The first one is missing the article before it in Greek. Therefore, the first instance is translated as Jehovah. What about the second instance? The Aramaic translator seems to have assumed that this second kyrios (actually kyrion) was referring to YHWH, which may be correct. However, the Greek text has the article beforehand. So this could a reference to Jesus. Therefore, we leave it as Lord and the reader can decide. Note that Jesus is called mara in the previous verse. Therefore, this next mention would suggest that this may indeed be a euphemism for YHWH, but we just don’t know.

Acts 11:17 – This verse was originally written in Greek as kyrios. The Aramaic translator chose to assume that the Lord here was YHWH, and so used maryah. However, when Peter is speaking here, he may have been calling the angel who freed him Lord, not the God who sent the angel. Our Aramaic translator friend assumed that Peter was giving credit to Almighty God (which may be correct), but since we don’t know for sure, we have left it as Lord.

Acts 13:10 – This could be a euphemism for YHWH but in the Greek it contains the article (‘the’), which implies that maryah was just a choice of the Aramaic translator. In Greek it appears as τας οδούς κυρίου (literally: the ways of Lord), or the Lord’s ways. However, in the mid-4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, the article has been crossed out, as if the scribe realized that it should not be there (the Vaticanus and Alexandrinus codexes have it shown normally). Therefore, this could also have originally been missing the article in Greek. Combining this fact with the use of maryah in the Aramaic, means that this verse could easily be another euphemism to YHWH. We just don’t know for sure.

Acts 13:12 – The original Greek version contains the article (‘the’), so this may be a reference to Jesus, with maryah merely being the choice and opinion of the Aramaic translator. The context could support either a reference to the Lord Jesus or a euphemism for Jehovah, since the man being mentioned is a Gentile, both Jesus and Jehovah would be new to him. However, it says teachings of the Lord, so it is more likely to be a reference to Jesus because the Apostles were, of course, spreading his teachings and Jesus was known as the Great Teacher. However, we don’t know for sure, and leave it as Lord.

Acts 13:49 – The original Greek version contains the article (‘the’) here and says the Lord. So this maryah may just be the opinion and assumption of the Aramaic translator. This is probably to match up with the previous verse which, in Aramaic, was mistranslated to say ‘glorifies God’ instead of ‘glorifying the word of the Lord,’ so using maryah here matches up with the previous mistranslated verse. However, given the Apostle’s comments in verses 46 and 47, the use of Lord here could well have been a euphemism for YHWH. We simply cannot tell.

Acts 14:3 – This verse was originally written in Greek as kyrios. The Aramaic translator chose to assume that the Lord here was YHWH, and so used maryah. This is probably because Paul and BarNabas are preaching to a Gentile city where some Jews were present, and previously said to them, ‘We were told that we had to speak the word of God to you first’ and have not yet mentioned Jesus (at least as recorded in the account). Then, they spend a lot of time ‘boldly telling them about the Lord.’ Our Aramaic translator seems to have assumed (which may be right) they are teaching them that Jehovah/Yahweh sent Jesus to die for their Sins. Thus Lord could be referring to Jehovah, or to Jesus. Both would work in the context. Since we can’t tell, we are leaving it as Lord.

Acts 14:25 (mistranslation) – The Aramaic version says they preached the word of maryah, but the original Greek does not mention Lord at all.

Acts 14:26 (mistranslation) – The original Greek says of the God here, not of the Lord.

Acts 18:9 – This verse was originally written in Greek, and Lord was kyrios. The Aramaic translator chose to use maryah, perhaps thinking that that the Lord here was YHWH. However, it could easily be the resurrected Jesus. Therefore we leave it as Lord.

Acts 19:10 (mistranslation) – The original Greek says the word of the Lord Jesus. However, the Aramaic misses out ‘Jesus’ and just says Lord, as maryah. This is clearly a mistranslation, and the casual Aramaic reader would wrongly assume that this is a euphemism for YHWH, but it is not.

Romans 10:12 – This may be unclear to some, however this reference to Lord is probably to the Almighty Jehovah/Yahweh. So the Aramaic is correct to use maryah here, but it likely isn’t a euphemism for YHWH since ‘we all have the same Lord’ is a complete sentence and ‘we all have the same Jehovah’ sounds weird.

Romans 10:13 – This is quoting Joel 2:32, which reads “name of Jehovah” in the Hebrew Masoretic text. However, our translation says “name of the Lord” in that verse. We believe it’s (probably) a corruption of the Hebrew text. Although Paul likely said maryah here, he could have just been using the full spelling of Lord, with no implication that it’s a euphemism for the Divine Name. Note that in the Greek translation, the article (‘the’) is present.

1 Corinthians 4:5 – The expression ‘the Lord’s Day’ originally comes from Hebrew. While the Hebrew Masoretic text today phrases that expression as ‘Jehovah’s Day,’ we believe this is a corruption of the Hebrew text. The original phrase may have just said Lord. Therefore, in this instance, maryah is probably not a euphemism for YHWH, although some perhaps understood it that way at the time.

1 Corinthians 7:17 – It may seem that the Lord who calls you mentioned here is Jesus, but actually the Apostle is probably just using a synonym for God instead of saying ‘God’ twice in a row, as is customary in many languages, including Aramaic. So could maryah refer to God Almighty? Probably, because earlier in the same book at 1 Corinthians 1:9, the Apostle clearly states that it is God who calls you to have a share with Jesus: ‘For God, who called you to have a share with His Son (our Lord Jesus the Anointed), is faithful.’ If you search the Bible text, you’ll see that this expression always means that YHWH is doing the calling, e.g. Isaiah 42:6: ‘I’m Jehovah, who called you in justice.’ For this reason, we translate maryah as Jehovah here.

1 Corinthians 10:26 – While the context doesn’t make it clear which Lord is being referred to, it is probably God Almighty since the discussion is about the Old Law. Since the article (‘the’) is not missing in the Greek, this is likely not a euphemism for YHWH. The Aramaic maryah likely just means Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5 – Lord (maryah) here refers the source of the gifts. The previous verses, and the verse afterwards, clearly say that they come from ‘God.’ However, this is not a euphemism for the name YHWH because ‘they all come from the same Jehovah’ makes no sense in English, and probably makes no sense in Aramaic either. Therefore, we translate it as Lord. Although, we could be wrong.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Two instances of maryah are here. Since the previous verse, 57, talks about thanking God for Jesus, we assume that these references are to God Almighty, especially since the Greek translation is missing the article (‘the’) in the second instance. We do not translate them both as Jehovah because usually a synonym is used instead of the same word twice. We guess that the first use is meant to be the title Lord because the Greek uses the article. With it missing on the second instance, that’s probably a euphemism for YHWH. We’re basing this only on the Greek translator’s accuracy, though, and he may have got it wrong! Either way, both instances probably refer to God, although the first one could be a reference to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 16:10 – The instance of maryah here is not missing the article (‘the’) in the Greek translation, so the ancients probably didn’t understand it as a euphemism for YHWH. It could be giving either Jesus or Jehovah the full title of Lord.

2 Corinthians 2:12 – It is a little ambiguous which Lord is being referred to here by using maryah. In the wording, it could easily be a euphemism for YHWH. The Greek translator understood it to mean YHWH, and so translated it with the ‘grammar error’. Also, in the context, Paul has already mentioned the Anointed One. If this Lord was referring to the same person, he may as well have said something like, ‘...to preach the good news about the Anointed One, and he opened a door for me there’. However, he didn’t phrase it this way, instead introducing a contrast with maryah. So here maryah might refer to Almighty God, and could even be a euphemism for YHWH. However, we can’t be dogmatic about it.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 – Here there are four instances of maryah. Paul talks about people turning to maryah, the breath/spirit of maryah (twice), and the glory of maryah. These could easily be referring to turning to Jesus, his glory, and his spirit. However, these phrases are so common in the Old Testament – in the Law, the prophets, and the psalms – in referring to YHWH, that any Aramaic-speaking Jew who read or heard them, would likely assume that maryah is a euphemism for YHWH. So in this translation we make the same assumption and translate maryah as Jehovah. Like all these decisions, this is not made dogmatically, and is open to future change.

2 Corinthians 10:18 – Since this occurrence of maryah (Lord) comes with the article (‘the’) beforehand in the Greek translation, it seems that the ancients understood this as simply meaning the Lord, and not as a euphemism for YHWH. Therefore it could be referring to either Almighty God or Jesus. Since Jesus previously appointed the Apostles, it would be consistent for this reference to be a title given to Jesus, but we cannot be sure.

Ephesians 4:17 – It’s unclear from the context which Lord is being referred to. While it has the Greek ‘grammar error’, this could just be the opinion of the Greek translator from when he saw maryah being used. Yet, Paul could have simply been using maryah as the full spelling of Lord, and not as a euphemism for YHWH. Since we don’t know, in this translation we’re just leaving it as Lord.

Philippians 2:29 – It’s unclear from the context which Lord is being referred to. While it has the Greek ‘grammar error’, this could just be the opinion of the Greek translator from when he saw maryah being used. Yet, Paul could have simply been using maryah as the full spelling of Lord, and not as a euphemism for YHWH. Since we don’t know, in this translation we’re just leaving it as Lord.

Colossians 4:7 – It’s unclear from the context which Lord is being referred to. While it has the Greek ‘grammar error’, this could just be the opinion of the Greek translator from when he saw maryah being used. Yet, Paul could have simply been using maryah as the full spelling of Lord, and not as a euphemism for YHWH. Since we don’t know, in this translation we’re just leaving it as Lord.

Colossians 3:22 – It’s not entirely clear which Lord is referred to here. However, some Greek manuscripts say God, others say Lord. So it seems that some ancients believed this verse is referring to God and not to Jesus. What may be the original Aramaic version, of course, says maryah. Is maryah a euphemism for YHWH here? No idea. We’ve left it saying Lord so the reader can decide for themselves. On the one hand, “the fear of Jehovah,” was a common expression from the Old Testament. On the other hand, the next verse (v23), “work at it wholeheartedly as though you’re doing it for the Lord,” uses mara for Lord, not maryah. So this first occurrence of Lord in verse 22 could simply be the full spelling of Lord, in reference to Jesus in Glory. If so, then this is not a euphemism for YHWH and (some of) the Greek translators mistranslated it to say God. But you can decide for yourself!

2 Timothy 2:19 – In reference to the second maryah here, this is a commonly mistranslated verse (as explained in this translator note). Paul is (we think) paraphrasing of Joel 2:32, a verse where we think the original Hebrew was corrupted sometime before the time of the Masorets to include an extra YHWH. We might be wrong about that, of course. However, if we are correct, then the verse in Joel is saying Lord as part of a messianic prophecy about Jesus. Therefore, this maryah here in 2 Timothy is not a euphemism for YHWH, but just the full version of Lord. After all, when Joel was translated from Hebrew to Aramaic (either in written form or as an orally-transmitted Targum), someone had to decide which spelling of Lord to use. Would it be mara or maryah? It seems that someone chose maryah. They may have thought the Lord was Jehovah, but in fact it was a messianic prophecy and the Lord would be Jesus. However, maryah is still the fitting Aramaic word, since it is the full version of Lord; it isn’t always a euphemism for YHWH.

James 3:9 – The Aramaic says ‘we bless Lord (maryah) and Father’ but the Greek says ‘we bless The God and Father,’ probably because the Greek translator assumed that maryah is a euphemism for YHWH or at least refers to Almighty God. However, this was just his opinion. Does maryah here refer to Almighty God, or is it a euphemism for YHWH, or was it a reference to Jesus being Lord with full authority? We don’t know.

2 Peter 3:10 The Old Testament expression Day of the Lord was originally coined in Hebrew, so at some point Aramaic-speakers had to translate it into their tongue. They chose to use maryah. Later, we believe the Rabbis inserted YHWH into the Hebrew, so the expression says now “Day of Jehovah” in the Hebrew Masoretic text. So we believe that the original Old Testament said “day of the Lord,” and that Peter probably understood it as such. So in this verse, although it says maryah, we translate it as Lord. The Lord is probably referring to Jesus, and is not a euphemism for YHWH. Indeed, the full spelling of maryah is appropriate for the King.

2 Peter 3:15 – The expression ‘our Lord’ (our maryah) could be referring to Jehovah or Jesus. However, the expression our maryah is obviously not a euphemism for YHWH. Therefore it is just the full spelling of Lord. Which Lord it is, however, is up to you to decide.


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