Indeed, part of what has happened is American Christian philo-Semitism itself. Never before in history have so many Christians had such a positive attitude toward Judaism, and this also means a positive attitude toward the God of Judaism. Never mind that, for Jews, “Yahweh” strikes no chord of recognition. For some Christians — Wehner apparently being one — its adoption represents a rapprochement with Judaism and recognition that the Christian and the Jewish God are the same.The photo of Bono belting out The Name is priceless.
Paradoxically, however, another part of what has happened is Christianity’s perceived liberation, as it were, from one of Judaism’s last fetters. Already with the publication of the American Standard Version of the Bible in 1885, in which, for the first time in the history of Bible translation, “Jehovah” was used regularly for yud-heh-vav-heh, the translators’ introduction stated that “a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament.” In 1995, taking this one step further, a revised ASV, now called the World English Bible, began to appear with — once again, a historical first — “Yahweh” in place of “Jehovah.” In this case, the trend of returning to the “authentic” God of the Bible means returning to a God who is pre-Jewish.