Wondering about needing some new guidance regarding the recent introducing of strange terms and titles for God and Jesus which seem to come from other religions or cultures.

For eg. Avinu revealed to Yeshayahu His-Word cannot return [to Him] unless it fulfills it’s purpose.

Who, what??

  • A related discussion and my answer.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:00
  • 1
    I'm still inclined to say that divine labels with a history of use by a religious community should generally be allowed, but that idiosyncratic labels should be changed. I know there are some people who say Yeshayahu, but this is the first person I've ever seen write "avinu".
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:02
  • would we allow an entire answer to be written in Arabic or some other 'foreign' tongue? That is where this seems to be headed.
    – steveowen
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:07
  • No, definitely not. But Christians have a lot of terminology from Greek and Hebrew. I can understand the motive of trying to say Jesus' name as it would've sounded when he was alive. I less understand the motive of transliterating other phrases like 'our father', rather than translating them.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:14

3 Answers 3


I propose that courtesy suggests providing an answer in the same language in which the question was asked.

Although I do not personally have a problem with questions being asked in languages other than English, I understand that is not currently the direction the site wishes to pursue (and for some languages we don't have enough speakers to develop much of a community).

I respect people's use of reverential language and titles, and if non-English words are used in this sense, perhaps the most helpful course of action would be to provide (at least parenthetically) the English translation to accompany the non-English terms. I am interested to know, however, if that practice would still be offensive to anyone.

Separately, many questions ask about specific Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek words, and I think the use of the scripts for those languages is helpful and should be encouraged for these types of questions. My own habit when discussing the meaning of Greek words is to include both the Greek letters and a transliteration, since not all visitors to our site are comfortable reading (or finding!) material in Greek, nor are all Greek scripts currently processable by search engines.

  • I think this represents an ideal construct to begin forming some thoughtful and respectful policies moving forward.
    – steveowen
    Apr 24, 2021 at 6:35

In context to יְשַׁעְיָ֣הוּ Yeshayahu | "Isaiah", I referenced "Isaiah" 63:16 to honor "our Father" אָבִ֔ינוּ Avinu.

For You are our Father, for Abraham did not know us, neither did Israel recognize us; You, [HaShem], are **our Father**; our Redeemer of old is Your Name. ( כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה אָבִ֔ינוּ כִּ֚י אַבְרָהָם֙ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֔נוּ וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֹ֣א יַכִּירָ֑נוּ אַתָּ֚ה יְהֹוָה֙ אָבִ֔ינוּ גֹּֽאֲלֵ֥נוּ מֵֽעוֹלָ֖ם שְׁמֶֽךָ )

If this site does not allow transliterated Hebrew to reference the original terminology of scripture, then why ask for the context of any verse from the Tanakh? - Perhaps Biblical Hermenuetics is only concerned about Greek & English.

  • But you're not just transliterating the words the question is asking about. This question doesn't have the Hebrew of "our father". This answer is about Greek not Hebrew!
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 22, 2021 at 3:06
  • @curiousdannii Greek, having come after Hebrew, often quotes from it. The two testaments are inextricably linked, and help to explain each other. There is no arbitrary line that can be drawn between them, theologically, linguistically, or otherwise. Even the Greek alphabet has roots in the Hebrew alphabet and/or both being influenced by Phoenician.
    – Polyhat
    May 3, 2021 at 1:05
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    @Polyhat That's not relevant to the discussion at hand. The question is whether obscure and eccentric transliterations (without a history of use by a religious community) should be edited to conventional translations, for the sake of clear communication for all.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 3, 2021 at 1:17

There should be an assumed rule to ban such habitual ritualistic idiosyncratic foreign terms for God. This is mainly an English website, and I doubt every user is unaware of English. Some Jews demand the policing of the holy name in miyodaya, but that is a religious Rabbinic orthodox site, and this is a secular one. Someone may come with Hashem, The Name, Avenu and the Hebrew name, which nobody can understand, this only causes confusion. Even G-d, G-od and G d seems unnatural and impractical. It is not about catering and respecting religious rituals and needs of a minority, it is just impractical. The readers are English, and you can use the Hebrew or Greek in context to the topic, but using new terms is just unreasonable. If someone supports such a practice in the name of plurality then the slippery slope will be catering to the needs of preferred pronouns and abandoning basics of grammar, language, numbers by some "marginalized groups". There should always be a strict line drawn forever progressive liberalist approaches.

  • A DV without critique is unwarranted in this of all questions/answers. PC has no pace in robust discussion +1 Politeness and tolerance do.
    – steveowen
    Jun 1, 2021 at 22:13

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