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God is on several accounts called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Even by Jesus himself and by his apostles he is called their God. e.g. Mk 12:26 /Acts 3:3

I quote from this answer (from https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4691/why-is-god-called-the-god-of-abraham-isaac-and-jacob):

In the tanakh Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov are the three patriarchs of the Jewish people, beginning with a covenant with Avraham (Gen 12, 15, 17) and culminating in God revealing himself and giving his torah (Ex 20) to the family of Israel (i.e. Yaakov, after God's messenger renamed him (Gen 32)). God speaks directly to these three patriarchs. God introduces himself as "God of Avraham [, God of Yitzchak, God of Yaakov]" several places in torah, including:
    Gen 26:24, to Yitzchak: "I am the God of Avraham your father; fear not..."
    Gen 28:23, to Yaakov in a dream, as he fled his brother Eisav: "I am the Lord God of Avraham your father, and the God of Yitzchak..."
    Ex 3:6, to Moshe at the burning bush: "I am the God of your father, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitzchak, and the God of Yaakov..."
    Ex 3:15-16, similarly (God telling Moshe what to tell the people)
    Ex 4:5, instructing Moshe to throw down his staff so it might become a snake: "...that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitzchak, and the God of Yaakov, has appeared..."

When we, however, read the encounter of God with his three servants (and the fathers of Israel), we do not find this intimacy reflected.

In Genesis 17:1, YHVH said to Abram: "I am El Shaddai. Walk before me and be perfect."

In most translations that follow the Massoretic Text we read: 

'I am God Almighty.'

I was amazed when I consulted the Septuagint (3rd Cent. B.C. Greek translation) to see how the early scribes had translated El Shaddaj. What did I find? They wrote not: EGO EIMI HO PANTOKRATOR - I am God Almighty. They simply had: EGO EIMI HO THEOS SOY - I am y o u r God

Is it possible that the pre-Massoretic Hebrew text had a different reading of this passage and similar ones regarding the relationship of God towards Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

  • Saw the question and had a flashback! They aren't duplicates but the title reminded me of the other one. – Frank Luke Apr 29 '13 at 20:20
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Hannes, I am sorry this took so long for me to look into. While the Septuagint does use "your God," it is the only version I have found that does. Jerome's Vulgate uses "Ego Deus omnipotens" (I am God omnipotent). Likewise, of the three Targums I consulted, two had "God almighty" (Targum Pseudo Jonathan and the other is simply marked as Targumin from Hebrew Union CAL project) and the other (Targum Neofiti) had "God of Heaven."

If we look down to verse 7 of this passage, we see the possible explicit source of "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" (besides the fact that God dealt with them so much and so personally in the text).

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7, NAU)

Though I have found a few places where the Septuagint's reading is more likely to be original than the Masoretic, I side with the Masoretic text here.

  • After some consideration (incl. your quote of Gen 17:7 and subsequent El-Shaddai-texts) I feel even more that 'God Almighty' or similar are less likely original. (The catastrophy of the destruction of Jerusalem could account for a desire to introduce a more universal and powerful name of God than one of personal attachment. The overall context in Genesis and Exodus, however, speaks in behalf of this Septuagint (preserved): Your God. It is way earlier and its introduction virtually unexplainable. – hannes Jun 8 '13 at 13:51
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The fact that some bibles show Abraham and others as using a name for God when God said that his name was not revealed to Abraham Isaac or Israel at Exodus 6:3 is clearly a example that the scrolls of the bible has been tampered with by those who had not first dune there homework of the hole book of Genesis before they went deceitfully changing things in it related to his name being known. Obviously Abraham and Israel would have known of Gods true name if God truly wanted them to Know of it. After al Abraham was called Gods friend in the bible wasn't he? And the first thing that you learn of a friend is a name isn't it?(Isaiah 41:8) So why would he being Gods friend not Know of his name as we read at Exoduse 3:13-14? To understand this we must not forget that the nation of Israel was also called Gods first born. (Exodus 4:22-Jer31:9) Think and reason, What true father would want for his own children to call upon him by the use of his first name? Thus Abraham and all of the children of Israel did not know of that name. They must have respectfully only know there God as Lord and father, just as our own children would only call us by such a honored name. Remember that the son of God had even told us to also call his God father and not by a name (Jehovah) in our own prayers to God when asking him for something.(Matt 6:9) And that was even called a model for our prayers to God. Sadly stating if you do your research then you will see that we have all been tricked by the governments and religious powers that be to call on the true God by the use of a name of one of their own false gods, one of the many names of Baal that must be cleaned from our mouth in these last days before being taken to the true land of our forefathers that is not in Israel but beyond the ice wall.(Hosea 3:1-4 )

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    Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange Kenneth, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. – Steve Taylor Feb 1 '17 at 10:25
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    Please consider adding some formatting to your answer to make it clearer and easier to read. I'm a bit surprised by your conclusion, given the strong emphasis found in the Old Testament about "The Name of YHWH". Ezekiel's perhaps the best example of this, with his constant refrain following each prophecy and judgement, "Then they shall know that my name is YHWH". Do consider reading the Preface of whichever translation you're using, and see what your own translators say about the name. "Think and reason" is a great approach - stick with it. – Steve Taylor Feb 1 '17 at 10:29

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