Crazy Creationist Capitalization
Anyone that’s received even a singe e-mail from a Creationist has surely noticed their bizarre habit of putting random words into all capitalization (when they are, apparently, meant to be shouted with great enthusiasm).
Where in the world do they acquire this habit? I know what you’re thinking; they get it from bat-shit crazy land, right? Well, while it is true that most Creationists are illiterate idiots, this custom is far too homogeneous to be purely the result of sleeping in grade school.
So, where do I think they get it? Well, let’s look to the Bible for the answer:
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food;
So, do Creationists believe that the word “Lord” in this sentence in supposed to be stressed? Or yelled? I think they do. And, after seeing this seemingly meaningless capitalization all their lives, they simply assumed it was kosher to capitalize words that make them feel funny.
Well, the capitalization of LORD in the Bible isn’t random. It is a scheme developed to substitute different, more familiar, words for the various words and names originally used to refer to the principle deity of the Hebrew people.
Lord = Adoni. Adoni a general term. A proper name version of the word, Adonis, was used to refer to the Semitic god Tammuz.
LORD = Yahweh. Yahweh, or more properly YHWH, is the proper name for the Hebrew god.
God = El or Elohim. The term “El” can be used for any god. The Canaanites, as well as the Ugarits used it to refer to the chief god in their pantheons. It was probably adopted by the Hebrews to refer to their god. Elohim is technically plural, but may be used to refer to god as an abstract entity rather than an anthropomorphic, “on the stage”, character.
Lord God = Yahweh Elohim (Yahweh, the god)
God Most High = El Elyon (the high god)
God All Mighty = El Shaddai. It may translate as “god of the fields” or “god of the mountain”. But, since Shaddai was a city and El simply means god, it is quite possible that it may just refer to the god of the city of Shaddai.
Here is an example of how these traditional substitutions can make the Bible look like a mess of odd caps and italics.
And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them.
When this would be a more proper translation.
And Elohim spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Yahweh: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as El Shaddai; but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.
Of course, I could be wrong. With all the shouting that has been done in town hall meetings in the last year, perhaps Creationists really do intend certain words to be yelled. They are an odd bunch.