The god Iao and his connection with the Biblical God, with special emphasis on the manuscript 4QpapLXXLevb

Pavlos D. Vasileiadis


The personality of the Biblical God spans through all over the writings that comprise the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures and respectively the core of the Christian Old Testament. Despite the absence of an explicit theological exposition, the qualities of the supreme deity sketch a quite distinct profile for Him. On the other side, the god named Iao is found in Greek and Latin sources of the Hellenistic period already since the first century bce. It mainly appears in writings displaying marks of religious syncretism, used as one of the names designating either the highest God or one of his emanations. In the following is examined the possibility that the use of the name Iao, instead of another form of the Tetragrammaton, in the manuscript 4QpapLXXLevb (4Q120; Rahlfs 802) may be the result of a Hellenizing rather than a re-Hebraizing tendency, a view that tends to prevail in the Septuagint studies. Evidence coming from Christian writers shows that for few centuries ce Bible manuscripts that contained the theonym Iao were circulating among them and even possibly produced by them.


Iao, Tetragrammaton, Biblical theonyms, divine name

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.