Why does the TLV use “ADONAI” instead of “the Lord”? What is the difference?
“Shalom,” for example, is an English transliteration of a Hebrew word sounding the same. “Peace,” however, is a way that the word is translated. I mention this because “ADONAI” is a transliteration for a Hebrew word meaning “Lord.” “ADONAI” thus equals “Lord.”
Though this question is limited to why we use “ADONAI” instead of “Lord,” I’ll here answer it and address a broader question: Why are we limited in our usage of transliterations? I raise this because we could have done it a whole lot more, with other words besides.
Wanting to accentuate the Jewish connection to the Jesus story, the TLV uses Jewish language–thus “ADONAI.” It gives the reader more of a feel for the Hebraic culture from which the biblical narrative emerged. In addition to accentuation, we’re interested in education. I say this because too much transliteration is adjudged by us to be problematic, based on a belief the verbiage can obscure the message, somewhat.
Against the backdrop of the above, we were selective on what words we wanted to transliterate, and “ADONAI” was one.