A ton of conversation in comments, information conflicting between Wolf customer service and the installation manual, etc. To summarize, there are really only two valid possibilities:
Oven needs neutral
If this is the case then:
- The oven will not work properly if the two hots and ground are connected and no neutral/ground bond is used.
- The oven can not be installed legally, since this is a 2001 build, without running a new cable that includes two hots, neutral and ground.
- If the oven were installed using neutral/ground together (using the neutral/ground bond) with the existing cable (bog standard 10 AWG /2 with bare ground) then it would be "neutral on ground" and not legal or safe.
Oven does not need neutral
If this is the case then:
- Installation using two hots and ground is OK.
- Neutral/ground bond must not be used, but would not matter because neutral not used.
- The installation manual would be wrong.
- The neutral connection on the oven would be superfluous, as would the neutral/ground bond.
My working theory is that everyone at Wolf who has said "this is OK" is treating it as a pre-1996 build with neutral and no ground. But OP has stated it is 2001 (at which time this was long deprecated and no longer permitted) and it is very clearly a modern /2 NM cable, not an older type with bare neutral.
YOU CAN'T DO THAT
You need to get a 240V-only oven that doesn't use neutral, or run a new cable.
The allowance for 3 wire is when you have neutral but no ground. You have ground but no neutral, so the exception does not apply. This is not a stripped wire, it is a bare ground by design. There are cables (much older or much larger) with a bare neutral, but this is not one of those. This wire may be connected to the neutral bar in the main panel, which is OK, but that doesn't make it a neutral.
The whole "3-wire vs. 4-wire" issue with ovens (and clothes dryers) refers to going back to ye olden times when there was no ground wire in most circuits. It was changed over time, but by 2001 it was definitely not legal for new circuits (whether in an old or new house). It only remained legal (and in most, but not all, places remains legal to this day) for straight replacement. That is, if you had a functioning 3-wire-no-ground circuit and the receptacle or plug goes bad, you can replace it with an identical one. If you had an oven using such a circuit and you need to replace it, you can attach the same 3-wire plug to it. But if you have to upgrade the circuit (30A to 40A) or move the circuit (e.g., renovate kitchen) then you need to switch to a proper 4-wire circuit.
There is an entirely different "3-wire" circuit which has two hots and a ground. That is 100% legitimate for new installations. But it only provides 240V (or 208V in some places) and not 120V.
What did you have before? If it was installed properly, you had a 240V-only oven. If it was installed improperly, you had a 240V/120V oven with ground being used as neutral/ground and were living dangerously. But you can't repeat the old mistakes.
The plug/cord you linked actually says on the description page:
- The 3-wire cord fits most homes built prior to 1996
That should have been a clue that there was a problem, since your house was built in 2001.
But there is an additional problem. The cord/plug is for a 40A circuit. The receptacle (and therefore the plug) for a 40A circuit is the same as for a 50A circuit but is different from a 30A circuit - which I verified, the Leviton receptacle you linked is for a 50A (which allows 40A as well, but not 30A) circuit. You can't put a 40A/50A receptacle (which is needed for a 40A plug) on a 30A circuit. Your wires are almost certainly 10 AWG which is not large enough for a 40A circuit. So even if you could use a pre-1996-3-wire plug/receptacle/circuit (which you absolutely can NOT do), you would need a different plug/cord/receptacle to make it all work.
I actually highly recommend hard-wiring rather than plug/cord/receptacle. That does not change the basic "need a neutral, need 4 wires" issue. But at least it eliminates the plug/receptacle compatibility issue and removes one common point of failure. Unless you plan on moving your oven a few times a year, plug/cord connection does not provide any benefits.
And another possible problem, as suggested in another answer, but I'll elaborate a bit. Those wires don't look all that big. They might be 10 AWG. But they might be 12 AWG or even just 14 AWG. If they are 14 AWG or 12 AWG then you aren't just cooking with gas, you're playing with fire! And if that's the case, here is my plausible scenario:
Home originally (2001) had a simple gas cooktop/oven combination. That uses 120V 15A (14 AWG) or 20A (12 AWG) circuit to power timer, light, gas ignition, etc. Only actually uses a couple of Amps. And not just "only gas" but probably "bottom of the line bulk order builder special".
Owner decided to upgrade to gas cooktop + electric oven, a.k.a., dual fuel. Those get expensive, but they are nice. I've got the poor man's version of that (relatively speaking) - a separate gas cooktop (which replaced an electric coil cooktop) and electric wall oven. So I definitely sympathize - I am firmly in the "gas for cooktop, electric for oven" camp. But as you found out, it isn't easy to run a new cable. So the owner cheated a bit. Or rather, a LOT:
- Upgraded breaker to 30A without replacing the cable. Meaning wires are undersized, leading to fire potential.
- treated hot/hot/ground as if it were hot/hot/neutral and then combined ground and neutral. Very much against code, as I have already described.
But everything worked, the house didn't burn down, and now you are ready to replace the oven. And now you really need to fix this. Maybe the previous owner had the oven more for show, but when you get Thanksgiving dinner going with non-stop oven for turkey, pies and everything else, those wires will show their limits...