Monday May 28, 2018

The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) has not been found in a single ancient Greek New Testament manuscript. Inclusion of the word Jehovah is one of the most important errors in Watchtower doctrine, as Witnesses are led to view use of the word Jehovah as a requirement of salvation, hence excluding most non-Witnesses from receiving God's love.

This article addresses the following;

  • Does the New World Translation properly include Jehovah in the New Testament?
  • Is it important for us to use the word Jehovah today?
  • How should the word YHWH be translated?

Jehovah in the New Testament

Jehovah's Witnesses-Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.99 claims that:

"The conventioners were thrilled to learn that this new translation restored the divine name Jehovah 237 times in the main text from Matthew to Revelation!"

The fundamental flaw of the Watchtower's New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) version of the Bible is this insertion of the word Jehovah 237 times into the New Testament. The Watchtower has made this insertion by claiming all manuscripts we have to date are inaccurate. This is vitally important because, if accurate, such a claim undermines the integrity of the Bible. If God was unable to protect his own name being removed from the New Testament what else was he unable to prevent being changed? On the other hand, if inaccurate this change makes Watchtower doctrine incorrect by; 

  • Creating a false sense of importance on using the word Jehovah
  • Changing the meaning of important New Testament passages

The New Testament is one of the most attested ancient works in existence. The Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 87 p.184 has listed a total of 5,255 known New Testament Greek fragments. The Tetragrammaton does not appear in the New Testament either as YHWH or the Greek transliterations PIPI, YAW and Iabe in a single one of these ancient New Testament manuscripts. This is despite "some papyrus fragments of the Christian Greek Scriptures that go back to the middle of the second century." (w82 3/15 p.23).

When attempting to build faith in the Bible the Watchtower explains that the New Testament is complete without omissions.

"Thus modern scholarship gives reason for complete confidence that the Bible has come down to us today essentially unaltered."
Reasoning from the Scriptures p. 64 """No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines."" Awake! 1972 Jun 22 p.8

"Not only are there thousands of manuscripts to compare but discoveries of older Bible manuscripts during the past few decades take the Greek text back as far as about the year 125 C.E., just a couple of decades short of the death of the apostle John about 100 C.E. These manuscript evidences provide strong assurance that we now have a dependable Greek text in refined form." All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial p.319

When attempting to convince a person that the Bible is accurate Watchtower publications are silent in regards to their belief that the most important word has been removed without trace.

The story changes when explaining why the Watchtower Society added the word Jehovah into the New Testament, asserting that Jehovah was removed from the New Testament during the second century.

"Sometime during the second or third century C.E. the scribes removed the Tetragrammaton from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with Ky´ri·os, "Lord" or The·os´, "God."" New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures - With References p.1564 1D The Divine Name in the Christian Greek Scriptures

There is no proof whatsoever to support this claim. Several manuscripts have been found that date back to this period of time. P47 dates prior to 300 A.D. and contains 4 uses of Kyrios from Revelation that the NWT translates as Jehovah. P66 dates from around 200 A.D. from John (written in 98 A.D) and contains 5 occurrences of Lord that appear in the New World Translation as Jehovah. Some manuscripts go back to within 25 years of John's writings, yet none contain YHWH.

The Watchtower uses four lines of reasoning to justify the statement that YHWH was removed from the New Testament.

  • Its inclusion in Hebrew J versions
  • Theory that Old Testament quotes would include YHWH
  • Theory of George Howard
  • Possibility of Matthew originally written in Hebrew 

Hebrew J Versions

The main support the New World Translation translators use to include Jehovah in the New Testament is the J versions of the Bible. From 1385 onwards the New Testament Greek manuscripts started to be translated into certain Hebrew versions with the inclusion of YHWH. These versions of the New Testament can not be used as proof of YHWH in the original text as the first version was not until the fourteenth century, over one thousand years after Jesus death. They are translated from Greek Manuscripts that we have access to today, documents that use Lord, not YHWH.

When using Jehovah the New World Translation translators use the J versions as justification in preference to the ancient Greek. As an example, the New World Translation Reference Bible footnote to Matthew 1:24 cites;

24* Jehovah J1-4, 7-14, 16-18, 22-24; Lord AB

To the uninformed reader it would appear there are 18 sources supporting Jehovah and only 2 supporting Lord. In reality there are far more sources than just these two supporting Lord. More importantly, whilst the J versions are translations that only date back to the fourteenth century, B refers to the Vatican MS. No. 1209 dating back to the fourth century.

Why did the New World translators put more trust the wording of Bible translations written one to two thousand years after the death of Jesus in preference to the Ancient Greek manuscripts they were taken from? Because they are more interested in interpreting the Bible to support their doctrine, rather than believe doctrine based on the Bible. The Watchtower does not even consistently follow the J versions. Some of the J versions were done by Trinitarians, and include YHWH to support that Jesus is Jehovah. For this reason the NWT does not include Jehovah in over 50 places that the J versions do. For instance J7 and J8 translate 1 Peter 3:15 as;

"Sanctify Jehovah God (who is Christ) in your hearts."

Other verses in which the Tetragrammaton appears in the "J" versions but not as Jehovah in the New World Translation include;

1 Corinthians 12:3 (J-14) " one can say "Jesus is Lord Jehovah, except by the Holy Spirit." (NWT) "… nobody can say: "Jesus is Lord!" except by holy spirit.
2 Timothy 1:18 (J-7,8,13,14,16,17,18,22,23,24) "The Lord Jehovah grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord Jehovah in that day..."
(NWT) "May the Lord grant him to find mercy from Jehovah in that day."

Quoting the Old Testament 

The Watchtower claims it rightfully restores Jehovah when Christian writers quoted from the Old Testament. This is based purely on speculation, particularly with no evidence of such in the Ancient Greek manuscripts.

More astonishing are the dishonest claims of the Watchtower translators compared with what they did in practice.

The 1985 Kingdom Interlinear Translation p.11, claims the criteria for using the Divine Name in the New Testament was to replace the Greek words Kyrios and Theos with Jehovah whenever the Christian writers quoted from the Old Testament:

"The modern translator is warranted in using the divine name as an equivalent of ("kurios") and ("theos") , that is, at places where the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures quote verses, passages, and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the LXX (Greek Septuagint) where the divine name occurs." 

The reader is led to the conclusion that every inclusion of Jehovah in the New Testament has support from an Old Testament quote. Yet an examination of the 237 inclusions reveals the following;

  • Only 76 times is Jehovah included based on a direct Hebrew quote
  • In 78 other instances the scriptures are not quotes, but reference Hebrew passages discussing Jehovah
  • 83 times the New World Translation has included Jehovah with no support from the Hebrew Scriptures at all

On the other hand, there are also times when the New World Translation has chosen not to use the word Jehovah when the Christian writers quoted the Old Testament, even when done so by the J versions. This lack of consistency is because to do so would contradict Watchtower doctrine. For instance Isaiah 45:22-24 says;

"Turn to me and be saved, all YOU [at the] ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no one else. By my own self I have sworn-out of my own mouth in righteousness the word has gone forth, so that it will not return-that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear, saying, 'Surely in Jehovah there are full righteousness and strength." 

This is paraphrased at both Romans and Philippians. Whereas in Romans Jehovah is inserted, in Philippians it is not, as to do so would result in equating Jesus with Jehovah.

Romans 14:11 "For it is written: "'As I live,' says Jehovah, 'to me every knee shall bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.'""
Philippians 2:9-11 "For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name, 10 so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, 11 and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." 

George Howard

In 1977 George Howard published a thesis showing that the Old Testament retained YHWH in certain versions of the Greek Septuagint. These manuscripts may have been ones that the Christian writers quoted from. He goes on to theorize that these Christian writers therefore may have used YHWH in the New Testament. His reasoning is promoted by the Watchtower Society, not as unsubstantiated theory, but as fact.

"Concerning the use of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Greek Scriptures, George Howard of the University of Georgia wrote in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 96, 1977, p. 63: "Recent discoveries in Egypt and the Judean Desert allow us to see first hand the use of God's name in pre-Christian times. These discoveries are significant for N[ew] T[estament] studies in that they form a literary analogy with the earliest Christian documents and may explain how NT authors used the divine name. In the following pages we will set forth a theory that the divine name, ???? (and possibly abbreviations of it), was originally written in the NT quotations of and allusions to the O[ld] T[estament] and that in the course of time it was replaced mainly with the surrogate ? [abbreviation for Ky´ri·os, "Lord"]." ... We concur with the above, with this exception: We do not consider this view a "theory," rather, a presentation of the facts of history as to the transmission of Bible manuscripts." New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures - Reference Edition p.1564 1D The Divine Name in the Christian Greek Scriptures

Hebrew Version of Matthew

There is a tradition that Matthew wrote his gospel first in Hebrew and then re-wrote it in Greek, based on a statement by Papias from around 130A.D., However this is open to debate as Papias' statement is vague and may be translated either that Matthew had written the "Hebrew sayings of Jesus" or Matthew contained "Hebrew prophecies about Jesus". The earliest manuscript we have of a Hebrew Matthew is from the 1380s and it is unknown who wrote the original Hebrew version this is based on or how old it was. Furthermore, YHWH does not appear in it, but rather it uses the circumlocution “The Name”. The Watchtower theorizes that Matthew was the author and the original document used YHWH rather than “The Name”, though is forced to admit the 1300's Hebrew version does not contain the tetragrammaton.

“Is the Tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew letters of God’s name) found in the Hebrew text of Matthew copied by the 14th-century Jewish physician Shem-Tob ben Isaac Ibn Shaprut? No, it is not." Watchtower 1997 Aug 15 p.30

Evidence it did not Appear

There is much evidence that YHWH never appeared in the New Testament. Most obvious is the absence of YHWH in any of the 5000 discovered Greek New Testament manuscripts.

Important evidence is also contained in the writings of the early Christian writers. These are referred to as the Apostolic Fathers and Ante Nicene Fathers and wrote from the times of the Apostles to the third century. These include Polycarp, who studied with the Apostle John and Justin Martyr who lived from 110 to 165 A.D. Their extensive writings are a source of information on the early Church, including the formulation of the Trinity doctrine and the development of the Bible Canon. Yet in their writings there is no discussion about the removal of God's name from the Scriptures. If a global conspiracy existed to remove YHWH from the all New Testament manuscripts debate most certainly would have occurred between these writers.

Furthermore, their works do not contain YHWH when quoting from New Testament scriptures. For example in Against Heresies Irenaeus quotes Matthew 1:20; 4:10 and Romans 11:34, each time using the word Lord instead of Jehovah. Clement, mentioned at Philippians 4:3, wrote the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians between 75 and 110 A.D. and used Kyrios when quoting from the Old Testament. (See 1 Clement 13:5 which quotes Ezekiel 33:11.)

Justin Martyr converted to Christianity around 150 A.D., a mere 50 years after the Bible was completed. He had access to early copies of the New Testament yet in The Second Apology Chapter VI he wrote;

"But to the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given. For by whatever name He be called, He has as His elder the person who gives Him the name. But these words, Father, and God, and Creator, and Lord, and Master, are not names, but appellations derived from His good deeds and functions."

Justin Martyr shows that Christians referred to the Father by appellations, but not a name such as Jehovah.

That the Holy Name was not being uttered in Jesus day is attested to by first century historian Josephus:

"…Whereupon God declared to him [Moses] his holy Name, which had never been discovered to men before; concerning which it is not lawful for me to say anymore…. " (Josephus; Antiquities 2:12:4)

The New Testament is one of the most attested ancient documents. The reason a person places trust in it is their conviction that God ensured the Bible has come down to us accurately. If use of the name Jehovah is so important one must wonder why the word never appears in any existing New Testament documents. If God inspired and protected the Bible, keeping the Bible accurate throughout all history why does his name not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts or in the very first Bible, the 5th century Latin Vulgate? 

Why not included?

The Bible does not specifically explain why the New Testament does not include the Tetragrammaton; however, there are several possible reasons.

From a practical viewpoint, the reason YHWH does not appear in the New Testament is that it was not actively used in the first century A.D. Out of respect and fear of taking the name of God in vain (Exodus 20:7) the word Lord was spoken in place of YHWH for several hundred years before Jesus. It appears YHWH was no longer in regular use by the time of the Babylonian invasion over 500 years prior to Jesus, at least in languages other then Hebrew.

As YHWH does not appear in most copies of the Greek Septuagint it follows that it was not being used by Jesus and his apostles. Even when quoting Hebrew sources that contained the name Jesus is unlikely to have uttered the word YHWH out loud as it was illegal to do so. Consider what would have happened if Jesus did utter this sacred term. Jesus would have been in direct conflict with sacred tradition and the law and been accused of blasphemy by the Pharisees. Just as the Pharisees attempted to have Jesus arrested for blasphemy for calling himself the Son of God, they would have had him likewise arrested for illegally using the divine name. Yet Jesus was never accused of using the name in the scriptures.

YHWH was very much a Jewish name. Exodus tells us that the Name was revealed at the time of Moses, two and a half thousand years after the creation of Adam.

Exodus 6:3 "And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them."

By not revealing his name for over the a third of human history God shows that in itself the Tetragrammaton is not necessary for worship. It was not important for of the faithful men of old to use his name, the term God Almighty was how he wished to be referred to by them. It was only to the Jewish nation that he provided this identifier.

By the time of Jesus the word Jehovah was not acceptable in common use. By not using it Jesus avoided offending Jewish seekers of truth and avoided stumbling Gentiles who would have identified YHWH as a Jewish word, making Christianity appear to be a Jewish religion. This could have inhibited the growth of Christianity throughout the inhabited world.

The most important reason uttering YHWH was no longer necessary can be identified by reading the words of Jesus. How did Jesus instruct the disciples to refer to God? Jesus repeatedly instructed his followers to address God as our Lord or our Heavenly Father (Mt 6:8-18, 7:21, Mk 14:36) and this is the way Jesus followers refer to God if they wish to follow Jesus example. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus said to pray "Our Father in the heavens". 

Jesus said he glorified the Father's name. Even in the New World Translation there is no scripture with the statement that Jesus glorified God's name 'Jehovah'? Jesus continually referred to God as Father, even when talking about his name. Jesus meant that he was glorifying God's reputation. He made known the Father's qualities and highlighted a loving God, rather than focus on the more legalistic and destructive qualities so readily identifiable in the Old Testament Yahweh. 

More intimate than referring to God Almighty or using the word Jehovah is the loving expression Father. To be able to refer to God as our Father is a wonderful privilege. Does a child normally refer to their father by their first name? No, the father-child relationship is far more loving and intimate than that. Once Jesus had revealed the truth about Jehovah Christians could enter a relationship with God based on a real depth of understanding and intimacy, and hence refer to him as their Father. Repeatedly Jesus used this term and instructed his disciples to do the same. 

Effect of adding to the Bible 

When adding the word Jehovah to the New Testament the Watchtower makes an unsubstantiated assumption based on how they wish to interpret doctrine. This is a serious misrepresentation of scripture. Doctrine should be formed by scripture; scripture should not be changed to support doctrine. 

Inaccurately inserting the word Jehovah into the New Testament changes the meaning of Jesus message to his followers in a number of ways. 

One important affect is that the Watchtower attempts to use the word Jehovah to prove that only Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved. The book Reasoning from the Scriptures claims use of God's name is one of the 10 things that identify true worshippers. Watchtower publications quote Romans 10:13 to show that use of the word Jehovah is a requirement for salvation. Yet in Romans 10:13 the word used in this passage is not YHWH but Kupiov or Kurios - Lord. Romans 10:9 states "Jesus is Lord (Kurios)" and so it follows that Romans 10:13 refers to Jesus and identifying Jesus is the requirement for salvation. 

Once the spurious addition of the word Jehovah is removed from the New Testament it is very clear that; 

Jesus is the name borne witness to.

Acts 9:15 "But the Lord said to him: "Be on your way, because this man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel."

Jesus is the name used to expel demons.

Mark 9:38-39 "John said to him: "Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us." 39 But Jesus said: "Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me;"

Jesus is the subject of the kingdom good news.

Galatians 1:7 "But it is not another; only there are certain ones who are causing YOU trouble and wanting to pervert the good news about the Christ."

Jesus name invokes persecution, yet Jehovah's Witnesses claim their persecution in the Name of Jehovah fulfills prophecy.

Matthew 24:9 "Then people will deliver YOU up to tribulation and will kill YOU, and YOU will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name."

Jesus is the means of salvation.

Acts 4:12 "Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved."

The huge emphasis of the Watchtower on the name Jehovah detracts from the constant New Testament message of the Christ.

Jehovah or Yahweh 

Almighty God was referred to by a number of names and titles in the Old Testament. Jews traditionally say there were 7 names. One of these names was YHWH. It is almost universally accepted that this should be pronounced as Yahweh. 

Jewish Encyclopaedia "Of the names of God in the Old Testament, that which occurs most frequently (6,823 times) is the so-called Tetragrammaton, Yhwh, the distinctive personal name of the God of Israel. This name is commonly represented in modern translations by the form "Jehovah," which, however, is a philological impossibility." (25/09/2005);

New International Version: The Making of a Contemporary Translation "There is almost universal consensus among scholars today that the sacred Tetragrammaton (YHWH) is to be vocalized and pronounced Yahweh."
Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropedia, vol. 10)"Yahweh-the personal name of the God of the Israelites . . . The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus, the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being. Although Christian scholars after the Rendssance and Reformation periods used the term Jehovah for YHWH, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form Yahweh. Early Christian writers, Such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used the form Yahweh, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions also indicated that Yhwh Should be pronounced Yahweh." 

The first letter was Y as the letter J did not exist in the Hebrew language. The Encyclopedia Americana contains the following on the J:

"The form of J was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century. Either symbol (J,I) used initially generally had the consonantal sound of Y as in year. Gradually, the two symbols (J,l) were differentiated, the J usually acquiring consonantal force and thus becoming regarded as a consonant, and the I becoming a vowel. It was not until 1630 that the differentiation became general in England."

The first half of the Tetragrammaton is commonly used as an abbreviation for God's name and is included in the a number of biblical names. The shorten form of YHWH is Yah. The New World Translation reference Bible states;

""As Jah." BHSftn(Heb.), ki Yah; M(Heb.), beYah´, "by Jah." Yah is the first half of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. It occurs 49 times in M distinguished by a point (mappik) in its second letter and once, in Ca 8:6, without the mappik. TLXXSyVg, "Jehovah." See Ex 15:2 ftn, "Jah"; App 1A." (Footnote to Psalm 68:4)

Egyptian hieroglyphics contain written vowels. In Budge's An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionarypage 15 shows the shortened form of YHWH was transliterated as "IA" or "YA", supporting that God's name begins with the sound Yah.

Assyrian cuneiform script has been found which had the divine name spelt with written vowels. A.H.Sayce published Halley's Bible Handbook in 1898. On page sixty two it discusses three clay cuneiform tablets dating from the time of Hammurabi which contain the phrase Jahweh.

Josephus also can be used to support the idea that the sacred name was pronounced Yahweh. In Jewish Wars, chapter V, Josephus wrote;

"... in which was engraven the sacred name: it consists of four vowels."

Yahweh or Yahuweh contains four 'vowels', being pronounced as ee-ah-oo-eh, whereas Jehovah only contains three.

In Jesus time the Greek transliteration of the divine name was Iaoue or Iabe. This supports Yahweh as it was pronounced ee-ah-oo-eh. In the second century Clement of Alexandria wrote: "The mystic name which is called the Tetragrammaton, by which alone they who had access to the Holy of Holies were protected, is pronounced Iaoue, which means 'who is, and who shall be.'" In Latin it was similarly written as Iabe.

It is interesting to understand how the word Jehovah was derived, as the history of the word shows why the word is incorrect. In an unfortunate stroke of the pen the Watchtower Society chose to adopt the rendition of YHWH that has least resemblance to the original name and incorporates the very reason the exact pronunciation is unknown.

Ancient Hebrew did not contain vowels and so the pronunciation of words was handed down. In order to preserve the pronunciation of the Hebrew language the Masoretes created a system for introducing vowels into the Hebrew language during the ninth century CE. However, when it came to YHWH rather than putting the correct vowel signs they put vowels signs for Adonai, in order to remind the reader to use the word Lord.

The word Jehovah has been created by adding the vowels signs for Adonai to YHWH. The first time the Tetragrammaton appeared in an English Bible was on the title page of William Tyndale's Bible translation of 1525, where it was written as Iehouah. This was an interlace of YHVH and Adonai. The King James Version also originally used Iehouah, influenced by the Ben Chayim codex. The King James Bible changed the spelling to Jehovah for the 1762-1769 edition.

Revised Standard Version pp.6-7 "The form Jehovah is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. The sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin. The word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew."

It is unfortunate, that the name was transliterated into German and ultimately into English as Jehovah, for this conflate form represents the vowels of Adonai superimposed on the consonants of Yahweh, and it was never intended by the Jews to be read as Yehowah (or Jehovah). The Jewish Encyclopaedia explains;

"A mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but almost entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew "Yhwh," the (ineffable) name of God (the Tetragrammaton or "Shem ha-Meforash"). This pronunciation is grammatically impossible; it arose through pronouncing the vowels of the "?ere" (marginal reading of the Masorites: "Adonay") with the consonants of the "ketib" (text-reading: "Yhwh")" (25/9/2005)

Combining YHWH with Adonai is referred to as interlacing, fusing or superimposing. It could hardly be considered accurate or respectful. The illogical fusion of the sacred Name with the vowel points of another name is shown in the preface to The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible:

"To give the name JHVH the vowels of the word for Lord [Heb. Adonai], is about as hybrid a combination as it would be to spell the name Germany with the vowels in the name Portugal - viz., Gormuna. The monstrous combination Jehovah is not older than about 1520 A.D."

Advocates of the word Jehovah argue that it does not matter whether the word is accurate or not, what is important is that God is distinguished by a personal name. The Divine Name Brochure p.10, by the Watchtower Society states;

"Even though the modern pronunciation Jehovah might not be exactly the way it was pronounced originally, this in no way detracts from the importance of the name. … While many translators favor the pronunciation Yahweh, the New World Translation and also a number of other translations continue the use of the form Jehovah because of people's familiarity with it for centuries." 

When translating between languages the pronunciation of names change and so it may not be essential that in English the divine name is pronounced as God originally spoke it to Moses. However, it is ironic that the word Jehovah mixes God's name with the very superstition that caused it to stop being used in the first place. Every time the word Jehovah is pronounced it is a reminder of this very superstition.


The word Jehovah is not an accurate rendition of the divine name. It can be argued that it is the common pronunciation in English and it is not important to use the name in its correct version. It is strange though that the version chosen actually incorporates the very reason that the divine name stopped being used in the first place. More important is that by the time of Jesus YHWH was not being used. The divine name does not appear in any known manuscripts of the New Testament, indicating that Jesus kept to the tradition and law on not using the Divine Name. To include Jehovah in the New Testament the Watchtower Society has taken liberties with God's Word.

The Watchtower presents the following paradox; Jehovah has not been found in the New Testament because it has been tampered with, but the Bible has been inspired and accurately preserved by Jehovah.

"All credit and thanksgiving for the Bible's survival in view of such violent opposition is due Jehovah, the Preserver of his Word."
Insight on the Scriptures Volume 2 p.10 "Why, then, is the name absent from the extant manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures or so-called New Testament? Evidently because by the time those extant copies were made (from the third century C.E. onward) the original text of the writings of the apostles and disciples had been altered." Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p.313

If the Watchtower claims God allowed men to edit out his name "YHWH" and that no proof has been found to its existence to this day, how can a person have confidence in anything written in the New Testament is accurate?

Though the divine name appears nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament, by Jesus time it had been removed from most Bible translations and Jesus never mentioned or criticised the removal. This would indicate that Jesus did not feel this was an important omission. Whether or not Jehovah appears in modern translations of the Old Testament is up to the discretion of the translation. On the other hand, it almost certainly never appeared in the New Testament, and so should not be added to it.

Reading the New Testament without the spurious word Jehovah makes it clear that use of the divine name is not necessary for salvation. Jesus is the name through which salvation comes. As shown by Jesus, God is to be addressed as Lord or Father.

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