SHOULD THE NAME “JEHOVAH” BE USED IN SCRIPTURE TO REFER TO GOD? —16 Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses on the Use of God’s Name in the NWT
1. Do you believe that Bibles that translate God’s name as “LORD” or “GOD” instead of “Jehovah” keep people from becoming close to God because they portray Him as “remote and impersonal”?
2. Did you know that the name “Jehovah” was derived by inserting the vowels of the Hebrew word Adonai which means “Lord” into the YHWH consonants of God’s name, making YA-HO-WA or JA-HO-VA? Since the Hebrew vowels for “Lord” are part of the name “Jehovah” used by your translation, what’s the difference between my Bible’s use of the capital letters “LORD” to denote God’s name and your Bible’s rendering of “Jehovah,” derived from the Hebrew vowels for “Lord”?
3. Did you know that scholars agree that “Jehovah” is not the most correct translation for God’s name? Yet, the Watchtower Society chooses to use an erroneous name for God. Why?
4. If “Jehovah,” a “well-known form” of God’s name in English, is to be preferred over a more accurate translation simply because we do not know the official “pronunciation” of God’s name, how is this argument any different from my Bible’s argument that the translators chose “LORD” for God’s name because of the ambiguity surrounding its pronunciation and the fact that “LORD” is the “well-known” rendering of God’s name used by the Jews for centuries?
5. If it is so important that people know God’s name in order to have a relationship with Him, why did God chose NOT to make His name known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Since God was able to make a “covenant” with them and establish a close relationship WITHOUT revealing His name, why do people today have to read an incorrect pronunciation of God’s name in their Bibles in order to know God?
6. How would you feel if your children started calling you by your first name instead of calling you ‘Dad’ (or ‘Mom’)? Wouldn’t you question why they were treating you so impersonal by calling you by your formal name? Since Christians are called ‘adopted’ children of God, can you see why it makes sense that Jesus would teach His followers to pray ‘Our Father’ instead of praying ‘Our Jehovah’?
7. While it is true that God’s name appears throughout the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, this says nothing of the New Testament Christian Greek Scriptures. If it is important for Christians today to use God’s name, why is there NO EVIDENCE for God’s name being used by the early Christian writers of the New Testament?
8. How can the Watchtower Society argue that something as important as God’s name disappeared from over 5,000 Greek manuscript copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament), and yet quote a Greek scholar who confirmed that the New Testament text of our Bible has been thoroughly preserved with “no important omissions”? Did Jehovah God fail to keep His promise to preserve His Word?
9. In spite of the evidence that we have for the accuracy of our New Testament Christian Greek manuscripts, what “facts” does the Watchtower Society appeal to in order to prove that God’s name was removed from these manuscripts?
10. Does the Watchtower appeal to a Hebrew manuscript copy of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew that does NOT contain the four letters of God’s name?
11. Since copies of Matthew’s manuscript do not contain God’s name, but only contain a Hebrew phrase that was used to substitute for God’s name, how is the Watchtower Society able to claim that Matthew did not use this same substitute phrase for God’s name in his original manuscript? Again, what “facts” can the Watchtower Society appeal to for support of its claim that God’s name was removed from the New Testament Christian Greek Scriptures?
12. What is the Septuagint? Does it contain any of the books of the New Testament Christian Greek Scriptures?
13. Since the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew OLD TESTAMENT Scriptures does not contain any of the books of the NEW TESTAMENT Christian Greek Scriptures, how can the Septuagint’s inclusion of God’s name prove that God’s name was in the original Greek manuscripts of the NEW TESTAMENT? If God’s name has been removed from the New Testament Greek Scriptures just as it has been removed from the Old Testament Septuagint, wouldn’t we expect to see evidence of these changes by finding variations of God’s name in the Greek New Testament manuscripts just as these variants are found in the Septuagint?
14. Where do you look to find either the Hebrew characters יהוה or the Greek characters of ΠΙΠΙ substituted by “ignorant ones” for God’s name in the Greek manuscripts of the Christian New Testament? They are nowhere to be found! If God’s name has been removed, why is this evidence completely missing, not only from the 5,000 partial and complete Greek manuscripts we possess of the New Testament Christian Scriptures (14 dating as far back as the 2nd and 3rd century), but also from 36,000 quotations of the New Testament made by early church fathers? Was God’s name removed from their manuscripts as well? Note the following examples:
15. At Matthew 6:9, Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” How could Jesus “sanctify” (set apart as holy) God’s name if He called God “Father” instead of using His personal name in His prayer?
16. Since the Watchtower Society agrees that: “to know Jehovah’s name is something very different from knowing the four letters of which it is composed. It is to know by experience that Jehovah really is what his name declares him to be,” can you see why true Christians today “sanctify” God’s name, not by promoting “the four letters of which it is composed,” but by teaching people who God really is?
For more information see:
** All Scriptures are quoted from the New World Translation.
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