Looking forward to his next reply.
BART EHRMAN answers my question
TODAY'S REPLY on Ehrman's blog:
Bart March 11, 2015
1. “The name” is another way to say the name of God without saying the name of God. You just say, “the name” and you mean “God” or “Yahweh”
2. Yes, there are Septuagint manuscripts that preserve the tetragrammaton. But most don’t.
3. I don’t know of any evidence that NT authors actually used the Hebrew letters for the tetragrammaton in their quotations of the OT. Do these authors actually say what the evidence *is*? I’ve looked at probably all the earliest manuscripts of the NT Gospels and I can’t think of a single stitch of evidence for that claim. But maybe I’m wrong!
So it just dawn on me that for some 45 years I was praying to a made up Name. No different than praying to Mickey Mouse or Scooby-Doo.
There is no way any of my JW relatives will buy this. If I even suggested any of this information, they would reenact the scripture in Mark and have me institutionalize.
Mark 3:21 But when his relatives heard about it, they went out to lay hold of him, for they were saying: “He has gone out of his mind.
Do these authors actually say what the evidence *is*?
From what I can remember, the WTS has never admitted that there is any historical written evidence available that the NT authors used the Hebrew letters for the tetragrammaton. Because it was removed in the 3rd century by apostates guided by the devil.
They said it was “Assumed” that the NT writers used the divine name. Reason being that
1st God’s Son would not be bound by man-made superstitions and
2nd Their love and respect for the Divine name would compel them use the name freely.
Finkelstein: Did Rutherford use the KJV of the bible when he took over the WTS ?
A bit more about the history of the Bibles used by BibleStudents/JWs over the years:
In 1884... At first Bibles were purchased from other Bible societies for redistribution .... The King James Version of 1611 in English was used as their basic version for Bible study.
From the time that the magazine The Watchtower began to be published in 1879, the publications of the Watch Tower Society have quoted, cited, and referred to scores of different Bible translations.
In 1896 .....printing rights were obtained from the British Bible translator Joseph B. Rotherham to publish in the United States the revised twelfth edition of his New Testament. On the title page of these printed copies, there appeared the name of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the Society’s headquarters being located there at the time. In 1901 arrangements were made for a special printing of the Holman Linear Bible, containing marginal explanatory notes from the Society’s publications of 1895 to 1901. The Bible text itself presented the King James Version and the Revised Version of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The entire edition of 5,000 copies had been distributed by the year 1903.
The Emphatic Diaglott. In 1902 the Watch Tower Society came to be the copyright owners, sole publishers, and distributors of The Emphatic Diaglott. This version of the Christian Greek Scriptures was prepared by the English-born Bible translator Benjamin Wilson, of Geneva, Illinois. It was completed in 1864. It used the Greek text of J. J. Griesbach, with a literal interlinear English translation and Wilson’s own version to the right using his special signs of emphasis.
A Bible Students Edition. In 1907 the Watch Tower Society published a “Bible Students Edition” of the Bible. This volume contained a clear printing of the King James Version of the Bible and included excellent marginal notes, together with a valuable appendix designed by Jehovah’s Witnesses....
For 30 years the Watch Tower Society engaged outside firms to do the actual printing of its Bibles. However, in December 1926, The Emphatic Diaglott became the first Bible version to be printed on the Society’s own presses at Brooklyn, New York. The printing of this edition of the Christian Greek Scriptures stimulated the hope that a complete Bible would someday be printed on the Society’s presses.
The King James Version. World War II underlined the need for independent publication of the Bible itself. While the global conflict was at its height, the Society succeeded in purchasing plates of the complete King James Version of the Bible. It was on September 18, 1942, at the New World Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, with key assembly point at Cleveland, Ohio, that the Society’s president spoke on the subject “Presenting ‘the Sword of the Spirit.’” As the climax to this address, he released this first complete Bible printed in the Watch Tower Society’s Brooklyn factory....
The American Standard Version. Another important Bible translation is the American Standard Version of 1901. It has the most commendable feature of rendering God’s name as “Jehovah” nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. After long negotiations, the Watch Tower Society was able to purchase, in 1944, the use of the plates of the complete American Standard Version of the Bible for printing on its own presses. On August 10, 1944, at Buffalo, New York, the key city of 17 simultaneous assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses linked together by private telephone lines, the Society’s president delighted his large audience by releasing the Watch Tower edition of the American Standard Version. The appendix includes a most helpful expanded “Concordance of Bible Words, Names, and Expressions.” A pocket edition of the same Bible was published in 1958.
The Bible in Living English. In 1972 the Watch Tower Society produced The Bible in Living English, by the late Steven T. Byington. It consistently renders the divine name as “Jehovah.”
Treating God's Divine personal Name as though it were Holy would mean treating it the same way the Holy of Holy's in the Temple was treated. You wouldn't "go there."
Look how JW's bandy the name about like it is their Uncle Chucky. Jehovah this and Jehovah that--especially attaching it to fake Armageddon predictions that plop embarrassingly flat.
The Watchtower pretends it was silly superstition on the part of Jews to NOT say the name aloud.
The contrast between respect and over-familiarity is quite distinct, don't you think?
Look how JW's bandy the name about like it is their Uncle Chucky. Jehovah this and Jehovah that
Here is a pretty much verbatim clip of every prayer a certain ministerial servant gives:
"Jehovah we thank you Jehovah for this meeting Jehovah and we ask you Jehovah to forgive our sins Jehovah and we pray Jehovah for our brothers Jehovah in other lands Jehovah who cannot meet Jehovah as freely Jehovah as we do Jehovah here Jehovah in Jesus name Jehovah we pray Jehovah amen".
Thank you so much for posting this, Terry. I'm a big fan of Ehrman, having read two of his books. His "awakening" is interesting because he started out as a conservative apologist but delving into the scholarly side of the Bible led him to realize that it is definitely not infallible.
With respect to Jesus using the divine name, I reasoned with my elder husband this way: If Jesus or his apostles had uttered the Tetra., don't you think it would have caused a tremendous accusation by the Pharisees who were looking for any pretense whatsoever with which to accuse them? And wouldn't it have been a wonderful witness for Jesus to stand up to them and defend his use of the Name and decry the Jewish superstition banning it? And wouldn't it be recorded in the Bible as a stirring testimony of courage? Wouldn't that have been totally appropriate for Jesus? And wouldn't he have been put to death for it, since the Pharisees wouldn't have to cook up a false accusation?
His response: Silence.
If Jesus or his apostles had uttered the Tetra., don't you think it would have caused a tremendous accusation by the Pharisees who were looking for any pretense whatsoever with which to accuse them?
Beautiful reasoning; simple and elegant!
Yup, a few rocks would have bounced off heads, just look at what happened in a Life of Brian !