Russell and Jehovah's Name

by vinman 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • vinman
    I'm pretty new here. But I have a question. The Kingdom Rules! book states that Russell didn't use God's name much because it was felt that the ransom was the main doctrine. How true is that? Have you read anything different?
  • Splash

    Between 1879 (when the WT was first printed) and 1916 (when he died) CTR used the name "Jehovah" 2241 times in the WT magazine.

    This doesn't include the Golden Age references, or any of his books.

  • steve2

    I believe that the 2241 times he officially used the name "Jehovah" exclude all of those off-the-cuff occasions when he hit his thumb with a hammer and took the divine name in vain - but if these were added to the 2241 documented times, you'd be looking at his using the divine name close to 5,000 times across the same time period. An impressive number by any standard, I'd say.

  • EdenOne

    Russell wasn't shy on using the name "Jehovah"; but later it became an obsession when Rutherford needed ways to differentiate his religious group from the myriad others out there. That's when "Jehovah" became the trademark know....the Jehovah's Witnesses.


  • LoveUniHateExams

    Welcome, vinman.

    I agree with what you and EdenOne have posted - from what I remember, Russell seemed to concentrate more on the ransom, and Rutherford focused on "Jehovah" as a brand name.

  • Vidiot

    Russel was like the weird but nice uncle, whereas Rutherford was the drunken asshole uncle.

  • cofty
    Remember too that what Russell meant by the ransom would be apostasy to a modern JW.
  • Giordano

    welcome Vinman! In case you weren't aware..........

    "In Hebrew the name of God is spelled YHWH. Since ancient Hebrew had no written vowels, it is uncertain how the name was pronounced originally, but there are records of the name in Greek, which did have written vowels. These records indicate that in all likelihood the name should be pronounced "Yahweh."

    About the 13th century the term "Jehovah" appeared when Christian scholars took the consonants of "Yahweh" and pronounced it with the vowels of "Adonai." This resulted in the sound "Yahowah," which has a Latinized spelling of "Jehovah." The first recorded use of this spelling was made by a Spanish Dominican monk, Raymundus Martini, in 1270.

    Interestingly, this fact is admitted in much Jehovah's Witness literature, such as their Aid to Bible Understanding (p. 885). This is surprising because Jehovah's Witnesses loathe the Catholic Church and have done everything in their power to strip their church of traces of Catholicism. Despite this, their group's very name contains a Catholic "invention," the name "Jehovah."

    How do people like the JW's proclaim his name when they don't actually know it?

  • reslight2
    Charles Taze Russell didn't use the Holy Name consistently, which I believe that he should have. However, his use or lack of consistent usage of the Holy Name had nothing at all to to with the his belief that the central doctrine for man found in the Bible is the ransom for all. The JWs, BTW, have rejected Russell's teachings on the ransom for all and have replaced it with the teaching of great woe that will be for most of the people that they (and their children) may eternally destroyed in Armageddon if they do not come into the their alleged "Jehovah's organization". In other words, they are teaching almost the very opposite of the good news of great joy that will be for all the people that Brother Russell considered to be the central doctrine for man. Scripturally, however, all doctrine has to be in harmony with the basis of atonement through Jesus as given in the Bible, which makes that doctrine the central doctrine by which to test all doctrine, and this is what Russell believed.

    I believe that what Russell taught did much more for upholding God's name -- his character as represented in His name -- than do the JWs.

    Some of my research related to Russell and salvation:

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