WatchTowers emphasizing the divine name, Really?

by paulnotsaul 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • paulnotsaul

    We can agree on three things. 1) In Exodus 3:13-14 Moses asks God his name and who sent him to them. God says his name is I Am THAT I AM. 2) The apostles ask Jesus how to pray to God in Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus refers to God as Father. 3) In the same prayer we ask that God's name be sanctified, to be made sacred or holy. So where do JWs get there info that the divine name must be known/ used when the bible makes no such claim that it should be used as quoted above. peace paulnotsaul

  • agonus

    There are passages in the NT that speak to God's name being made known among the nations. But you've a good point, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" appears to be every bit as valid as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". And when you consider that their talisman, the name "Jehovah", was, so far as I can discern, actually an invention of the Roman Catholic Church, it does seem a bit peculiar that they fetishize it the way they do.

  • possible-san

    With regard to the Divine Name, probably, besides Jehovah's Witnesses, many people are also emphasizing.

    Please refer to the collection of links on my website.

    Well, In my opinion, the Christian's God is Jahveh/Yahweh/I AM.

    And, in my opinion, Jesus used the Tetragrammaton/YHWH.
    However, I assume that he followed Jews' tradition ("Qere perpetuum") and pronounced it as "Adonai" (Lord), IMO.


  • paulnotsaul

    possible-san, I'll start off by saying thank-you for your opinions. I watched that video first of all. Three things I want to comment on. 1) Where is your source that gods name was taken out of the NT. 2) In most of the video 'the name' was in a triangle? 3) This video looks like the WTBTS produced it. My point of this tread is not the use of god's name but the speaking of it out of your mouth. I am all for letting people know god has a name. But how can I sanctify it by saying it freely out of my mouth? Example, my dad has a name, but I don't expect you to refer to him by it. Unless he tells you otherwise. If the jews didn't speak the divine name and they were the foundation of gods people, then what makes christians think they can say it so freely? To this day the jewish people sanctify gods name by not saying it. I hope this clears up my opinions on saying the divine name. I started this thread very late last night and I don't think I worded it wright. sorryAll paulnotsaul

  • aristeas

    Some things to consider on Exodus 3:

    ehyeh occurs several times around Ex 3:14 ( 3:12, 4:12 and 15) and with very few exceptions translators render this as a future tense in modern languages in all those other places. The context argues for a future sense: Moses is hardly playing the role of Isaiah here — 'here I am, send me!' Thus God/Yahweh/Jehovah is encouraging him (even gets angry with him) to put faith in him without God revealing his full plans. In other words, that biblical message of faith underlies the entire account. Again in most English translations the context is full of future verbs: 'I will bring up up...I will stretch out my hand...I will perform...I will bring', verses 17, 20-21. In Hebrew there is no difference between the present and future tense since Semitic languages have no tense system. Clearly the context argues for a future meaning at 3:14.

    It is noteworthy that the first two English translations rendered directly from the Hebrew by Tyndale (1530) and Coverdale (1535) have the future tense in 3:14, but church tradition got in the way so that by the time of the KJV it was I AM, now in caps! The fact that the first two translators of this passage into English used a future is further strong evidence that this is the natural way to take ehyeh.

    Many modern scholars admit this should be 'I will be' rather than 'I am". For example, Edward Greenstein, who wrote the notes in the Harper Collins Study Bible (2006), an edition of the NRSV has this, as does Michael Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (Oxford 2006) p. 87. Though dated, Joseph Rotherham's translation has an excellent discussion of this matter in the introduction and in his footnotes to the above verses.

    The I AM thing stems from a traditional interest within the church to concoct yet another Trinitarian proof text.

    Hope this serves to inform...

  • blondie

    It would always bother me that jws make a big deal about saying "Jehovah." If you look at the publication presentations they suggest for their members, never is "Jehovah" used only "God." It's as if they are afraid they will scare people away.

    Jesus never addressed God as Jehovah in his prayers, only as "Father." How many of us called our fathers by their names but by the more intimate Father, Daddy, or Dad.

    Jesus said his followers would be known by the love they showed each other, not by some label. BTW, in the Bible it was said that Jesus' followers became known "Christians" by "divine providence" not as Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • possible-san


    Thank you for replying.

    I'll start off by saying thank-you for your opinions.
    I watched that video first of all.
    Three things I want to comment on.

    Well, I did write my own opinion.
    That video is not my own opinion.
    If you ask a question to my opinion, for me, it is welcome.

    I guess that that video was probably made by one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
    Therefore, that video is reflecting not my opinion but the opinion of JWs.

    Three things I want to comment on.
    1) Where is your source that gods name was taken out of the NT.

    Since I did not make that video, I don't know well how I should answer to you.

    In my opinion, probably, the Christian in the first century did not pronounce the Divine Name (YHWH).
    Therefore, that is not "God's name was taken out of the NT."

    Probably, the traditional expression in Greek of the divine name (YHWH) is "Kyrios/Lord."
    Since Greek is different from Hebrew, such a phenomenon occurs.

    2) In most of the video 'the name' was in a triangle?

    In my opinion, I think that that triangle is expressing the "Trinity" well, although I am not a Trinitarian.

    If the jews didn't speak the divine name and they were the foundation of gods people, then what makes christians think they can say it so freely?

    This is a difficult issue in fact.

    In my opinion, I think that the divine name is indirectly being used frequently also in the NT.
    That is, it is a mode of expression as the "I AM."
    Jesus used this expression frequently. (For instance, "I am (Ego eimi) the light of the world", or, "it is I (Ego eimi)", Matthew 14:27)

    And, possibly, in the NT, the name of "JESUS" may have replaced for "YHWH."
    For me, both mean "God presence within."

    "When you say "I AM," you are announcing the Presence of God within you."

    (Joseph Murphy, Within You Is The Power, Devorss & Co, 1977. p.5)


  • smiddy

    The WTB&TS publication "Aid to Bible Understanding" at least in its 1st addition admits"Jehovah" is not the correct pronunciation of Gods name , only that it is the most popular usage of his name in christendom. Since about the 12th century.

    On the other hand they reject everything christendom has to say as being the great apostasy from the true faith since about 300 AD

    Oh, and by the way, they accept the writings that were adopted by the different councils of christendom as to what constituted the bible as it is accepted today .



  • Bella15

    When Moses asked for God's name, if you notice, God did not answer: My name is so and so but stated something about his nature which was in line to ancient customs. People back them had different naming customs than we do today. A name was more than a just way to identify them physically; their name also reflected their nature. I read that "Jews named their children in a way that expressed the child's mission in life. Because of this custom, the Jewish people had about 16 different names for God in the Hebrew OT. Each name reflected a different aspect of God's character." For me the best way to find answers related to OT is to go to the people The Scriptures were entrusted to, the Jews and learn from them how they interpret certain things.

    JWs are so enclosed, stuck, in the name that physically identify GOD that they forget his nature and character ... LOVE, COMPASSION, PEACE, HEALING, PROVIDER, RIGHTEOUS, JUST, FORGIVING, etc etc etc.

    The name Jehovah of the Watchtower should have a trademark sign next to it, it is their "brand," and that's all they got, a name. It is only when you know God's nature that you get to be happy and call him FATHER ... and of course you cannot know God without JESUS!

    They misinterpret the Lord's Prayer ... Hallowed/Sanctified Be Your name ... they think it is a declaration, a command or something that THEY need to accomplish, when in fact it is a petition, a request.

    You hallow the name of God when you trust him, fear him, obey him, and glorify him.


    Numbers 20:12 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

    Notice the words: " did not believe me to hallow me..." These words help us answer the question of what it means to sanctify or hallow the name of God. It means: "to believe him". The first way to treat God as holy is to trust what he says. God is not hallowed when we do not trust Him.

    John said, "He who does not believe God has made him a liar" (1 John 5:10). When you make somebody a liar, you profane that person's name. This is the opposite of treating the person as holy. Not trusting God is the exact opposite of hallowing his name. The first thing we mean then when we pray for God to cause his name to be hallowed is that he would cause us and others to trust him. "Hallowed be thy name" means: "Trusted be your word."

    A second text that sheds light on what it means to hallow the name of God is:

    Isaiah 8:12-13 (NKJV) "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.

    How do you hallow God according to this text? You hallow him by not fearing what men fear but fearing God. Very practically it means that when God commands you to take your stand for him in a hostile situation, you fear displeasing God more than you fear the hostility of man.

    Don't fear losing your house or your wife or your children or your bank account or your prestige! Instead fear the prospect of saying, "No" to God. He will compensate you for all your worldly losses when you obey him.

    So when we pray, "Hallowed be thy name," we mean, "Father, let your name be feared." Or, more fully, "Father, cause people to have such a high view of you that it is a much more dreadful thing to lose your approval than to lose anything the world can offer."

    The third text that sheds light on what it means to hallow God's name is:

    Leviticus 22:31-32 (NKJV) "Therefore you shall keep My commandments, and perform them: I am the LORD. 32 "You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the LORD who sanctifies you,

    We hallow the name of God when we keep his commandments. We profane the name of God when we break his commandments. So when we pray, "Father, let your name be hallowed," we mean, "Father, cause your commandments to be obeyed." "Hallowed be thy name" means: "Obeyed be your commandments."

    A final text to illustrate the meaning of hallowing God's name is:

    Leviticus 10:3 (NKJV) And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: 'By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.' " So Aaron held his peace.

    This text seems to say that God's showing himself holy and his being glorified are virtually the same thing. So when we pray, "Hallowed be thy name," we mean also: "Glorified be thy name." It is by our conduct and our walk of life that we are to glorify His Holy Name.


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