References to YHWH in ancient documents

by Doug Mason 110 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • EverApostate

    Just as eyeuse2badub said, when the supposed Almighty god cannot preserve his name in his Holy book, why spend time debating about this at all.

  • Ruby456

    well that's human democracy for you EverApostate - remember the tower of Babel

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    There is no doubt that monotheism became the dominant form as an outcome of the Neo-Babylonian Captivity and Exile. As one clear example, consider Deutero-Isaiah (ch 40ff), which were written at that time.

    Prior to that, the nation was monolatrous, not monotheistic. Some apply the term henotheistoc. All of these terms would be foreign to them. They were created in recent centuries.

    Study the evolution from the god named EL, who appears for example in Genesis 1. There are several serious books and scholarly articles that explain the way that the Israelites took a war-god named Yahweh and over time they assimilated the features of other Gods, such as EL, creating a very different Yahweh.

    For example, they took the pantheon of gods from EL and passed them onto Yahweh. Initially, EL was the creator God, but that was given to Yahweh. EL was the "Ancient of Days", and so on and on.

    EL and his pantheon came from the northern neighbours. Yahweh was not one of those northern gods. Instead, he came to the Israelites from the south with Moses.


  • smiddy3

    Jehovah`s Witnesses and the name Jehovah .

    The first edition of the book "Aid To Bible Understanding" clearly stated that the name Jehovah was adopted by the WTB&TS simply because it was the most acceptable ,most commonly used and most recognizable name among those in Christendoms circles.

    They also admitted in that first article that Yahweh was more likely a more accurate rendering of Gods name however they chose the name Jehovah because that was the name most people would be familiar with it being more common place in literature at that time.

    And how come Jesus never rebuked the Jews for not identifying them selves as JW`s Isa.43:10 -12 and for that matter Jesus Christ never ever uttered the name Jehovah not once.

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    It is said that a Catholic Monk by the name of Raymundus Martini conjured-up the name Jehovah in the 1270s. It amounted to an invention that didn't go anywhere for centuries until the nitwit JWs adopted it & ran with it. So one could say that the JWs are indebted to the RCC...big-time!

    Imagine if WT was forced to pay a royalty fee of 5 cents for each time that the JWs have mentioned that name during their meetings over the last forty years alone...easily the RCC would be $2 to $3 billion richer today.:):)

  • jhine

    l haven't read all of the posts , so if l am repeating this l apologise .It seems to me IMHO that the real point is being missed . The facts are , yes , YHWH does appear in the Old Testament multiple times . It was never in the New Testament . The WT makes a big thing about this and inserts Jehovah into the New Testament where it ( the WT ) THINKS that it should be . Some of those insertions are in quotations from the Old Testament . The NT writers must have known what they were doing when they transposed Lord for YHWH . One explanation for this is that the NT writers took the OT quotes about YHWH to refer to Jesus . That , of course , shows that they saw Jesus and YHWH as the same person , a theology which the WT has vehemently opposed .

    The Bible ( NT ) says that there is NO OTHER name by which we are saved , only the name of Jesus .

    That explanation means that YHWH did preserve his name in the Bible .


  • Phizzy

    Just slightly off topic maybe, but Doug, do you believe that Moses is truly a historical figure as portrayed in the Bible, or is he more of a myth ? perhaps a composite figure made up from a number of real people ?

    This is in no way to question your observation that Yahweh comes from the South. I too am interested in who really were the Hebrews/Jews/Israelites and their real History, and the evolution of Yahweh from minor god to the only one.

  • Ruby456

    phizzy there is controversy regarding Moses. Roman writers mistakenly represented him as an Egyptian priest and Freud also popularised this. We cannot say fro sure that Moses was an Egyptian priest. That said Moses is claimed by all three Monotheistic traditions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    What we can question are the 19th century representations of monotheism and the other isms. They are an easy shorthand but we risk obscuring how such isms are being questioned as to their evolutionary assumptions that suggest humans progressed from animism to polytheism and then to monotheism. If we accept these isms unquestioningly them how can we possibly criticise christians for saying that original religion was monotheistic and false religion with its emphasis on polytheism and animism was a result of the fall?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    I would not be surprised if Moses was an actual person, but I do not accept the biblical portrayal. The ancients' view of history does not accord with our concepts. They wrote the stories to promote a religious outcome according to each ideology. Rather than read the Bible as "history" I am interested in the history of the history: historiography:

    Given that Moses (an Egyptian name) would have lived around about the 12th century BCE, the stories were written some 500 years later - and modified during and after the Neo-Babylonian captivity and exile. And each part was influenced according to which group of scribes was responsible for writing it and in its subsequent editing. (The Watchtower is an amateur when it comes to amending the texts.)

    I am currently wearing my fingers down to my elbows collecting and collating material about the early Israelites. At the rate I am going, I suspect it will take me up to a month to cobble my first draft.

    One interesting source - written in 1906 - in two parts

    While Dever is convinced that the Judahite Pillar figurines depict Asherah, I am yet to be convinced.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Hi Jan,

    You raise interesting issues.

    We must ensure that we do not impose our concepts onto the idioms of the past. For those Jews, a "name" was more than an appellation, it was the very being of that person. Hence the need at times to change a person's name (to "Israel" or to "Peter/Petros" - although he "petered out").

    The be saved (whatever that means) by the name of Jesus could equally be understood as requiring one to live in accordance with that as a standard. The reality of course is that the "name" Jesus is a distortion of the original, which was Yeshua, and which in turn is Anglicised as "Joshua". Interestingly, this is the earliest recorded genuine Yahwist name.

    Yes, the WTS does intrude its prejudices upon the scriptural texts - and everyone does that - but more fundamental to me is to ask them: Why have they accepted and adopted the Protestant's scriptures?

    I provide one of their sources that shows which OT texts cited in the NT employed the tetragram:

    See the second page:

    The other factor is that there were several versions of the LXX and the NT writers worked from them, some of which we no longer have.


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