Careful what you wish for! Regarding Jehovah in the New Testament

by pizzahut2023 81 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Earnest

    aqwsed : Since, according to the majority of scholars, only Kyrios was in the original version of the Septuagint,...

    In the T&T Clark Handbook of Septuagint Research, 2021, Patrick Skehan, Emanuel Tov and Eugene Ulrich all agree that the writing of the divine name as IAW in 4Q120 is more original than Kurios.

    In Greek Biblical Texts from the Judean Desert, p.8, Tov writes regarding 4Q120 :

    • This papyrus represents an early version of Greek Scripture, as shown by several unusual renderings, including the transliteration of the Tetragrammaton as Iaw, instead of its translation as kurios in the later Christian manuscripts of the Septuagint. 4QpapLXXLevb probably reflects a version antedating the text of the main manuscript tradition of the LXX.

    aqwsed12345 : I don't know why you want to go back to the era of Judeo-Christianity and reproduce its theological climate.

    Because that is when the New Testament was written and where we must go to establish the most likely original text.

  • aqwsed12345

    Yes, there are those who argue in favor of this, while others (who are the majority) say that this is a later reading. What is certain is that there is a total of ONE manuscript containing such ΙΑΩ, from which no far-reaching conclusions can be drawn without any doubt. The fact is that all five of the oldest manuscripts of the LXX now extant (in fragmentary form) render the Tetragrammaton into Greek in a different way.

    What is already a matter of faith is that, if God had attached such a degree of importance to this, as according to the Watchtower, then he would have surely ensured its safe survival. But he didn't, in fact Jesus didn't even condemn all the traditions of the Pharisees in general, he only objected to certain, concretely marked practices and attitudes, that is, only those faulty human traditions that are contrary to the divine Law ("your traditions" - Mt 15,3; "human traditions" - Mk 7:9; Col 2:8) he rejected, but not the rejection of "the" tradition itself, which Christ and the apostles left us ("tradition handed down" - 1 Cor 11:2; "tradition received" - 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6)

    "Because that is when the New Testament was written and where we must go to establish the most likely original text."

    No, the most significant part of the books of the New Testament (practically all of them apart from the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistles to the Galatians and to the Hebrews) were written to the Gentile Christians, so why should we go back to the Judeo-Christian branch? The "original text" can only be established by textual witnesses, not based on speculations. What about the biblical promises that God's word will always endure? Where is it mentioned in the Holy Scriptures that the "true faith" must be "restored" some two thousand years later?

  • slimboyfat

    I’ve been thinking about this question posed above or in another thread: if the divine name was originally in the NT then why didn’t Origen mention it was in the NT the same way he mentioned that the most accurate copies of the LXX contained the divine name? I think the reason for that may be the fact that when Christians stopped using copies of the LXX that contained the divine name Jews nevertheless continued to use copies of the LXX and other Greek versions of the OT that contained the divine name. So the reason there were still copies of the LXX around with the divine name for Origen to find is because Jews were still using them. When it comes to the NT obviously Jews didn’t preserve copies of the NT as they did the OT in Greek, so when Christians stopped using copies of the NT with the divine name they fell into disuse altogether. Remember that Origen sourced the best manuscripts of the LXX he could find from Jews. He couldn’t do the same with the NT. Another thing to remember is that the earliest and most accurate copies of the LXX that Origen could find contained the divine name in the form of the tetragrammaton, whereas we know that the early LXX used the form the divine name transliterated into the Greek Yaho. Origen doesn’t mention finding any of those, even though we know that they existed and that copies of the LXX with Yaho are probably the closest analogy to how the early NT would have handled the divine name.

    As for the early Christian use of the divine name transliterated into the form Yaho, we have the testimony of the early onomastica name lists that Christian scribes preserved for centuries into the common era. These strongly indicate that at an early stage of their transmission Christians used copies of the LXX and NT with the divine name transliterated into the Greek form Yaho. It is difficult to account the for the use of Yaho in the onomastica otherwise.

    On top of which George Howard’s basic point still stands: the contemporary manuscript evidence indicates that Jews in the first century used the divine name in their texts and it is reasonable to think NT authors probably followed contemporary practice. The fact that the NT text contains so many variants around loci with the divine name corroborates this argument as Earnest has explained above.

  • aqwsed12345


    Origen (Commentary on Psalms 2.2) said "In the more accurate exemplars the (divine) name is written in Hebrew characters; not, however, in the current script, but in the most ancient." (thus paleo-Hebrew letters) While Pietersma interprets this statement as referring to the Septuagint, Wilkinson says one might assume that Origen refers specifically to the version of Aquila of Sinope, which follows the Hebrew text very closely, but he may perhaps refer to Greek versions in general (Wilkinson, Robert J. (2015). Tetragrammaton: Western Christians and the Hebrew Name of God: From the Beginnings to the Seventeenth Century., Andrew Phillips: "The Septuagint").

    So Origen did not see any Greek Old Testament that contained ΙΑΩ, only ones that contained 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄‎. By the time of Origen, the Jews no longer used the Septuagint, but largely returned to the Hebrew version in the spirit of closure, or they used Aquila's translation. Jews corrupt the Synagogue Septuagint Tanakh: Jews altered the LXX, then abandoned it forever. So your claim that the Jews were using the Septuagint containing ΙΑΩ at the time of Origen is wrong.

    Furthermore, not only does Origen not mention a single New Testament manuscript containing the name YHWH, but no one has ever claimed to have seen one. According to them, you are not only accusing the copyists of the earliest centuries of changing the text, but that someone destroyed the previous one.

    The fact that there were many versions of the manuscripts also proves that there was no direct will or central authority that wanted or was able to make a single established version of the NT text exclusive and destroy all others without a trace. So in Christianity there was no such figure as, like Uthman in Islam, who ordered the compilation of the standard version of the Quran, and destroyed other versions.

    By the way, I think that this "ΙΑΩ" does not refer to the fully pronounced Tetragrammaton ("Yahweh"), but to its short, liturgically preserved form (יָהּ, Yāh), which is also preserved in mainstream Christianity in the form "Halleluyah" (Alleluia). While pronouncing the tetragrammaton is forbidden for Jews, articulating "Jah"/"Yah" is allowed, but is usually confined to prayer and study (Clifford Hubert Durousseau, "Yah: A Name of God" in Jewish Bible Quarterly). A similar thing can be observed in Syriac Christianity, where the Lord is marked as "maryah" in the Peshitta. According to linguists, this is a combination of "mar" (master/lord) and "yah", and in the Peshitta NT, Jesus, the Son, is also referred to as "maryah" ("Lord Yah"). So the statement of the Watchtower that the early Christians "hated" the divine name YHWH and destroyed all manuscripts containing it with fire and iron is not true either, nor that they used "Yah" exclusively for the person of the Father, and would have been contrasted with the demigod-archangel Jesus of the WTS.

  • slimboyfat
    By the way, I think that this "ΙΑΩ" does not refer to the fully pronounced Tetragrammaton ("Yahweh"), but to its short, liturgically preserved form (יָהּ‎, Yāh), which is also preserved in mainstream Christianity in the form "Halleluyah" (Alleluia).

    This is incorrect. ΙΑΩ was pronounced Yaho and IA was the Greek form that was pronounced Yah. The two occur side by side in onomastic texts.

    So the statement of the Watchtower that the early Christians "hated" the divine name YHWH and destroyed all manuscripts containing it with fire and iron is not true either,

    I don’t recall Watchtower ever saying anything about early Christians hating the divine name or destroying manuscripts, never mind with fire or iron. That’s pretty wild stuff. Have you got a reference for that?

  • Earnest

    aqwsed12345 : A similar thing can be observed in Syriac Christianity, where the Lord is marked as "maryah" in the Peshitta. According to linguists, this is a combination of "mar" (master/lord) and "yah", and in the Peshitta NT, Jesus, the Son, is also referred to as "maryah" ("Lord Yah").

    The word used in Syriac is māryā not māryāh. It ends with an aleph (a) which represents long ā, while yāh ends with he (h), which is a consonant not a vowel, so there is no linguistic reason why yāh should be a part of māryā. While one of the five primary meanings of mar is "master" or "lord", the ending (in māryā) represents the determined form, making it definite (i.e. the lord) and can be compared with the article ha in Hebrew. So it does not mean "Lord Yah" as you suggest, but means "the Lord" and in the Syriac OT it is exclusively used with reference to God in the same way haAdon is used in Hebrew.

    The word yāh only occurs one time in the Peshitta, namely in Exodus 15:2. In the Hebrew text, yāh stands alone, but in the Syriac text it is followed by māryā, i.e. yāh māryā (Jah the Lord), which corroborates that yāh is not the last part of māryā.

    In the Syriac NT it is used with reference to Jehovah, for example at Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42 and Acts 2:34 which all allude to Psalm 110:1 "The LORD (māryā) said to my lord". There are also instances where māryā is used with reference to Christ where he is referred to as "the Lord", as he often was.

    In his article "The Translation of kyrios into Syriac" (Filologia Neotestamentaria, XII, 1999, p. 25–54) A-G Martin comments:

    To summarize the use of māryā to render κυριος in the New Testament, it can be said that this word is found in the quotations of the Old Testament, but it can also refer to God in a more general way as the one who leads men and the Church. But Jesus Christ can also be named māryā [the Lord] to emphasize his divinity and the continuity of his action with the God of Israel.

  • pizzahut2023

    I think the post has been carried away and has missed the point of the original post.

    Let's suppose for a moment that SBF et al. are correct and the Tetragrammaton or some version of it was indeed in the New Testament, but the original NT was hopelessly lost and we only have "corrupt" 2nd century and beyond Greek manuscripts of the NT.

    Ok, so... WHERE in the "original, uncorrupted" NT did the Tetragrammaton appear?

    In EXACTLY the 237 times that it appears in the New World Translation?

    Why not 238 times?

    Why, for example, did the NWT not translate THIS particular "Lord" as "Jehovah"?

    (Acts 19:10) 10 This took place for two years, so that all those inhabiting the [district of] Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

    They had everything needed to translate it as such:

    It is a phrase that is usually associated with "Jehovah", not "Jesus"...

    As shown in the NWT, in the same book:

    (Acts 8:25) 25 Therefore, when they had given the witness thoroughly and had spoken the word of Jehovah, they turned back to Jerusalem, and they went declaring the good news to many villages of the Sa·marʹi·tans.
    They have had to retroactively imply that the "Lord" in Acts 19:10 is "Jehovah":

    *** bt chap. 20 p. 161 par. 11 “Growing and Prevailing” Despite Opposition ***11 Paul may have spoken in that school auditorium daily from about 11:00 a.m. until about 4:00 p.m. (See study note on Acts 19:9, nwtsty.) Those were likely the quietest but hottest hours of the day when many stopped their work to eat and rest. Imagine if Paul followed that rigorous schedule for two full years, he would have spent well over 3,000 hours teaching. Here, then, is another reason why the word of Jehovah kept growing and prevailing. Paul was industrious and adaptable. He adjusted his schedule so that his ministry met the needs of the people in that community. The result? “All those living in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:10) What a thorough witness he gave!

    What if the Witnesses didn't "restore" that one "Jehovah"? Are they guilty of not respecting Jehovah's name sufficiently, and acting like the "evil" sopherim who changed "Jehovah" for "Lord" 134 times?

    SBF et al rely on George Howard's study to say that the "original" LXX and the "original" NT may have had the Tetragrammaton... but Howard's study at best allows for the possibility of the Tetragrammaton being in quotes of the OT...

    Ok, but again I ask, WHERE? WHICH ONES? All of them?

    ALL of them?

    Then that would mean that Hebrews 1:10, 1 Peter 2:3, and possibly others, had "Jehovah" in them.

    Hebrews 1:8-12 would then read:

    (Hebrews 1:8-12) . . .But about the Son, he says: ... 10 And: “At the beginning, O Jehovah, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, 12 and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.” And if you think about it, many of the quotes from the OT that do have "Jehovah" in them in the NWT actually help the trinitarian point of view.

    (Matthew 3:3) . . .This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in these words: “Listen! Someone is crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah, YOU people! Make his roads straight.’”
    (Mark 1:1-4) . . .The] beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ: 2 Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “(Look! I am sending forth my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way;) 3 listen! someone is crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah, YOU people, make his roads straight,’” 4 John the baptizer turned up in the wilderness, preaching baptism [in symbol] of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
    Who actually walked the Earth? Jesus, or Jehovah? Why then were "Jehovah's" roads made straight, if Jesus walked them?

    What about the "rule" that Kyrios, when used without the definite article, is grammatically like a name?

    That would imply that Luke 2:11 says that "Jehovah the Christ" was born. Which is why many of the J versions translate it exactly like that!

    So again... careful what you wish for!

    Every single "rule" you come up with will have sufficient cases where it identifies Jesus as Jehovah, and so my take on this is that EVEN IF we find ONE manuscript proving that the NT had the Tetragrammaton in it, odds are, that it will have a text that goes against the Witnesses... and even then, supposing we do find a spot where it agrees 100% with the Witnesses, what about the other 236 occasions? What manuscript evidence will you have for or against it?

    But right now, as the evidence stands, there is nothing in the manuscripts to indicate that the Tetragrammaton was in the original, and so the Watchtower has to rely on very circumstantial evidence that can go either way and can be interpreted in both ways... and relying on J versions which are wildly more trinitarian than any other NT that does NOT have "Jehovah" in it!

    Even when you do find the VERY few J versions which aren't trinitarian, these J versions differ in opinion with the NWT as to whether a specific instance of "Lord" is "Jehovah" or "Lord".
  • pizzahut2023


    The Watchtower accepts "MarYah" and/or "MarYa" as being equivalent to "Jehovah".

    *** nwtsty C3 Verses Where the Divine Name Does Not Appear as Part of Direct or Indirect Quotations in the Book of Colossians ***

    The Aramaic Peshitta New Testament Translation, by Janet M. Magiera, 2006, uses “LORD” in the main text of this verse. The introduction of this Bible states: “LORD is MARYA, meaning LORD of the Old Testament, YAHWEH.”

    *** nwtsty C4 Translations and Reference Works Supporting the Use of the Divine Name in the “New Testament” ***Aramaic Peshitta New Testament Translation, by Janet M. Magiera, Truth or Consequences, NM, U.S.A., 2006. This translation uses “LORD” in the main text of various verses. The introduction states: “LORD is MARYA, meaning LORD of the Old Testament, YAHWEH.”
    *** nwtsty C4 Translations and Reference Works Supporting the Use of the Divine Name in the “New Testament” ***One Unity Resource Bible . . . With Some Transliterated Hebrew Notations, by Thomas Robinson, 2016. This translation uses “ADONAI,” “Yahweh,” or “MarYah [Master Yahweh]” in the main text of various verses, both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The appendix on page 705 explains that the Hebrew word “Yahweh” corresponds to the English translation “LORD, GOD, The LORD, ADONAI, Jehovah.”
    *** nwtsty C4 Translations and Reference Works Supporting the Use of the Divine Name in the “New Testament” ***Las Escrituras de Restauración Edición del Nombre Verdadero (The Bible, in Spanish), by Yosef Koniuchowsky, North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A., 2010. This translation uses יהוה, “Yahweh,” “MarYah,” or a combination of יהוה and “Yahweh” or “MarYah” in the main text of numerous verses, both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The translator explains: “Our purpose in publishing [this edition] is to provide . . . a translation that first of all exalts and proclaims the True Names of YHWH and of Yahshua, as they originally appeared.”
    *** Rbi8 Genesis 2:4 ***“Jehovah.” Heb., יְהוָה (YHWH, here vowel-pointed as Yehwahʹ), meaning “He Causes to Become” (from Heb., הָוָה [ha·wahʹ, “to become”]); LXXA(Gr.), Kyʹri·os; Syr., Mar·yaʼ; Lat., Doʹmi·nus. The first occurrence of God’s distinctive personal name, יהוה (YHWH); these four Heb. letters are referred to as the Tetragrammaton. The divine name identifies Jehovah as the Purposer. Only the true God could rightly and authentically bear this name. See App 1A.
    *** Rbi8 p. 1561 1A The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures ***Regarding the divine name, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary, edited by J. Payne Smith, Oxford, 1979 reprint, p. 298, says that Mar·yaʼ “in the [Syriac] Peshita Version of the O. T. represents the Tetragrammaton.”

    If that is so, then Luke 2:11 says that "Jehovah" was born.

  • slimboyfat
    I don’t know why they didn’t include the divine name in Acts 19.10. Maybe they should have. A possible reason might be that Fred Franz didn’t find agreement in the Hebrew versions he used as guidance. The NWT said it erred on the side of caution as regards restoring the divine name in general. There are arguably a number of places where they could have included it but did not, especially in the book of Acts.
    SBF et al rely on George Howard's study to say that the "original" LXX and the "original" NT may have had the Tetragrammaton... but Howard's study at bestallows for the possibility of the Tetragrammaton being in quotes of the OT...

    That’s incorrect. Howard’s original article suggested that the divine name was used, not only in quotes, but also in certain established OT phrases, such as “angel of Jehovah”, and “word of Jehovah” you have been discussing here. It’s worth bearing in mind that the NWT was published before Howard’s article and has never been bound by his methodology, but in the matter of using the divine name in the phrase “word of Jehovah”, he supported the NWT’s approach.

    I quote the relevant part from Howard’s article here:

    If the Tetragram was used in the NT, how extensively was it used? Was it confined to OT quotations and OT paraphrastic allusions, or was it used in traditional phrases, such as "the word of God / Lord" (see the variants in Acts 6:7; 8:25; 12:24; 13:5; 13:44, 48; 14:25; 16:6, 32), "in the day of the Lord" (cf. variants in 1 Cor 5:5), "through the will of God" (cf. variants in Rom 15:32)? Was it also used in OT-like narratives such as we have in the first two chapters of Luke?

    We have discussed Heb 1.10 elsewhere. This quotation is from the Greek version of the Psalm which may have been interpreted as a messianic Psalm and used kyrios for the Hebrew equivalent Adonai rather than the divine name, just as was the case with the second “Lord” in the often quoted 110th Psalm.

    Btw can any Trinitarian explain why Jesus as “Lord” adoni/kyrios is distinguished from and subordinate to YHWH in Psalm 110.1? Judging by the popularity of that Psalm among early Christians they were in absolutely no doubt that Jesus was distinct and subordinate to Jehovah.

    Jehovah declared to my Lord:“Sit at my right handUntil I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”

    You are completely correct that the NWT may be not be right about every instance where the divine name should be restored. That’s an easy point to concede because they have implied as much themselves and have simply claimed to do the best they could on the available evidence.

  • aqwsed12345

    The pronunciation "YHWH", no matter what vowels we add to it, the "H" sound is weak, almost silent, so the scientific consensus already says "Yahweh", but it's actually more like "Ya'wee".

    The Tetragrammaton refers to every person of the Holy Trinity, thus Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well. This follows from the meaning of the Name. According to Scripture, God once named Himself and sees the expression of His own essence in existence: "I am who I am" (Exodus 3:14). He then continued: "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: the 'I AM' has sent me to you'" (Exodus 3:14). This means that God possesses all existence, in other words: God necessarily exists, He is the most real existence, pure existence, Existence itself, the self-existing being (ens a se). If Jesus is God, then these also apply to Him. Moreover, Jesus also says: "All things have been delivered to me by my Father." So, His name too. This also follows from His divinity. "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15) This is exactly why the Jews wanted to stone him: "You claim to be God." If Jesus is the son of the Almighty God, then He inherits God's power, rights, and Name. This is why Eastern icon painters write the letters 'Ho ón' (who is) into the halo of Christ.

    The Tetragrammaton is also a sacred name for Christians, which is why we use it in our churches, but according to Ecclesiastical tradition only rarely, and with the greatest respect. Therefore, we believe it was correct that in the Bible translation they used the Lord instead of the name Jehovah, just as the Jews read Lord (Adonai) instead of Jehovah. The Jehovah word is actually the result of this practice. YHWH consonants with Adonai vowels. The Catholic truth is therefore in the middle: We neither say that the Name cannot be pronounced, nor that it can be used indiscriminately, as is the case today in some modernist-liberal theological faculties, or among the JWs.

    The Mosaic Law indeed did not require the Jews to read Adonai instead of YHWH, but it was a pious tradition which embodied "do not take the Lord's name in vain!" Let's not go into what it means to take the Lord's name in vain.

    When we say God, depending on the context of the text, we mean either the Father, or the other persons of the Holy Trinity, or the most supreme Trinity. Generally, if we say God in prayer, and it is not expressly aimed at any one person, then I think of the Trinity, who is three in unity and oneness in Trinity.

    The teaching of the Holy Trinity is perfectly justifiable based on the Bible.

    Arius also used the alleged distinction between 'theos' - 'hó theos' to support his claim. He just couldn't answer to the fathers of Nicaea how Scripture could sink into idolatry by consistently presenting a man as a little god.

    For example, Jn 1:18 ("No one has seen God") uses 'theos' (well, here "theon") without an article, yet it is clearly about God. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses' own translation brings "God". This immediately topples their logic. But this is just one example of many.

    The incarnation of the Holy Tetragrammaton is the name Jesus. The Sacred Tetragrammaton expresses the essence of God, thus as a Name it refers to the WHOLE Holy Trinity, each divine hypostasis specifically possesses it, and it was pronounced in Christ, who is the image of the invisible God.

    On the other hand, the Holy Tetragrammaton is "unpronounceable" in human or angelic language because it is a mystery, not because it is a taboo. God's essence surpasses the world. In comparison to Him, we do not exist. Huber rightly writes about this, that the purely linguistic variant of the Holy Tetragrammaton was used by other Semitic peoples, and even the Jews before Moses. However, this embodiment into a purely human word was a prefiguration of the embodiment into Jesus, just as the burning bush was a prefiguration of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. If we deny the incarnation of Christ, it leads to denial of the Holy Tetragrammaton. They just utter a Semitic god designation generally used, moreover, in the Latin reading of the Latin Holy Tradition (Iehovah => read in Latin the Holy Tetragrammaton), so they just do as if someone would scrutinize Jesus' human nature, which is possible, because he was truly human. However, this way they don't reach the essence of the Holy Tetragrammaton, only its "garment", and they never pronounce it, like heretics, for they can't "possess" the knowledge of the Name, they can only scorn it. This also confirms that they really don't know the Shem-ha Mephorash, as they deny the Incarnation.

    This, as well as the interpretation of the Name in Jewish tradition, and even in Kabbalistic interpretations, are reflections of God's inner, essential emanations. Moreover, this led to prefigurations of the Trinity in the Old Testament, so we can rightly say that there is a kind of Trinitarianism in the Old Testament.

    It's important to note that one cannot rely solely on the Scripture, as it was written, compiled, approved, declared as revelation, i.e., divinely inspired by Christ's Church, and it's the Church that has always interpreted it, because that's its mandate. This is also reflected in the Scripture itself, which means, even if we were to start with the Scripture alone, we would inevitably have to arrive at the Church. That is, at minimum, we cannot disregard the word of the Church and the Holy Tradition preserved by it. The Nicene and other councils clearly, and the Christian writers preceding them unanimously, testify to the divinity of Jesus, and they have consistently rejected the Arian heresy. We must not let doubts arise because of sophistry (2 Pet 3:15-16) and "foolish controversies" (Tit 3:9).

    Regarding the Tetragrammaton, we must consider that God does not have one Hebrew name, as He transcends all languages and, in fact, He does not need a name, or more precisely, He cannot have one, because He is Everything, the Alpha and the Omega. So what are we talking about? Hebrew names were primarily not used as nominal emblems to distinguish someone from others, or to define, identify someone (as in the modern age), but in every case they expressed a certain description, characterization of the person's essence, attributes, etc. (like in the case of Native Ameircan names: "Swift Arrow", "Rising Sun", "Big Bear"). God revealed His name in this sense, which stands the same in every language: His name is YHWH, i.e., "Who Is", "Who Exists", "Who Is Existence". He revealed Himself to the Jews, so it became YHWH, however, if He had done the same to the Greeks, His name would be "Ho Estin" (if to the English, then "Who Is"). The parallel to this can be found in the New Testament in the 'egó eimi' (i.e., "I Am") declarations of Jesus. This is most visible in Jn 18:5-6, where when Jesus says "I Am", they retreat and fall to the ground. But see also Jn 8:24-28 (cf. also Mt 14:27; Mk 6:50; 13:6; 14:62; Lk 22:70; Jn 4:26; 6:20; 13:19).

    The Greek-language New Testament uses the word Kurios instead of the Hebrew YHWH (or we could say the Jehovah, created by the Masoretes in the 9th-10th centuries AD) – following the practice of the Septuagint, made for Jews around 300 BC – (cf. for instance, Deut 6:5 – Mt 22:37) (this also shows that there is no NEED to refer to God in Hebrew). And this word Kyrios is also used for Jesus (many times, e.g., Mk 16:19-20; Acts 5:14; 9:10-17; Rom 14:8; 1 Cor 6:13-14; Col 3:23-24; Eph 6:6-11; as a confessional formula: Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 12:3; cf. 8:6; Phil 2:11, especially: Jn 20:28).

    Jesus did not reject the Jewish tradition altogether. He specifically stated what He objected to, and where we need to follow His word. He said nothing about the Sacred Name. It doesn't matter whether the Jews thought, whether by mistake, that the Sacred Name could or couldn't be pronounced. (This should not be seen as a scandalous mistake, but as a pious mistake.) As can be seen from the above, it can be pronounced, but it's not necessary to refer to God only in this way. Out of respect for its own tradition, the Church does not use the Name. This was confirmed again by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 2001 and 2008: it should not be used in liturgical occasions, scripture translation, and outside of these with respect only.

    In addition, Jesus is also referred to as "ho theos": E.g. Jn 20:28; Rom 9:5; Heb 1:8; cf. also Tit 2:13; 1 Jn 5:20; 2 Pet 1:1. In some Eastern Christ icons, the inscription "Ho Theos" can also be found in Christ's cross-divided glory.

    The Holy Tetragrammaton is, on the one hand, a revelation, on the other hand, a refusal of the Name. God's essence, His existence is fundamentally different from this world, so we cannot "essentially" know God - we can only say "what He is not". He is unnameable. This is spiritual emptiness (kenosis), the theology of asceticism - apophatic (negative) theology. The "hidden divinity", sought by the prophet in everything, and finally found in the gentle breeze.

    This emptiness (kenosis), "darkening", the "dark night of the soul" stands in blindness from the Light (three apostles on Mount Tabor), "gnophos" and not "skotos". This leads to the theology of mysticism, the cataphatic theology, which is filling up with God - theosis -, enlightenment (phótismos).

    Then we experience God as a Reality existing in three Persons, a Flow of Love, in His "activity" (énergeia) permeating the world.

    And the fact that Jews did not pronounce God's name is not superstition, and I don't know of Jesus speaking against it. What we do know, however, is that Apostle Matthew - obviously under the influence of inspiration - preserved this Jewish custom. He never pronounces God's name, in fact, he doesn't even use the word God (cf. what is Kingdom of God in Luke, is Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew).

    We do not know the exact pronunciation of YHWH. One thing is for sure: "Jehovah" was never the correct pronunciation. The Jews - due to the second commandment, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" – eventually decided that since it's sometimes hard to determine what constitutes taking the name in vain, they rather would never utter it. Once a year, the High Priest would pronounce the Name in the Sanctuary, so by Jesus' time, common people couldn't know exactly how to pronounce it, since Hebrew writing only records consonants, not vowels. The vowels were added to sacred texts (with dots under, next to and above the letters) around the 9th-10th century AD (in many cases in Europe) to prevent further text corruption. The vowels of the word Adonai (= Lord) were dotted under the sacred four letters, so that the reader would immediately remember not to say the word, but to read Adonai instead. Christian readers, not highly educated but having learnt the Hebrew alphabet, read the vowels of YHWH and the vowels of Adonai (a-o-a) together, and through the inevitable phonetic change, this produced "Iehovah". This is a simple misunderstanding arising from a lack of familiarity with scripture and the Hebrew language. The Old Testament calls God by several names: YHWH, El, Elohim, Adonai - and that's not even mentioning other names (Lord of Hosts, Most High, Majestic, etc.). Of these, only the first was not pronounced, because it's the name Moses inquired about in the burning bush episode, and God Himself denied its pronunciation - this is when He says: "I am who I am," in another translation: "I am that I am". So, behind the prohibition to pronounce it is the deepest respect, based on God's decision - He did not publicly reveal this name, it could only be voiced inside the Sanctuary, once a year, only from the mouth of the High Priest, without ear-witnesses. This is a sign of the deepest respect for the infinitely Majestic God, whom no human word can describe or comprehend. He is ineffable (Deus ineffabilis, as phrased by the Latin Church). When we say God, it's not His name, but His nature (like we have a name, say Nicholas, and we have a nature: we are human). In other words, we Christians also do not pronounce God's name. Pope Benedict XVI recently reminded us several times that Christians must also respect God's name, and therefore warned against the irresponsible use of the form YHWH, even more so against its irresponsible pronunciation. The four letters often appear in churches because it is God's name, the incomprehensible Mystery, the ultimate Mystery before which we also kneel in adoration. We only write down the consonants, so the exact pronunciation remains hidden, and we do not pronounce it. It is also written like this on the pages of the Bible. The Bible translations - following the millennial tradition - translate it as Lord (Adonai) wherever it encounters the Sacred Tetragrammaton.

    Indeed, when the New Testament uses the expression 'ho theos' (the God), it almost always (apart from the exceptions mentioned above) refers to the Father. The form without the definite article, referring to Christ, appears several times (Jn 1:1c. Tit 2:13). However, this does not affect the question of divinity; it is a question of usage. The Redeemer's name was Jesus; "Christ" is not a name but a title, a titulus, and theologically a function. In a word: the term "Christ" in New Testament theology clearly refers to the Anointed One (Messiah), sent by God, equal with God, of the same essence. Therefore, the word "Christ" - just like the word "theos" - is used with a definite article (Iésous ho Christos, literally: Jesus the Christ).

    God's name is not a name in the sense that the names of the ancient gods were, which could be invoked at any time. God revealed Himself to Moses as "I am who I am (ehyeh asher ehyeh) ... I am (ehyeh) has sent me... the LORD [YHWH] has sent" (Exodus 3:14-15). Hebrew writing only recorded consonants, and when the Jews read the Scripture aloud and reached the four letters (YHWH), they respectfully said Adonai (the Lord, my Lord) instead, causing the precise pronunciation to be lost. According to scholars, the word originates from the verb "to be", so the currently most probable variant Yahweh essentially means the future tense, causative form of the verb "to be": "He who will cause to be" = He who will sustain life? (This is grammatically acceptable, though an unused form.) Most modern Old Testament translations indicate the word Yahweh as "LORD", using small capital letters. The "Jehovah" variant, known from the older translation, literature, and Jehovah's Witnesses, is a theological term of medieval origin. They wrote the vowels of Adonai under the consonants of YHWH, so that one reading YHWH would say Adonai, but certain medieval theologians read the consonants of YHWH together with these vowels. This is how the variants Iahovah or Iehovah etc. were created.

    Even today, Jews call God "the Name" (ha Shem). In biblical Hebrew, there is no word for "person", so the word "name" is used: e.g., "to call upon the name of God" = to call upon God Himself; "to exalt the name of God" = to exalt God Himself for who He is. This unusual usage of language also passed into the New Testament, e.g., Acts 1:15 "the company of persons was in all about 120" (literally "the number of names together were about 120") or Acts 4:12 "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" = there is no one else.

    In Hebrew thought, a name not only distinguishes (a way of addressing someone), but also expresses the character and qualities of the person. God also has many names based on His attributes and actions, and the experiences of the faithful, e.g., the Lord, the Almighty, the Most High, King, God of Comfort, God of Tender Love, Rock, Father, etc.

    In the writings of the Watchtower, they consistently confuse the justified demand to indicate in the translation at appropriate places in the Old Testament that Yahweh or Jehovah - and the fabricated demand that they should also attempt this at the 200+ places in the New Testament set by them, even though here they are completely devoid of even the slightest semblance of manuscript and historical evidence.

    These insertions are only described as "easier" and "reasonable" reading by the Watchtower. In reality, it is a sectarian stigma: the brand pressed onto your group body by the "wise slave" out of an insatiable desire to be different. The shameless setting aside of the Greek text at hand. Double standards. Because they do the same thing as the "great harlot" they condemn, only they are in theory willing to give up their custom and release many translations that abound in the name Yehovah / Jahweh, while the Watchtower is not willing to do the opposite.

    The fact that the New Testament refers to the Old Testament in certain places does not make your underlying assumption a fact, a text, or data that in the original apostolic-evangelist text, YHWH was also present. However, you yourself say in your own writings (although you cannot defend this in a factual argument) that "apostate copyists" omitted the Name etc. But you cannot provide a single New Testament manuscript that would support you here. The "apostate copyist" hypothesis is good for everything and for nothing. With this method, one could also prove that reincarnation was in the Bible, but those damn "apostate copyists" left it out.

    Don't forget: the authors of the New Testament often quote the Septuagint, not the Masoretic Hebrew text. And despite a few manuscripts the refer to, the Septuagint contains the tendency (and not only as a sideline but as a mainstream, and well before the New Testament was written) to replace the YHWH name with the word "Lord". One may argue with this tendency and qualify its cause as superstitious - but it seems the authors of the New Testament did not consider it superstitious or offensive to God, because whenever they quote the Old Testament, they do not transliterate the tetragrammaton into Greek letters, but call it Lord. Therefore, they approved of the Jewish custom you call superstitious. And they at least testify against you that the YHWH name in the New Testament is so important and indispensable that without proclaiming it, the Church itself would collapse.

    In response to the question that if it is permissible to rewrite the YHWH name in our translations of the Old Testament, why it is not permissible for you to "rewrite" it in the New Testament, I answer this: you overlook a very important aspect. We are free to consistently write out the YHWH name as Yahweh or Jehovah in our translations (like J. N. Darby, for instance), and we don't bite off the head of anyone who perhaps, out of excessive fear due to the "do not take in vain" commandment or for some other reason (e.g., not wanting to mispronounce it) prefers to circumlocute the Name. So there is freedom with us: the saying (not) and translating (not) of the YHWH name is not a matter of faith with us. Moreover, newer translations also distinguish between Lord (Adonai) and LORD (YHWH), so anyone who wants to can reconstruct the original for themselves by looking past the usual substitution.

    You can't use this freedom of ours to justify the way you falsify the New Testament Greek manuscripts, which - as I just demonstrated - deal just as coolly with the tetragrammaton and translate it into Lord as freely as we do. What's more, you "brand" anyone who removed the YHWH name from both covenantal documents as "apostate". But it turns out that this accusation of yours hits the apostles first. For if they had considered it a matter of faith, what you take as such, they would have avoided the Septuagint like the plague.

    No one has claimed against you that "YHWH is not the name of God". Only that it is not the only name of God, and not an indispensable name for him. Learn to understand your opponents' claims in the sense they represent, and don't project some concocted, obviously easily attacked nonsense in their place. And don't expect me to defend this nonsense on behalf of everyone. No: it is your schizophrenic, either-or logic that has led you astray, which shouts in your ear that God can only have one true and indispensable name (the YHWH), and whoever denies this is already denying that the YHWH name is God's.

    Has God changed? The answer is a clear no. God did not change when he said that his YHWH name was not yet known to the patriarchs. And he did not start to change when he declared himself in Jesus as Father (as the Father of Jesus Christ and our Father). This would lead to another thread of debate, so I won't elaborate on it here.

    Since it is undeniable that the YHWH name does not appear in the existing manuscripts of the New Testament, apart from the four Hallelujahs*, but only the transcription of Kyrios (Lord), what prevents us from keeping these in the translations of the New Testament? The fact that the New Testament writers (following the Septuagint) grecianized the names of Jeremiah and Jesus, why wouldn't we accept their grecianization of the YHWH name into "Kyrios" as well? And it can't be argued against this that "apostate copyists left out the YHWH name from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament", because 1. there is no evidence for this, 2. why couldn't anyone say that "then let's also restore the names of Jeremiah and Jesus in the New Testament to Hebrew!"?

    * According to this, those "apostate copyists" were not vigilant enough to weed this out as well. These four examples actually weaken the JW's case, because while it preserves the name 'Yah' in the New Testament in a liturgical formula, it's not a pervasive use. So the copyists could not have been led by superstition or pagan prejudice, as JWs are prone to presume.

    I see the storm with which JWs force the YHWH name onto the New Testament as very recent and artificial. How the Septuagint and today's translations have dealt with it, I don't consider it a matter of salvation, and I read Darby as willingly as the King James. I don't know if this is a laid down program with them, but I feel that the JWs were the first to make this a matter of salvation. If the debate has come to this point (that one party brands the other as heretical and apostate based on (among other things) their wanting to translate the YHWH name into Kyrios, LORD, or Eternal), then those who wanted to maintain their previously free and innocent custom as a custom feel quite helpless. Because we acknowledge that with us it's not a law, not a matter of salvation, and in principle could change at any time (of course, rewriting translations doesn't happen overnight, especially if there's no compelling reason) - but they attack us and label us all sorts of things because of it.

    The Watchtower and its apologists often refer to the discovery of some very old fragments of the Greek Septuagint, which were in use in the days of Jesus, and that these fragments can be found with the form of YHWH in Hebrew characters. The question is how this script, which was not universally known in Jewish circles according to various sources, could have made its way into the New Testament in such a way that not a single instance has survived. One of the Bodmer papyri (p66) contains the section from Jn 1:1 to 6:11 in its entirety, including for example Jn 1:23: "I am a voice crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said." According to the JWs, the tetragram should be here. Well, this papyrus dates from the 2nd century, and we have hardly any longer New Testament sources from before that time. I haven't checked what text witnesses there might be for the places in question, but you already have to place the "apostate copyists" team's flawless operation at a very early date.

    The Watchtower is sitting on the horns of a dilemma here. Because if that stack of Greek manuscripts, on which it is forced to base the authenticity of God's Word in other respects, fell victim to the tendentious "apostate copyists" at this point, then what stopped them from inserting whole doctrines into the Scriptures elsewhere so that they appear uniformly in all surviving copies? And then the JW's own sect is compelled to make itself the measure of authenticity not only with regard to the New Testament occurrences of the YHWH name, but also in regard to many other text-critical and theological questions. However, this would indeed be a real FDS "papacy".

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