Jesus ransom or the sanctification of God's name the most important?
Some time ago, during the mid-week meeting, the sanctification of God’s name was being discussed (chapter 4 in ‘God’s kingdom rules’). In paragraph nine we read that in the early period the JW’s viewed Jesus ransom sacrifice as the most important teaching of the Bible.
Then they said they gave overbalanced importance to Jesus, and nowadays, they say the sanctification of God’s name is the most important thing in the Bible.
9, 10. (a) Why did early Watch Tower articles focus on Jesus? (b) What change occurred from 1919 onward, and with what results?
9 First, Jehovah’s servants came to have the proper view of the importance of God’s name. Faithful early Bible Students viewed the ransom arrangement as the Bible’s main teaching. That explains why the Watch Tower often focused on Jesus. For example, in its first year of publication, the magazine mentioned the name Jesus ten times more than the name Jehovah. Regarding the Bible Students’ early years, The Watchtower of March 15, 1976, noted that they gave “overbalanced importance” to Jesus. In time, though, Jehovah helped them to discern the prominence that the Bible gives to God’s personal name. How did that affect the Bible Students? Especially from 1919 onward, says the same Watchtower article, “they began showing more appreciation for Messiah’s heavenly Father, Jehovah.” In fact, during the decade following 1919, The Watch Tower mentioned God’s name over 6,500 times!
10 By giving the name Jehovah proper recognition, our brothers showed their love for God’s name. Like Moses of old, they set out to “declare the name of Jehovah.” (Deut. 32:3; Ps. 34:3) In turn, as promised in the Scriptures, Jehovah took note of their love for his name and showed them favor.—Ps. 119:132; Heb. 6:10.
13. How does God’s Word reveal the most important issue to be settled?
13 Third, Jehovah’s people came to appreciate the importance of the sanctification of God’s name. During the 1920’s, they discerned that the sanctification of God’s name is the most important issue to be settled. How does God’s Word reveal that weighty truth? Consider two examples. What was the principal reason why God rescued Israel from Egypt? Jehovah stated: “To have my name declared in all the earth.” (Ex. 9:16) And why did Jehovah show mercy to Israel when they rebelled against him? Again, Jehovah said: “I acted for the sake of my name so that it would not be profaned before the nations.” (Ezek. 20:8-10)
I was trying to find arguments against this teaching. A comment that was made back then by someone in the congregation, was that Jesus is only important in the New Testament, whereas the sanctification of God’s name is important in both the Old and the New Testament. What can be said against this? Are there any Bible accounts/verses that can be used to show that this is a false teaching?
Thanks for your responses.
IMHO, they are splitting hairs again. Thinking that only the Witnesses truly understand "the most important" part of God's purpose. In fact, it simply all fits together, if Christianity is true. You need the Atonement to accomplish the sanctification of God's name. God already was holy so He sent His son.
JC bwana, firstly note how the most important words found in the WT book you referenced are not God or Jesus but the navel gazing publishers of the text who presumptuously call themselves "God's people". The literature quoted is about their constant changes of perception. The GB are always making a drama out of doing 180 degree turns as if it were a thing to brag about! A real god surely, would always give "His people" (if there ever was such a thing) the unchanging, immortal, irrevocable truth!
Secondly the argument as to what God's primary purpose is, is a complete red herring. The Bible is a story book from which you can pick out a thread of belief and create whatever teaching you want from it.
What sort of God is it who is so insecure that he has to make a case for the sanctity of his name? It is religious gobbledegook. Who on earth cares about which God does what? Everything the Watchtower says has NO MEANING outside of the demented closed cult thinking!
Sanctification and ransom are mutually exclusive subjects.
1) God’s name cannot be made unholy by a lie of Satan who himself is the product of somebody’s lie
2) Even if God’s name was made unholy by some lie, by permitting the innocent person to be murdered by sinners, and permitting such a death as a basis for the atonement for the sins of the sinners could only further tarnish God’s name
The good news of the kingdom is Jesus Christ is the messiah and he died was raised so we too can be raised. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 . Any other message then Christ and you'll be cursed Galatians chapter 1 verses 1 through 10. It's cute and dry not splitting hairs period.
They emphasise god's name because it is the thing that sets them apart from other religions. Other Christian religions have believed in the doctrine of atonement or ransom sacrifice for a very long time. Continually going on about god's name makes them look unique as if new truth was reavealed to them.
In time, though, Jehovah helped them to discern the prominence that the Bible gives to God’s personal name.
The name is completely missing from the Christian Greek Scriptures. It's not found in a single extant manuscript. The NWT is the only Bible that has inserted it there, and broke cardinal rules of translation scholarship in so doing.
And Jesus never once referred to God by the divine name in the scriptures. Not once.
The New Testament gives zero prominence to the name!
If sanctification of God's name was the most important subject, Jesus would have used all his superhuman skills to teach this subject, and all his illustrations would have centered around it. Interestingly, his parable about Kingdom of God has nothing to do with sanctification of God's name but it looks alike almost counterproductive to this very concept because he said: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Mathew 13:33) And, he did not explain it.
This leaves the reader to make his own conclusion: Vices work like yeast or leaven, thus Bible presents leaven as symbol of sin. (Luke 12:1; 1Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9) Does it mean sin would appear again?
I was at that meeting and those very paragraphs bothered the hell out of me.
I even started a thread about it at the time...
The publications and talks are stressing reading the bible more of late which is interesting. The more I read the bible, the more I find that doesn't jibe with WT doctrine.