JW`s Lie about Christendom hiding the Name Jehovah.or its equivalent Yahweh

by smiddy 72 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • smiddy

    Thanks for that Earnest.

    Its interesting to check out Catholic Churches around the world that have the name Jehovah either in artwork or engraved in stone on their buildings including the Vatican.

  • Phizzy

    There is an interesting Thread on here started by Slimboyfat that shows a number of Scholars feel that the Divine Name was in the N.T. (Obviously not in the form "Jehovah).

    Personally I feel that if this is so, it was not uttered when read aloud to the Congregations. Most early Congregations had many former Jews as their majority, to them uttering The Name was anathema.

    If I am right then the JW use of the Name, in any form, be it Jehovah or another, is NOT following early Christian practice.

    Jesus, if the Gospels are to be believed, advocated calling God simply Father.

  • Ruby456

    JWs are right about the name if early early christianity is taken as setting the lead and their arguments are very strong as slimboyfat pointed out. We shouldn't take our lead from Judaism on not pronouncing the name because that trend developed among those who wished to promote the Jewish faith rather than a jewish cum christian faith. Later christians tended to dispense with the Jewish elements I think and focused more on making the new faith more Romanised and universal. so this is the fight that JWs have with catholicism and they are correct on this I think.

    Catholics popularised a triune god and this was an interesting innovation because it allowed place for the importance of the holy spirit and its mysterious activities within people. In the jewish faith they have their shekinah light and candellabra etc. I don't think Jehovah's witnesses have anything like this anymore.

  • menrov

    Hmm...first of all, the WT likes to generalize. By using the word Christendom, they generalize al Christians and Christian organisations. There is absolutely no proof they, Christendom as a group, had evil intentions to hide the name. The name was often not used for various resons:

    - no alignment of the correct spelling
    - NT seems not to have the name at all
    - out of respect to God as not knowing the correct spelling

    Many translations do acknowledge the tetragrammaton and provide a reason for the chosen translation of it. Most translations made by Christendom have applied a very modest attitude as they decided not to change the NT by adding the name Jehovah in it, like the WT did.

    The WT was not the only organisation that used a name for the tetragrammaton. I have a hard copy of the bible from early 1800 (1815) and has the name in it. Various Catholic translation also have a name in it (often Yahweh). Many Spanish translations also have a name.

    To use the name or not, is a choice. To add it to NT is wrong as until now, there is not one mss that has it. But to accuse Christendom of evil actions in order to hide the name, is really wrong.

  • barry

    Just look at a hymn book from christendom and you will find many hymns with the name Jehovah in the title or content of the hymn.

  • Earnest

    Phizzy : Personally I feel that if [the Divine Name was in the N.T.], it was not uttered when read aloud to the Congregations. Most early Congregations had many former Jews as their majority, to them uttering The Name was anathema.

    The idea that all Jews did not use God's name is mistaken. The Dead Sea Scrolls have shown that the Jewish community at the time of Christ was very diverse. It was only after the destruction of the second temple that uniformity became the norm. But even then there were Jews who believed in scripture alone and were not bound by talmudic tradition. One of these movements are the Karaites who continue to use God's name today. One cannot be dogmatic about the use of God's name by the early Christians but there is every reason to think they were not bound by talmudic tradition.

  • jhine

    l was going to say that Barry ! and Christendom isn't just Catholics . As an Anglican l rather resent that Catholics come in for most of the JW abuse . Lol .

    Menrov as you say there is no evidence that the tetragrammaton was ever in the NT . The WT inserts the word Jehovah wherever they deem it applicable . l think that this is partly to do with their stance against the Divinity of Jesus . Some quotes from the OT originally about Yahweh are applied to Christ as Lord . lf the WT inserts Jehovah into those quotes they change the meaning .

    ln many old hymns (19th century ) the word Jehovah is used .

    lt seems to me that the WT's obsession with Jehovah is a lot to do with their teaching about Jesus being Michael .


  • Phizzy

    Dear Earnest, I am not sure if you are being crafty or are misled by WT/JW publications, but the Karaites are a very late development 6th/7th century.

    One cannot be dogmatic about anything to do with 1st Century Christian practice, and 2nd Century probably, but why on earth would the habit of uttering the Divine name have arisen amongst them ?

    There is Manuscript evidence that a number of verses etc were NOT to be read in "church", what would be gained by uttering The Name when it simply was not done in Synagogues etc ?

    I don't think the early Christians were like the Rutherford influenced JW's, simply doing things to be different.

  • careful

    There is an interesting new book out by Robert J. Wilkinson published in 2015, Tetragrammaton: Western Christians and the Hebrew Name of God. It's big and dense. In his chapter 10, "The Tetragrammaton in Vernacular Bibles, Popular Print, and Illustration," he has some discussion on the name Jehovah. Among the things he notes is that this form of the divine name "commended itself to English Protestants" (page 357), so that's why it caught on so much in the English-speaking world. You might want to look at it, or to the review of it by Frank Shaw (who also has a book out on the divine nameā€”see here: https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/6276841381822464/most-successful-teaching-jehovahs-witnesses-amazing-new-book-on-divine-name) in the Journal of Theological Studies, vol. 67 (2016) pages 759-762: https://academic.oup.com/jts/article-abstract/67/2/759/2568861/Tetragrammaton-Western-Christians-and-the-Hebrew?redirectedFrom=PDF.

    There is still much to learn on this subject.

  • Earnest

    Phizzy : Dear Earnest, I am not sure if you are being crafty or are misled by WT/JW publications, but the Karaites are a very late development 6th/7th century.

    I was not attempting to be crafty, and if I was misled then it was Wikipedia that did so rather than the Watchtower. In discussing the origins of Karaite Judaism Wikipedia states :

    Arguments among Jewish sects regarding the validity of the Oral Law can be dated back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE. Accordingly, some scholars trace the origin of Karaism to those who rejected the Talmudic tradition as an innovation. Judah Halevi, an 11th-century Jewish philosopher and rabbi, wrote a defense for Judaism entitled Kuzari, placing the origins of Karaism in the first and second centuries BCE, to the reign of Alexander Jannaeus ("King Jannai").

    The British theologian John Gill (1767) noted,

    In the times of John Hyrcanus, and Alexander Janneus his son, sprung up the sect of the Karaites, in opposition to the Pharisees, who had introduced traditions, and set up the oral law, which these men rejected. In the times of the said princes lived Simeon ben Shetach, and Judah ben Tabbai, who flourished AM 3621, these two separated, the latter from the former, because he could not embrace his inventions which he formed out of his own brain; and from him the Karaites sprung, who were first called the society or congregation of Judah ben Tabbai, which was afterwards changed into the name of Karaites.

    Phizzy : why on earth would the habit of uttering the Divine name have arisen amongst them ?

    If it was common-place to use the divine name, and it was Talmudic tradition that was the innovation, then it would have been natural to continue doing so when they became Christians. It is clear from the Hebrew scriptures that there was a time when God's name was freely used by the Jews. The only question is when this changed, and the evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls is that at the time of Christ there were some who would not use God's name and some who were quite happy to do so.

Share this