In memory of a lost doctrine - the vindication of Jehovah's name
I start this thread in response to a comment by a JW apologist called SimonSays on another thread. He claimed to have read all three volumes of Vindication by Rutherford (my sympathy if true). He further implied that it didn't matter that old JW literature said wrong and stupid things, saying:
I have read all 3 volumes of vindication, and understand it’s reasoning for that era. Of course, I won’t apply it to modern ideology, but the core value still holds.
Well actually that's a bit of a stretch, because the Vindication books promoted the "vindication" doctrine what was arguably the major JW doctrine of the era, a doctrine that was unceremoniously dumped in the 1990s. Rutherford constantly emphasised the vindication of Jehovah's name as the most important issue of all: it was the main reason Jesus came to earth, it was the main reason for preaching, it was the main reason for Armageddon.
So why did JWs dump it in the 1990s? The story goes that it was because hapless Karl Klein was posted to the Writing Deparment. Feeling a bit underappreciated, and wanting to make his mark on official JW teaching, he was scratching around for some "new light" he could invent. He noticed that the scripture that was often used to support the "vindication of Jehovah's name" actually talks about the "sanctification" of Jehovah's name. So Klein pointed out that technically JWs should talk about the sanctification and not the vindication of Jehovah's name. They could still talk about the vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty, but not so much, as it turns out. Thus was dropped the "vindication of Jehovah's name", which had been the central massage of JWs for most of the 20th century.
So no, the "core" of books like Vindication I, II, and III have not been retained. Old JW publications go out of date, not merely in style, contemporary facts, or approach. The very core of old JW publications has been rendered obsolete by their changing teachings.
Rutherford called it, "the greatest of all doctrines", but Karl Klein noticed it wasn't in the Bible.
See the full story in this old thread:
Karl Klein, my friend, was a slightly high-strung but affable chap. We traveled around NY and visited KHs on Sundays and gave a musical program of cello and piano duets. Too, his cello was strung highly.
Those were different times . . .
let your name be sanctified, not vindicated. sanctified by not using it. like Jesus.
It may have been helpful to the flock when they brought out the book " Let Your Name Be Sacntified" that they had the right pronunciation of GOD`s name .
How could you sanctify his name if you don`t really know what his name is. Or vindicate it for that matter.
Why would god's name need vindication ? in what way was it besmirched ?
I guess we are not talking of the literal name here, more the reputation that Jehoober had, but if he hadn't been such an arsehole in the O.T, poor old J.C wouldn't have had to work so hard to vindicate him. An effort that was not entirely successful.
Thanks SBF. This doctrinal "refinement" escaped my notice. But, yes, no it makes sense: We do not hear modern-day JWs going on about Jehovah's name being vindicated.
I recall the last door-stopping tome that came out of Brooklyn was "The Nations Shall Know that I Am Jehovah", a dissection of that laugh-a-minute dirge, the book of Ezekiel. I think the year of its release was 1973 - a fever pitch year in the organization with the International conventions whipping up even more fervent end-times lust among the rank and file and armies assorted hangers-on (who vanished in the dismal years post-1975).
I saw this speaker talk one time about “Using the name of god “.
He went into some old testament examples , one being an angel that someone was supposed to obey because “ his name was in him “ or his name rested there or sometimes god is just referred to as the name.
When Jesus said “ he made his name known to man “ it is more about the power of attributes of god, than the actual vowels and consonants.
I could post a youtube link if anyone is interested.
When I did my WT comments I used to bring this up as long ago as 2005.
The issue of sovereignty...God's name be sanctified--did you know that the WTS for years taught that God's name was to be vindicated?
*** w75 9/1 p. 525 Christian Love Based on Jehovah's Love ***
Jehovah God lovingly sent his Son from heaven to vindicate God's name and His confidence in those who do love Him. His Son Jesus proved that his Father's confidence in him was not misplaced.
*** w95 5/15 p. 25 Flashes of Light-Great and Small (Part 2) ***
Similarly, for a long time, Witnesses spoke of the vindication of Jehovah's name. But had Satan called Jehovah's name into question? For that matter, had any of Satan's agents done so, as if Jehovah did not have a right to that name? No, not at all. It was not the name of Jehovah that was challenged and that needed to be vindicated. That is why the Watch Tower Society's recent publications do not speak of Jehovah's name as being vindicated. They speak of Jehovah's sovereignty as being vindicated and of his name as being sanctified. This is in keeping with what Jesus told us to pray: "Let your name be sanctified." (Matthew 6:9) Time and again, Jehovah said that he was going to sanctify his name, which the Israelites had not challenged but had profaned.-Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22; 36:23.
I remember this change. I also remember it was really difficult for the older ones to stop saying "vindicate Jehovah's name" all the time.