Hi guys. Conscienceguy started a topic regarding what to say to the elders about the name Jehovah being in the New Testament. I wrote him a private message with my comments on the matter. It was a very long message and even though I wrote it hurriedly I thought I would share it with you guys in case you find it helpful. 😌
Hi Conscious guy.
I read your post about what to say to the elders and this is what I say to those who listen -
If we don't have the originals then how we do know the Greek manuscripts we have today have been altered, removing the name Jehovah? If we had an original manuscript and compared it to later manuscripts we could see where words such as Jehovah have been removed from later manuscripts. But we don't have an original manuscript. We cannot compare our Greek manuscripts to the originals. So how can we figure out what was in the original manuscripts? WE CANT! All we can do is rely on the manuscripts we have. There is no indication in any of our manuscripts that the name jehovah was used. Was it removed from the originals? Without having an original manuscript we can never know! A reason that the organisation gives is that Jehovah is gods name. It was used 6000 times in the Old Testament. Jesus said that he made gods name known. So Jesus would have used gods name and so too the disciples and any followers. It would be very odd to use gods name Jehovah so many times in the Old Testament and for it not to appear in the Old Testament.
These are valid reasons, but this does not mean that Gods name Jehovah appeared in the original New Testament manuscripts! Gods name Jehovah does not appear in two Old Testament books -Ester and the Song of Solomon. Isn't strange how the two books that have been inspired and are so important that they have been included in the bible do not contain gods holy name? Isnt it strange? Shouldn't gods name be there? Are we to assume then that the Hebrew manuscripts we have today have in some way been altered and they have removed gods name from these two books? Should we add jehovahs name in these two books because of how important gods name is? The answer is NO! If God didn't want his name in these books then that is how God wanted it. No effort has been made by the society to include gods name into these two books and it's not even questioned. So why add it into the New Testament if all available manuscripts we have today use God or Lord instead? If you add it into the New Testament then surely you would do the same to ester and Song of Solomon?
Well what about Jesus? He must have used gods name. Well maybe he did. Maybe he didn't, Jesus lived in a time where the Jews had stopped using gods name. The average Jew would even know what it was and even the high priest, if he had known it would only have said it once a year during a festival. So if Jesus came down and stated using it there would be some passage recorded in the gospels of people's reactions of him using gods holy name. No one was allowed to say it! He would have likely been stoned for saying it for reasons of blasphemy. But his using gods name was never mentioned, no reaction from the Pharisees about it or the general public. It would have been a big deal to the Jews back then someone going round saying gods holy name but apparently everyone was fine with it if we believe that Jesus used it. yes he said he made gods name known. But compare it with Genesis. Jehovah told Moses that "as regards to Abraham I did not make my name known". Did Abraham know gods name? Yes he did! Abraham used and knew gods name. So what did gods mean? He meant that Abraham didn't know the meaning behind the name. He didn't reveal himself fully to Abraham like he did with Moses. after saying this to Moses he then used him to desolate Egypt with ten powerful plagues and set Israel free. That was the meaning of his name, Jehovah was talking about who he actually is and then power that he has and how he can do anything. He showed us the person behind the name fully through Moses. This Abraham didn't know. And this is what Is meant when Jesus said I have made your name known. Jehovah's Witnesses are so obsessed with an actual literal name. But names mean nothing. Jesus made known who God actually was, just like God revealed his name through Moses.
Ah! Say the elders - but gods name is Jehovah and he would still have had Jesus use it. But would he? Where does it say in the bible that gods name is so important that Jesus used it and the disciples used it? All the New Testament manuscripts show that it wasn't used. Why would Jehovah not have his name used by Jesus and the disciples? Who knows! Who are we to question that. If God didn't want his name used as that time who are we to say otherwise?! It his name, his choice. Yes it is weird that the name isn't mentioned in the New Testament manuscripts but are you telling me that there was a big worldwide conspiracy to remove the name Jehovah out of all New Testament Greek manuscripts but then to NOT remove it from any Old Testament manuscripts? We have loads of Old Testament manuscripts which used gods name Jehovah. If there was a big conspiracy over the name Jehovah do you not think that all of our existing Old Testament manuscripts would have been altered just like the New Testament ones? Why only remove it from the New Testament? We have sources from the so called church fathers where Christians reading from the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures would actually read gods name, the Tetragrammaton, and pronounce it as Pipi, because the Hebrew letters for YHWH look like Greek letters that read PIPI. So Christians were using scriptures with gods name the Tetragrammaton in it but had no idea how to pronounce gods name, incorrectly calling him pipi. So they had no problem with gods name. So if they were trying to say gods name when reading the Old Testament why would they try to remove it and not use in the New Testament?
Jesus came down and taught us many important spiritual truths which are vital for salvation. Christianity has largely continued to teach these things such as baptism, the Passover, Jesus death, the kingdom of heaven, etc. If the use of gods name was so important Jesus would have explicitly mentioned the importanc of gods name like he did with the kingdom of heaven or baptism or preaching etc. But he doesn't. And why would the Christian church want to remove gods name? There is no reason at all. It wasnt offensive to Christians. One of the first things we teach to new bible studies is gods name Jehovah and for them to use it. If we teach that then surely Jesus and his disciples would have taught it too and all the Christians. The Christians accepted everything else Jesus said even if it was hard to do like being killed for their faith. So why would the name become so offensive to them so quickly when everything else they were OK with? It makes no sense. Especially as they we're trying no to use gods name and instead saying Pipi. But what does make sense is if they didn't know gods name Jehovah. If Jesus didn't use the name Jehovah then he couldn't have told it to the apostles and they wouldn't have told it to the newly converted Christians and they wouldn't have used it in speech and in their Christians writings or copies of their scriptures and when those that tried to use the name would have mispronounced it big time as Pipi and all manuscripts we find today would not contain the Tetragrammaton and we still wouldn't know for sure today how to actually pronounce gods name. And that is the case today! It all makes sense like that. But if you insist that Jesus did use gods name at a time when Jews didn't use it to the point they had forgotten how to pronounce it and was a stoning offence and the grounds of blasphemy then first of all Jesus would have reprimanded us through scripture for not using gods name and restoring it to us. The Jews and Pharisees would have been in an uproar of the use of gods name and would have tried to stone him - but the bible is silent about that. Christians everywhere would have used gods name and would have none how to pronounce it and wrote it in their copies of scriptures. But if that was the case why don't we have copies of New Testament with gods name? Why would Christians pis pronounce gods name as Pipi if they knew it and were taught to use it? Why would that one teaching only become offensive to the Christians for no reasons? Most Christian converts were Greek and pagans. They weren't Jews who lived under the superstition of not using gods name. There was no reason for the Greeks Christians to not use gods name fully. At one point has any person to whom you have taught about gods name Jehovah has begun using it and then turned round and said oh no I shouldn't use it in case of Jewish superstition? No one. A new back then perhaps. But certainly not a Greek pagan convert. Also, Christians were everywhere by the end of the first century, for the Christian church at the time deciding to eradicate the use of gods name, the pronounction of gods name and the writing of gods name in scripture would have been impossible. There wasn't exactly social media telling them not to use it anymore, nor a postal system. Nor email. Or telephones. And for Christians worldwide to be organised to eradicate gods name in only the New Testament would have led to a massive paper trail. All conspiracies and teachings and heresies and actions of the Christian church is all recorded by the early church fathers. Yet there is not one single quote or letter which gives any indication of any worldwide removal of the Jehovah from the New Testament. That would have been a huge undertaking and people would have objected to it all over the place but every document we have is silent on the matter. Again, things don't add up. The only thing that makes sense is that gods name jehovah was not used by Jesus and so could never have even potentially been written in any manuscripts. Like I said before, they were using manuscripts quite happily with the Old Testament that had gods name in it and not effort was made to remove gods name from these manuscripts at this time. Again it doesn't add up.
Eventually the use of gods name Jehovah was removed. Gods name does and should be in the Old Testament. It should exist there in. Every bible and every manuscript. Over the centuries it has been replaced with God and Lord. But why? Is it satan? No. People didn't know how to pronounce it. Simple. If you are reading on the platform a portion of scripture amd you came across YHWH with no vowels and you didn't know how to pronounce it then what are you going to do? Doesn't make for fluent reading does it? We know it is a name for God. Christians have always known that through the centuries. So instead the said God or Lord. Whilst not entirely accurate they do know at least it is a name for God so by saying God instead we at least know who we are talking about and the reading flows more smoothly, in the twelfth century a catholic monk finally rendered YHWH as Jehovah and gave us a usable name. This is brilliant as we finally have a name we can at least use which gives for a more accurate reading. So every time the manuscripts have YHWH we can now say more accurately the name of God instead of God or Lord but we still don't know how to pronounce YHWH. The monk made a guess at what it could be in transliterated as for use in the English language. But the from we use today is only a guess of how it is pronounced. But it's the best we got. So we can use. But only in the Old Testament, this still isn't any evidence that it should be used in the New Testament. We have to refer to the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, none of them use the Tetragrammaton. When you translate something you assign every Greek word its English equivalent, and you translate what is there written down in the manuscript word for word. You can not translate what isn't there. The Greek word kyrios is there so we translate it as Lord. The Greek word Theos is there so we translate it as God. But the Tetragrammaton is not there so we cannot translate a word for Jehovah.
Ah! Says the elders - but the New Testament writers quoted scriptures from the Old Testament which used gods name Jehovah. So when quoting these passages they would have written gods name into the original New Testament manuscripts.
Ok. Where is the evidence for this?
Where is the manuscripts that supports this theory?
It's one thing to say this, it's another thing for this to be true. The fact is there is no proof for it. All evidence we have points to the fact that when they quoted it from the Old Testament they DIDNT write out Jehovah and instead used God or Lord. if they had done otherwise the. We would have documented proof! The name Jehovah would been in at least some of the New Testament manuscripts but it isn't there.
Another way to look at it is this. If God has taken such great care to create the bible, to inspire the writers, to make sure it was destroyed when Jerusalem was destroyed in 607bce and has taken a lot of trouble to see to it that we have the bible today in so many languages then why did he not prevent his name from being removed out of the bible manuscripts? Why did he allow his name to be removed from only the New Testament Greek manuscripts? Why did he have the ability to preserve the bible but not have the ability to preserve his name? Doesn't add up.
If he failed to preserve his name, what else didn't he preserve in the bible? How can we trust that we have the 100% accurate word of God when we know that the most fundamental teaching, the use of gods name, was removed? What else was removed? What could have been added in? Can we really trust what we have in front of us? Recently the grey bible has removed certain passages in John and mark. Why? Because they do not appear in our earliest Greek manuscripts. These passages of been removed because the earliest manuscripts we have do not contain them so the originals could not have contained them. How to true then could it be said for the name jehovah! Our earliest manuscripts do not contain jehovah and so therefore the originals can not have contained the name jehovah! This is at least consistent. Only by checking the earliest manuscripts can we figure out what the originals said or didn't say. And so if they dont contain the name Jehovah the it would be hypocritical to back track on that point and say well actually that rule doesn't apply with regard to the name of God. And what that comes down to is the witness deciding what they want to see in their bible. They have created their own bible. They have decided that gods name Jehovah should be in the New Testament despite all evidence to the contrary and they have hypocritically gone against their own rules as shown in how they have removed the other passages based on their absence in the early manuscripts.
A further point about their use of gods name in the New Testament is that they say they have used gods name in the scriptures which quotes Old Testament passages which contain the name Jehovah. But this is only 80 times. Gods name appears 235 times in the NWT. So clearly they have decided themselves where to stick jehovahs name into scripture. How can they add the name Jehovah randomly into the bible when they have no manuscripts to show where gods name could have been? The Old Testament quotations I can understand. But to add it randomly in to texts when they have no idea where it could have been is reprehensible. They are adding something into the text when they have no basis for it. They have altered Gods word. The book of revelation makes it clear that you are cursed if you add or take away anything in the scriptures. Adding gods name where it doesn't belong is wrong.
Every New Testament. Manuscript does not contain gods name. Therefor when translating from Greek into English you can not add in words which do not appear in the Greek. Gods name does not appear in the Greek so this it should not appear in English. We don't have the originals manuscripts. We can not say that the original manuscripts contained the name Jehovah. That's like me saying that original manuscripts contain the name Peter Pan but it was removed from all later copies. You cannot say that the originals contained something when we don't have them to see what they contained. All we have are the copies. If the copies are so badly tainted and removals and additions have been made then we cannot trust the manuscripts and thus we cannot trust what we read in the New Testament to be true. You cannot have it both ways. Are the manuscripts corrupted or not. If they are corrupted, such as by removing the name jehovah, the. We can't trust them to teach us the truth so the New Testament as we know it is useless to us and is therefore no the word of God. If the manuscripts have not been corrupted then we can trust them as portraying what the originals said and thus it is the accurate word of God that we can trust. This means accepting that the name Jehovah does not appear in the New Testament.