The most successful teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses and an amazing new book on the divine name
The argument is theologically moot.
Since Jesus has supposedly taught on the model prayer: "Let your name be sanctified", let us remind what is implied by the term 'sanctified'.
The Greek word is Hagiasthētō (Strong's 37). From Hagios: means "to make holy', 'purify', 'consecrate' (Strong) 'to render inviolable', 'to purify', 'to cleanse externally' (Thayer)
Since we can agree on the following:
a) No one knows what is the original and correct pronunciation of the tetragrammon; and
b) It is well known that the name "Jehovah" is an interpolation of the letters of the tatragrammon with the vowels of 'adonai', concocted by a catholic monk in the 13th century, and, therefore, it is impossible that represents the correct hebrew pronunciation;
It stands to reason that, as per our current knowledge, it is impossible that "Jehovah" is the original, pure, hebrew pronunciation of God's name - the name that the hebrew God has chosen for himself. Remember that no man can question God's choices or attempt to change them. To Isaiah he said: "Yes, from ancient days I am he (...) I act, and who can reverse it?" (Isaiah 43:13)
As per God's own statement, no man can reverse or pervert God's choices, including the choice of name and way of pronouncing it - in hebrew - that he picked for himself back in the days of the patriarchs.
Therefore, calling God by the name of "Jehovah", even if well-meaning, it has the effect of polluting, corrupting and bastardizing God's name. Isn't it the WT that insists at pointing to Galatians 5:7: "A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough" to say that even small amounts of corruption are enough to make an entire doctrine morally objectable to the Witnesses? The poor Uzzah thought he was doing something good by taking hold of the covenant ark when it was in peril of falling from a cart. In his eyes, it was a good deed. But God struck him, because he committed an intolerable act of impurity, since he wasn't a Levite of the Kohatite branch. (2 Samuel 6:1-7) That's how stern God is with purity, according to the Scriptures. Don't angels sing "Holy, holy, holy are you?" (Revelation 4:8) Well, the WT should heed to their own advice on this key doctrine.
Even if the WT could be on the right side of the theological wars by noticing the need to rescue God's name from obscurity, doing so without being absolutely certain that they were using the original and purest form of the name, would risk them being the object of God's ire.
To insist on using "Jehovah" is actually a disservice to the God the WT purports to worship, and, if I were the God that the Scriptures portray, I'd be very unhappy and offended with them. It's a bit like if my name was JONATHAN and a bunch of people at work would call me JANITOR because it was a "close enough" pronunciation. I wouldn't be amused. I would rather be addressed as "Mister" or "Sir", than be called some corrupted form of my name that, after a while, I would find an intolerable mockery.
Besides, I don't see any advantage in God allowing the true pronunciation of his name to be concealed for millennia. What good would that produce, except to expose God's inability to preserve his own assets?
no way edenone - you are entirely wrong on this - there were multiple uses of different ways of addressing God's name. the name Jehovah is one of them.
this is a silly argument and really does you no service
Besides, I don't see any advantage in God allowing the true pronunciation of his name to be concealed for millennia. What good would that produce, except to expose God's inability to preserve his own assets? edenone
a simple refutation is that he was waiting for the right sort of people to come along and take it up anew. people who would strive to live up to his name. happens all the time.
other than that the name was not concealed for millennia - people used it in what we dismiss as magical settings. the wts has taken the name and given it new life in what they seem to suggest is an entirely non magical setting. However the way they use it chimes very well with how it was used in folklore, in material culture like amulets, recorded incantations, on sarcophagi and epitaphs and on gems.
It's not enough to call it "silly". Please be kind enough to make your case using the Bible (WT style).
And again - the right kind of people? Why? For what purpose? Did god ever reveal such intention about his name? Because, after all, God doesn't do a thing without first revealing it to his prophets. (Amos 3:7) Where in the Scripture says that God will conceal his name and only the right people would one day make it known again? And, if the WT is doing so, does that mean they are God's prophets?
Instead, as per Ezekiel 39:7, God has failed his own prophetic purpose. He said: "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel and I will no longer let my holy name be profaned" Not only the natural Israel forgot what is the correct pronunciation of God's name, but the so-called "Spiritual Israel" of Christianity does not know the correct pronunciation of that name, and instead deliberately uses a form of the name they know is corrupted, unholy and profane.
a simple refutation is that he was waiting for the right sort of people to come along and take it up anew. people who would strive to live up to his name. happens all the time - Ruby
What utter nonsense!
The right sort of people? For goodness sake this thread is getting even more insane.
Why do people think the pronunciation matters? Nobody says "Jesus" correctly. And in fact since IAW was common in the first century (pronounced like Yaho) then that's not really far away from Jehovah. Especially if you add an extra syllable to make it three syllables. In German it's even closer.
I really don't know much about the pronunciation and I've not read much about it at all. It seems to me that pronunciation varies over time and across language anyway.
I am much more interested in the divine name in the NT and I've read a lot about it.
It seems to me that pronunciation varies over time and across language anyway.
Tell you what ... I will start addressing you as rapazgordomagro, because that's more or less one possible way to translate your handle to my language. I'm sure to you it won't make a difference? ;)
Plus, obviously, everyone will know who am I talking about, especially after this thread will fall into oblivion.
I and J were interchangeable in latin. So Jahu or Iao would have been recognisable. But generally when the Jews used the divine name they used other terms with Jahu/Iao that identified that they were talking about the abrahamic God and not someone like Zeus. At other times they used Zeus interchangeably with Jahu.
under persecution Jews have often changed their own names - they are very adaptable people.
Oy vey! Someone has called me out of my retirement from this forum, pleading again and again via email. So okay. Just this once, and do with this comment as you wish.
Reading though this thread over the past two days (it is very long), generally speaking, Cofty is correct.
The book by Shaw that the OP makes reference to is only a hypotheses and does not agree with either Jewish tradition or Biblical criticism, both Jewish and Christian. It has not made any dents or waves in either Judaism or Christianity in general. No one I know knows about really, either in synagogues or churches, Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant.
Remember folks, you all claim to be CRITICAL THINKERS now that you've left the Watchtower. But reading some of these posts, I am not so sure about that. Along with a review of how the critical method works, it should also be brought out:
1. The conclusions of one expert do not a working theory make. A working theory is one that has gone through the rigours of testing by disinterested and often opposing parties to a hypothesis. Has the hypothesis been proven to stand when analyzed critically by others? Who were these others? What is the name of the working model theory? Even Biblical criticism has names for its accepted theories like the "Document Theory." The Watchtower is not right, nor is Frank Shaw because there has never been sufficient data to support a working theory based on his conclusions.
2. There is no central governing body in Judaism as the uniform acceptance of creed or theological concept among Jews is both unnecessary and in some aspects rebuffed by Halacha (the administration and application of Jewish law). This Frank Shaw book covers the use of the Divine Name in reference to the LXX, a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that Jews actually reject.
3. Last, but not least, Shaw is concerned with applying a pagan custom to the Divine Name: uttering it. As a Jew I explained it over and over again, but apparently it never sank in. One more time (Cofty, please help repeat this for me): Pagans make images of the gods, Jews don't. Pagans utter the names of their god to emphasize their holiness, Jews do not utter God's name because of how holy it is. Get it? Pagans put their holy things on display for all to see. We hid our holy things deep inside chambers separate from the eyes of others. Shaw and Jehovah's Witnesses want to apply pagan customs to a Semitic cult system that worked desperately to do everything the opposite way pagans did with their cults. There might have once been some way to pronounce the Divine Name, but eventually the Jews decided to make that ineffable.
There's no magic to it. I know Christians and especially Fundamentalists want it all to be something super literal, but my people have merely been attempting to shed off superstitions as humanity evolved. It's not that the God of Abraham is not Real. It's just that God isn't the idea most have been sold on. We're not talking some painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We're talking Someone you'll never have a handle on and, like in the Book of Job, will just answer all your most important questions with more questions. Sorry, but there's no verse in the Bible that says: "Hi, I'm God. I'm YOUR idea of an all-perfect, all-loving, all-just Deity, and all that." Nope. If your mad at God for not being that, you only have yourself to blame.
Those of you applauding this Shaw book show why you got caught up in the JWs in the first place. You will believe anything that sounds good because you think you're a critical thinker but fail to check if what you think about yourself if true.
Don't worry though. I think sometimes we can get caught up in the moment wishing there were definitive answers like the Watchtower used to tell use there was. It all seemed so much easier back then, right? So someone comes along, posts something that sounds good, and all the critical thinking we learned goes out the window because something suddenly sounds sweet.
Don't let this happen. You know better. Wake up, my critical thinkers! Even if the Divine Name was pronounced and placed by Christianity into the New Testament, then that would have been weird. How did Jesus' name stay preserved (Yeshua) but the Divine Name get lost? If it is more important, where is it? Where is the critical data to back up Shaw's work? Wouldn't Jews and Christians have accepted it by now? What is the name of this Biblical critical theory Shaw discovered? Who are the other academics who support it and what universities do they work for and teach at?
Oh wait! None of that has happened. Why not? Biggest reason. The LXX is not an accepted Jewish text. It is corrupted, as are all the texts he works from, according to a Jewish perspective (the Qumran texts mean little to us, if you think about it). So his hypotheses don't work from the start. That's why it's 2017 and almost 2018 and still nothing of any significance has happened since his work has been published. I'm a Jew. It's almost a month away from Rosh Hoshana, 5778. Shaw changed nothing.
(Now, I have to go. Still recovering. Diagnosis: Epilepsy with cluster seizures. Really can't stay. Cofty, good work as usual.)
Oh boy David-jay and we are supposed to accept your word as an authority. Pls get some rest and don,t listen to people calling u out because we have enough critical thinking skills of our own
As Yahweh, or Jehovah, is found in Ugaritic literature that predates the Bible, and is there a minor god, it seems irrelevant that the early Christians made the same mistake as their Jewish forbears and thought Yahweh was the original and only god.
That the early Christians ( a number of disparate groups) mostly saw Jesus as the son of god I do not doubt, but when his words failed to come true they must have doubted even this.
Until I see firm evidence to the contrary, I err on the side of believing that the Divine Name may have appeared in a number of forms in early Christian manuscripts, none of which were written much before the end of the 1st Century.
But, I also feel it unlikely that it was ever uttered, as Yahweh or anything similar, but that a substitute was used in the oral delivery of the text, most early Christians being illiterate.
So I see no justification for the JW Org stance on using their bastardized pronunciation of the name Ad Nauseam, or any relevance in whether it appeared in early M.S or not.