The most successful teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses and an amazing new book on the divine name
JWs make a bid deal about the origins of customs determining whether or not they're acceptable for Christians. Hypocritically, they conveniently turn a blind eye to the negative implications of the origins of the name "Jehovah". In later centuries, scribes started inserting the vowel points for "adonai" (Lord) into the Tetragrammaton as a reminder to the reader that he should enunciate the word "adonai" and not the sacred name itself. So the infusion of the vowel points into the Tetragrammaton was essentially part and parcel of the Watchtower-condemned effort to keep the name unspoken. The form "Jehovah" is the anglicised version of this vowel-pointed Tetragrammaton. Thus the name "Jehovah" has its ultimate origins in the effort to keep God's name hidden. This should make the name "spiritually unclean" and loathed by JWs for it is essentially a name that has been inspired by the satanic effort to hide God's name behind the title "LORD". The JW religion is incredibly hypocritical!
There is no evidence that the name was ever used in the NT. The NT writers quoted from the Septuagint. The wording of NT's quotations from the OT makes this clear. The common Septuagint of the day did not use the divine name. It used "Adonai" (Lord). This is why the name does not exist in NT passages that quote from the OT. They were not quoting from the Hebrew scriptures. They were quoting from the Greek translation of the OT.
The evidence of the Tetragrammaton being used in the Septuagint is unconvincing. What I mean by that is that it does not appear that this was the norm in the first century. It seems likely that a few wealthy individuals who had a fixation for the divine name may have paid to have specialty copies containing the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew letters. But those are special cases - not the typical common septuagint that most persons used, and evidently not the Septuagint used by the writers of the NT. It is also possible that much older Septuagints customarily contained the divine name in Hebrew but this practice long ceased by the time the NT was written.
The total absence of NT manuscripts containing the divine name does not speak well for the idea that the name was originally in the NT. Were "apostate Christians" so thorough in their work that not a single manuscript with the divine name survived? That seems very unlikely considering that we have both OT manuscripts with the Tetragrammaton and ones with it replaced with Lord. Why aren't we seeing the same pattern with the much newer NT manuscripts?
The idea of the divine name originally being in the NT is nothing but wishful thinking born of a self-righteous, superstitious fixation with the word "Jehovah". The NT shows the Christians were not fixated with the divine name. They were fixated with the name of Jesus. They repeatedly referred to Christians as being witnesses of Jesus - not Jehovah's Witnesses.
Chuck Russell used the name Jehovah but he did not speak of that name being vindicated.
It was the loose-canon Rutherford who introduced the doctrine of the vindication of Jehovah's name - assisted by the adorably pot-holed story of Satan casting aspersions on Jehovah's name and Jehovah, rather than exterminating Satan, allows several thousand years of human misery and suffering in order to demonstrate that some humans will remain true to Jehovah so He will be vindicated above all others in some Universal Law Court with Satan consigned to the pit.
That we could have ever believed such total nonsense is astonishing at this crucial time of critical scrutiny. That we could seek to legitimate such a nonsensical doctrine is even more astonishing.
What does the Dead Sea scrolls say the divine name is and what about the Nag Hamadi writings?
"3 non-JW scholars have arrived at the same conclusion"
So three scholars is your support. That kind of support is even worse than the scientists who believe that climate change is not induced by human activity.
Three out of what... three thousands?, more perhaps
The evidence of the Tetragrammaton being used in the Septuagint is unconvincing. What I mean by that is that it does not appear that this was the norm in the first century. It seems likely that a few wealthy individuals who had a fixation for the divine name may have paid to have specialty copies containing the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew letters.
Where is your evidence for these assertions?
To be clear, the divine name occurs in every single pre-Christian copy of the LXX containing passages with the divine name. Not a single copy from this period has yet been discovered which replaces the divine name with Lord. That is the weight of evidence you are arguing against when making such bald assertions.
So it is interesting that you dismiss all the early textual LXX evidence as irrelevant in favour of a novel theory (did you come up with this? I don't remember reading it anywhere in the scholarly literature) about "a few"(!) wealthy Jews with a "fixation" sponsoring texts using the divine name. What incredible nonsense. Where do you get these ideas? Please cite your sources.
Do you know better than leading LXX scholars such as Kahle, Tov and Skehan who have argued (unsurprisingly in view of the overwhelming evidence) that the early LXX used forms of the divine name rather Lord? And if only JW style "superstition" could lead one to support the divine name in NT, apart from George Howard, how do you account for the work of Trobisch and Gaston who also support the divine name in the original NT?
You argue like someone who has read the rhetoric of evangelical polemics such as Lundquisf or Doug Harris, but not read any of the scholarly discussion of the issue.
jwfacts can you please tell me how you think the divine name was represented in the original NT writings?
"There is plenty of evidence including how the LXX of the same period treated the divine name"
The LXX and Christian writings are two different things. Judaism and Christianity are two different religions. Their books don't belong together. They were forced together by Christian scholars trying to ride the coattails of a well established and respected religion, Judaism.
The apostle Paul rejected them, or rather dishonestly re-interpreted the Hebrew writings for his own twisted purposes. But the Hebrew writings do not belong to Christians. So who cares what the LXX has to say about God's name. Christian didn't care about it, as it is shown by its absence in their writings
never a jw, all your post tells me is that you've never read anything much about the topic. You could start here:
And then read Trobisch in favour of the divine name in the NT which includes discussion of the importance of the LXX for early Christians.
It is no doubt true that a majority of NT scholars reject the divine name in the NT but the number of scholars who have actually discussed the topic in any detail is very limited. Have you got a list? To have a range of scholars such as Howard, Trobisch, Gaston and Shaw arguing in that direction is significant.
So it boils down to is it gods name and was it in NT , evidence suggests no one knows the pronunciation and it was not preserved in scripture. One of Babylon the greats monks the same guys that WT says are going to Gehenna come up with the name. And in all honesty if it is what God wanted people to know him by I think he could of made everything a little less cryptic. And if there is a father in heaven he sure would not be happy withe the fraudulent religion that is bearing his name, no other religion does a better job a destroying generational family structure. This religion that has screamed wolf is in its third century of existence, just like a broken clock is right twice a day, if you go in to the forest enough a wolf will surely be seen.
If the essence of God being honest well JW have surely disappointed him.
Let me throw my two cents into this discussion:
1) It seems fairly established that mainstream Jews in the first century have, for the most part, discontinued the quotidian uttering of the name of god, because of religious superstition. It doesn't mean, though, that the utterance of the name would cause scandal, especially from the mouth of a teacher.
2) It wouldn't be a surprise if the gallilleans on the north used an aramaic or greek variation of the divine name, that would differ from the hebrew.
3) Around the first century, certain radical, fundamentalist sects became hell bent in restoring what they considered to be the "pure" form of judaism. One of those was the ascetic group we know as the Qumran Community of the Essenes - yes those who have produced the manuscripts that we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
4) Certain authors, such as Robert Eisenman (see James, The Brother of Jesus) make a good case in establishing a connection between John The Baptizer and the Qumran Community. John was at least influenced by this community, maybe even at some point was a member of it. Jesus started his spiritual journey as a disciple of John.
5) As attested by fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran Community appears to have used the divine name in a much higher scale than their contemporary fellow Jews. It is possible that their beliefs aiming at the restoration of a "pure worship" included a renewed reverence for the divine name, "restoring" its honor by using it - especially in liturgy.
6) Being this the case, it isn't hard to understand why Jesus, indirectly influenced by these ideas, would direct his disciples to pray "sanctified be thy name" or say "I have made your name manifested". It is very likely that Jesus actually uttered the divine name often (possibly in its aramaic variation) in his preaching and teaching. It would be considered an eccentricity by the mainstream Jew, but understandable coming from a radical, fundamentalist preacher such as Jesus was. Certainly, it wasn't the utterance of god's name that led to his demise: it wasn't even brought up as an issue during his trial.
7) Let's not forget that Jesus never meant to start a new religion. He advocated a new fashion of Judaism, but he didn't create "christianity". Nor did any of the twelve apostles. They were all Jews, and observed the Torah and the Jewish traditions. In the book of Acts it's clear that James, the leader of the Jerusalem congregation of Jesus' followers, was still a scrupulous observer of the Law - and he enforced it on Paul, even suggesting that the preaching of the self-styled apostle was an apostasy against Moses. (See Acts 21) The earliest followers of Jesus were entirely Jews and didn't see themselves as part of a different religion. They were merely a sect within Judaism. A sect of mostly illiterate people (only exception being perhaps Levi and Judas) who probably uttered the divine name but never put it down in written form.
8) What we have come to know as "Christianity" is essentially a Pauline invention; it is Paul who carved out a new religion loosely based on the teachings of Jesus. But in order to make that new religion palatable to the greek-roman world, he needed to distance it from its Jewish origins - judaism was poorly regarded outside Palestine or outside the jewish communities of the diaspora. That included the suppression of the divine name from the early christian writings, who are mostly penned by Paul, by Paul's disciples, or heavily edited and redacted by them.
9) The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple annihilated the original congregation and offered the dimming Pauline apostasy an opportunity to thrive. Eventually, the pauline flavor of Christ became victorious, and his disciples re-wrote the story of the movement and its gospels to suit their narratives of Jesus, and those are, for the most part, the manuscripts that survived to this day.
10) Once the divine name of the hebrew god was expunged from the "christian scriptures", it was a lot easier to conflate Jesus with God, and thus, for mainstream christianity, the preacher from Gallilee became God, and the path for the trinity was open.