Do you still use Jehovah's name in prayer assuming you still pray?

by JH 110 Replies latest jw friends

  • jaffacake
    Well. I think Ray is touching on the obvious. It would have said YHWH for sure. It seems Jesus wanted us to use it and Paul would most certainly have used it!

    But Ray concludes that all the evidence proves that the Christian Greek Scriptures never contained YHWH! When you have read his book you may then want to check the evidence yourself.

    But it says in (parapharsed) Romans 10:13 those who call on the name of Jehovah will be saved.

    Oh no it does not. I will give you the word for word direct from ancient Greek, straight from the interlinear Bible the JW PO brought to my home last Saturday. Romans 10:13 "Everyone for who may call on the name of Lord, shall be saved."

    My favourite Bible in the New Jerusalem Bible, as it restores the Divine Name based on the oldest Hebrew & Greek manuscripts. I will start at the verse before as it explains why the change between OT and NT. Rom 10:12,13 "it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is the Lord of all, and his generosity is offered to all who appeal to him, for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved." Ray Franz deals with that very scripture as follows:

    "...the NWT often seriously detracts from the glorious role and position the Father has assigned to the Son. Consider Romans 10:1-17. The whole thrust of this section of Paul's letter is on faith in Christ, that Christ is 'the end of the Law' so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness.' and Paul discusses the 'word' of faith that we are preaching', saying 'if you publicly declare that 'word in your own mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved.' Yet in spite of the complete focus on faith in Christ as Lord in all the surrounding context, when the NWT comes to verse 13, setting aside the fact that the Greek text uses the word for 'Lord', the translator here inserts the name Jehovah, so that the text reads 'For everyone who calls on the name of jehovah will be saved'. True, the identical expression is found at Joel 2:32, and there speaks of calling on the name of Jehovah. But does this demand that a modern translator override the textual evidence from all ancient manuscripts of the Apostle's writings, or does it give him the right to do so, replacing the term Lord with Jehovah? The question should be What does the context shoe and what do the rest of the scriptures show?

    The Christian scriptures make it obvious that 'calling upon the name' of the Son in faith and 'calling upon the name' of his Father are not in any sense mutually exclusive actions. Both before and after Paul's quoted statement, the Apostle had discussed that God's purpose and will is that salvation should come through his Son, the Christ. Since the Son came 'in his Father's Name' , to 'call upon the name' of the Son for salvation is similtaneously a calling on the name of the Father who sent him. God revealed himself through his son, so that he that saw the son was, in effect, seeing the Father (John 1:14-18, 14:9). Again and again Christ's disciples spoke of putting faith in Jesus' 'name' in the deeper, scriptural sense of the term (compare Like 24:46,47 John 1:12; 2:23; 3:18; 20:31; 1 Corinthians1:2; 1 John 3:23; 5:13). At Pentecost, after having quoted the same expression from Joel's prophecy quoted by Paul, Peter told the crowd they should be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins'. .....When speaking to Cornelius and others, Peter said of Christ, "to him all the prophets [which would include Joel] bear witness.......At the time of .............etc etc etc.

    In the face of all such evidence, why should any translator today.....In numerous cases the context does clearly indicate that the Lord spoken of is God, the Father. But in other cases the context points more directly to his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.....NWT's 237 insertions has the effect of eliminating application when the context indicates it....If it is the will of the Father to glorify his Son, to give him an exalted 'name' and cause him to be the object of faith, why should any one of us disagree with him doing so (compare 1 Cor 7:12-23; 16:10; 2 Cor 3:14-18; Ephesians 2:19-22; 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-24; 2 Thess 2:2; James 5:14,15.....)

  • jaffacake

    You mentioned the book of Romans. The Presiding Overseer who visits me was forced to accept, in my home in July, that because of Rutherford's error in 1929, the JWs were just about the only Christian religion in the world with the wrong understanding of Romans 13:1 for 33 years (1929 - 1962).

    They did not fully reverse all the policies that resulted from the mistake, despite several Gov Body votes, (less than two thirds majority) until 1996, at which point JWs needed no longer go to prison as a result of the wrong alternative service doctrine arising from the 1929 error.

    Yet they had had the correct understanding for 50 years until Rutherford's erroneous change. Well after Rutherford's death the interpretation was changed back in 1962 to its original, just as other Christians had urged all along.

    My point is that I think he was equally wrong in his understanding of Romans 10, and indeed much of the NT. I believe he was wrong to choose a sectarian name Jehovah's Witnesses. The Ray Franz understanding of the Romans 10 was indeed the Watchtower position for their first 50 years, and many, including Ray Franz, believes their earlier teaching was the correct one. Unfortunately they did not do a u-turn like they did on Romans 13, instead they produced a new Bible which uniquely inserts Jehovah in 237 places. And the rest is modern history.

  • jaffacake
    I am disappointed that you didn't look at probably. You should look at the link at the bottom of the page The Divine Name It has historical references (talmud -- they swear blind it was taken out), legends, apocrypha, gnostic literature, contemporary writers and modern scholar opinion as proof.

    I did look at the website, and followed other links, but it was very late and I may have missed some of the details you mentoned. There is a lot of info on all the sources we both make reference to. I'll look further into this & post again later tonight.

    Lets just say, for arguments sake, that George Howard's theory was correct, and the Tetragrammaton was originally in the Christian Greek Scriptures where it either directly or indirectly quoted or alluded to the OT. Then why did the NWT translator (Fred Franz) also add insert it in another 125 places in the NT with no scriptural support of any kind, direct or indirect. I would not feel offended by modern translations that inserted a transliteration of YHWH in those 112 places that GH deals with. But I am offended by the NWT, which was purely to back up what I sincerely believe was yet another serious misunderstanding of Scripture by one Judge Rutherford.

  • jaffacake

    if the JW's are right about YHWH in the Greek Scriptures, everyone should acknowledge and give respect for being right all this time, or something like that along those lines...

    But Inquirer, there is no contradiction at all in the two quotes you mention. In the second he points out the risk of the NWT. In the first quote, above, the key words are "if the JWs are right" This hardly suggests there is proof.

    If there were proof, I would acnowledge the JWs are right about the appearance of YHWH (but not in all the places they put it) I respect the JWs for leading the way in restoring the Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures.

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    I just say "my heavenly Father." That is all.

  • jaffacake
    I have thought about this letter more and I can't believe (now) that George Howard would say that. I mean, this guy wrote a book on the subject about a Hebrew recension of ancient manuscript of Matthew! And now is doubting it!

    Ray Franz published a photocopy of the letter. Howard did not sue him. Why not write to Professor Howard yourself? This is the sort of lengths I sometimes go to to get to the truth. The Tetragrammaton book supports the view that it is a recension of Matthew, but that does not strengthen the JW position - the possible recension contains neither the Tetragrammaton, nor the Divine name in any form, but the JWs never mention that small fact. Please see relevant chapter in the Tetragrammaton book online.

    I easily forget what P46 or any other papyri are (because they were never calculated in order in the first place)... You think that archaeologists are always accurate with the dating.

    This is just about the most important and oldest Greek manuscript, according to Watchtower & all scholars I have heard of. It was universally accepted as being dated circa 200CE, until the 1980s methods were employed. I accept there is always some doubt about dating, but Howard seems to accept the lilihood that the new dating cast doubts on his theory. All good scholars see their theories updated.

    I mean, look at this site: Look at the link for Anti-Marcionite Prologues... 150-400 AD it was dated! THAT'S A FLAMING LONG GAP! It could be middle second century or it could "the Masorete era!" It's dated about 2 00 years BEFORE AND AFTER CONSTANTINE! I am also shocked by the daing of CANONICAL GREEK SCRIPTURE MANUSCRIPTS! Not everyone agrees that all the books of the GS were written within the first century! I've looked at the dates when the Catholics think some of the minor prophet books were written in the HS -- and it differs so much from JW dates (and I am not talking about 607 BC) I am not saying the JW's are right OR THE CATHOLICS! What I am saying is that from time to time archaeologists get the dating wrong.

    I don't disagree, but modern methods do improve dating, and there is a very broad consensus among the most renowned experts. Of course some may be wrong, thats why as a believer, I always return to the inspired scriptures as my one true guide. That is the canon accepted, not by the Catholics, but by JWs and many others.

    George has written about this topic for decades, and because the JW's talk about him too much he think that the JW's have made too much of his theories!

    Has he really, I was unaware. The study was all about the OT, and this aspect was a side issue for him. He has been quoted by JWs for decades.

    I read a book from Barnabas Ministries that proves that God's name is Jehovah...

    Who is disputing what God's name is? - Not me. In fact I don't know anyone who disputes that (except for precise tranliteration).

    but at the end of one of the parts of his study, he then says in the last paragraph that it's pagan to the core to believe the divine name Jehovah is sacred! We should have respect for his name. It says we should be holy because he his holy.... so therefore his name must be holy/sacred.... but we don't wave it around like a mantra or something. Jesus is a holy name too... same rules apply! Why is it everytime I read something, there is always the odd commment that is way of of line?

    Interesting. But just his opinion. In my opinion he is mistaken, and as you put it 'way out of line'.

    Also, George said in that letter, that the divine name may not occur in the Pauline letters, at least, but left it in doubt... But I have proof anyway as what I just showed you in the last post.

    I agree there is always some doubt, we must consider the textual evidence. I have seen nothing resembling proof, and with respect, if proof existed don't you think the Watchtower would have included it in its J-references? Or in other publications, like the current Divine Name booklet? Perhaps you should send Bethel any proof you find, I try not to use the term so loosely. Nevertheless, I'll look at the websites tonight for this 'proof' and get back to you before I go away (Sunday).

    Warm regards


  • joelbear

    i've never really been able to pray. i understand now that that is because I don't believe in god and never have.

  • jaffacake


    I have spent hours reading your suggested 'proof'. This is a very poor writer who mixes up reliable & spurious, fact & speculation, OT & NT, Judaism, Gnosticism Christianity. Frankly it does apear to be the work of desperate people who seek support for their sincerely held beliefs. There is no evidence whatsoever. I cannot comment on all, too much, but I have made a few observations & highlighted interesting words & phrases.

    Can I humbly suggest you read ISOCF and The Tetragrammaton in the Christian Greek Scriptures in their entirety please. Happy to do more reading that you recommend.

    My bottom line is that all I really need to understand the NT, is a reliable text of the NT - which the Watchtower insists we have today, Divinely preserved. All Bible translations must be based solely on verifiable Hebrew & Greek texts. This is the only way to preserve the truths which Jehovah communicated through the inspired scriptures. It is so sad to see JWs turn their backs on scriptures and in desperation seek all sorts of strange sources of siupport (Jews, Catholics, Gnostics, Magicians & occultists, Apogrypha) But even then, sometimes the sources try to mislead by confusing Septuagint with NT.

    • It is well documented (at least on the Internet) that IAO (Greek phonetic form of the tetragrammaton) was in all Septuagint copies until the middle of the 2nd century.

    [This is O.T].

    • Sometime in the 2nd cetury Irenaeus " May your Name turn out to be to my benefit o Savior of Truth... in the Name of IAO... Peace to all on whom the Name rests" (Irenaeus Against Heresies 1:21:3)." However, in other works, he denies it's the name.

    [There is some evidence, scriptutal fragments and writings by ante-Nicene fathers, that the Tetragrammaton appeared in some early Septuagints. This is supported by statements by Origen (3 rd century CE) and Jerome (4 th century CE) who said “we find the four-lettered name of God in certain Greek volumes even to this day expressed in the ancient letters” Two points: Firstly, why would they write this if the deliberate removal of the Divine Name from Christian scriptures had really occurred? Second, this does not indicate that the copies used and quoted from by Christ and his disciples contained the tetragram. Only a very tiny minority of Septuagint portions do contain it.

    I have not commented on the Gnostic sects. My source is the Bible.]


    (The priest Nestorius lived from 380 to 451 CE, but the Book of Nestor was completed later). Matthew 4:1-10 [wvy = Jesus, 'h = Hashem 'The Name']

    Where is the Tetragrammaton?

    • IEEOUOA is found in a Gnostic (?) document dated from the the time 150-400 AD
    • In magical Papyri from the 3rd century used the form "IEOA."

    [Evidence? Are these the sources by which we challenge ancient Bible manuscripts?]


    • Such authors like Severi of Anioch (465-538 CE), used the form IOA in a number of comments on John's Gospel (John 8:58.) pointing out that it was God's name in Hebrew. In another book, Euology of John the Baptist 129:30) gave the idea the name of IOA written in Greek Iota, Omega, and Alpha - Greek Letters... In the codex Coislinianus dated from the 6th century (Paris Bibliothèque Nationale Coislin Gr. 1 fol. 1-4), several theophoric names originate with the Greek work aoratos (aorotoV) which meant 'invisible' and read as IOA. However the word aoratos [arretos (arrhtoV)} (found in the LXX, Genesis 1:2) means 'unspeakable', which is also equivalent to meaning 'ineffable. ( from: )

    [Where is the Tetragrammaton? Where are the Bible sources? LXX is Septuagint (O.T.) This is quite mixed up. ]


    • During their controversies, some Jewish and Christian protagonists used Matthew's gospel written in Hebrew (which seems to be a copy of a Hebraic original rather than a translation from Greek). These Hebraic copies of Matthew's book are very old, as they are found in works such as: The Book of Nestor the Idolatrous Priest (Sepher Nestor Hakomer J.D. Eisenstein - Ozar Wikuhim Israel 1969 pp.310-315), which is dated from the 6th to the 9th century.

    [Can we trust these sources abobe the ancient Bible manuscripts? ]

    • There are 10 Hebrew Scripture Greek manuscripts that

    [this is O.T.]

    • have been found amongst many others in the last few decades. It is apparent that the divine name appeared in the Greek versions until the 9th century CE. However in my opinion this is disputable, but the fragments found are dated at the end of the 5th century and the beginning of the 6th century CE. The following fragments are of 1Ki 20:13, 13, 14; 2Ki 23:12, 16, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27. These are from Aquila's version, published by F. Crawford Burkitt in his work "Fragments of the Books of Kings According to the Translation of Aquila,

    [what is relevance of all this is O.T.?]

    Very late manuscripts from the 1300's onwards have YHWH. But the first evidence is from Shem Tob's Matthew Gospel in Hebrew 1385. In this first piece of evidence he uses the surrogate "The name."

    [where is the Tetragrammaton?] [Where is the Divine Name?] [why not?]


    It is undetermined regarding these works of whether they fit into first or 2nd century CE:

    · Jewish mysticism documents [has certain magic elements] (1st/2nd century CE)

    · Documents written by Jewish sects dated late first early 2nd century.

    · The 4Q473

    · Apocryphal writings: Litany of Angels…, (?) Probable date(s) of composition.

    Hymns of Triumph

    · I: Invitation To Grace After Meals

    III: Plea For Grace

    IV: Supplication

    V: The City of

    VI: Morning Hymn

    Admittedly , a lot of these manuscripts contain the short hand way of writing the divine name in hallelujah . But copyists of the Septuagint used the form IAO (Yaho) without realizing this is just a shorthand (or poetic form) form of the divine name!

    [Where is the NT evidence, we need to see the Tetragrammaton in the 237 places in the NT remember]

    When we look at this pseudopigrapha (or Christian Greek Scripture Apocrypha ) [noting that some of it is Jewish Mysticism] or Hebrew Scripture Apocrypha {I consider all these writings to be just "Apocrypha" of some sort } we find that the they always concentrate on information that is not in the gospels. I could extend this subject to that the Gnostic may have felt obliged to use the divine name (in their philosophical thought) to indicate the lack of it in authentic Christian Greek Scriptures.

    [this is a very open admission! - so was it heretical to include it?]

    (These questions are from Gerard Gertoux's web site.)

    • A17- Did Jesus never pronounce the divine name or did he rather use the title "Lord" (Adonay) ?

    When he read the text of Isaiah in a loud voice (Luc 4:16-20) he met this Name (see ). As he vigorously opposed against human traditions it is very unlikely that he accepted this one. Furthermore, there was no prohibition about the use of the Name at this epoch and the vocalization was still known because it has been used in the until 70 CE for the blessing of the Yom-Kippur. gertoux

    [this is an amazing assertion to me. Jesus followed the vast majority of traditional ways, but was unafraid to challenge those that were clearly wrong. Where is the Bible did he challenge this tradition if it was an important issue for him? Why did he not teach his disciples to say Jehovah God? Why did he not tell them to speak His personal name?]]

    [not in readings or speech by jews – only high priests, on such occasions]

    the Talmud (Sotah 7,6; Tamid 33b) makes it clear that occasional substitutes of the Names were used in Palestinian liturgy. These substitutes were numerous, as one can notice in the literature of this time (2M 1:24,25; 15:3; Si 23:4; 50:14-19). some of them, used as proper names, are exceptionally found in the Septuagint or in the New Testament like : God (Theos), Iaô (Fouad 266), Sabaôth (1S 1:3; Rm 9:29; Jm 5:4), etc.

    • A20- Is "Lord" (Kyrios) the name of God in the Greek Scriptures ? The papyrus P52 is dated 125 CE, and contains the verse of John 18:31-33. Owing to the shape of this piece of sheet (red part) it is possible to reconstruct the whole codex to which it belonged (around 130 pages of 18 lines per page with an average of 33 characters per line, and 29/30 on the verso).


    (John 18:31-33)

    In the papyrus P90 dated 150 CE which contains the verses of John 18:36-19:7, the name of Jesus is this time shortened into JS according to the process of nomina sacra, like the word Kurios (Lord) which is written KS. So, when the sacred name was absent the word ‘Lord’ had to be written without abbreviation. For example, in this codex the verse of John 12:38 have appeared:


    (John 12:38)

    [no tetragram again in Christian Greek scriptures]

    However this part of the gospel of John quoted a verse from the book of Isaiah and in all the Septuagints o f this period (before 150 CE) there are none with the name Kurios (Lord) instead of the Tetragram. For example:


    (Isaiah 53:1 [LXX])

    There are only two ways to explain this modification, where the Tetragram was exchanged by the word ‘Lord’. Either the Christians changed this name after 150 CE(more exactly between 70 and 135) because they did not understand it anymore, or they changed it before 150 CE(more exactly before the previous period) for theological reasons but without there being any archaeological witnesses. The first explanation seems more logical because if the Christians (Judeo-Christians) had changed this name during the first century (before 70 CE) this teaching would have been seen in the NT especially among a Jewish environment, what is never the case. For example, Jesus should have said «I have made you known to them under your new name ‘Lord’» but as a Jew he said nothing new on this very important matter (John 17:6, 26). It should be remembered that the book of John (who was a Jew) was written around 98 CE and he kept the short name Yah rather than Lord in his book of Revelation (Rv 19:1-6) when he wrote the Hebrew word Allelu-ia instead of Allelu-adonai. Even in 129 CE, who was a Christian converted to Judaism kept in his translation of the Septuagint the Tetragram embedded in a Greek text. It is interesting to note that Rabbi Tarphon (Shabbat 116a), between 90 and 130 CE, related the problem of the destruction of heretical (Christian) texts that contained the Tetragram.

    [this may be misleading – where is the evidence? Is this the Septuagint?]

    ……..but long time before this date (circa third century BCE ) the Tetragram was not used anymore due to a mystical reverence toward the Name.

    [Jesus and his disciples were Jews. Does the NT record that Jesus had a problem with such a tradition?] [Was this an important issue for Christ?] [If it was, why did NT writers not give it the prominence over God’s Son’s name. Why do seven whole books of the NT not even mention God’s personal name at all, but certainly mention Jesus name?] [again, my source is the Bible rather than the author of these mixed up articles which do seem quite desperate to support a specific belief, whereas my own beliefs have been turned upside down by what I have researched]


    • G. D. Kilpatrick says in Etudes de Papyrologie Tome Neuvieme (Pp. 221, 222) states something similar to what it says in Talmud that between 70-135 CE there were 3 major changes to the text. The change from scroll to codex, from the tetragrammaton to Kurios and the nomina sacra were abbreviated. Also repeated in the Talmud Rabbi Tarphon (Shabbat 116a) between 90 and 130 CE related the problem of the destruction of heretical (Christian) texts that had the tetragrammaton. However people like Symmachus still used the tetragrammaton written in Paleo-Hebrew in his Greek translation in 165 CE. And according to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History VI:17), he was an Ebionite (Judeo-Christian) who wrote a commentary on According to Matthew. But his translation is not the Greek Scriptures. (

    • It is also well documented that "According to Matthew" was originally written in Hebrew. What brings great interest in this subject is Professor George Howard believes that the Shem Tob manuscript of 1385 is not a translation but a recension of the original Matthew Gospel! This manuscript does not use the divine name , but instead of using the subsitute "Lord" it uses Hebrew characters that mean "the name" (Ha Shem.) It is thought that obivously Shem Tob was not Christian m.

    • There is a small but increasing number of scholars and critics that argue that God names belongs (or has a place) in the Greek Scriptures.
    • [who?]
    • In discussion with someone on the , Greg Stafford on the site said: "If you are advocating that the use of IAW in the LXX and/or early Jewish usage was influenced by the use of the same by those involved in magical arts, then the source above which states that those involved in magical arts were influenced by the use of IAW in Jewish Biblical texts contradicts your view.

    Even though no ancient Greek manuscript found has the divine name, philologists reason with evidence of the forms of the divine name used which brings us to this
    point: "If the people, including the NT writers, did not use 'ADONAY for YHWH [but clearly there is no scriptural evidence that they used YHWH – so this point makes no sense] in their everyday speech, why should they use the substitute KURIOS in their NT manuscript when they quoted the OT text having YHWH ?"

    [but all but a tiny fraction of Septuagints from Christ’s time never contained the Tetragrammaton }

    It is otherwise inexplicable why the first petition of the Lord's Prayer should read: 'May your name be sanctified!' 
      [the scriptural meaning of the word ‘name’ is far deeper than any reference to the spelling or pronunciation.   The true meaning is more important than a personal name which is merely a symbol.   Jesus never mentioned the Divine name.   He answered a specific question from his disciples about how should THEY pray, he did not tell them to say Jehovah, or Jehovah God – he told them to use the term Father.   If pronunciation of the name as a symbol was important, he would have said so.   Look at the Watchtowers I quoted for the scriptural meaning of the word ‘name’]
    [Why does George Howard NOT AGREE with the JW view about the Divine Name and never did.?    Why are his writings quoted from so selectively?] that magicians and occult like people were more obsessed with the divine name than the so-called Christians.

    [Talmud sources versus the Bible?]

    [The author of this piece is very unscholarly in approach, and very JW biased. I can’t check all these quotes, but I follow up quotes in the current JW booklets such as Trinity. I don’t support trinity doctrine, but why do JWs have to deliberately misquote on just about every page of that and other main booklets?]



    Because of all we have said there are valid reasons to assert that the writers of the New Testament reported the Tetragrammaton in their divinely inspired work.

    [That is my point – these are assertions versus scriptural proofs]

    There is a lot of information on this subject and there is a lot of fact as well as highly held opinions from scholars who offer reasonable theories and the conclusions that they draw.

    [I’m sorry but I believe we have reliable Greek scriptures so we don't need speculation or assertion]

    The only answer to all of these problems is a for a divine revelation on the divine name !

    [I find this offensive because we have Divine Revelation – its called the Bible, which was preserved for us. Why are scriptures not enough?]

    However our understanding is does not lead to a false hope if the tetragrammaton was there, but the debates make it seem like there is no evidence of the divine name but Gerard Gertroux makes us think otherwise.

    [who is this Gertoux anyway and what is his pedigree?] following logic, a Bible translator should really consider the evidence in front of them, that the divine name was used in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures!

    [Except the vast majority of evidence shows precisely the opposite, unless we have a preconceived doctrine or belief to uphold. Sometimes I am glad I adhere to no sect.]

  • free2beme

    I summon spiritual energy and do not believe that is Jehovah

  • inquirer

    To jaffacake and everyone else.

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