The Watchtower insists that we must use the name “Jehovah” in order to have an intimate relationship with God.
It states: “In replacing God’s name with titles, Bible translators make a serious mistake. They make God seem remote and impersonal, whereas the Bible urges humans to cultivate ‘intimacy with Jehovah.’ (Psalms 25:14) Think of an intimate friend of yours. How close would you really be if you never learned your friend’s name? Similarly, when people are kept in ignorance about God’s name, Jehovah, how can they become truly close to God?”[i]
Here’s how to answer them. Continue reading
The Watchtower argues as follows:
Jesus declared in prayer to his Father: “I have made your name known… and will make it known.” (John 17:26) Jesus would undoubtedly have pronounced God’s name on numerous occasions when he read, quoted, or explained portions of the Hebrew Scriptures containing that important name. Jesus would thus have used God’s name just as freely as all the prophets did before him. If any Jews were already avoiding the use of God’s name during the time of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus would certainly not have followed their tradition. He strongly criticized the religious leaders when he said to them: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition.—Matthew 15:6.”
Let’s come up with some soundbite responses. Continue reading
Jehovah’s Witnesses stress the importance of knowing and using the divine name, “Jehovah.”
They will tell you that Jesus believed the name “Jehovah” was of critical importance, and therefore we should also. The Watchtower asks, “How important is God’s name? Consider the model prayer that Jesus Christ gave. It begins this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.’ (Matthew 6:9) Later, Jesus prayed to God: ‘Father, glorify your name.’ In response, God spoke from heaven, saying: ‘I both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ (John 12:28) Clearly, God’s name is of the utmost importance.”
Witnesses may also claim that God’s name “was clearly of crucial importance to him [Jesus] since he mentioned it repeatedly in his own prayers.”
Here is a good soundbite response: “Could you please show me one passage where Jesus begins one of his prayers by saying by addressing God as ‘Jehovah.’” Continue reading
Papyrus 46, one of the oldest New Testament papyri
The name “Jehovah” comes from an English rendering of the Tetragrammaton—a name consisting of 4 letters (YHWH). This name appears more than 6000 times in the Hebrew Old Testament text. The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Old Testament, also contains the name.
However, no New Testament manuscript contains this name at all, not even when the writers quoted Old Testament passages where the Tetragrammaton appeared. Instead, the Greek text substitutes the words kyrios (Lord) or theos (God).
The Watchtower admits that no existing New Testament Greek manuscript contains the Tetragrammaton. On page 11 of its Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, it states, “One of the remarkable facts, not only about the extant manuscripts of the original Greek text, but of many versions, ancient and modern, is the absence of the divine name.”
Despite this, the Watchtower’s New World Translation inserts the name “Jehovah” into the New Testament 237 times. How do they justify this? Continue reading
I never try to talk Jehovah’s Witnesses out of calling God “Jehovah.” The problem is that the Watchtower claims that we must use that name and address him as “Jehovah” whenever we pray to him.
But is that really true? Continue reading