When discussing with Witnesses the importance of the name “Jehovah,” you can use soundbites to build a positive case for the fact that the name the New Testament exalts most highly is “Jesus.”
Point #1: The name above all other names is “Jesus.”
Ask the Witnesses, “According to the New Testament, what name is above every other name?” Most likely they will tell you, “Jehovah.”
Then have one of them read aloud Philippians 2:9-11: “Therefore God exalted him [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Then use a soundbite question to get them to focus on what the verse is saying: “According to this passage, what name does God want us to exalt above every other name?”
Point #2: God chose for his followers to be called “Christians,” not “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
Have one of the Witnesses read aloud Acts 11:26 in the New World Translation: “It was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.’”
Ask, “If God wanted the name ‘Jehovah’ exalted most highly, why did he, in his divine providence, have the early believers called ‘Christians’ instead of ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’?”
They may argue that God no longer feels that way because the title “Christian” has been tarnished over the centuries. However, the point is in Acts 11:26 God was emphasizing the disciples’ relationship to Christ rather than to the name “Jehovah.”
Point #3: Jesus emphasized his own name.
Point out that Jesus emphasized his own name far more often than his Father’s. Have the Witnesses read aloud the following soundbite passages (all quotations below are from the Watchtower’s New World Translation, with emphasis added). Point out that he could have said “on account of Jehovah’s name” or “for the sake of Jehovah’s name,” but he didn’t. Instead, he said “my name.”
You can use those two words as a soundbite when covering the passages:
- Matthew 10:22: “And you will be hated by all people on account of my name, but the one who has endured to the end will be saved.”
- Matthew 19:29: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit everlasting life.”
- Matthew 24:9: “Then people will hand you over to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.”
- Luke 21:12, 17: “But before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name… 17 and you will be hated by all people because of my name.”
- Acts 9:15-16: “But the Lord said to him: ‘Go! because this man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel. For I will show him plainly how many things he must suffer for my name.’”
- Revelation 2:3: “You are also showing endurance, and you have persevered for the sake of my name and have not grown weary.”
Point #4: The Father wants his Son to have equal honor with himself.
Ask one of the Witnesses to read aloud John 5:22-23: “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
A great soundbite point you can make is: “Exalting the name of Jesus does not rob his Father of glory. Exalting the name of Jesus brings his Father glory.”
You can conclude by asking, “Can you honestly say that you honor the Son just as you honor the Father as verse 23 says the Father wants us to do?”
(This article has been adapted from my upcoming book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses.)
Have you ever discussed with Jehovah’s Witnesses the New Testament’s emphasis on the name of Jesus? Do you find these soundbites helpful?
Share your thoughts in the comments.