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The Name of God

Posted by GFNSProductions on February 4, 2019 at 4:20 AM

I love Jehovah’s witnesses but I must sadly say that they are somewhat misguided. I say this honestly and with keen understanding because I actually used to be one. However, eventually we had to part ways based on differences in beliefs. 


For one, they considered all other churches (i.e. Christendom) as an integral part of Babylon the Great (Revelations 17:5) which is believed to be the world empire of false religion. However, this is based on some failures in the past on the part of the latter churches (i.e. the inquisition, the crusades, persecuting sincere believers, etc). However, If we were to judge all churches by these same standards and criteria, then all churches (even Jehovah’s Witnesses) would be considered part of Babylon the great based on mistakes made in the past and present. For as the scriptures say, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”(Romans 3:23 )


Apart from the aforementioned discrepancy in their belief system (Read 1 Corinthians chapter 3 for more information), I think the most profound disagreement lies in the key element of their faith, namely: the name of God. They are so zealous for the proclamation of God’s name; yet, they will rarely own up to the fact that Jehovah is not really God’s name. 


Let me break it down for you so that you can understand exactly what is going on and how it happened. 


A long time ago, the Jews fell into a superstitious belief that they should not say God’s personal name: Yahweh. This name is in fact listed in the Bible 6807 times; however, the Jewish scribes started replacing it with Adonai (which means Lord, My Ruler) based on a misconception of the third of the Ten Commandments. There it states that “You must not misuse the name of Yahweh your God. Yahweh will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.” (Exodus 20:7) Nevertheless, it should be clear that the latter verse did not prohibit the use of God’s name but rather it’s misuse/dishonor.


Ultimately, the Jewish people (out of superstition and tradition) came up with a way to remind people not to say God’s personal name but instead use the title “The Lord”. They did this by replacing the original name as written in Hebrew YHWH (known as the Tetragrammaton due to the lack of vowels in the Hebrew language) with a combination of both YHWH and Adonai (i.e. YAHOWAI or often pronounced Jehovah). 


Now, it was never the intention of the transcriber to pronounce it as such (i.e. Jehovah); rather, this was a literal device used to remind people to say “ Adonai or Lord” instead of “Yahweh”. Nevertheless, years down the line when a German translator saw this, he made the mistake of pronouncing and transcribing it as Jehovah and the mispronunciation has existed ever sense. It’s come to the point that it has become the most popular way to say God’s name, much like His Son’s name is pronounced Jesus when in actuality it was more like Yeshua (which actually means Yahweh Saves). 


Nevertheless, while most current bibles continue this tradition of replacing God’s personal name with The LORD (in all caps), Jehovah’s witnesses tried their best to restore the personal name of God back into the Bible. But sadly stopped half way. Instead of truly restoring His name Yahweh, they settled with the mispronunciation Jehovah based on its popularity. They reasoned that much like most people settle on the popular mispronunciation of God’s Son’s name Jesus (instead of Yeshua), then it is okay to settle on the mispronunciation of God’s name Jehovah (instead of Yahweh) since the former is also the most popular as well compared to the latter. Nevertheless, as it states in Romans 3:4 “Let God be found true, but every man a liar.”


Please don’t get me wrong though as I do not wish to discount their efforts or contributions to the body of Christ for I have learned so much through my studies with The Christian congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses. In fact, I would not be nearly half the man I am today if not for my association with these Brothers and Sisters as well as the spiritual food provided by the governing body (i.e. the watchtower and other publications). Through their instruction and sometimes discipline, they’ve helped me greatly in my path to get rid of so many bad habits and vices. In fact, I still consider them my brothers and sisters as I do with all who call on God’s name with a pure heart. (2 Timothy 3:22) However, we so much further to go in the path ahead of us as we grow to the full stature destined for the church (Ephesians 4:13); thus, one cannot allow religious biases or traditions of man to stifle the leading of God’s Holy Spirit and clearer understanding of His word and truth. (Proverbs 4:18 )


I’d like to give you an example. What if someone decided that my name (Nicolas) was to important to pronounce one day and they instead started to refer to me only as “The Man”. And so, to help people remember to call me “The Man” instead of “Nicolas”, they replaced the consonants of my personal name (I O A) with that of the former title. (I.e. N C L S in Nicolas, EA in the The Man, combined to form Necals).  


True they may sound somewhat similar; however, Nicolas would still be my name versus Necals and the popular usage of the latter will not change that. Although I would be appreciative of the fact that you wished to esteem me with such a great title, or know my name at all for that matter, it wouldn’t change the fact that my actual name is Nicolas.


Well, it is the same thing with God’s personal name. It is admirable that some wish to extol it with great, honor, fear and reverence. It is also admirable that some may want to help others learn that God has a personal name. But ultimately, God’s name is still Yahweh and nothing in the universe will ever change that. For that is His name forever. (Exodus 3:15)

Categories: Yahweh, Exegetical Studies, Religion

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