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Origen

Jehovah Witnesses and the Divine Name

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JWs really emphasis the used of the word "Jehovah." At this time I will not address the many problems with the history or form of the word "Jehovah," but will focus on the NWT of the N.T. In the NWT of the N.T. every time the Greek word "kurios" appears in the text, and refers to God the Father, the NTW render it "Jehovah." The Watchtower claims it is restoring the divine name back into the N.T. were it once was. The Watchtower claims:

 

Why, then, is the name absent from the extant manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures or the so called 'New Testament'? Evidently because by the time those extant copies were made (from the third century C.E. onward) the original text of the writings of the apostles and disciples had been altered. The divine name in the Tetragrammaton form was undoubtedly replaced with 'Kyrios' and 'Ho Theos' by later copyists." (Aid to Bible Understanding" p. 887, 1971)

 

Again the Watchtower states:

 

However, Jesus and his followers had prophesied that an apostasy would occur in the Christian congregation. The apostle Peter had written: "There will also be false teachers among you." These warnings were fulfilled. One result was that God's name was pushed into the background. It even got removed from copies and translations of the Bible! (The Divine Name That Will Endure Forever, Watchtower publication, Jehovah's Witnesses, 2001, p16)

 

There is zero evidence that anything like this ever happened and an overwhelming amount of evidence that the Divine name was never used in the Greek N.T.

 

(1) There are ca. 5700-5800 manuscripts of the Greek N.T. Not one contains the Divine Name.

 

(2) There are several translations of the Greek N.T. There are ca. 975 manuscripts of the Coptic text. There are well over 10,000 manuscripts of the Latin text. There are ca. 350 manuscripts of the Syriac text. Not one of these manuscripts of the N.T. contain the Divine Name and these are by no means the only ones that are available.

 

(3) There are literally thousand of N.T. quotes found in the writing of the Church Fathers. Not one has the Divine Name.

 

In the first Watchtower quote above it states: "the Tetragrammaton form was undoubtedly replaced with 'Kyrios' and 'Ho Theos.'" Now in order to believe such a claim some one\group would have had to be able to alter every Greek N.T. manuscript, every non Greek manuscript, and every citation in every Church Father which quotes the N.T. It is simply not possible.

 

However for the sake of the argument, lets assume it did happen. That is every manuscript and citation was changed so as to remove the Divine name. In fact whoever did this did such a good job that they left no trace of evidence. Well that means that the text of the N.T. has been altered, changed. If that is true, then there is no reason to trust any part of the N.T. If whoever removed the tetragrammaton did such a good job as to leave no manuscript evidence showing that it was ever there, then how could anyone be sure the same is not true of the rest of the N.T.? There would be no way to tell what was genuine and what was not. This point seems to allude JWs.

 

One last point. Why is it that whoever did such an excellent job of removing the Divine name from the N.T., failed so miserably with the O.T. The Divine Name is used hundreds of times in the O.T. Who ever change the text of Greek N.T., every non Greek manuscript, and every citation by every Church Father could not accomplish the same task with the Hebrew text.

 

The claims of the Watchtower are simply illogical and there is no evidence to support its claims. Only the gullible could be taken in my such poorly thought out assertions.

Edited by Origen
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Just another one of the many fallacies that the JW's preach.
So true and it by no means ends here.

 

 

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Going slightly off-topic here but I'd like to know what your thoughts on this are. When missionaries went to Africa to preach in the 1800s, the natives, some, many gods and others one god. When Christianity began spreading, many of these new converts continued to use the names of the gods they worshipped as the name of God. They were wrong. That's why I think no one should have tried to translate God's name.

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Going slightly off-topic here but I'd like to know what your thoughts on this are. When missionaries went to Africa to preach in the 1800s, the natives, some, many gods and others one god. When Christianity began spreading, many of these new converts continued to use the names of the gods they worshipped as the name of God. They were wrong.
I agree. They were wrong.

 

That's why I think no one should have tried to translate God's name.
I would like to clear up a distinction. Translation is the process taking words from one language and changing them into another language. That has to do with meaning and thought. Names are transliterated. In that case the letters are changed using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet\language. Thus Jehovah is a transliteration not a translation.

 

Anyway, I really don't have a problem with transliterating the Divine Name into English or any other language. It is there in the text. In English translations the Divine Name are represented by the word "LORD" (all caps). I also don't have problem with that method.

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On 8/18/2016 at 12:03 PM, Origen said:

In the NWT of the N.T. every time the Greek word "kurios" appears in the text, and refers to God the Father, the NTW render it "Jehovah." 

Hi Origen,

 I can never seem to get an answer about what you wrote above in terms of consistency on the Watchtower part when it comes to kyrios. 

 As it pertains to the Father they translate "kyrios" as "Jehovah" but I don't think this is always done. One example I can think of is 2 Corinthians 12:8. Here, we have Paul praying (παρεκάλεσα) to the Lord (κύριον). Even the the Watchtower affirms it is a prayer, but because they forbid praying to the Lord Jesus they affirm that "the Lord" (and it reads "Lord" in their NWT[*1]) refers to the Father.[*2]

 

 Where or what is their consistency in referring kyrios to the Father or to the Lord Jesus?

 

[*1] Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it would depart from me.

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=2+Corinthians+12%3A8

 

[*2] The Watchtower: Will prayer change the outcome of our affliction? It may. Yet, we should realize that Jehovah God may not answer our prayers in a way that we would prefer. Paul prayed several times about his “thorn in the flesh,” perhaps a physical problem. Rather than removing the affliction, however, God told Paul: “My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for my power is being made perfect in weakness.”—2 Corinthians 12:7-9. (Comfort for the Afflicted, February 15, 2004).

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2004122

 

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

I can never seem to get an answer about what you wrote above in terms of consistency on the Watchtower part when it comes to kyrios.

To be honest with you I don't know why in this case.  Perhaps they do not take the verb παρακαλέω as meaning "to pray" in this context.   As you know they do the same kind of thing with other Greek verbs to minimize their meaning.  Verbs translated as "pray" may also have others meanings as well.  Since the JWs do not pray to Jesus that would be my guess at this point.


Yet just as your example showed (i.e. "ask me in my name"), if you are looking for consistency I doubt you will find it.  Being a JW requires a series of illogical mental leaps.  As I said else where, and by no means the first one to do so, JW thinking is Orwellian.

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2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 
2Co 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 
2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
 

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46 minutes ago, Origen said:

if you are looking for consistency I doubt you will find it. 

Like this?

 

Romans 10:11
For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (NASB)

1. The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the singular "HIM" in Romans 10:11 refers to God.
The Watchtower: The apostle Paul wrote: “None that rests his faith on [God] will be disappointed.” (Romans 10:11) (Will We Ever Enjoy Real Security?, November 1, 2004)
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2004808

2. The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the singular "HIM" in Romans 10:11 refers to Jesus.
The Watchtower: With reference to Jesus, Paul quoted Isaiah’s words: “None that rests his faith on him will be disappointed.” (Rom. 10:11; Isa. 28:16) (There Is Good News That All Need, June 15, 2011).

http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011442

 

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On 8/18/2016 at 12:03 PM, Origen said:

the Divine name 

 I think it is interesting that in Romans 10:13 the JW's once believed that the "Lord" referred to the Lord Jesus.

     a. The Watchtower: There are verses in the Hebrew Scriptures about Jehovah that are quoted in the “New Testament” in a context speaking about the Son. (Isa. 40:3—Matt. 3:3—John 1:23; Joel 2:32 - Rom. 10:13; Ps. 45:6, 7—Heb. 1:8, 9) (Theologian's Stumble Over God's Name, May 1, 1978, page 12).   

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1978326

 

 Today, Romans 10:13 is in reference to Jehovah.

     a. Divine Name: Whose name do we have to call on to be saved? Since Jesus is often spoken of as “Lord,” and one scripture even says: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” should we conclude that Paul was here speaking about Jesus?—Acts 16:31, Authorized Version.

No, we should not. A marginal reference to Romans 10:13 in the Authorized Version points us to Joel 2:32 in the Hebrew Scriptures. If you check that reference, you will find that Paul was actually quoting the words of Joel in his letter to the Romans; and what Joel said in the original Hebrew was: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will get away safe.” (New World Translation) Yes, Paul meant here that we should call on the name of Jehovah. Hence, while we have to believe in Jesus, our salvation is closely linked with a proper appreciation of God’s name. (God’s Name and the “New Testament”)

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101984305


 


 

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