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Monday, February 27, 2012

The New World Translation and the Restoration of God's Name 237 Times in the New Testament

In the O(ld) T(estament), God's personal name appears nearly 7,000 times as four consonants: יהוה. These consonants are transliterated YHWH and are known as the Tetragrammaton. Its use throughout the Scriptures far outnumbers that of any of the titles, such as "Sovereign Lord" or "God," applied to Him.

Yes, most of the physical evidence found in existing N(ew) T(estament) manuscripts does not support "Jehovah" in the New Testament. But what makes such a difference is the belief that BOTH "Testaments" are the word of God and must not contradict each other in important areas of knowledge.

We can accept both "Testaments" as the inspired word of God and still see understandable differences occurring between the two, but not basic contradictory differences. For example, we know how and why animal sacrifices to God have been done away with. It has been carefully, logically explained in the NT and, therefore, does not contradict the OT teachings where such sacrifices were required (essential). But where is the careful, logical explanation that shows that the necessary knowledge and use of God's name (as clearly acknowledged by word and example throughout the OT) was done away with in the NT?

It's not there. How can it be that God reveals His personal name and commands that it be publicly acknowledged and used forever by His servants (and they respectfully do so for over a thousand years) and then, for no Scriptural reason, His worshipers suddenly begin refusing to use that name and even hide it?

Therefore, if we are to keep the Scriptures from terribly contradicting themselves in an extremely important area, we must conclude that either the OT Scriptures are wrong or the oldest available NT manuscripts and fragments (at least those which actually contain places that quote from the OT where "YHWH" was originally used) are copies that have been changed from the original. Since the name of God being used as YHWH even in everyday life is attested to by archaeological findings back to the 8th century B. C. at least, we are really forced to conclude that, yes, the existing NT manuscripts are terribly wrong in this particular area.

Therefore, we know that the Name belongs in the NT. Besides, the manuscripts we have today were copies of copies, etc., written hundreds of years after the originals, and therefore may well have been changed when the name became a hated "Jewish" name to "Christians" (around 135 A.D.).

Scholars know for a fact that words and whole phrases have been added or removed from various ancient copies of the New Testament, but that doesn't make the New Testament unreliable, since many or most of the additions or subtractions can be recognized or restored.
But even with these changes, the Name has not been entirely left out of the N.T. since Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6 still retains "Alleluia":

"ALLELUIA, the Greek form (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye JEHOVAH, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.)." – Easton's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1897.

Yes, God's name originally was in the Greek Scriptures because it would be inconceivable that the Bible writers did not use God's name, especially when quoting from parts of the "Old Testament" that contained the name. If God's name did not belong in the New Testament, then why did Jesus tell us to pray for its sanctification? (Mt. 6:9)

So it should not be considered terribly wrong to restore, for the sake of clarity if nothing else, the name we know belongs there. Many other respected Bibles add personal names to their translations for clarity when they weren’t actually in the New Testament text to begin with.

Yet some condemn the New World Translation Bible for restoring God's Name some 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. However, these places are where it was likely there originally. Places where the Christian Greek Scripture writers quote the earlier Hebrew Scriptures already containing God's name. Many translators have done this. Really, shouldn't any condemnation be directed toward the many Bibles that have removed God's Name nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (when the Name is clearly there)?

The Importance of God's Name

We are to know and use Jehovah's name, but we must not misunderstand how extremely important it is to Him (and to us). One of God's Ten Commandments, for example commands:

"You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name." - Ex. 20:7, NJB [cf. NRSV, NIV, NEB, REB, GNB, NLV, ETRV].

God certainly didn't say, "Don't ever use my Holy Name". By direct Bible statements and commands and by the clear, thousand-fold repeated examples of all the prophets of God in the OT we know that God's Holy Name must be known and used by his people

God Himself makes it clear in the Bible how important His name is:

"Jehovah ... This is my name for ever; this is my title in every generation." (Ex. 3:15) - NEB; Also see 1 Chron. 16:8; Is. 12:4; Zeph. 3:9; and Ps. 83:16-18)

For much more, see:

Should the Name Jehovah Appear in the New Testament? (w08 8/1 pp. 18-23; Watchtower Online Library)

God's Name and the New Testament (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures Heb., יהוה (YHWH) (Watchtower Online Library)

"Jehovah" in The New Testament (Search For Bible Truths)

Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained (Search For Bible Truths)

NWT - Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions? - "Jehovah" in the New Testament (Defending the NWT)

On the Form of the Divine Name "Jehovah" (In Defense of the NWT)

Should God's name “Jehovah" appear in the New Testament? (Search For Bible Truths)

YHWH in the New Testament (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

"Jehovah" 50 or 237 places in the New Testament? (Examining Countess' list) (Defending the NWT)

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rev. 3:14 - Does 'Arkhe' Mean "Beginning" or Does it Mean "Origin" or "Source"?

As the following will show, the Watchtower Society is correct when it says that when Jesus called himself "the beginning [Greek – arkhe/arche, arch] of the creation of God" - Rev. 3:14, KJV, ASV, RSV, NASB, NKJV, MLB, Douay, Byington, Rotherham, Lattimore, Lamsa, Phillips, Darby, Webster, etc. - he meant "the first thing created by God."

Some trinitarians, however, insist that the word arkhe (sometimes written in English as arche) here does not mean "beginning" but should be rendered "source" or "origin." (For an examination of the mistranslation for this word as "Ruler" here, see the Beginning, Wisdom, Firstborn study, starting with par. #4.)

So the real question is: Do the writers of the New Testament ever use arkhe to mean "source" or "origin"? And, more importantly, since John wrote Rev. 3:14, does John ever use arkhe to mean "source," "origin," or "ruler"?

The only NT word John has used when he intended the meaning of "beginning" is arkhe. (The only apparent exception to this is archomai (arkhomai) found at John 8:9 - see p. 139 in the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. However, even trinitarian scholars admit that this verse is spurious, not written by John but added by a later copyist! - [Jn 9:32 should be more literally translated "from of old".])
To say that John meant "origin" or "source" when he used arkhe at Rev. 3:14 ignores two important facts:

(1) Nowhere else does John use arkhe as "source," "origin," or "beginner."[See footnote #4] In the 23 times it is found in the writings of John (in the text used by the King James translators), it is always understood in the sense of "beginning" and is always so translated in the KJV. (And every time arkhe is found in the writings of John - 21 times in the text used by the NASB - it is also always translated "beginning" in that most-respected trinitarian Bible.) Here are all the uses of arkhe by John according to Young's Analytical Concordance: John 1:1; 1:2; 2:11; 6:64; 8:25; 8:44; 15:27; 16:4; 1 John 1:1; 2:7 (twice in KJV); 2:13; 2:14; 2:24 (twice); 3:8; 3:11; 2 John 5, 6; Rev.1:8 (KJV); 3:14; 21:6; and 22:13. Notice that the ASV, RSV, etc. also translate these as "beginning" or "first" (in time).

John consistently used arkhe to mean only "beginning." Since it is John's writing we are concerned with at Rev. 3:14, this is of utmost importance.[See footnote #5]

(2) If John had really intended to use a word for "origin," "source," or "beginner," he could have easily done so. As we will see later, there would have been no reason to use a word that he consistently and frequently used to mean only "beginning."

The Expositor's Greek Testament (trinitarian, of course) tells us that to understand Rev. 3:14 as meaning that Jesus is "the active source" of creation, instead of the first created person, one must interpret arkhe "as in Greek philosophy and Jewish wisdom-literature, = aitia or origin."

Isn't it odd that the Greek word actually used for this philosophical concept is aitia which can honestly mean "cause" or "source"? If the word actually used is aitia, why must one interpret arkhe with a similar meaning? Why wouldn't John have simply used the word aitia if that's what he intended?

The trinitarian theologian Albert Barnes says concerning the NT Greek word arkhe:

"The word properly refers to the commencement of a thing, not its authorship, and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist.... the word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence." - Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, p. 1569. [See footnote #6]

We also see the highly respected BDAG admits the same for the use of arkhe (or arche) in Rev. 3:14.[See footnote #7]

Although there are other words which (more appropriately than arkhe) may be properly translated "source," "cause," "origin," etc., there is one word which is most frequently so used throughout the Bible in the Hebrew and Greek scriptures. This word emphasizes the strong Biblical comparison between "creation" and "procreation." (E.g., "brought forth" at Ps. 90:2 is "begotten" in the original Hebrew and is paralleled here with "gave birth to the earth" - NASB.)

Only the Father is the Source of Creation

It is because of this common Bible metaphor that "father" was considered as synonymous (whether as "creator" or "procreator") with "source"! - See p. 190, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Baker Book House, 1984.

The famous Biblical Hebrew authority, Gesenius, tells us that "Father" means:

"Of the author, or maker, of anything, specially of the creator.... And in this sense God is said to be `the father of men,' Is. 63:16; 64:8; [etc.]. All these ... come from the notion of origin." - p. 2, Gesenius' Lexicon.

Trinitarian Robert Young in his Young's Analytical Concordance, p. 331, also shows this meaning for the Hebrew word ab, " ! : "Father, ancestor, source, inventor."[See footnote #8]

God's people have used "Father" synonymously with "source" or "origin" for thousands of years. When they wanted to use a word that denotes absolute "source" they most often used "Father."[See footnote #9] Obviously the Son is not the "source of creation" - his Father is! (And what could be more appropriate than the Father's very first creation being called his "Firstborn Son"?)

So John's (and Jesus' and all Bible writers') repeated use of the term "Father" for God stresses over and over that Jesus' Father (and our Father) is the ultimate source who, because of his will (Rev. 4:11) and his spoken command (Ps. 33:6, 8, 9; Ps. 148:5) caused (originated) all things to be made through the obedient efforts of his Firstborn Son, Jesus.

So we can see that the Father alone is the source and his first creation (the only direct creation by Him), His only-begotten son, is the channel through whom he caused all the rest of creation to be. "His son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through [dia] whom he made the world." - Heb. 1:2. "All things came into being through [dia] him.... The world was made through [dia] him" - John 1:3,10.

Notice how the strongly trinitarian NT Greek experts, Dana and Mantey, explain this scripture:

"`All things were made through him.' Jn 1:3. Here God the Father is thought of as the original cause of creation, and the logos [Jesus] as the intermediate agent." - p. 162, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament.

"For us there is but one God, the Father [compare John 17:1, 3], from [ex or ek, literally: `out of'] whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through [dia] whom are all things, and we exist through [dia] him." - 1 Cor. 8:6. Concerning this very scripture even the highly trinitarian The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology has to admit:

"in 1 Cor. 8:6 the function of God the Father as the SOURCE of creation is distinguished from Christ's role as mediator of creation." - p. 1182, Vol. 3.

Also see The NIV Study Bible footnote for 1 Cor. 8:6:

"See Heb 2:10. God the Father is the ultimate Source of all creation (Ac 4:24)."
The Encyclopedia of Religion states:

"God the Father is source of all that is (pantokrator) and also the father of Jesus Christ" - 1987, Vol. 15, p. 54.

It should be obvious to all that, if the Father is the source of creation and Jesus is the intermediate agent, then Rev. 3:14 cannot be calling Jesus the "source" or "origin" of creation!

For more, see:

NWT - Rev. 3:14 (Defending the NWT)

Revelation 3:14 "...the beginning of the creation by God." (IN Defense of the NWT)

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Why are some verses missing in the New World Translation Bible?

Some verses, such as Matthew 18:11; 23:14; Luke 17:36 are missing in the New World Translation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, these verses are ALSO not in the Common Bible (an ecumenical edition for Catholics and Protestants), The New English Bible, and the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, to name a few.

The reason is because these verses actually do not belong in the Bible even though many older translations included them. The original manuscripts of the “New Testament” books (the Christian Greek Scriptures) are not available today for use by translators. No one has discovered a Bible book “autographed,” as it were, by the apostles Paul, John, or others. Yet it is evident that soon after the originals were written, copies began to be made for use by the early Christians. The later copies, those farthest from the originals, tended to have more mistakes.

For more, see:

'Missing' texts from the NWT (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Bible Translation and Study

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Friday, February 3, 2012

In Jude 9, why couldn't Michael the Archangel make a judgement against the Devil?

Jude 1:9 is one of the most common arguments presented in a desperate attempt to disprove Michael being Christ's prehuman name. Yet, to say this one must misconstrue Jude 9 and also require us to be ignorant of the Greek words used in these verses.

First, in Greek Jude 9 does not say that Michael COULD NOT "rebuke" (EPITIMAO) Satan. Rather, what he refused to do was to "judge abusively" or bring a "railing accusation" (KRISIS BLASPHEMEO) against Satan.

This is something that Jesus never did of anyone while he was on earth.

"Krisis does not come under category of accusation. But signifies a passing of judgement, a decision given concerning anything."—Vine's Greek Expository Dictionary; 28

The NIV says: "But even the archangel Michael, ...did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

Although more powerful than humans, angels also do not use harsh abusive language (KRISIS BLASPHEMEO) even of human opposers (2Pt. 2:11).

And when Jesus did "rebuke" (EPITIMHSAI) the demons (Mt 17:18), it is made clear by the parallel account (Mr 9:29) that it still was not done on his own authority but through prayer to God (Jn.8:15,16,28; Jn.5:19,30). This is a different Greek word than that which Christ refused to do in Jude.

So Christ's rebuke of Mat 17 was not the same as that spoken of in Jude. This rebuke did not equal a final judgement, a KRISIS BLASFHMEW, something even Christ will not do until God's future time (Jn.3:17; 12:47; 2Tim.4:1; Heb 2:7-9; 10:12,13; Jd.1:6).

Further, these same words are used by “The Angel of the LORD (YHWH)” at Zech 3:2. And most Trinitarians agree that the "Angel of Jehovah" is the Christ, a so-called theophany. So even Christ as the Angel of the LORD refused to rebuke Satan, but said at Zech 3:2: "Jehovah rebuke you," exactly the words of Michael. The angel of YHWH and Michael both reacted the same way to Satan, saying 'Jehovah rebuke you' because Michael is 'the angel of YHWH'.

Also Jesus had to be GIVEN the power to judge (KRISIS) (2Pet. 2:11; Heb. 2:7-9; 10:12,13). Yet, even then it would not be of his own authority (Jn 5:19,30). So, Jesus didn't run ahead of Jehovah's appointed time for dealing with Satan. He also waited on God in heaven after resurrection.

So, while both Michael and Christ refused to directly rebuke Satan, now they BOTH do! In Rev 12:7 Michael rebukes Satan in the most forceful way, defeating him in battle with HIS angels, casting him down to the earth and then hurling him into the abyss (Rev. 20:1-3). This is something that the Scriptures said Christ would do (Mt 8:29).

Therefore, Jude 9 does not preclude Jesus from being Michael. Again, *both* Michael and Jesus had to wait for God to sanction their action against their enemies.

Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrine is not affected in the slightest if Michael is not Christ. Therefore, it is no problem if our logical conclusions regarding Michael are proved wrong when those new scrolls are opened! (Jn.17:3; 1Jn.4:15; Rm.10:9) On the other hand, Trinitarians are aware of the difficulties caused if Christ is identified as Michael due to the extremely strong implications of his inferiority.

While there is no evidence that Jesus is not Michael, the doctrine that Jesus is not God almighty is a very clear and explicit teaching in the Bible. At least 17 times scriptures say that Jesus has a God over him which clearly proves that Jesus cannot be Almighty God (Mic.5:4; Ps.45:7; 89:26; Mat.27:46; Mk. 15:34; Jn.20:17; Rom.15:6; 1Cor.11:3; 15:24-28; 2Cor.1:3; Eph.1:17; Heb.1:9; 1Pt.1:3; Rev.1:6; 3:2,12).

And Scriptures repeatedly show that Jesus is less than God at every point of his existence. At the highest position he will ever attain, Jesus still has a God over him and is "subject" to *GOD* the same way we are "subject" to him (Jn. 14:28; 1Cor.15:27,28).

Now, a comparison of Biblical statements lead to the reasonable and logical conclusion that Michael was Christ's heavenly name. Because of this solid scriptural evidence that Michael is Christ, even many Trinitarians have agreed that Michael is one of the names of the Christ, including most early Catholic and Protestant"Church Fathers," and many modern scholars.

Source: This is the Best Answer to this question from Yahoo! Answers

Additional Reading:

Archangel - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

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