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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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