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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Should Christian Married Couples Use Birth Control Pills?

The Bible indicates that a person's life begins at conception. For instance, God sees the life that has been already conceived that will thereafter develop in the womb: "Your eyes saw even the embryo of me." (Psalm 139:16)

Birth control pills are intended to prevent conceptions from occurring in the first place and so are not abortive.

But any effort that is made to end an already conceived life would be abortion.

The following is an excerpt from the 6/15/89 Watchtower 'Questions From Readers' regarding birth control:

The Scriptures do not clearly say that Christian couples are obliged to have children or, if they do, how many. Each couple should privately and responsibly determine whether to try to regulate the size of their family. If they agree to practice birth control, their choice of contraceptives is also a personal matter. However, they ought to consider—in accord with their understanding of the Bible and their conscience—whether using a certain method would show respect for the sanctity of life.

The Bible indicates that a person's life begins at conception; the Life-Giver sees the life that has been conceived, "even the embryo" that will thereafter develop in the womb. (Psalm 139:16; Exodus 21:22, 23; Jeremiah 1:5) Hence, no effort should be made to end a conceived life. To do so would be abortion.

Birth control pills are widely used around the world. How do they prevent childbirth? There are two major types of pills—the combination pill and the progestin-only pill (minipill). Research has clarified their primary mechanisms for preventing births.

The combination pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "the primary mechanism" of the combination pill is "inhibition of ovulation." It seems that when taken consistently, this type of pill almost always prevents the release of an egg from the ovary. When no egg or ovum is released, conception cannot occur in the Fallopian tubes. While this type of pill may also cause changes in "the endometrium [lining of the womb] (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)," this is considered a secondary mechanism.

In order to reduce side effects, combination pills containing lower doses of estrogen have been developed. Apparently, these low-dose combination pills allow more activity in the ovaries. Dr. Gabriel Bialy, chief of the Contraceptive Development Branch of the National Institutes of Health, says: "The preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that even with the low-estrogen pill, ovulation is blocked, not 100 percent, but most likely around 95 percent. But the mere fact that ovulation occurs is not tantamount to saying that fertilization has occurred."

If a woman misses taking the combination pill according to its designed schedule, there is an increased possibility that the secondary mechanism will play a role in preventing births. A study of women who missed two of the low-dose pills found that 36 percent had "escape" ovulations. The journal Contraception reports that in such cases the "effects of pills on the endometrium and cervical mucus may continue to provide . . . contraceptive protection."

What of the other type of pill—the progestin-only pill (minipill)? Drug Evaluations (1986) reports: "Inhibition of ovulation is not a prominent feature of contraception with progestin-only minipills. These agents cause formation of a thick cervical mucus that is relatively impenetrable to sperm; they may increase tubal transport time and also cause endometrial involution [which would hinder the development of any fertilized ovum]."

Some researchers claim that with the progestin-only pill, "normal ovulation occurs in over 40% of users." So this pill frequently allows ovulation. The thickened mucus at the cervix may block passage of sperm and thus not permit conception; if not, the hostile environment that the pill creates in the womb might prevent the fertilized ovum from implanting and developing into a child.

It can be appreciated, then, that when used regularly for birth control, both main types of pills seem to prevent conceptions from occurring in most cases and thus are not abortive. However, since the progestin-only pill (minipill) more frequently permits ovulation, there is a greater possibility that it sometimes prevents a birth by interfering with the implantation in the womb of a conceived life that has begun. Scientific studies indicate that normally (with a womb unaffected by birth control pills) "sixty per cent of fertilized eggs are . . . lost before the first missed period." That this happens, though, is quite different from choosing to use a method of birth control that is more likely to impede implantation of a fertilized ovum.

Hence, there are definite moral aspects to consider if a couple discuss with a physician the matter of using birth control pills. Christians should resolve even private and personal questions so as to maintain a "perfectly clear conscience" before our God and Life-Giver.—Acts 23:1; Galatians 6:5.

For more, see:

BIRTH CONTROL - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

Is it wrong for married couples to use contraceptives? (w11 11/1 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Is Contraception Morally Wrong? (g 9/07 pp. 10-11; Watchtower Online Library)

Should Christians Use Birth Control? Is It All Right for Christians to Use Contraceptives? (JW.ORG)

Since Sterilization Procedures Are Now Said to Be Reversible on Request, Might a Christian View Them as a Birth-Control Option? (JW.ORG)

Should Christian Married Couples Use Birth Control Pills? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Are birth-control pills a form of abortion? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is it compatible with Bible principles for a Christian married couple to use birth control pills? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers; 'Questions From Readers', 6/15/89 Watchtower)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Was God's Name (YHWH) Pronounced?

How Was God's Name (YHWH) Pronounced?

There are various pronunciations of the only personal name of God as found in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament. These earliest manuscripts (and other sources back to the 8th century B.C.) show only the four consonants of that holy name (YHWH in English characters – Hebrew fonts used in this study are in the WTHebrew font). That is why the name is often called the Tetragrammaton ("four letters"). The most popular pronunciations for that name today by those who speak English are "Jehovah" and "Yahweh."

We can easily understand why many scholars prefer "Yahweh" since it clearly uses the four consonants YHWH. But why do we find so many Bibles using the three-syllable name which has a "J" and "V" ("Jehovah") instead of the two-syllable word with a "Y" and "W" ("Yahweh")?

Perhaps another important personal name found in the Bible will help explain the confusion. The name of Moses' successor when written in full in his own language was "YHWSHW" (remember that the characters in Hebrew words are written from right to left) and was probably pronounced "Yehoshua" (Yeh-hoe-shoo-uh). - see Deut. 3:21, Judges 2:7 in The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, Vol.1, Zondervan Publishing, 1979, and also in The Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982.

"Joshua - ... i. THE NAME. - 1. The English form Joshua is an abbreviation of the Heb. [yehoshua] (only in Dt 3:21, Jg 2:7) or [yehosha] (the usual form, e.g. Ex 17:9, Dt 1:38 etc., 1 Ki 16:34), later abbreviated to [yeshua] (of Joshua himself, Neh 8:17) .... The LXX [Septuagint] give[s] it as IhsouV [yaysoos - "Jesus"], and so it occurs in the NT both as Joshua's own name (Ac 7:45) and that of our Lord (Mt 1:21, 25)." - p. 779, Vol. 2, Hastings' A Dictionary of the Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, 1988 printing.

So the full name of Joshua was probably written (and pronounced) Yehoshua. However, it was most often abbreviated in writing: Yehosha and Yeshua. Notice how these abbreviations have been made by leaving out an internal syllable (i.e., a syllable other than the original beginning or ending syllable). OT Hebrew already abbreviated all words by leaving out all vowels in writing. When it was read aloud, however, the abbreviated words were pronounced correctly (all vowels being supplied by the reader just as when readers of modern English see "mt.," "st.," "pres.," etc., they still pronounce them as "mountain," "street," "president," etc. ["et cetera"]). Even the earliest NT Greek manuscripts, which normally used all consonants and vowels, sometimes also abbreviated well-known words.

So, in the example of Joshua's full name yehoshua above we would see only the letters YHWSHW in the ancient manuscripts since all words had most vowels left out. (The consonant W, Waw in ancient Hebrew [before 600 A.D. at least], could be pronounced as "w," "oh," or "oo," and the consonant sh is a single letter in Hebrew.  Other times we would see the shortened form of Joshua's name (yehosha) written in the ancient manuscripts as YHWSH. And, finally we can see the most abbreviated form: yeshua was written as YSHW. When these words were read, however, they would have all been pronounced Yehoshua.

This is similar to the methods of the inspired writers of Christian scriptures (and their copyists for centuries thereafter) who abbreviated many words in Greek. For example theos (`God' or `god' in Greek) was most often abbreviated in the earliest manuscripts as THS. (In the Greek TH is also a single letter, Q.) But, whether it was written out in full, THEOS (qeoV or QEOC ), or, more often, seen in shortened form THS (QC -with a single bar drawn above both letters to indicate an abbreviation) it was always pronounced "theos"!

When this name was translated by Hebrew scholars themselves around 200 B. C. into Greek, it was rendered "IhsouV" ("Yesous") which was probably pronounced "Yay-soos" - Joshua 1:12, The Septuagint, Zondervan Publishing. So "Yeh-hoe-shoo-uh" became "Yay-soos" in the transliteration from Hebrew to Greek.

Since the actual name of the successor to Moses (Yehoshua, sometimes abbreviated to "Yeshua") was identical to that of the Messiah, we find that name rendered "Yaysoos" in the original Greek of both the Septuagint and the NT manuscripts. For example, "Joshua" is originally written as "Yaysoos" at Joshua 1:12 (written IhsouV in the Greek - symbol font) and Hebrews 4:8. And "Jesus" is originally written as "Yaysoos" at Matt. 3:16 (also written IhsouV in the Greek).

Then, when Rome became a world leader, the name was again transliterated, this time from the Greek into Latin. The "oo" sound of "ou" in the Greek was represented in Latin by the vowel "u" (which was written as "v"). So "Yaysoos" came to be written as "Iesvs" in Latin. Eventually, in the Middle Ages, the "Y" sound of the Greek "I" came to be written as either "I" or "J" (for the first letter of words, at least), and "Iesvs" became either "Iesvs" or, more ornamentally, "Jesvs." And, finally, the "v" came to be written as "u" and the name came into its final written form (in English) as "Jesus." (In fact, even the first editions of the King James Version still used the initial "I" instead of the equivalent "J" which shows that it was still pronounced "Yay-soos" in the English of 1611:

"In form, J was originally merely a [more ornamental] variation of `I,' arising in the 14th century .... Not until the middle of the 17th century did this usage [the new pronunciation of the new letter `J'] become universal in English books; in the King James Bible of 1611, for example, the words Jesus and judge are invariably Iesus and iudge." - p. 4823, Vol. 13, Universal Standard Encyclopedia (Funk & Wagnalls), 1955.

"In the word `hallelujah' the j retains its early consonantal value of i or y." - p. 571, Vol. 15, The Encyclopedia Americana, 1957.

So even for some years after the KJV began using the new letter "J," the pronunciation of it was still "Y." But eventually (18th century?) we began to have "Jesus" (and other "J" words, including "Jehovah," "Jeremiah," "Jerusalem," "Joshua," etc.) with the modern English pronunciation of those letters: "Jee-suz." Nearly all modern English Bibles have purposely retained the earlier tradition concerning biblical names, and "Jesus" (and "Jeremiah," "Jerusalem," "Joshua," etc.) remains in all modern English Bibles.

I believe there is nothing wrong with retaining this tradition even though it is not the original pronunciation of the name of the Messiah (Yehoshua) nor even the original Greek rendering of it (Yaysoos or possibly Yeesoos). "Jesus" is still an honest transliteration of the original proper name of the Messiah, however, and it is common to all speakers of English. (In like manner, although `Cristobal Colon' may be the original pronunciation, I don't think it's wrong to call the famous explorer `Christopher Columbus' in modern English.)

In the same way the only proper name of God Himself, YHWH, which is used nearly 7000 times in the original writings of the Old Testament is sometimes transliterated as "Jehovah" in English (ASV, Young's, KJIIV, NWT, Byington, and, in some verses only, in NEB, MLB, KJV, and Living Bible) and, more rarely, as "Yahweh" (JB, NJB, and Rotherham). (Of course it is more often improperly rendered "LORD" in most places in most Bibles.)

So which is the proper pronunciation of God's name - "Jehovah" or "Yahweh"? Well, many Bible scholars in more recent times have preferred "Yahweh" as the probable original Hebrew pronunciation. But there is still more to say for "Jehovah" in addition to the fact that it is the older, more traditional, and better-known form.

"In the Elizabethan alphabet the letters 'u' and 'v' were the same letter as were and 'i' and 'j' " -

So "Iehouah" (Yehowah) could also be written "Jehovah."

From Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1995, pp. 30, 31, 100:

How God's Name Was Pronounced

Professor Rainey has presented the usual four arguments given for the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh," ("How Yahweh Was Pronounced," Queries & Comments, Sept./Oct. 1994) but he has overlooked some important primary data that negates the customary conjecture.

1) Among the magical papyri the name appears as iawouhe (Ya-oh-oo-ay-eh), but it is difficult to know how much this pronunciation had to do with the Tetragrammaton because the prayers and incantations in these papyri mix all kinds of sounds together, some meaningful, some nonsensical, so it is not certain how many of these syllables were thought to belong to the name. At least, however, it has more syllables than two, and the central vowel is not omitted, as is done in Yah-weh.

2) Clement of Alexandria spelled the Tetragrammaton iaoai (Ya-oo-ai), iaoe (Ya-oo-eh), and iao (Ya-oh). In none of these is the central oo or oh vowel omitted.

3) Rabbis often deduced the meaning of a word by taking the word apart and interpreting each part. A modern equivalent would be to determine the meaning of "insect" by the meanings of both "in" and "sect." This might, then, be defined as a religious sect that is in some place. This methodology is called "etymology" and is not always accurate, but it was followed by rabbis, Clement of Alexandria, and some authors of Scripture (Genesis 28:10-22; 21:15-34; 26:17-34). By this logic Clement argued that the Tetragrammaton had the same consonants as the verb "to be," so it meant the one who caused things to be, but he did not pronounce the word according to any form of that verb. His conjecture was homiletically thought-provoking, but not scientifically or historically correct. The verb "to be" would deserve the extensive comparative analysis it has been given only if it could be shown from the Scripture to be related to the Tetragrammaton, but that is not the case. Reams of paper and gallons of ink have been expended over the years justifying a pronunciation Westerners deduced on the basis of Clement's conjecture. It may all be irrelevant to the subject. There are other places and ways to look for the correct pronunciation. These are found in the Scriptures and associated texts. The following are some of the materials to consider:

Among the caves of Qumran was a Greek text that included a few Greek words of Leviticus (4QLXX Lev), one of which was the Tetragrammaton. It was spelled IAW (Ya-oh). This is apparently a two-syllable word, but the second syllable is only a vowel. There is no way that it could be rendered "Yah-weh." This was a transliteration of the Hebrew Ya-ho. It is the same spelling given in the fifth century B.C. Aramaic papyri. From the Aramaic alone, this word could be pronounced either Ya-hoo or Ya-hoh.

Some of the words in the Dead Sea scrolls were pronounced and spelled in the scrolls with an aspirant, ah, which is lacking in the Masoretic text. For example, Masoretic words like hoo and hee are spelled hoo-ah in the scrolls. Arabs pronounce these words the same way that they are spelled in the scrolls, but Arabs do not spell the final aspirant with a consonant. They indicate the aspirant with only vowel pointing, which was not used in early Biblical texts. The word spelled Ya-hoo or Ya-hoh may have been pronounced Yahowah or Yahoowah, but in no case is the vowel oo or oh omitted. The word was sometimes abbreviated as "Ya," but never as "Ya-weh." This can be illustrated further by studying the proper names of the Bible that were based on the Tetragrammaton.

The Hebrew for the name "Jonathan' is Yah-ho-na-than, "Yaho or Yahowah has given." When this name was abbreviated it became "Yo-na-than," preserving the vowel oh. John was spelled "Yaho-cha-nan", "Yaho or Yahowah has been gracious." Elijah's name was Eli-yahoo, "My God is Yahoo or Yahoowah." Ancients often gave their children names that included the name of their deity. For other examples, Ish-baal is "the man of Baal," and Baal-ya-sha means "Baal has saved." In both cases the name "Baal" is probably correctly pronounced in the name of the person involved. The same is true with the Tetragrammaton. Anyone who cares to check the concordances will find that there is no name in the entire Scriptures that includes the Tetragrammaton and also omits the [central] vowel that is left out in the two-syllable pronunciation Rainey upholds [Yahweh].

There is still one other clue to the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton - Hebrew poetry. For example, from the poem of Exodus 15, read aloud verses 1, 3, 6, 11, 17, and 18, [in Hebrew, of course] first pronouncing the Tetragrammaton as "Yahweh" and then read it again, pronouncing the same word as "Yahowah." Notice the rhyme and poetic beat of the two. In this way the reader can judge which one is the more likely pronunciation in antiquity.

The name "Yahowah" is not a ghost word, as Rainey declared. Clement of Alexandria's conjecture that the Tetragrammaton was based on the verb "to be" overlooks the pronunciation of the proper names in the Scripture that include some portion of the Tetragrammaton. Clement did not have access to the scrolls and may never have seen the Aramaic papyri. Nevertheless, he spelled the Tetragrammaton in Greek employing the central vowel that Rainey omitted in his determination that the proper name was Yahweh.

When the Tetragrammaton was pronounced in one syllable it was "Yah" or "Yo." When it was pronounced in three syllables it would have been "Yahowah" or "Yahoowah." If it was ever abbreviated to two syllables it would have been "Yaho," but even this spelling may have been pronounced with three syllables, including the final aspirant, because Hebrew had no vowel points in Biblical times. Biblical theologians should start with this data and reach their belief regarding the character of the deity from the descriptions given in the texts, rather than trying to deduce it from some possible etymology of the word. This data and logic do not refute the suggestion that God is the one who "causes to be," but it means that belief cannot be proved on the basis of words conjectured to be part of the name. - George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC.
(Also see 1 Feb. 1999 WT pp. 30-31 and 8 Feb. 1999 Awake! pp. 7-9.)

* * * * * *

There is, then, justification for the use of "Jehovah" (which would be "Yehowah" or "Yahowah" when "de-Latinized" or "de-Anglicized") beyond the obvious ones of tradition and common English usage. It is very similar to the almost universal acceptance of "Jesus" except "Jehovah" is probably much closer to the original ("Yahowah"?) than "Jesus" is to the original "Yehoshua."

It is to be expected that although the full name of God was probably "Yahowah," it was frequently abbreviated in writing to shorter forms by removing one or more of its syllables: e.g., "Yah" or "Yaho." But these abbreviated forms were probably pronounced in full when read aloud. That is, when the Bible writers used the short form "Yaho," the reader would pronounce it "Yahowah." And, of course, when the Bible writers used the abbreviated form "Yah," his readers knew they were to pronounce "Yahowah" in full.

So the name "Yahowah" actually remained basically unchanged through the millennia (certainly more so than the change of Iakobos to James or Yehoshua to Jesus and Joshua).

Surely it is as acceptable (or more so) for speakers of English to use "Jehovah" as the Divine Name as it is for them to use the more abbreviated (and `de-Latinized,' `de-Anglicized') "Yahweh" favored by some.

"Jehovah" is still the most-used, customary English transliteration of God's personal name. It is not only used in more Bible translations (including a few places in the KJV) which actually attempt to use the name of God as found in the original text, but it is used in modern Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias as well.

And, most recently (as this was first written), at the Pentagon Memorial Service of October 11, 2001, attended by President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, former President Clinton, and members of Congress, and families of the victims, the Chief Chaplain of the U.S. Armed Forces in a live worldwide telecast directed the opening prayer to the Creator God, and identified Him by name, Jehovah.

But in either case, it is still an honest transliteration of the original word which God revealed as his very own unique personal name which must be known and used!
From internet (Nov. 2002) (Link now inoperable; Sept. 2012)


Gérard Gertoux is a Hebrew scholar, specialist of the Tetragram; He has been president of the Association Biblique de Recherche d'Anciens Manuscrits since 1991.

Book Summary:

"Usually, God's name is presented as fundamental in the monotheistic religions, but its pronunciation is controversial. However, the key to unlock this mystery was provided by the famous Maimonides 800 years ago, when he wrote that the Name 'is read as it is written'. The paradox starts and ends here with these intriguing words…

"God's name is fundamental to all monotheistic religions. "May your name be held holy" is the first request for Christians in the Lord's Prayer taught by Jesus (Mt 6:9). "They exult in you, those who love your name" is sung by Jews when they sing the Psalms of David (Ps 5:11). "The hearts of humble ones quiver when the name of God is mentioned" is what Muslims say when they recite certain surahs of the Quran (22:35).

"Paradoxically, religions prefer to translate God's name as Yahweh 'He is', Adonay 'my Lord', Allah 'The God', etc., rather than a transcription of the name, which is more usual. This study, initially published in the form of thesis, was greatly appreciated by many renowned specialists, because the subject had never been approached from the historical angle. This work created renewed interest in this fascinating topic -the disappearance of the Name followed by its slow re-emergence- which is relatively unknown.

"Eight centuries ago, the famous Talmudist, Moses Maimonides, arrived at the right conclusion: There is no mystical mystery, because God's name is simply pronounced as it is written, that is to say: Y-H-W-H = I-eH-U-A in the same way: Y-H-W-D-H = I-eH-U-D-A.

"To succeed in understanding this seemingly, elementary point, it was nevertheless necessary to closely examine the innumerable errors that have accumulated for at least twenty centuries. Linguistic questions of a technical nature, which a non-specialist reader might find somewhat challenging, have been annexed. This means that the text of the main work can be easily read.

"The first gift that you received was your name. The last remembrance that will remain a long time after you, engraved on stone is your name. An unsigned check is worth nothing; your name is therefore really important, is it not? From an emotional viewpoint this is true; when one wants to know someone, the first question is: "What is your name?" Nevertheless, some refuse to apply the obvious to God.

"God has a name. The Bible asserts it and all religions acknowledge it; then why do so few people know it? Usually, theologians retort that, either this name is too sacred to be used, or God wants to hide it, or that it is of no importance. However in the Bible, the only religious personage that systematically refused to use the Name is Satan. When Jesus debated with Satan, the discussion was enlightening as Jesus only used the Name, and Satan only the anonymous title "God" (Mt 4:1-11)#. This antagonism is not new between those who avoid the name of God (Jr 23:27) and those who accept its use (Jr 10:25). Knowing the name of God is essential for salvation according to the Bible (Jl 2:32; Rm 10:13).


In the translation of C Tresmontant (Catholic) one reads the name yhwh. In that of A. Chouraqui (Jewish) IhvH and in that of J. N. Darby (Protestant) *Lord, that is to say ["'Lord' without the article, signifying, as often, 'Jehovah'"] according to the note on Matthew 1:20."


"To begin, writing the name of God is not a problem: it is composed of four letters YHWH called the Tetragram. How is such a name pronounced? Dictionaries and encyclopedias indicate that Yahve (or Yahweh) is an uncertain vocalization, and that Jehovah is a barbarism originating from a wrong reading. As unbelievable as it may seem, this last affirmation is known to be false among scholars. This crude error has been denounced by Hebraists of all confessions, and with the support of the Vatican's Congregation of propaganda, but without result.

"This name YHWH is read without difficulty because it is pronounced as it is written, or according to its letters as the Talmud says. In fact, up until 70 CE, on the day of Yom Kippur the high priests read the blessing in Numbers 6:24-27 pronouncing YHWH according to its letters, that is to say as it was written. Indeed, this name is the easiest one to read in the whole Bible because it is made up of four vowels as Flavius Josephus noted. The question of knowing which vowels accompanied the letters YHWH is absurd, for Masoretic vowels did not appear before the sixth century CE. Before this, Hebrew names were widely vocalized by the three letters Y, W, H, as the manuscripts of Qumrân widely confirm. The letter Y was read I (or E), the letter W: U (or O), and the letter H: A at the end of words. For example, YH was read IA, YHWDH was read IHUDA (Juda). The name YHWH was therefore read IHUA (Ihoua). For the H, which was almost inaudible, to be better heard a mute e could be added, thus the name YHWDH read literally I-H-U-D-A then became I-eH-U-D-A, the exact equivalent of the Hebrew name Yehudah. This slight improvement gives the name YHWH the pronunciation I-eH-U-A (Iehoua), the equivalent of YeHoWaH in Masoretic punctuation. This coincidence is remarkable; even providential for those who believe that God watched over his Name (obviously without the copyists knowing!).

"Did Jesus pronounce the Name? Having vigorously denounced human traditions that annulled divine commandments (Mt 15:3), it appears unlikely that he conformed to the non-biblical custom of not pronouncing the Name. When reading in the synagogue (Lk 4:16-20), a part of the text of Isaiah (Is 61:1), he encountered the Tetragram. Even if the version in question was the Septuagint, this translation contained the Name (not Lord), as noted in all copies dated before 150 CE. According to the Masoretic text, at this time all theophoric names which had a part of the Tetragram integrated at their beginning were pronounced without exception YeHÔ-. Consequently, because the Tetragram is obviously the ultimate theophoric name, its reading had to be Yehô-aH to be consistent with all other theophoric names (YHWH can be read YHW-H). If the disputes are numerous, some appearing even legitimate, as a whole they constitute a body of proof that their objective is to eliminate the Name. …."


Also by Gertoux:

"To sum up the problem, the pronunciation of God's name, that is Jehovah, is easy to find using the theophoric names because without exception, all the theophoric names beginning in YHW- are vocalized YeHÔ- (IÔ- in the Septuagint). Therefore the ultimate theophoric name that is to say YHW-H must be read as YeHÔ-AH. The meaning of God's name is also easy to determine, that is "He will [prove to] be" according to Exodus 3:14, which gives the correct insight [ehyeh in first person use]."

For more concerning God's Name, see:

God's Name - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses, please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information on beliefs, practices and news releases you should look to the source at  

Recommended Related Articles from the Watchtower Online Library:

The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures Heb., יהוה (YHWH) (Rbi8 pp. 1561-1562)

God's Name - Links to Information ("God's Name" Watchtower Online Library search results)



1. Ayin, 3, (or # in my transliteration above because there is no equivalent English letter) is uncertain, but probably a `glottal stop.'

2. We should be aware that the OT personal names of `Javan' and `Joshaviah,' for example, retain their Latinized, Anglicized traditional pronunciations in all the Bibles I have examined. (This even includes the three that render as `Yahweh': Jerusalem Bible; New Jerusalem Bible; and Rotherham's The Emphasized Bible.)

And yet, `Javan' uses the very same "J" (*) and "v" as found in God's personal name!

And `Joshaviah' also uses the very same "J" and "v" as found in `Jehovah'! If, like `Jesus,' these Biblical personal names retain their latinized and anglicized pronunciation in even the most modern Bibles, why should "Jehovah" not be retained as well? If, on the other hand, `Jehovah' should be changed to `Yahweh' (or `Yahowah'), why do the above Bibles not make the corresponding changes to `Jesus,' `David,' `Javan,' `Joshaviah,' `Jeremiah,' and hundreds of others?

3.This is similar to the abbreviations found in the earliest NT manuscripts as previously mentioned. For example, QC (`th' and `s') was often used as the abbreviation for qeoV (theos). Obviously, though, when these scriptures were read, QC was pronounced in full as qeoV (THEOC - "god or "God" in NT Greek).


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Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Have an Organization?

Many have been misled by the false claim by Catholics and Protestants that the early Christian Church was unorganized. But this idea requires us to be ignorant of the Bible's explicit teachings.

God has always used an organized teaching method to disseminate his Truth. There was ONLY one means to properly worship God and that was by associating with his people who were "entrusted with his word" (Rm.3:1-2). Throughout Bible times salvation was extended only through God's organization and its representatives (2Chron.6:32-33; Num.15:15-16).

The Hebrew and Greek words (QAHAL, ECCLESIA) are better translated as "congregation" and ALWAYS denote an organized body or group (Mt.16:18; Ac 5:11; 11:22; Rm.16:5). See standard lexicons (cf. BDB, TWOT).

The "congregation" would be organized and united in doctrine, not individuals spread out (Ac 2:42; 20:28; Mt.28:19,20; 2Tim.2:1-2; 1Cor.1:10; 12:12-26).

In the Apostolic age, all true believers were gathered into one organized "body" of believers (Jn.17:20-21; 10:16; Rm.12:3-5; Phil.1:27). Christ is "the head of the body, the congregation" (Col 1:18; cf. 3:15;Eph 4:1-6)."One body" in scriptures indicate an organization in unity and togetherness. The term "unity" as applied to the Christian congregation also implies one organized group (Jn.17:20-21; 10:16; Ac 15:25; 1Cor.1:2,10).

Paul identified this organized channel when he wrote that the "congregation," God's "household," was "the pillar and support of the truth" (1Tim.3:15; Eph.3:10, 11; 1Pt.1:11-12; 2:8-10). He wrote that "there might be made known *THROUGH THE CONGREGATION* the greatly diversified wisdom of God, in connection with the Christ" (Eph.3:10,11; Jn.6:67,68; Heb.13:17).

The Bible outlines an ORGANIZED congregation: First a "governing body" of experienced spiritual men oversee the worldwide evangelizing work (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14, Gal 2:9). Each congregation was taught and organized by a group of spiritual men who are "elders" (PRESBYTER) or "overseers" (EPISKOPOS) and "ministerial servants" (DIAKONOUS, 1Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; 1Pt 5:2,3).

The True Christian organization would have this Biblical organizational structure.

They were taught from one authoritative body (Ac.2:42; 16:4, 5; Jd 17). Within this FOLD, "All would agree" on doctrine and accepted no divisions (1Cor.1:10; Phil.2:2; Rm.16:17; 1Th 4:1,2; 2Th 3:14; Tit 1:4-5,11,13; 3:10,11; 1Tim.1:3,19,20; Jd 3-4). Those that did not were removed from fellowship (1Thes.4:1,2; 2Thes.3:14; Heb.13:7,17; Php.2:12).

This is demonstrated for us in the conflict over the Mosaic Law. The matter was sent to the authoritative body in Jerusalem. This group examined the Scriptures and looked at the activity of the Holy Spirit and made a decision and sent it to all congregations (Ac 15:23-29). The decision was called a "decree" (DOGMA) and was binding on all congregations (Ac 16:4). This is theocratic organization since it is controlled by what God has revealed in His Word.

So JWs pattern our organization after that indicated in the Bible (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14; Gal 2:1,2,9).

SOURCE: This is an answer by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.

Also see:

Organization and Jehovah's Witnesses - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

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:

Some take the view that what is meant is that the Son was ‘the beginner of God’s creation,’ that he was its ‘ultimate source.’ But Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon lists “beginning” as... (rs p. 405-p. 426; Watchtower Online Library)

Appreciate Jesus’ Unique Role in God’s Purpose; "The Amen" Why is Jesus called “the Amen”? (w08 12/15 pp. 12-16; Watchtower Online Library)

Rev. 3:14 - Does 'Arkhe' Mean "Beginning" or Does it Mean "Origin" or "Source"? (Defending the NWT);

VIDEO - "The Beginning of God's Creation" (A grammatical and historical consideration of Revelation 3:14.) (Search For Bible Truths; Video from Scriptural Truths)

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


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Completely Ignore Those Who Have Been Disfellowshipped?

Jehovah's Witnesses certainly do NOT ignore those who have been disfellowshipped. Congregation elders routinely invite such ones to qualify for reinstatement, and every Witness would be happy to perform social niceties such as holding the door or giving up a bus seat to a disfellowshipped person in need.

A person is *NOT* expelled from Jehovah's Witnesses for personal misgivings or confusion regarding some teaching. In the matter of doctrine, it is only those who ADVOCATE unscriptural teachings who disqualify themselves from continuous spiritual fellowship with the congregation.

Jehovah's Witnesses do practice the Scriptural practice of disfellowshipping for unrepentance of such serious sins as fornication, drug abuse, stealing, and apostasy. Baptized Witnesses who join the military or publicly engage in worship with another religion are considered to have disassociated themselves from Jehovah's Witnesses.

Contrary to the misinformation of anti-Witnesses, it is quite possible to become inactive in the JW religion without becoming disfellowshipped. As long as one's lifestyle does not bring reproach upon the congregation, and as long as one does not advocate one's disagreements with the religion, the congregation has no interest in "investigating", exposing, and disfellowshipping an inactive former Jehovah's Witness.

For those who are disfellowshipped or disassociated, a primary goal is to shock the person into recognizing the serious of their wrong so that they rejoin the congregation in pure worship. Since the primary bonds that are broken involve friendship and spiritual fellowship, it is well understood that family bonds remain intact. Parents, siblings, and grown children of disfellowshipped and disassociated ones sometimes choose to limit what they may feel is discouraging or "bad association" but that is a personal decision and is not required by their religion.

Former Witnesses who are disfellowshipped or disassociated are typically treated in accord with the Scriptural pattern explained in these Scriptures:

(1 Corinthians 5:11-13) Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. ...Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

(Titus 3:10) As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after a first and a second admonition

(Romans 16:17) Now I exhort you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them.

(2 Thessalonians 3:6) Now we are giving you orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition you received from us.

(2 Thessalonians 3:14) But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed.

(2 John 10) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.

(Matthew 18:17) If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations

Becoming baptized as a Jehovah's Witnesses is not a trivial step. At a minimum, a student must demonstrate months of regular meeting attendance and public ministry, then must himself express the desire to be baptized. The candidate then spends hours answering hundreds of bible questions wherein he expresses both a clear understanding and personal conviction regarding Jehovah's Witness teachings in at least three separate interviews with three different elders. The candidate must vocally agree to be baptized in front of hundreds or thousands of eyewitnesses, and must be publicly immersed in water. This is not a momentary emotional decision by an unreasoning child. Dedication as a Witness required hard work and determination at the time.

Source: This is the chosen Best Answer by Achtung_Heiss to a question from Yahoo! Answers.

For more concerning this see:

DISFELLOWSHIPPING - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

EXPELLING (Insight-1 pp. 787-788; Watchtower Online Library)

Always Accept Jehovah’s Discipline (THE WATCHTOWER (STUDY EDITION) 2006-11-15; JW.ORG)

What is expelling (disfellowshiping) and why is/was it used in the Christian congregation? (Defending Jehovah's Witnesses)

Is the practice of disfellowshipping (expelling) found in the Bible? (Defending Jehovah's Witnesses)

"Disfellowshipping is not done out of spite or hatred for that individual. Rather, it may have the effect of having that person demonstrate their sincere repentance." (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Child discipline illustration (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

To what extent should Christians avoid fellowship with disfellowshipped ones? (Defending Jehovah's Witnesses)

What About Christians Living In The Same Household With a Disfellowshipped Family Member? (Defending Jehovah's Witnesses)

What about Christians living in the same household with a disfellowshipped family member and family Bible study? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Can someone be reinstated back to the congregation after being Disfellowshipped / Expelled? (Search For Bible Truths)

If a situation occurs which requires the assistance of law enforcement, should a Christian consult the police or the elders? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is someone to be disfellowshipped for marrying an unbeliever? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers, #3 in list)

Is it possible to be disfellowshiped even if the sinner regrets his faults? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Are repentant wrongdoers "placed" or "put on" public or private reproof as if placed on probation? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Should the name Jehovah not be used because it is said that the letter "J" isn't in Hebrew?

We can easily understand why many scholars prefer "Yahweh" since it clearly uses the four consonants YHWH. But why do we find so many Bibles using the name which has a "J"?

In the Middle Ages, the "Y" sound of the Greek "I" came to be written as either "I" or "J" (for the first letter of words, at least), and "Iesvs" became either "Iesvs" or, more ornamentally, "Jesvs." And, finally, the "v" came to be written as "u" and the name came into its final written form (in English) as "Jesus." (In fact, even the first editions of the King James Version still used the initial "I" instead of the equivalent "J" which shows that it was still pronounced "Yay-soos" in the English of 1611:

"In form, J was originally merely a [more ornamental] variation of `I,' arising in the 14th century .... Not until the middle of the 17th century did this usage [the new pronunciation of the new letter `J'] become universal in English books; in the King James Bible of 1611, for example, the words Jesus and judge are invariably Iesus and iudge." - p. 4823, Vol. 13, Universal Standard Encyclopedia (Funk & Wagnalls), 1955.

"In the word `hallelujah' the j retains its early consonantal value of i or y." - p. 571, Vol. 15, The Encyclopedia Americana, 1957.

So even for some years after the KJV began using the new letter "J," the pronunciation of it was still "Y." But eventually (18th century?) we began to have "Jesus" (and other "J" words, including "Jehovah," "Jeremiah," "Jerusalem," "Joshua," etc.) with the modern English pronunciation of those letters: "Jee-suz." Nearly all modern English Bibles have purposely retained the earlier tradition concerning biblical names, and "Jesus" (and "Jeremiah," "Jerusalem," "Joshua," etc.) remains in all modern English Bibles.

Many believe that there is nothing wrong with retaining this tradition even though it is not the original pronunciation of the name of the Messiah (Yehoshua) nor even the original Greek rendering of it (Yaysoos). It is still an honest transliteration of the original proper name of the Messiah, however, and it is common to all speakers of English. (In like manner, although `Cristobal Colon' may be the original pronunciation, many do not object to calling the famous explorer `Christopher Columbus' in modern English.)

In the same way the only proper name of God Himself, YHWH, which is used nearly 7000 times in the original writings of the Old Testament is sometimes transliterated as "Jehovah" in English (ASV, Young's, KJIIV, NWT, Byington, and, in some verses only, in NEB, MLB, KJV, and Living Bible) and, more rarely, as "Yahweh" (JB, NJB, and Rotherham). (Of course it is more often improperly rendered "LORD" in most places in most Bibles.)

So which is the proper pronunciation of God's name - "Jehovah" or "Yahweh"? Well, many Bible scholars in more recent times have preferred "Yahweh" as the probable original Hebrew pronunciation. But there is still more to say for "Jehovah" in addition to the fact that it is the older, more traditional, and better-known form.

"In the Elizabethan alphabet the letters 'u' and 'v' were the same letter as were and 'i' and 'j'." -

So "Iehouah" (Yehowah) could also be written "Jehovah."

We are to know and use Jehovah's name. We also 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. (Mt. 6:9) This surely wouldn't mean for it to be withheld from usage or omitted from His Word the Bible, as unfortunately many copyists have kept to following the tradition of eliminating the distinctive name of God by replacing it with Ky´ri·os and The·os´ ("LORD" and "GOD").

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

For more, see:

God's Name (Category; Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is the Difference Between Soul and Spirit?


In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Hebrew word ne'phesh occurs 754 times. The first occurrence is at Genesis 1:20. The use of this word in many different contexts helps us to understand the basic idea as it is used in the Bible: 

1. It is a person or individual, (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 36:6; Deuteronomy 10:22; 1 Samuel 22:22; Proverbs 11:25; 16:24; Jeremiah 43:6; Acts 2:41,43; 1 Peter 3:30) 

2. or a lower creature or animal, (Genesis 1:20,24; Leviticus 24:18; Revelation 16:3)

3. or the life that they enjoy as such. (Genesis 35:18; Joshua 9:24; Judges 9:17; Proverbs 1:18; Matthew 6:25; 10:39; Acts 20:10; Philippians 2:30; James 1:21; 1 John 3:16) 

The Greek word for soul, psy-khe', occurs by itself 102 times, with the first use at Matthew 2:20. This is the equivalent of ne'phesh.

With this in mind, the Bible says that souls in fact, die:

Ezek. 18:4: "Look! All the souls—to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." (Some translations say "the man" or "the person.") - See also Matt. 10:28 and Acts 3:23.


The Greek pneu´ma (spirit) and the Hebrew ru´ach (spirit) are believed to come from a root having the same meaning. These words basically mean "breath" but have extended meanings beyond that basic sense.

They can also mean wind; the vital force in living creatures; one's spirit; spirit persons, including God and his angelic creatures; and God's active force, or holy spirit.

The Bible speaks of the spirit, or life-force. This also is referred to in the Bible as being in humans *and* in animals. (Gen. 6:17; 7:15, 22) 

Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 shows that men and animals die in the same way: "they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast,". In other words, they both have the same spirit, or life-force.

This indicates that the spirit that is mentioned that is associated with the soul is NOT some disembodied consciousness of a newly desceased person. Rather the scriptures indicate that it is impersonal.

"Although the Hebrew word nefesh [in the Hebrew Scriptures] is frequently translated as `soul,' it would be inaccurate to read into it a Greek meaning. Nefesh . . . is never conceived of as operating separately from the body. In the New Testament the Greek word psyche is often translated as `soul' but again should not be readily understood to have the meaning the word had for the Greek philosophers. It usually means `life,' or `vitality,' or, at times, `the self.'"—The Encyclopedia Americana (1977), Vol. 25, p. 236.

Recommended Related Article:

“Soul” and “Spirit”—What Do These Terms Really Mean? (bh p. 208-p. 211; Watchtower Online Library)

Also see:

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

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


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Sunday, July 21, 2013

VIDEO: The Bible Answers the Mysteries of Life (Visit

Go to to find real Bible answers to YOUR questions.

(Watch on You Tube)


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Saturday, July 20, 2013

VIDEO - Jehovah's Witnesses World Headquarters Preview

Published on [Youtube] Sep 15, 2012 -

"This video are featured on the new website. See the area in upstate New York where we are planning to relocate our world headquarters. In July 2009, Jehovah's Witnesses purchased a plot of land in upstate New York with plans to relocate their world headquarters. The 102-hectare (253 a.) property is located about 80 kilometers (50 mi) northwest of the existing facilities in Brooklyn, New York, where they have been since 1909.

"Some 800 Witnesses will live and work at the new facility, which will include an office building, a services building, and four residence buildings. A modest museum documenting the modern-day history of Jehovah's Witnesses is also planned.

"The facility will take up 18 hectares (45 a.) of the purchased property, leaving the surrounding forest and wetlands undeveloped. The landscaping will not include any large lawn areas. Instead, it will harmonize with the site's wooded location.

"Architects have designed the buildings to be energy efficient and to conserve resources, which will result in minimal environmental impact and low operating costs. For example, the roofs of the buildings will be covered with hardy, low-maintenance plants, both to decrease the runoff of rain and to stabilize temperatures inside the buildings. The office design takes advantage of natural light for illumination. Water conservation is also a priority."


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