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December 12, 2011

Is "Jehovah" the name of God?

From Pasugo, here is what stated:

The Holy Scriptures introduce various names of the one true God. God addressed Himself to Moses as "I AM WHO I AM" (cf, Ex. 3:14). He also called Himself the "Lord (cf. Is. 42:5,8), and likewise used the name "Jealous" (cf. Ex. 34:14) He was also named "God of host"(cf. Amos 5:27; 4:13) and "Holy" (cf. Is. 57:15).
The Jehovah's Witnesses,. as a religious group, strictly uses the name "Jehovah" in reference to God. However, Bible scholars have traced an error with regard to the use of this name in reference to God:

''What are the facts? And first as to age. 'The pronunciation Jehovah was UNKNOWN UNTIL 1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by Le Mercier, J, Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and historical propriety.' Next, as to formation. 'ERRONEOUSLY WRITTEN AND PRONOUNCED Jehovah, which is merely a combination of the sacred Tetragrammaton and the vowels in the Hebrew word for Lord, substituted by the Jews for JHVH, because they shrank from pronouncing The Name'." (Rotherham Emphasized Bible, pp. 24-25)

It is clear then that the name " Jehovah" came to exist only in 1520 or in the 16th century AD, and its use is even erroneous. Scholars who scrutinized the name "Jehovah" expounded on the cause of this error:

"JEHOVAH, je-ho'va: An ERRONEOUS FORM of the divine name of the covenant God of Israel which appears first about 1520 A.D. The error arose from, the fact that the utterance of the divine name in original quadrilateral form (the tetragrammaton) YHWH, became unlawful in Jewish usage as EARLY AS THE THIRD CHRISTIAN CENTURY and probably much earlier, at least outside the sacred precincts..." (The New Schaff-Herzog" Encyclopedia of Religions Knowledge, Vol. Vl)

Further explanation on the occurrence of the erroneous form of God's name the Bible is stated in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. II:

"The form Jehovah arose out of a misunderstanding which in turn arose out of the reluctance of pious }ews to pronounce the divine name (c. 300 B.C.). Instead they uttered the word adonay, my Lord. In the MT [Masoretic Text] the divine name was written with the consonants of YHWH and vowels of adonay as a reminder to say the latter whenever the word was read. The divine name appears as yehowah in the MT. The LXX [Septuagint] reflects the Jewish reluctance to pronounce the divine name and puts the word kyrios, Lord, in its place. The RSV and other Eng. versions also reflect the practice by giving the Lord in capital letters whenever the name YHWH stands in the text. The Lat. likewise gave the word Dominus, Lord, for YHWH. The form Jehovah is thus a malformation giving what is virtually a transliteration of the word which is found in the text of the Heb. OT, but which was never actually used as a word." (pp.- 69-70)

Another cause of this error is explained by researchers:

"The hybrid word 'Jehovah' is a combination of the vowels of "Adonai" with the consonants of the tetragrammaton; its appearance in the KJV was the result of of the translators' ignorance of the Hebrew language and customs." (Harper Bible Dictionary, p.1036)

Hence, "Jehovah," as the supposed name, of God and which some believe as His only true name, is an erroneous form of the divine name of the Creator. To insist on using this term in reference to God is to propagate an error.
How then must God be addressed by those who worship Him? The Lord Jesus Christ teaches, thus:

" In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name" Mt. 6:9

"So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them . Acts 4:24

Worshipping the only true God, the Father, is by hallowing or honoring His name, as taught by Christ:

""This is how you should' pray: 'Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name'." Mt. 6:9

One's failure to call God by His own name is itself a failure of recognition, i.e., invoking the wrong name of the "Father in heaven proves that one has not really recognized Him.
It is true that those who recognize the Father as the only true God and Jesus Christ as the One whom God' has sent, are assured of eternal life:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. " Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" Jn. 17: 1 & 3

source: Pasugo Issue Oct 1996 studyiglesianicristo.com

And here are the biblical criticisms about the use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament from Jehova's Witnesses translation of the bible called "New World translation of the Holy Scriptures":

A 2003 study by Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States, of nine of "the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world," including the New American Bible, The King James Bible and The New International Version, examined several New Testament passages in which "bias is most likely to interfere with translation." For each passage, he compared the Greek text with the renderings of each English translation, and looked for biased attempts to change the meaning.
BeDuhn said the introduction of the name "Jehovah" into the New Testament 237 times was "not accurate translation by the most basic principle of accuracy", and that it "violate[s] accuracy in favor of denominationally preferred expressions for God", adding that for the NWT to gain wider acceptance and prove its worth its translators might have to abandon the use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament.
Theologian and televangelist John Ankerberg accused the NWT's translators of renderings that conform "to their own preconceived and unbiblical theology." Dr. John Weldon and Ankerberg cite several examples wherein they consider the NWT to support theological views overriding appropriate translation. Ankerberg and Weldon cite Dr. Julius R. Mantey, co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament and A Hellenistic Greek Reader, who also criticized the NWT, calling it "a shocking mistranslation."
Dr. William Barclay, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, concluded that "the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in the New Testament translation. ... It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
Former American Bible Society board member Dr. Bruce M. Metzger concluded that "on the whole, one gains a tolerably good impression of the scholarly equipment of the translators," but identified instances where the translation has been written to support doctrine, with "several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek." Metzger noted a number of "indefensible" characteristics of the translation, including its use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament.
source: wikipedia

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