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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.

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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.

Edited by Origen

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