Many persons who come to my website think that I write articles like this because I like controversy and seek to go against the established teachings out of the religious system called Christianity. Writing in any manner that disagrees with someone elses strongly held views automatically breed controversy. One does not have to look for it if, by any chance, they were seeking it.
Yet, nothing can be further from the truth. I write because I am a very concerned person. I am concerned because what I have seen (and still see), know and experienced within the religious system called Christianity is not in harmony with the things that Christ taught.
In fact, what I see is an outright defiant posture by that religious system to Christs teachings. It itself wants to be viewed as an authority and listened to. When a teaching of Christ is presented to it that is not in line with its established practices and teachings, it yells loudly that the presenter is wrong or is an apostate or an ungodly unbeliever. It goes on the offensive by giving sermons, writing articles on websites or making posts in religious forums to bring anyone one curious within their flocks back in line. In reality, preventing them from considering anything different from what they have been teaching. Christianity is a masterful blocker and concealer of the truth being told and heard. Masterful!
This religious system called by men – Christianity – wants to be revered, worshiped and held supreme above even God and Christ while at the same time posing as an entity that is humble and subservient.
There is a spirit that sits heavily upon the world that has it teaching, believing and practicing the things Christ did not. And those enveloped within this spirit of the world cannot see above the deception so as to see clearly what has happened. Many many sincere persons really believe that they are wrapped within the truth. (2 Cor 11:14-15)
The content that follows is another example of a teaching and practice that has issued forth out of Christianity that does not follow the practice of the Master: Christ.
Not Jehovah or Yahweh, But Father
Did you know that Jesus never used the names of Jehovah or Yahweh (or any other name) when addressing his God and Father in heaven? Never.
In all instances when addressing God, Jesus used the expression, Father.
When I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses (for more than 25 years), it was inculcated in me that I must use the name of Jehovah even if I did not know the correct pronunciation of the name. I was taught that the important thing was to use the name.
It was always in the back of my mind that an incorrect pronunciation of God’s name would not be in keeping with what Jesus said in Matthew 6:9, in letting Gods “name be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9)
Has another great misstep been made by the Watch Tower and other religious organizations in believing and teaching that one must use the names commonly used to identify God’s name such as Jehovah, Yahweh, Jah or even Allah?
I believe it has.
In their publication “Reasoning From The Scriptures” on pages 196-197, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS) says under the heading “Why is it important to know and use God’s personal name?”:
Do you have a close relationship with anyone whose personal name you do not know? For people to whom God is nameless he is often merely an impersonal force, not a real person, not someone that they know and love and to whom they can speak from the heart in prayer. If they do pray, their prayers are merely a ritual, a formalistic repetition of memorized expressions.
Earlier in the same publication under the heading “Which form of the divine name is correct—Jehovah or Yahweh?” Page 195, para 1, the WTBTS says:
No human today can be certain how it was originally pronounced in Hebrew.
Therefore, if we do not know how Gods name was pronounced, why would one just make up a name and teach that it is Gods name and that it must be used?
The WTBTS uses Acts 15:14 as justification that one must use some form of God’s name, even if we do not know its true pronunciation. That Scripture reads:
Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.
I challenge and question “in what sense” did Jesus – and even Symeon – use the expression “name.”
There are over 6800 references to the Tetragrammaton YHWH or JHWH from Genesis to Malachi or what is commonly known as the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures). Within the “Old Testament,” the expression Father is used only about a dozen times with reference to God. And, of those dozen or so cases, the term is used with reference to God’s relationship with Israel as a people, and not of his relationship to the individual.
It is only with the coming of God’s Son and his relation of his Father that this intimate relationship really comes to the fore.
The WTBTS’s New World Translation Bible inserts the name “Jehovah” into its writings 237 times and it has done so without sound basis.
When I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I never challenged this. It was something that never entered my mind. This same mentality is possessed by Jehovah’s Witnesses to this day. They do not know that insertion of the name “Jehovah” into what is called “The New Testament” (Greek Scriptures) is not found in any ancient manuscript.
However, what is prominently there in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) is the God being addressed as Father. It is there more than 260 times!
Contrary to what my former Brethren and Sistren have been taught, Jesus consistently and always addressed God as “Father” and NEVER as “Jehovah!” So the common practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses when addressing God in prayer as “Jehovah,” does not follow the practice of God’s Son.
Interestingly, even in the WTBTS New World Translation, never in any of his prayers is Jesus found addressing or referring to his Father as “Jehovah.”
So, when Jesus prays to his Father, saying “Father, glorify your name,” it is evident that the expression “name” is here used in its fuller, deeper sense as representing the Person himself.
When Jesus was in agony on the torture stake, he did not cry out using the name “Jehovah” but said, “My God, my God,” and in his final words said, “Father, into your hands, I entrust my spirit.”
Now ask yourselves, if we are truly to be disciples of Christ, whose example should we follow? That of a religious organization or that of Christ? (Luke 9:35)
In the Lord’s Prayer at Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus did not teach that a literal name is used. He said:
YOU must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.”
He did not say, “Jehovah in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.”
Jesus taught his disciples to follow his example and to address their prayers to “Our Father in the heavens.”
It is the defiant religious system (and impostor) called by men – Christianity – that teaches its members to follow THEIR example.
The Crucial Factor
Let’s not play games here: The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society claims that it is the repository of truth. OK, then let’s speak truthfully and factually.
The writers of the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) – who were Jewish – wrote in Greek, the most influential and widely used language of the time. None of the original writings remain, but there are copies of the entire body of the Greek Scriptures dating back to the fourth century A.D.
However, the only place we find any mention of some form of the name represented by the Tetragrammaton YHWH is in Revelation chapter 19:1, 3, 4, and 6; and there we find the Greek expression: Alleluia, meaning “Praise Yah [or Jah].
What is remarkable is that beyond these four instances of that abbreviated form in Revelation, nowhere else in the ancient copies of the Greek Scriptures do we find a single occurrence of this name.
There is an estimated 5000 existing copies of the ancient Greek Scriptures and the fact that not one single copy contains the Tetragrammaton YHWH is all the more impressive!
So the question is: Did the early followers of Christ use a name? It should be clear to the reader that they did not.
By contrast, if we look that the New World Translation of the Bible, we see the name Jehovah appearing 237 times in the Greek Scriptures. So if the ancient Greek Scriptures never contained the full representation of the Tetragrammaton, why would the WTBTS insert the name? Answer: The organization just did it without any support from the ancient Greek Scriptures.
When I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it was simply accepted that the name of Jehovah should be there and the claim by the WTBTS is that Greek Scripture writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude used the Tetragrammaton in the original writings. Obviously, this cannot be proved. None of the 5000 copies that do exist contain the Tetragrammaton. The Watch Tower’s claim is that the name must have been removed from the later copies of the original writings.
This is a dangerous game that the WTBTS is playing. If Christ NEVER used a name when addressing his Father; if the name of Jehovah did not and does not appear anywhere in the copies of the ancient Greek Scriptures; why the insistence that it must have been removed? Could it be that Christ never used a name and neither did his disciples who he taught? This seems consistent with Christ’s teachings and examples.
Why would any organization so strongly insist that God’s name is Jehovah or Yahweh when there is not one single occurrence of the name in the existing 5000 copies of the Greek Scriptures?
I find it strange that when I was one of Jehovah’s Witness, I was taught not to believe everything unless you have proven it and put it to the test. (1 John 4:1 and Acts 17:10-11)
I just do not believe men should elevate themselves above God and Christ. And, I personally refuse to be lured into practices and teachings that come out of any religious organization that does not follow the pattern of Christ’s teachings. And, I become very suspicious when any religious organization would want one too.
It should never be a matter of practicing or doing something because a religious organization dictates or wills it. Who are we to obey? Christ, our Head or religious organizations who have usurped that headship? And, teaching and publishing that God’s name is Jehovah or Yahweh do not follow the pattern of Christs.
This is the truth and the facts and any opposers to it are simply giving an opinion and would be simply be defending the teachings of a religious organization rather than defending what Christ taught. And this is a major problem in the world today: Defense of religious organization teachings rather than defense and championing Christ’s teachings.
I will always champion my Master’s teachings, patterns, and examples and there is nothing any person who is a member of any religious organization can say to me to get me to join them and do otherwise. Yet, it is an acceptance and a joining with them is what they aggressively seek. That – to me – raises high a red flag as to why?
Any of you reading from this website will notice that I NEVER prompt anyone to join a religious organization. In fact, I encourage getting out of them. I DO, direct persons – not to a book called the Bible – BUT TO THE PERSON OF CHRIST – who is alive and able to instruct us – even though he is unseen to us – and for persons to become HIS DISCIPLES (students), not disciples or students of religious organizations or a book. I always encourage persons to attach themselves directly to Christ and be a member of him individually and not a member of a religious organization (a group). The Apostle Paul says at 1 Cor 12:27:
Now YOU are Christ’s body, and members individually.
There is no mention of a religious organization – which is a group – being a member of Christ’s body. Yet, a monstrosity exists today in Christianity that attaches (members itself) – as a group – to Christ’s body. It resembles cancer. No group can be attached to Christ, only individuals can be attached to him.
The Example of Your Flesh and Blood Family
I don’t know about any of you, but in my family, my brothers and sisters would never address our Mother and Father as Robert and Evelyn. To do so would give no indication of the relationship we enjoy with our parents. No, in my family, we addressed them as Mom and Dad. In the families of other persons, they might address their parents using the expressions Mama and Papa.
Persons outside that parent/child relationship would not use such “personal” expressions such as Mom and Dad, they would use a more formal address such as a “name.”
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 4:6:
Now because YOU are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into our hearts and it cries out: “Abba, Father!
So what spirit – and source of that spirit – is making people cry out “Jehovah” instead of “Father?” That source is not from God.
So Is It Improper To Use “Jehovah” (or Any Other Name) As God’s Name?
Yes! Completely improper! Not only is it improper to use that name or any other name when addressing God, it does not follow the practice and example Christ set. (Not following Christ’s example seems to be a norm within Christianity.)
How does one not know that these made up names are not names that the Devil has given himself and has duped the world in using them to worship him? I believe this is exactly what has happened.
Think about this: When we as humans make known our personal name to others, to that extent we reveal ourselves to them – we cease to be anonymous!
When we make known our personal names to others it has the effect of producing a more intimate relationship between persons, thus eliminating to some degree the sense of being strangers to one another.
People, in time, come to know us for what we are, what we stand for, the qualities we have, what we have done or are doing, then only do they know our “name” in the more important sense.
The personal names we all carry is in reality little more than a symbol; it is not the name of real importance.
In pre-Christ times, God revealed himself (not his name) to His servants and to others by the name represented by the Tetragrammaton (YHWH). But the revelation of His “name” in the true sense came through the revelation of Himself – not by a personal name – but as a Person, supreme, almighty, holy, righteous, merciful, compassionate, truthful, purposeful, unfailing in His promises. In other words, by His “reputation” and what He will prove to be: The One and Only True God.
It is easy for one to say they are this and they are that or that they can do this and that, but in time it is what they prove to be is what is more important. People get carried away by the flood of wanting to know Gods name as if there is something magical about it. They rarely stop to think that it is not a literal name, but The One True God proves Himself to be.
A false god can surface and say, “Let there be light.” Yet, no light comes to be. The world can hail that “Jehovah” or “Allah” is God and that they will end suffering, but the suffering does not end. A False Prophet may come on the scene and claim he can restore eyesight, make the lame one walk, or raise the dead in God’s name; yet, he is unable to do any of these things “in God’s name.” Their reputations are shot all the pieces and by their inability to live up to who they claim they show them to be false. Thus, it is not the literal name of God that is important (we don’t know what it is anyway), it is His qualities and reputation that is. He will prove to be what he will prove to be. In some Bible translations:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'” (Exodus 3:14)
Notice that God did not reveal a name to Moses, but that He is (I am) the One True God who will prove to Israelites by His wondrous acts that He is God. It is this proving that will show his reputation (name) is true and reliable. And, The Most High God’s name (reputation) was proven as He made Pharaoh “let his people go.” Thus, God proved His reputation; his name!
It is only with the coming of His Son, that God’s “name” in the fullest sense, arrives. The Apostle John at John 1:18 says:
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Since no one has ever seen God (yet people have seen Jesus) – His reality and personality – can be seen through his Son!
So when Jesus says in John 14:9:
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
He is not saying that he (Jesus) is God the Father (he has already said at John 1:18 no one has ever seen God), he is saying that God’s personality and qualities are reflected and seen in him. So Jesus is saying, “If you look at my personality, then you know what God is like.”
Jesus follows up at John 14:9:
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
In other words, “I cannot show you the Father because no one has ever seen Him.”
No one has ever seen God and no one knows His literal name. The Hebrew language is a constant one. Meaning that it does not use vowels. Names fabricated from the Tetragrammaton YHWH would not be accurate or give a correct pronunciation because no one knows what vowels would be inserted. The end result would be names people would call God by that would not be His name!
That Jesus NEVER used the name of Jehovah or Yahweh or any other name when addressing his God and Father, should tell us and teach us something. It should tell us that it was not a literal name that was important, but God’s qualities and reputation that was. It should teach us to be eager and want to emulate Christ’s example and obey him.
If Jesus never addressed his God as “Jehovah” neither should those who claim to be his followers. His true followers would do as he did – and would do so gladly – and follow his example. And what was that example? He addressed his God as “Father.”