The Name of God: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Name of God

THE NAME OF GOD- Introduction
Jehovah’s Witnesses take pride in their constant use of the name “Jehovah.” But are their teachings about the name “Jehovah” correct?

THE NAME OF GOD- The Real Issue
In discussing the name “Jehovah,” we need to point out that the issue is not really the spelling or pronunciation, but the claim by Jehovah’s Witnesses that Christians must use that name “Jehovah” — in worship, prayer, and preaching — before they can be considered true Christians.

THE NAME OF GOD- Biblical Support?
The Bible doesn’t support such a claim, as evidenced by the absence of the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament. Nevertheless, this has not deterred Jehovah’s Witnesses from inserting “Jehovah” in place of “Lord” over two hundred times in their version of the New Testament. They claim that substituting “Lord” or “God” for the divine name is unbiblical and that this practice is rooted in pagan superstitions and religions.

THE NAME OF GOD- Substituting “LORD” for “Jehovah”
Contrary to this, we find that the practice of substituting “Lord” or “God” in place of “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” goes as far back as the Old Testament. For example, Psalm 53 is virtually identical with Psalm 14, except that it substitutes the word “God” in place of “Jehovah” four different times. We should also note that both the Old and New Testaments refer to “Yahweh” as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex. 3:15-16; Mark 12:26; Acts 7:31-32).

THE NAME OF GOD- Conclusion
And although the New Testament doesn’t use the word or the name “Jehovah,” it does use a substitute — namely, the title “Lord” — which carries the same meaning. In fact, every definition of “Yahweh” proposed by scholars conveys the same basic idea — that “Yahweh” essentially reveals God as Lord. In other words, the name “Yahweh” asserts that God is sovereign and has absolute control over the entire universe, including His people; it’s just another way of saying God is the Lord! All this leads me to conclude that Jehovah’s Witnesses have no biblical justification for their stance on the use of the name “Jehovah.” On Jehovah’s Witnesses and the divine name, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.