Article ID: DJ081 | By: Marian Bodine
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is God’s only channel of truth on the earth today. Because of this teaching, they believe all other religions, including historic Christianity, are of Satan. For this reason, they will refuse to pray with you. Neither will they accept any Christian literature from you.
Personal witnessing requires time and study. But in most instances, it is the only way to share the truth with a Jehovah’s Witness. As Christians, are we not all called to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints?” (Jude 3)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are told, through Watchtower publications, that God’s name is “Jehovah.” They are taught that God’s true name was removed from the Bible by superstitious scribes, but that the Watchtower’s New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures has “faithfully” restored God’s name in the Old Testament where the Hebrew consonants “YHWH” appear. In fact, the Watchtower’s New World Translation Committee has inserted the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament at its own discretion, in places were the text is thought to refer exclusively to the Father. However, there is no manuscript authority for using the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament. It is just another attempt to cloud the truth–clearly the name we should uplift at all times is JESUS. When dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding this matter, the following questions and points should be raised:
Why didn’t Jesus teach His disciples to pray “Our Jehovah” instead of “Our Father?” Do you call your earthly father by his first name or do you call him “Dad” or “Daddy?” Who else has a right to be called Daddy, except those who are beloved earthly fathers? Jesus had a close, intimate relationship with His Father and when praying to Him or speaking about Him, called him “Father.” Even more intimate is the term “ABBA Father” which is akin to the word “Daddy.” It expresses the total love and trust of a child for his father. Jesus used this term (Mark 14:36), and Paul also said we, as Christians, could call God, “ABBA Father” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). If the name “Jehovah” should be used as the Jehovah’s Witnesses use it, why is this instruction omitted from the New Testament?
The New Testament is very clear with regard to the name Christians should identify with and uplift at all times. Is the name “Jehovah” or is it “Jesus?” In whose name should we meet together (Matt. 18:20; 1 Cor. 5:4)? Demons are subject to whose name (Luke 10:17; Acts 16:18; )? Repentance and forgiveness should be preached in whose name (Luke 24:47)? In whose name are you to receive and believe (John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 10:43; 1 John 3:23; 5:13)? Whose name should we use to ask our petitions (John 14:13, 14; 15:16; 16:23, 24)? In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent (John 14:26)? Whose name and authority was invoked by the disciples in healing the sick and lame (Acts 3:16; 4:7-10, 30)? Whose name were the disciples forbidden to speak in (Acts 4:17; 18; 5:28)? In whose name, and no other, do we obtain salvation (4:12)? Upon whose name did Paul tell us to call (pray) (1 Cor. 1:2)? Whose name shall be uttered that shall cause very knee to bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10, 11)? Whose name is above very name (Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:9)? Finally, who are we to be witnesses of–what is His name (Acts 1:8)?
The Scripture references above are by no means exhaustive, but, they are sufficient to demonstrate the name by which true believers should be identified.
– Marian Bodine
CRI Research Associate