Jehovah's Witnesses and the Name Jehovah
by Dan Corner
Reproduced with the permission of Evangelical Outreach.
[Sooner or later, every person will encounter a
Jehovah's Witness, since their door-to-door and street evangelism is so
thorough. They usually make an issue about knowing God's name, even to
the point of calling themselves a Jehovah's Witness. This article will
help the Christian answer them. It would also be a good idea to run off copies
of this article and pass it on to any Jehovah's Witness you may know. May God be
pleased to use it to bring many to true salvation.]
the New World Translation (NWT), the Bible
of the Jehovah's Witnesses, we read the following:
Therefore, the foremost feature of this translation
is the restoration of the divine name to its rightful place in
the English text. It has been done, using the commonly accepted English
form "Jehovah" 6,973 times in the Hebrews Scriptures and 237 times in the
Christian Greek Scriptures.(1)
Why isn't the NWT consistent to use Jehovah every
time Lord is found? Their reasonings are as follows:
By determining where the inspired Christian writers
have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then he must refer back to the
original to locate whether the divine name appears there. This way he can
determine the identity to give to ky'ri.os
and he can then
clothe them with personality.
Realizing that this is the time and place for it, we have followed this
course in rendering our version of the Christian Greek Scriptures.(2)
Jehovah is Not the More
Since one of the outstanding features of the NWT
is their abundant usage of the word Jehovah, how can they elsewhere admit
that Yahweh is the more correct way to render God's name?
While inclining to view the pronunciation "Yah.weh"
as the more correct way, we have retained the form "Jehovah"
because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century.(3)
Why then did the NWT forfeit accuracy to use the word
Jehovah, which began to be used in the 14th century? Their answer is
because of people's familiarity with it. That is another way of saying that
they have upheld the traditions of man's inventions since the 14th century at
the expense of truth and accuracy, which they knew about. Notice how many
times this was done in the NWT:
It has been done, using the commonly accepted
English form "Jehovah" 6,973 times in the Hebrews Scriptures and 237 times
in the Christian Greek Scriptures.(4)
How can the NWT claim that Jehovah is the
restoration of the divine name to its rightful place in the English text,
since they openly admit Yahweh is more correct? Shouldn't
they rather have stated that knowingly they have omitted the more correct
name for God, that is Yahweh, and substituted a different name which
began to be used in the 14th century -- Jehovah. Furthermore, how can
they claim that God's name Jehovah should be vindicated?
For many centuries, particularly after the days of
Jesus and his apostles, the meaning of the name Jehovah has
been lost to sight, and even the very name has been pushed into the
background. Only in very recent years has God caused his name to be
brought forth again to the light and its meaning to be made known to his
faithful servants, because it is the due time and the vindication of
his name Jehovah draws near. Let none now ignore that name!(5)
The Usage of Jehovah Came From
Yet a different piece of Watchtower literature
states the same embarrassing information about the word Jehovah, but
elaborates as to its Catholic origin in 1270:
By combining the vowel signs of 'Adho.nay
with the four
consonants of the Tetragrammaton the pronunciations Yeho.wah'
were formed. The first of these
provided the basis for the Latinized form "Jehova(h)." The first recorded
use of this form dates from the thirteenth century C.E. Raymundus Martini, a
Spanish monk of the Dominican Order, used it in his book Pugeo Fidei
of the year 1270. Hebrew scholars generally favor "Yahweh" as the
most likely pronunciation.(6)
Please note: Hebrew scholars generally favor
"Yahweh" as the most likely pronunciation.
Bruce Metzger, who criticizes the KJV's misusage of
Jehovah, gives additional information:(7)
The form "Jehovah" is of late medieval origin;
it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels
attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word
.... (1) The word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any form of the
Name ever used in Hebrew. (2) The use of any proper name for the one and
only God, as though there were other gods from whom the true God had to be
distinguished, began to be discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era
and is inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.(8)
Remarkably, the Watchtower has exalted in their own
literature the usage of the inaccurate name for God, Jehovah, to a
Have you been taught to use God's name, Jehovah? If
not, your salvation is in jeopardy, for "everyone who calls on the name
of Jehovah will be saved"! -- Acts 2:21; compare Joel 2:32.(9)
So if one takes in accurate knowledge about God's name
and uses that accurate knowledge, as opposed to using the name Jehovah,
then he will risk his own salvation, that is, if one accepts what the Watchtower
Society declares about this.
Salvation is Found in Only One Name!
Should a person call on Jehovah for
salvation, which no one ever heard of until the 1270 or should he call on a
different name? Let's allow the Apostle Paul to answer this for us, as he
too refers to Joel 2:32. Paul wrote:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be
saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it
is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says,
"Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no
difference between Jew and Gentile the same Lord is Lord of
all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who
calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:9-13).
In Rom. 10:9-13, Paul explicitly stated: (1) that Jesus
is Lord; (2) Jesus richly blesses all who call on him and (3) that
these truths refer back to Joel 2:32 in that same passage where YHWH is found in
the Hebrew, but here applies them to Jesus! Either the Apostle Paul is wrong or
the Watchtower Society is wrong! They can't both be right, since Paul taught we
are to call on JESUS for salvation and the Watchtower, in contradistinction, is
teaching we are to call on a hybrid name for God which didn't even exist for 13
centuries Jehovah! By the way, the NWT is not consistent at Rom.
10:9 with the Greek word by rendering it Jesus, unlike they did at Rev.
4:11, where it is also used and translated Jehovah. If they had been
consistent at Rom. 10:9, their NWT would read Jesus is Jehovah, which
they would never allow.
Shockingly, the WS contradicts their own teaching
about Joel 2:32 and Rom. 10:13 and their own NWT in the latter reference
where they elsewhere write about the Son:
There are verses in the Hebrew Scriptures about
Jehovah that are quoted in the "New Testament" in a context speaking
about the Son. (Isa. 40:3--Matt. 3:3--John 1:23; Joel 2:32--Rom.
10:13; Ps. 45:6, 7--Heb. 1:8, 9) This is understandable, for Jesus
was the Father's foremost representative.(10)
Salvation Is Found in No One Else
Paul was not alone is teaching this way about
Jesus' name. The Apostle Peter stated the same truth in different
words and perhaps in a more clear fashion:
Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It
is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but
whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is
"the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone."
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12).
In first century Christianity, the ones who were in the
truth taught we are to call on Jesus for salvation. There is no
other name, as the Apostle Peter taught! This fact, however, has been
brushed aside and replaced by the Watchtower Society with a different name to
call on for salvation, which no one knew of for over 1,000 years!
Believe On Jesus For Salvation
In harmony with other Scriptures that exalt the
name of Jesus, Paul and Silas taught:
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and
you will be saved you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
Note: God's servants did not say, "Believe in the
Lord Jesus and the Father and you will be saved." See also Jn. 3:16.
The Greek word believe (pisteuo) means:
pisteuo, pist-yoo'-o; from 4102; to have faith
(in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by
impl. to entrust (espec. one's spiritual well-being to Christ):
believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.(11)
Dear reader, if you aren't extending a trusting-submitting
faith in Jesus for your salvation, then you aren't saved, regardless of your
zeal and good intentions, according to Scripture. Furthermore, nowhere are we
told in Scripture to trust in any organization for our salvation. Call on
Jesus now, the one who has the only name under heaven in which salvation
is found (Acts 4:12). Please don't be deceived by a Bible translation which
inserts and removes words without Greek justification for the support of
fabricated doctrines produced by a Bible-defined false prophet.
Come To Jesus For Life
To the surprise of many, the Lord taught one
can read the Scriptures and still be without salvation. To get life one
must come to JESUS, according to the Lord himself:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think
that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify
about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39,40).
The Watchtower Society (WS) doesn't allow their followers
to come to me [Jesus] for the purpose of getting life, since they
think he is merely a part of creation. They also deny that we should pray TO
Jesus, by changing John 14:14. The WS has come out in their publications and
boldly taught the same error:
Prayer is part of our worship and for this reason
should be directed only to the Creator, Jehovah .... Jesus
did not teach them to pray to himself ....(12)
In contrast to the WS, the same eternal truth as found in
John 14:14 is reiterated at John 4:10 and linked to salvation:
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God
and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and
he would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
The reason Jehovah's Witnesses don't ask Jesus for
living water, as Jesus taught, is because they don't know about (1) the
gift of God or (2) that it is Scriptural to pray to the Lord Jesus, the
one was speaking to the woman at Jacob's well. Unfortunately, the Jehovah's
Witnesses have been misled to believe that Jesus is merely Michael the archangel
and hence one should never go to him for living water. Friend, the
Watchtower Society has deceived multitudes into believing something about Jesus
that isn't true and the NWT has helped in this great deception.
Forgiveness is Found ONLY in Jesus' Name
Who has the name in which forgiveness is
found? According to first-century Christians the answer is simple:
He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses
whom God had already chosen by us who ate and drank with him after he rose
from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that
he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All
the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives
forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:41-43).
Clearly, Jesus is the one who has the name in
which forgiveness of sins can be found. We are told to believe in him.
After Cornelius heard that eternal truth, he instantly became a Christian.
What an important key truth that is for salvation, but that is not what the WS
teaches! NOTE: Jehovah is NOT the name in which forgiveness is
found, as you might be believing. Consider also the following two
He told them, This is what is written: The Christ
will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and
forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:46,47).
Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that
through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him
everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be
justified from by the law of Moses (Acts 13:38,39).
Call On JESUS Like The Early Christians
In support of John 14:14 is Acts 9:14-21:
And he has come here with authority from the chief
priests to arrest all who call on your name. But the Lord said to
Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name
before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will
show him how much he must suffer for my name." Then Ananias went to the
house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul,
the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming
here has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the
Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and
he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food,
he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in
Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son
of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the
man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And
hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"
Saul of Tarsus persecuted Christians, both men and women,
who are described in the above passage as those who would call on
[Jesus'] name. The same truth about early Christians praying to Jesus
is found elsewhere in Scripture:
(Rom 10:12) For there is no difference between Jew and
Gentile the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on
Rom. 10:13, which is both immediately before and after two
Scriptures that refer to the Lord Jesus is fallaciously rendered in the NWT as:
(Rom 10:14) How, then, can they call on the one
they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom
they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to
(1 Cor 1:2) To the church of God in Corinth, to
those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all
those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ their
Lord and ours:
(2 Tim 2:22) Flee the evil desires of youth, and
pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on
the Lord out of a pure heart.
For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah
will be saved.'
Moreover, a footnote in the NWT wrongly connects the
Lord of 2 Tim. 2:22 to Jehovah. Hence, it should be apparent that
the NWT is fatally flawed and distorted to where one's salvation can be
jeopardized by it. Friend, call on Jesus for salvation. Believe
on him [Jesus] for your salvation. This was part of the message of the early
Christians, who also recognized Jesus as the Apostle Thomas addressed him
to his face: "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
The Lie Continues To Go Forth
In contrast to the facts, the Watchtower Society
will continue to publish the following about their own NWT, to the spiritual
detriment of those that will believe it:
... the New World Translation of the Holy
Scriptures richly enhances accurate Bible knowledge by means of
several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an
extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an
A corrupted Bible translation, even if it has the above
distinctive features, is still flawed and distorted in helping readers learn
God's precious truths.
Questions Regarding The Name Jehovah
1. What is the foremost feature of the NWT?
2. Is Yahweh the more correct way to render God's name than Jehovah,
according to the Watchtower Society?
3. Why then does the Watchtower Society, who claims to be our spiritual mother,
use Jehovah instead of Yahweh?
4. When did people first become familiar with the word Jehovah?
5. Did any Christians before the year 1270 use the name Jehovah?
6. Does Jehovah come from the Latin?
7. Does Yahweh come from the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament?
8. Who was Raymundus Martini?
9. Does Jehovah Come From Catholicism?
10. Has the Watchtower exalted the usage of the inaccurate name for God,
Jehovah, to a salvation issue?
11. Is it true that the word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any
form of the Name ever used in Hebrew?
12. So if one takes in accurate knowledge about God's name and uses that
accurate knowledge, as opposed to using the name Jehovah, will he risk
his own salvation, that is, if one accepts what the Watchtower Society declares
13. Should a person call on Jehovah for salvation, which no one ever
heard of until the year 1270 or should he call on a different name?
14. According to Rom. 10:9-13, who should we call on for salvation?
15. Salvation is found in only one name, according to Acts 4:12. Is that name
"Jehovah" or a different name?
16. What name should we believe upon to be saved, according to Acts 16:31?
17. Is that name "Jehovah"?
18. What does the word believe mean in the Greek?
19. To the surprise of many, the Lord taught one can read the Scriptures and
still be without salvation. To get life one must come to JESUS, according to
Jesus. Is this true or false, according to the Bible?
20. Did Jesus teach we could pray to Jesus?
21. Does the Watchtower Society teach we should pray to Jesus?
22. Did early Christians, like Stephen, pray to Jesus?
23. Forgiveness of sins is found in only one name. According to Acts 10:43
what is that name?
24. The Apostle Thomas was "in the truth." Since the Watchtower Society claims
to also be "in the truth," but teaches differently, can they both be in the same
"truth"? See John 20:28.
25. Should we believe what the Lord's Apostles believed about Jesus or should we
believe a Bible-defined false prophet, who teaches the opposite?
26. If you were wrong, would you change?
1. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
with References, Revised 1984, p. 6.
2. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1969, pp. 18,19.
3. Ibid., p. 23.
4. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with References, p. 6.
5. The Truth Shall Make You Free, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1943, p.
6. Aid to Bible Understanding, Watchtower Bible And Tract Society, 1971, pp.
7. The KJV makes the mistake of using Jehovah at Ex. 6:3; Psa. 83:18; Isa.
12:2 and 26:4.
8. The New Revised Standard Version Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, To
9. The Watchtower, August 15, 1997, p. 6.
10. The Watchtower, May 1, 1978, p. 12.
11. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1976, Greek dictionary, p. 58,
12. The Truth that leads to Eternal Life, 1968, p. 152.
13. NWT, p. 6.
with the permission of Evangelical Outreach.