Witnessing The Name

Doug Mason



We still live in an age of ever-improving communications systems. The advent of computing and the Internet changes the face of publishing. When this Study was released in 1985 only a thousand or two probably saw it, but this form of personal publishing provides the potential for an immeasurable audience.

I am quite agreeable to this Study being made freely available through interested Web sites, should any wish to make it available. There is no need to ask me for permission, although I would be interested to know if it is being used in this way. This does not mean that I agree with what else is contained on those sites nor that the owner of such sites agrees fully with everything I have written in this Study. Let every man be convinced in his own mind.

I completed this Study in 1985 and have not looked into the subject since then. I would appreciate any comments and any contribution which adds to my knowledge. If you provide me with your written approval, I might make use of your information, appending it to this Study. Should I wish to make use of your contribution, please advise me if you want your name or address included or not.

If you want to be sure that you have received an unaltered copy of this Study, please contact me and I shall e-mail you a copy. I am not responsible for any changes others might make to this Study.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the many people who have inspired, advised and supported my studies. These must in many cases remain nameless, even today. For this reason I do not name any, lest I offend through the omissions I would have to make. They know who they are. Thanks.

However, I would like to express my thanks to the person who worked so hard to make this Study available those many years ago. Good on you, Randy. A very warm Aussie greeting from my heart.

The date of this Release is 18 January 2000.


































1: "Jehovah is the Divine Name"

2: "The Septuagint (LXX) contained the Tetragrammaton"

3(A): "Jesus uttered the Divine Name"

3(b): Jesus Made His Father's Name Known

4: The NT Writers Used the Divine Name

5: The Name was Removed from the NT by the Third Century CE (AD)

6: The translator of the NT can render the Divine Name where it appears at quotations of the OT

5: J1 - J21 EXAMINED







































"J" references

1984 Edition Appendix lA

Comparison of the 1950 and 1984 Explanations

1984 Edition Appendix 1C

1984 Edition Appendix 1D


Some Individual Changes

Limited Supports in the 1984 Edition

Marginal Supports

Table: Number of Appearances of 'J' Supports

Table: The Number of Appearances in Which the Supporting List has been changed in the 1984 Edition




In 1950 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (abbr.: WTS) released its own translation of the New Testament, the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. During the following decade it gradually released segments of its own translation of the Old Testament ("Hebrew Scriptures") until by 1961 it possessed its own translation of the complete Bible. This translation has remained substantially unchanged.

There is an inherent danger in any translation intruding theological bias and prejudice into the text. This possibility is increased markedly when that translation is the product of a single person or of a single religious organisation.

A distinctive feature of the WTS's translation is the rendering of the name "Jehovah" in the text of its New Testament ("Christian Greek Scriptures").

It is explicitly stated by the Translation Committee that they used "Jehovah" to distinguish between the Father and the Son. Thus they relied upon doctrinal presuppositions for these insertions.

The following pages consider the WTS's reasons and motives.

The major lesson that must be learned is that one should never accept the utterances of another without question. This is true of this Study also, and the reader is urged to carefully examine all the references cited, and the material that these, in turn, refer to.

Doug Mason 1981


This study was completed in 1981 but while the WTS continues to render "Jehovah" in its New Testament, study into the topic will not be completed and will remain a matter for review and comment. Furthermore, this Study makes no pretense at being exhaustive. Rather, it is intended as a catalyst, setting forth guidelines for further study and to assist evaluation of further discoveries, fresh evidences and new statements to help the reader comprehend the evolving story.

In 1984 the WTS released its translation of the complete Bible (Rbi8-E). In that translation the WTS presents additional material, such as another six "J" references and additional references to LXX sources.

Since the material presented in this Study already provides sufficient information for the reader, an Appendix is attached that comments on material covered in that later release, rather than incorporating thoughts into the text that are specific to the 1984 translation.

When a reader takes up a translation of the Holy Scriptures, they should be confident that the pages truly represent the intent of the writer. For millions of trusting people, the text of the NWT accurately represents God's Word. These people must be made aware when doctrinal bias affects a rendition.

In 1984, the WTS was able to report that it had published 39,500,000 copies of its complete translation, in 8 languages, plus parts of its translations in a further 3 languages. Thus for millions of people around the world, the New World Translation represents the Word of God.

In general, Jehovah's Witnesses are honest, upright, sincere people. This study considers whether their unquestioning allegiance to the WTS is well founded.

Doug Mason 1985


In Scripture, the term "Name" carries immense meaning and implication. In today's usage, even though we commonly use names as little more than handles that provide identification, the term "name" can be used with deeper meaning; for example, "name" may be used with the sense of 'reputation" - good, bad, or otherwise. A person may have a "good name" in the community.

The ancients, however, considered a person's "Name" even more personally than this. A person's "name" was his very self, his total being (1 Sam. 25:25). [1]. How often does the margin of the Bible reveal the reason for a person's given or new name? So intimate was the person's being to his name that "when a radical change in a person's character took place, so that he became a new person, he was given a new name". [2] Examples include: Abraham (Gen. 17:5); Sarah (Gen. 17:15); Israel (Gen. 32:28); Joshua (Num. 13:16); Jedidiah (2 Sam. 12:25); Mara (Ruth 1:20); Peter (Mark 3:16).


As on the human level, so it is with the divine: the "name" of God is his very being - but even more so.

God's name is also his very self:

"There is a very close connection between God and his name.... God's name is most of all God's REVELATION of himself whereby he actively and objectively makes himself known.... The name is God himself as he reveals himself in one quality or another (Lev. 24:11,16; Deut. 18:58)" [3]

"God's self, his real person, is concentrated in his name.... Because the divine name discloses God's nature, it is laden with the authority, power and holiness of God himself." [4]

"The disclosure of God's name, then, is the index to understanding biblical faith.... Those who "know the name of God" (Ps. 9:10; 91:14), know his identity and personal character and, therefore, in contrast to the heathen (Ps. 79:6; Jer. 10:25), trust and hope in him." [5]

This identification between the very self of God and his name is further illustrated through:

So important is the Name, that the God who wrestled with Jacob at Jabbock refused to reveal it, [9] because his Being was wholly in it [10].


"By means of proper names, especially by means of the name Jehovah, God made himself known unto Israel." [11]

As God is the Infinite One, he cannot be fully comprehended by any one name; hence "the Old Testament contains a number of names and compound names for God which reveal Him." [12]

Frequently used names include El-Shaddai and Adonai (Greek equivalents include Theos and Kurios) and Elohim, apart from Yahweh. Each of these names is used in its own particular application:

"The creator, upholder and moral governor of the universe is "Elohim", God; the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... is "El Shadday", God Almighty; but the God of revelation and grace, dwelling with his people, guiding and delivering them) and receiving their worship is Jehovah (YHWH)." [13]

"In Scripture he is called El, the Mighty one; El Shaddai, the Powerful One; YHWH, the One who IS." [14]

It is this covenanting name, YHWH (most likely pronounced "Yahweh", but most definitely not the incorrect "Jehovah") that is termed the Divine Name.

"It is especially in the name YHWH that the Lord reveals himself as the God of grace. The Jews regarded this name as God's name par excellence, the name descriptive of God's essence, God's proper name, the glorious name, the name of four letters, the Tetragrammaton, etc., and from Lev 24:16 and 3:15 they concluded that it is wrong to pronounce that name." [15]

"In the name 'Jehovah' the OT revelation of God reaches its culmination; no new names are added. God's 'proper name par excellence' is Jehovah: Ex. 15:3; Ps. 83:19; Hos. 12:6; Isa. 42:8." [16]

And the Name continues to generate much thought:

"No single word in Hebrew has ever evoked such a torrent of discussion as the tetragrammaton YHWH." [17]


The Old Testament provides no explicit linguistic meaning of the tetragrammaton, YHWH; hence scholars fail to agree on this issue [18]. (The term "tetragrammaton" [alternatively, "tetragram"] simply means "four letters" and describes the appearance of the Divine Name: YHWH).

Some of the meanings given for YHWH are derived from Assyrian, Phoenician and other sources, and include: the Passionate; He Who Speaks; Causing to Fall; To Blow; Sustainer, Maintainer, Establisher; Come To Pass; Came into Being; Be. [19]

The linguistic meaning of YHWH having the most to commend it is that it is the causative (hiphil) of the Hebrew HAYAH ("to be") giving it the sense "I cause to be" [20]. This was apparently first suggested by Le Clerc in 1700. [21] But it is certain that within Scripture itself there is no explicit linguistic definition of "YHWH". Of the Hebrew rendering of Exodus 3:14 (the passage most likely to supply such a definition), it can be truly said that "as it stands the phrase (EHYER ASHER EHYEH) does not explain the divine name Yahweh". [22]

Furthermore, the Greek translation of these Hebrew words (EIMI HO ON) "introduces a concept as foreign to the Hebrew mind as it is to the Hebrew verb," [23] and hence is of no virtue for any scriptural definition of YHWH.

Nor does the Hebrew of Exodus 3:14 provide any other kind of definition of the tetra gram:

"Exodus 3:14 does not give a philosophical definition of God in terms of eternal, changeless passive Being, as (is) implied in the LXX translation EIMI HO ON. Such metaphysical speculation would have been foreign to Israel's faith." [24] (The LXX is the Old Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.)

What then shall we say? That the significance of the Divine Name lies not essentially in its linguistic value but in the mighty deeds of God as performed in that name. The importance of the Name lies in its historical associations.

"Whatever it meant once, it acquired concrete content through the historical experiences of Israel, beginning with the Exodus." [25]


The ancient Jews held the Divine Name in such reverential awe that by the third century BC substitute expressions were used to prevent its utterance. The commandment enjoined them not to take the Divine Name in vain, and they "decided that the best way of avoiding the unworthy use of the Divine Name was not to use it at all". [26]

The earliest versions of the LXX, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, contained the tetragram in Hebrew letters [27]. This is clear evidence that by the third century BC the Hebrews were no longer using the word in speech.

"The fact remains that Hebrew YHWH in a Greek manuscript is as good evidence for the custom of substituting something or other for the authentic word as would be the reading KURIOS itself. Otherwise the Greek would have exhibited not the Hebrew characters, as in the case of other proper names (Footnote: It would hardly have been bold enough to attempt a translation); and neither in extant Greek manuscripts nor in tradition is there the faintest trace of an original IAWE (or variant of it) in the Greek version." [28]

Thus by the third century BC, whenever a Hebrew reader came across the Divine Name he would utter aloud a substitute term, like "Adonai" (Lord) or Elohim" (God).

When the Hebrews came to affix vowel points into the written text, whenever they came across such a situation they used the vowel points of the word that the synagogue reader had to utter. It is the failure to recognise this practice that has produced the erroneous pronunciation: "Jehovah").

The term for the expressions that stood in the place of the Divine Name is SURROGATE. A surrogate is a "circumlocutory designation.... Such a designation is obviously used to the exclusion of the ... real name". [29]


Exodus 3:14 displays the use of a special surrogate.

"It is argued that, prior to the fourth century BCE, the primitive Hebrew text of this verse read: 'At this God said to Moses: "Jehovah". And he added: 'This is what you are to say to the Sons of Israel, "Jehovah hath sent me to you." ' " [30]

That is, the original Hebrew used YHWH (Yahweh), but in time the special surrogate EHYAH became used in its place.

In using a surrogate here, the ancient Jews had to be careful lest they give the impression that the surrogate was truly God's Divine Name (inasmuch as in this instance the question 'what is God's Name?" is formally answered). So they selected a surrogate that vocally mutilated YHWH, so that it was not formally uttered, but would be recognised as representing the Tetragrammaton. This was done by exchanging one or two of the consonants while maintaining its syllabic and vocalic cast. In this case a non-word was not used; EHYAH was selected as a special surrogate for Yahweh in Exodus 3:14 because of its phonetic availability, without regard to its lexical values. [31]


Surrogates became used throughout the written word. This is demonstrated by the QUMRAN (Dead Sea) SCROLLS, in which passages in the ISAIAH SCROLL demonstrate non-consistent alterations when compared with the MASORETIC TEXT of ISAIAH. For example, passages in the DSS may have ADONAI where as the MT has YAHWEH; the converse also occurs, and other types of examples occur. [32]

"There are confusions as to whether to read Adonai or Yahweh in the scroll which reveals the habit of this interchange." [33]

When the translators of the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures encountered surrogates in the Hebrew text they rendered them as KYRIOS (for Adonai, Lord) and THEOS (God, Elohim). The fact that they left the tetragram untranslated (and, notably, in very early paleo-hebraic characters) in the Greek text shows that its meaning was not known by the third century BC and that its pronunciation was no longer known.

According to the Gospel record, Jesus used surrogates for "God". For instance at Matt. 26:64 (Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) he uses the surrogate "the power" and at Matt. 21:25, 26 (Mark 11:30, 31; 20:24) and Luke 15:18, 21 he uses the surrogate "heaven".


One significant surrogate used in the Hebrew Scriptures is ANI HU ("I AM"). Reference to several passages shows that ANI HU is a consistent surrogate for the tetragrammaton YHWH.

After considering passages such as Deut. 32:38; Isa. 43:11,25; 51:12; 41:4; 43;13; 48:12 and 34:16, Samuel I. Feigin in MISSITRER HEAVAR (Hebrew Society of Palestine and America, 1943) concluded: 'HU is used to signify Yahweh.... HU serves in p lace of Yahweh". [34]

Julian Morgernstern, President of the Hebrew Union College, after considering the same verses, plus others such as Isa. 43:10, 25 (noting that the first part of this verse is exactly parallel to verse 11); 46:4; 52:6 (comparing it with 42:8), concluded:

"HU is in absolute parallelism with YHWH.... HU is a term (employed) ... in precisely the same manner and with precisely the same implication as YHWH ... Israel employed the pronoun HU in a nominal sense, as a synonym of YHWH. .... It is used as a noun - as a name for the Deity rather than as a pronoun." [35]

"The word HU was understood as a divine title." (36]

Many Christians see a significance in this that ANI HU being considered a title synonymous with YHWH, rendered EGO EIMI by the Greek and used, apparently deliberately as a title, by Jesus of Himself, at John 8:58.

One noted commentator remarked thus on Jesus' words at John 8:58:

"EGO EIMI in LXX (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) renders the Hebrew ANI HU which is the way God speaks (cf Deut.32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4, etc.). It is the style of deity." [37]


The pure church of the Apostolic times continued the significance of "Name". The ancient Hebrews recognised that those who "know his name" [38] trust and hope in him, and "the Christian faith stands in line with this historical revelation, for it affirms that God's name - his real person - was manifest pre-eminently in Jesus Christ". [39]

The church thus taught that the 'Name" of its Lord, Jesus Christ, epitomised its whole being and belief. Examples include:

A comprehensive listing of the witness of the pure apostolic church is provided in the Table attached to Chapter 2.

"The use and significance of the name in the Old Testament is carried over to Christ in the New. The Name of the Lord, or the Name alone, was in the Old Testament the denomination of the revealed glory of God. In the days of the New Testament that glory has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ; and thus the strength of the church now stands in His name. In that name the apostles baptise (Acts 2:38), speak and teach (Acts 4:18), heal the cripple (Acts 3:6), and forgive sin (Acts 10:43). This name is resisted and it is attacked (Acts 26:9). The confession of it brings on suffering (Acts 5:41). It is appealed to (Acts 22:8) and is magnified (Acts 19:17). In this sense the name of Jesus Christ was a sort of compendium of the confession of the church, the strength of its faith, and the anchor of its hope. Just as Israel in ancient times gloried in the name of Jehovah, so the church of the New Testament finds its strength in the name of Jesus Christ. In this name the name of Jehovah has come into its full revelation." [40]




  1. ISRAEL: ITS LIFE AND CULTURE, J. Pedersen, p. 245; see also INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, Vol. 2, p. 408, "God, name of"; Vol.3, p.500, "Name".



  2. INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY, Vol. 2, p. 408; see also Pedersen, p. 253.



  3. THE DOCTRINE OF GOD, Herman Bavick, p.84 (The Banner of Truth Trust).






  5. INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY op. cit. see also Pedersen, p. 245 and AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING, p. 1202.



  6. 1 Kings 3:2; 5:17,19; 8:17,20,29.



  7. Deuteronomy 12:5,11,21; 14:23,24; 1 Kings 8:29; 9:3 etc.



  8. Psalm 33:21; Isaiah 26:8, etc. See the scriptural references given in Bavinck, p. 84.



  9. Genesis 32:24-30; compare also Judges 13:18 regarding Samson.



  10. Pedersen, p. 252. See also INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY, Vol.2, p. 411.



  11. THE DOCTRINE OF COD, Herman Bavick, p.84 (The Banner of Truth Trust).



  12. NAMES OF GOD, Nathan Stone, p. 7.



  13. A DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE (4th edition 1958), John D. Davis, p. 361 "Jehovah".



  14. Bavinck, op. cit. p.86.



  15. Bavinck, op. cit. p. 103.



  16. Bavinck, op. cit. p. 107



  17. JOURNAL OF NEAR EASTERN STUDIES (JNES) Vol 3 (1944), R.A. Bowman, p. 1



  18. INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY, op. cit., p. 410


  19. INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY, op. cit., p. 410, JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (JBL) 43 (1924), pp. 375ff; JBL 24 (1905), pp. 126-128; Stone, pp. 15-16; JNES 3 (1944), pp.1-8.





  21. JBL 43 (1924), p.375.



  22. JBL 43 (1924), p.376.



  23. JBL 24 (1905), p.126.






  25. INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY, op. cit., p. 411; see also THE MEANING OF THE QUMRAN SCROLLS FOR THE BIBLE, Wm. H. Brownlee, p.291.



  26. THE BOOKS AND THE PARCHMENTS, F.F. Bruce, p. 119; See also KNOWING THE SCRIPTIRES, Arthur T. Pierson, p. 93; JBL 24 (1905) pp. 133-136.



  27. JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES, 45 (1944), pp. 158-161; THE CAIRO GENIZA, Paul E. Kahle, pp. 218-22O



  28. JBL 24 (1905), p. 137



  29. JBL 24 (1905), p. 143



  30. LET YOUR NAME BE SANCTIFIED, p.89 (Footnote).



  31. JBL 24 (1905), pp. 128, 140-142, 162-163; JBL 43 (1924) pp. 376-377



  32. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol.5, p. 160; see also Brownlee, op. cit., p. 163 and footnote



  33. Brownlee, op. cit., p. 163



  34. JNES 3 (1944), pp 257-258 (trans. by William A. Irwin).



  35. JBL 62 (1943), pp. 271-274



  36. Irwin, op. cit., p. 257; see also JBL 63 (1944), James Montgomery, pp. 161-163.



  37. COMMENTARY ON JOHN, Leon Morris, p. 473 (footnote).



  38. PSALM 9:10; 91:14; 79:6; JEREMIAH 10:25






  40. OUR REASONABLE FAITH, Herman Bavinck, p.313 (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1924)




The biblical concept of "name" transcends our modern ideas.

"To modern Western man a name is a mere appellative; but to men of ancient times it stood for the whole person." [1]

"In biblical thought a name ... is an expression of the essential nature of its bearer." [2]

"Names then had real meaning and were not just 'labels' to identify and individual as today." [3]

It follows then that -

"God's self, his real person, is concentrated in his name." [4]

"The name of God is frequently used as a synonym of God Himself." [5]


Since God's Name is his very being, to "know the Name" refers, not to knowing the sound but to being personally acquainted with the person himself. This means fellowship, harmony, unity with him - in all ways, physically, mentally, emotionally:

"with your whole heart and with your whole soul and your whole mind." (Matt. 22:37)

"and with your whole strength." (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27)

"To know the name of a man is the same as to know his essence. The pious 'know the name' of their God (PS. 91:14), ie. they know who he is. The more he makes himself felt, the better his name is made known." [6]

"To know the name of God is to know God himself as he is revealed (Ps. 9:10; Ps. 91:14; Isa. 52:6 cf Isa. 64:2; Jer. 48:17). In Lev. 24:11, the Name alone is used to denote God." [7]

"For an individual to know God's name signifies more than a mere acquaintance with the Word (2 Chron. 6:33). It means actually knowing the person." [8]

One of the more significant statements concerning the Divine Name appears at Exodus 6:2,3 where God declares: "I am Jehovah (sic) ... but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself know to (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob)".

At this God is referring to this inter-personal relationship, not to some mental assent to the sound of the name.

The Watchtower Society's book AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING quotes uncritically the following comment on Exodus 6:2,3:

"By name must be meant here (Exodus 6:2,3) not the two syllables which make up the word Jehovah, but the idea which it expresses. To know Jehovah's name is something very different from knowing the four letters of which it is composed. It is to know by experience that Jehovah really is what his name declares him to be." [9]

(No doubt, by "two syllables" the author meant the pronunciation "Yahweh" since the word "Jehovah" has three, particularly as he refers to the Name as being composed of four letters).

In the New Testament, the epitome of all utterances regarding this personal, dynamic knowledge of God comes from the lips of Jesus at Gethsemane, as recorded at John 17:3. Here our Lord defines eternal life as consisting of knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ.

"What does it mean to 'know' the Father? .... 'To know' means ... to get acquainted with, to understand! In John 17:3 it indicates a continuing relationship.... It also implies a closeness of trust and confidence ... heart knowledge, not mere head knowledge is meant." [10]

"When (the Greek word HINA) appears in John 17:3 ('this is life eternal, that they may know thee') we need not infer that the knowledge of God is the purpose of eternal life ... but simply that eternal life consists in the knowledge of God - as an old hymn puts it, 'Tis eternal life to know him.'" [11]


Modern scholars agree that YHWH was almost certainly originally pronounced YAHWA or HAYWEH [12]. The vocalisation "JEHOVAH" is the result of gross misunderstanding of the Hebrew OT text by people of the Middle Ages (CE). [13]

"The form JEHOVAH is thus a malformation giving what is virtually a transliteration of a word which is found in the text of the Hebrew OT, but which was never actually used as a word." [14]

The ancient Jews decided that the best way to avoid unworthy use of the Divine Name, as is demanded by the Third Commandment, was to cease using it altogether. [15] Alternative terms, called Surrogates, were used in place of YHWH. For instance, to indicate that ADONAI was to be spoken when YHWH appeared, editors affixed the vowel points of ADONAI to the tetragrammaton.

Alternatively, when YHWH was pronounced ELOHIM (God) the vowel points of that word were affixed to the tetragrammaton. (YHWH was spoken as ADONAI whenever the tetragram stood by itself; it was spoken as ELOHIM (God) when it appeared with ADONAI Lord to prevent the confusing utterance ADNAI ADONAl [16]).

Of course, as has been noted, the pronunciation, or vocalisation is not a significant issue, but rather the issue is the intent or meaning of the Name and also what God's Word means by "making the Name known". This is clearly illustrated by the record of the life of Jesus Christ in the Christian Greek Scriptures.


As his earthly ministry drew to its close, Jesus was able to declare in all truthfulness to his Father:

"I have made your name manifest" - John 17:6. ("known" v. 26).

He was able to say this, not because he revealed the vocalisation of the tetragrammaton, which has been shown to be quite irrelevant (and indeed is not even preserved by God within his own Holy Word) but because he "perfectly represented his Father". [17]

"When Jesus is represented as saying 'I have manifested thy name' (John 17:6, 26), the meaning is that his mission was to reveal the very character and purpose of God." [18]

"The word 'name' here (in John 17:6, 26) includes the attributes or character of God. Jesus had made known (God's) character, his law, his will, his plan of mercy. Or, in other words, he had revealed God to them." [19]



Jesus revealed God's name in that he is the complete embodiment of God's nature; Jesus is the express image of God. [20]

Since Jesus revealed the name of God through his exemplary nature [21], it follows that Christians' revelation of the name is by the same means - not by being concerned about the sound, the utterance, the precise pronunciation or even the etymology, but by living, only through the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit of God, in harmony with the will of God. This is how the name is to be manifest today.

"To walk in the name of certain god means doing things approved or done by that god ... being dedicated to that god... living in harmony with that god. …It means more than attending Christian meetings. . . The determining factor is ... what we actually do with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength." [22]

It is of no small significance that Jesus used "Father" - not YHHW - in his model prayer (Matthew 6:9) and in his own prayer in Gethsemane (John 17:1). These demonstrate that knowing the name is being in a personal intimate communion with God; the utterance or vocalisation being relegated to mere externalism. The Jews were called to declare God's name but their behaviour - their attitudes, their lack of communion with God - only resulted in his name being blasphemed. [23]


"The characteristic NT (New Testament) usage of 'name' ... links it very closely with personality, as in the OT (Old Testament) ... Everywhere (the term 'the name of God') is used in the OT sense of the revealed nature and character of the Saviour God. As in the OT, the name of God is frequently used as a synonym for God himself." [24]

Scriptures that show "name" is synonymous for "person" include John 15:21; Matt. 10:22, Romans 2:24 and 1 Timothy 6:1. (Also compare 1 Cor. 1:10 and 2 Thess. 3:6 with 1 Thess. 4:1; these are most interesting.)

"The distinctive feature of NT usage is the way in which the name of Jesus is either substituted for, or placed alongside, the name of God. Phrases which are used in the OT of the name of God are applied in the NT to the name of Jesus. Thus prophesying or speaking in the name of God becomes prophesying or speaking in the name of Jesus... The old Israel is called by the name of God (2 Chron. 7:14), the new Israel by the name of Christ (Jas. 2:7; cf Acts 11:26). Believing in the name of Jesus (John 1:12; 1 John 3:23) corresponds to trusting in the name of God (Ps. 33:21; Isa. 50:10). Calling on the name of God (Gen. 13:4; Ps. 105:1; etc.) is paralleled by calling on the name of Christ (Acts 9:14,21; 1 Cor. 1:2, cf Acts 2:21; 1 Peter 1:17). That is to say, worship is offered to Christ as to God." [25]


The apostle John records that God has commanded faith in the name of "Jesus Christ". As this is God's "command" it should be blazed across in the minds of every person claiming to be Christian.

"This is (God's) commandment, that we have faith in the name of his son Jesus Christ." (1 John 3:23).


Jesus foretold that his disciples would suffer and die because of HIS name [26]; here is clear indication of the Christians' "Name".. Little wonder Jesus at his departure told his followers to be HIS witnesses. [27]

In Transferring "The Name" from "YHWH" to his own, Jesus told his followers they could be persecuted and die for it.

"In all except one of the references to Christ's followers being hated or persecuted for his name's sake, 'name' means Christ himself …The exception is Acts 5:41 where 'the Name' is a technical term for the Christian faith". [28]


Promises made to Christians in the Name of Jesus Christ include:

ASK - "whatever it is that you ask in my name, I will do this." John 14:13

- "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (v.14)

- "No matter what you ask the Father in my name he might give it to you." John 15:16 (see also 16:23)

HOLY SPIRIT - "The holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name." John 14:26

GOD'S SONS - "As many as did receive him (Jesus), to them he gave authority to become God's children, because they were exercising faith in his name." John 1:12

- "He that exercises faith in (Jesus Christ) is not to be judged. He that does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only begotten (MONOGENES -unique) Son of God." John 3:18

- "You may have life by means of his name." John 20:31

- "You may know that you have life everlasting, you who put your faith in the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:13

DECLARED RIGHTEOUS - "You have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God." 1 Cor. 6:11


"In Acts 'the Name' is almost invariably that of Jesus. Men were baptised in this name (Acts 2:38; 8:16, etc.) Men were healed in this name (Acts 3:6,16; 41:10,30, etc.). Even 'some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists' knew that the name of Jesus was used in exorcism (Acts 19:13 ff). Salvation is associated with His name (Acts 10:43; 22:16), and with this name only (Acts 4:12). Men receive forgiveness 'through his name' (Acts 10:43). So it is that men 'call upon' this name (Acts 2:21; 9:14, 21). Men might in the name (Acts 4:17f) speak boldly in it (Acts 9:27, 29), teach in it (Acts 4:18, 5:28), or preach concerning it (Acts 8:12). Paul was to 'carry' the name before Gentiles and kings and children of Israel (Acts 9:15), and to suffer for it (Acts 9:16). Apostles rejoiced 'that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name' (Acts 5:41). Barnabas and Paul 'have hazarded their lives for the name of our lord Jesus Christ' (Acts 15:26). Paul declared himself ready to die for the name (Acts 21:13). Contrariwise, the persecutions of the church in which he had once engaged could be described as doing things 'opposing the name' (Acts 26:9). Small wonder that the name of Jesus 'was extolled' (Acts 19:17), and that believers could speak of 'the honorable name' by which they were called (Jas. 2:7). When they became known as 'Christians' (Acts 11:26) they were associated with this name. The bearer of such a name was clearly regarded as no less than divine.

"Nothing more graphically illustrates the high place accorded to Jesus than the fact that prayer was offered to him ... (Acts 1:24; 8:24; 10:14...7:59,60). Men address their prayers to God. Those who prayed to Jesus obviously had a very high regard of His Person.

"Perhaps we should see the high point of all this in the way in which Old Testament passages which refer to Jehovah are applied to Jesus. This is done in Acts 2:21, where Joel 2:32 is used of Him. We see it again in 1 Peter 3:15, which should be taken as RV, 'sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord', and is clearly an application of Isaiah 8:13, 'Sanctify the Lord of host himself'. In similar fashion 1 Peter 2:3 may well be an application of the words of Psalm 34:8. This is a phenomenon common in the New Testament and when we consider how jealously the position of Jehovah was safe-guarded by those who worshipped Him, we are able to see something of the high place they accorded Christ." [29]


HOLD FAST JESUS' NAME - "All who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 1:2

- "This is (God's) commandment, that we have faith in the name of his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 3:23

- "You have borne up for my name's sake" Rev. 2:3

- "You keep on holding fast my name" Rev. 2:13


- "Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus".Col.3:17

- "That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you." 2 Thes. 1:12


The conclusion is that of Scripture:

Christ is "far above ... every name named." Eph. 1:21

Christ has "the name that is above every name." Phil. 2:9


"Name" means the Person in biblical terminology, both in the OT and in the NT. The vocalisation is not the issue, rather the essence of the Person so named.

"Making the name known" means living in full accord with the essence of the Name.

The Name for Christians to declare is that of Jesus Christ. This means they are to live lives by the strength from God, that declares his nature to all - to all throughout the whole universe. (Eph. 3:9,10)



  1. THE LORD FROM HEAVEN by Leon Morris, p.64. See also ISRAEL: ITS LIFE AND CULTURE BY J. Pedersen p. 245 (Vol.1-11)



  2. INTERPRETER'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE (IDB) Vol. 3 p. 500 (art. "Name"), see also Vol.2, p.408



  3. AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING p.888 (art. "Jehovah")



  4. IDB, Vol. 2, p. 408 (art. "God, names of")



  5. IDB, Vol. 3, p. 502 (art. "Name")



  6. ISRAEL: ITS LIFE AND CULTURE by J. Pedersen, p. 245 (Vol. 1-11)



  7. IDB, Vol.3, p. 502 (art. "Name")



  8. AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING, p. 1202 (art. "Name")



  9. IMPERIAL BIBLE -DICTIONARY, VOL 1 pp 856-7 by D. H. Weir, quoted in AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING pp. 888-9 (art "Jehovah")



  10. THE WATCHTOWER, September 15, 1976, pp. 562-3.



  11. THE BOOKS AND THE PARCHMENTS by F.F. Bruce, p.67.



  12. See for example LET YOUR NAME BE SANCTIFIED, pp.16-22; Bruce, p.120; AID, pp.882, 884; IDB. Vol.2, p.409; JBL, Arnold, Vol.25 (1904), p.165.



  13. See for example NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY, Vol.2, p.69-70 (art. "God").



  14. Ibid., p.70



  15. Bruce, p.120; Arnold, pp.133-135






  17. AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING, p. 1202 (art. "Name").



  18. IDB, Vol. 3, p. 502 (art. "Name").



  19. NOTES ON THE GOSPELS, Rev. A Barnes, p.38 (on John 17:6)



  20. John 10:15; Hebrews 1:3 cf "Full of Grace" in John 1:14(AV)



  21. John 1:18



  22. "The Watchtower", August 15, 1979 p. 9.



  23. Isa. 43:10; Romans 2:24



  24. IDB, Vol, 3, p. 506.



  25. IDB, Vol. 3, pp. 506-7 (art. "Name")



  26. Matt. 10:22; 19:29; 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:12, 17; John 15:21; Rev. 2:3. See also 1 Peter 4:14.



  27. Acts 1:8



  28. IDB, Vol.3, p. 508 (art. "Name")



  29. THE LORD FROM HEAVEN, by Leon Morris, pp. 656.




In Acts, "the Name" is almost invariably that of Jesus:


  1. Men were baptised in this name - Acts 2:38; 8:16



  2. Men were healed in this name - Acts 3:6,16; 4:10,30



  3. Some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists knew that the name of Jesus was used in exorcism - Acts 19:13ff



  4. Salvation is associated with his name - Acts 10:43; 22:16



  5. And with this name only - Acts 4:12



  6. Men receive forgiveness "through his name" - Acts 10:43



  7. Men call upon this name - Acts 2:21; 9:14,21



  8. Men might speak in the name - Acts 4:17f



  9. Men might speak boldly in it - Acts 9:27,29



  10. Men might teach in it - Acts 4:18;



  11. Men might preach concerning it - Acts 8:12



  12. Paul was to carry the name before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel - Acts 9:15



  13. And to suffer for it - Acts 9:16



  14. Paul and Barnabas "have hazarded their lives for the name of our lord Jesus Christ" - Acts 15:26



  15. Apostles rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." - Acts 5:41



  16. Paul declares himself ready to die for the name - Acts 21:13



  17. Contrariwise, the persecutions of the church in which he had once engaged could be described as "opposing the name" - Acts 26:9



  18. The name of Jesus "was extolled"- Acts 19:17



  19. Believers could speak of "the honourable name" by which they were called - Jas. 2:7



  20. When they became known as "Christians" they were associated with this name - Acts 11:26


(From: THE LORD FROM HEAVEN, Leon Morris pp. 65-66)



The Word of Cod has suffered innumerable attacks and each has been convincingly repulsed and defeated.

One such onslaught concerns the reliability of the received text. The charge is made that the words have suffered through transmission from one pen to the next, that significant errors have been introduced by copyists and editors over the centuries.

Can the reader be sure that the words being read today faithfully record the writer's words, penned two and three thousand years ago?

The answer is a resounding: YES!

Regarding the reliability of the New Testament text we read:

"It may be thought that the original texts of the New Testament documents have been corrupted beyond restoration. Some writers, indeed, insist on the likelihood of this ... But they are mistaken. There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament." [1]

Regarding the Old Testament, the integrity of the text is no less dependable:

"Sir Frederic Kenyon asked ... 'Does this Hebrew text, which we call Masoretic ... faithfully represent the Hebrew text as originally written by the authors of the Old Testament books?' The Qumran discoveries have enabled us to answer this question in the affirmative." [2]

It is interesting to read of the Watchtower Society's (WTS) trust in the accuracy of the Bible's words. Concerning the text of the whole Scriptures, we read:

"No other book in the world has ever received such a reverent and fastidiously careful treatment throughout the centuries as has the Bible. It has been copied by scribes who regarded mistakes with holy terror." [3]

Of the reliability of the text of the Old Testament, the WTS writes:

"When reading the Hebrew Scriptures, therefore, you can be confident that your bible is based on a Hebrew text that accurately conveys the thoughts of Cod's inspired penmen." [4]

And the WTS places similar confidence in the accuracy of the text of the New Testament:

"The text of the Christian Scriptures is amazingly accurate. ... There is no reason to doubt that the Greek text upon which the Christian Scriptures are based represents with considerable fidelity what the inspired authors of these Bible books originally wrote. ... The Greek text of the Christian Scriptures is a marvel of accurate transmission." [5]

To which other students of Scripture agree:

"The textual evidence for the New Testament is abundant beyond all comparison." [6]

"All these discoveries and all this study … strengthens the proof of the authenticity of the Scriptures, and our conviction that we have in our hands, in substantial integrity, the veritable word of God." [7]

"Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established." [8]


To arrive as closely as possible to the text of the original writings, scholars use Textual Criticism, aided by studies such as Palaeography (in which details such as lettering styles and common errors are examined).

"There are four principle stages in the work of the textual critic. First, he makes a study of ... individual manuscripts ... correcting obvious slips and taking cognisance of what appear to be scribal alterations. ... Next, he arranges these manuscripts into groups. ... In the third place, when the arranging of manuscripts in groups leads to the establishment of an archetype, ... these archetypes themselves are subjected to comparative study ... to reconstruct a provisional archetype from which these archetypes themselves are descended; if this is achieved, then we have arrived as closely as we can to the autographic text." [9]

The Watchtower Society concurs that these sources used by the textual critics are most reliable. Of the whole Bible, the WTS writes:

"Although every original manuscript is lost ... there are a great many ancient copies of the entire Bible, and even more ancient manuscripts of parts of the Bible extant." [10]

And of the New Testament ("Christian Greek Scriptures" in WT terminology) the WTS writes:

"So many Scriptures are quoted in an immense literature of the post-apostolic period that almost the entire text of the Greek Scriptures could be compiled from these quotations." [11]

"A noteworthy feature of these original-language manuscripts is their closeness to the time of Bible writing ... back to the beginning of the second century (the 100's) CE, and possibly to the end of the first century." [12]

"These ancient papyrus manuscripts put us almost next to the original writings themselves. They vouch for the authenticity of our present-day Bible versions by assuring us of the purity of the text." [13]

"We have ... Bible papyri of the Greek Scriptures going back practically to the apostles themselves." [14]

And why can the transmitted text be relied on as being accurate? Once more the WTS explains:

"The Originator of the Bible is likewise its Preserver." [15]

"The preservation of the Holy Scriptures is a divine miracle; not only their preservation as a book, but also the preservation of the textual integrity. ... The numerous scribal errors are, on the whole, of little importance. Their bearing upon the integrity of the Bible is negligible." [16]


Why is there this need to defend the Scripture from this attack at the present time? Because the Watchtower Society (WTS), from whom we have been citing so freely for the defense of the accuracy of the received text, has introduced the name "Jehovah" into its NT ("Christian Greek Scriptures"), a move which has no support from any of these sources that are used to produce the NT text.

And the insertion of the name "Jehovah" without any textual or manuscript evidence is as much an attack upon the integrity of the text of the Word as is the utterance of any critic.

In all, the WTS, in its New World Translation (NWT) of the NT employs "Jehovah" a total of 309 times; on 237 occasions it appears within the text; the remaining 72 are appearances in footnotes.

To justify its actions, the WTS cites the support of some 21 sources of recent date (termed J1 to J21), plus evidences such as some Septuagint manuscripts and an article by Professor George Howard in THE JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (JBL).

The following chapters consider each of these aspects in some detail. The first three chapters investigate the Society's supporting evidences by considering:

The final chapter considers the internal witness of Scripture itself, to determine whether the Society has been consistent or has infiltrated its theology into God's Word.


It is significant that believers in God's Word have to defend the accuracy of the received text as if the opponent were a Modernist or Higher Critic, not a supposed defender of the text of Scripture, the WTS.

So much effort and thought has to be expended to show that the text of the Scriptures is reliable and that God has indeed preserved the transmission of His down through the centuries.

What then does this say for the other party, who, after claiming faith in the transmitted text, and reasoning loosely with meagre support, alters the text of Scripture over 200 times? To alter even one passage of Holy Writ is a serious matter, and may be done only after long and serious consideration, based upon the most solid evidence. How serious are the implications when so many very significant alterations are made!


Did God protect his Holy Word from corruption? If he was unable or unprepared to prevent His Name being expunged from the NT after ensuring its transmission through the OT, then how well did he protect the balance of the NT? The logical outcome of the Society's action is to cast doubt on the whole of Scripture, rather than to create confidence in it.

To have permitted His Name to be expunged from the NT would have been tantamount to permitting gross corruption of his Word. But the vast wealth of material available today does not indicate any significant corruption has occurred, and the WTS can find no evidence that God has loosened control over his Word to such an extent that he has permitted it to become corrupted.


The wealth of early material available to the scholars is vast; so much so, that this of itself casts grave doubts on the Society's position that the tetragrammaton originally appeared in the NT writings but was subsequently expunged.

As is shown by the evidences presented in the following chapters, the New Testament church did not follow the methods of the Jewish scribes, but created their own method of denoting sacred names. And this process, a conscious and deliberate act, took place before the majority of the NT Books were written, and before any were canonised.

The evidence is so clear and so strong, the reader may have complete confidence in the Word of God as it has been transmitted to this day. It does not need any modern-day corruption, particularly one that could be so easily used to infiltrate theological bias.






  2. Bruce, page 124






  4. THE WATCHTOWER, March 15, 1977, pages 190-1



  5. THE WATCHTOWER, April 1, 1977, pages 216, 219



  6. Bruce, page 181



  7. F.G. Kenyon, THE STORY OF THE BIBLE, page 144, in Bruce, page 190



  8. F.G. Kenyon, THE BIBLE AND ARCHAEOLOGY, page 228f, in Bruce, p.190



  9. Bruce, page 179



  10. EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK (WTS: 1946), page 13



  11. Op.cit., page 15



  12. THE WATCHTOWER, April 1, 1977, pages 216-7



  13. EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK, (WTS: 1946), page 57



  14. Op.cit., page 55



  15. Op.cit., page 13



  16. Op.cit., page 16



When the WTS released its translation of the NT in 1950, it presented in the Foreword its reasons for using "Jehovah" in the text of its translation. In 1969 the WTS repeated this Foreword in its KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION, without any alterations. This shows that the reasons given in 1950 remain [1] and that they have not been influenced by any subsequent scholarship.

The page numbering used in the 1969 publication is referred to in this chapter.


The line of the Society's reasoning for the name "Jehovah" appearing in the New Testament text, as it appears on pages 11-18 of the Foreword, can be summarised as:

Reason 1. The Divine Name "Jehovah" is an Anglicised form of the Hebrew letters YHWH, which is known as the tetragrammaton.

Reason 2. The Hebrew and Greek (i.e. the Septuagint or LXX) versions of the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Testament) contained the tetragrammaton.

Reason 3. The New Testament speakers used these Scriptures and therefore used the Divine Name. Jesus made His Father's "name" known.

Reason 4. The New Testament writers, whether quoting speakers, such as Jesus and the disciples, or quoting texts themselves, used the Divine Name. Therefore the original New Testament writings (the autographs) used YHWH whenever the original texts did.

Reason 5. The Name was removed from New Testament texts by the third century AD.

Reason 6. Therefore the modern translator is authorised to use this name as "Jehovah" whenever the New Testament writing is quoting verses, passages and expressions from the Hebraic or Greek versions of the Old Testament Scriptures that used YHWH.

This Chapter considers each of these six reasons.


Strictly speaking, the Divine Name is not "Jehovah", but YHWH.[2] The form "Jehovah" is acceptable today only because of the apparent respectability given it by tradition, with the earliest recorded use of "Jehovah" coming from a Roman Catholic source [2a] - the champion of tradition.

On page 11 of its Foreword, the Society concedes that it used "Jehovah" because it is "popular", but when has that ever been the basis of determining what is Truth? Indeed, it would be more correct to state that the most popular pronunciation preferred by those who know and care is "Yahweh".

The sources which the Society would be able to draw on for support consistently state that the vocalisation of the Tetragram was "KYRIOS" or "ADONAI". Waddell in J. Th,S [3] and Howard in JBL explicitly state this to be so.

Should the WTS wish to be true to the practice of the primitive Christian Church, then it should use the abbreviated forms of sacred words that we today term the NOMINA SACRA. The Society does not use the Tetragram nor does it pronounce the Name in the manner practiced at the time the Church was formed.

The Society never uses YHWH or "Yahweh" in its translations of the OT or NT. Instead, the Translation Committee renders an incorrect Anglicisation developed from erroneous ideas and acceptable only on the feeble foundation of tradition.

The WTS argues that "Jehovah" is the Divine Name, in opposition to "LORD" or "GOD", such as is rendered in most English translations like the KJV and RSV. The facts are that the Divine Name YHWH was most likely originally pronounced "Yahweh" and that the vowel points of the Hebrew words for "Lord" and "God" (ADONAI; ELOHIM) produced "Jehovah".

This means that the expression "Jehovah" is derived from these surrogates and is hence a step FURTHER AWAY from the true Divine Name than is either "Lord" or "God".

REASON 2: "The Septuagint (LXX) contained the Tetragrammaton"

The WTS wishes to give the impression that the LXX used by the Christian Church regularly contained the Tetragram. However, the LXX copies come from Jewish sources, apart from two LXX copies that come from a source of doubtful origin, possibly Jewish, or of a Jewish form of Christianity.

Extant versions of the Septuagint coming to us from Jewish sources contain the Tetragrammaton in ancient script whereas only two Septuagint copies that contain the Tetragrammaton may have possibly been of a Christian source.[4] But these "Christian" sources were of:

"a Jewish form of Christianity (that) persisted in Oxyrhynchus, and a possible explanation of these two eccentric texts would be that they were the work of Jewish-Christian scribes." [5]

The Codex P. Oxy. vii, 1007, referred to in the Foreword of the Kingdom Interlinear on page 15, provides no evidence to support the WTS, since it cannot definitely be established that it is from a Christian source. Paul Kahle, in his work CAIRO GENIZA, page 247, reckons it to be Jewish, although C.R. Roberts is a little more conciliatory, saying that it has "a claim to be regarded either as Christian or Jewish". Its origin must be considered, according Roberts, to be "puzzling". [6]

Other material mentioned in the Foreword is most definitely of Jewish and not of Christian origin. These include:

- P. Fouad Inv. 266 (KIT Foreword, pages 12-14, Roberts, p. 75)

- P.Oxy. iv. 656 (KIT Foreword, page 15, footnote "C". Roberts, p. 76-77 states: "The text has a number of unique readings which may point to a revision of the LXX".)

The WTS omits to mention "another text in the same category ... P.Oxy.ix. 1166". In this papyrus roll of Genesis "KURIOS and THEOS are abbreviated in the usual way … It is more likely to be Christian than Jewish". [7]

From this evidence it is apparent that the Christian material exhibited abbreviated forms of the Sacred Names, with the Tetragram being replaced by abbreviated forms of KURIOS and THEOS, and that some Jewish renderings of the LXX retained the Tetra gram.

Evidence of support for the WTS's case they are most definitely not. The NT is a product of Christian thought and practice.

The conclusion that must be arrived at with our state of knowledge is that:

"We now know that the Greek Bible (or the LXX, the OT) text, as far as it was translated by JEWS FOR JEWS did not translate the Divine name KYRIOS, but the Tetragrammaton written with Hebrew or Greek letters was retained. ... It was the Christians who replaced the Tetragrammaton by KYRIOS, when the divine name written in Hebrew letters was not understood any more". [8]

It is the action of the CHRISTIANS that is of vital significance, not the actions of the Jews, for it was the Christians who wrote and produced the writings now called the New Testament.

The evidence is that the Christians replaced the Tetragram in the LXX (the OT) with surrogates, and that in the writings they produced (the NT) the Christians did not follow the Hebrew practice regarding the writing of Sacred Names, but they developed their own forms in their very earliest years with a technique now termed NOMINA SACRA. (More detail on NOMINA SAGRA is given later, and in chapter 6).

Rival Translations

Judaism and Christianity share a common heritage. At the time of the formation of the Christian movement, the canon of Scripture (that is, the OT) had not been finalised. Likewise, there were divergent views concerning the Greek translation of the Hebrew text, the LXX.

As is demonstrated through the quotations of the Hebrew text in the New Testament, the Christians promptly adopted the Greek translation of the Hebrew text. And they used it with such devastation against the Jews that they repudiated it, finally producing their own Greek translations of the text; these were designed to counter the argumentation used by the Christians.

"The Christian Church adopted the Septuagint as its own book of the Old Covenant. ... The result of this appropriation of the Septuagint by the Christian Church was that the Jews cast it off. ... In the second century of our era this repudiation took form in the production of rival versions (of Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures)." [9]

On page 12 of the Foreword, the Translation Committee cites one of these rival translations of the Jews, since it contains the Tetragram. As with the other Greek translations brought out by the Jews, this one by Aquila [10] rendered passages so as to blunt the Christians' arguments. [11] On all accounts it is a very poor translation. [12]

When he employed the Tetragram in his Greek translation of the (Hebrew) Scriptures, Aquila used the very ancient Hebrew script that had, even by his time, long ceased being used. In doing so, Aquila appears to be reaching back into the roots of Judaism, in opposition to the contemporary terminology being used by his opponents which, on the evidence of the NT manuscripts available, consisted of translation into Greek of the Hebrew surrogates ("Lord"; "God") and the use of Nomina Sacra.

To call upon the support of a rival translation of the OT, as the WT has done, one that was NOT used by Christians, and a very poor translation at that, and to use it in argumentation for support of supposed action taken by Christians when they wrote the NT in the prior century, demonstrates how feeble the WTS's arguments really are.

Perhaps this action is in line with the conviction held by some that the WTS is a Jewish form of Christianity.

"Main line of reasoning"

According to the August 15, 1978, issue of THE WATCHTOWER (p.30) the main line of evidence for the appearance of the divine name in the Christian Greek Scriptures (NT) comes from manuscript fragments of the Greek Septuagint. If this is the main line of evidence then it is most tenuous, based upon supposition and theorising, not upon tangible evidence. There are at least two main reasons for saying this:


  1. Wide Range of Versions


By the time of Jesus' ministry:


  1. There was a large range of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts in existence. And there was no one recognised Greek text. There was a "lack of standardisation in the various Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek versions of the biblical text current in the first century." [13]


    "There was no single unified Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures in the pre-Christian era." [14]

    "Some of the extant manuscripts of the Septuagint exhibit texts of a few portions of the Old Testament varying from one another to such an extent that they cannot have been derived from a single archetype by the ordinary chances of scribal corruption and so forth. They represent either separate translations from Hebrew into Greek or successive revisions or editions of the first translation." [15]

    "Before (the second century AD) … Biblical manuscripts of various text TYPES were used indiscriminately by Palestinian Jews." [16]


  2. Some of these variants are no longer in existence.



  3. Some of the variants may have contained the tetragram, but others, especially those written for those not familiar with Hebrew, did not contain it. Page 17 of the Foreword says that the Greek texts used KURIOS and THEOS when YHWH was encountered.



  4. Those whose words are recorded in the New Testament, and those who penned the word, quoted from the whole range of available texts, including those no longer in existence.


"Jesus ... at times engaged himself in textual selection among the various Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek versions then current." [17]


  1. No Link


Of course, it is one thing to show that Jewish copies of the LXX contained the Tetragrammaton, and quite another to claim that this shows the NT writers therefore employed it in their writings. There is no link or evidence to show this.

In fact the evidence is to the contrary. As is shown later, the earliest Christians developed their own method of indicating sacred names, a method not dependent upon any Hebrew method.


In the fourth century C.E., Jerome wrote regarding Aquila's translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek and commented "that people who did not know Hebrew treated these as ... Greek letters ... and even pronounced the word as Pipi!" [18]

The significance, for the purpose of this study, includes:


  1. The Greeks were unaware of the Hebrew characters and were not aware of its significance or pronunciation.



  2. Despite being able to report on the use of these Hebrew characters appearing in one translation of the Greek OT, yet he could not report the same for any rendition of the NT. Jerome wrote less than 300 years after the final pages of the NT were written.



The argumentation being followed by the WTS is that if Jesus uttered the Divine Name, it follows that his immediate followers, in particular the speakers whose words are recorded in the NT, would have taken his lead and done likewise. (See the Watchtower of Feb. 1, 1980, page 10)

But the speakers' words as recorded by the NT writers shows:


Jesus' Style Of Quotation

The Scripture record shows that Jesus selected passages from the range of text types he had available to him, and he was prepared to manipulate texts by omitting sections as he desired.

The record of Jesus' words in Luke 4:l8ff, in which Jesus is reading from Isaiah 61:lf, although it is generally Septuagintal, is in part contrary to both the LXX and MT, and in part agrees with MT against the LXX. It omits the line about healing the broken hearted and adds from Isaiah 58:6, "to set at liberty those who are bruised". [19] Yet Jesus says this was a fulfillment, and Jehovah's Witnesses use this passage as "proof" that "Jehovah" should appear in the New Testament.

Also, as has been demonstrated earlier, it appears that Jesus used surrogates such as "power" and "heaven" in place of "the Name".

Styles Of Interpretation By Speakers

The speakers were not averse to using synonyms, such as is done by Jesus at John 13:18, where Psalm 41:9 is cited, yet he says that here is a fulfillment of scripture. [20]

Jesus was prepared to paraphrase Scripture, as at Matthew 15:8ff, which is based on Isaiah 29:13 with the introduction by Jesus of: "Isaiah aptly prophesied about you". [21]

The disciples followed Jesus leading; for example, at that most important sermon given at Pentecost, Peter altered the MT (Hebrew Text) and the LXX (Greek Text) reading of 'afterwards" to "in the last days, says God".

Likewise, the speakers' interpretations were not uniformly literalistic. In fact, although "literalistic and midrashic modes of exegesis were features in early Christian preaching...(the) most characteristic ... treatment is pesher interpretation". [22]

("Pesher" means "solution" or "interpretation" [23]).

The fourth form of interpretation is allegorical.

Sometimes the four types of interpretation are used distinctly and separately, but often there is no conscious differentiation, and a blending occurs.

The Implications

Consequently, since there was a wide range of versions drawn on by the early church, with various types of interpretations and quotations that did not strictly adhere word-for-word to the original, and as Old Testament texts used by the Christians used KYRIOS for YHWH, we may conclude that it is unlikely the speakers used the tetragrammaton, or if any did, it is absolutely impossible to be positive to know when, and by whom it was spoken. This is especially significant when we claim to have produced a translation, and not a paraphrase, commentary, version or an interpretation, as the WTS claims.

Jesus' Significant Silence

At central points of Jesus' ministry and teaching, he did NOT utter the Divine Name. Significant are his prayers at Gethsemane and in his model prayer, known as "The Lord's Prayer", for in neither instance did he say the Divine Name. In The Lord's Prayer, Jesus simply said, "Father"; here at least one would expect the Divine Name to have been used.

It is with more than passing interest to note that when Jesus was charged with blasphemy, it was not for uttering the Divine Name, but for appropriating it to himself. (John 10:28-33). And in each of these instances, the Society wishes to make it appear that Jesus was claiming less than he actually was.

Written But Not Spoken

The written word does not reflect how it was uttered; the Tetragrammaton was uttered variously as ADONAI, ELOHIM AND KYRIOS. There were many things of Jewish tradition followed by Jesus and his disciples (e.g., Matt. 5; leper to go to Temple; reading in the Synagogue) and there is no evidence to suggest they did not do so in this case. If they had, much would have been made of it.

As far as the appearance of the Tetragrammaton in the LXX is concerned, the presence of Hebrew letters in a Greek text was warning enough to the reader that the word was not to be uttered. [24] The Tetragrammaton ceased being uttered after the third century BC. [25]


The Claim that Jesus uttered the Divine Name founders not only on lack of evidence but also on the positive language of Jesus.

The evidence is that the people did not utter the Divine Name by the third century BC, and Jesus and his disciples followed this example.

REASON 3(b): Jesus Made His Father's Name Known (p. 16)

Apart form the fact that we must not presume that YHWH was not also Jesus' pre-existent name, we note that the AID book says: "name (does) not (mean) the two syllables which make up the word Jehovah, but the idea which it expresses. … To know Jehovah's name is something very different from knowing the four letters of which it is composed. It is to know by experience that Jehovah is what his name declares Him to be. ... To know God's name signifies ... actually knowing the Person. … When Jesus Christ was on earth He made His Father's name manifest to his disciples (who) came to know Jehovah in a far better and grander way through ... Christ Jesus (who) perfectly represented His Father". pp. 888, 889, 1202.

In other words, Jesus' revelation of His father's "name" was not involved with "how it should be pronounced" - in fact, if that was Jesus' aim then he failed miserably, as we still do not know this for certain - but it refers to the meaning of the name, which is, as YHWH Himself says, "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgressions and sin and that will be no means clear the guilty". (Exodus 3:6, 7)

THAT is the "name" revealed by Jesus.

REASON 4: The NT Writers Used the Divine Name (Foreword, page 16)

No matter how a speaker expressed himself, the record in the NT depends upon the manner in which the writer handled and recorded his utterances. Were the writers slavishly literal in their recording of the spoken words, like stenographers, or did they use editing techniques in their report? This is considered under Section A below.

Another circumstance in which the WTS inserts "Jehovah" into the text occurs when the NT writer is quoting or commenting on (OT) Scripture. Did the NT writer employ the Tetragram in his own citation of Scripture, or in his own comments upon (OT) Scripture? These questions are considered below in Section B.

(A) Writers Quoting Speakers

With respect to the writers quoting speakers, we should note that the writers were not stenographers. For Example, The Lord's Prayer is recorded in Matt. 6:9-13 and in Luke 1l:l-4. Although the message of each is similar (and we are talking here of a central significance of Christianity), the wording of each account is quite different, even though these are words uttered and taught by Jesus Himself. [26]

Another example of editing is provided in Acts, where Luke quotes the speakers' words in the LXX form, even though they were uttered for the most part for and in an Aramaic-speaking community. [27]

"All of the speeches in Acts must of necessity be paraphrastic in their present form, for certainly the original delivery contained more detail of argument and more illustrative material than presently included. ... Stenographic reports they are not .... They have been restyled, as is required in every precis." [28]


  1. Citation Of Scripture By Writers


With respect to the citation of Scripture by the writers themselves, we should note that:

For example:

"Of the approximately 100 Old testament passages quoted by Paul .. over half are either absolute or virtual reproductions of the LXX, with almost half of these at variance with the MT. On the other hand, four are in agreement with the MT against the LXX, and approximately 40 vary from both the LXX and the MT to a greater or lesser degree." [29]

Likewise, the writers used not only literalistic interpretation of Scripture, but they also used midrashic, pesher and allegorical methods. In fact, the most characteristic treatment is not literal, but pesher. [30]

Following Jesus' example, the primitive Christian Church gave great emphasis to Psalm 110:1; yet they were prepared, with this basic text, to utilise a range of renditions. [31] This particular text, used so freely by the WTS in its argumentation for the need of rendering "Jehovah" in the NT, is rendered in so many different forms that grave doubt must be raised whether the Christians afforded it such literal renderings that the WTS wished that it had.


  1. NT Writers Commenting On (OT) Scriptures


In the WATCHTOWER of May 1, 1978, the Society refers to an article by Professor George Howard regarding the use of the Tetragrammaton in pre- and post-Christian times.

At one point, the WT article quotes Professor Howard as saying: "We can imagine that the NT text incorporated the Tetragrammaton into its OT quotations".

However, the remainder of the sentence in Howard's article is not quoted. It reads: "and that the words KURIOS and THEOS were used when secondary references to God were made in the comments that were based upon the quotations".

Now what Professor Howard means, and what the WTS failed to reveal, is that if the Tetragram did appear in the original NT autographs, then it would only have occurred in its direct OT quotations, but not when the writer was making his own reference, in the form of comments.

Matthew's Quotations

The Foreword tries to obtain mileage from Jerome's statement that Matthew used the Hebrew Scriptures. We have already seen how the New Testament writers used the Scriptures. In addition, with reference to Matthew, it is significant that although his own citations are of the MT, his quotations of Jesus' words are predominantly Septuagintal (LXX). This raises several interesting possibilities, for Matthew's gospel was penned for a Hebrew-oriented audience. This indicates Jesus leaned towards the LXX text for his textual references, possibly speaking them in Greek. [32] In any case, few of the New Testament writers wrote specifically for a Hebrew audience. (See reference 15 of Chapter 6). One cannot argue from a specific case of one gospel to prove a general case for the whole of the New Testament, as the WTS tries to do in its Foreword.

Summary On The Writer's Procedure

The evidence from the NT shows that:

It does appear that the writers considered the message as paramount, giving only a precis of the argument and illustration uttered by the speaker, not a stenographic report.

REASON 5: The Name was Removed from the NT by the Third Century CE (AD). (Foreword, page 17)

Instead of containing The Name, the early Christian writings contained sacred names written in a special form. And this was well before the "Third Century" (i.e., the 200's AD). In fact, according to available records, they were using these sacred name forms by the turn of the Second Century (100's AD). The early practice of this technique being used indicates it was most likely instituted by the very primitive church at Jerusalem.

Nomina Sacra

There is most strong evidence that the Christian community consciously and deliberately developed its own system of rendering the sacred names. These names, termed NOMINA SACRA, were presented as special abbreviations, sometimes with lines drawn above them as an indicator to the reader.

The early Christian writings contain

"a strictly limited number of words, at most fifteen, the sacral character of which ... is emphasised by abbreviation. ... A horizontal line is placed above the abbreviation as a warning that the word cannot be pronounced as written." [33]

"The words in question are certain proper names and some other terms...(such as) "IESOUS, CHRISTOS, KURIOS, THEOS ... PNEUMA, ANTHROPOS, STAUROS." [34]





Not only were these NOMINA SACRA (e.g. KS for KURIOS; IS for Jesus, etc.) produced deliberately, likely by the Jerusalem community around 50 AD, but they do not owe their origin in any way to the procedures adopted by the Hebrews with their Scriptures.

"There is no strict parallel between the method of writing the Name (i.e. YHWH) in Hebrew and the manner of writing the NOMINA SACRA in Greek." [35]

Of the post-Christian appearance of abbreviations of the Tetragrammaton (such as the double Yod mentioned on page 15 of the KINGDOM INTERLINEAR Foreword), Roberts informs:

"It could be argued that there is a link between these occasional abbreviations of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton and the NOMINA SACRA, but it is improbable." (p.31)

"We can conclude that there is no legacy from the Hebrew scribes to the writers of the NOMINA SACRA." (p.32)

"Like so much in early Christianity, (the NOMINA SACRA) are SUI GENERIS (self-generated)." (p.47)

Statements such as these, which result from long and meticulous research into the evidences, demolish the Watchtower Society's hopes. The Society's reasoning is based on the argument that some Greek translations of the OT Scriptures contained the Tetragram, therefore it should be assumed that the Greek writings of the NT writers followed this example.

Research, such as that conducted by Roberts cited above, clearly shows that the writers of the NT did not follow the practice of the Hebrew scribes.


It is clear that the early Christians formed their own method of writing the Sacred Names, a method that owed nothing to the previous practice of the Hebrew scribes, and was unrelated to contemporary Hebrew practice.

Even the Hebrew's handling of the Tetragrammaton had no influence on those Christians. There was no continuum, and hence there is no basis to conclude the earliest writings even contained, or needed to contain, the Tetragrammaton, or any other form of the Divine Name.


The Hebraism "Hallelujah!" appears untranslated in the Greek text. The inspired writer of Revelation did not interpret the expression, not did he translate it into Greek. Therefore, for a modern translator to interpret and translate the expression is to put something into God's Word where none is permitted. The WTS does this, with its rendering 'Praise Yah". (Rev. 19:1 and others)

Other places where the Divine Name appears in a composite expression include "JESUS", "JOSHUA", "JEHOSHAPHAT", and so on, and if HALLELUJAH is to be translated or interpreted in the text of Scripture, then so too should these and like terms.

If, as the Society claims, the Tetragrammaton was removed from the original NT text, it cannot then claim to be able to render its form of the Divine Name where "HALLELUJAH" appears since they were not removed and hence cannot be considered to be renderings of the Divine Name.

In other words, if the Divine Name were removed, and HALLELUJAH were not, then this cannot be translated to read "...YAH".

Conversely, the presence of HALLELUJAH shows that JAH does appear in the NT, was not removed from it, and that these are hence the only justifiable renderings of the Divine Name in the NT.

REASON 6: The translator of the NT can render the Divine Name where it appears at quotations of the OT (Foreword, pages 17-18).

The Society assumes that whenever a New Testament writer encountered a Hebrew or Greek rendering of the (Hebrew's) Scripture, that he would invariable read the Divine Name "YHWH", no matter what Version he used. This, however, is not the case. In addition to the fact that most of the Greek translations used surrogates, there is the fact that the Hebrew translations handled the Divine Name inconsistently. There were several Hebrew text types and Greek text types in use at that time. The variation in rendering the Divine Name in the Hebrew text types is demonstrated by comparing the Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls with the book of Isaiah in the Masoretic Hebrew text.

Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll

Masoretic Hebrew Text




Isa. 3:17; 38:14



Isa. 6:11; 7:14; 9:7; 21:16; 28:2



Isa. 40:7; 42:5; 50:5


Adonai Yahweh

Isa. 26:22; 49:22; 52:4; 61:1

Yahweh Elohim

Adonai Yahweh

Isa. 61:11

Yahweh Elohim


Isa 25:9

(See SDA BIBLE OOMMENTARY, VOL. 5, page 160, on this matter. Also see VETUS TESTAMENTUM, Vol. 4:2, pages 156 and 162 for the Isa. 38:14 and 61:1 variants.)

The fact that even the Hebrew texts rendered "YHWH" and its surrogates interchangeably and inconsistently shows how tenuous the Society's argument really is.

If indeed a NT writer was making verbatim quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures there can be no guaranteed way of positively determining whether the text that lay before his eyes actually contained the Tetragram or not.

In this context, the Translation Committee writes on page 17 of the Foreword that: 'Every Greek reader must confess that in LXX the Greek words KYRIOS (Lord) and THEOS (God) have been used to crowd out the distinctive name of the Supreme Deity".

Using this as its grounds, the Committee reckoned that hence it could use "Jehovah" whether the NT writers were quoting from the Hebrew or from the Greek (LXX) text of the OT (Foreword, page 18).

This means that the committee believed it was wiser than the inspired writers of the NT, who had selected the particular source that best conveyed their arguments. The Society is, in effect, "correcting" the sources selected under inspiration because these do not contain the Tetragram.

Besides, the Society is not being completely frank about the matter. A short time before the Foreword to the NT was written, the Society wrote that the Hebrew text underlying the LXX predated presently available Hebrew texts: "The Septuagint was therefore based on a Hebrew text earlier than the Masoretic text". (Equipped For Every Good Work, 1946, page 52). Comparison of available Hebrew translations with the Greek translations demonstrates definite variations between the text types.

This being so, this would make it impossible to use the existing Hebrew texts to determine whether the earlier Hebrew text that formed the original of the LXX actually contained the Tetragram at particular points, or whether surrogates were used.

"Could" Is Not Good Enough

Having presented its rationale in its Foreword, the most that the Translation Committee could muster for justification of its action is the proposition that the NT writers "could follow the LXX" and incorporate the Tetragram into their own Greek writings. (Foreword, page 17.) (Not that the WTS uses the Tetragram.)

Since there is no evidence to show that this is what the NT writers did, then it remains only a mere possibility. But a belief that some or all of the NT writers "could have" done this is insufficient justification for going ahead and actually altering the text of God's inspired word.

Asked personally of their views on the matter of introducing the Tetragram throughout the text of the NT, renowned Biblical scholars reject the thought of altering the text. "Could have" is not "good enough". Particularly when it comes to God's message to humanity.

What The World-Renowned Scholars Say

In a personal letter, Professor Howard, who is a proponent of the theory that the Tetragrammaton appeared in the original NT writings wrote:

"The issue is a very difficult one which has many unanswered questions....

"One must use extreme caution in re-introducing the Tetragram into the NT text. The OT text was in flux in the first century and may not have corresponded in every way to our concept of it. For practical reasons it would be best to leave the text of the NT the way it appears in our present manuscripts. Until we find a manuscript of the NT with the Tetragram, the conclusion of my article will remain simply a hypothesis." (letter 28th June, 1978)

C.H. Roberts comments:

"The question about the right course for the modern translator is not an easy one. It could be argued that whenever the original employs either the Tetragram or a NOMEN SACRUM this should somehow indicated in the English version, e.g. by the use of capitals." (Personal letter. 8th February, 1980)

"There is no evidence suggesting that the Tetragrammaton was used in the original NT writings. Such evidence as we have would suggest that the contracted forms of THEOS and KURIOS took its place." (Ibid., op.cit.)

From this, it is clear that Roberts would have capitals appear in the OT for the Tetragrammaton ("as was sometimes done in Old Bibles", op.cit.) and in the NT for NOMEN SACRUM.

No expert would be prepared to accept any more than this.

"Although the Greek manuscripts of the OT occasionally used the Hebrew Tetragrammaton in the midst of the Greek text, no NT manuscript has ever turned up like this." (Professor Bruce Metzger, Personal letter to Mr. H., June 30, 1979.




  1. The wording of the Society's explanation in the Forewords concerning the supposed form of the implement that Christ died on was altered during the 1950-1969 period. (Compare the respective articles).





    2a THE WATCHTOWER, Feb. 1, 1980, pages 11, 12.


  3. JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES, 45 (1944)) W.G. Waddell, page 161.






  5. Roberts, page 34 (see also his page 57).



  6. Roberts, page 77.



  7. Roberts, page 77.



  8. THE CAIRO GENIZA, Paul Kahle, page 222.






  10. Aquila was an apostate from Christianity.



  11. Kenyon, op.cit.



  12. THE BOOKS AND THE PARCHMENTS, F.F. Bruce, page 152.






  14. GLORY AT THE RIGHT HAND, David Hay, page 21.



  15. Bruce, page 148.



  16. Bruce, page 123 (emphasis supplied).



  17. Longenecker, pages 65-66 (see also pages 113, 114).



  18. Bruce, page 152



  19. Longenecker, pages 61, 62.



  20. Ibid., pages 72, 73.



  21. Ibid., page 72.



  22. Ibid., page 98.



  23. Ibid., page 38.



  24. Roberts, page 29 (see his footnote 2, also)



  25. JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE, 24 (1905), p. 137, W. Arnold.



  26. Longenecker, pages 77-78.



  27. Ibid., page 83.



  28. Ibid., page 81



  29. Ibid., page 113.



  30. ibid, page 98.



  31. Hay, pages 35, 36, 163ff.



  32. Longenecker, pages 60, 61, 63, 65~6.



  33. Roberts, page 26.



  34. Ibid., page 27.



  35. Ibid., page 29.



5: J1 - J21 EXAMINED

Having inserted "Jehovah" into their New Testament, the Watchtower Society presents as support similar insertions in other translations. These publications it terms "J1" to "J21". [1]

Nineteen of these are translations of the NT Scriptures into Hebrew, either part or whole. Many are revisions of previous versions. One support (J20) is a Concordance (under THEOS and KYRIOS) and one (J21) is an English translation by a Christadelphian.

In its KINGDOM INTERLINER Foreword the Watchtower Society states that these versions were "consulted" to "confirm our own rendering". [2] In other words, these were used after the Society had made its decisions. They are "confirmation" or "support" only and do not provide the Society with primary evidence.

Indeed it would be most difficult to look to these Hebrew translations of the NT as primary evidences. Not only are they a step away from the original, but the earliest was produced thirteen centuries after the original manuscripts were penned. No Scholar would examine such products to determine what the original Greek texts had to say.


If a dozen new translations of the NT were to appear each year far the next two hundred years, with each rendering "Yahweh", "Jehovah", the Tetragrammaton or some other variant, this would not of itself provide proof that the original writings prepared twenty centuries ago adopted this procedure. Only textual evidence may be used to prove that this was done. This has not been proven yet and to insert "Jehovah" in a translation is to move ahead of scholarship and research, and to depend solely upon personal prejudice and opinion.

Extreme care must be exercised, God's Word is being handled. It must be the Teacher and Guide; the translator must limit the extent of prejudice and theological bias "to avoid overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis". [3]

To insert the Tetragrammaton at our stage of knowledge flies in the face of discovery and research. To be so definite as to claim to know exactly where the Tetragrammaton appeared in the original NT writings is grossly untrue.

Even if Septuagint (Greek OT) versions referred to by the NT writers contained the Tetragram there is no evidence that the NT writers used it in their own writings. To the contrary, it appears quite clear that the writers used their own specially marked forms of Greek words, today these are called NOMINA SACRA. [4]

Only when this evidence can be refuted by authentic, reliable NT writings from the First Century then, and only then, may we know that the original contained the Tetragram, and in what circumstances.


The 21 publications cited by the Society fall into three groups:

None is closer to the original than some thirteen centuries. None is substantiated by research as being correct, apart from J20.


When the 19 Hebrew renderings are analyzed, it is soon realised that the "support" is not as broad as may at first appear. Several are revisions of previous issues; and several have a common mentor and/or translator.

The extent of the Society's "support" is reduced even further when it is recognised that only nine of the nineteen Hebrew translations relate to the whole of the Greek Scriptures. Included in these nine are J7 and J8 which are related, and also J1l, J13, J14 and J16, which are also related.


In many instances, the WTS cites these "supports" even when a bare two agree with its stance on a particular text. No recognition is given by the WTS that the rest do not provide support in these places. A typical example is Acts 7:60, where only J17 and J18 are cited.

Also, the "support" provided is inconsistent. For example, J2, which was revised as "J3" and later as "J4", props up the WTS and then removes the prop, only to restore it in other places. For example, the Tetragram is used in Matthew 1:20 by J3 but not by J2 or J4. Conversely, the Tetragram is used in Matthew 1:22 by J2 and J3 but not by J4. It is used in Matthew 2:19 by J2 and J4, but not by J3. In Matthew 22:37, 44 the Tetragram appears in J2 but not in J3 or J4. Due to this inconsistent support, J2 is cited by the WTS a total of 16 times, J3 is cited 9 times and J4 is cited 12 times. If the use of the Tetragram in these "supports" really was as significant as the WTS would have us believe, then the authors of these "supports would surely have taken more thoughtful care in its use in their translations.

A similar example of inconsistent support appears with the editions issued by the London Jewish Society. In Matthew 22:44, the Tetragram appears in J1l and J13 but not in the subsequent J16. [6] And this is a quote from Ps. 110:1.

Not only are these "supports" inconsistent but they are not substantiated by the wealth of materials available to us from the very earliest centuries. The Society would give greater weight to a translation into Hebrew produced within the past few centuries than they would to the earliest records written in the original language that these translations came from,


On pages 20 and 21 of the KIT Foreword, the WTS has reproduced the title page and page 194 (Luke 2:15-25) of a 1668 Hebrew and Latin translation by one John Baptist Jonah (The Society's "J9"). Several interesting issues are raised by these pictures:


Examination of other supports raises further questions. If valid answers exist, they need to be given.


  1. How can a translation of the Gospel of John be used as support for passages in Luke? The "support" in question is J19; the passages, Luke 4:8, 12, 18, 19.



  2. Why do the footnotes to the respective NT passages claim that the Hebrew translations render "Jehovah" when they do no such thing. The only support that used "Jehovah" is the English translation J21. All of the other supports use the Hebrew Tetragrammaton. To say they write "Jehovah" is misrepresentation. To infer that the Hebrew reader understood the Tetragram to mean "Jehovah" is absolutely baseless. The religious Jewish reader sees "The Name" when he encounters the Tetragram; the average Jew would read "Adonai". Ask any Orthodox Jew to read the Tetragram, and he will invariably utter "Adonai" or "The Name" - never "Yahweh". The term "Jehovah" is an English word.



As with the 19 translations into Hebrew, the Concordance J20 uses the Tetragram in Hebrew, not "Jehovah".

On page 30 of the Foreword, the Translation Committee explains that the Concordance provides "the Hebrew text" being referred to or quoted by the NT Greek text. As the Concordance is simply listing Hebrew OT texts being quoted by the NT, it gives no evidence that the Tetragram appeared in the Greek NT text. The Concordance does not place the Tetragram (or variants) in the NT Greek text, but is listing Hebrew OT texts. [8]

Of the 237 insertions of "Jehovah" in the NWT NT text, the Concordance J20 supports a bare 48. Large tracts are totally unsupported, including Luke; 2 Corinthians to 1 Timothy; and 2 Peter to Revelation (inclusive). In these books the WTS has a total of 87 appearances of "Jehovah" in the text, with a further 39 in the lower margin.


According to the NWT Foreword [9] the first English translation of the NT to use "Jehovah" was presented in 1864 by Benjamin Wilson. The "support" is limited to 18 occurrences. [10]

As the WTS states, Wilson was a Christadelphian. [11] One can speculate on the degree of exegetical coloration, particularly on the doctrine of "God". Christadelphians do not believe in the pre-incarnate existence of Jesus Christ, for example.

Wilson's actions, of course, do not provide proof that the original NT writings followed his surmisings or the Society's. Nor can the Society claim impartiality; it owns and publishes this translation. [12]


On pages 18 and 19 of the Foreword, the Translation Committee presents some interesting statistics.

In looking at the degree of support given by the Hebrew Versions, the committee states:

This means that of the total of 309 appearances of "Jehovah", the Translation Committee claims the support of the "J's" in 307 occasions.

Furthermore, on page 18 of the Foreword, the Translation Committee explicitly states that these 307 appearances are the total number of appearances of the Tetragram in these Hebrew versions:

"ALL TOGETHER, the appearances of the sacred Tetragrammaton in the 19 Hebrew versions to which we have had access TOTAL UP to 307 DISTINCT OCCURRENCES".

This is just NOT TRUE! The Tetragram appears at least at

In addition, the Concordance J20 also presents the Tetragram at 1 Peter 2:3.

Whatever theological reasons the Translation Committee may have for refusing the witness of its "supports," it has no excuse for claiming that the 307 listings truly represent the total appearances of the Tetragram in these supports.

Of course, reading of the respective passages shows that to insert "Jehovah" would have been theologically embarrassing for the WTS, but the point is that it has not been honest.


After mentioning that parts of the Holy Bible have been translated into more than 1100 languages, the Foreword lists 38 versions using "a vernacular form of Jehovah". This means that nearly every version does not use a "vernacular form of Jehovah".

The pictures of non-Hebrew missionary sources presented on pages 24 and 25 of the Foreword provide insufficient information to indicate the extent and the nature of the use of the name. [13J

All that the photographs show is that the Name is given in these renderings at direct quotes from the OT. Did they do any more than this, as the WTS's own translation does? Do all versions into these languages use a vernacular form of "Jehovah" or are these renderings the products of errant individuals? Of course, whether versions do or do not use a variant of "Jehovah" in the NT text does not indicate whether the practice is correct or not. It is fortunate that the Society places little emphasis on these sources, as they are of limited use to them. Certainly they do not represent a step closer to the original Greek text; contrariwise, they represent a step away from the original documents.

What more can one say than: "So what?"


The August 15, 1979 issue of the WATCHTOWER carries a "correction" to the NWT's renderings of Leviticus 23:21. It is explained that the Hebrew of "it will be" was misread as being the Tetragrammaton.

This error indicates the WTS's carelessness. A single check with other translations would have cleared up the mistake; apparently the Society does not really concern itself about "support" or "confirmation".

If the WTS is prone to make such a simple error, where there was no need to make any assumptions, but to simply read the supplied text, how reliable then does this make its renderings of "Jehovah" in the NT when the Tetragram is read as existing where in fact it does not!

One wonders how careful the WTS is when its Kingdom Interlinear Translation and Large Print Edition of 1971 give, for example, J7, J8 and J14 at 1 Peter 2:13 (mg), whereas the 1984 version cites only J7 and J8.




  1. See pages 28-31 of the Foreword of THE KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION for a listing.



  2. Foreword, page 19.



  3. Ibid., page 19






  5. Foreword, page 28 (emphasis supplied).



  6. KIT, page 135.



  7. Foreword, page 21.



  8. See Foreword, page 30.



  9. Foreword, pages 19, 22, 31.



  10. Matthew has 5 in J21 (NWT figure is 18); Mark has 6 (NWT: 9); Luke has 5 (NWT: 36); John has 1 (NWT: 5); Acts has 1 (NWT: 52.)






  12. KIT Foreword, page 31.



  13. The remote dates of these translations depicted would infer they are no longer current (1902, 1939, and 1816 respectively).




The facts are simple and straightforward:


    1. There can be no doubt that some of the (OT) Scriptures available to the (NT) writers contained the Tetragram, even in Greek Versions.



    2. It is just as definite that no existing NT writings contain the Tetragram.


The questions relate to that transitionary period:


    1. Did the original writings that later became the NT contain the Tetragram?



    2. If they did, where?



    3. If the Tetragram originally appeared, why were they removed, by whom, when, and on what authority?



    4. Or does they available evidence suggest that the original writings did not contain the Tetragram from their outset?



No original NT writings exist. We are dependent upon copies and evidences such as commentaries, which fortunately are quite profuse. Since the question before us concerns the original writings, theories must be raised, based upon the evidences that are available.

Whilst there are theories that the original NT writings initially contained the Tetragram; none provides adequate ground for pinpointing locations in the originals that positively contained the Tetragram.

There are theories, just as well substantiated and documented, that conclude that the original NT writings did not contain the Tetragram.

Until further evidences arise, the most that can be done is document the facts, consider the possibilities, retain only the relevant evidences, and determine what actions may or may not be taken at present.


The indisputable facts that bear directly upon this study are:


    1. The primitive Christian body was composed of peoples from two differing background influences - Jewish and Gentile. Initially, those of the Jewish influence predominated. The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) was greatly influenced by and under the jurisdiction of Jewish Christians.



    2. There is no direct manuscript information available regarding Scripture and the Tetragram as practised by the early Christian Church at Jerusalem. The earliest evidences that reflect the Jerusalem Church's attitudes come to us from the Egyptian Christian community at the end of the first century. At the time, this body was composed mainly of Jewish Christians. [1]



    3. The New Testament did not exist as such until well into the second century. Lists were still being drawn up in the third century. The Scriptures available to first century Christians were what we now term the OT.



    4. Existing NT writings contain, not the Tetragram, but sacred names and words indicated by abbreviating, normally by contraction, at times with a line drawn above the contraction. These words are today known as Nomina Sacra.



These specially treated sacred names bear directly upon the question of the use of the Tetragram in the NT. If the evidence from the NT showed that the writers adopted the practice of the Hebrew OT writers, this would give credence to the possibility that the NT writers may have used the Tetragram in their own writings.

The evidence however, produces the opposite conclusion. It appears that the primitive NT Church at Jerusalem, when those with a Jewish background were in the ascendancy, deliberately and consciously produced its own method of denoting sacred names, one that owes nothing to the practice of the Hebrews with its Tetragrammaton.

Evidences presented by the Nomina Sacra include:


    1. They have a Jewish theological background; typical words treated in this special manner include "Israel" and "David" but excluded Pauline and Johannine words such as "Logos" and "Sophia" (Wisdom).



    2. The Nomina Sacra do not owe their origin or treatment to the Hebrew writing of "The Name" (YHWH). [2]


      "We can conclude that there is no legacy from the Hebrew scribes to the writers of the Nomina Sacra." [3]


    3. The system of Nomina Sacra "antedates (precedes) the full development of Christian scholarship in Alexandria". [4] The evidence indicates that the Nomina Sacra "originated outside Egypt and go back to the first century (before 100 C.E.)" [5]



    4. "The Nomina Sacra may be plausibly viewed as the creation of the primitive Christian community, representing ... the embryonic creed of the first church. ... They would thus belong to the oldest stratum of the Christian faith and may well be contemporary with the first authorised or authoritative Christian writing." [6]



    5. Considering all the evidence provided by the Nomina Sacra, "everything would fall into place were we to assume that the guidelines for the treatment of the sacred names had been laid down by the Church at Jerusalem probably before AD 70; they would carry the authority of the leaders of the church as the first Gospels must have done." [7]


This information on the Nomina Sacra comes from C.H. Roberts, who is recognised as a leading world authority on such matters. See, for example, reference to his works by Professor George Howard in his article, "The Tetragram and the New Testament". [8]


The May 1, 1978 issue of THE WATCHTOWER reported on the above JBL article by Howard. [9] The intent of Howard's article was "to set forth a theory that the divine name YHWH was originally written in the NT (New Testament)". [10]

In his concluding observations, Howard suggests that:

"The thesis of this paper is quite possible. We have refrained from drawing too many conclusions. ... It seems better only to raise some questions that suggest a need for explanation." (page 82).

In personal correspondence he wrote:

"The issue is a very difficult one which has many unanswered questions. … One must use extreme caution in reintroducing the Tetragram into the NT text. The OT text was in flux in the first century and may not have corresponded in every way to our concept of it. For practical reasons it would be best to leave the text of the NT the way it appears in our present manuscripts. Until we find a manuscript of the NT with the Tetragram the conclusions of my article will remain simply a hypothesis." [11]

A 'hypothesis" is neither truth nor fact. It is a tentative explanation or supposition. And what is Howard's theory, and what is the basic fundamental on which Howard's theory depends?


Howard theorised "that the divine name, YHWH, was originally written in the NT quotations of and allusions to the OT". The argument of Howard's article is, briefly:

From this brief outline it can be inferred that Howard sets forth that the Tetragram in the NT was resulted from Jewish Christian influences, with the abbreviated substitutions (Nomina Sacra) due to the Gentile Christian influence. Indeed, Howard explicitly sets forth this proposition, stating it is a pre-condition for his theory:

"These abbreviations (the Nomina Sacra) ... are important for understanding the use of God's Name (the Tetragram) in the New Testament." [12]

In contrast to the 23 pages of carefully documented evidence by C.H. Roberts, who concluded, as we have seen, that the Nomina Sacra were of primitive origin, of Jewish Christian influence, George Howard presents a scanty four paragraphs with a "likely" and an "unlikely" to theorise that the Nomina Sacra were of Gentile Christian influence. [13]

Howard's presupposition is basic to his theory for, as he reasons that the Nomina Sacra are due to the Gentile Christians, this leaves open the possibility that the influence of the Jewish Christians resulted in the inclusion of the Tetragram in the early (NT) writings. The whole of Howard's theory hinges upon this precondition, one that he fails to substantiate adequately, and one that falters under investigation. [14] For more in-depth information, the reader is referred to the material cited in this chapter and to the material referred to by those articles and books.

If the Nomina Sacra were of Jewish Christian origin [15], as Roberts argues so convincingly for and Howard fails to counter, then the Tetragram would have been removed by AD 50 or AD 70 at the latest, well before the NT was recognised as Scripture. There was in reality no "First Century NT". During that time there were writings that were first of all recognised as authoritative and later canonised.

This means that all changes or decisions such as those regarding the Tetragram or the creation of the Nomina Sacra would have been made by and under the control of the pure apostolic church.


There are two major implications of Howard's theory:


    1. With his strict lines of demarcation, Howard separates the Christian body as if it had two distinct segments, rather than as was the case, being composed of a composite of people of two different backgrounds and experiences - Jewish and Gentile.


      With this dichotomy, as if these two "groups" acted separately and distinctly rather than form a common authoritative source as it did in its primitive stage, Howard reasons as if the Jewish Christians behaved differently from and concurrently with the Gentile Christians.

      The implications of this distinctness are that it would follow that only the writings of the NT that are of Jewish Christian origin or intended for a Jewish Christian audience could conceivably have contained the Tetragram. Conversely, those writings of Gentile Christian origin or for a Gentile Christian audience would not have contained the Tetragram, but rather Nomina Sacra.

      The Jewish Christian writings that would, according to these parameters, conceivably have contained the Tetragram include Matthew's Gospel, John's Gospel, the letter to the Hebrews, James, the Johannine letters, 1 Peter and perhaps also 2 Peter and Jude, as well as Revelation. [16]


    2. The second major implication of Howard's theory concerns the latter section of his article, in which he presents texts which, as he states, could conceivably have different emphasis or sense were the Tetragram present.


But the same argument could be made if the Nomina Sacra were used to give that sense. In other words, that sense could have been present in the original text, whether supplied by the Tetragram or by the appearance of the Nomina Sacra. This of course assumes the Nomina Sacra were in vogue while the writings were actually being prepared, which is not beyond the realm of possibility.

It would be unlikely that Paul, for example, would have used the Tetragram for his Gentile readers as it would have been quite meaningless to them.


Determined to capitalise on Howard's theory that the original writings of the NT [17] may have contained the Tetragram, the WTS has failed to take careful stock of what was being said, and has failed to recognise the implications of Howard's rationale. This has been touched on in the above section regarding the implications.


On page 63 of his article, Howard clearly states that his theory dealt "primarily with the divine name as it was actually written ... not with what word or words a reader pronounced". The Society however, blithely used "Jehovah", not the Tetragram, both in writing and in pronunciation. Howard's article does not compass such a situation. "Jehovah" is as much a surrogate for the Tetragram as is "Adonai," "Elohim" or "Kurios".


In his final section on pages 82-83, Howard says that only questions may be raised, "rather than state conclusions in a positive manner". Some of the questions include:

The WTS however, instead of observing such care, boldly says its use of "Jehovah" in its own NT resulted from "the same basic conclusion set forth later on (by Howard) in the JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in 1977". [18]

Howard reached no "conclusion;" he only "raised some questions". The final section of his JBL article is not even called "Conclusions," but more carefully "Concluding Observations".

Instead of reaching the conclusions that the WTS says he has, Howard concluded that "it would be best to leave the text of the NT the way it appears in our present manuscripts". [19]


Failing to recognise the cautious tone of Howard's article, in which expressions such as "a theory", "unlikely", "we can imagine", "it is possible" appear, the WTS boldly calls those scholars who in 1950 criticised the WTS's actions, as being "bold, dogmatic and immodest," [20]

The WTS fails to recognise that these scholars, including Howard, are being cautious, and are waiting to be led by God, instead of leading Him. Imagine how "bold, dogmatic and immodest" the WTS would be seen to be if one day a NT were unearthed that legitimately contained the Tetragram and showed the WTS that its applications have been wrong. The WTS has deigned to move ahead of any revelation or discovery permitted by God.


The Society's mischief with Howard's article is clearly shown on pages 10 and 12 of the WATCHTOWER of May 1, 1978.

On page 10 of the WATCHTOWER article, Howard is correctly quoted as stating that "around the beginning of second century (around the early 100's AD) the use of surrogates must have crowded out the Tetragram in both Testaments". Thus the removal, if it occurred in the NT, happened during the time of, and under the authority of the pure apostolic church.

On page 12 of the same WATCHTOWER article, this same passage from Howard is altered to read, incorrectly, " 'somewhere around the beginning of the second century' the divine name began to be replaced in the 'New Testament' " (emphasis supplied). Howard said no such thing. He said it had been all but accomplished; he did not say it 'began to be replaced" at that time.


Page 10 of the WATCHTOWER article performs another mischief by quoting only part of a sentence from Howard's article. This is done to substantiate the type of occasions the WTS uses "Jehovah" in its own NT.

The sentence quoted by the WATCHTOWER article reads:

"We can imagine that the NT text incorporated the Tetragram in its OT quotations."

The balance of Howard's sentence, which is not quoted by the WATCHTOWER, continues:

"and that the words KURIOS and THEOS were used when secondary references to God were made in the comments that were based upon the quotations". (p. 77)

In other words, Howard is saying that it is possible that the NT writers used the Tetragram when quoting directly from OT passages that contained it, but when that NT writer was making his own comments or explanations on that text he would resort to KURIOS (Lord) or THEOS (God). The WTS does not do this in its NT; using "Jehovah" in both types of passages. It never uses the Tetragram, of course, only the surrogate "Jehovah".


The facts are straightforward:


    1. Some of the OT Scriptures available to the NT writers and the apostolic church contained the Tetragram,



    2. None of the extant NT writings (including commentaries, etc.) contains the Tetragram; instead, sacred names and words are specially indicated by a system of contraction, sometimes with a line drawn above, today termed NOMINA SACRA.



    3. Intensive research shows that these NOMINA SACRA are of primitive Christian origin, when the Christians of Jewish background were in the ascendancy, and reflect that Jewish Christian theology.



    4. Hence it is likely that those sacred names and words were introduced by the Jewish Christians, instead of using Jewish terminology such as the Tetragram.



    5. Even a proponent of the theory that the original NT writings may have included the Tetragram says that the received NT text should not be altered.



    6. Howard's presentation is only a theory, with no tangible evidence. He proposes only questions, not conclusions.



    7. Howard suggests that if the NT contained the Tetragram, it may have only been at direct quotes from the OT, but not in a writer's comments or explanations.



    8. The WTS does not use the Tetragram in its NT, but "Jehovah" which is as much a surrogate as is 'Kurios", etc.



    9. The WTS has played mischief with Howard's presentation, to the extent of misrepresenting him and quoting only part of an important sentence.



There are no grounds, at this stage of our knowledge, for inserting the Divine Name into the NT text. According to the most that can be drawn from Professor Howard's article, the only support for inserting "YHWH" occurs where a direct quote cites an OT passage that undoubtedly would have contained the Tetragram in the particular version of the Hebrew writings the NT writer was quoting from. There is no support when it is an allusion or is a commentary on a quote.

Other authorities agree that, at this stage of knowledge on the matter, there is no evidence to substantiate if and where the Divine Name may have appeared in the original writings:

"I do not think that the view that some person or persons in the early church removed the name of Jehovah from the NT text can be supported. It remains true that, although the Greek manuscripts of the OT occasionally used the Hebrew tetragrammaton in the midst of the Greek text, no NT manuscript has ever turned up like this." [21]

Should a translator wish to reflect the present state of our knowledge, perhaps this could be done through the use of capitals for the Nomina Sacra, much as is done for the Tetragram in the OT by the AV and others.







  2. Roberts, pages 29, 31, 47.



  3. Roberts, page 32.



  4. Roberts, page 37.



  5. Roberts, page 43.



  6. Roberts, page 46.



  7. Roberts, page 46.



  8. JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (JBL), 96/1 (1977), pages 63, 64, 75.



  9. WATCHTOWER, May 1, 1978, pages 9-11 and 12.



  10. Howard, page 63.



  11. Letter to Mason, 28 June, 1978.



  12. Howard, page 75



  13. Howard, pages 75-76



  14. Howard even cites reputable opponents of his view (eg A.H.R.E. Paap)



  15. That is, Christians who had a Jewish background. There were not two organisations or authorities, one Jewish Christians, the other Gentile Christians.



  16. This listing of "Jewish Christian writings" comes from: THE CHRISTOLOGY OF EARLY JEWISH CHRISTIANITY, R. Longenecker, page 18.



  17. Care must be taken not to confuse or merge the expressions "NT" and "original writing that became the NT" There was no "First Century NT" as such.



  18. WATCHTOER, May 1, 1978.



  19. Personal letter to Mason, June 28, 1978.



  20. WATCHTOWER, May 1, 1978, p. 11.



  21. Personal letter from Professor Bruce Metzger (Princeton Theological Seminary) to a Mr. H, 30 June, 1979.



Having presented in the Foreword to its translation of the New Testament [1] its explanations for entering the name "Jehovah" into the text, the Watchtower Society's anonymous Bible Translation Committee [2] then presents its guidelines for determining where it inserted the Name: [3]

"The modern translator is warranted in using the divine name as an equivalent of those two Greek words (KYRIOS, Lord; and THEOS, God), that is, at places where Matthew, etc., quote verses, passages and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the LXX (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) where the divine name occurs....

"How is the modern translator to know or determine when to render the Greek words KYRIOS and THEOS into the divine name in his version? 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." [4]

The WTS is thus claiming that it inserted the name "Jehovah" into the text of the NT wherever it located appropriate quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the Greek LXX.

Has The NWT Translation Committee consistently followed its own guidelines? Has it rendered "Jehovah" only at "quotations" from the OT? Has it rendered "Jehovah" only when it appeared in the OT original? Or has "religious bias" affected its rendering of the text of God's Word?

As the Translation Committee states, the translator must exercise caution lest he steps into the field of exegesis, [5] impressing his own judgements upon the Word.


It is often notoriously difficult to distinguish "between a direct quotation and an allusive employment of Scripture", [6] and a degree of liberty must be exercised in accommodating another's views. However, at the very most, of the 237 appearances of "Jehovah" in the NWT NT, only about 75 may be considered as direct quotes with, at best, a further 25 allusions.

According to the WTS, in the total New Testament ("Christian Greek Scriptures") "direct quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures have been computed to be 365, besides nearly 375 references or allusions". [7]

Issue must be taken with the Translation Committee at reckoning that an "expression" may be considered a quotation. Presumably they are referring to expressions such as "angel of KYRIOS", "Word of KYRIOS", and so on. To consider these as "quotations" is not only unsound hermeneutics, but is also shown by research to be untenable. This research has shown that writers would not use the divine name even when making a commentary upon an OT text that contained "YHWH", [8] so it is highly unlikely that they would use it with mere "expressions".


On page 19 of its Foreword, the Translation Committee writes of "some agreement" for its actions from the "J" supports that are listed on pages 28 - 31.

One of these supports is a Concordance (J20). It cites the Hebrew Scripture (OT) passage being quoted by the NT writer. In the footnotes of the NWT NT, the Translation Committee shows where J20 cites a Hebrew Scripture text that contains the Tetragram, thereby indicating where the NT writer was quoting directly a Hebrew text that contained the divine Name.

Of the 237 appearances of "Jehovah", J20 is given as a support in only 48 instances.

This means that of the approximately 75 instances of "Jehovah" that may be considered as direct quotations from the OT, only 48 come from the Hebrew text; the remainder are worded contrarily to that text, and are instead in agreement with the LXX.

One example of what this means in practice may be found in Mark 12:36; Matt 22:44 and Luke 20:42f. These texts refer to the same incident and the citation refers to Psalm 110:1 and each passage is rendered with a "Jehovah" in the NWT ("Jehovah" said to my Lord").

The passages in Mark and Matthew are literal translations of the Hebrew text, [9] and the Concordance J20 provides support.

The wording in Luke 20:42f, however, agrees with the Greek LXX, [10] and the Concordance J20 does NOT appear as a support in the NWT NT margin.

The translators should have been as precise as their sources and references.


In the 1950 and 1951 Editions of the NWT, the Translation Committee provided marginal cross-references. Often it is most difficult to determine whether a word or an extended passage is being cross-referenced but, being most generous, of the 237 appearances of "Jehovah" only about half are referenced to OT Scripture, and several are specifically stated as being from Septuagint sources. [11]

Thus about half of the appearances of "Jehovah" are not referenced to the OT by the WTS; whilst a large number that are cross-referenced are in reality not direct quotes.

Apart from those appearances of "Jehovah" due to "expressions", passages without any OT reference include:


The NT writers had available to them a range of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek versions of the Biblical text (OT), [12] a number of which are no longer available. The WTS agrees:

"Occasionally quotations differ from both the Hebrew and Greek texts we now have ..."

"The early Christians ... likely had available to them copies of the Hebrew Scriptures in Hebrew or Greek that are older than copies we have today." [13]

There were quite a number of Greek versions, with no standardization of text, at the time the NT text was initially written. (Because of this lack of standard text, some authorities prefer to use the expression "OG" (for "Old Greek") rather than "Septuagint" [14]).

In most cases the Hebrew and Septuagintal texts agree but sometimes they do not, and the NT writers had to make a selection between them, often opting for the Greek Sources.

At times the Septuagintal sources disagree with one another. [15]

Because the NT writers quoted from sources that are not presently available and because virtually all of the available LXX sources do not contain the tetragram (either as Hebrew lettering or as approximations of the Hebrew letter shapes; with none appearing as a Greek phoneticism) it is impossible to be dogmatic that a particular source quoted by a NT writer did or did not contain the tetragram.

The NT writers also had available various Hebrews' exegetical materials. Other non-canonical material available to the NT writers included apocryphal Jewish works such as Jubilees, 1 Enoch and the Assumption of Moses, with a "kindred body of writings, and of greater significance for the history of interpretation ... the Dead Sea Scrolls". [16]

Most significantly, the NT writers drew from the whole range of available material, canonical and non-canonical.


The selection by the NT writers from the range of canonical sources and the alterations they were prepared to give to the wording and to the sense of the original material make it difficult to know where, or whether, the tetragram would have appeared in the original NT writings.

The strong preference for the LXX sources by the NT writers, where these are at variance with the Hebrew text, makes dogmatic identification of any appearance of the Tetragram in the NT (let alone the phony word "Jehovah") even more remote.

Examples from various NT writers and books demonstrate this preference for LXX sources. Other examples show that the WTS inserts "Jehovah" many times where the NT writer is using an allusion rather than a direct quotation.

James & 1 Peter

"The citations in James and 1 Peter are entirely septuagintal in form ..."

"We need not be overly staggered by (1 Peter's) use of the LXX for, as may be true with regard to this similar phenomenon elsewhere in the New Testament as well (see Longenecker, pages 87-89), 'this is merely what we should expect of one writing to churches in the Roman Empire whose Old Testament would ordinarily be the ancient Greek translation.' (J.W. Bowman, Hebrews, James 1 and 1 Peter, p. 117)." [17]


"The great majority (of the quotations attributed to Jesus in the Gospels) are septuagintal in character. ... In a few cases ... it is the LXX reading, as against the reading of the MT (Hebrew OT) or known Targums, that provide Jesus with the wording." [18]


"The citations in Acts are strongly septuagintal." [19]


The apostle Paul, responsible for much of the NT material and theology, cited approximately 100 OT passages. More than half of these agree with the LXX, with about half of these at variance with the Hebrew text. Only four of his quotations agree with the Hebrew texts where they are at variance with the LXX. About 40 of his quotations vary from both the LXX and Hebrew texts in varying degrees. [20]


The citations of the book of Hebrews are from the Greek Bible, not the Hebrew. 18 of these agree with both the LXX and Hebrew texts. 14 agree with the LXX against the Hebrew text. None agrees with the MT against the LXX. "Six of these cannot be accounted by reference to either LXX-A (Alexandrinus) or LXX-B (Vaticanus)". These may be products of "a now extinct Septuagintal recension". [21]

Gospel of John

John's Gospel has 7 biblical quotations. The NWT has 5 appearances of "Jehovah" in the Gospel but only 2 appear at a direct quotation, and these are at the one citation (12:38).


Revelation has no formal quotations, although 278 of its 404 verses contain allusions. [22] The NWT NT has 12 insertions of "Jehovah" although none may rightly be credited as being a direct quotation from the OT.

Paul's Polemic

Paul was so steeped in Biblical thought and speech that he naturally expressed himself in its mode and language without always consciously making quotations.

"The Old Testament was for Paul 'not only the Word of God but also his mode of thought and speech' and therefore parallels of language are inevitable." [23]

This means that expressions that are simply "parallels of language" between Paul and the Old Testament may not be considered quotations from the OT but are Paul's "mode of thought and speech". Hence the WTS has no justification in introducing "Jehovah" at such points.

For example, Ephesians 6:7 in the 1950 margin is cross-referenced to 2 Chronicles 19:6 whereas Paul was simply using an expression ("be slaves ... as to KYRIOS") that is similarly employed in the OT, rather than it being a deliberate quotation. This may be seen a few verses earlier where at verse 2 Paul does deliberately quote from the OT at Exodus 20:12 and Deut. 5:16.

"Where a conscious endeavour to refer to Scripture comes to the fore in the apostle's writings, it seems to be limited to only certain letters (Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Timothy and Ephesians). ... But the letters to the churches at Thessalonica, Colosse (including Philemon) and Philippi were addressed...to (mainly) Gentile converts ... relatively unaffected by a Judaistic polemic. And in his pastoral correspondence with them, Paul evidently attempted to meet them on their own ideological grounds, without buttressing his arguments from the Old Testament." [24j

In these latter epistles, written "to Christians who were mainly, if not entirely, Gentile converts" (Thessalonians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians) the WTS has a total of 13 insertions into the text. If Paul did not "buttress his arguments from the Old Testament" in these epistles, any OT language appearing in them was due to his natural mode of expression rather than form any conscious quotation from the OT.

Pearl Stringing

Some of the appearances of "Jehovah" in the NWT NT occur when the writer is attributing an OT statement to the utterances of God. In such a case the expression "says the Lord (KYRIOS)" gives rise to the NWT's "says Jehovah".

Two such instances occur in Romans 12:19 and 2 Cor. 6:17, 18, where Paul is "pearl stringing". This expression describes the "practice of ... bringing to bear on one point of an argument passages from various parts of the Bible in support of the argument". [25]

Thus in Romans 12:19 Paul strings Deut. 32:35 and Prov. 25:21f, while in 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18, he strings Lev. 26:llf, Isa. 52:llf and possibly 2 Samuel 7:14.

At points in these "strings" Paul uses the expression that is rendered "says Jehovah" by the WTS. However, this expression is not part of the quotation from the OT, as reference to the relevant OT passages clearly shows.

Thus there is no justification, within the guidelines laid down by the Translation Committee in its Foreword, for using "Jehovah" at these instances.

A Notable Allusion

The WTS states that it uses "Jehovah" at "verses, passages and expressions" that are quotations from the Old Testament [26]. Less than half of the appearances of "Jehovah", however, are at actual quotations from the OT, many are simply expressions, such as "Word of Jehovah" for "Word of KYRIOS (Lord)". Others are at allusions to OT passages, not quotations.

The WTS is, however, inconsistent, for at 1 Peter there are notable allusions to OT passages in which KYRIOS appears yet it is not rendered as "Jehovah", but as "Lord".

"The letters of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter and Jude have slightly more allusions to the Old Testament than they do quotations (ftnt: cf ... 1 Peter 2:3 ... 3:14f ...)." [27]

But with doctrinal bias as the arbiter, rather than a consistent application of their "principles", the WTS chooses to ignore these allusions.

It is significant that Peter, with his Jewish origins, was prepared to take a passage, that in the original referred to the LORD, and then apply it to Jesus Christ.

This indicates the highest position accorded to Jesus, whether the text as written by Peter used YHWH or not.


NT writers were prepared, when necessary, to quote from a wide range of source material, including non-canonical writings and oral traditions.

"Generally speaking, the New Testament writers confined their reading to the books most widely accepted by contemporary Jews. ... On the other hand, some New Testament writers went beyond these limits. In Hebrews 1:3 there is a clear reflection of the Wisdom of Solomon (7:25-26), while in Jude 9 there is a paraphrase of the apocryphal Assumption of Moses and, in Jude 14-15, a quotation from 1 Enoch 1:9. An unknown writing is cited as scripture in James 4:5." [28]

The NWT NT uses the name "Jehovah" at Jude 14, which is a quotation of a non-canonical source, and in addition is of a source that does not use the Tetragrammaton. In doing this, the Translation Committee is not following its own guideline of using "Jehovah" only where the quote is from the Old Testament, when the Tetragram appeared there.

"Clear references or allusions to [non-canonical] books ... are found only in Hebrews, James and Jude." [29]

The use of "Jehovah" in Jude 14 is made doubly doubtful by Jude 4, which states that it is Jesus Christ who is "our only Owner and Lord (KYRIOS)."


The NWT introduces "Jehovah" into its text at Acts 3:22, which possesses an affinity to the Dead Sea Scrolls as regards the Old Testament, making the appearance of "Jehovah" based, not upon the rendering of an OT rendition known in 1950, but upon the text as modified by the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). Other NT writers also were not averse to citing DSS sources, such as at Matthew 2:23 and James 4:5 [30].

In its simplistic reasoning that the NT writings contained the Tetragram because the Greek OT did, the WTS ignores the dynamic of the social environment of the times.

It is not as if the Christians were confined to a single rendering of the Greek OT, nor as if they did not use other resources.

The facts are that:


    1. The OT canon was not set until later centuries.



    2. The NT writers used the whole range of available material, including sources not available today.



    3. The Christians used and quoted oral and written traditions as sources.



    4. When Paul wrote, for example, it was to cope with an immediate situation, rather than consciously produce an exposition of (OT) Scripture. Typically, he would pace his prison cell dictating messages, with his scribe feverishly endeavouring to record the torrent of thoughts and words.


"If we look only at the Old Testament when we are considering the formation of the New we are likely to envisage early Christianity as a movement more literary-minded and, indeed, more definitely fixed than it actually was. Christianity actually arose in an environment in which oral traditions were flourishing." [31]

The WTS's rationale is based upon a premise that the writers carefully repeated the words of the OT Scriptures. The evidence is that the community that ultimately produced the NT Scriptures were not literary sophisticates.


The WTS has, of course, a point of view it wants to get across. Because of its preconception that "Jehovah" means only the Father, and can mean no one else, then whenever KYRIOS ("Lord") in the NT refers to the Father, it is interpreted (rather than translated) as "Jehovah". Conversely, whenever KYRIOS in the NT means Jesus it is rendered "Lord" by the WTS.

The desire to promote a particular point of view is no excuse for tampering with the text of God's Word. It is hypocrisy to claim that a first century apostasy altered God's Word and then proceed to alter the text oneself, particularly with no supporting evidence to justify such actions. Without this evidence there can be no justifiable claim of "restoration."

In 1951, shortly after releasing its NT, the Translation Committee publicly stated its motivation for inserting "Jehovah" into the text:

"(Its use) helps readers instantaneously to distinguish between the Father and the Son.'[32J

In other words, the Committee used "Jehovah" as a commentary to "help the reader" recognise their point of view. Hardly the action one would expect in a pure translation. Rather, it is the insertion of commentary into the text of God's Word.

"In the interests of the theology of the Society, the translators introduce the name Jehovah into the New Testament text. ... Several comments may be made. First they are not being faithful to the Greek text. ... Second, it permits them to read into passages where a divine name is found the particular theology suggested to them by the term Jehovah. Third, while they admit doubt about the spelling and pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, their unwavering insistence upon using the word Jehovah smacks of word-magic. ... The general practice of rendering Kyrios as Jehovah ... restricts the wider meaning of the passages to the unitarian concept underlying their term Jehovah". [33]

The degree of bias in the Committee's selective insertion may be gauged by the following statement, in which the author - quite oblivious of the WTS's translation -suggests a conclusion would be arrived at regarding Christ that is far different from the Conclusion arrived at by the WT:

"Were this great name always reproduced in the English, and especially in New Testament quotations from the Old, it would prove that our Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely equal and identical with the Father; for passages which, in the Old Testament contain the name "Jehovah" are so quoted and applied to Him in the New as to demonstrate Him to be JEHOVAH-JESUS one with the God of the Eternal Past, Himself God manifested in the flesh, in the present and the coming God of the Future. (Heb. 1:10; Ps. 102:25, 27; Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Jer. 23:6; Rom. 3; 1 Cor. 1:30 and Rev. 1:8, 11, 17, 18; Zech. 12:10 are then discussed)." [34]


Persons from all spheres of the theological arena must beware of asserting that God MUST have acted in a certain manner because that is what he must have done.

"It has become all too common in theological circles today to hear assertions as to what God must have done or what must have been the case during the apostolic period of the church - and to find that such assertions are based principally upon deductions from a given system of theology or supported by contemporary analogy alone. The temptation is always with us to mistake hypothesis for evidence." [35]

The NWT's appearances of "Jehovah" result from the same error, since there is not one shred of evidence that the NT ever contained the Tetragram. It is quite one thing to say that the NT writers "could have done this" and quite another to go ahead and actually alter the text of God's word on the weakness of mere possibility.

It would appear that the Translation Committee's renderings were based on what it wished to believe the NT writers did. At best it is an impressing of the translator's biases and prejudices upon the text of God's Word. Alternatively, it is the forcing of error upon the unsuspecting reader, who accepts those prejudices because they have been woven into the text that he (and she), in all honesty, is accepting as being God's Word.


In 1946, the WTS wrote:

"'Jehovah' does not occur in the Septuagint version, that name being there represented by the Greek words for 'the Lord' (HO KYRIOS), AND FOR THIS REASON the name Jehovah has been obscured for many centuries."[36]

A year earlier the WTS wrote:

"NO TRANSLATION (of the Bible) can be entirely satisfactory." [37]

But of course by 1950 the WTS reversed its position. The Septuagint was now considered to have contained the name "Jehovah" and the NWT was being put forward as the "entirely satisfactory" translation.

All that ever remains consistent is that no matter how inconsistent the WTS is, it is always the channel being used by God. The following that the WTS wrote in 1945 remains its position today, despite its intervening reversals of positions:

"How is the Theocratic minister to know which (translation of the Scriptures) gives the correct meaning as God purposes His people shall understand it? Only by giving heed to the channel the Lord is pleased to use in communicating ... the publications of the Watch tower Society...."

"Let the Lord's teaching through the WATCHTOWER publications be the touchstone." [38]


Despite assertions by the Translation Committee that "Jehovah" appears in its NT at appropriate quotations from the OT, only about half may lay claim to the OT, in varying degrees of relevance (with a bare 48 of the 237 appearances of "Jehovah" being due to direct quotes from the Hebrew text of the OT, according to the Society's support of J20).

The remaining appearances of "Jehovah" include liberal sprinklings of expressions (such as "Word of KYRIOS" and so on) and reference to other New Testament passages. In these cases the Translation Committee's guideline that "Jehovah" appears at direct quotations from the OT is being ignored, and doctrinal preconceptions are permitted to be the arbiter.

Sometimes this results in simple inconsistencies, as at 2 Cor. 6:16-17 where in the first verse the original Greek is translated in a straightforward manner as "God said", whereas in the subsequent verse "the Lord says" is rendered as "Jehovah". There is no need for this inconsistency, which results from the prejudicial equating of "Father" with "Jehovah". It should be noted that the Translation Committee is prepared to render the Greek for "God" [THEOS] as "Jehovah", as at John 6:45 [39] and could have consistently done so at 2 Cor. 6:16.

Another example appears at Colossians 3:13, but here the Translation Committee admits it has no support for its actions. In such a case the doctrinal preconceptions come clearly to the surface.

The margin of Col. 3:13 in the NWT reads: "'Jehovah': to compare with Ephesians 4:32"-comparison of the two passages explains what is meant:

Col. 3:13 - "Even as Jehovah freely forgave you..."

Eph. 4:32 - "Just as God also by Christ freely forgave you..."

Quite plainly, the name "Jehovah" is used because of the WTS's preconception that equates "Jehovah" only with "God" the Father.

Surely consistency would demand that if KYRIOS in Col. 3:13 be rendered "Jehovah" then THEOS in Ephesians 4:32 should also be.

Unless, of course, there is need only to impress one's theology at the one passage and not at the other.

A more critical situation exists at Ephesians 6:8, where the only reason for the insertion of "Jehovah" is openly given as: "To correspond with Colossians 3:22-24." [40]

Reading of the respective passages shows that KYRIOS in Col. 3:18, 20 is rendered "Lord" by the NWT as it refers to Christ. This is shown by the corresponding passage in Eph. 5:32 - 6:1.

But while still in that context, the NWT NT renders Col. 3:22ff with "Jehovah."

Then, on the basis of this inconsistent rendering of KYRIOS in Colossians 3:22ff the WTS finds reason for inserting "Jehovah" at Ephesians 6:8.

Besides, as Col. 3:24 shows, the slavery is to the KYRIOS - CHRIST. ("It is the Lord Christ you are serving" - NIV).

Apart from the 48 passages supported by J20 as being direct quotations from the Hebrew OT, perhaps it could be said that every other insertion of "Jehovah" results from doctrinal bias. Perhaps this bias may best be illustrated at 1 Thess. 4:l6ff where, had the Committee consistently rendered KYRIOS as "Jehovah" as it does at some places in the passage and context, then it would have been forced to accept a most unpalatable doctrinal conclusion: that the "Lord himself" who shall return is "Jehovah". The margin of the NWT does provide some support for a such a rendering. Admittedly the "support" is small but, nevertheless, the Committee has inserted "Jehovah" into the text with as little support at other instances.

One may be lenient and say that the manner in which the Committee rendered KYRIOS is understandable in view of their theological preconceptions, but this does not mean that what they have produced accurately reflects the Word of God in the present state of our knowledge. They have produced a text that purports to be God's Word but it is a means of presenting and conveying their commentary and exegesis.


Among the publications the WTS has rights to [41] is The Bible in Living English by Steven T. Byington. [42] Undoubtedly a major factor in the Society's attitudes to these rights is conditioned by those publications' use, at some point or other, of the name "Jehovah". Byington's translation renders "Jehovah" consistently throughout the OT ("Hebrew Scriptures" in WT terminology).

Reviewing the first volume of the WTS's 'Hebrew Scriptures" (Genesis to Ruth), Byington commended the Society's rendering "Jehovah" and added:

"It is a matter of course in any publication of Jehovah's Witnesses that the name of Jehovah is used as a proper name." [43]

When he reviewed the WTS's "Christian Greek Scriptures" (the NT), Byington was quite critical:

"If we need to argue the point of translating 'the Lord' where the Greek says 'the Lord', my argument would be that when Jesus and the apostles and their friends spoke an Old Testament text aloud, they said 'the Lord' for 'Jehovah' even in so careful a quotation as Mark 12:29 (the newly found manuscript of Isaiah may be cited as fresh evidence that the custom of saying 'the Lord' began before the time of Christ, for it has cases of wavering between the readings 'Jehovah' and 'the Lord' and the explanation of such wavering is that the two were pronounced alike), and we cannot presume that the apostles wrote otherwise than they spoke. And it is a translator's business to reproduce his original." [44]


The examples given are the outworkings of poor scholarship and unsound premises. The most fundamental of these is to take action in 1950 and expect that later study will reveal the correctness of this action. This reveals arrogant bias, not research. Decades of the most intensive study have not provided the Watchtower Society with any solace, let alone positive evidence. All the Society can point to is Howard's article in JBL, and this is only a hypothesis, with no evidence apart from circumstantial, and an underpinning basis that proves to be untenable.

Despite all its self-righteous noises, the WT does NOT use the Divine Name or the Tetragram. It uses an admitted erroneous collection of letters, "Jehovah" which is the result of gross misunderstandings. Even those versions of the Greek OT (LXX) used Hebrew letters in a Greek document.

Above all, the WTS has failed to address itself to the fact that the word KYRIOS-LORD in the NT most naturally means JESUS CHRIST unless the context expressly demands otherwise. (See Leon Morris, referred to previously). Often the NWT renders KYRIOS as JEHOVAH because its Unitarian predisposition demands it. So often it is the WTS's theology that demands "Jehovah," and is impressed upon God's Word.

Poor scholarship is indicated by the NWT putting the name JEHOVAH into the mouths of people. The Tetragram ceased to be uttered centuries before Christ trod the Judean soil, but the shepherds supposedly mouth the divine name [45] as does the crowd [46] and even the army officer, Cornelius [47], even though KYRIOS is rendered LORD in the preceding context (see Acts 1O:lff, in particular verses 4 and 14).

Would the scribes have told Jesus, "Teacher you spoke well" had he just mouthed "Jehovah" [48]? And why does the corresponding text in Matthew use "God" and not "JEHOVAH," as the text in Luke has it? [49].

On what basis of scholarship can Jude 14 be rendered to include JEHOVAH? The source, 1 Enoch, does not have the Tetragram.

One further indication of poor scholarship is the WTS's reliance on 14th century (and later) Hebrew translations of the NT to act as support for the rendering JEHOVAH in the NWT NT.

As Byington wrote: "It is a translator's business to reproduce his original."

It is not the translator's task to incorporate his beliefs and opinions. Indeed, it is the translator's task to carefully ensure that his own beliefs are not allowed to color the rendering while he transfers the words from one idiom and language to another. This the New World Bible Translation Committee has failed to achieve.


The book of James is a Jewish Christian book penned by the one who was most likely the leading voice of that force of Christian thought and practice. If any segment within the Christian movement was conscious of the divine name, it would be these ex-Jews.

Why then is James 3:9 rendered, "Jehovah, even the Father"?

Why would there be any need for any expansion to explain what the writer meant, had he written the divine name?

According to Watchtower Theology the name "Jehovah" automatically implies "the Father." For some reason, James had to specify whom he was referring to. This would perhaps be so if he did not write the divine name but instead wrote KYRIOS, as appears in our present day texts.

This passage certainly casts grave doubts on the WTS's hypothesis that the divine name appeared originally in the NT writings and cast doubts on its actions of inserting "Jehovah" into the NT text.


Hebrews 1:10 is a rendering of the LXX version of Ps. 102:25. [50] The Hebrew version of this verse, as given in the NWT OT, shows that the Psalm is written to and about "Jehovah". [51]

Quoting Ps. 102:25, the writer of Hebrews 1:10 wrote of Jesus Christ:

"You at the beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are (the) works of your hands."

Without any question, the Psalm demands that the 'Lord" intended in Hebrew 1:10 is "Jehovah". Only the Translation Committee's "religious bias" prevented it being rendered so.

"Jehovah has said, ...'I Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself laying out the earth. Who was with me?"' [52]

If Jehovah laid out the earth by himself, then the one written of at Hebrews 1:10 as laying the foundations of the earth itself is the same One. And that One Being written of is Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, in the direct context of Hebrews 1:10, the writer again quotes from the LXX, this time from Deut. 32:43, at verse 6. [53] This time the LXX is writing of the angels worshipping God himself. Thus when the writer of Hebrews speaks of the angels worshipping Jesus, he is using an LXX passage that "understands God to be the object of worship". [54]


The NWT renders 2 Thessalonians 3:5 as:

"May the Lord continue directing your hearts successfully into the love of God and into the endurance for the Christ."

Here is an instance where KYRIOS is not rendered "Jehovah". It is quite clear from the sentence that this "Lord" directs hearts to God's love and to endurance for Christ. The term "Lord" here therefore is referring to one who is distinct from and yet in harmonious activity for both God and for his Christ. This "Lord" is elsewhere called the Holy Spirit.

In the OT there are several passages that echo the same sentiment, as does Paul in 2 Thes. 3:5. At least two of these have the divine name directly in the context, at 1 Kings 8:58 (see verses 57 and 59) and Proverbs 3:6 (see verse 5).

Interestingly, the 1950 and 1951 editions cite the LXX of Proverbs 3:4 as support for "Jehovah" at 2 Corinthians 8:21. Surely Proverbs 3:6 would have a stronger claim at 2 Thes. 3:5.

But then this may clothe the term KYRIOS with a personality that would not suit the WTS. The doctrinal manipulations to accommodate a Jehovah Holy Spirit would be almost self-destructive for the WTS.

One wonders how a feeble "word of KYRIOS" may be rendered with a "Jehovah" at 2 Thess. 3:1 while "the Lord" is faithful (verse 3), "we have confidence in (the) Lord" (verse 4) and "the Lord continue directing your hearts" (verse 5) may be left without the name "Jehovah" being rendered there.

Perhaps these renderings concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit pinpoint the reasons for the WTS's actions and motivation in inserting "Jehovah" into the text of God's Word.




  1. "New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures"



  2. Known to consist of (alphabetically): Franz; Ganges; Henschel; Knorr; Schroeder.



  3. See pages 17-19 of The Kingdom Interlinear Translation.



  4. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation, Foreword, page 18.



  5. Ibid., page 19.



  6. Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, Richard Longenecker, page 85 (see also his page 57).



  7. Equipped For Every Good Work (1946), pages 51-52.



  8. See prior material, particularly concerning Howard's material.



  9. Longenecker, pages 61-62.



  10. Ibid, pages 61-62



  11. For example: Acts 15:17; 2 Cor. 6:18; Hebrews 2:13; Revelation 4:8; 11:17; 16:7; 21:22.



  12. See Longenecker, pages 64 (and others).



  13. Awake! November 22, 1968 pages 27, 28.



  14. See, for example, Glory at the Right Hand, David M. Hay, page 16.



  15. Longenecker, page 62.



  16. Ibid., page 26



  17. Ibid., pages 198, 191



  18. Ibid., pages 60-61



  19. Ibid., page 88



  20. Ibid., page 113



  21. Ibid., page 169



  22. Ibid., pages 186, 195, 197, 198



  23. Ibid., page 112



  24. Ibid., page 112



  25. Ibid., page 115



  26. NWT, 1950 Edition, Foreword, page 19



  27. Ibid., page 197



  28. The Formation of the New Testament, Robert M. Grant, page 33.



  29. Ibid., page 14



  30. Longenecker, pages 88, 137, 196



  31. Grant, page 52



  32. The Christian Century, May 9, 1951, page 588



  33. The Bible and Modern Religions, III, Jehovah's Witnesses: Interpretation, Volume 10 (1956), Walter E. Stuermann, pages 340-341.



  34. Knowing the Scriptures, by Arthur T. Pierson, pages 93-94



  35. Longenecker, page 205



  36. Equipped For Every Good Work, page 53 (emphasis supplied)



  37. Theocratic Aid to Kingdom Publishers, page 262 (emphasis supplied)



  38. Ibid., pages 258, 274



  39. A quotation of Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:33 - Longenecker, pages 72, 59



  40. See marginal reference and also Kingdom Interlinear Foreword, page 19.



  41. Others include: The Emphatic Diaglott by the Christadelphian, Benjamin Wilson; Rotherham's Emphasized Bible and The American Standard Version, (printing rights for latter two) - see Theocratic Aid to Kingdom Publishers (1945) pages 261, 266ff, 275; All Scripture Inspired of God and Beneficial, (1963), pages 320, 322.



  42. The WTS received publication rights after Byington's death (1868-1957). The WTS's copyright date in the BLE is 1972.



  43. The Christian Century, October 7, 1953, page 1133.



  44. The Christian Century, May 9, 1951, page 589.



  45. Luke 2:15



  46. Luke 19:38; John 12:13; (cf Mark 12:32, which has "He" whilst the OT references have "Jehovah").



  47. Acts 10:33



  48. Luke 20:39, 37



  49. Matt 22:31; Luke 20:37



  50. Longenecker, pages 165, 169



  51. For example see verses 1, 12, 19, 21, etc.



  52. Isa 44:24 (NWT)



  53. See NWT Mg (1950, 1951) or other reputable references.



  54. Anchor Bible, Commentary on Hebrews, pages 15-17. See also Cambridge Commentary on the New English Bible, page 23.




1. Renderings of "Jehovah" supported by the Concordance J20

Matthew - 3:3; 4:4,7,10; 21:9,42; 22:37,44. (8 times, compared with 18 insertions in the NWT)

Mark - 1:3; 12:11,29(twice).30,36. (6, compared with 9)

John - 1:23; 12:38 (2, compared with 5)

Acts - 2:20,21,25,34; 3:22; 4:26; 15:17 (7, compared with 52)

Romans - 4:3,8; 9:28,29; 10:13; 11:34; 15:11 (7, compared with 19)

1 Corinthians - 3:20; 10:26 (2, compared with 15)

2 Timothy - 2:19 (1, compared with 4)

Hebrews - 2:13; 7:21; 8:8,9,10,11; 10:16,30; 12:5,6; 13:6 (11, compared with 12)

James - 2:23 (1, compared with 13)

1 Peter - 1:25; 3:12 (twice) (3, compared with 3)

No support from J20 in the remainder:

Luke (0 out of 36 insertions in the NWT); 2 Corinthians (0 out of 10); Galatians (0 out of 1); Ephesians (0 out of 6); Colossians (0 out of 6); 1 Thessalonians (0 out of 4); 2 Thessalonians (0 out of 3); 2 Peter (0 out of 6); Jude (0 out of 3); Revelation (0 out of 12).

That is, a total support of 48 appearances by J20 out of a total of 237 insertions of "Jehovah". This may be taken as a reasonable guide to the insertions of "Jehovah" that appear at quotations from the Hebrew OT, or at least are not contrary to it.

2. Limited "J" support:

* Texts with no "J" support: Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:13

* Texts with one "J" support:

J18: Acts 8:22; Rom, 14:4; Col. 3:22; James 3:9

J17: Acts 18:21; James 2:23

J8: Eph. 5:17; Col. 1:10

* Texts with two "J" supports:

J7, J8: Acts 2:47; 4:29; 12:17; 13:12; 16:15; 1 Cor. 7:17; 10:21(twice); 2 Cor. 8:21; Gal. 3:6; Eph. 6:4,7.

Jl7, J18: Acts 7:60; 10:33; 15:35,40; 2 Thes. 2:2

J17, Jl8mg: Acts 13:44

J13, J16: 2 Thes. 2:13

* Texts with three "J" supports:

J7, J8, J17: Acts 1:24; 13:47; 2 Peter 3:12

J13, J15, J16: Acts 14:23

J7, J8, J13: Romans 14:6

J7, J8, J18: 1 Cor. 4:4,19

J7, J8, J14: 1 Cor. 10:22

J13, J16, J18: 1 Cor. 11:32

J8, J17, J18: 2 Tim. 2:19


No supports: 2

1 Support 8

2 Supports: 20

3 Supports: 10

A total of 40 insertions of "Jehovah" with little or no support (J17, J18 are definitely by Trinitarians).

3. NWT Footnotes

*1 Cor. 7:17 - "J7,8 (in accordance with Romans 12:3, 2 Corinthians 10:13 and Hebrews 2:4)"

* Gal 3:6 - "J7, 8 (as at Romans 4:3)"

* Eph. 6:8 - "(to correspond with Colossians 3:22-24)"

* Col. 1:10 - "J8 (to agree with 1 Thessalonians 2:12)".

* Col. 3:13 - "('Jehovah'; to compare with Ephesians 4:32)".

These cross-referenced texts should be checked out fully by the concerned student.

4. Texts supported by J21

Matt. 21:9,42; 22:37,44; 23:39

Mark 11:9; 12:11,29(twice),30,36

Luke 10:27; 13:35; 19:38; 20:37,42

John 12:13

Acts 2:34

A Total of 18 supports out of 237 insertions.

J21 is by the Christadelphian Benjamin Wilson; it is owned and published by the Watchtower Society.

5. Material covered by the "J"s:

Matthew - J1, 2, 4

Matthew - J3

Hebrews - J3

Gospels - J5, 6, 9, 10

Luke, Acts, Romans, - J15

John - J19

All NT - J7, 8, 11 to 14, 16 to 18, 21

6. Some degrees of commonality (revision or common mentors/authors):

- J2, J3, J4 (revisions)

- J7, J8, J10 (revisions)

- J11, J13, J14, J16, J15 (either common sponsor or author).



The release of the 1984 NWT with References (RBi8-E) demonstrates the ongoing nature of this study. The reader is encouraged to investigate that release, using as a guide points raised in the main text of this Study.

With the incorporation of their comments into the pages of the Word of God, the WatchTower Society (WTS) gives an apparent seal of authorisation to its thoughts. This technique has been used in the past, and the respect given to the opinions of Schofield in this way highlights the dangers. It could be reasonably argued that with the incorporation of their comments into the holy script, the WTS is merely continuing its previous methods, whereby "Bible Studies" are simply regurgitation of Watchtower publications, and the rendering of "Jehovah" into the text is an impression of its opinions into the very Word.


The first development that strikes the reader is the expansion of the "J" references from 21 to 27 (pages 9-10). There is no condemnation in the continuing of research and in the updating of thoughts that incorporate discoveries and developments or that correct previous errors.

It would make no difference if 100 texts were produced each year for the next 200 years that rendered YHWH, Yahweh, or even Jehovah, unless it was proven the original writings did so.

Unfortunately for the WTS, over 34 years of intensive researching has provided only a further 6 "J" references. Two of these were released after the 1950 edition of the NWT (J22, J23). The others were published in 1863 (J24), 1900 (J25), 1533 (J26) and 1796 (J27).

According to the Introduction of the 1984 edition of the NWT, three of these references are in Hebrew (J22, J23, J26). The languages of the others are not specified.

Comparison of the 1984 listing of the "J" supports with the listing provided in the 1950 NWT reveals some minor changes:

J1,4,6: minor changes to the translators' names

J2,5,15,17: minor date changes

J3,9: "Latin" added.

The following changes, however, are not minor

J7,8,11-14,16-18 : The word "Christian" added to the title of the reference, giving an apparent respectability to the WTS's designation of the New Testament. See also the apparent titles of J22,23.

J7: altered from "complete Hebrew version of all the canonical Christian Greek Scriptures" (1950 edition, page 31) to "in 12 languages, including Hebrew" (1984 edition, page 10).

J10 Changed from "Gospels in Hebrew", (1950 edition, page 31) to "The New Testament in Hebrew and English" (1984 edition, page 10). Changed from "Gospels" to "Matthew-1 Corinthians". Date changed from "1800" to "1798-1805".

J19 Replaced by a new reference: "'John' in Hebrew" (the use of italics with "John" in the NWT Foreword indicating this is the actual title) by T.C. Horton, of the British Jews Society of Haifa, Palestine, (date 1930), replaced by "John" (no italics given in the Introduction to the 1984 edition, page 10, indicating this is not a quoted title), by Moshe I. Ben Maeir, of Denver, Colorado, (date 1957).

1984 Edition Appendix lA

The Appendices to the 1984 edition of the NWT provide no fresh justification for the actions taken by the Society in 1950, and in many ways is a reiteration of that earlier Foreword.

The authors claim that

"The greatest indignity that modern translators render to the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures is the removal or the concealing of his peculiar personal name." (page 1561)

The fact is that "Jehovah" is not God's "peculiar personal name". It is a substitute for YHWH just as much as is any other surrogate is. "Jehovah" is the result of a gross misunderstanding and is only the result of Tradition. The "peculiar personal name" is YHWH; the only claim for "Jehovah" is that it approximates the consonants - but so does "Yahweh" (which is more reasonably abbreviated to "Hallelujah" than is "Jehovah").

Any question by the WTS as to the real pronunciation of the Name "Jesus" is but a gross red herring, designed to remove the pressure of the argument away from the WTS. It is they who are concerned with pronunciation of the Name, and ironically getting it all wrong, using it as a form of word-magic, like the Hari Krishnas, who believe their souls are being cleansed through the use of the name of their god.


Comparison of the respective texts in the 1950 and 1984 editions of the NWT shows that the latter is in effect a restatement of the of the former.

Thirty-four years have produced nothing new to confirm the WTS's actions.

1950 Edition

"While inclining to view the pronunciation 'Yahweh' as the more correct way, we have retained the form 'Jehovah' because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH." (page 25)

1984 Edition

"While many translators favor the pronunciation 'Yahweh', the New World Translation continues to use the form 'Jehovah' because of people's familiarity with it for centuries. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the divine name, YHWH or JHVH." (page 1561)

1984 Edition Appendix 1C

Appendix 1C of the 1984 edition of the NWT lists 10 Greek manuscripts of Greek versions of the Hebrew Scriptures "that contain the divine name ... written in Hebrew letters." (page 1563)

The sources used are


  1. P. Fouad Inv. 266. Square Hebrew characters. Dated to the first century BCE. A scroll.



  2. VTS l0a (from Nahal Hever). Ancient Hebrew characters, dated "to the end of the first century CE." (NWT, page 1563). "From about 50 B.C. -A.D. 50. … The same kind of archaic script is also employed in ... Aquila's Greek version." (Manuscripts of the Greek Bible, Bruce Metzger, page 34). Judean desert cave. A roll.



  3. IEJ 12. Ancient Hebrew characters. First century CE. Judean desert cave. A parchment.



  4. VTS l0b. Ancient Hebrew characters. First century CE. Judean desert cave. A scroll.



  5. 4Q LXX Lev(b). Greek letters IAO. First century BCE. Qumran cave. Papyrus ms.



  6. P. Oxy. VII.1007. Abbreviated double yohdh. Third century CE. Vellum leaf.



  7. Aq(Burkitt). Ancient Hebrew characters. Fifth or sixth century CE. By Aquila. Palimpsest fragment.



  8. Aq(Taylor). Ancient Hebrew characters. Fifth or sixth century CE. By Aquila.



  9. P. Vindob. G. 39777. Archaic Hebrew characters. Third or fourth century CE. A parchment roll.



  10. Ambrosian 0 39 sup. Square Hebrew characters. Ninth century CE. Five columns. Palimpsest.


Of these, only the first and the last use the square Hebrew letters developed around the second century BCE (refer to The Books and the Parchments, F.F. Bruce, page 129). The first source, P. Fouad Inv. 266, is dated at around that time. It is indisputably a Jewish source.

When the later Jewish writers used the ancient and archaic forms of Jewish letters in their renderings, forms no longer used or understood, they were reaching back into their roots, rather than reflecting any contemporary procedure of either the Jews or the Christians. Sources numbered 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 use these forms.

Those sources located in the Judean desert are likewise Jewish. These are Sources numbered 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Those sources in a scroll form are likely to be Jewish, since the early Church adopted the codex or book form as its standard.

"The Church soon found that economy of production as well as ease when consulting passages made it advantageous to adopt the codex rather than the scroll for its sacred books. It may be, also, that the desire to differentiate the external appearance of the Christian Bible from that of Jewish scrolls of the synagogue was a contributing factor in the adoption of the codex format." (Metzger, page 17)

Those sources identified in the NWT as being scrolls are Numbered 1, 2, 4 and 9.

The early Christians made such an impression on the Jews with the Septuagintal sources, the Jews finally rejected the authenticity of those sources and produced their own versions to blunt the Christians' effects. Therefore, a Jewish Septuagintal source prepared with this intent is no evidence of the Christians' practices. Numbers 7 and 8 of the NWT list are from one such source, being written by Aquila, a Jewish proselyte from Christianity

As is noted in the main body of this Study, the Judean scribes interchanged the expressions for "Lord", "God", and the Tetragrammaton with such looseness it is now impossible to positively identify which was the original rendition.

When the Hellenistic Jews rendered the actual Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton in their Greek text, they would utter either the Hebrew word ADONAT ('Lord') or the Greek word KYRIOS.

"The question may be raised what the practice would have been in Hellenistic synagogues (such as those that the Apostle Paul visited) when the reader of the Scripture lesson came upon the Hebrew Tetragrammaton in the Greek text before him. ... He either would say Adonai ('Lord'), or, in keeping with the Greek context, would use Kyrios. A tell-tale hint of the latter practice ... is provided in the Aquila fragments; where there was no room to write the Hebrew characters, instead of OIKO (followed by the square Hebrew letters for YHWH) we find OIKO KN [for kyrion]. Likewise Origen, in commenting on Psalm 2:2, says expressly that among Greeks Adonai is pronounced kyrios. It was inevitable, however, that by the time of Jerome, ignorant readers, imagining the Tetragrammaton to be a Greek word, actually pronounced it 'Pipi'!" (Metzger, page 35)

As is noted above, Aquila made use of the Nominum Sacrum KN to represent the Tetragrammaton. The tenth source referred to by the NWT Appendix, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 0 39, uses the same Nominum Sacrum along with the Tetragrammaton in the Seventy (LXX) rendering. This is shown at Psalm 27[28]:6-7 on 108,109 of Metzger.

When preparing his letters, if Paul had encountered the Tetragrammaton in the Greek text, he would have followed the practice of uttering KYRIOS.

"If the Apostle Paul followed a copy of the Septuagint with the Tetragrammaton written in Hebrew letters, he would no doubt have substituted kyrios (or perhaps occasionally Theos) when dictating an epistle to be sent to predominantly Gentile congregations. No New Testament manuscript contains the Tetragrammaton in Old Testament quotations (or anywhere else, it need scarcely be added)." (ibid)

The manuscript evidence is that the primitive Christians, when the Jewish Christians were in the ascendancy, consciously developed a system of abbreviations of fifteen sacred names, known today as the Nomina Sacra.

"The standardization of usage indicates 'a degree of organization, of conscious planning, and uniformity of practice among the Christian communities. ... '(T. C. Skeat, p.73)." (Metzger, page 37, footnote 85)

A list of the fifteen Nomina Sacra words is given at page 36 of Metzger.

The precise detail as to the source of their origin and the motive of their originators is the matter of discussion:

"According to Traube, their origin is to be found in the need among Hellenistic Jews for devising a Greek equivalent for the Hebrew Tetragrammaton. … Paap, rejecting Traube's view of a Jewish origin for the Nomina Sacra, attributes their origin to Jewish Christians. … Schuyler Brown argues that it was kyrios and not Theos which was used to represent the Tetragrammaton. Because kyrios then became a title common to both God and Jesus, it was altogether natural, he thinks, that 'the initial contraction of kyrios was rapidly extended in one direction to Theos and in the other direction to Iesous and Christos. The extension of usage came about because 'Christian scribes wished to give graphic expression to the theological equation already present in the earliest apostolic preaching, in which kyrios, the name of the God of Israel, was used as a title for Jesus Christ. In other words, the four nouns which are universally accorded special treatment in the early papyri of the New Testament are not simply Nomina Sacra but rather nomina divina'.

"Roberts, who supposes that the use of Nomina Sacra originated among Christians at Jerusalem, designates them as 'the embryonic creed of the first Church'." (Metzger, page 37)

The WTS never makes any reference to the Nomina Sacra, which are so clearly depicted in the Plates of Metzger's book.

The WTS's poor scholarship is further demonstrated in its description of the Ambrosian source. It is similar to Origen's Hexapla, a 10,000 page listing of the Old Testament having, in the main, six columns of sources. In its description of the Ambrosian source, the Appendix refers to "Quinto" as being the name of a person, whereas in fact it is the term given to an anonymous column. See Metzger, pages 108, 38 footnote 87: "These three anonymous versions (called the Quinta, the Sexta, and the Septima)".

1984 Edition Appendix 1D

The first Section of Appendix 1D is simply a reiteration of the arguments presented in the Foreword to the 1950 edition of the NWT. These are discussed in the main text of this Study. But further comments are required.

From Appendix 1C of the 1984 NWT, it is evident the Hebrew letters used were not necessarily the square style, but the first sentence of Appendix 1D refers only to that form.

Bald and unsubstantiated statements abound on page 1564, such as:

Professor Howard's article in JBL is referred to in the main body of this Study. In its 1985 publication Reasoning From The Scriptures, the WTS selectively quotes him (pages 194-195, 278). In the 1984 NWT Appendix, the WTS states:

"We do not consider (Howard's) view a 'theory', rather, a presentation of the facts (page 1564)

The WTS is incapable of differentiating between fact and opinion, between evidence and proof. There is a difference between seeing the Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint and proving it appeared in the New Testament.

The second Section of Appendix 1D in the 1984 edition of the NWT is a virtual reproduction of the Foreword of the 1950 Foreword, apart from one illuminating difference.

The 1950 edition reads:

"How is a modern translator to know or determine when to render the Greek words KYRIOS and THEOS into the divine name in his version? 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. In this way he can determine the identity to give to KYRIOS and THEOS and he can then clothe them with personality". (page 20)

The 1984 edition reads

"To know where the divine name was replaced by the Greek words KYRIOS and THEOS, we have determined where the inspired Christian writers have quoted verses, passages and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures and then we have referred back to the Hebrew text to ascertain whether the divine name appears there. In this way we determined the identity to give KYRIOS and THEOS and the personality with which to clothe them". (pages 1564-1565)

The 1950 edition continues:

"To avoid overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis, we have tried to be most cautious about rendering the divine name, always carefully considering the Hebrew Scriptures." (page 20)

The 1984 edition continues

"To avoid overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis, we have been most cautious about rendering the divine name in the Christian Greek Scriptures, always carefully considering the Hebrew Scriptures as a background." (page 1565)

Comparison of the these passages clearly shows the source used for the text in the Appendix of the 1984 edition. There is no condemnation for this when the reasons remain and research has found no new evidence.

The 1950 edition continues:

"We have looked for some agreement with us by the Hebrew versions we consulted to confirm our own rendering. Thus, out of the 237 times that we have rendered the divine name in the body of our version, there are only two instances where we have no support or agreement from any of the Hebrew versions. But in these two instances, namely, Ephesians 6:8 and Colossians 3:13, we feel strongly supported by the context and by related texts in rendering the divine name." (page 20)

The 1984 edition responds:

"We have looked for agreement from the Hebrew versions to confirm our rendering. Thus, out of the 237 times that we have rendered the divine name in the body of our translation, there is only one instance where we have no agreement from the Hebrew versions. But in this one instance, namely 1Co 7:17, the context and related texts strongly support rendering the divine name." (page 1565)

One would expect that with six additional "J" sources, there would be an increase in supports for the WTS's text. This is so.

But it is astounding that 1 Corinthians 7:17 should have a reduction in support. In the 1950 edition, it is supported by J7 and by J8. In the 1984 edition, it has no "J" support.

Why? Why have the supports varied so markedly? Why has the WTS made these changes? Has its work been carefully performed?

"(The NWT) is an accurate, largely literal translation from the original languages. It is not a loose paraphrase, in which the translators leave out details ... and add ideas. ... Readers are invited to examine manuscript support cited in footnotes of the Reference edition of the New World Translation, (and) read explanations given in the appendix". (Reasoning, pages 277-278)

This Study has accepted that challenge. It is not that the sources of the Bible itself are to he doubted:

"No ancient book is so well attested as the Bible." (Reasoning, page 63)

Yet the WTS is prepared to alter the text of God's word.


Comparison of the "J" support listings provided in the 1950 and 1984 editions reveals numerous changes.

The 1984 Edition contains six "J" supports that are additional to those given in the 1950 (to l970's) edition. The degree of support given by these additional supports varies, ranging from two supports at J26 and J27 to 188 instances at J22. One could only call these six supports as occurring well after the event.

The interested student could pursue the living representatives of these renderings, such as the United Bible Society at Jerusalem (J22), asking them for their comments on the appearance of the Tetragrammaton in their translations, and what conclusions may be rightly drawn from such action.

The WTS has altered the listings of the original 21 "J" references given in the margins. Comparison of the listings in the 1950 and 1984 margins of the 237 appearances of "Jehovah" shows there are changes in the listing of the original "J" supports at 148 of these appearances, which represents a change at 62%. A full listing of the changes and a book-by-book summary appear at the conclusion of this Appendix.

Some Individual Changes

J19, which refers to the Gospel of John, and for which the 1984 NWT provides a different author and source, is no longer given as a support in Luke.

For reference J20, the 1950 edition of the NWT refers to an 1897 edition of a Concordance by Moulton and Geden. At occasions, this Concordance lists OT references in Hebrew. It does not provide the tetragrammaton in any NT text, nor does it use the word "Jehovah". If any of the Society's "J" references provides a guide, it would be "J20".

As is listed in Appendix A of this study, the 1897 edition of J20 provides support to the 1950 edition of the NWT at 48 instances. The 1984 edition of the NWT refers to a 1963 edition of this Concordance.

Comparison of the supports from J20, as listed in the 1950 and 1984 editions of the NWT, reveals an overall reduction of support from 48 to 44. The changes are greater than this, however, totaling 12 overall:

MARK: reduced from 6 supports to 2 (12:29, twice)

LUKE : increased from 0 to 2 (4:18,19)

JOHN : an increase by 1 (6:45) and a decrease by 1 (1:23)

ACTS : an increase by 1 (7:49) and a decrease by 1 (2:34)

ROMANS : reduced by 1 (10:13)

HEBREWS : reduced by 1 (10:16).

The 1897 edition of J20 at the State Library, Melbourne, was printed in 1926; the 1950 edition of the NWT refers to an 1897 edition and the 1984 edition of the NWT refers to an edition of J20 dated 1963.

Comparing the listings for J20 in the 1950 and 1984 editions of the NWT with the 1926 Concordance shows that the 1926 print of the 1897 edition has greater affinity to the 1984 listing. J20 is a variable support or the WTS research is sloppy and careless.

If the 1984 listing corrects inaccuracies in the 1950 listing, this would raise the issue of the WTS's accuracy in other matters. As is shown in a Table following this Appendix, the WTS has altered its listings on other J supports also. Are these real changes or are they indications of poor and biased study?

On the basis of its research, the WTS is prepared to alter the very Word of God. It is prepared to advise millions that its use of "Jehovah" in its NT is soundly based. Trusting people accept these renderings as Scripture.

Is the WTS only concerned with arriving at predetermined conclusions, having little respect for the evidences or how they use them? Their actions with J20 strongly suggests this to be so, for while it has may have corrected the J20 supports, it still fails to declare other texts supported by J20, since to do so would not suit its purposes.


No Support 1 Cor 7:17

1 Support J17 - Acts 18:21 (Theos); James 2:23 (Theos)

J23 - Col 3:13

2 Supports J17,22 - Acts 13:44 (Theos)

J18,23 - Rom 14:4; James 3:9

J7,8 - Gal 3:6 (Theos); Eph 5:17; 6:7; Col 1:10

J22,24 - Eph 6:8

J18,22 - Col 3:22

3 Supports J7 ,8,10 - Acts 2:47; 4:29; 12:17; 13:12; 16:15

J18,22,23 - Acts 8:22; 1 Cor 10:9; 2 Thess 2:2

J17,18,23 - Acts 10:33

J17,18,22 - Acts 15:40

J13,16,18- 1 Cor 11:32

J7,8,24 - 2 Cor 8:21

J13,16,24 2 Thess 2:13

J7,8,17 - 2 Pet 3:12 (Theos)


0 support - 1

1 support - 3

2 supports - 9

3 supports - 14


Whereas this Study has focussed on the J supports related to the appearance of "Jehovah" in the main body of the NWT text, further evidence of lack of concern for accuracy is seen when the "J" supports respecting the marginal readings are placed under the same scrutiny. This shows lack of real scholarship and casts doubt on the motives and the care of the WTS.

A comparative listing of the 1950 and 1984 supports for the marginal readings of "Jehovah" follows this Appendix.



1950 edition

1984 edition

J 1



J 2



J 3



J 4



J 5



J 6



J 7



J 8



J 9



J 10



J 11



J 12



J 13



J 14



J 15



J 16



J 17



J 18



J 19



J 20



J 21



J 22


J 23


J 24


J 25


J 26


J 27


























1 Corinthians



2 Corinthians












1 Thessalonians



2 Thessalonians



2 Timothy









1 Peter



2 Peter












This Table refers to supports "J1" to "J21" only




  1. Texts listed in the 1926 print of J20 and also in the 1984 edition of the NWT, but not listed in the 1950 edition of the NWT as being supported by J20


    Luke 4:18

    Luke 4:19

    John 6:45

    Acts 7:49.


  2. Texts listed in the 1950 edition of the NWT as supported by J20, but not listed in either the 1926 print of J20 or in the 1984 edition of the NWT


    Mark 1:3

    Mark 12:11

    Mark 12:30

    Mark 12:36

    John 1:23

    Acts 2:34



    Heb.10:30 (margin).


  3. The following texts are listed in the 1926 print of J20 as being supported by an OT Hebrew YHWH. This is the criterion used by the WTS for "support" at those other instances where J20 is cited. However, the main text of the NWT at these points does not render the word "Jehovah", and the support from J20 is not revealed, apart from marginal references at two texts


Romans 11:8 - Theos: Isa. 29:10 [J20 is given in the margin of only the 1984 edition of the NWT]

Hebrews 9:20- Theos: Exodus 24:8 [J20 is given as marginal supports in both the 1950 and 1984 editions]

Hebrews 12:29- Theos: Deut. 4:24 [no acknowledgement in any edition of the NWT to either "Jehovah" or to the J20 support]

1 Peter 2:3- Kyrios: Psalm 34:9 [only a reference to a portion from a study by Rev. F.J.A. Hort is given in the 1984 edition of the NWT, one which, since it is used out of context and without reference to his other statements at this point in his study into 1 Peter, gives a grossly distorted view of his position]

1 Peter 3:15- Kyrios. Isaiah 8:13 [no acknowledgement in any edition of the NWT to either "Jehovah" or to the J20 support].


Genesis 15:6 - Romans 4:3; James 2:23

* Exodus 24:8 - Hebrews 9:20

Numbers 16:5 - 2 Timothy 2:19

Deuteronomy 4:5 - Matthew 22:37

* 4:24 - Hebrews 12:29

6:4 - Mark 12:29 (twice)

6:5 - Matthew 22:37

6:13 - Matthew 4:10

6:16 - Matthew 4:7

8:3 - Matthew 4:4

18:15 - Acts 3:22

Psalms 2:2 - Acts 4:26

16:8 - Acts 2:25

24:1 - 1 Cor. 10:26

32:2 - Romans 4:8

16:8 - Acts 2:25

34:16 17 - 1 Peter 3:12 (twice)

* 34:9 - 1 Peter 2:3

94:11 - 1 Cor. 3:20

110:1 - Matthew 22:44

110:4 - Hebrews 7:21

117:1 - Romans 15:11

118:6 - Hebrews 13:6

118:23 - Matthew 21:42

118:26 - Matthew 21:9

Proverbs 3:11 - Hebrews 12:5

3:12 - Hebrews 12:6

Isaiah 1:9 - Romans 9:29

* 8:13 - 1 Peter 3:15

8:18 - Hebrews 2:13

10:23 - Romans 9:28

* 29:10 - Romans 11:8

40:3 - Matthew 3:3

40:13 - Romans 11:34

53:1 - John 12:38

54:13 - John 6:45

61:1 - Luke 4:18

61:2 - Luke 4:19

66:1,2 - Acts 7:49

Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- Hebrews 8-8-11

Joel 3:4,5 - Acts 2:20,21

Amos 9:12 - Acts 15:17

"*" indicates this support from J20 is not revealed in the main text of the NWT

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