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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The New World Translation and the Restoration of God's Name 237 Times in the New Testament

In the O(ld) T(estament), God's personal name appears nearly 7,000 times as four consonants: יהוה. These consonants are transliterated YHWH and are known as the Tetragrammaton. Its use throughout the Scriptures far outnumbers that of any of the titles, such as "Sovereign Lord" or "God," applied to Him.

Yes, most of the physical evidence found in existing N(ew) T(estament) manuscripts does not support "Jehovah" in the New Testament. But what makes such a difference is the belief that BOTH "Testaments" are the word of God and must not contradict each other in important areas of knowledge.

We can accept both "Testaments" as the inspired word of God and still see understandable differences occurring between the two, but not basic contradictory differences. For example, we know how and why animal sacrifices to God have been done away with. It has been carefully, logically explained in the NT and, therefore, does not contradict the OT teachings where such sacrifices were required (essential). But where is the careful, logical explanation that shows that the necessary knowledge and use of God's name (as clearly acknowledged by word and example throughout the OT) was done away with in the NT?

It's not there. How can it be that God reveals His personal name and commands that it be publicly acknowledged and used forever by His servants (and they respectfully do so for over a thousand years) and then, for no Scriptural reason, His worshipers suddenly begin refusing to use that name and even hide it?

Therefore, if we are to keep the Scriptures from terribly contradicting themselves in an extremely important area, we must conclude that either the OT Scriptures are wrong or the oldest available NT manuscripts and fragments (at least those which actually contain places that quote from the OT where "YHWH" was originally used) are copies that have been changed from the original. Since the name of God being used as YHWH even in everyday life is attested to by archaeological findings back to the 8th century B. C. at least, we are really forced to conclude that, yes, the existing NT manuscripts are terribly wrong in this particular area.

Therefore, we know that the Name belongs in the NT. Besides, the manuscripts we have today were copies of copies, etc., written hundreds of years after the originals, and therefore may well have been changed when the name became a hated "Jewish" name to "Christians" (around 135 A.D.).

Scholars know for a fact that words and whole phrases have been added or removed from various ancient copies of the New Testament, but that doesn't make the New Testament unreliable, since many or most of the additions or subtractions can be recognized or restored.
But even with these changes, the Name has not been entirely left out of the N.T. since Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6 still retains "Alleluia":

"ALLELUIA, the Greek form (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye JEHOVAH, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.)." – Easton's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1897.

Yes, God's name originally was in the Greek Scriptures because it would be inconceivable that the Bible writers did not use God's name, especially when quoting from parts of the "Old Testament" that contained the name. If God's name did not belong in the New Testament, then why did Jesus tell us to pray for its sanctification? (Mt. 6:9)

So it should not be considered terribly wrong to restore, for the sake of clarity if nothing else, the name we know belongs there. Many other respected Bibles add personal names to their translations for clarity when they weren’t actually in the New Testament text to begin with.

Yet some condemn the New World Translation Bible for restoring God's Name some 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. However, these places are where it was likely there originally. Places where the Christian Greek Scripture writers quote the earlier Hebrew Scriptures already containing God's name. Many translators have done this. Really, shouldn't any condemnation be directed toward the many Bibles that have removed God's Name nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (when the Name is clearly there)?

The Importance of God's Name

We are to know and use Jehovah's name, but we must not misunderstand how extremely important it is to Him (and to us). One of God's Ten Commandments, for example commands:

"You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name." - Ex. 20:7, NJB [cf. NRSV, NIV, NEB, REB, GNB, NLV, ETRV].

God certainly didn't say, "Don't ever use my Holy Name". By direct Bible statements and commands and by the clear, thousand-fold repeated examples of all the prophets of God in the OT we know that God's Holy Name must be known and used by his people

God Himself makes it clear in the Bible how important His name is:

"Jehovah ... This is my name for ever; this is my title in every generation." (Ex. 3:15) - NEB; Also see 1 Chron. 16:8; Is. 12:4; Zeph. 3:9; and Ps. 83:16-18)

For much more, see:

Should the Name Jehovah Appear in the New Testament? (w08 8/1 pp. 18-23; Watchtower Online Library)

God's Name and the New Testament (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures Heb., יהוה (YHWH) (Watchtower Online Library)

"Jehovah" in The New Testament (Search For Bible Truths)

Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained (Search For Bible Truths)

NWT - Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions? - "Jehovah" in the New Testament (Defending the NWT)

On the Form of the Divine Name "Jehovah" (In Defense of the NWT)

Should God's name “Jehovah" appear in the New Testament? (Search For Bible Truths)

YHWH in the New Testament (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

"Jehovah" 50 or 237 places in the New Testament? (Examining Countess' list) (Defending the NWT)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is Excommunication, or Disfellowshipping, a Teaching Found in the Bible?

Yes, disfellowshipping or shunning incorrigible sinners is a clear and explicit teaching in the Bible.

In fact, Jesus Christ established it as a requirement for the Christian congregation. Anyone who believes otherwise simply does not know the Bible nor Christ.

Jesus said: "If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector" (Mt. 18:17).

Smith's Bible Dictionary:

"Excommunication, as exercised by the Christian Church, is not merely founded on the natural right, possessed by all societies, nor merely on the example of the Jewish Church and nation. It was instituted by our Lord (Matt. xviii. 15, 18), and it was practised and commanded by St. Paul (1 Tim. i. 20; 1 Cor. v. 11; Tit. iii.10).”

Barnes’ Notes say: “The meaning of this is, cease to have religious intercourse with him, ...Regard him as obstinate, self-willed, and guilty...we should disown him as a Christian brother...This is the only way of kindness. This is the only way to preserve peace and purity in the church.”

Christ’s teachings repeatedly showed that a willful incorrigible reprobate would be “cast out” from true worshipers, especially in the “last days” during his second presence. And that “his servants” would be commanded to carry out this command (Mt. 22:12,13; 25:30; 13:49-50; 24:51; etc.).

Christ Jesus even disfellowships on what many might think are trivial grounds: “So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).

Obviously, the Apostles understood that Christ commanded the expelling of obstinate sinners since Paul showed that it was done with Christ's authority: “That in the name of our Lord Jesus,...with the power of our Lord Jesus, YOU hand such a man over to Satan” (1 Co. 5:4-5).

1 Co. 5:12-13: ”For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? ‘Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.’”

2 Th. 3:6,14: “Now we are giving YOU orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition YOU received from us...if anyone is not obedient ...stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed.” (2 Jn. 10,11; Rm. 16:17,18; Tit. 3:10-11; Num. 16:25-26).

Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible says:

"Excommunication. The permanent or temporary exclusion of a church member from fellowship within the community. This practice, specifically mentioned in Matthew's Gospel (Mt.18:15-17) and the Corinthian correspondence (1 Cor.5:5; 2 Cor. 2:6), served 2 purposes. First, it protects the community from the harmful influence of the sinner (1 Cor.5:6-7). Second, it reminds the sinner of the sin (2 Cor.2:7) in the hope that repentance (7:9) and redemption occur...Although the term `excommunication' does not appear in Scripture, the concept is clearly present. Matthew instructs the Church to treat unrepentant members like `a Gentile and a tax collector' (Mt.18:17), and Paul wants the guilty party delivered `over to Satan' (1 Cor.5:5), i.e., delivered over to the realm of Satan, the world outside the Church. Church discipline, ending in excommunication, should only be used for serious matters such as blatant sexual sins (1 Cor.5:1), unrepentance (Mt.18:15-17), facetiousness (Tit.3:10-11), and the propagation of heresy (Rm.16:17). Sinners should be dealt with quickly and seriously for both the health of the community and the spiritual health of the offender."

The NASB Study Bible says in a footnote at 1 Cor. 5:11-13: “Calling oneself a Christian who continues to live an immoral life is reprehensible and degrading, and gives a false testimony to Christ. If the true Christian has intimate association with someone who does this, the non-Christian world may assume that the church approves such immoral, ungodly living and thus the name of Christ would be dishonored. Questions would arise concerning of the Christian’s own testimony, …judge those who are within, The church is to exercise spiritual discipline over the professing believers in the church.”

Any Christian who got involved in immoral practices would be lovingly helped to change his way (Gal 6:1; Js. 5: 19,20). If he repents “it will be forgiven him” (Jas. 5:14-16; Acts 17:30; Pro. 28:13). If they are unrepentant the true Christian congregation would keep itself "without spot from the world" by “reproving before all onlookers” “stop mixing in company” with the individual by “removing the wicked man from among ourselves" (Jas. 1:27; 1 Tim. 5:20; 1 Cor. 5:11-13).

The true Christian religion would follow Christ’s lead and God's commands and remove willful sinners from their midst. Any religion which does not follow this mandate cannot be truly Christian.

Source: This is the Best Answer to this question from Yahoo! Answers.

Also see: Disfellowshipping - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Acts 2:33 - A Scripture That Issues Multiple Problems For the Trinity Doctrine

"Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor... in the Old Testament." - The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1985, Micropedia, vol. 11, p. 928.

Trinitarians themselves admit that "The an INFERRED doctrine, gathered ECLECTICALLY from the entire Canon". - page 630 of the highly trinitarian publication, Today's Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publishers, 1982.

Not only is the doctrine not found in the Bible, but there are literally hundreds of Scriptures and passages that prove to be large problems for the belief that the Trinity (see definition) is Scriptural. Acts 2:33 is but one of them.

Acts 2:33 says in the New Living Translation:

"Now he [Jesus] sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven ("highest position"; GOD'S WORD Translation), at God's right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today."

First, if Jesus really is God, then wouldn't the place of "highest honor in heaven" be the position of being God Himself rather than being at "God's right hand"?
Also see: How can Jesus be God and also sit at His right hand? (Search For Bible Truths)

Second, if Jesus really is God, then how can Jesus be "exalted" in the first place?

Third, if Jesus really is God, then why is God mentioned as a separate and distinct individual FROM Jesus in this Scripture?

Fourth, only the Father is equated to being God in this Scripture which is consistent with the rest of the Bible. The Bible repeatedly makes it clear that there is only one Almighty God and that only the Father "whose name alone is Jehovah" is God. (Psalms 83:18; 1 Cor. 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; Rom. 15:6; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Revelation 1:6; etc.) Jesus himself acknowledged this. (John 17:3)
Also see: The Father (Jehovah) is God Alone (Examining the Trinity)


This Scripture ALSO shows how the supposed third person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit) is not God nor even a person.

Fifth, notice how the NT Greek Lexicon describes the Holy Spirit as "this" at Acts 2:33 which identifies the Holy Spirit as a thing - not a person:

Sixth, also notice that God poured out [ekxeo, ekxew] His Holy Spirit. In all cases ekxeo ("poured out") refers to things. Holy Spirit, then, is a thing that may be poured out in portions. (See Num. 11:17, 25 and Acts 2:17,18 where God poured Holy Spirit from His Holy Spirit.) You simply do not pour out persons in measured portions upon other persons!
Also see: Is the Holy Spirit really a thing that can be poured out into portions? (Search For Bible Truths)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Should Babies Be Baptized?

Baptism publically symbolizes your dedication to God. It symbolizes dying to one’s former way of life and becoming alive to do God’s will. (1 Peter 4:2) So questions concerning whether babies or infants should be baptized on the basis of the faith of the parents are very valid since the child is nowhere near old enough to make a proper and informed decision in this matter.

For a Biblical precedent, in Acts it says that the ones who were baptized then were “men and women”... not infants. (Acts 8:12) Baptism was for those capable of ‘hearing the word,’ ‘embracing the word heartily,’ and ‘repenting’, something infants are not capable of doing. (Acts 2:14, 22, 38, 41)

Additionally, the Bible indicates that God considers holy the young children of Christian parents. (1 Corinthians 7:14) Such a statement would be pointless if the baptism of infants were necessary for their salvation.

For more, see:

Baptism - Link to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)