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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Addressing the Question: "Is the Name 'Jehovah' an Invention of the Watchtower Society?"

No, the name “Jehovah” is no more of an invention than the names “Jesus,” “Joshua,” or “Jonathan.” Such a
claim requires others to be extremely ignorant.

And the “Watchtower” hides absolutely nothing regarding the origin of the English pronunciation Jehovah. [The] suggestion [made in this question] is untrue and dishonest as can be seen by just a couple of the many quotes in the Witnesses’ literature:

"In 1278 it appeared in Latin in the work Pugio fidei (Dagger of Faith), by Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk.

"Raymundus Martini used the spelling Yohoua. Soon after, in 1303, Porchetus de Salvaticis completed a work entitled Victoria Porcheti adversusi impios Hebraeos. In this he, too, mentioned God's name, spelling it variously Iohouah, Iohoua and Ihouah.

"Then, in 1518, Petrus Galatinus published a work entitled De arcanis catholicae veritatis in which he spells God's name Iehoua. The name first appeared in an English Bible in 1530, when William Tyndale published a translation of the first five books of the Bible. In this he included the name of God, usually spelled Iehouah, in several verses, and in a note in this edition he wrote: ‘Iehovah is God's name . . . Moreover as oft as thou seist LORD in great letters it is in Hebrew Iehovah.’"The Divine Name That Endures Forever, WTB&TS.

Jehovah is an accurate rendering of the Divine Name and did not "originate" with the thirteenth century.

The form "YeHoWaH" is in the earliest vowel pointed Hebrew texts, including the Aleppo Codex and the Codex Leningradensis.

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) says:

"Jehovah (Yahweh): The proper name of God in the Old Testament;.... Finally, the word is found even in the "Pugio fidei" of Raymund Martin, a work written about 1270. PROBABLY THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NAME JEHOVAH ANTEDATES EVEN R. MARTIN. No wonder then that this form has been regarded as the true pronunciation of the Divine name by such scholars as Michaelis, Drach, and others."

So the origin of the English pronunciation is rooted in all the ancient languages.

The name Jehovah is NOT an erroneous “invention.” It correctly retains the exact four letters or Tetragrammaton of God’s name in Hebrew.

Then, recent discoveries and studies have given solid evidence that YHWH had to have three syllables, not two! So, Yahoveh/Yehoveh now seems to be the most accurate. In fact, in light of the evidence, in English Jehovah may be as close to the original pronunciation as one could get in translating any name from Hebrew to English or other languages.

(See George Wesley Buchanan; "How God's Name Was Pronounced", Biblical Archaeology Review Mar./Apr. 1995 Volume 21 Number 2; page 30. Harris, Archer, Waltke; "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament" #484. James Trimm; "Nazarenes and the Name of YHWH" and "In Fame Only?" by Gerard Gertoux)

When we accept the overwhelming evidence for a tri-syllable pronunciation, the acceptable vocalizations vary relatively little in their pronunciation from the sound of "Jehovah." So, it is clear that "Jehovah" does accurately represent the Divine Name.

"Jehovah" can be verified as an accurate rendering for YHWH by examination of theophoric names.

The original Hebrew name for God’s son is a theophoric because it contains the Divine Name. It is written YHWSA. No one knows exactly how it was pronounced but either Yeshua or Yehoshua are acceptable. And even though "Jesus" does not retain the Hebrew pronunciation it is the most recognizable is a perfectly accurate pronunciation.

If you accept "Jesus" as correct, then you have to accept Yeh(o)-/Jeh(o)- as the first part of the Divine Name. Other theophoric names in the Bible support this prefix as well as The Name having three syllables.

Therefore, we can properly render the Hebrew "tetragrammaton" YHWH/JHVH as Yehowah, Yahweh or Jehovah.

Replacing the Divine name with a common title "LORD" is the most blatant of blasphemies and elicits the strongest of condemnation (Rev. 22:18,19). It is imitating Satan, who refused to used that Name, and it is a refusal to imitate Jesus who "made that name known" to all his followers and placed it first, of primary importance, in his model prayer (Jn.17:6,26; Mt.6:9).

God made it clear that Jehovah would be his Eternal Name (Ex. 3:15, Mic. 4:5; Jer.23:27). It was manifestly Christ’s determination to make Jehovah's name known to Christians (Jn. 17:6, 26 (Cf. Jn. 12:28; 17:4, 26; Rev. 1:5).

In the end times True Christians would be associated with the Father’s Name (Acts 15:14; Amos 9:11, 12). Refusal to use some proper form of that Name would therefore be a denial of being truly Christian.

Source: This is an answer given by Bar_Anerges to a question from Yahoo! Answers.

Related Articles:

God's Name - Links to information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

How Was God's Name (YHWH) Pronounced? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

What is God's name? Is it "God", "Lord", or something else? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

"Jehovah" in The New Testament (Category) (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Jehovah - Importance of Name (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

The New World Translation and the Restoration of God's Name 237 Times in the New Testament (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Should the name Jehovah not be used because it is said that the letter "J" isn't in Hebrew? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Creative 'Days' - How Long Was Each 'Day' and Were All 'Days' Uniform in Length?

First, [Jehovah's] Witnesses know that the heavens and earth are many millions (or billions) of years old.

Many "young earth" creationist have mistakenly included the creation of the "heavens and the earth" as part of the six creative days of Genesis. But, in actuality Genesis 1:1 refers to a time *before* the six creative days. The six creative days only refer to the transforming of the earth to make it fit it as a habitation of animals and humans. Millions or billions of years could have transpired between the creation of the earth and the beginning of the creative days.

So, the Genesis account of creation allows for the earth to be billions of years old. (The evidence from our seeing star light which has traveled millions of years is a valid use of proven science and confirms the separation of Genesis 1:1 from the six creative days.)

Witnesses are also united in the belief that the scriptural evidence shows that the “creative days” were not a literal 24 hours. (See: Are Jehovah's Witnesses Creationists?; Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Now, regarding the length of time from the first creative day till now, Jehovah's Witnesses' official position is that all the Scriptural evidence logically points to a period of seven thousand years for the length of each creative day. This is not *doctrine* in regard to the length of the first six days, for at the same time our literature has always stated that the length of the first six days are simply an "indication" resulting from logically reasoning on the scant scriptural evidence- -specifically the determinable length of the seventh day.

For instance notice the following Watchtower comments. w73: "...*evidently* seven thousand years long." w70: "[Scripture] gives us a clue...reasonable to conclude...appears to be." w67: "Bible indicates." w61: "was logical." w1912: "a reasonable deduction."

The comment in the 1904 Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 6 is significant: "...the length of these epoch-days is not indicated, we will be justified in assuming that they were uniform periods..."

Unofficially many, like myself, may like the idea that each day could be many millions of years in length, or even of varying lengths. However, the *only* reason for this is because it makes it easier to deal with the chronological dating of modern scientists. If we stick to *only* the evidence from the Scriptures, we only see evidence for the each day to be 7,000 years.

One fact that might argue against a variable length for the creative days is that the "days" are said to be part of a creative "week." The description of a week seems to indicate that each "day"--whatever they may be–would logically be the same length. Thus, Scripturally the most logical and most probable exegetical conclusion would be that each "day" must be equal. Since it is an inferred conclusion the possibility that the days could have been variable in length, perhaps millions of years remain as a possible theory. But, there is no evidence for this in Scripture and so is not taught by Witnesses.

The only piece of evidence we have is that the seventh day is 7,000 years. While meager, the Scriptural evidence is clear: we have a series of "days." They are numbered in relation to each other, 1-7. We know the last one is 7,000 years long. Logic induces us to conclude that the other six are of equal lengths. But, if this conclusion is incorrect, it will only be in the New System that we will gain the knowledge to say for sure.

Until then, we must content ourselves with pointing out that though the length of the first six creative days are not specifically addressed by the Scriptures, the available indication is that they are each 7000 years. If someone wants to favor varying lengths or millions of years for each “day” it is without solid Scriptural support.

Fortunately, our logical conclusions concerning the length of the creative days is not life threatening or necessary to our salvation. (Emphasis mine. -E)

Evidence from sound exegesis clearly proves that the creative days cannot be 24 hours. On the other hand, there is not one shred of solid contextual evidence supporting the view that the creative "days" were 24 hours long.

As "A Religious Encyclopaedia" (vol. I, p. 613) observes: "The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each."—Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.

"Like Young, this writer believes the days of Gen I to be intentionally patterned, chronological, of indeterminable length."–Theological Wordbook of the O.T.

SOURCE: This is an answer by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

HALLOWEEN - Does It Have Any Known Pagan Religious Associations?


"Its name means hallowed or holy evening." - The World Book Encyclopedia, 1952, Vol. 8, pp. 3245-6.

To really understand this "holy evening" you must realize that Halloween, as we know it today, has grown from several different sources. The main source has been traced back to religious ceremonies of the ancient Babylonians. - The New Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer, edited by Dr. T. H. Gaster, p. 468, Mentor Book, 1964; and Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, 1949, p. 38.

From Babylon, this pagan religious celebration spread throughout much of the world.

The Druids of ancient Britain also borrowed this Babylonian festival and celebrated it to honor Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1. - Halloween Through the Centuries, Linton, p. 4. 

They believed this pagan god called together "certain wicked souls on Halloween" - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 11, p. 103.

In honoring this pagan god, his supplicators hoped to be protected from these "wicked souls." Therefore, many of the things done in celebrating this "holy evening" are in honor of the false gods of the Druids. For example, "When you light a candle inside the jeering pumpkin face, you are in a small way imitating the Celtic Druids" who lit "great bonfires on hilltops to honor the sun god" and thereby help keep away winter and the evil spirits. - The Book of Holidays, McSpadden, 1958 ed., pp. 149-153; and All About American Holidays, Krythe, 1962, pp. 214-215.

Since the "Mother" Church (which was established in Rome about 200 years after the death of the last Apostle) embarked on a course of adopting and adapting pagan religious ceremonies into the Church, it is not surprising that elements of ancient Roman false worship were also added to the "Holy Evening" celebration. For example, "when you duck for apples ... you are doing as the Romans did - - honoring Pomona, the Roman goddess of orchards." - The Book of Holidays, pp. 149-153 and Collier's Encyclopedia, 1975, Vol. 2, p. 192.

Halloween and Witchcraft

The real religion celebrated by the "Holy Evening" of Halloween is still a living religion. What is sometimes called "witchcraft" has had its ups and downs but is still practiced as a religion in nearly every country of the world.

"It began in the shadowy darkness of man's early religion. It lived and flourished through the ages and it is by no means wiped out even yet. Witchcraft in the Middle Ages was the `art' of controlling natural forces by power obtained from the Devil. Witches were people who made agreements with the Evil One." - Britannica Jr., 1957 ed., Vol. 15, pp. 131-132.

Whether deluded or not, these "witches" were (and are) making a public declaration: a demonstration of their faith and a defiance of the God of the Bible. They continued to practice their religion (in many different, varying sects) in spite of great persecution. This religion of the Middle Ages actually grew out of the earlier pagan Druid religion.

"These rites did not die .... When a monk or knight swore that in a clearing of the woods he had seen witches dancing around the devil, he did not lie. What he saw was ... people worshiping with a priest of the heathen religion. The prayer meetings of the witches were called witches' Sabbaths. .... Two nights especially were set aside - October 31, called Halloween and the eve of May Day, called Walpurgis." - Britannica Jr., pp. 131-132.

"Though the Church was able to destroy the temples and outward forms of worship of these heathen religions, it could not completely eradicate the faith and beliefs of their priests and worshipers. These found an outlet during the Middle Ages in witchcraft which was devoted to the worship of Satan. This cult included periodic meetings, known as witches' sabbaths, which were given over to feasting and revelry. One of the most important sabbaths was held on Halloween." - Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956, Vol. 11, pp. 106-107.

"The witches' sabbat [sabbath], or Black Mass, was a mockery of the religious one. It began with the assembly of the witches' covens, always at night, in forests, open fields, at crossroads, and even secretly in churches.... The name `sabbats' for these meetings is believed to have come from the Old Hebrew Sabbath - the seventh day." - A Cauldron of Witches, Alderman, 1973, p. 9.

Halloween - Based on Unscriptural Beliefs

The Bible warns against the practice of spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The apostle Paul wrote: “I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:20-22, New International Version) He also asked: “What common interest can there be between goodness and evil? How can light and darkness share life together? How can there be harmony between Christ and the devil? What can a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Phillips)

While it is true that the vast majority of those who celebrate Halloween would claim to reject Satanic practices, we should, nevertheless, be aware that historically this holiday has close connections with the occult. Therefore, celebrating Halloween can serve as a door leading to spiritism, especially for impressionable youths. Pagan rites and traditions tainted by spiritism simply have no place in Christian worship; they are far from harmless. (Also see: Dabbling in the Occult—What's the Harm? and What You Should Know About Witchcraft from the WBTS.)

Should You Celebrate Halloween?

Clearly, God would not approve of any ceremonies or customs that have any pagan associations. The Bible also warns us about the practice of spiritism - of which Halloween historically has close connections with. And finally, Halloween is based on beliefs that run completely contrary to what the Bible teaches. 

So when it comes to celebrating Halloween - especially after considering what you have just read - what will you decide?  
(For even more specific information concerning Halloween, see:

Halloween - Links to Information
(INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

The Truth About Halloween (AWAKE! SEPTEMBER 2013; JW.ORG)

The Origins of Halloween—What Does the Bible Say About Them? (JW.ORG)

Popular Celebrations—Harmless Fun?
(g01 10/8 3-10; Watchtower Online Library)

Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween
(g 10/06 p. 27; Watchtower Online Library)

(lv chap. 13 pp. 144-159; Watchtower Online Library)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Accept Medicine and Medical Treatment?

Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses accept medicine and medical treatment. While Jehovah’s Witnesses try to take care of their bodies and maintain good health, they sometimes “need a doctor.” (Luke 5:31) In fact, as was the first-century Christian Luke, some of Jehovah’s Witnesses are physicians.—Colossians 4:14.

Some treatments conflict with Bible principles, though, and Jehovah’s Witnesses reject these. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t accept blood transfusions because the Bible forbids taking in blood to sustain the body. (Acts 15:20) Likewise, the Bible prohibits health treatments or procedures that include occult practices.—Galatians 5:19-21.

However, the vast majority of medical treatments do not conflict with Bible principles. Therefore, personal choice is involved. One Witness might decide to accept a particular medicine or treatment, while another Witness might reject that same treatment.—Galatians 6:5.

SOURCE: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Medical Treatment? (JW.ORG)

For more, see:

Can a Christian Accept Medical Treatment? (JW.ORG)

Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood transfusions? (JW.ORG)

Blood / Blood Transfusions - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)