A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 6
According to the Hebrew Scriptures God’s people are to be witnesses of Jehovah, meaning that they are to make known Jehovah their God to the nations:
“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares Jehovah, ‘Yes, my servant whom I have chosen,So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One.Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.’” Isaiah 43:10
This so happens to be the passage from which Jehovah’s Witnesses derive their name.
The Christian Greek Scriptures, however, assert that true believers are witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ who are called to proclaim his name to all the nations:
“When the helper comes that I will send you from the Father, the spirit of the truth, which comes from the Father, that one will bear witness about me; and you, in turn, are to bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27
“But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Ju·de′a and Sa·mar′i·a, and to the most distant part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
It is of interest to note that the name Jehovah never appears in the Greek New Testament. In fact, for all intents and purposes the name of Jesus has virtually supplanted Jehovah’s name just as the following examples show.
- Whose name do the believers gather and assemble in?
“For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.” Matthew 18:20
“When you are gathered together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and knowing that I am with you in spirit along with the power of our Lord Jesus, you must hand such a man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 5:4-5
- Whose name do believers invoke and call upon in prayers and worship?
“Also, whatever you ask in my name, I will do this, so that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you to go and keep bearing fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that no matter what you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16
“In that day you will ask me no question at all. Most truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything, he will give it to you in my name. Until now you have not asked for a single thing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” John 16:23-24
“to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: May you have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2-3
- Whose name is forgiveness and repentance preached in? And what is the name that individuals must believe in and receive in order to obtain salvation and forgiveness of sins?
“He then said to them: ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all the things written about me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened up their minds fully to grasp the meaning of the Scriptures, and he said to them, ‘This is what is written: that the Christ would suffer and rise from among the dead on the third day, and on the basis of his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins would be preached in all the nations—starting out from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:44-47
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 Authorized King James Version (AV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18 AV
“To be sure, Jesus also performed many other signs before the disciples, which are not written down in this scroll. But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.” John 20:30-31
“The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, along with An′nas the chief priest, Ca′ia·phas, John, Alexander, and all who were relatives of the chief priest. They stood Peter and John in their midst and began to question them: ‘By what power or in whose name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with holy spirit, said to them:‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today about a good deed to a crippled man, and you want to know who made this man well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that in the name of Jesus Christ the Naz·a·rene′, whom you executed on a stake but whom God raised up from the dead, by means of him this man stands here healthy in front of you. This is “the stone that was treated by you builders as of no account that has become the chief cornerstone.” Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.’” Acts 4:5-12
“To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43
“ Indeed, this is his commandment: that we have faith in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us a commandment.” 1 John 3:23
“I write you these things so that 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
- In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent?
“But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you” John 14:26
- Whose name empowers believers to perform miracles, healings and exorcisms?
“John said to him: ‘Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said: ‘Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one who will do a powerful work on the basis of my name who will quickly be able to say anything bad about me.’” Mark 9:49-50
“Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: ‘Lord, even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.’ At that he said to them: ‘I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven. Look! I have given you the authority to trample underfoot serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing at all will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are made subject to you, but rejoice because your names have been written in the heavens.’” Luke 10:17-20
“Now Peter and John were going up into the temple for the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and a man who was lame from birth was being carried. Every day they would put him near the temple door that was called Beautiful, so he could ask for gifts of mercy from those entering the temple. When he caught sight of Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking for gifts of mercy. But Peter, together with John, looked straight at him and said: ‘Look at us.’ So he fixed his attention on them, expecting to get something from them. However, Peter said: “Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I do have is what I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Naz·a·rene′, walk!’ With that he took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up. Instantly his feet and his ankles were made firm; and leaping to his feet, he began walking and went with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they began to recognize him, that this was the man who used to sit waiting for gifts of mercy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were completely astonished and ecstatic about what had happened to him. While the man was still holding on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at what was called Sol′o·mon’s Colonnade, completely surprised. When Peter saw this, he said to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why are you so amazed at this, and why are you staring at us as though by personal power or godly devotion we have made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even though he had decided to release him. Yes, you disowned that holy and righteous one, and you asked for a man who was a murderer to be given to you, whereas you killed the Chief Agent of life. But God raised him up from the dead, of which fact we are witnesses. And through his name, and by our faith in his name, this man whom you see and know has been made strong. The faith that is through him has made this man completely healthy in front of all of you.’” Acts 3:1-16
“while you stretch out your hand for healing and while signs and wonders occur through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:30
“Now as Peter was traveling through all the region, he came down also to the holy ones who lived in Lyd′da. There he found a man named Ae·ne′as, who had been lying flat on his bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him: ‘Ae·ne′as, Jesus Christ heals you. Rise and make up your bed.’ And he got up immediately. When all those living in Lyd′da and the Plain of Shar′on saw him, they turned to the Lord.” Acts 9:32-35
“Now it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a servant girl with a spirit, a demon of divination, met us. She supplied her masters with much profit by fortune-telling. This girl kept following Paul and us and crying out with the words: ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God and are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.’ She kept doing this for many days. Finally Paul got tired of it and turned and said to the spirit: ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour.” Acts 16:16-18
- Whose name is above every name there is?
“and how surpassing the greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this system of things but also in that to come. He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is ABOVE EVERY NAME: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 AV
The necessity and centrality of Jesus’ name raises a problem for Jehovah’s Witnesses. If Jesus is not Jehovah then how could the NT writings stress Jesus’ name to the exclusion of all others, including Jehovah’s own name? Why wouldn’t the Apostles and the inspired authors carry on the OT tradition of proclaiming the name of Jehovah as opposed to the name of Christ? Doesn’t this emphasis on Christ’s name prove that Jesus is Jehovah God the Son since to proclaim his name is to bear witness to the name of Jehovah?
To ask this in a different way, doesn’t this show that the name of Jesus is the name by which Jehovah wants to be known, which is why the Apostles went around proclaiming and testifying to Christ’s name to all nations? And wouldn’t this therefore explain why the name Jehovah never appears in the Christian Greek Scriptures seeing that the name of Jesus functions as the NT equivalent or synonym for the divine name itself?
If our assessment is correct then this means that bearing witness to Christ and proclaiming his name is what makes one a true Jehovah witness since Jesus is Jehovah in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit).
Unless stated otherwise all Scriptural quotations taken from the 2013 revised edition of the New World Translation (http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/).
The preceding list of questions was adapted from a similar list from Christian author Dr. Ron Rhodes as found on p. 39 of his book, The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah’s Witness (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 2001). Here is the link to his website where you can read some of his articles and purchase his materials: http://www.ronrhodes.addr.com/
We highly recommend all of Rhodes’ materials since he is a top-notch scholar and apologist.