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First, with the possible exception of the Shem-Tob Matthew and its revisions, no ancient Hebrew Christian Scripture documents are known to exist today. Secondly, the Kingdom Interlinear Translation in both its and editions lists the following: The reader of " All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial " is left with no doubt that all of these versions with the exception of J 9 have the Greek texts as their source when its writers say,. From at least the 14th century onward, translations of the Greek Scriptures into the Hebrew language have been produced.

These are of interest in that a number of them have made restorations of the divine name into the Christian Scriptures. The New World Translation makes many references to these Hebrew versions under the symbols "J" with a superior number page On page of the same text, a box on the chart describing the New World Translation says, "23 Hebrew Versions 14thth centuries translated either from the Greek or from the Latin Vulgate…" As we will see later, however, J 2 may be a recension of an actual Christian Hebrew Gospel, and J 3 and J 4 may be a revision of this recension.

As a result of our present evaluation of textual material, we now realize that 25 or possibly 22 [3] Hebrew translations used to verify the presence of the Tetragrammaton were themselves translated from known Greek texts that do not contain the Tetragrammaton. However, J20 and J21 are reference sources. We need to review a portion of the New World Bible Translation Committee's translation guidelines where they say,.

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. We have looked for agreement from the Hebrew versions to confirm our rendering. Thus, out of the times that we have rendered the divine name in the body of our translation, there is only one instance [1 Co 7: From the last chapter, we saw that only 78 or 76 Jehovah references in the Christian Scriptures are cited by J Since, however, J 20 can be counted as a conservative reference source, we can justifiably appeal to as many as instances in the Christian Scriptures where the inspired writer quoted verses which properly can be understood as referring to Jehovah in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Nonetheless, according to Greg Stafford's tabulation given in the last chapter, this leaves 83 Jehovah references in the New World Translation Christian Scriptures that had their sole source in Hebrew versions rather than Hebrew Scripture quotations. It may be surprising to many that such a large number of the Jehovah references in the Christian Scriptures are not quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures. The startling reality is that in these instances the Translation Committee relied more on the relatively recent Hebrew translations than they did on the best ancient Greek manuscripts.

Look carefully at the quotation above. The translators say that they were "…always carefully considering the Hebrew Scriptures as a background. One merely needs to compare the "J" footnote for any Jehovah reference with the corresponding Hebrew version to verify that a given Hebrew version does, in fact, use the Tetragrammaton where it is cited. Nor does the Translation Committee in any way attempt to hide the source texts of these Hebrew versions.

The Committee tells us plainly that the translation sources of these Hebrew versions are Greek texts that we can readily examine. Surprisingly, however, we discover that these Greek source texts do not use the Tetragrammaton.

What is unusual, moreover, is that the magnitude of this inconsistency seems to go unrecognized by the worldwide literature work of the Watch Tower Society and with its leaders, writers, or individual readers of Watch Tower publications. Has it occurred to you that the Hebrew Christian versions are translations from Greek source texts? Do you realize that the entire footnote evidence given in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation for the "restoration of the divine name" to the New World Translation is based upon the very Greek texts that the translators are disputing?

We will now evaluate the third reason proposed by the New World Bible Translation Committee for allowing restoration of the divine name to the Christian Scriptures. This third hypothesis states that God's name should be restored because a heresy in the second and third centuries C. In order to establish the validity of this charge of heresy, this and the following two chapters will briefly answer two questions. The first question is, "Do early Christian Scripture manuscripts show evidence that the inspired Christian writers used the Tetragrammaton? Our study exploring the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the original Christian Scriptures will evaluate six topics.

This evaluation will begin with the most important topic and end with the least important. If the search for information from the first topic can be verified from ancient manuscripts, the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the original Christian Scriptures can be accepted without further evidence. If the information from the first topic cannot be verified, the second topic, if substantiated, would give strong evidence of the Tetragrammaton's original existence.

The third and fourth topics are natural consequences that would be obvious had the original Scriptures been so radically changed in the second and third centuries. The fifth topic, if true, would merely suggest the possibility that the Tetragrammaton was used in the Christian Scriptures written in Greek. The sixth topic is simply a practical concern that addresses geographical diversity.

In no case, however, can supporting evidence alone establish the Tetragrammaton's presence in the absence of verifiable use of the Tetragrammaton in early manuscripts. The majority of the earliest extant Christian Scripture manuscripts should show the Tetragrammaton or a reasonable derivative embedded in the Greek text. All discussions of the inspiration of Scripture and its inerrancy are based on an important premise.

For any portion of Scripture to be accepted as authoritative, it must be verified by authentic, ancient manuscripts. We cannot validate the original words of Scripture on any other basis than the most exacting manuscript study. There is no other information or tradition that can take precedence over the earliest and most accurate Greek copies of the Christian Scriptures. It would not be a translation because it would be an exact importation of the Hebrew word, including its meaning and orthography, into the Greek text.

The reader must be aware that there are no extant Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures that contain the Tetragrammaton. We can appropriately require the same degree of manuscript evidence for the existence of the Tetragrammaton that we would demand for any other correction of variants in the Greek text. Since the Tetragrammaton does not appear in any of the 5, extant Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures, we can conclude that all discussion of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures is mere speculation. Finally, as we close this first topic dealing with the presumed removal of the Tetragrammaton from the Christian Scriptures, we must be reminded of an important fact in biblical research.

There is not a single instance of a word that has been reinstated to the Greek text in use today that does not have textual support from ancient Greek manuscripts. According to John refers to the false "and these three are one" passage at 1 John 5: It is an example of a passage that was "planted" into the King James' Greek text in order to promote a theological preference, but was later removed because no ancient Greek manuscripts support it. Early and numerous extant manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures should show evidence of the Tetragrammaton's removal.

No original Greek Scripture writings remain. For that reason, all evidence for the content of the Greek Scriptures comes from subsequent copies. Regardless of the word used by the original writers in these instances, the word would be firmly established in the manuscripts within the first 30 years of the Christian congregation. There is no basis for accurately estimating the number of copies that were in circulation 30 years later. However, considering that the Christian congregation was dispersed by severe persecution, that rapid growth took place, and that both congregation- and privately-held copies were in use, the numbers must have been in the hundreds, if not thousands, of separate copies for each book.

In all probability, John's epistles would have reflected a warning if the Tetragrammaton had been altered in his lifetime. There would simply have been too many manuscripts in too many places for this to have taken place. Initially, only a few manuscripts in selected locations could have been destroyed. Willful destruction of manuscripts would have been even more difficult because many Christians had preserved them despite times of persecution.

Thus, a textual variant [5] rather than an abrupt and complete change would have resulted. Not all of the passages would be uniformly altered in each manuscript. There are numerous examples of manuscript longevity recorded in history. For example, Jerome, who died in C. Therefore, it is clear that this document or copies of it was available for at least years after its writing. Because the Christian Scriptures were primarily circulated in Gentile territory, we would expect to see variants resulting from language confusion rather than theological bias.

For that reason, in each of these references, we would find a variety of Greek words in extant manuscripts rather than the single word Kyrios. Consequently, we would expect a change of the Tetragrammaton to Kyrios in the second and third centuries to leave identifiable manuscript evidence. Even if all copies containing the Tetragrammaton itself were lost, significant evidence of the alteration would remain in extant Greek manuscripts. This is not a mere hypothetical possibility. This exact phenomenon is frequently seen in manuscript studies. Textual critics often trace variants through successive periods of time by observing the influence they exerted on other extant manuscripts.

This is why the writings of the patristics [8] —which we will examine later—are such an important element of textual study.

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

Scripture quotations made by men known to have been living during certain periods of time indicate the content of the Christian Scripture manuscripts that were available during their lifetime. In other religious literature they are often called the church fathers. The Watch Tower Society teaches that, prior to the copying of any manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures that are known today, the Tetragrammaton was changed to Kyrios by copyists and scribes. This argument is seriously flawed.

The rapidity and completeness of such a change would have been unprecedented. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation amply establishes that Greek manuscripts of the fourth century C. In the book " All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial " page , several examples of leading papyrus manuscripts are cited, moving the date of known occurrences of Kyrios even closer to apostolic times. One important early manuscript identified as P 47 includes four passages from Revelation 9: This manuscript was copied by C.

John wrote the book of Revelation in about 96 C. Another manuscript from the third or fourth century identified as P 72 contains 12 Kyrios passages translated as Jehovah in the New World Translation. This manuscript, which contains Jude and 1 and 2 Peter, was copied between and C. A third manuscript that the Watch Tower Society uses as a reference is identified as P This manuscript is identified as circa C.

Since these five passages come from the Gospel of John which was written about 98 C. The inescapable truth is, that between and years after the Christian Scriptures were written, we have substantial evidence that the Christian congregation fully accepted Kyrios Lord as the appropriate word in these passages. According to the information published by the Watch Tower Society, it is left entirely to speculation as to how the original Christian Scriptures could have been written using the Tetragrammaton, only to have it be so completely changed within a mere to years, leaving no trace of the corruption.

That is, according to the best dates available to us, John probably wrote Revelation in 96 C. That means that between 98 and C. Yet the book " All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial " moves the dates even closer together when it says,. These manuscript evidences provide strong assurance that we now have a dependable Greek text in refined form page That a heresy of such radical proportions could have swept the entire Roman Empire during even the short period between 96 and C.

Could we then imagine that it happened "just a couple of decades" after the apostle John's death? A study exploring the existence of the Tetragrammaton in the original Christian Greek Scriptures should consider six specific topics. We considered the first two in the last chapter. We will evaluate two dealing with non-biblical manuscripts in this chapter. If there was a debate over the removal of the Tetragrammaton, the writings of the early patristics should record it. The development of the Christian congregation was marked by writing.

In many cases, this writing was in the form of letters or epistles. The Christian Scriptures owe much to letter writing. The Gospel of Luke, the book of Acts, all of Paul's writings using his name, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, and the three epistles of John are all addressed as letters to Christian congregations or individuals. Even the book of Revelation is addressed to "the seven congregations that are in the [district of] Asia. We would expect these two important sources to mention the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the original Christian Scripture writings.

By the second century, the writing of letters of instruction as well as considerably longer works of philosophy and theology had become an accepted part of the new Christian congregation. A significant sampling of that writing has been preserved for us today. Scroll to the heading Ante-Nicene Fathers 9 volumes. That is, we have only copied materials, never original writings.

For our purposes, the content of that council is not important. However, the writings of the patristics are categorized on the basis of this council. A group called the "Ante-Nicene fathers" wrote before C. The writings of the early patristics are widely recognized by the Watch Tower Society. The testimony of Jerome regarding Matthew's Hebrew Gospel, the work and commentary of Origen concerning the Septuagint, and the reluctance of the Jews to pronounce the divine name are examples of information given by the Ante-Nicene writers.

A cursory glance through Aid to Bible Understanding shows numerous quotations from both secular and Christian writers of that era. Examples abound from Tacitus and Josephus [cf. This is a simple chronological classification of the writers rather than a statement of their theological position. The writings of the "church fathers" are divided by the time of writing into Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene. For example, see the reference to Josephus' writings on page 11 of the Watchtower magazine, April 15, Through these writings, much is known about the early Christian congregation and the world in which it existed.

It is reasonable to assume that the importance of any issue in the life of the early Christian congregation would be displayed by the amount of contemporary material written. Before going further, we need to appreciate the volume of written material and subject matter of these writers. The author evaluated a standard encyclopedic reference which is available in most large public libraries. These volumes contain writings of men living in the Common Era. Among them were Justin Martyr who lived from to [4] , Irenaeus to , Polycarp? These nine volumes make an important contribution to the study of the Tetragrammaton.

First, notice that these men typically wrote within 20 to years of the original writing of the Christian Scriptures. Polycarp was actually a student of the Apostle John. These men would certainly have been aware of a heresy as significant as the removal of the Tetragrammaton from the Christian Scriptures. Their lack of comment that this was a heresy is also significant. This and other free downloadable books are available at www. Secondly, with so much being written, such a heresy would most certainly have been mentioned.

The nine-volume set to which we have referred has a total of 5, pages of translated material. Indices and biographical material were not included in this count. With some 1, words per page, these writers have given us approximately 5,, words. For the sake of comparison, the reference edition of the New World Translation has 1, Scripture pages with approximately words per page. Consequently, there are about 1,, words in the entire New World Translation Bible.

Therefore, the writings of the patristics between the apostolic period and C. There are additional writings that are not included in these volumes such as the extensive Commentaries by Origen. Certainly, in this number of pages, the heresy of the Tetragrammaton's removal would have been mentioned. As an example, one section of these nine volumes was evaluated. An important early writer named Irenaeus wrote a book in the second century entitled Against Heresies.

This work has pages in the English translation. Conveniently, the publisher of this nine-volume set included a comprehensive Scripture index for each volume. Thus, a particular Scripture passage cited by any of the patristics can be located. Consequently, some of the pertinent Jehovah passages were located in Irenaeus' Against Heresies to determine his awareness of the presumed substitution of Kyrios for the Tetragrammaton.

No indication was found that Iranaeus expressed concern with the presumed change in the verses he quoted. Instead, he quoted these verses with full acceptance of the word Lord. Therefore, we can only assume that Kyrios or its equivalent was used. For complete substantiation of Kyrios in Greek, see the preceding comments regarding First Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Didache. However, our objective at this point is to discern any comment by Iranaeus of an improper word substitution for the Tetragrammaton.

He makes no such comments. Rather, he uses the passages as they appear in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation and adds no comments regarding an alleged Tetragrammaton corruption. The following citations give examples of Irenaeus' work. The Scripture paraphrases and brief commentary by Irenaeus in the left-hand column are from Against Heresies as translated into English and published in The Ante-Nicene Fathers by Charles Scribners' Sons, copyright In the right-hand column the verse which Irenaeus cited is quoted from the New World Translation.

Iranaeus indicates no awareness that copyists and scribes conspired to remove the divine name from the Christian Greek Scriptures, even in those instances where the New World Translation inserts the name of Jehovah [8]. Thus, a man writing a mere 50 years after the death of the Apostle John was content with Jesus' title Kyrios in the same passages which the translators of the New World Translation believe were altered from the Tetragrammaton by carelessness or fraud.

It is significant that Iranaeus was particularly concerned with the heresies of his day and most certainly would have made comments irrespective of which opinion he held. However, the few brief quotations we are able to give in this limited space are far from comprehensive. The reader would do well to personally evaluate these citations in a local library.

In this way, entire sections can be checked for content. Numerous early devotional writings are available from the first century. An interesting example is the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. This epistle is regarded as a genuine writing of the Apostle Paul's companion Clement who is mentioned at Philippians 4: Therefore, Clement's use of either the Tetragrammaton or Kyrios would reflect both the practice of the first century congregations, and presumably that of Paul himself. Based on the date of this epistle, this assertion would be true of at least the practice of the early Christian congregations even if the author was not the companion of the Apostle Paul.

We will accept the author as this Clement. On the other hand, the reader should understand that the biblical Clement is not accepted unequivocally among all historians as being the true author. Further background on the book and author is available in the preface material to this epistle. See footnote 11 for the reference. A so-called Second Epistle of Clement is generally regarded as being the work of another and later author rather than Clement himself. Therefore, only the first epistle can be relied upon for our purposes here.

Clement universally used Kyrios as the designation for Jesus when he referred to him as Lord. However, he also frequently quoted or alluded to Hebrew Scripture references in which the New World Translation inserts Jehovah. The following quotations from the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians [10] are taken from the book entitled The Apostolic Fathers , [11] which gives the Greek text with an English translation.

Where Clement used a word which was translated into English as Lord , the actual Greek word, which is always a form of Kyrios, will be shown parenthetically. The chapter and verse designation within First Clement precedes the quotation. The Hebrew Scripture reference is given following the quotation. The English translator is Kirsopp Lake. The information in the following paragraphs regarding the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache is also taken from The Apostolic Fathers.

In no case did Clement use the Tetragrammaton in his Epistle to the Corinthians. Thus, we know that Clement—a first century leader in the early Christian congregations and presumably a disciple and companion of the Apostle Paul—consistently used Kyrios rather than the Tetragrammaton when quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. We are left to conclude that either Clement—notwithstanding his probable leadership role in the first century Christian congregation and his association with the Apostle Paul—was a heretic because he abandoned the use of the Tetragrammaton, or that the Gentile first century Christian congregations did indeed use Kyrios in their Scriptures.

Was Clement alone, or did others follow his use of Kyrios when quoting from the Hebrew Scriptures? We find a similar pattern among other writers of the time. Another epistle from the end of the first century or early part of the second is called the Epistle of Barnabas. Though tradition credits Paul's companion, Barnabas, as being its author, this epistle is probably the work of someone else. Nonetheless, the early congregations held it in high esteem. We are not concerned with inspiration, but simply whether Kyrios or the Tetragrammaton was used in these early writings when they quoted Hebrew Scriptures.

Again, the Epistle of Barnabas followed the same pattern as First Clement. The writer of the epistle quoted Isaiah 1: Many similar examples are found in this epistle when the Greek word Kyrios is used in verses such as Psalm We have given only a single example. However, the reader is encouraged to study the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache for other examples. A similar pattern of using Kyrios rather than the Tetragrammaton is found in a document called the Didache , or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

This writing comes from the first half of the second century. It was written as the teachings of the 12 disciples of Christ, though the anonymous author did not claim that they wrote it. Again, we are not referring to the Didache because it has any merit as inspired Scripture. However, it does reflect the understanding and practice of the early Christian congregations. The question might be asked, "If there was, indeed, a heresy which resulted in the removal of the Tetragrammaton, could all the writings of the patristics have been altered?

A second, but more formidable obstacle, however, would have been the planning needed to orchestrate such an undertaking. The need to change the writings of the patristics in such a way that a future generation would not know of the heresy would never have occurred to a group of copyists in the second or third century. After all, if it had been a theological controversy, contemporaries would have been aware of it.

It is totally unreasonable to think that such a concerted effort would have been made to recopy vast numbers of manuscripts in order to mask a controversy that was already common knowledge. A study exploring the existence of the Tetragrammaton in the original Christian Scriptures should evaluate six specific topics. We considered the first four in the last two chapters.

In this chapter we will evaluate a final manuscript topic and then consider the geographic setting in which the earliest manuscripts were copied. The Tetragrammaton should be identifiable in Christian Scriptures written in the Hebrew language during the early Christian congregation era. This manuscript is one of the "J" documents listed in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation footnotes. J 2 is summarized in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation edition, page 28 as follows,.

Shem-Tob's Matthew does not, in fact, use the Tetragrammaton. A surrogate is the abbreviation of a commonly occurring word in ancient handwritten documents. A circumlocution is an evasion in speech of a word that should not be pronounced. It merely means that any indication that he did so is now lost. Thus in that early Shem Tob version of Matthew the Tetragrammaton occurs 16 times.

All together, the appearances of the sacred Tetragrammaton in the 19 Hebrew versions to which we have had access total up to distinct occurrences. However, it seems strange that these translators who had such an intimate knowledge of the 19 Hebrew versions could overlook the presence of a circumlocution in place of the Tetragrammaton.

They even included it in their final tabulation of occurrences of the Tetragrammaton in the Hebrew versions that were available to them at that time. This statement was not corrected until after the publication of George Howard's book which reproduced the entire text of the Shem-Tob Matthew in Hebrew. In fact, Matthew was the only gospel writer who used a circumlocution for the word "God" in the expression "kingdom of God. He used the expression "kingdom of God" only four times [ The other three Gospels, which were addressed to Gentiles, used the same expression without the circumlocution as the "kingdom of God.

In reference to this expression, "the kingdom of God," we see that Matthew tended to avoid using the word "God" presumably because he was writing to Jews. In his book, Howard gives compelling evidence that Shem-Tob's Matthew was not a translation, but was rather a recension of an older Matthew representing the actual Gospel as Matthew wrote it in Hebrew. A biblical manuscript recension is the text resulting from deliberate analytical work by an early-and generally unknown-editor for the sake of correcting presumed errors in the text from which it was copied.

If it is correct that Shem-Tob's Matthew is a recension, Howard's scholarly work gives the New World Bible Translation Committee a much stronger reference tool than they were aware of from to when they were completing the translation work. Inasmuch as J 2 is the only potential extant Hebrew language Gospel or Epistle from the Apostolic era, we must conclude this section of the study by acknowledging that the Tetragrammaton is not presently identifiable in any Christian Scriptures written in the Hebrew language during the early Christian congregation era.

The single extant manuscript cited, however, uses a surrogate for a circumlocution meaning "The Name. The geography in which the early Christian congregations were located must be considered in the Tetragrammaton's removal. This last topic is merely a practical matter concerning the preservation of Christian Scripture manuscripts. It is not a major issue since many anomalies occur in any large number of ancient manuscripts.

Therefore, this topic does not bear heavy weight, but it must be considered because of the connection that a geographical setting would have had upon the removal of the Tetragrammaton. A cursory evaluation of the earliest manuscripts and the places where they were found will reveal an obvious relationship between climatic conditions and manuscript preservation. The common writing material in the first century was papyrus. It was made in Egypt from reeds and was exported throughout the Roman Empire.

Papyrus was a fragile material and did not survive in the cold, wet climates where the Christian congregations first began. For this reason, the oldest surviving Christian Scripture manuscripts have largely come from northern Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.

Who Is The Kurios Of The New World Translation? | Evidence Ministries

However, the Egyptian trade in less costly papyrus assured this less durable material's predominant place as the common writing material until the third or fourth century. The oldest manuscripts from Europe and Asia have survived on parchment also known as vellum because of its greater durability.

As mentioned earlier, they have been dated circa C. All of this has an important bearing on our discussion of the presumed removal of the Tetragrammaton from the original writings. Even though Christianity spread quickly throughout the Roman world which included parts of the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa , there is significance to both the geographical and cultural isolation of northern Africa. The early Christian congregations in Africa developed their own unique character and experienced the rise of their own leaders.

They did not necessarily duplicate the ecclesiastical perceptions of the Christian congregations in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Minor. Consider what the removal of the Tetragrammaton from the Christian Scriptures would imply. This is true unless it could be argued that the African congregation was not a true Christian congregation because they did not know God's name as Jehovah. It would then require us to believe that this distinction was lost in the African Christian congregation with no mention in the biblical and non-canonical writings that have survived until the present.

More than anything else, however, the loss of the Tetragrammaton would require us to believe that this divisive heresy could have been planned so thoroughly that all traces of the original teaching of the Apostles could have been eliminated by C. After reading the full length book from which much of this material was taken, a perceptive Witness reader said that the divine name does, in fact, occur in the Christian Scriptures. We will quote the entire entry. A transliteration of the Hebrew expression ha-lelu-Yah', appearing first at Psalm In the New World Translation it is nearly always translated "praise Jah, you people.

Allelujah was originally a Hebrew word that was transliterated into Greek. To Jews living in the early Christian congregation period who could speak both Hebrew and Greek, the word would certainly have conveyed its Hebrew meaning "Praise Jehovah. If the phrase had been translated as "Praise Jehovah" in all English Bibles, the meaning would be more understandable. However, the presence of the divine name in the Christian Scriptures is not the point of this book.

Rather, we are concerned with whether or not the inspired Christian writers used the four Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton in their writing. There is often confusion between the words "divine name" and "Tetragrammaton. It then becomes a Greek transliteration, even though it certainly represents the divine name. Notice these verses at Revelation 19 as they appear with some phrases omitted and simplified font in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation.

Look carefully at the highlighted English and Greek words for hallelujah. From this material reproduced from the Kingdom Interlinear Translation , you can see that John wrote a word that clearly means "Praise Jehovah" with Greek letters. He did not use the Tetragrammaton. John transliterated YAH with the two Greek letters iota and alpha …ia or Also notice that John did not use the Tetragrammaton in verse 6. He used the word Lord Kyrios. This book lists all noteworthy variants alternate readings from any of the 5, known Greek manuscripts for each verse in the Christian Scriptures.

Any time there is a different choice of words in ancient Greek manuscripts, the word differences are identified. The Textual Commentary also lists ancient versions because the word chosen by the version translator will often indicate the word he saw in the Greek text. The Textual Commentary is not concerned with theology or Bible translation. It is a commentary on the authenticity of the Greek text based solely on evidence obtained from examining all known ancient Greek manuscripts.

There are only two entries in the Textual Commentary for the entire section at Revelation The Textual Commentary says,. The presence of kai [the Greek word "and"] is attested by A [an important fifth century manuscript from which the Kingdom Interlinear Translation was produced] [a tenth century manuscript] and [also a tenth century manuscript] and almost all other witnesses; on the other hand the word is absent from a [another important fourth century manuscript used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation ] C [a fifth century manuscript] P [a ninth century manuscript] [and] cop sa,boma [a coptic version].

From this evidence, the New World Bible Translation Committee used the word "and" because it was supported by the majority of the ancient Greek texts. The second variant is the pronoun "our" in verse 6. The New World Translation reads,. Of ones saying Hallelujah, because reigned Lord the God of us, the Almighty.

The Textual Commentary has a lengthy discussion of the evidence both supporting and denying the possessive pronoun "our" or "of us". We will not repeat that discussion here, because it pertains only to the pronoun with no reference to "Jah" or the Tetragrammaton. It cites ten major Greek manuscripts and three important ancient versions that omit the pronoun. However, the Textual Commentary gives the greater significance to the reading in seven important ancient Greek manuscripts and a number of versions that include the pronoun.

However, we note two important omissions in the discussion of verse 6 in the Textual Commentary. There is no reference to any ancient Greek manuscript that used the Tetragrammaton. Had the Tetragrammaton been used in even one of the more than 5, ancient Greek manuscripts that are now available, the Textual Commentary would have noted that variant.

Had there been any surviving evidence that the Tetragrammaton had been removed, that also would have been included in the discussion. However, there is no such reference-the word Lord Kyrios is the only choice given within all extant Greek manuscripts. Thus, there is no evidence in any of these four occurrences of "Hallelujah" that Hebrew letters were used.

We said earlier that the New World Translation appropriately translated the divine name Jehovah in the Hebrew Scriptures. We are also saying that a more understandable translation for the four occurrences of hallelujah in Revelation 19 would be "Praise Jehovah" which is the meaning of the New World Translation rendering.

In no way do we want you as a reader to feel that the holy name of Jehovah should not be honored and used. It should be used, and we commend Witnesses for their practice of doing so. Our concern in this book is merely to determine whether or not the inspired Christian writers used the Tetragrammaton in the instances in which the New World Translation inserts Jehovah into the Christian Scriptures.

Through the earlier chapters of this book we found that there is no evidence to show that the inspired Christian writers used the Tetragrammaton. In this chapter we discovered that even though the Apostle John used a compound word that includes the divine name, he transliterated the Hebrew word into Greek letters.

Nonetheless, the divine name is undeniably used four times at Revelation It is also interesting to note that the divine name was not removed from these four verses.

Who Is The Kurios Of The New World Translation?

To anyone familiar with the language background during the second and third centuries C. Why then, if there had been a heresy aimed at removing his name, were these verses overlooked? From the study we just finished, we see that there is no manuscript evidence of any kind showing that the Tetragrammaton was used in the original Christian Scripture manuscripts. Secondly, we understand the futility of using Hebrew versions to prove that the Christian Scripture writers used the Tetragrammaton because these versions are merely translations from a Greek text that does not use the Tetragrammaton.

Finally, we realize that there is no evidence from history to support the theory that a heresy in the early Christian congregations resulted in the removal of the Tetragrammaton from the Christian Scriptures. In this concluding chapter we must consider the implications of this information. The Watch Tower Society introduces an irreconcilable conflict in its Kingdom Interlinear Translation footnote material. This is the preferred choice of the New World Translation in cases. If Jehovah is indeed the word used by the inspired Christian writers, then the Greek text is in error.

However, it recognizes that today, through the careful work of textual critics such as Westcott and Hort, we have an almost exact reproduction of the original Christian Scriptures. This irreconcilable conflict is evident in three viewpoints that cannot coexist without compromise. Yet, the Watch Tower Society independently defends each of these viewpoints:. If the Greek text is reliable, then its words must be reliable. But if the Greek text is reliable, how can the Tetragrammaton in a 14th century C.

Hebrew translation have precedence over a fourth century C. Greek text that uses Kyrios Lord? We could not argue that all of the words in the Greek text are reliable except for instances that have no manuscript or historic evidence of change. Inasmuch as the evidence for the use of the Tetragrammaton is far less verifiable than that for any other word in the original Christian Scriptures, if these instances of the use of Kyrios are doubtful, then no part of the Christian Scriptures can be regarded as reliable. Yet, this is not a mere issue of scholarly research or distant debates about ancient manuscripts.

It has a very practical application to each of us.

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If the written word of Jehovah was so fragile and tenuous that the divine name could be lost without any trace in less than years, can we continue to trust it today? Unlike other religions, true Christianity is not a mere philosophy of good acts and kindnesses. If our Bible is not a trustworthy translation of reliable Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that can be traced directly back to the inspired writers, we cannot be certain as to the trustworthiness of our faith.

Jehovah does not intend that we be have an uncertain faith. In some instances, the Christian Scripture writers used Kyrios in such a way as to convey the thought that they were referring to the Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures. There is no doubt but that this is the case in such verses as:. Clearly, this verse does not say that Jesus' own power was there in order that he could heal. That would be an unlikely statement inasmuch as Jesus' power was always present.

Luke is drawing our attention to Jehovah's power. Luke used Kyrios in a way that conveyed the thought as expressed in the New World Translation: Instead, Luke used Kyrios. The reader today must be able to grasp that same meaning by reading the word Lord rather than Jehovah.

There are many passages throughout the Christian Scriptures that identify Jehovah as the subject. Even though Matthew used the Greek word Kyrios, he certainly must have intended the reader to understand it to mean, "which was spoken by Jehovah The third illustration of a Kyrios passage clearly referring to Jehovah also comes from Luke.


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When the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary with the announcement of the birth of Jesus, she responded according to Luke 1: Certainly Luke indicated that Mary was addressing Jehovah when she offered herself in humble obedience. It would be most unusual to explain this passage by saying that Mary was addressing her yet unborn son. These verses show us that in certain instances, Christian Scripture writers used the word Kyrios when referring to Jehovah.

That is, since there is no historical or biblical record to indicate that they used the Tetragrammaton in the inspired writings, we know from the best ancient manuscript evidence that they used the Greek word Kyrios [5] when referring to Jehovah. As we have seen, there is no evidence that the original manuscripts contained the Tetragrammaton. If—in our desire to protect a theological position—we still must insist that the Tetragrammaton from Hebrew versions has precedence, then we must be willing to relinquish our claim that the Scriptures we have today are "inspired of God.

On the surface, it seems as though the inspired writers made a mistake when they used the single word Kyrios to refer to both Jehovah and Lord. Yet, all the evidence shows us that that is exactly what they intended to do. At this point we must be honest with ourselves. Listen to any group explaining what they think an inspired writer meant and you will realize how much they want to show that the Scripture writer used words that validate their doctrinal position. If these writers had used the Tetragrammaton times, we would be able to see a clear distinction between Lord and Jehovah.

But they did not. They used the single work Kyrios for both. In some instances it is clear that they were speaking of Jehovah. In others, it is clear that they were speaking of the Lord Jesus. There are, however, a large number of verses in which they appear to have purposely allowed the identities of Jehovah and Jesus to overlap.

Notice the sharp contrast between the sense of the following verses in the New World Translation and the Kingdom Interlinear Translation. The translators of the New World Translation have made it appear as though the verse is identifying Jehovah. On the other hand, the inspired writer used the word Kyrios, thereby conveying an entirely different meaning.

The quotation from the Kingdom Interlinear Translation comes directly from the interlinear portion. Consequently, the word order is that of the Greek sentence itself. The book of Revelation alone has many similar examples. There are many other examples throughout the Christian Scriptures as well. In fact, all of the Jehovah references should be examined. In all of these instances, we must allow the inspired writer to say to us exactly what he said to the readers of his day. In turn, that is what Jehovah wants us to understand today.

In the first chapter we stated a principle that all Bible translators must follow. An English Bible translator today must therefore identify God by name to his English reading audience just as the Hebrew Scripture author had. Applying this same principle to the Christian Scripture translator is no different.

Irrespective of the word used by the original Christian Scripture writers, the translator of an English Bible today must convey the same meaning to his readers that the authors did. This translation drew the criticism of many Greek scholars because of its incorrect and irresponsible scholarship.

The WT reasons that the writers of the N. This name, according to the WT, was eliminated by copyist from any new copies of the scriptures. The WT reasons that since the divine name was taken out, then the modern translator has the responsibility to insert it back into the text. By determining where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then they must refer back to the Hebrew text to locate whether the divine name appears there.

In this way they can determine the identity to be given to Kyrios and Theos, and make appropriate use of the personal name. An example of this practice is found in the NWT of Romans We will look at a couple of passages where the WT cannot afford to follow this rule because it would be confirming the Deity of Christ, which the WT denies. However, there is one difference between these verses.