Has anyone else noticed the profound disrespect given to our creator and his great name? When we deliberately misuse God’s name Jehovah, then we treat Jehovah with such disdain. When we attribute shameful motives to God, then dishonor is heaped upon our heavenly Father. When we deny him, by our failure to use his glorious name Jehovah, then we display a flagrant disregard for the sovereignty of Jehovah. When we speak and act in a derogatory manner, then we dishonor our holy God and his holy name.
Expressions such as G..d..n are commonly used in all, or most languages, everyday. This kind of abusive talk demeans Jehovah and his grand name. It should reflect on our lack of accurate knowledge; and a flagrant contempt for Jehovah and his magnificent name. Who among us would appreciate the name of a loved-one used in this insulting context? God has seen his name and reputation sullied over the centuries.
Names designate and distinguish us from others. Our name identifies us as this specific individual, with these particular qualities. It is one of the most important ways a person is known and recognized. His name, Jehovah represents him. Jehovah is the name of the one true God. God’s name was chosen by him. For an individual to know God and all that his name means and represents, signifies more than a mere acquaintance with the word. (1Chron. 6:33) It actually means knowing the person—-his purposes, activities and qualities as revealed in his word.
When people use titles such as; God, Lord, Dios, or Theo instead of using his personal name, Jehovah becomes devoid of distinction and identity, as the rightful sovereign of the universe. They mistakenly believe these words are God’s name. God spelled with a capitol “G,” is defined as a being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, originator and ruler of the universe. He is the principle object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions; also defined as a very handsome man and/or a powerful ruler or despot. Does anyone see the abject manner in which our loving Father is treated; the desecration of his holy name.
God’s name Jehovah reveals that he is the one, who with progressive action causes himself to become the “Fulfiller of Promises.” He always brings his purposes to realization. Exodus 34:6, 7 is not simply a repetition of the name Jehovah; it is a statement about God’s attributes and activities. “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment.”
When Jesus was on the earth, he made his Father’s name manifest to his disciples. (John 17:6, 26) These disciples came to know Jehovah in an intimate personal way. They became his friend. Jesus taught us all what we should pray for, in order of importance. He impressed upon us the most important thing we should pray for is the sanctification of God’s name.
Noteworthy is the significant number of times the name Jehovah appeared in the original writings. Jehovah appeared over 7000 times, testifying to its importance. Why and when did later manuscripts and Bibles remove God’s holy name Jehovah? With the help of some distinguished theology scholars, we gain understanding and insight into what happened. Professor G. T. Manely points out: “A study of the word ‘name’ in the Old Testament reveals how much it means in Hebrew. The name is not a mere label, but it is significant of the real personality of him to whom it belongs. When a person puts his ‘name’ upon a thing or person, the later comes under his influence and protection. ( The New Bible Dictionary, edited by J.D. Douglas, 1985, pg. 430; Everyman’s Talmud, by A. Cohen, 1949, pg. 24; Genesis 27:36; 1Samuel 25:25; Psalms 20:1; Proverbs 22:1)
The Imperial Bible Dictionary nicely illustrates the difference between Elo.him (God) and Jehovah. Of the name Jehovah it says: “It is everywhere a proper name, denoting the personage of God and the significance of his name, only refers to him. Elo.him partakes more of the character of a common noun; denoting usually, but not necessarily or uniformly, the Supreme. A Hebrew may say Elo.him, the true God, in opposition to all false God’s; but he never says the Jehovah. Jehovah is the name of the true God only. The same is true in Greek; the term for God is The.os. It was applied to the true God as well as Zeus, Hermes, (Roman; Jupiter and Mercury) Acts 14:11-15. The belief in numerous Gods makes it essential that the true God be distinguished from other such Gods, is still valid today.
Disgrace is the fact that God’s name is missing from most Bible translations. God’s name does appear in its abbreviated form at Revelation 19:1, 3-6, in the expression “Alleluia” or “Hallelujah.” (KJ, DY, JB, AS, RS) It was argued long ago that the inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures made their quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures on the basis of the Septuagint. This version substituted Ky.ri.os or The.os for the Tetragrammaton; these writers did not use the name Jehovah. This has since been proven invalid. Dr. P. Kahle makes this substantiated statement: “We know the Greek Bible Septuagint does contain the divine name in its Hebrew form. The Septuagint, as far as it was written by Jews for Jews, did not translate the divine name to Ky.ri.os, but the Tetragrammaton written with Hebrew or Greek letters was retained in these manuscripts (MMS). It was the Christians who replaced the Tetragrammaton by Ky.ri.os, when the divine name written in Hebrew letters was not understood anymore. (The Cairo Geniza, Oxford, 1959, pg. 222) This major change took place in the centuries following Jesus’ death and those of his apostles.
In Aquila’s Greek version, dating from the 2nd century C.E., the Tetragrammaton still appeared in Hebrew characters. Around 245 C.E., the noted scholar Origen produced his Hexapla, which is a 6 column reproduction of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures: (1) in their original Hebrew and Aramaic, accompanied by; (2) a transliteration into Greek and by the Greek versions of (3) Aquila and (4)Symmachus (5) the Septuagint and (6) the Theodation. The Name occurs in Hebrew characters, but in the most ancient ones.
Late in the 4th century C.E. Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate states: “The ninth name of God in the Tetragrammaton, which they considered A.nek.pho.ne.ton that is unspeakable, is written with these letters, lod, He, Vau, He. Certain ignorant ones because of the similarity of the characters, when they would find it in Greek books were accustomed to reading Greek letters that corresponded to the Roman letters. (Papyrus Grecs Bibliques, by F. Dunand, Cairo 1966, pg. 47, ftn. 4) These Christians who replaced the Tetragrammaton by “Ky.ri.os” in the Septuagint copies, were not the early disciples of Jesus. They were persons of the later centuries, when the foretold apostasy was well developed and had corrupted the purity of the Christian teachings. (2Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1)
Jehovah is the God of order. (1 Cor. 14:33) Because of his great love for us and through his infinite wisdom, Jehovah has established standards that govern our conduct and relations with him. These righteous standards do not detract from our enjoyment of life; on the contrary, they enhance it. Jehovah’s requirements allow us all the freedom our hearts could desire. God does not overwhelm us with a multitude of laws. Instead, the loving examples set by our heavenly Father Jehovah and his son Christ Jesus, coupled with our love for him, can protect us from exceeding the proper bounds of freedom.
Jehovah invites us to know him and call upon his name. When we learn about Jehovah and his marvelous qualities; all of which are established on love, we are drawn to him. (John 17:3; Isaiah 48:17, 18; James 4:8) We have every reason to thank and praise him again and again for his great love. (1 John 4 and 5) We laud Jehovah, because he is worthy and reliable and completely deserving of our worship and praise. (Psalms 68:4, 83:18, 91:14-16, 105:1-5)