*Side note: The tetragrammaton (from Greek meaning "four letters") is the Hebrew theonym (A theonym is from classical Greek word. Theos "god" and -onym "name" is a proper name of a deity.) commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH. It is one of the names of the God of Israel used in the Hebrew Bible. While YHWH is the most common transliteration of the tetragrammaton in English academic studies, the alternatives YHVH, JHVH and JHWH are also used.

 

The whole case that the JW’s try to prove is that the original Greek Septuagint and the New Testament autographs all used the “tetragrammaton” or “Jehovah,” but that due to supposed “tampering” all the texts were changed; hence the responsibility of the JW’s to restore the divine name! Such is the argument, and a seemingly plausible one to those who are not familiar with the history of manuscripts and the Witness’ subtle use of the terms.

 

To expose this latest Watchtower pretension of scholarship completely is an elementary task. It can be shown from literally thousands of copies of the Greek New Testament that not ONCE does the “tetragrammaton” appear, not even in the gospel of Matthew, which was possibly written in Hebrew and Aramaic originally, therefore making it more prone than all the rest to have traces of the divine name in it- yet it DOES NOT!!!!

 

The general truth upheld by all scholars is that the Septuagint, with minor exceptions, always uses the words “Kyrios” (Lord) and “Theos” (God) in place of the tetragrammaton, and the New Testament NEVER uses it at all! Relative to the 19 “sources” that the Watchtower Society uses for its reason for restoring the Tetragrammaton (Jehovah) to the New Testament, it should be noted that they are all translations from Greek (which uses Kyrios & Theos, not the tetragrammaton) back into Hebrew, the earliest which 1385 A.D., and therefore they are of no value as evidence.

These cold logical facts unmask once and for all the shallow scholarship of JW’s, whose arrogant pretension that they have a sound basis for restoring the divine name (Jehovah) to the Scriptures while inferring that orthodox Christianity has suppressed it centuries ago is revealed to be a hollow scholastic fraud!

 

Let’s look at just a few verses to prove their scriptural distortions,

 

-Colossians 1:16 says,

-“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (KJV)

-“By means of him all (other) things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities.” (NWT)

 

In this particular rendering, JW’s attempt one of the cleverest perversions of the New Testament texts that has ever been seen. Knowing full well that the word “other” does not occur in this text, or for that matter, in any of the three verses Col 1:16, 17 and 19, where it has been added, in brackets, the JW’s deliberately insert it into the translation in a vain attempt to make Christ a creature and one of the “things” that Jehovah is spoken of as having “created.”

 

Attempting to justify this unheard of travesty upon the Greek language and also upon simple honesty, the New World Bible Translation Committee enclosed each added word “other” in brackets, which are said by them to “enclose words inserted to complete or clarify the sense in the English text.” Far from clarifying God’s Word here, these unwarranted additions serve only to further the erroneous presupposition of the Watchtower that our Lord Jesus Christ is a creature rather than the Eternal Creator!!!!

 

The fact is that the entire context of Colossians 1:15-22 is chock full of superlatives in its description of the Lord Jesus as the “image of the invisible God, the first begotten of every creature.” The apostle Paul lauds the Son of God as Creator of all things, (v. 16) and describes Him as existing “before all things” and as the One by whom “all things consist.” (v. 17) The Scriptures therefore, bear unmistakable testimony to the creative activity of God’s Son, distinguishing Him from among the “things” created, as THE CREATOR and Sustainer of “all things.”

 

And so JW’s have no conceivable ground for this dishonest rendering of Colossians 1:16 by the insertion of the word “other” since they are supported by NO grammatical authorities, nor do they dare to dispute their perversions with competent scholars lest they further parade their obvious ignorance of Greek exegesis. (Definition of exegesis: Exposition, explanation; especially an explanation or critical interpretation of a biblical text.)

 

-Matthew 27:50 says,

-“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (KJV)

-“Again Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yielded up his breath.” (NWT)

 

-Luke 23:46 says,

-“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (KJV)

-“And Jesus called with a loud voice and said: Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” (NWT)

 

The interested student of Scripture will note from Matthew 27:50 and Luke 23:46 that they are what is known as parallel passages describing the same event, namely, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In Matthew’s account, the JW’s had no difficulty substituting the word “breath” for the Greek word “ghost” or “spirit,” for in their vocabulary, this word has many meanings, none of them having any bearing upon the general usage of the term, that of an immaterial nature inherent in man. JW’s reject this immaterial nature in man and call it instead “breath,” “life,” “mental disposition,” or something “wind like.”

 

In fact, they will call it anything but what God’s Word says it is, an invisible nature, eternal by creation, a spirit, made in the image of God. Sometimes in various contexts, spirit can mean some of the things that the JW’s hold, but context determines translation, along with grammar, and their translations quite often do not remain true to either!!!!

 

Having forced the word “breath” into Matthew’s account of the crucifixion to make it appear that Jesus only stopped breathing and did not yield up His invisible nature upon dying, the JW’s plod on to Luke’s account, only to be caught in their own trap. Luke; learned Doctor and master of Greek that he was, forces the JW’s to render his account of Christ’s words, using the correct term “spirit,” instead of “breath” as in Matthew 27:50.

 

Thus in one fell swoop, the entire Watchtower Society’s fabric of manufactured terminology collapses, because Jesus would hardly have said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my breath”- yet if the JW’s are consistent, which they seldom if ever are, why did they not render the identical Greek term as “breath” in both places, for it is a parallel account of the same scene.

 

The solution to this question is quite elementary as all can clearly see. The JW’s could not render it “breath” like in Luke’s account and get away with it, so they used it where they could and hoped than nobody would notice either it of the different rendering in Matthew. The very fact that Christ dismissed His spirit proves the survival of the human spirit beyond the grave, or as Solomon so wisely put it, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as is was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Eccles 12:7)

 

-Philippians 1:21-23 says,

-“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” (KJV)

-“For in my case to live is Christ, and to die, gain. Now if it be to live on in the flesh, this is a fruitage of my work- and yet which thing to select I do not know, I am under pressure from these two things, but what I do desire is the releasing and the being with Christ, for this, to be sure, is far better.” (NWT)

 

In common with other cults that teach “soul sleep” after the death of the body, JW’s translate texts contradicting this view to suit their own ends, a prime example of which is their rendering of Philippians 1:21-23. To anyone possessing even a minimal knowledge of Greek grammar, the translation “but what I do desire is the releasing” (v. 23) signifies either a woeful ignorance of the rudiments of the language or a deliberate, calculated perversion of terminology for a purpose or purposes most questionable.

 

It is no coincidence that this text is a great “proof” passage for the expectation of every true Christian who after death goes to be with the Lord. JW’s realize that if this text goes unchanged or unchallenged it utterly destroys their Russellite teaching that the soul becomes extinct at the death of the body. This being the case, and since they could not challenge the text without exploding the myth of their acceptance of the Bible as the final authority, the Watchtower Committee chose to alter the passage in question, giving it a new interpretation, and remove this threat to their theology.

 

Their rendering, “but what I do desire is the releasing” particularly the last word, is a gross imposition on the principles of sound Greek Exegesis, because the untutored Russellites have rendered the first aorist active infinitive of the verb as substantive, which is this context is unscholarly and atrocious Greek. In order to translate it “the releasing,” the form would have to be the participle construction, which when used with the word “wish” or “desire” denotes “a great longing” or “purpose” and must be rendered “to depart” or “to unloose.”

 

Frankly, it appears that we have gone through a great deal of trouble simply to refute the wrong usage of a Greek form, but in truth this “simple” switching of terms is used by the JW’s in an attempt to teach that Paul meant something entirely different from what he wrote in Philippians!!!

 

Here, after much grammatical intrigue, we have the key as to why the JW’s went to so much trouble to render “depart” as “releasing.” By slipping in this grammatical error, the JW’s hoped to “prove” that Paul wasn’t really discussing his impending death and subsequent reunion with Christ at all (a fact that every major biblical scholar and translator in history has held), but a third thing, namely, “the events at the time of Christ’s return and second presence.”

 

With breathtaking dogmatism, the JW’s claim that “the releasing cannot therefore be applied to the apostle’s death….therefore it must refer to the events at the time of Christ’s return.” Words fail when confronted with this classic example of unparalleled deceit, which finds no support in any Greek text or exegetical grammatical authority.

 

Contrary to the Watchtower’s statement that “the word may convey two thoughts, the apostle’s own releasing to be with Christ at his return and also the Lord’s releasing himself from the heavenly restraints and returning as He promised,” as a matter of plain exegetical fact, Christ’s return is not even the subject of discussion- rather it is the apostle’s death and his concern for the Philippians that are here portrayed. That Paul never expected to “sleep” in his grave until the resurrection as JW’s maintain is evident by the twenty-first verse of the chapter, literally “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” There would be no gain in dying if men slept until the resurrection, for God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. (Mark 12:27)