Saturday, 8 September 2012

My Talk

I have to take my talk to the meeting tomorrow to practise with the sister who is my householder.  So here it is.  I actually have to give it, on the platform of the new Hall, on Thursday night.  As you will see, I have not yet been able to give up the security of a printed script for a minimal outline.  But sooner or later, I will have to.

Rs. p278 par1-3
Study 44:Effective Use of Questions

Setting: No.24, Witnessing to a member of the local Protestant Church

Sue:  Thanks for asking me in. I said last week that I would bring you a brochure that might help to answer your questions.  Its this: “The Divine Name That will Endure Forever”.

HH:  That’s kind of you, but as you know I attend the local church and I spoke to our vicar about my conversation with you, when we talked about God’s name, and he said that you are very wrong to have added God’s name to your Bible.   He said that the name is only in the Old Testament, and anyway, traditionally the Jews do not say or use the name, so Jesus would not have used it.

Sue: Oh. He is right in saying that the Jews do have a tradition of not using the name of God, but if you can spare me five minutes I would like to show you, from the Christian Greek Scriptures, the New Testament, why it is that we believe God’s name should be there.  For example, would you think about these words of Jesus, which he addresses to his Father, Jehovah: (reads John 17:26): "And I have made your name known to them and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them."  So when faced with a tradition that says we must not make God’s name known, and those words of Jesus saying that he has and will make it known, what ought we to do?

HH:   If we want to follow in Jesus footsteps, it would seem we should make God’s name known too.

Sue.  Yes, that is how we see it.  We wish to make Jehovah’s name known just as Jesus did.  And don’t forget what Jesus said when he left us the Lord’s Prayer. You will know these words well, but let’s read them now.  Would you read them?

HH: (Reads Matthew 6:9): “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified."  

Sue: What was the first thing, the most important thing that Jesus asked us to pray for?

HH: It was the sanctification of God’s name.

Sue. Yes, so Jesus must have used and made known the name Jehovah don’t you think?

HH:  It would seem so, from what he said

Sue.  And also remember that Matthew’s Gospel was written first in Hebrew, and he makes numerous quotations of passages from the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, that contain God’s name. Do you think he would have removed that name?

HH:  No, perhaps not.

Sue.  We don’t believe he would.  So we haven’t removed it from our Bible translation either.  And other writers of the New Testament, or Christian Greek Scriptures, quoted from the Greek Septuagint, which was a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, and fragments of those translations that remain show that they did contain the divine name.  And once again, as they were Christians, following Jesus teaching, do you think they would have hidden, or removed that name?

HH:  No, I don’t think they would.   When you tell me this, it does sound as if Jehovah’s name should be in the New Testament.  But, if it is so clear, why haven’t other Bible translators put God’s name in?  Why is it only you Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Sue. That is an excellent question, and one that I hope this brochure will help to answer.  As you read it, you will see what others, not Jehovah’s Witnesses, have said on the subject. And you will see that we are not the only ones who see that it is wrong to remove God’s name from the Inspired Scriptures.  For example, I wanted to show you this, as it is from a Protestant Publication – The Anglican Theological Review:   In it, a Dr. Walter Lowrie highlighted the need to know God’s name. He wrote: “In human relationships it is highly important to know the proper name, the personal name, of one we love, to whom we are speaking, or even about whom we speak. Precisely so it is in man’s relation to God. A man who does not know God by name does not really know him as a person, has no speaking acquaintance with him (which is what is meant by prayer), and he cannot love him, if he knows him only as an impersonal force.” 

HH:  Thanks, I will read it.

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