Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Name of God more JW

I have still been in contact with the Jehovah’s witnesses and we are spinning around in circles. It is actually extremely interesting for me. The poor lady had a stroke but is recovering really well but now comes by with her husband. I really enjoy my chats with them, great people. It will be sad when they realize they are getting nowhere in converting me and stop coming by.

The subject we are still discussing is the importance of the name of God. This is not the most important topic to me, as I have steted before, but it is to them so I have an advantage but for what purpose? We are not in the midst of battle. A lot of Christians would think it a battle for souls but I do not see it that way. I hope they move onto something else because the conversation is getting stale. We are saying the same thing in different ways over and over again.

They bring up Bible verses and how we are constantly told to honor Gods name, to which I say: These passages cannot literally mean the name of God, if this was the case we would walk around saying “Oh God I honor and worship your name, oh Lord.” We are not called to honor and worship the name of God but God himself what we are dealing with here, in my opinion (obviously in my opinion, it is to be assumed, since this is my blog and others do not share the interpretation) is an expression. When it talks about how the people of God are sullying the name of Jehovah among the other nations it talks about the reputation of God.

I do not disagree that Jehovah is the name of God. I merely doubt its importance and relevance to me as his child. Calling him by a proper name makes him one among many. I do not see why I need to differentiate him from other gods when I believe there are none but him, hence the capital G. I call my parents äiti and isä (mom and dad), not Tuula and Reijo, because they are the only parents I have, I do not need to differentiate them. If I did I would feel distant from them.

“Well, Skeptigirl”, you may ask “why does the Bible mention Jahveh so many times in many versions and according to the JW in the original Hebrew?” That is an excellent question generic reader. YHWH appears in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, well a bunch of times I think. I am no Hebrew Bible scholar so let’s smoothly segway out of this, pay no attention to my waving hands and ridiculous dance routine, to English Bible translations. Four times in the KJV . Other Bible translations I cannot easily enough find the data on but in truth it is not mentioned once in the New Testament. That should give us pause. You mean, this is so important but Jesus did not mention it once? Really? That is right. I know it was written in Greek but if it was so important would the writers not have put it there.

Now I feel skeptical. Want to know what I think? Sure you do. The world view of the Old Testament was completely different from us. We must view it through those lenses. In the Old Testament there were many gods. Not really but in the world view of the people. They lived in a world populated by many local and global deities. When God introduced himself to Abraham (not as YHWH) other gods were present and worshipped in the household that God needed to be differentiated from. To Moses he said he was I Am but there is differing opinions on this point.

The point I am trying to make is that I am willing to admit the name of God is YHWH but I don’t think he meant me to call him by that name; maybe I will share with you later a story of how God taught me to refer to him. It would be useless to call him that because it creates a distance between us and assumes he may not be the only God. I believe he is and speaking to him in a way that assumes, or even hints that he is not, is irreverent. Sure, you or I can question this because irreverence is only possible if one believes in something whole heartedly. Irreverence is not possible by those who do not believe. For example, it is impossible for an atheist to be irreverent.

So that is where I am in the talk with the JW. What is going on with you?

1 comment:

  1. "I know it was written in Greek but if it was so important would the writers not have put it there."

    Absolutely, but that Greek was also littered with Hebrew. If Yahweh was meant, you're right, it would have been written.