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The complete book: Jehovah in The New Testament
   Chapter 1:  Our Response
   Chapter 2:  The Importance of the Tetragrammaton
   Chapter 3:  The Missing Chapter
   Chapter 4:  The Divine Name Appendix
   Chapter 5:  An Altered Photograph
   Chapter 6:  A Lesson From History

Chapter 1: Our Response

    Has new evidence finally been found showing the presence of the Tetragrammaton in early Christian Scripture manuscripts?

    A book recently published in Italy entitled GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO (JEHOVAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT) gives the reader that first impression. The book was written by Matteo Pierro and published by Sacchi Editore. (It is available through the publisher at sacchil@libero.it.)

    Our book is a response to GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO (JEHOVAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT), though we will not make a comprehensive evaluation of it for two reasons:

  1. To do so we would have to work through an Italian translator. Even though some information is readily identifiable to anyone familiar with the topic of the Tetragrammaton, and many references cited in the book are in English, it would be inappropriate to attempt an analysis of the book because of this writer's inability to read Italian.

  2. The Table of Contents and the readily apparent material in the chapters and appendices indicate the general topics included in the book. They also suggest what the book has omitted.

The book is well-documented

    From every appearance, Matteo Pierro has done a thorough job in his research. The book is well-documented, citing internationally recognized scholarly books and journals from the leading researchers and libraries in the field. It is obvious that he has given much attention to detail. We will later examine his appendix entitled Versions of the New Testament which use the Divine Name in the Text. In this appendix alone, he cites 135 "New Testament" translations that include the divine name. His other appendices carry a wealth of additional information.

The Table of Contents

    Pierro lists eight chapters in the Table of Contents (Index). These chapter titles give us an indication of the scope of his book. Translated into English they are:

   Chapter I: The Importance of the Divine Name in the Bible
   Chapter II: How the Exact Pronunciation of the Divine Name has Disappeared
   Chapter III: Yahweh or Jehovah: Which is the Correct Pronunciation?
   Chapter IV: The Tetragrammaton in the Greek Translation of the Old Testament
   Chapter V: The Drafting in Hebrew of the Gospel of Matthew
   Chapter VI: Jesus and the Divine Name
   Chapter VII: The First Christians and the Tetragrammaton
   Chapter VIII:     The Attitude of the Post-Apostolic Christians Toward the Divine Name

    This list of subjects is familiar to anyone acquainted with the Watch Tower Society's argument for the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures. In the chapters crucial to the main subject of Pierro's book (Jehovah in the New Testament) we see topics dealing with the Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint, the probability that Hebrew was a living language in Jesus' day, Jerome's citation of Matthew's Gospel in the Hebrew language, and more. Each of the above statements is readily verifiable from history and ancient biblical manuscripts. The question that must be answered, however, is whether this circumstantial evidence requires that the inspired Christian Scripture writers used the Tetragrammaton even when there is no manuscript or historical evidence to suggest that they did so.

    There is one chapter, however, that we do not see in Pierro's Table of Contents. There is no chapter identifying Greek Christian Scripture manuscripts that use the Tetragrammaton. As we will see, that omission is critical.

Chapter 2: The Importance of the Tetragrammaton

    The presence—or absence—of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Greek Scriptures is not a trivial issue concerning words in ancient Greek manuscripts. Rather, the Tetragrammaton's presence—or absence—will forcefully affect the faith of everyone using the "New Testament."

    If it could be established that the original Christian Scripture writers used the Tetragrammaton, it would require a reevaluation of the Christian Scriptures unprecedented in the 600-year history of the English Bible. A careful examination would be required to determine if the divine name was used 237 times or if it was actually used either more (for example, at 1 Peter 3:15) or fewer times. Christendom would need to reexamine its interpretation of what is termed the "deity of Christ" (the teaching that Jesus is God). Verses such as Revelation 1:8 could no longer identify Jesus as the "Lord God Almighty."

    The most significant consequence of the Tetragrammaton's use by the inspired Christian writers would concern quotations of the Hebrew Scriptures. Christendom has long understood the significance of the identification of the Lord in the Christian Scriptures with Jehovah because truths that could only be said of Jehovah were applied to Jesus. For example, Isaiah 45:21-24 says:

"Is it not I, Jehovah, besides whom there is no other God…By my own self I have sworn…that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear, saying, 'Surely in Jehovah there are full righteousness and strength.'"

    If the Apostle Paul used the Tetragrammaton in this quotation, Romans 14:11 would read as it does in the New World Translation:

"'As I live,' says Jehovah, 'to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.'"

    On the other hand, if the Apostle Paul was referring to Jesus when he used the title Kyrios (which is the choice of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation), then the verse would read:

"'As I live,' says the Lord (Jesus), 'to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.'"[NWT wording][1]

[1] It is interesting to note that the same author (the Apostle Paul) quoted Isaiah 45:21-24 in Philippians 2:10-11: "So that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend…and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Kyrios (Lord) to the glory of God the Father." However, with the same wording and the same human author, the New World Translation renders Kyrios as Lord in one case (Philippians 2:10-11), and as Jehovah (with added quotation marks) in the other (Romans 14:11). This introduces an interesting contradiction. If the Isaiah passage is read in context, it is very clear that Jehovah is saying, "Is it not I, Jehovah, besides whom there is no other God…There being none excepting me?…By my own self I have sworn…that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear…" The Greek text published in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation indicates that both Jehovah and the Lord (Jesus) receive the worship that the Isaiah passage has reserved solely for Jehovah. A careful reading of the three passages in their entirety-using the Kingdom Interlinear Translation where applicable-is encouraged.

    The worship described in Isaiah 45 belongs solely to Jehovah. If Paul used Jesus' title Kyrios, then either Paul was guilty of blasphemy because he was saying that every knee will bend down to Jesus, or, under the inspiration of God, he was identifying Jesus (Kyrios) with Jehovah.

    If the Tetragrammaton was used in these verses, then Christendom would need to reevaluate almost 2000 years of Bible teaching. If the Tetragrammaton was not used, however, it would be the Lord Jesus who was identified in most of these verses rather than Jehovah.

Resolution is simple

    The resolution to this debate is simple. If reliable ancient Greek manuscripts could be located which show that the original authors used the Tetragrammaton, the issue would be settled. We would only need to determine in which verses the Tetragrammaton was used, and then restore the appropriate wording to the English translation.

    Any time the Tetragrammaton appeared in the ancient Greek manuscripts, the Christian Scripture verse in the English version would read Jehovah. Equally, when a verse used a Greek word other than the Tetragrammaton, its English equivalent would be used.

    The final authority would be ancient Greek manuscripts. None of us would trust a Bible that used any authority other than the most reliable Greek texts for the Christian Scriptures and the most reliable Hebrew texts for the Hebrew Scriptures.[2]

[2] See Chapter 12, LORD, Jehovah, and Inspiration from the book The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures for a discussion of the error of the English Bible tradition in using LORD rather than the divine name in the Hebrew Scriptures. This book is downloadable from www.tetragrammaton.org.

An interesting contrast

    This is exactly the standard the New World Bible Translation Committee relied on for selecting each word in the Christian Greek Scriptures. With one major exception, the Translation Committee used the Greek words found in the Westcott and Hort Greek text as the basis for their English translation. Any reader can readily verify this translation practice by examining the Kingdom Interlinear Translation. Each Greek word was given an equivalent English meaning in the interlinear portion of the text. That meaning was then carried into the English New World Translation.[3]

[3] We are greatly oversimplifying the process for the sake of clarification. Translation is much more than simply substituting an English word for a corresponding Greek word. We are merely attempting to show that the translation process does not (or should not) use an English word with a different meaning than the Greek word, thereby changing the meaning of the text.

    There is, however, one exception. In 237 instances, the Translation Committee did not translate the word in the Greek text into English, but used other criteria for inserting the divine name Jehovah into the English text of the Christian Scriptures. In the companion book, The New World Translation and Hebrew Versions, you saw the quote from Appendix 1D of the New World Translation Reference Edition (pages 1564-1565) which says,

    To know where the divine name was replaced by the Greek words Κύριος [Lord] and Qeov" [God], we have determined where the inspired Christian writers have quoted verses, passages and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures and then we have referred back to the Hebrew text to ascertain whether the divine name appears there. In this way we determined the identity to give Κύριος [Lord] and Qeov" [God] and the personality with which to clothe them.
    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.

    It can be readily seen that many of these Christian Scripture verses use—or allude to—the divine name in the Hebrew Scriptures. Of greatest importance, however, is the actual word used in the earliest Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures. In this one instance, the New World Bible Translation Committee chose Hebrew versions as the final authority for word selection rather than the most reliable Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures.[4]

[4] The Hebrew Scriptures use the Tetragrammaton in many of these verses. The debate is whether the Christian writers read יהוה from the Hebrew Scriptures and wrote יהוה, or read יהוה and instead wrote Kyrios. It is only the earliest manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures that can tell us which choice the inspired writers made. Appealing to any other source-whether it is Hebrew translations or conjecture about historical events-elevates that source to a higher level of authority than the most ancient Greek manuscripts.

The Kingdom Interlinear Translation

    We agree among ourselves that the text we will accept as authentic is the one which most closely reproduces the actual words of the original inspired Christian writers. Therefore, the trustworthiness of inspired Scripture is authenticated by a historically verifiable text.

    The Kingdom Interlinear Translation is a reliable Greek text. On page 610 of the book JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Thomas Winter says:

This is no ordinary interlinear: the integrity of the text is preserved, and the English which appears below it is simply the basic meaning of the Greek word. Thus the interlinear feature of this book is no translation at all. A text with instant vocabulary more correctly describes it.[5]

[5] See a similar endorsement on the cover of The Watchtower, Feb. 1, 1998.

    There can be no debate that the Greek text of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation uses the Greek word Kyrios[6] 714 times throughout the Christian Greek Scriptures. This includes all 223[7] instances in which the New World Translation renders Kyrios as Jehovah.

[6] The Greek word is Κύριος. We will write the word with English letters as Kyrios using the spelling preferred in Watch Tower literature.

[7] Only 223 Jehovah references are derived from Kyrios. (Thirteen are derived from Theos [God] and one from a grammatical construction.) However, for the sake of simplicity we will generally use the number 237 to identify Jehovah references in the Christian Scriptures of the New World Translation irrespective of the Greek word source.

    On what basis can the divine name be reinstated to the Greek Scriptures of the New World Translation? There is only one acceptable justification for this translation choice. Since the inspired Christian Scriptures is the written record of the original authors, there would need to be incontrovertible evidence that the apostles themselves used the Tetragrammaton in their original writings. Further, this evidence would be admissible only if it could be textually verified in the most authoritative extant Greek manuscripts. Speculation regarding possible use cannot be employed to alter Jehovah's inspired Scriptures.

    The New World Translation uses 237 Jehovah references in its Christian Scriptures. Is the most accurate reproduction of the inspired Word of God from reliable Greek manuscripts represented in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation? Or is the most accurate reproduction of God's Word to be found in Hebrew translations completed in the 14th century and later?[8]

[8] For a complete evaluation of these Hebrew versions and their translation dates, see the discussion in Chapter 2 ("J" References from Hebrew Versions) in the companion book The New World Translation and Hebrew Versions.

    Inspiration has been redefined when the best manuscript evidence for the Greek Scriptures is replaced with the wording of Hebrew translations. This is particularly true when these Hebrew versions were translated from these exact Greek texts that do not contain the Tetragrammaton. The inspiration of the Greek Scriptures has been denied in these 237 instances.

Chapter 3: The Missing Chapter

    In Chapter 1 we said that Matteo Pierro omitted an important chapter in his otherwise well-documented book. What chapter is that?

    The missing chapter should have a title such as Ancient Greek Scripture Manuscripts Using the Tetragrammaton. Such a chapter should have cited numerous examples of ancient Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures that show the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton within the Greek text. They would have had to be early manuscripts because, according to the Watch Tower publishers, the use of the Tetragrammaton preceded the appearance of Kyrios in at least 237 Christian Scripture passages.

Why we need this chapter

    The reader may not be aware of the story behind the spurious (false) addition to the Textus Receptus (King James Version) at 1 John 5:7b which says, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."[1] This passage was used to support Trinitarian doctrine. The passage was actually found in a Greek manuscript, though the Greek manuscript was later determined to be fraudulent. It was soon discovered that older and more reliable Greek manuscripts did not contain the phrase "and these three are one."

[1] Though the error was introduced into the Greek text at a late date (around 1520 C.E.), the change was so important to the proponents of this wording that a copyist reproduced the entire Christian Scriptures in order to plant this passage in the text. Erasmus, the scholar who produced the Greek text that was later used in translating the King James Version, included the added phrase in his 1522 Greek Scripture edition. After further research, Erasmus removed it from his subsequent edition of the Greek text. Today, the error is quite traceable to a particular family of Latin versions. It is only found in four Greek manuscripts and appears in no current English versions other than those following the King James tradition. (See "The Word" Who is He? According to John, WTBTS, page 9.)

    No words may be added to Scripture during translation in order to allow any one group to use that version as a validation for their viewpoint. This was true of the words at 1 John 5:7, and it is true for the word Jehovah in the Christian Scriptures. Only those words found in the most accurate Greek manuscripts can be translated and inserted into the English text.

    Therefore, if the word Jehovah is to be added to the Christian Greek Scriptures, we must have evidence of ancient manuscripts clearly showing that the inspired writers themselves used the Tetragrammaton. We would expect to find a chapter in Pierro's book identifying authentic manuscript evidence for the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures.

    It is interesting to note that in all of the discussion from Watch Tower publications supporting the use of Jehovah in the Christian Scriptures, there is never a citation of any ancient Greek manuscripts containing the Tetragrammaton. To a reader who has become accustomed to mere circumstantial evidence as proof for the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures, the omission of manuscript evidence may not be noticeable. To others, however, the absence of any manuscript evidence for a claim that would alter the fundamental evidence in Scripture that Jesus is fully identified with Jehovah is immediately apparent and of great significance.

How the chapter is replaced

    It is not our intent to discuss the arguments used by the Watch Tower Society as proof that the inspired authors used the Tetragrammaton. That information has been given in other publications.[2] The reader should be aware, however, that the following arguments are used:

[2] Refer to the book The Divine Name in the New World Translation, especially chapters 1, 5, 8, 9, and 10. This book is available for free downloading from www.tetragrammaton.org.

  1. Septuagint copies used the Tetragrammaton in the Greek text. It is readily verifiable that certain ancient manuscript copies of the Septuagint used the Tetragrammaton. It is noteworthy, however, that these manuscripts did survive during the same time period in which the "missing" Christian Scripture manuscripts were supposedly destroyed.

  2. Christian copyists in the second and third centuries C.E. changed the Tetragrammaton to Kyrios. There is verifiable evidence that Christians copied the Septuagint using the word Kyrios rather than יהוה. It is also beyond doubt that their copies of the Christian Scriptures contained the word Kyrios from as early as the second century C.E. However, since there is no manuscript evidence of any kind indicating that these copyists ever saw the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures, we can only conclude that they read Kyrios (not the Tetragrammaton) and faithfully copied it as Kyrios. Any evidence to the contrary is based on speculation rather than manuscript evidence.

  3. There was a universal heresy during the second and third centuries C.E. that resulted in the removal of all traces of the Tetragrammaton from the Christian Scriptures. In another book[3] we have discussed the difficulty of such an undertaking. In summary, the insurmountable difficulty for this explanation is that it would have required that all traces of the Tetragrammaton be simultaneously removed from thousands of Christian Scripture manuscripts on three continents. It would have required that all of the writings of the patristics be expunged of any reference to either the Tetragrammaton or the controversy surrounding its removal. Finally, it would have required that all of this be done so quickly and thoroughly that no reference would survive in any secular or religious history describing the terrible conflict that would have ensued.

[3] See The Divine Name in the New World Translation, Chapters 8, 9, and 10.

    The great difficulty with this entire explanation is similar to the problem encountered when searching for evidence of the Tetragrammaton in ancient Christian Scripture manuscripts. There is no evidence of any kind that such an alteration took place, or that the controversy such a heresy would have caused ever developed. At the same time, we have clear evidence that writers such as Origen (182-251 C.E.) used both the Tetragrammaton and Kyrios in their writings without any indication that there was debate connected with the use of either word.[4]

[4] See the discussion of Origen and his use of יהוה, KY (an abbreviation for Lord) and pipi (pipi) all in the same document. The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures, Appendix J: Origen's Hexapla, www.tetragrammaton.org.

Why the chapter will never be written

    A chapter citing ancient Greek manuscripts that used the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures will never be written. There simply are no known Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures that use the Tetragrammaton. There are more than 5,000 available Greek manuscripts containing entire books or portions of individual Christian Scriptures, yet there is not a single incidence of a Greek manuscript containing the Tetragrammaton. In fact, there is not even a single instance of one that contains a Greek substitution for the Tetragrammaton such as pipi (pipi) or Iaw (Iao).[5]

[5] As reported by Pierro in GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO, page 51.

    We are not talking about Hebrew versions. Certainly, many Hebrew versions use the Tetragrammaton. But Hebrew versions are not ancient manuscripts. Hebrew versions are translations made from a Greek text for use by Hebrew readers. The majority of the Hebrew versions were translated within only the past 200 years, with the oldest identified by the Watch Tower Society being translated in 1385 (J2).[6]

[6] It is often assumed that the term Hebrew versions designates ancient manuscripts. In fact, Hebrew versions are all relatively recent translations of the Christian Scriptures for the use of modern Hebrew speaking Christians. J2, published in 1385 is the oldest "J" document using the Tetragrammaton. The most recent "J" reference Hebrew version is J22, published in 1979.

    To date, no ancient Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures using the Tetragrammaton exist. With all of the attention in the past 150 years given to manuscript discovery and study, it is extremely unlikely that any will ever be found. But it is not impossible. However, the mere presence of a single manuscript containing the Tetragrammaton would not prove that the Tetragrammaton was used by the original writers any more than four Greek manuscripts containing the phrase "and these three are one" at 1 John 5:7 prove that this sentence was written by John. A newly discovered manuscript containing the Tetragrammaton would need to be analyzed like any other manuscript that is used to authenticate the original Christian Scripture text. Its date and location (if possible) of writing would need to be determined. Obviously, a Greek manuscript copied in the fifth century C.E. would be far less significant in this regard than one copied in the second century. If possible, it would be necessary to establish the identity of the group that copied and used the manuscript. It would not be entirely surprising if a manuscript from a Jewish Christian community used the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures.

    The presence of the Tetragrammaton in the original writings of the inspired authors can only be established with a preponderance of manuscript evidence in the oldest manuscripts. That evidence is entirely lacking from the voluminous Christian Greek Scripture manuscript collections available today.

Why do we want this information?

    We must evaluate our purpose for studying the possible use of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures. If we merely want to prove the Tetragrammaton's use so that we can justify a theological position, then we do not need to systematically study manuscript and historical evidence. Enough speculative information can be gathered to satisfy the reader who is already content with what he believes.

    On the other hand, if our purpose is to determine what the original authors wrote because accurate wording is important for our personal faith, then we will evaluate information differently. Our purpose will not be to "win an argument." It will be to evaluate the manuscript and historical evidence in order to reach the most accurate explanation possible. We will shy away from simple speculation and instead will carefully evaluate the best verifiable evidence.

    Some argue that the text of the Bible must be reconciled to the teaching of the Bible. The difficulty with this argument is that the "teaching of the Bible" is not an objective standard. For one group, the "teaching of the Bible" is that Jesus is God. Another group teaches that Jesus is the first creation of the Father. Which group should be given the privilege of determining the "teaching of the Bible"?

    Jehovah God has given us his word, the Bible. The only way to know its truth-and thus to know the real teaching of the Bible-is to read Jehovah's thoughts as found in the most accurate reproductions of the original, inspired writings. The text itself must dictate the teaching of the Bible.

Chapter 4: The Divine Name Appendix

    The book GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO (JEHOVA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT) contains an important appendix (pages 140-146) entitled Versions of the New Testament which use the Divine Name in the Text. Because the book is copyright protected, we will not reproduce the appendix here.

    The appendix lists 135 "New Testament" versions that use either the Tetragrammaton (because they are Hebrew versions) or Jehovah in the translation language of the text. This appears to be a well-researched appendix. Pierro has done an excellent job of compiling a comprehensive list of translations that use the Tetragrammaton (which is unique to Hebrew versions) or some form of the divine name in the "New Testament."

    We can generally divide the information given in the appendix into four categories:

  1. Hebrew versions that use the Tetragrammaton (יהוה). Pierro cites 26 Hebrew versions[1] that use the Tetragrammaton. In all but one version, the frequency of the Tetragrammaton's appearance is identified as "throughout." The remaining version is said to use the Tetragrammaton "frequently." This first category of Hebrew versions that use the Tetragrammaton approximately parallels the Kingdom Interlinear Translation's "J" references. Common to both this appendix and the "J" references is J1,2,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12,13,14,15, 16,17,18,23 and J26. The "J" reference publication dates range from 1385 for J2 to 1975 for J23. This appendix cites no Hebrew version earlier than 1385, but includes a Hebrew version as late as 1991. The appendix cites seven Hebrew versions using the Tetragrammaton that are not found in the "J" references. The publishing dates in order of citation (and original publishing dates in parentheses when there are multiple editions) of these seven versions are 1950, 1976, 1991, 1985 (1838+1864) 1982 (1668), 1982 (1805), and 1986.

    [1] For simplicity's sake, we will identify J2 (Shem Tob's Matthew) as a version. However, according to research done by George Howard, it is probably a recension of the actual Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. (See his book Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.)

  2. Other language versions that use a translated form of Jehovah "throughout." The appendix cites 20 versions that use Jehovah or an equivalent name in another language (or, in seven of the 20 instances, Yahweh, YWHW or a similar form) with the notation that it appears "throughout" the identified "New Testament."

  3. Other language versions that use a translated form of Jehovah "frequently." The appendix also cites seven versions that use Jehovah or an equivalent name in another language with the notation that the divine name appears "frequently" in the "New Testament." In order to determine the meaning of "frequently" we consulted one of the versions cited. The Emphatic Diaglott by Benjamin Wilson (published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) uses Jehovah at seven verses in the sidebar English translation (Matthew 21:42; 22:37, 44; 23:39; Mark 11:9 and Acts 2:34). Bear in mind that this is a single sampling. Other versions listing "frequently" may use Jehovah either more or less often.

  4. Other language versions that use a translated form of Jehovah in a specified verse(s). The appendix finally cites 82 versions identified as using Jehovah—or an equivalent name in another language—with the notation that the divine name appears in the "New Testament" at one or more verses. These verses are identified as Mark 1:3 (cited in 31 versions), Mark 1:1 (cited in 12 versions), Matthew 22:44 (cited in 7 versions), Matthew 4:10 (cited in 3 versions), Luke 3:4 (cited in 3 versions), Matthew 21:9 (cited in 2 versions), John 1:12 (cited in 2 versions) and Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6 (cited in 2 versions). (These last four verses are translated as Jah in the NWT.) The remaining verses were cited as an example only once: Matthew 1:25; 5:8; 21:42; Mark 1:29; 12:11, 29; Luke 1:38; 4:18; 20:42; John 1:12, 13; 3:6, 16; 10:12, 38; Acts 2:1, 25, 34 (verse 34 is translated as Lord in the NWT), 35; 3:7; 7:6; Romans 9:29; 11:3, 34; 1 Corinthians 10:9; Hebrews 7:21, and Hebrews chapter 8 (verses not specified). There is one additional entry listed as the book of Hebrews translated into English by W. H. Isaacs in 1933. The versions in this category range in date from 1739-56 to 1995.

The missing Hebrew citations

    Pierro's appendix is masterfully done. However, it gives us much more information than the casual reader expects. The appendix is a comprehensive list of "New Testaments"[2] which contain the divine name in either the form of the Tetragrammaton (יהוה) or as a transliteration (such as YHWH) or translation (such as Jehovah, Yahweh, and others). The more than 5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts that contain the Christian Scriptures, either in part or in the whole, certainly belong to the "New Testament" literature. Therefore, we would expect to be able to run our finger down the column identifying the actual word used and be able to find numerous listings of יהוה with second to fourth or fifth century C.E. dates.

[2] Strictly speaking, Pierro's appendix lists "versions" (or translations) and not all of the "New Testament" literature that would include ancient manuscripts. However, we must also recognize that if relevant examples of early Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures contained the Tetragrammaton, neither Pierro's book nor this debate would be necessary.

    Instead, what we find are 26 entries with יהוה, but when we move our finger across that row to the column giving the date, we find in descending order 1599, 1984 (1877/1890/1902), 1950, Salkinson and Ginsburg's translation that is undated (though it was published in 1885 after Salkinson's death), 1976, 1661, 1991, 1866, 1838, 1817, 1975, 1846, 1533, 1982 (1831), 1985 (1838+1864), 1982 (1668), 1982 (1805), 1573, one version as [1855, 1867, 1853 and 1858], 1385, 1551, 1555, 1986, 1798-1805, one version as [1537 and 1557], and finally 1576.

    Therefore, of all known "New Testaments" which contain the Tetragrammaton (assuming that this list is comprehensive or nearly so) we discover that the earliest use of יהוה in the "New Testament" is 1385. We now discover the explanation for the "missing chapter" referred to earlier. There can be no discussion of the Tetragrammaton in ancient Christian Scripture manuscripts because there are no ancient Greek "New Testaments" which contain it. Pierro's appendix would certainly contain this information if it were available.

Our conclusion

    Pierro's appendix material is well done and extremely valuable as a comprehensive listing of "New Testament" translations that use the Tetragrammaton or the divine name in a translated form. It could undoubtedly serve as the standard for anyone researching this information.

    This appendix information shows that numerous translators have used either the Tetragrammaton (in Hebrew versions) or the divine name in some form in the "New Testament." But this information does not move us any closer to knowing whether the original inspired Christian Scripture writers used Kyrios or יהוה. Because all of these citations are versions, we must instead evaluate the Greek text[3] from which they were translated in order to discover whether or not the original writers used the Tetragrammaton. (We understand, of course, that the Watch Tower Society teaches that no Greek texts available today—including their own Kingdom Interlinear Translation—are accurate in this one area.)

[3] A Greek manuscript is an ancient document. Each manuscript is unique and has been assigned an identification number (or letter). The Greek text is the work of textual critics such as Westcott and Hort. The modern textual critic will evaluate all known ancient manuscripts and select the wording most likely used by the original inspired authors. The final compilation will then be published as a Greek text for use in Bible translation.

    We need to briefly evaluate the history of the Greek text used in Bible translation. The Dutch theologian Erasmus published the earliest Greek text that was used in Bible translation. (Prior to the publication of the printed Greek text, Bible versions were made from whatever Greek manuscript was available to the particular translator.) Erasmus lived from 1466-1536 C.E. He published the first printed Greek text in 1516. His first edition was based on inferior manuscripts ranging from the 10th to the 15th centuries. He later published revisions in 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535, with increased use of better and older manuscripts. Following Erasmus, others published Greek manuscripts that were largely based on his text, though they incorporated readings from even earlier manuscripts. These later scholars included Robert Estienne Stephanus, who published editions from Paris in 1546, 1549, 1550, and 1551. Theodore Beza published nine Greek texts in Geneva between 1565 and 1604. The Textus Receptus, on which later editions of the King James Version were translated, is itself based on the 1550 edition of Stephanus. Johann Griesbach produced a later but very important text between 1796 and 1806. Its significance lies in its system of manuscript classification and the degree of his critical textual work. This is the text of The Emphatic Diaglott published by the Watch Tower Society. The Greek text of Erasmus and his immediate successors was a great advancement for that time. However, as a Greek text, the 1881 edition of Westcott and Hort found in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation is far superior to that of Erasmus. (See Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, pp. 313-314.) Most present Bible translation is done from the Greek texts that incorporate the best of all these predecessors into the regularly revised United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament.

    For translations done after 1516, we merely need to consult Erasmus' text (which is readily available in any well stocked library) when we are searching for the Tetragrammaton in "New Testaments" translated before the late 1800s. For Bible translations done after the late 1800s, we would consult texts such as those produced by Westcott and Hort or the United Bible Societies. We could still determine if manuscripts used in translations earlier than 1516 contained the Tetragrammaton because these manuscripts are now in the possession of the Vatican or other libraries having ancient manuscript collections. However, none of the more than 5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts of the Christian Scriptures contain the Tetragrammaton.

    None of the Greek texts from which the versions in Pierro's appendix were translated contain the Tetragrammaton. Useful as this appendix information is, it is not the numerous versions that tell us whether the original inspired writers used the Tetragrammaton. It is the Greek manuscripts or texts from which the translators worked that give us our closest link to the original writings.

    Earlier we mentioned The Emphatic Diaglott identified as J21 in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation. One can surely look at the English sidebar translation and read Jehovah. However, one can also look at the Greek text and find the Greek word Kyrios used in that same verse. Certainly the English sidebar translation in this "J" reference cannot tell us more about the word selected by the inspired author than could the Greek text on the same page from which it was translated. Even though the Diaglott prints all of the evidence on the same page, the "evidence" for all Hebrew versions is similarly traceable. We can locate the Greek text from which any Hebrew version was translated and verify that the Greek text does not contain the Tetragrammaton.

    Neither Erasmus' Greek text, the numerous Greek texts published by others between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Westcott and Hort text, nor the modern United Bible Societies Greek text contain any evidence that the original inspired Christian Scripture authors used the Tetragrammaton.

Chapter 5: An Altered Photograph

    There is a convention in academic circles that allows a researcher to disagree with established conclusions no matter how strongly they are held by the majority. In any discipline, there is a potential to see truth more clearly when a writer challenges established notions. It is through this process of challenge that the newest findings and most accurate conclusions will eventually be applied to every field of study. This is equally true in this debate regarding the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures.

    Equally binding, however, is the convention that it is never allowable to alter photographic or physical evidence in order to authenticate new data.

    This writer was dumbfounded when he first saw the cover of GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO (JEHOVAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT). The Italian publisher used a photograph of an ancient Greek manuscript of the Christian Scriptures that plainly shows the Tetragrammaton (יהוה)[1] embedded in the Greek text of Mark 1:3. Prior to this, no evidence for a manuscript containing the Tetragrammaton had ever been mentioned in the exhaustive "New Testament" literature.

[1] Our Hebrew font reproduction is not exact. See the PDF file for a better (though still imperfect) representation.

    It was the book's cover more than any other factor that prompted the publication of this response. The cover photograph required an immediate answer. Presumably, there will be those who will conclude that the cover photograph is an authentic reproduction of a Greek manuscript of the Christian Scriptures containing the Tetragrammaton.

    It is not! The cover is an altered photographic reproduction of an otherwise authentic Greek manuscript. The authentic Greek manuscript uses the abbreviated Greek word KY (for Kyrios), which is translated into English as Lord. In the book cover photograph, the KY has been removed and the Tetragrammaton has been photographically inserted. (The book cover can be viewed on the website www.vecchilibri.net/geova.htm.) Careful examination of the actual printed cover reveals that the letter density (the screen dot pattern) of the Tetragrammaton insert is darker than the surrounding text.

    The description of the cover is printed on the inside title page. It says, "Graphics project and photo composition by Marino Nicoli. On the cover [is] a photomontage based on a Greek manuscript (Washington Manuscript) of the gospel of Mark dating to the VII century. " (Progetto grafico e fotocomposizione di Marino Nicoli. In copertina fotomontaggio basato su un manoscritto greco [Washington Manuscript] del vangelo di Marco risalente al VII secolo.) The words "photomontage based on" should alert a careful reader to the possibility that the manuscript's actual appearance has been altered. However, no explanation is given as to what the photomontage comprises. There appears to be no other explanation or reference to Mark 1:3 in the remainder of the book.

The Greek manuscript

    The original Greek manuscript from which the book cover photograph was taken is the Washington Codex. (It has been assigned the catalog number 032W.) The cover of GEOVA E IL NUOVO TESTAMENTO (JEHOVAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT) shows the first page of the Gospel of Mark where the word Kyrios (which is abbreviated as KY) appears toward the end of 1:3. (A second KY appears five lines under the inserted Tetragrammaton.) In the second instance, the verse is a quotation of Isaiah 40:5.

    The Washington Codex manuscript was purchased from an antiquities dealer near Cairo in 1906. It was initially brought to the University of Michigan for study. A comprehensive analysis and facsimile (photographic reproduction) of the manuscript was published in 1912.[2] Subsequently, the manuscript was transferred to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It is considered an important biblical manuscript. The principle manuscript contains the four Gospels, and is dated to the late fourth or early fifth century.

[2] The New Testament Manuscripts in the Freer Collection by Henry A. Sanders, The Macmillan Company, 1918. The book can generally be found only through an inter-library search of well-stocked libraries.

    The original 032W photographic reproduction of the first page of Mark shows a larger than customary space after the KY of 1:3. The mere fact that KY is present does not necessarily indicate that the original copyist inserted it. It could be speculated that the first copyist left the space open so that a colleague familiar with Hebrew letters could insert the Tetragrammaton. However, this speculation is readily answered.

    All information in this chapter regarding 032W is taken from the recognized study The New Testament Manuscripts in the Freer Collection by Henry A. Sanders. Sanders identified four "hands" (individual copyists who made corrections) in the manuscript. The first "hand" is that of the original copyist. This original copyist saw 78 mistakes in his own work and placed a dot above each incorrect letter before making his corrections. We know the original copyist made the corrections because the handwriting and ink color is the same. These corrections are also verifiable as the work of the original copyist because they frequently follow in the normal writing space inasmuch as the copying was still in progress. The second "hand" made 71 corrections by drawing a line through the incorrect word and writing the correction in an available space, thus crowding the letters. This second "hand" used smaller letters, but was undoubtedly a contemporary of the original copyist, as indicated by identical ink color and other considerations. (It was a frequent practice for another copyist to proofread a finished manuscript and make corrections.) The third "hand" made 11 corrections using large, awkward letters and a darker colored brown ink. This third "hand" made his corrections at a later date than the original writing. The fourth "hand" only made 4 corrections, using black ink. It is known, however, that this black ink was not used until the sixth century and later, so it is clear that the last corrections were made some time after the manuscript was copied.

    Who wrote KY at Mark 1:3? Did the original copyist leave a space for another to add the Tetragrammaton? One can easily tell by looking at the facsimile copy that the penmanship of KY in 1:3 is identical to that of KY in the passage quoted from Isaiah below. According to H. A. Sanders' comprehensive list of all variants and corrections in the manuscript, neither KY nor the passages surrounding them were corrections. Further examination of the first page of Mark shows at least five similar spaces in mid-line. One occurs after the second KY. In total, the spaces occur at approximately mid-point on lines 6 (first KY), 7, 11 (second KY), 17 and 24. We must conclude that the original copyist was in the habit of leaving spaces in the text, and that neither occurrence of KY was the work of a later copyist.

A Western text

    Manuscripts are usually identified by family. That is, certain changes (called variants) are identifiable within manuscripts copied in specific geographical areas. As a result, manuscripts copied from these parent manuscripts carry the same variants as the manuscript from which they were copied. The variants may be identifiable word changes, omission of certain words, additions of other words or phrases, and the like. The Washington Codex was copied from manuscripts of the so-called Western text family. H. A. Sanders identifies 75 instances in which the Gospel of Mark in the Washington Codex copies variants in the Western text.

    The Western text has a variant of particular interest to us. At the end of Mark 1:3 as we know it today from the most authentic reproduction of ancient Greek manuscripts (Westcott and Hort and all others), the Western text inserted Isaiah 40:4-6. In the book cover photograph we can clearly see this addition. Five lines directly underneath the first KY (or the יהוה that has been added to this cover photograph), we find the Greek letters KY in the phrase taihdozaKY. taih is the definite article and doxa (doza) is the word glory. This phrase says "the glory of the Lord (KY),"[3] or, as translated at Isaiah 40:5 in the New World Translation,

And the glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed…

[3] The word KY is the Greek abbreviation for Lord copied from a Septuagint version. The use of Lord in this Septuagint version in no way suggests that the divine name יהוה was not in the original Hebrew text. The Hebrew language Bible used the divine name יהוה almost 7,000 times and should be translated throughout the Hebrew Scriptures as Jehovah.

    It is obvious that this is an occurrence of Kyrios that is not in the Westcott and Hort Greek text (the Kingdom Interlinear Translation). The Westcott and Hort Greek text uses Kyrios only once in the entire first chapter, and that is at verse 3. Consequently, the appearance of Kyrios twice in the chapter must result from the variant as found in the Western text.

    The presence of the abbreviation KY (Kyrios) in a direct quotation from Isaiah 40:5 is of interest. The Washington Codex manuscript did not use the Tetragrammaton in a direct quotation of Isaiah 40:5, even though the original passage in the Hebrew language Bible used יהוה. Had יהוה been used in the Christian Scripture portion at verse 3, it would mean that the manuscript from which the copyist was working had used KY (Lord) in the Hebrew Scripture quotation and יהוה in a Christian Scripture quotation for the same verse. That, indeed, would have been a most unusual reversal from what anyone might expect!

    Aside from the misleading alteration of this manuscript that would suggest the presence of the Tetragrammaton in ancient Christian Scriptures, this particular portion of the manuscript was a very poor selection for this purpose because of the closely spaced quotation from Isaiah using KY. As a result, it is simply impossible to use this particular Greek manuscript to show with any credibility that the Tetragrammaton was used in the Christian Scriptures. In fact, the presence of the inserted verse from Isaiah 40:5 shows us that even the Hebrew Scripture verse itself used KY (Kyrios).

The Watch Tower is not responsible

    The reader must understand that this objectionable book cover photograph is the responsibility of the Italian book's publisher. This book is not a Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society publication.

    The insertion of יהוה in an otherwise all-Greek manuscript is an unfortunate use of graphic representation. Nonetheless, there is no indication that the book cover was used to purposely mislead the reader. A careful reader would have noted the explanation that it was a "photomontage based on a Greek manuscript," although the reader would also have needed to consult a photo facsimile of the original document in order to ascertain what was altered. As often happens, a publisher may inadvertently design a cover (or edit a text) in such a way that the resulting information is misleading, though there was no intent to purposefully deceive the reading public.

    We will give the publisher the benefit of the doubt.

Chapter 6: A Lesson From History

    Someone has said that those who do not know history are destined to repeat it. There is often truth in that statement irrespective of whether it is the history of our own group or that of others with whom we may disagree. We can certainly learn the right thing to do from positive examples we see within our own group. However, we may also learn what to avoid from the negative examples of others.

    Witnesses are known for their teaching that Scripture is inspired of God (meaning that Scripture is "God-breathed") and that the original writings were inerrant (meaning that every word was written without error and exactly as Jehovah intended).[1] The Watch Tower Society, and each Witness worldwide, is to be commended for this defense of the Scriptures.

[1] This means that the original writings were free of error. Every word on the original scroll was exactly what God intended the inspired author to write. However, this does not mean that all subsequent copies of the Scriptures were made without errors. Overall, copyists did an excellent job of preserving Scripture. However, errors were made—sometimes intentionally. Today, however, we have an extremely accurate reproduction of what was originally written. "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial," page 319, says, "Sir Frederic Kenyon [says] 'The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed.'"

Not all groups have honored Jehovah's Word

    Historians agree that Europe and America changed radically after World War I. The reason for those changes goes back to the end of the 19th century. The publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species strongly influenced public thinking. Challenges to absolute religious and moral truth became common. But even more fundamental was the open attack on the accuracy of the Bible. The issue was the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture.

    However, it was not the attack on Scripture from the outside that was the most devastating. Rather, in the late 1800s many denominations that had earlier defended Scripture allowed professors to teach what is called higher criticism[2] in their seminaries. Disastrous results soon followed. As young clergymen began teaching from a Bible they believed contained error, the devotion of their listeners to God's Holy Word was destroyed. Even though the change did not come immediately, it became apparent several decades later. The teachers in the seminaries were to blame. The newly trained clergymen were to blame. But the people who listened to them preach were also to blame for not defending the Word of God.

[2] For more explanation see the discussion, Higher Criticism—How Reliable? in the book, The Bible, God's Word or Man's?, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, pages 38-43.

    Many of these churches had followed a long established pattern. Teaching was done from the Bible, not merely about the Bible. A Sunday morning sermon was often developed from an entire passage of Scripture. The whole chapter was read with each verse being fully explained in its context. Definitions of the words in the original Bible languages were often given if it helped the listeners understand what the passage was teaching. Finally, there was a concluding application taken directly from the passage studied so that each listener could use that passage of Scripture personally.

    But that changed when the Bible was no longer regarded as the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Clergymen were no longer interested in explaining what the Bible said—they began teaching about the Bible rather than from the Bible.

The making of the Greek text

    We have already mentioned Erasmus (1469-1536) and others who selected and collated the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts of their time. They made important contributions toward eliminating error from the Greek Bible as it was known at that time, but they lacked sufficient manuscript material to adequately complete the task. It was not until Johann Bengel (1687-1752) began studying manuscripts that the modern science and art of textual criticism[3] began. Textual critics who made important contributions during the succeeding years were Johann Griesbach (1745-1812) who published the Emphatic Diaglott, and B. F. Westcott and J. A. Hort, who after 28 years of work, published The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881. (This is the Kingdom Interlinear Translation's Greek text.)

[3] Textual Criticism is entirely unrelated to the highly questionable, Higher Criticism. On page 318, "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial" gives this definition, "Textual criticism is the method used for reconstruction and restoration of the original Bible text."

    However, establishing an accurate Greek text required more than the work of textual critics. It was also necessary to procure ancient and reliable Greek manuscripts from which these scholars could work. During the late 1800s and early 1900s Egypt was "discovered" as a vacation center and source of antiquity for wealthy Europeans. Many ancient manuscripts of all sorts were located and sold to private European collectors. Some of these manuscripts were insignificant—possibly only household inventory lists from the early centuries. Others were important writings of classic authors or the patristics. (Because most sellers and many buyers could not read the manuscripts, they were often purchased even when their true value was not known.) Of interest to us, however, is the fact that many important Bible manuscripts came to light from this haphazard means of acquisition. This includes the Washington Codex. It was purchased in 1906 by the American collector Charles Freer.

    As a result of the interest in ancient manuscript acquisition and the work of textual critics during the period from approximately 1850 to 1950, over 5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts were classified as Christian Scripture documents. Important textual criticism work continues today, though it is generally a work of refining existing textual data rather than the discovery of new manuscripts.

The Greek text today

    Today we can be confident that we have an extremely close reproduction of the exact words written by the inspired authors of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. At the beginning of this chapter we read Sir Frederic Kenyon's comment as cited in "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial." Many similar statements supporting the authenticity of the Greek text we possess today are made throughout the books and reference materials published by the Watch Tower Society.

    When one examines the huge volume of material presently available evaluating the Greek text of the Christian Scriptures, one realizes that none of the 714 Kyrios passages in the entire Christian Scriptures stand out as unique. There is neither more nor less evidence of their authenticity than for any of the other words of Scripture. Some passages contain variant readings, but the variant is an identifiable word or phrase. But it is always identifiable, meaning that both the evidence for the word Kyrios and the manuscript evidence for the variant readings are known. Revelation 19:6 is an example.[4] For Revelation 19:6, The Kingdom Interlinear Translation selected the reading of 29 named, highly reliable ancient manuscripts and other support that read, "Lord (Kyrios) the God of us." Nine less reliable manuscripts and other support are named that read, "Lord (Kyrios) the God." Of lesser reliability are two manuscripts that read, "the God of us." Finally, in descending order of reliability is one manuscript that reads, "the God the Lord (Kyrios) of us," three that read "the God," and three that read only, "Lord (Kyrios)." However, without exception, there is never a variant that identifies the Tetragrammaton in any of the 714 occurrences of the word Kyrios in the entire Christian Scriptures. From all available evidence, the 237 Kyrios passages that have been translated as Jehovah in the New World Translation are as reliable as any other portion of Scripture. That is, there is no indication of any variants that would allow the Tetragrammaton as an alternate reading. However, in a few instances as we have just seen, some ancient manuscripts show "God" as an alternate reading to Kyrios.

[4] This material is taken directly from the textual apparatus of the United Bible Societies' The Greek New Testament, third edition. This is the modern Greek text from which most "New Testaments" are translated. The phrase "other support" means secondary evidence including ancient verse quotations and the like, which are outside of actual Bible manuscripts.

    The startling realization is simply that if the 237 Kyrios passages in the Christian Scriptures are questionable, so too is the reliability of the entire Greek text of the Christian Scriptures. If such a lack of certainty could exist, there would be no justification for using the Bible as anything other than literature. If mere conjecture with no textual evidence could undermine the reliability of the Greek words in even these 237 instances, we would have no basis for building a faith on all of the other similarly "inspired" and "inerrant" words given by Jehovah.

Implications for the Witness reader

    Any one of Jehovah's Witnesses must understand the implications of this debate regarding the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures. Very simply, it is a debate that has no support in any other scholarly community, whether religious or secular. There is no textual evidence of any kind to support the claim that the inspired writers used the Tetragrammaton. That means that the Tetragrammaton does not appear in any known ancient Greek manuscripts. However, it also means that there is no evidence from ancient versions of the first two centuries C.E. or variants in any Greek manuscripts—such as pipi [PIPI]—indicating an earlier presence of the Tetragrammaton. Nor is there literary evidence of any kind that the inspired writers used the Tetragrammaton. There is no reference in any of the copious writings of the patristics citing the Tetragrammaton in any Christian Scripture passage. Finally, had the Tetragrammaton been removed, it would certainly have caused an outcry from faithful Christians. Again, there is no historical evidence of any kind in either religious or secular history that this occurred.

    Witnesses need to be aware of the consequences of denying the inerrancy of Scripture when supposition and Hebrew versions become the sole support for making alterations. (As we saw in the companion book, these Hebrew versions contain much more evidence that identifies Jesus with Jehovah than the Watch Tower indicates.) When the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture is undermined, faith will be weakened. The change may not be immediately evident. But just as the denial of the inerrancy of Scripture destroyed the biblical foundation of certain of Christendom's denominations, so it will happen in the next generation in the congregations of the Watch Tower. If you allow your Bible to be changed, irrespective of how noble you feel the change may be, your faith will be placed in great jeopardy. When that change is allowed with no biblical manuscript evidence, you become extremely vulnerable. The Watch Tower will face a crisis similar to that faced earlier by of some of Christendom's denominations if Witnesses accept a Bible that is not faithful to the Greek text. Teaching in Kingdom Halls will be about the Bible rather than from the Bible.


    We must consider two topics as we conclude this discussion of Jehovah in the New Testament. They are central to understanding the use—or absence—of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures.

    The biblical text must be the sole standard. The English Bible tradition is in error when printing "Old Testaments" with a capitalized LORD replacing God's name. This judgment is not based on our understanding of Moses' intentions when writing, or what other inspired Hebrew Scripture writers saw when they read the Law, or any other argument based on circumstantial evidence. The reason we can say that the English Bible tradition is in error is that the most accurately reproduced Hebrew Scripture texts clearly use God's name. Witnesses are absolutely correct in insisting that their Bible use the name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. They need to appeal to nothing beyond the irrefutable textual evidence of the Hebrew Scriptures. This is true irrespective of the cultural-historical arguments "Old Testament" publishers use to justify LORD in their Bibles.

    The same standard of textual priority must be maintained for the Christian Scriptures. Certainly, verifiable historical and cultural considerations bear on the ancient text. Yet, it is the most accurate reproduction of the text of the Christian Scriptures that must be the standard for the words chosen in any modern language translation.

    Arguments stating what the author must have done are conditioned by theological presupposition. The Witness reader must understand that there are two equally plausible explanations to the Tetragrammaton debate. The argument that the inspired authors would have retained the divine name in many verses if they understood Jesus to be a created being rather than God is undeniable. Just as certain, however, is the argument that they would have used Lord to represent both Jehovah and Jesus in the Christian Scriptures if they understood Jesus to be deity. There would be no stronger proof of the doctrine called the "deity of Christ" than the application to Jesus in the Christian Scriptures the attributes given to Jehovah in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Therefore, what the inspired Christian Scripture authors intended to do can only be known by studying what they wrote. In turn, what they wrote can only be determined by examining the most reliable reproduction of the Christian Scripture Greek text. Neither LORD in the "Old Testament" nor Jehovah in the Christian Scriptures is permitted by any available textual evidence.