Sunday, February 5, 2017

Adonay, The Tetragrammaton, and the Great Isaiah Scroll

The claim is made concerning the New World Translation it that it is inconsistent in in translating Adonay (or as some prefer, Adonai), for in many places it is translated as "Sovereign Lord" and many other places as "Jehovah". For example, in Isaiah 9:8 it is claimed that it is translated as "Jehovah".
We are not advocates of the New Word Translation, or any other translation as a whole, for we believe that there is room for improvement in all. This is one of the points of misinformation being spread about how words are translated that needs to be corrected. Actually, the NWT did not "translate" Adonay as "Jehovah", so the writers who make this claim are making misleading statements. Nevertheless, without proper knowledge we do see how one could come to this conclusion, for the Masoretic text does have Adonay, not Yahweh, in many places where the NWT has "Jehovah". Why is this?
As stated in the back to the 1961 reference edition of the NWT, there are 134 instances in the Masoretic text where the Jewish Sopherim (scribes) claimed that they altered the earlier Hebrew text by substituting Adonay for the tetragrammaton. Isaiah 9:8 is one of those places. The complete list may be found in Appendix 32 of the Companion Bible, which appears to actually be in error in a few places when compared with Ginsburg's listing:
We reproduce this Appendix below:
The 134 Passages Where The Sopherim Altered "Jehovah" to "Adonai". This Is Appendix 32 From The Companion Bible. Out of extreme (but mistaken) reverence for the Ineffable Name "Jehovah", the ancient custodians of the Sacred Text substituted in many places "Adonai" (see Appendix 4. viii. 2). These, in the Authorized Version and Revised Version, are all printed "Lord". In all these places we have printed it "LORD", marking the word with an asterisk in addition to the note in the margin, to inform the reader of the fact. The official list given in the Massorah (107-15, Ginsburg's edition) contains the 134. Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; 19:18; 20:4. Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9. Numbers 14:17. Joshua 7:8. Judges 6:15; 13:8. 1 Kings 3:10,15; 22:6. 2Kings 7:6; 19:23. Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14. Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:13; 33:17,29. Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1. Zechariah 9:4. Micah 1:2. Malachi 1:12,14. Psalm 2:4; 16:2; 22:19,30; 30:8; 35:3,17,22; 37:12; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6. Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19. Lamentations 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58. Ezra 10:3. Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14. Job 28:28. To these may be added the following, where "Elohim" was treated in the same way :- 2 Samuel 5:19-25; 6:9-17} Where the Authorized Version has "LORD." 1 Chronicles 13:12; 14:10,11,14,16; 16:1. Psalm 14:1,2,5; 53:1,2,4,5.} Where in Authorized Version and Revised Version it still appears as "God". It is printed "GOD" in the Companion Bible.
The list given by Bullinger has been shown to be in error in a few places; but the New World Translation has the corrected listing in its Appendix:
Following is a list of these 134 places, according to Ginsburg's Massorah, Vol. I, pp. 25, 26, [section] 115: Ge 18:3,27,30,31,32; 19:18; 20:4; Ex 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9; Nu 14:17; Jos 7:8; Jg 6:15; 13:8; 1 Ki 3:10,15; 22:6; 2 Ki 7:6; 19:23; Ezr 10:3; Ne 1:11; 4:14; Job 28:28; Ps 2:4; 16:2; 22:30; 30:8; 35:17,22,23; 37:13; 38:9,15.22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6; Isa 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14; La 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58; Eze 18:25,29; 21:9; 33:17,20; Da 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19; Am 5:16; 7:7,8; 9;1; Mic 1:2; Zec 9:4; Mal 1:12,14.
Notwithstanding, the validity of Ginsburg's findings has also been questioned. And, indeed, some of the places given should be questioned. Lawrence Schiffman is of the view that the emendations theory of Ginsburg, and supported by Bullinger, is a mistaken understanding of the Massorah. Also Nehemiah Gordon, who has worked with Emanuel Tov, is of similar view, that Ginsburg basically was in error.
Nevertheless, the Great Isaiah Scroll (of the Dead Sea Scrolls) has Adonay (or Adoni*), not Yahweh, in Isaiah 9:8. This indicates that the listing of the Jewish Sopherim may not be totally accurate. ========== *Adoni: The Hebrew words Adoni (my Lord) and Adonai (Sovereign Lord) differ only in that that the Masoretic scribes added the extra vowel point to make a distinction. This was not done until several centuries after Jesus died. In the original Hebrew text there is no distinction between the words "Adoni" and "Adonai". Thus some argue that the reason that Adonai appears only to refer to Yahweh is that the scribes deliberately added the vowel point only where they thought there was a reference to Yahweh, thus distinguishing the word from Adoni (my Lord). For this reason many believe that several of the places where "Adonai" appears in the Masoretic text should actually read "adoni", and Isaiah 6:1 is one of those places. With this line of reasoning we tend to be in agreement.
We do find that the Great Isaiah Scroll supports Ginsburg's list in the following places, exactly as claimed, but the Masoretic text has adonay (or adoni*) in these places: Isaiah 3:18; 6:11; 7:14; 8:7; 21:16; 28:2; 37:24. Thus in these verses, the Great Isaiah has the tetragrammaton rather than Adonai (or Adoni) as in the Masoretic texts.
On the other hand, there are a number of scriptures in Isaiah that were claimed to originally have the tetragrammaton, but such is not supported by the Great Isaiah Scroll: Isaiah 3:17; 4:4; 6:1,8; 7:20; 9:17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8; 29:13; 30:20; 38:14,16; 49:14. In other words, in these instances, the tetragrammton does not appear in the Great Isaiah Scroll, even though Gingsburg claims that the tetragrammaton originally appeared in these verses.
A translation of the Great Isaiah Scroll can be found at:
What does this mean? Simply that there are more instances of the claims of Ginsburg that are not supported by the Great Isaiah Scroll than are supported. Assuming (and we point out that this is an assumption, although we consider this assumption to be more likely than the assumption that the changes were made before the Great Isaiah Scroll was copied) that the Great Isaiah Scroll does accurately represent the original writings, then the claims made for the Jewish Sopherim for the latter list of scriptures is inaccurate. We assume that the Great Isaiah Scroll would be more accurate than the list made by the Jewish Sopherim, thus this also throws some doubt on the accuracy of the list for the scriptures in other books, not just that of the book of Isaiah.
The claim made, however, is that the changes to the text were made before 300 BCE, whereas the Isaiah Scroll is dated later than this. The claim is that these changes were done by the Sopherim (scribes: plural noun form of the verb, caphar, Strong's #5608), and that it was done under the supervision of Ezra and Nehemiah, and that it was done around 410 to 300 BCE. The scriptures cited are Nehemiah 8:8,9 and Ezra 7:6,11, by which it is claimed that Nehemiah and Ezra were authorized to edit the text. (Actually, all that we read is that Ezra as a scribe, a copyist, one of the Sopherim. There is nothing in the verses giving him or anyone else authorization to change the text.) Therefore, we believe the Great Isaiah Scroll is more accurate than the assumption that Ezra and Nehemiah made any changes.
The list of 134 places is obtained from a work of notes attributed to the Sopherim (the Scribes) which have been combined to form part of what is called Gingsburgh's Massorah. It is alleged from these notes that the Sopherim claimed they changed YHWH (Yod-He-Waw-He) to ADNY (ALEPH-DALET-NUN-YOD) in the 134 places. ADNY, without the "quamets" point, is often transliterated as "adoni", by Lord. However, these alleged changes are disputed by some.
Something else we need to note is that there were no vowel points in the Hebrew text until several centuries after Christ. The Masoretes added the point to ADNY in places where they believed that ADNY referred to Yahweh, to form the word we often transliterate as Adonai, or Adonay. According the legends, these 134 alleged changes occurred approximately from 410 BCE to 300 BCE, with the claim that Ezra and Nehemiah were authorized (by someone, but, as yet, we have not been able to find 'who' supposed authorized them) to edit, and change, allegedly, improve, the text. We, however, doubt that such changes were made until much later. We certainly cannot see either Ezra or Nehemiah as having anything to do with changing the text, especially concerning the Most Holy Name. The Isaiah Scroll can be seen to indicate that the changes were made later, but one can read the evidence different ways so as to make it fit the legend. The LXX (Septuagint) is sometimes cited as proof of an earlier change, but actually cannot be used as proof either one way or the other.
Evidently, the tradition of replacing another name for the holy name, at least orally, had actually begun long before the exile to Babylon, with many calling upon the name "Baal/Baalim", meaning "Master, Lord", instead of Yahweh. (1 Kings 18:6; Jeremiah 12:16; 23:27) Please note that Israelites "Baal" worshipers often did not outright reject the Law of Yahweh; they most often tried to blend Baal worship into the Holy Writings. After 332 BCE, with the growing influence of Hellenistic philosophy and culture, the practice turned, at least orally, to calling upon the name of Adonai, instead of Yahweh. The false teaching was being promoted that the holy name should not be pronounced, and certain scriptures were being misused to promote that claim. The Greek form "Adonis" corresponds with the Hebrew, Adoni, or, by extension, Adonai, but as far as we have been able to determine, no written Greek translation has "Adonis" as a substitute for the holy name; they usually have a form of kurios substituted for the holy name. We have come to the conclusion that Hellenistic influence brought forth two general forms of apostasy, often within the same Jewish leaders: (1) a blending of Hellenistic mythology into and alongside the Bible; (2) a development of traditional laws and doctrines aimed at maintaining Jewish leadership and a separateness from Hellenistic influence. -- Matthew 12:1-8; 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-9; Luke 6:1-11; Colossians 2:8; 1 Peter 1:18 For more information on the holy name, see:
Thus, the disobedient Sopherim (Scribes) are the ones who are more than likely responsible for any substitutions of a form of adon in the Hebrew text, not Ezra or Nehemiah. We have no actual way of knowing when the changes were made to the text, but, in keeping with other findings, it probably was somewhere toward the latter half of the first century AD.
Related Links Psalm 110:1 - The "Lord" of David Isaiah Saw His Glory — John 12:41 Abraham and the Three Angels The following links are provided for further research although we may not agree with all statements or conclusions of the writers: The Emendations of the Sopherim The Companion's Bible's Appendix 32 An examination of the Appendix and a comparison with the New World Translation's Appendix and Ginsburg. References in some forums online: Related Books The Great Isaiah Scroll (1Qisaa): A New Edition (Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah) (Studies of the Texts of Thedesert of Judah) [Library Binding] Donald W. Parry (Editor), Elisha Qimron (Editor) This text comprises transcriptions of the great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) that were created from the leather scroll itself, housed in the Shrine of the Book of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The transcriptions were then checked against enhanced computer images of the John C. Trever negatives. Most emendations by different scribal hands are indicated. The photographs belong to the S.J. Schweig and the John C. Trever collection. [CLICK HERE for USA] * [CLICK HERE for Canada] * [CLICK HERE for United Kingdom] Scrolls from Qumran Cave I: The Great Isaiah Scroll the Order of the Community, the Pesher to Habakkuk [Paperback] John C. Trever (Author) [CLICK HERE for USA] * [CLICK HERE for Canada] * [CLICK HERE for United Kingdom]

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Does Jehovah Mean "God is Mischief"?

Some have tried to make it appear that the word "Jehovah" means "God is Mischief," or "God of Ruin," or something similar. The way they do this is by my separating the English word into two words "Je" and "hovah", and claim that "Je" means God and "Hovah" means mischief. Evidently, it is being imagined and assumed that "JE" is a transliteration of Strong's #3050, often transliterated into English as Yah or Jah, and the they imagine and assume that HOVAH is from Strong's #1943, which is rendered as "mischief" in some translations. Strong's #3050, however does not mean "God", but rather it is a short form of Strong's #3068, that is, it is a short form of the Hebrew form of the Holy Name.

The form of argument represented above is actually false association designed to give a desired conclusion, which is often also a false conclusion since it is based on a false association.

The problem is that Jehovah is not derived from those two words, but rather is an English transliteration from the verb provided in the Masoretic Hebrew text, which Strong gives the number of #3068. The root of this verb is Strongs #1961, the infinitive, "to be". The Hebrew form for "Jehovah" is actually the third person masculine singular form of that verb, meaning "He is" or "He becomes" or "He will be", etc. As expressed in Exodus 3:14 in the first person form, it is "I am", "I become", or "I will be", etc. The full expression in Exodus 3:14 is "I am who I am", or "I will be who I will be", etc. The name thus is referring to WHO God is, all that HE IS, all of His attributes, including his loyalty to fulfilling his promises.

Is Jehovah a Man-Made Name?

The claim is being made that it has been established that the "name Jehovah is not God's name."

Evidently, this is based on the man-made assumption that if it is not pronounced as it was originally pronounced in ancient Hebrew, then it is "not God's name."

The idea that the Holy Name has be pronounced and spelled as it was originally pronounced or spelled in order for it to be God's name is actually what is man-made. God never presented such an idea. You will not find such a thought ever presented in the Bible. Such a doctrine is itself man-made.

If that idea is true, then every English form of any name from the Bible is a "manmade guess" and are not really the names of the persons involved, including any form of the name of God's son, since no one on earth today knows for a certainty what the original Hebrew sounded like. The sounds often used are themselves based on theory, in effect, assumptions.

In Bible times, names did change in spelling from one language to another as can be seen from Koine Greek of the New Testament, as well as many other writings in various languages from that time.

As far as the Holy Name being presented in English as "Jehovah", this is a direct transliteration from the Hebrew Masoretic text. I cannot say that this means that this is the way it was originally pronounced, but it could be; it doesn't really matter. There is no command in the Bible that God's name or any other name has to be pronounced exactly as it was in ancient Hebrew or else it is a false name.

Nevertheless, some have produced a theory, which has often been presented as fact, that the Masoretes took vowels from other words (from their words often transliterated as Adonai and/or Elohim) to form their word that transliterates as Jehovah / Yehowah / Iehouah, etc. However, no evidence that the Masoretes did such thing can be found; there is no reason to think that the Masoretes did not endeavor to present vowels for the Holy Name as they thought it to have been originally pronounced. No, we do not know that "Jehovah" in English is the exact same way it was pronounced in ancient Hebrew; it is almost certain that "Jesus" is not the way the name of His son was pronounced in ancient Hebrew. We do not know Elijah was the way this name was pronunced in ancient Hebrew. Indeed, in the New Testament a transliteration of that name is Elias; the New Testament does not present as being a different name, but as the same name, despite the way many today of the two forms as though they are two different names.

The truth is we do not know for certainty how any of the names in the Bible were originally pronounced. Any claim otherwise is false, since once one examines the basis of such claims, one finds many assumptions being presented, often as though fact.

It is claimed that the literature of the JWs claims that Raymundus Martini coined that word, and God's true religion would not need to guess how the name came to be, His true religion would know it from Jesus.

I am not with the JWs, and I make no claims about any "true religion" except that given by Jesus and the apostles. It is simply a fact that Raymudus Martini never presented the Holy Name as "Jehovah". It is simply a fact that "Jehovah" is a direct transliteration from the Masoretic text which was in existence long before Martini.

Nevertheless, I do not believe that the JW writers claim to be infallible. Regardless, I do not accept what they say as being fact. There are many out there, including many so-called experts, scholars, etc., who present many of their assumptions as being fact, but one should always look for the basis, to see if what is being said is indeed fact, or based on some kind of assumption.

It is claimed that Jesus did not ever rebuke the Jews for not using it or use any translation Himself of YHWH as Almighty God's name, at least not as recorded in the original Greek NT.

We do not have the originals of the New Testament writings, but we can see that the name has been changed in the extant Greek NT manuscripts. It is apparent that someone has changed the Holy Name to forms of the words transliterted as KURIOS and THEOS, and possibly some other words, such as DUNAMIS. If Jesus declared his coming the name of KURIOS rather than the name prophesied that he was to come in in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, then he was actually a false prophet, as speaking in the name of another rather than in the name of Jehovah. -- Deuteronomy 18:20.

It is true that we do not know for a certain, but there is evidence that suggests that towards the end of the first century and beginning of the second century the Jews were confiscating and destroying all Christian writings that contained the Holy Name. Thus, we can see how Christian copyists might have changed the Holy Name to other words in order to keep the Jews from destroying all copies of what became the NT. Additionally, evidence suggests that they did the same with the LXX.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"Jehovah" and Jehovah's Witnesses

We are providing a link to the first chapter of Greg Stafford's 3rd Edition of Jehovah's Witnesses Defended. This Chapter has the title:

“Jehovah” and Jehovah’s Witnesses
The file is PDF.

This chapter provides extensive background information concerning the holy name and its usage throughout the Bible. The author, Greg Stafford, evidently no longer supports the JW organization. Of course, we present this, not to defend the JW organization, but we do believe in God's Holy and we believe the information should be of great concern to every Bible student, regardless of denominational ties. We do not necessarily agree with all of Stafford's conclusions, but most of the information is very useful.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Praise the Lord" vs. "Praise Jehovah"

The expression "Praise the Lord" appears 32 times in the King James Version. In every instance, however, it is apparent that "the Lord" has replaced the holy name (Yahweh/Jehovah).

CLICK HERE to see a list of the scriptures from the King James Version that contain the phrase "Praise the Lord":

In the World English Bible translation, "Praise the Lord" appears only once, in Romans 15:11, where it is evident that "the Lord", transliterated from the Greek as KURIOS, has been substituted for the holy name. The quote is from Psalm 117:1:

Praise Yahweh, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples!  (World English Bible translation)

The World English Bible translation has "Praise Yahweh" 28 times and "Praise Yah" 24 times. These translators rendered the Holy Name as "Yahweh", in the Old Testament, as "Yahweh" (this being based on an assumed Greek pronunciation of the name).

Likewise, the American Standard Version, which usually renders the Holy Name in the Old Testament as "Jehovah", only has "Praise the Lord" in Romans 15:11, but it has "Praise Jehovah" 18 times, and "Praise ye Jehovah" 25 times.


In actuality the phrase "Praise the Lord", so often heard in discourses, songs, prayers and testimonies, does not actually appear in the Bible at all. The Holy Name appears over 6,000 times in the extant Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). How many times it should appear in the NT cannot be accurately determined, because in the extant Greek NT manuscripts the Holy Name has been replaced with other words, such as Kurios (Lord), Theos (God), Dunamis (Power), etc.


Should we not be endeavoring to give praise by using the holy name of the only true God and by refraining from substituting titles or other words for his holy name?

Not that is wrong to use the title "Lord" in reference to Jehovah, for he certainly is "the Lord of all the earth" (Joshua 3:11; Psalm 97:5), "Lord of lords" (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3), "Lord of kings" (Daniel 2:47), "Lord of heaven" (Daniel 5:23); "Lord of heaven and earth" (Matthew 11:25), etc. But, rather, the question pertains to making the title appear to be his name by substituting the title in places where the Holy Name should be used, especially in scriptural references where it is apparent that such titles have been substituted for the holy name.

Exodus 3:15
God said to Moses again, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation. -- Green's Literal.

Psalms 106:48
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye Jehovah. -- American Standard Version

Psalms 7:17
I will thank Jehovah according to His righteousness, and will praise the name of Jehovah most high. -- Green's Literal.

Psalms 22:22
I will declare Your name to My brothers; I will praise You in the midst of the assembly. -- Green's Literal.

Psalm 113:1
Praise Yah! Praise, you servants of Yahweh, Praise the name of Yahweh. -- World English.
Or, with "Jah" and "Jehovah" supplied: Praise Jah! Praise, you servants of Jehovah, Praise the name of Jehovah.

Originally published 9/6/2012; updated and republished 5/9/2015.
See also:

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Holy Name in the New Testament

Exodus 3:15 - And God said to Moses again, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation. -- Green's Literal.

(1) In the past century there has been a controversy as to why the Holy Name does not appear in the Christian Scriptures, commonly called the New Testament. On one side, we have the "Jehovah's Witnesses" and various "Sacred Name" groups as well as many others that claim that the New Testament writers did use the Holy Name, but that it was changed to other words and all manuscripts that contained the name were destroyed. The opposite camp claims that the New Testament writers did not use the Holy Name, else God would have seen to it that it would have remained in the extant manuscripts. We believe that the New Testament writers did indeed use the Holy Name, and we believe that the both the Old Testament and the New Testament, taken together, give us reasonable information to come to this conclusion.

We will first present some history and our reasons for believing that the NT writers did indeed use the Holy Name (often rendered into English as Jehovah or Yahweh), and then look at the counter-arguments.

We read in Exodus 3:15, that Jehovah states that this would be his name forever, and that his name would his memorial to all generations. From reading this scripture, we conclude that the Holy Name was meant to be used for all eternity, that it was not some temporary arrangement with Moses (as some have claimed).

Part of the Law that was given was the famous ten commandments. The first of these commandments reads:
Exodus 20:2-3 - I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall not have any other gods before Me. -- Green's Literal.

Of course, most people are not aware of the Holy Name as part of this commandment, since most translations have changes the Holy Name to "the LORD," making it read something like: "I am the LORD your God." After the warning of not serving the idols of the heathen, Jehovah says: "am Jehovah your God, a jealous God." -- Exodus 20:5. Green's Literal.

Jehovah considered the use of his name to be a very serious matter. As part of the Law given to the children of Israel, he said: "be watchful in all that I have said to you. And you shall not mention another god by name; it shall not be heard from your mouth.." (Exodus 23:13, Green's Literal) Jehovah is here speaking of the manner of swearing, as recorded in Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20: "You shall fear [reverence] Jehovah your God, and you shall serve Him, and you shall swear by His name." It should be evident that from this command, it was God's intentions that his people should use his name, Jehovah, not hide it.

Joshua later reiterated this to children of Israel, saying:

Joshua 23:6-8 - And you shall be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses, so as not to turn aside from it to the right or to the left; so as not to go in among these nations, these who are left with you; and that you do not make mention of the name of their gods, nor shall you swear, nor shall you serve them, nor shall you bow yourselves to them. But you shall cling to Jehovah your God, as you have done until today. -- Green's Literal. ****

While the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, however, there were times when they did venture off into worship of the heathen gods. One account is recorded in Numbers 25:1-4:
Israel abode in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab: for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods; and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. Israel joined himself to Baal-peor: and the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel. Jehovah said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Jehovah before the sun, that the fierce anger of Jehovah may turn away from Israel. Moses said to the judges of Israel, Kill you everyone his men who have joined themselves to Baal-peor.
Who was this god called "Baal-peor" (Baal of Peor)? According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, Baal-peor means "Lord of the opening"*, a god of the Moabites (Numbers 25:3; 31:16; Joshua 22:17) According to the Jamieson, Faussett, Brown commentary: "-- Baal was a general name for "lord," and Peor for a "mount" in Moab. The real name of the idol was Chemosh, and his rites of worship were celebrated by the grossest obscenity. In participating in this festival, then, the Israelites committed the double offense of idolatry and licentiousness."** Jehovah gave the Israelites a great lesson in his jealousy by the execution of all who had joined themselve to Baal ("Lord") worship.
*Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Baal-peor". Easton's Bible Dictionary.
**Jamieson, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 25".
Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.
One might wonder what attracted the Israelites to worship this idol? No doubt the young women of the Moabites did have a large influence upon the men of Israel to join in with this worship. No doubt the gaiety of the climate made it very easy to slide into this idolatrous worship. The apostle Paul wrote concerning these events, that they are examples for Christians, lest they also be overtaken in worship of the idols common to our day. We reproduce below Matthew Henry's comments concerning this, as do seem to be very apt for our lesson. We have arranged in paragraphs and added a few word in brackets to make it more readable:
The sin of Israel, to which they were enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian; they were guilty both of corporal and spiritual whoredoms, for Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor, v. 3. Not all, nor the most, but very many, were taken in this snare. Now concerning this observe:
1. That Balak, by the advice of Balaam, cast this stumbling-block before the children of Israel, Rev. 2:14. Note, Those are our worst enemies that draw us to sin, for that is the greatest mischief any man can do us. If Balak had drawn out his armed men against them to fight them, Israel [would] had bravely resisted, and no doubt [would] had been more than conquerors; but now that he sends his beautiful women among them, and invites them to his idolatrous feasts, the Israelites basely yield, and are shamefully overcome: those are smitten with this harlots that could not be smitten with his sword. Note, We are more endangered by the charms of a smiling world than by the terrors of a frowning world.
2. That the daughters of Moab were their tempters and conquerors. Ever since Eve was first in the transgression the fairer sex, though the weaker, has been a snare to many; yea strong men have been wounded and slain by the lips of the strange woman (Prov. 7:26), witness Solomon, whose wives were shares and nets to him Eccl. 7:26.
3. That whoredom and idolatry went together. They first defiled and debauched their consciences, by committing lewdness with the women, and then were easily drawn, in complaisance to them, and in contempt of the God of Israel, to bow down to their idols. And they were more likely to do so if, as it is commonly supposed, and seems probable by the joining of them together, the uncleanness committed was a part of the worship and service performed to Baal-peor. Those that have broken the fences of modesty will never be held by the bonds of piety, and those that have dishonoured themselves by fleshly lusts will not scruple to dishonour God by idolatrous worships, and for this they are justly given up yet further to vile affections.
4. That by eating of the idolatrous sacrifices they joined themselves to Baal-peor to whom they were offered, which the apostle urges as a reason why Christians should not eat things offered to idols, because thereby they had fellowship with the devils to whom they were offered, 1 Co. 10:20. It is called eating the sacrifices of the dead (Ps. 106:28), not only because the idol itself was a dead thing, but because the person represented by it was some great hero, who since his death was deified, as saints in the Roman church are canonized.
5. It was great aggravation of the sin that Israel abode in Shittim, where they had the land of Canaan in view, and were just ready to enter and take possession of it. It was the highest degree of treachery and ingratitude to be false to their God, whom they had found so faithful to them, and to eat of idol-sacrifices when they were ready to be feasted so richly on God's favours.
II. God's just displeasure against them for this sin. Israel's whoredoms did that which all Balaam's enchantments could not do, they set God against them; now he was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them. So many of the people, nay, so many of the princes, were guilty, that the sin became national, and for it God was wroth with the whole congregation.
1. A plague immediately broke out, for we read of the staying of it (v. 8), and of the number that died of it (v. 9), but no mention of the beginning of it, which therefore must be implied in those words (v. 3), The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. It is said expressly (Ps. 106:29), The plague broke in. Note, Epidemical diseases are the fruits of God's anger, and the just punishments of epidemical sins; one infection follows the other. The plague, no doubt, fastened on those that were most guilty, who were soon made to pay dearly for their forbidden pleasures; and though now God does not always plague such sinners, as he did here, yet that word of God will be fulfilled, If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1 Co. 3:17.
2. The ringleaders are ordered to be put to death by the hand of public justice, which will be the only way to stay the plague (v. 4): Take the heads of the people (that is, of that part of the people that went out of the camp of Israel into the country of Moab, to join in their idolatries), take them and hang them up before the sun, as sacrifices to God's justice, and for a terror to the rest of the people. The judges must first order them to be slain with the sword (v. 5), and their dead bodies must be hanged up, that the stupid Israelites, seeing their leaders and princes so severely punished for their whoredom and idolatry, without any regard to their quality, might be possessed with a sense of the evil of the sin and the terror of God's wrath against them. Ringleaders in sin ought to be made examples of justice.
Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Numbers 25".
Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible. mhc-com.cgi?book=nu&chapter=025.
Why is all this important? Because to call upon the Holy Name involves worship. For a worshiper of Jehovah to call upon the name of another god in opposition to him, as shown here, Baal (meaning, Lord, Master), does provoke Jehovah's anger. Please note the word "Baal" or "Lord", of itself, is not what angered God, but rather the use of this word in the act of calling upon a false god. In other words, the Hebrew scriptures often uses the word "baal" as a title or description of various ones who are in some position as lord or master. It is even used in reference to husbands. So when God commanded not to make mention of the name of their gods, it is evident that he did not mean that we should not use the words that are used in their name, as those words, as baal, for instance, are used for titles of people throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Nor does it mean that we should not use the name of the false god when calling attention to the worship of this or that god as being idolatry, for the Bible itself does such by referring to the name of God, as in this instance, Baal. It is the use of the word as a name in the sense that would seem to give approval or seeming legitimacy to the worship of the false god that is being spoken of, as in calling upon the name of such a god in prayer.
Was The Holy Name Changed in the New Testament?
The statement is often made that no one has removed or changed the Holy Name from the New Testament. And yet, if one looks closely at the scriptures it becomes apparent that this is not so. Why do we state this? Because, if no one changed the name in the New Testament, when the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament scriptures that contain the Holy Name, we would find the Holy Name in those New Testament scriptures. What we find, however, is that the Holy Name has been changed to words, such as forms of Kurios, Theos, Dunamis, etc. Thus it is self-apparent that the Holy Name has been changed in the New Testament and changed with other words that are not God's Holy Name, nor do they reflect even the meaning of the Holy Name.
For instance, let us look at Matthew 4:7:
Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.'" -- Matthew 4:7, World English Bible translation (WEB).
Here Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16: "You shall not tempt Jehovah your God." (WEB) It is evident that someone has replaced the Holy Name here in the Greek with a form of Kurios, thus, in effect, changing the Holy Name to Kurios (Lord -- the Greekis without the definite article as it appears in the English). Someone had to change it, else we would find some form of the Holy Name in this verse instead of Kurios. The question is who? Did Jesus change it? Did Matthew change it? Or did someone else later change it?
Let us now look at Matthew 22:37:
Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord (Kurios) your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' (WEB)
Here Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5: "You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." (WEB) Again, it is self-evident that the Holy Name has been replaced and changed to Kurios. The question is not if someone replaced it. The question is "who?" Should we think that Jesus replaced it? Should we think that Jesus followed the disobedient Jews in replacing the Holy Name with Kurios? Should we think that Matthew himself replaced the Holy Name?
Let us look at another scripture, Matthew 23:39:
For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you will say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' (WEB)
Here Jesus quotes the name of the God in whose name he came. Directly it is from Psalm 118:26: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah." (WEB) So again, there is a subsitution of the very name of God. Again, it is not a question of if, since it is obvious that the name is not there, but it is a question of "who?" Did Jesus substitute the Holy Name with Kurios? Did Matthew? Or did someone else do so?
There is something else we need to note concerning Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:39. Indirectly, it is a confirmation of Deuteronomy 18:15-20: "Jehovah your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen; according to all that you desired of Jehovah your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I not die. Jehovah said to me, They have well said that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, who shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die." (WEB)
According to these words, if the prophet came in another name than Jehovah, then he was to be put to death. Thus, one of the identifying factors of the prophet like Moses would be that he would come in the name of Jehovah. It is obvious that "Kurios" in Matthew 23:39 would not define the name, Jehovah, that Jesus came in. Kurios does not mean the same as Jehovah. But did Jesus actually say that he had come in the name of a god by the name of Kurios, or did Jesus say he had come in the name of Jehovah, as foretold in Deuteronomy, and thus someone else later changed what he said to "Kurios"?
Of course, we could go through the entire New Testament this way and ask the same questions concerning the following scriptures, which are either quotes or references to Old Testament scriptures wherein the Holy Name appears, but have been changed to some other word in the New Testament manuscripts as we have them. -- Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 3:3; 4:7; 5:33; 21:9,42; 22:37,44; 23:39; 27:10; Mark 1:3; 11:9,10; 12:11,29,30,36; Luke 3:4; 4:8,12,18,19; 10:27; 13:35; 19:38; 20:37; John 1:23; 12:13,38; Acts 2:20,21,25,34; 3:22; 4:26; 7:30,31,33,37,49; 13:47; 15:17; Romans 4:8; 9:28,29; 15:11; 1 Corinthians 10:26,28; 2 Corinthians 6:17,18; Hebrews 1:10; 7:21; 8:8,9,10,11; 10:16,30; 12:5,6; 13:6; 2:9; John 5:4; 1 Peter 1:25; 3:12. Some others: Matthew 1:20,22,24; 2:13,19; 26:64; Mark 16:19; Luke 1:11; 2:9; 22:69; John 5:4; Acts 2:33; 5:19,31; 7:30,55,56; 8:26,34; 12:7; 12:23; Romans 10:13; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22. (This list may not be complete.)
Is "Jesus" the Holy Name in the New Testament?
Some are claiming that the name Jehovah has been replaced with the name of "Jesus" in the New Testament. Therefore, according to this argument, we are no longer to call upon the name of "Jehovah", as did the Israelites, but we are to call upon the name of "Jesus" as the only true God. Actually, the expression "holy name' does not appear in the New Testament, and that expression is never applied to the name of Jesus. While there is actually nothing either in the Old Testament or the New Testament that says that the name "Jehovah" would ever be replaced or changed with/to another name, there are several scriptures have been presented to allegedly support this idea. Among them are these: John 8:58 (with Exodus 3:14); John 17:11; Philippians 2:9,10; Romans 10:13.
John 8:58
It is claimed in John 8:58 Jesus applies the name Jehovah to himself, when he used the Greek term, "ego eimi". This is then cross-referenced with Exodus 3:14, where Jehovah uses the first person of Hayah (EHYEH), which is usually translated as "I am" by most translators. In reality, Jesus never says that his name is Ego Eimi, in any form or shape that is similar to Jehovah's statement that his name is EHYEH in Exodus 3:14. This thought has to be added to and read into John 8:58. That John 8:58 has no reference to Exodus 3:14 has been dealt with thoroughly in our study: "I am" in John 8:58
See the following studies:
John 17:11 I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. -- WEB
As this reads in the above translation, it appears that God has given God's name to Jesus. If this were really what Jesus was saying, then this would not mean that God changed his name to Jesus, but rather that Jesus would have the name "Jehovah". In other words, if this scripture be taken that God gave his name (Jehovah) to his Son, then we should be calling his Son by the name of Jehovah, not Jesus.
Actually, many other translations make it clearer as to what Jesus was talking about:
And no more am I in the world, and these are in the world, and I come unto Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given to me, that they may be one as we; -- Young's Literal
This makes it clear that what the God of Jesus had given to Jesus were his followers, the sheep. Jay Green's Interlinear reads: "Father Holy, keep them in the name of You, whom you gave to me." This harmonizes with many other scriptures: John 6:37; 10:29; 17:6,9,12,24; 18:9. Thus seen, we see that Jesus was not saying that his God had given to him the name of his God, but that the God of Jesus had to given to him those who were being called out of the world as his sheep.
Philippians 2:9,10
Philippians 2:9 - Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name;
Philippians 2:10 - that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth,
Of course, Philippians 2:9,10 says nothing about the Holy Name. Jehovah (Jehovah), the God and Father of Jesus (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 [Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4]; Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 [Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8]; Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 [Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23]; Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12), has "given" to Jesus "a name" that is above all other names. This "name", however, is not the appellation "Jesus", for Jesus already had this appellation. The word "name" is being used here in reference to office or station.
Nor does Philippians 2:10 mean that the name of Jehovah is being replaced with the name of Jesus. The scripture does not say that, but rather simply that at the name of Jesus every knee is to bow to Jehovah who had sent Jesus, and as verse 11 states, this is "to the glory of God, the Father."
If the name of Jehovah had been replaced by the name of Jesus, then Matthew 23:39 would read: "For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you will say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jesus."
Romans 10:13 would have read:
For, "Whoever will call on the name of Jesus will be saved."
Mark 12:29 would have read:
Jesus answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, Jesus our God, Jesus is one."
Luke 4:12 would have read:
Jesus answering, said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt Jesus your God.'"
Luke 4:18 would have read:
"The Spirit of Jesus is on me, Because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed,
Acts 2:34 would have said:
For David didn't ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, 'Jesus said to my Lord, "Sit by my right hand,
Acts 3:22 would have said:
For Moses indeed said to the fathers, 'Jesus God will raise up a prophet to you from among your brothers, like me. You will listen to him in all things whatever he says to you.'
Acts 7:37 would have said:
This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, 'Jesus God will raise up a prophet to you from among your brothers, like me.'
Acts 7:49 - would have said:
'heaven is my throne, And the earth the footstool of my feet. What kind of house will you build me?' says Jesus; 'Or what is the place of my rest?
We could go on, but these scriptures make the point: The name of the God and Father of Jesus, Jehovah, is not replaced by the name of Jesus in the NT; the facts show that the Holy Name, Jehovah, was replaced by "Kurios" or "Theos" (and possibly, "Dunamis" -- Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69), not "Jesus".
Philippians 2:10,11 - that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow [Greek, Kampto, Strong's #2578], of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father.
Isaiah 45:23 - By myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow [Kara`, Strong's #3766], every tongue shall swear.
Someone might argue that these two scriptures together show that the name of Jehovah was being replaced with Jesus' name, since the worship due Jehovah is being given to Jesus. Actually, by places the two verses together, it should be apparent that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow to Jehovah. It is only through, or by means of, the name of Jesus that any could bow before the only true God.
Why is this honor given to Jesus (Philippians 2:11)? Because "God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name [office] which is above every name." (Philippians 2:9 -- of course it is evident that God's name -- his office -- his position -- is excluded, as shown in 1 Corinthians 15:27) It is not because Jesus is Jehovah, but because the God of Jesus -- Jehovah -- has exalted him to this high position. But that is not all, for this honor is given to Jesus is "to the glory of God, the Father." It is to the glory of the God and Father of Jesus, "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory", "the only true God". -- Ephesians 1:17; John 17:3.
We should also note that neither the Hebrew word for worship [Shachah, Strong's #7812], nor the Greek word for worship [Proskuneo, Strong's #4352], is being used in these scriptures. Nevertheless, all will certainly bow before Jesus as the representative of Jehovah.
See our study on Jesus Received Worship
Not only that, those of the synagogue of Satan will bow before the saints, who will have dominion with Jesus in the age to come. (Daniel 7:14,22,27; Revelation 20:1-6) "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly... but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart." (Romans 2:28, 29) The false "Jews", referred to as liars, are not now worshipping God in spirit and truth in this age, but are still blinded by Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) The synagogue of Satan, very evidently, is made up of professing Christians, picked or selected by Satan, to falsify the doctrines of Christ; being a part of the permission of evil. They oppose the spiritually-enlightened ones, and brotherly love is not in them. As those who crucified the Lord will yet be caused to confess and abhor their wickedness, so the opposers of this period will have the shame of seeing, and confessing their wrong doing; and yes, they will worship God, by bowing before and acknowledging the righteousness authority of God's appointed kings and rulers in the age to come. This is further confirmed by Isaiah 60:14. When the blessings are flowing out to all the earth, it will seem to be impossible not to bow before Jesus and his saints to the glory of God. -- Philippians 2:10.
Philippians 2:9-11 actually states:
Therefore God also highly exalted him [thus he is not God who exalted him], and gave to him the name which is above every name [thus he is not God who gives him this name]; that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord [the one made so by Jehovah], *to the glory of God*, the Father.
Another scripture to consider in parallel to this is:
"And David said to all the assembly, Now bless Jehovah your God. And all the assembly blessed Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped Jehovah, and the king." (1 Chronicles 29:20, American Standard Version)
One must admit that the worship given to the King is not equal to that Jehovah, nor is the worship given to the One anointed by Jehovah equal to that of Jehovah. Thus the homage given to Jesus is as the representative of God, and to the glory of God. Nothing is said about the homage being equal to that given to Jehovah, anymore than we would say that the worship given to the king of Israel and to Jehovah are equal.
It is claimed that Philippians 2:11 shows that the kind of worship given to Jesus brings glory to the Father since Jesus is God. While it appears that Isaiah 45:23 is indirectly applied to Jesus by Paul, the idea that Paul meant this to say that Jesus is God who exalted Jesus and gave Jesus the high position has to be read into what is said. Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God -- not God Almighty -- have no reason to add the idea that Jesus is Jehovah to the scriptures.
Again, it is absolutely and positively apparent that the worship -- homage -- given to the Son of God is that which is due to him as the Son of God, the one anointed as King by Jehovah, not as God Almighty who anointed him.
No one can come to Jehovah but through Jesus (John 14:6), and no other means has been given by Jehovah for salvation than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12) Jesus' name means: "Jehovah saves" or Jehovah is savior," which ascribes the actual source of salvation to Jehovah. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8,10; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthian 5:19-21; Titus 3:5,6; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 4:9,10) Thus to properly bow before Jesus as the spokesperson and one anointed by Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18,21), would essentially be the same as bowing to Jehovah. -- Matthew 10:14; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 13:20; Romans 1:8; 7:25; 14:26; Philippians 1:11; 2:11.
Taken in harmony with the context and the rest of the scriptures, there is nothing in Philippians 2:9,10 that would lead us to believe that the Holy Name was being replaced by the name of "Jesus".
What about Romans 10:13? Does the context of this verse show that the Lord here refers to Jesus? Only if that is what one sees in it. The reference to Joel 2:32 shows that "Jehovah" is being replace by "kurios". The most direct conclusion is that it is Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, that is being referred to in Romans 10:13, and that the holy name has been replaced with a form of Kurios.
Romans 10:13 - For, "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord [Greek, kuriou, without an article] will be saved."
Joel 2:32 - It will happen that whoever will call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved; For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, As Jehovah has said, And among the remnant, those whom Jehovah calls.
Indeed, it should be clear that "Kurios" as it appears in the extant manuscripts of Romans 10:13 is being used like a proper personal name, just as Jehovah is being so used in the Joel 2:32. To say that "Lord" here refers to Jesus implies that "Jehovah" is being replaced throughout the New Testament by "Lord" in order to designate Jesus. This, of course, is nonsense, as we have already seen in the examination of Philippians 2:9,10.
Certainly, Jesus is the means that Jehovah has provided for salvation (John 3:16,17), no one can come to Jehovah but through Jesus (John 14:6), and no other means has been given by Jehovah for salvation than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12) Jesus' name means: "Yah[weh] saves" or "Yah[weh] is savior," which ascribes the actual source of salvation to Jehovah. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8,10; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthian 5:19-21; Titus 3:5,6; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 4:9,10) Thus to properly call upon the name of Jesus as the spokesperson and one anointed by Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18,21), would essentially be the same as calling upon the name of Jehovah. (Matthew 10:14; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 13:20; Romans 1:8; 7:25; 14:26; Philippians 1:11; 2:11) But to ascertain whether Romans 10:13 is calling Jesus Jehovah, let us go through the tenth chapter of Romans briefly, to see exactly who Paul speaks of.
Romans 10:1: Brothers, my heart's desire and my prayer to God is for Israel, that they may be saved.
In verse one, Paul says he prays to God for the salvation of Israel. Who is the God of Israel? This, of course, is Jehovah. (Exodus 16:12; 20:2; 34:32) Through Jesus we learn that the God of Israel -- Jehovah -- is the Father of Jesus. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35; John 5:43; 8:54; 10:25) Paul thus recognizes Jehovah, the God of Israel as the source of salvation.
Romans 10:2: For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge."
Romans 10:3: For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn't subject themselves to the righteousness of God."
Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
In these verses, Paul discusses Israel's relationship with God -- Jehovah. He says that they are ignorant of God's righteousness (Romans 3:22), and sought to make themselves righteous by means of obedience to the Law. Then he reveals that the righteousness of God is in Christ, who is the end of the law [covenant] to everyone who believes. See:
"How God's Son Condemned Sin in the Flesh"
Romans 10:5: For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, "The one who does them will live by them."
Paul is still speaking about the relationship of Israel with Jehovah, the God of Israel. Anyone who could keep the Law would be totally righteous, having the right to life thereby. If it were possible to do so, then righteousness and life would have come by the Law.
Romans 10:6: But the righteousness which is of faith says this, "Don't say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down);
Romans 10:7: or, 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)"
Those who seek righteousness by faith are are not hidden from the truth.. It is not something far off in heaven or in the grave. Those of faith do not have go to heaven to find the Anointed One of Jehovah, nor do they have to go to the grave to try to bring him back from the dead. This thing is not hidden from the one of faith, neither is it afar off -- difficult to understand. (See also: Deuteronomy 30:11-14; notice that Paul is not quoting Deuteronomy, but he does use similar phraseology.)
In this Paul is still writing about the relationship of Israel with the God of Israel, Jehovah. He is showing that the proper way to obtain the righteousness of God is through faith, which he goes on to show is through the faith in the ransom sacrifice given by One Anointed by Jehovah, that is Jesus.
Romans 10:8: But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;" that is, the word of faith, which we preach:
Romans 10:9: that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Here Paul points out the way to Jehovah's righteousness as provided through Jesus. (John 3:17; Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,9,10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:9) We must remember that it is Jehovah who made Jesus "Lord" and "Christ" [Christ means "anointed one"] (Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36) Many read this verse as though only Jesus is spoken of, but we note the context is about Jehovah and the salvation he provides through Jesus.
Romans 10:10: For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:11: For the scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
In Romans 10:11, Paul uses language similar to that of Isaiah 28:16: "therefore thus says the Lord [Adonay] Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner -[stone] of sure foundation: he who believes shall not be in haste." Here is it Jehovah is who is the provider of the sure foundation, and then he tells us that he who believes in him, that is, in the foundation provided by Jehovah, shall not be in haste. The one of faith does not have to be anxious about trying to find any other source or any other way of salvation, for it is found in the sure foundation provided by Jehovah, nor does the one of faith in this sure foundation have any reason to have any hint of disappointment or shame in the foundation provided by Jehovah.
Romans 10:12: For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him.
Here the apostle joins the God of Israel with the believing Greeks (representing those outside the law covenant). Jehovah is the same Lord (the One spoken of as Adonay in Isaiah 28:16 just referenced) over all, and will richly bless all who call on him.
Romans 10:13: For, "Whoever will call on the name of Yawheh will be saved."
This brings us to the scripture in question. Paul here makes reference to whoever will call upon the name of Jehovah will be saved. If we consider scriptures leading up to this scripture, it should be plain that Paul is making reference to Jehovah, the God of Israel, with whom both Jew and Gentile needs reconciliation. That reconciliation, however, as the apostle points out, is by faith, not by the keeping of the law. While we highly doubt that Paul substituted "Kurios" here for God's name, even if he did it is evident that he is referring to Jehovah, for it is Jehovah with whom both Jew and Gentile needs to be reconciled (Romans 5:9,10), and it is from Jehovah, the Father, that one comes to the means that Jehovah provided for salvation, that is, in his Son, Jesus. -- Acts 10:43; 20:21; John 3:17; 6:44
Romans 10:14: How, then, shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And shall they hear without a preacher?
Again in verse 14 the thought is primarily of Jehovah, who sent his Son. No one can call upon Jehovah if they don't believe in him through his Son Jesus. (Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,11; 7:25; 14:26) The vast majority have never come to Jehovah, he who provided the "ransom for all", which will be testified, made known, in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Thus all heathen will hear, they will all be brought to a knowledge of Jehovah and his Son Christ Jesus in the age to come. -- Isaiah 2:2-4.
There is nothing in Romans 10:13 that implies that Jehovah has been replaced by "kurios" in order to designate Jesus as the same being as Jehovah, as many have claimed. There is nothing in Romans 10:13 that says that we are to call upon the name of Jesus instead of calling upon the name of Jehovah.
Some have claimed that only the JWs put the Holy Name in the New Testament. There are actually several translations that have endeavored to restore God's name in the NT. Most, however, go overboard in doing this. Some have done so with an attempt to make it appear that Jesus is Jehovah. The New World Translation is probably the best translation we have seen for restoring the holy name in proper places, and yet it is very conservative in doing so, for there are many places that it can be recognized that the holy name has been replaced by other words where the NWT does not so restore the holy name.
As it appears in the extant manuscripts, the New Testament would have Jesus referring to Jehovah as Kurios (Lord), and rather than having Jesus coming in the name of Jehovah, they would have Jesus coming in the name of Kurios (Lord). -- Matthew 4:7,10; 5:33; 21:9; 22:37,44; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:29,30,36; Luke 4:8,12,18,19;  10:27; 13:35; 19:38; 20:37,42; John 12:13,38.
We cannot see that Jesus came in the name of Kurios instead of Jehovah. "Kurios" does not actually identify the God of Israel, and is certainly not the name of the God of Moses. Such would actually be a denial that Jesus was the prophet spoken of Deuteronomy 18:15-19, since one of the identifying marks of that prophet was that he was to come in the name of Jehovah, and not in another name. "Kurios" does not mean "Jehovah", nor is Kurios a translation of the name, Jehovah.
Thus, we conclude that someone, after the apostles died, sought to replace the holy name with substitutes, either to keep the New Testament writings from being destroyed by the Jews who were forcibly destroying all writings of those they considered heretics that contained the holy name, or else it was replaced in an effort to make it appear that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or possibly even for both reasons. We cannot imagine either Jesus or the Bible writers joining in the rebellious Jews in substituting other words for the Holy Name. Even the Jews, however, in general, did not substitute the holy name in the Hebrew text, but they did orally substitute Adonai rather than to speak the holy name.
One word for "Lord", used as a name of a false god, is "Baal", spoken of many times in the Old Testament, and the calling upon such a name was condemned. Another word is Adonai, which the Jews later used as a audible substitute for the holy name. Adonai is derived from adoni, and adoni is derived from Adon. Adonis, another name of a false god, is also derived indirectly from the Hebrew Adon. All forms of the word "Adon" are rendered from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) into the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament) with forms of the word "kurios." There is nothing wrong with the usage of these words as titles, but nowhere in the Old Testament are any of these words presented as the personal name of the only true God. As such names, they are used of false gods.
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