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: "I 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.
*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.
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.
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 - 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"
"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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