Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Correcting a fellow brother

In the COMMENT SECTION of a RECENT BLOG, a fellow brother in the Lord who goes by the nick SERVICE PROCESS has left a large string of criticisms about me. Apparently, my views are dangerous and I am potentially leading fellow Christians astray. Whether that is true or not, I will leave the reader to decide. Obviously, I don't believe that I am or else I will recant my points. But one thing that really bothered me about ServiceProcess's comments was the fact that he didn't seem to care too much about truth or accuracy.

And what I mean is, he seems to carry the attitude of, "If it comes off the Watchtower's printing press, then it must be bad." And furthermore, if it is a theological perspective or doctrine that is held by Jehovah's Witnesses, then it must be wrong. Of course, he doesn't explicitly state this, but I can't help but get this impression from what he has written.

But there is another issue at hand. Though I am always open to correction on whatever I post on public forums, it is difficult to take someone seriously who misrepresents my position by burning vast fields of strawmen.

Quote [Mike] ‘ And they are correct, that the name Jehovah, or even the YHWH as portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures; should be in our hebrew translations, there’s absolutely no reason to put LORD in there because that’s not a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. So I think they are absolutely right that our bible shouldn’t say LORD and we should commend the Jehovah Witnesses for putting the Divine name in the Hebrew Scriptures. That’s one thing I think is great, and we as Christians should implement.’

The quoted opening statement is factually incorrect.

Really? This is where ServiceProcess lost pretty much all credibility. Is it factually incorrect that "YHWH" or some transliteration of the Tetragrammaton be in our English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures? In all his comments, he criticizes my position on this, but fails to offer any defense of substituting "LORD" for the Tetragrammaton. Thus, unless he has something to offer in return for disagreeing with inserting "YHWH", "Jehovah", or "Yahweh" in the Hebrew Scriptures (Remember, he called this "factually incorrect"), then his point is moot. the Hebrew Scriptures (refered to by Christians as the New Testament)

First, it amazes me how ServiceProcess could confuse the Hebrew Scriptures with the New Testament. Since I was so baffled at this mistake, I felt it appropriate to ask ServiceProcess a very simple question: Why would you think that by "Hebrew Scriptures" I, or anyone else, would be referring to the New Testament?

And how did the brother respond?

Ha Ha Ha, is that all you got from those entries !.
You did take it personally didn’t you Mike

There was no, "Oh, I am sorry about that. I completely misspoke. And in doing so, I wrongly attributed to you a position that you did not hold to; that the divine name should be inserted into the New Testament." In other words, there was no humility on the part of my fellow brother; no admission of error and no willingness for correction. Thus, his credibility not only flew out the window, but disappeared completely from sight.

However, after another long string of comments that had nothing to do with answering my simple question, I asked the same question again. But the answer I got was hardly one of humility and barely an admission of error:

Is that the most important point you got from the entries that you present it first ?.
That’s unfortunate, but let me answer your question.
I’m a Christian, and for 30+ years I have used the terminology Old and New testament when refering to the bible. I know what the Jehovah witnesses use, but it’s not for me.
In reference to the passage that you cite, I meant Greek scriptures Mike.
But you knew that.
I’ve no doubt that you would like to line the spelling mistakes up next.

Whether I knew it or not, I wanted to make sure I was speaking to someone who would humbly admit his mistake. And this was far more than a mere spelling error. This led to ServiceProcess's strawman critique of the insertion of the divine name in the Christian Scriptures, as if I held to that at all!

none of the 5,000 New Testament manuscripts contain any form of the Hebrew יהוה (Tetragrammaton).
What we do find is kyrios (KYPIOC "lord") and theos (ΘEOC "God") normally known as nomina sacra (sacred names).

The Jehovah Witnesses had it factually; actually and absolutely wrong, because they had an objective which couldn’t include an accurate translation.

Mikes statement then; commending the witnesses and reprimanding the Christians was/is absolutely incorrect and misleading and seems to portray a lack of awareness.

Mikes statement then; commending the witnesses and reprimanding the Christians was/is absolutely incorrect and misleading and seems to portray a lack of awareness.

It may not be the correct forum for a full explanation of why the WTBTS replaced the name LORD with the name Jehovah, but it’s important to have some understanding of the seriousness of the error.

Who is ServiceProcess arguing against? Instead of addressing what I was actually arguing, he goes into a slew of criticizing the JW's for their wrongly inserting the divine name in the Christian Scriptures, as if I was defending them on this point. And this is what truly amazes me; how anyone could get even the slightest impression that I was defending the NWT in this regard. Was it not clear in my VIDEO that I was speaking of the Hebrew Scriptures? In addition, if ServiceProcess had bothered taking even a cursory look through my videos, he would have seen several videos whereby I criticize the NWT for their inserting the divine name in the Christian Scriptures. But this seems to characterize ServiceProcess's way of doing things.

Clearly they don’t have it right Mike.

Jehovah IS NOT God’s name, neither in the Old Testament
Or the New Testament. It’s a false Name, constructed from the YHWH and the Hebrew word
For Lord (Adonia) by a German monk, then it was Anglicized by changing the ‘Y’ for a ‘J’ as the Germans pronounce ‘J’ as a ‘Y’. As in the German for yes is spelt ‘Ja’ but is pronounced ‘Yaa’.
The English then changed it by pronouncing it ‘Ja’ as it was spelt.

So it’s a false name removed about 99 times from the half a name they had in the first place.

To advocate otherwise IS at odds to the church.

One wonders if ServiceProcess considers "Jesus" a false name, since the transliteration in Greek is "Iesous" (Ἰησοῦs)? Does he think that all English translations should contain the transliterations from the original language? Or does he think, along with pretty much every Bible translation in existence, that Greek and Hebrew name transliterations should be Anglicized? Therefore, if ServiceProcess is going to be consistent in denouncing "Jehovah," then he needs to denounced any and all names that have been Anglicized into English.

In addition, it is simply a strawman to accuse me or JW's of believing that "Jehovah" is actually how the Israelites pronounced the Tetragrammaton. Obviously, if the Watchtower believed this, then "Jehovah" would break all language barriers. But it doesn't. The name is used differently for different languages, just as any other name would be. And this is one thing i'd really like to correct all my fellow defenders on when they criticize the Watchtower. I can't tell you how many times i've heard fellow apologists spending significant amounts of time "correcting" JW's on their pronunciation of the divine name. Its as if JW's are the only ones using this form of the name and they need to conform. But this is far from the case, as i'll explain below.

The Christian Church at large recognised this and so called God ‘God’ and ‘Lord’.
The Christian Church has already asked the Question ‘Why would God have us scratch around for a name he erased.’. If God didn’t put it in the bible; why should you.

Again, this is a complete strawman. How many fields does ServiceProcess have to burn before he admits that he is arguing with the wrong person? Apparently, he doesn't listen/read to me carefully, as well as what he previously wrote! Otherwise, he would have humbly corrected himself and admitted his erroneously attributing to me arguments that I never made.

To advocate otherwise IS at odds to the church.

Amazing! I am at odds with the church by implementing the name "Jehovah?" Is my brother really arguing that anyone who does this is at odds with the church? I don't think ServiceProcess realizes what he is saying here. In my ACCORDANCE BIBLE SOFTWARE program, I decided to see who else is at odds with the church. To test this, I typed "Jehovah" in the search engine to look through all resources, whether it be lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, or theological works to see where the word appeared. And not surprisingly, there were not hundreds, but thousands of hits. The reason this is not surprising is because so many have used "Jehovah" as a proper Anglicized version of the name. Just as an example of resources that used "Jehovah" 40 or more times include: Easton's Bible Dictionary, Matthew Henry's commentary, Thayer's lexicon, the Theological Workbook of the Old Testament, Calvin's Institutes and Commentaries, Barnes' commentary, Berkhof's summary of doctrine, Hodge, Spurgeon, and much much more. Are all of these authors at odds with the church as well? The use of "Jehovah" is very vast and has been used for centuries by scholars and layperson alike. I think the problem with ServiceProcess is that he can't admit that the JW's got something right and should be commended.

I truly hope that my fellow brother will recant on these things, I really do. And it saddens me that a brother would approach me on such a thing and litter his words with false accusations and strawmen. But apart from such actions, I will continue to do what I do in sharing the truth with Jehovah's Witnesses.

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