Jehovah’s Witnesses love to stand on peoples’ doorsteps and point out that their religion uses the proper name of God. However, they may be surprised to note that the Watchtower disagrees with them.
Page 23 of the 1969 edition of the Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures says, “While inclining to view the pronunciation ‘Yahweh’ as the more correct way, we have retained the form ‘Jehovah’ because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century.”
Does the Watchtower really want to let people’s familiarity with a word define God’s name?
According to page 885 of the 1971 edition of Aid to Bible Understanding, Yahweh is “the most likely pronunciation” of the Hebrew letters YHWH. It’s ironic to me that these people proudly refer to themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses when they have such a great focus on using God’s personal name. In my opinion, they should promptly change the name to Yahweh’s Witnesses.
The truth is that no one knows the proper pronunciation of YHWH. The word Jehovah came about when a Catholic monk inserted the vowels from the Hebrew word for Lord (Adonai) into YHWH. Further, YHWH is never found in the New Testament, but in the New Testament of the New World Translation the Watchtower inserts the term Jehovah more than 200 times.
While accepted Bible translations using LORD in place of YHWH may or may not be the ideal solution, this at least avoids the intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy that the Watchtower has to employ to continue its use of Jehovah.
The good news is that while God deserves our utmost reverence, all who believe in Jesus as their Savior from sin don’t need to debate endlessly about the exact vowels for God’s proper name. We have become God’s adopted children (John 1:12). I don’t call my human father by his proper name. I call him “Dad.” By God’s grace, I’m God’s child, and I can call him Abba, Father (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6).