Conspiracy Against Jehovah’s Name?
GOD, the great Creator of the universe, gave himself a distinctive name. Why? Because, as the apostle Paul tell us, “there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’,” and so to distinguish himself from all lesser as well as all false gods the Creator and Supreme Sovereign gave himself a unique name.—1 Cor. 8:5, NW.
In the Hebrew Scriptures his name is represented by four consonants, JHVH. While this unique name occurs at least 6,823 times in the Hebrew text it appears in the identifying form “Jehovah” only four times in the King James Version and not at all in the Revised Standard Version, being hidden by the terms “LORD” and “GOD.”
However, the American Standard Version of 1901 did justice to this name, rendering it “Jehovah” in every one of its 6,823 occurrences. Regarding their doing so, the translators of that version, among other things, stated in their preface: “This personal name, with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim.” Jehovah’s witnesses are in full agreement with that policy and therefore they have preferred the American Standard Version to the English King James Version.
This also explains why Mrs. Ida Eisenhower, in a letter dated August 20, 1944, to American soldier Richard Boeckel, who had gotten into difficulty with his superiors because of his Scriptural stand regarding war, wrote: “As the mother of General Eisenhower and as a witness of and for the Great Jehovah of Hosts (I have been such for the past 49 years) I am pleased to write you to urge you to faithfulness.” And that is also why, when her son Ike was about to graduate from the West Point Military Academy in 1915, she gave him an American Standard Version Bible, as clearly appears from a photograph of it appearing in The Illustrated London News, February 2, 1957.
However, in telling of President Eisenhower’s taking his oath of office and having his Bible turned to or opened at Psalm 33:12, the press did not quote that text the way it reads in that American Standard Version Bible: “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” No, but the press quoted it as it reads in the King James Version: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” In passing, let it be noted that the psalmist would be making no point if the name of Israel’s God were merely “Lord,” for every kind of false deity is known as “lord.”
Why this substitution of “LORD” for “Jehovah,” and by whom was it made? Is there a conspiracy against the name of Jehovah on the part of the American press similar to that practiced by the translators of the Revised Standard Version, whose about-face made fools of their learned predecessors who produced the American Standard Version? That conspiracy might be involved is apparent from what Jack Anderson, junior partner of Drew Pearson, wrote in Pearson’s “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” as quoted in the Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1956:
“President Eisenhower, whose mother once sold Bible tracts for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, is looking for a delicate way to clear the family name of this affiliation. He is sensitive about the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in saluting the flag or serving under arms. . . . Inside story is that the President’s mother was influenced in her old age by a nurse who belonged to the sect. Being Bible-minded, Mrs. Eisenhower cheerfully agreed to help the Jehovah’s Witnesses peddle Bible tracts. . . . Now the Eisenhower brothers would like to find a graceful way to announce that their mother was not, at heart, a Jehovah’s Witness.”
“Not, at heart, a Jehovah’s Witness,” and only “in her old age.” How could that be true, when she wrote Boeckel in 1944 that she was “a witness of and for the Great Jehovah of Hosts (I have been such for the past 49 years)”?
The attitude of those who switched the text of Psalm 33:12, from the American Standard Version reading to one more like that of the King James Version, to get rid of the name “Jehovah” is like that of an ancient world ruler. When, about 3,500 years ago, Moses appeared before Egypt’s Pharaoh in Jehovah’s name, that ruler sneered: “Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away.”—Ex. 5:2, NW.
Like his modern counterparts, Pharaoh chose to ignore Jehovah’s name. But Jehovah made Pharaoh know who he was as he sent plague after plague upon him, even as He warned: “For this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.” And when finally Pharaoh and his hosts were engulfed by the waters of the Red Sea, Pharaoh had to admit defeat and recognize that the God of the Israelites, Jehovah, is indeed the Supreme One.—Ex. 9:16, NW.
Even as plagues gradually forced on Pharaoh’s consciousness the meaning of the name Jehovah, so in modern times, the plaguing preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses is forcing upon the consciousness of world rulers who Jehovah is. And since they, like Pharaoh of old, are determined to ignore Jehovah, they will be forced to know Jehovah in a way they will not like, by his destroying them at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” known as Armageddon.—Rev. 16:14, 16, NW.
Then the psalmist’s prayer will be fulfilled: “Let them be confounded and perish; that they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.”—Ps. 83:17, 18, AS.