God’s Name in the “New Testament”
MOST translations of the “New Testament” use no distinctive name for Almighty God. Why not? Is it that they are scrupulously following the Greek text? In many cases that evidently is not their chief concern, because they do not use the name Jehovah in the “Old Testament” either. Yet in the original Hebrew, in addition to there being words for Lord and God, the proper name of God appears nearly 7,000 times.
Some translators have realized, however, that the divine name belongs in the “New Testament,” if for no other reason than that it contains direct quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures where the name is used. So it is of interest that, in the German language, there are at least five “New Testament” translations that contain the divine name.
One of these, the translation by Dominikus von Brentano in 1796, which uses the divine name twice in its main text, has been referred to in past Watch Tower publications. Two additional translations use that name at Mark 12:29—one, a translation by Stolz, published in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1781, and the other, a translation by Professor Dr. Johann Babor, published in Vienna, Austria, in 1805. There is also the so-called Bonner Bible, translated by Professor D. P. Dausch and published in Bonn, Germany, in 1932, which uses “Jahve” at Luke 20:37.
Another German translation uses the name, Jehovah, ten times in the “New Testament.” This is a two-volume translation of the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures that appeared in Munich, Germany, in 1789 and 1790. Although the name of its translator is not given, the book Die Bibel in Deutschland (The Bible in Germany), on page 281, says: “The translation is by [Sebastian] Mutschelle. Born on January 18, 1749, in Allershausen bei Freising, he joined the Jesuit order at an early age.”
The divine name appears in translations of the “New Testament,” not only in German but in some fifty other languages, including Hebrew.
[Box on page 6]
Why It Concerns You
‘But what difference does it make whether we use God’s name or not?’ a person may ask. It makes a big difference! Consider: In the “New Testament” it says that God would turn “his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14) If you do not know and use that name, could you really be included with the people that God selects as his own? We should not only know God’s name but praise it before others, as Jesus Christ did when on earth.—Matthew 6:9; John 17:6, 26.