Get the Whole Truth!
“I NEVER saw that name in my Bible,” remarked Francisco. The name Jehovah had just come up in a discussion with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. True, he could not have seen the divine name in his Bible, a 1969 edition of the Portuguese Almeida version. The name Jehovah does not appear in it. As a Brazilian Catholic, Francisco regularly attends Mass on Sundays and enjoys reading the Bible in his home. But the name Jehovah intrigued him.
Who Is God?
The next week, the Witness brought him another edition of the Almeida version. They compared the two editions at Psalm 83:18. And what did they find? Why, in that 1966 edition, this text reads: “You, to whom alone the name JEHOVAH belongs, are the Most High over the earth”! However, in the 1969 edition, instead of “JEHOVAH” the term “LORD” is used. “You see, they changed something here,” said the Witness, and then he asked: “‘Lord’ is certainly not a name, is it?” “No,” said Francisco. Somewhat indignant, he added: “How could they do that?”
This opened the way for a little research about God’s name. For instance, Francisco learned that according to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910), Jehovah is “the proper name of God in the Old Testament.” He also learned that in the “Old Testament,” most of which was written in the Hebrew language, that name appears almost 7,000 times. No translator has the right to change the proper name Jehovah to the indefinite title Lord. Francisco wanted the truth about the name Jehovah, and he got it from the Bible itself and through properly guided research.
What Is Jesus’ Position?
As noted in the previous article, worldly religions have adulterated many truths. Incidentally, in their house-to-house ministry, Jehovah’s Witnesses have the opportunity to determine what the people believe. Of course, this may vary from place to place, but some concepts are typical. For instance, when asked, ‘Who is God?’ some householders say, ‘Jesus.’ By this they mean that Jesus is Almighty God. But does this concept represent the truth?
Think about the following points. Jesus prayed to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Did you notice that Jesus referred not to himself but to his heavenly Father as “the only true God”? Therefore, Jesus’ early disciples were right when they said to him: “You are really God’s Son.” Jesus himself said: “I am God’s Son.” Therefore, the truth is that Jesus is not Almighty God, but he is the Son of Jehovah God.—Matthew 14:33; John 10:36.
What Is Earth’s Destiny?
What about the destiny of this generation and of the earth? John F. Kennedy, late president of the United States, said in an address to the UN General Assembly: “We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world—or to make it the last.” Present-day world leaders apparently feel the same way. What Jehovah’s Witnesses often hear in their ministry is that at the end of the world, planet Earth will be destroyed by fire or by a nuclear war. In support of this belief, some point to Revelation 21:1, which says: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more.”
The Bible often uses the term “earth” in a figurative sense, referring to mankind. An example is found at Genesis 11:1, which says: “All the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words.” (See also 1 Kings 2:1, 2; Psalm 96:1.) At Revelation 21:1, “the former earth” refers, not to this planet, but to wicked human society that will be destroyed. This will open the way for the restoration of Paradise on earth. (Luke 23:43; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Revelation 21:4) And this agrees with the rest of the Bible, which indicates that the literal earth will never be destroyed. For instance, Psalm 104:5 states that God “has founded the earth upon its established places; it will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.” (Compare Ecclesiastes 1:4.) Indeed, Jehovah ‘formed the earth to be inhabited’ eternally.—Isaiah 45:18.
Why Get the Whole Truth?
The foregoing are just examples of erroneous concepts so common today. However, when a householder is willing to reason, as was the case with Francisco, Jehovah’s Witnesses are delighted that the way is open for an enlightening discussion of Scriptural truths.
Not getting the whole truth may lead to regrettable consequences. To illustrate: When Jesus was on earth, many were persuaded to believe that he was just another son of Mary and Joseph, only a former carpenter from Nazareth. Hence, they did not pay much attention to him. To a certain extent, they were right. Jesus was the son of Mary, conceived by holy spirit. He was the adoptive son of Joseph, and he really had worked as a carpenter. (Mark 6:3) However, was that the whole truth about him? No! He was nothing less than the Messiah and the prospective “King of kings”! (Revelation 17:14; Luke 1:32-35; Acts 2:36) Not getting the whole truth about Jesus led many people to lose out on a never-to-be-repeated privilege—enjoying personal association with Jesus on earth.
Search for the Whole Truth
The city of Beroea (now called Véroia) in ancient Macedonia is well-known to Bible readers because of the commendable attitude of its first-century inhabitants. What was that attitude? The record says: “They received the word [preached by the apostle Paul] with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” The result? “Many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable Greek women and of the men.”—Acts 17:11, 12.
No less meritorious was the attitude of God’s prophets of old. They made “a diligent inquiry and a careful search” concerning the salvation that was to come through the Messiah. (1 Peter 1:10) God blessed their efforts. Obviously, then, there is no shortcut. Persistently searching for and carefully examining teachings—this is the way to get the whole truth from the Bible!
You may wonder, ‘Where should I start?’ After reading some Christian publications, one woman living in Brazil wrote: “We [she and her husband] soon realized that we needed more of that kind of knowledge, to get the answers to the many questions we had . . . Please, how can I get a Bible and other books that will help me to know more about our heavenly Father?” She was on the right track: reading the Bible along with truthful Bible-based literature. If you too want the whole truth, open your heart to Jehovah God and ask for his help. And please note these encouraging words: “If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him. But let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all.”—James 1:5, 6.
Millions of people are discussing the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, thus making a diligent inquiry and a careful search for the truth. Taking in and applying such accurate knowledge of the true God and of Jesus Christ means everlasting life. (John 17:3) That can be your grand blessing if you search diligently and get the whole truth.
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The whole truth about Jesus was that he was the Messiah, not just a carpenter