“I Have Made Your Name Known”
What It Means: Jesus made known God’s name by using it in his ministry. When Jesus read from the Scriptures, as he often did, he would have pronounced God’s personal name. (Luke 4:16-21) He taught his followers to pray: “Father, let your name be sanctified.”—Luke 11:2.
How Early Christians Measured Up: The apostle Peter related to the older men at Jerusalem that God had taken out of the nations “a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14) The apostles and others preached that “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) They also used the divine name in their own writings. The Tosefta, a collection of Jewish laws completed by about 300 C.E., says regarding the burning of Christian writings by opposers: “The books of the Evangelists and the books of the minim [thought to be Jewish Christians] they do not save from a fire. But they are allowed to burn where they are, . . . they and the references to the Divine Name which are in them.”
Who Fit the Pattern Today? The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, authorized by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States, says in its preface: “The use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom he had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.” Thus, it replaced the divine name with a title, “LORD.” More recently, the Vatican directed its bishops: “In songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH* is neither to be used or pronounced.”
Who today use and make known God’s personal name? When Sergey was a teenager in Kyrgyzstan, he watched a film that identified God’s name as Jehovah. For some ten years, he did not hear the divine name again. Later, after Sergey had moved to the United States, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses visited him at his home and showed him God’s name in the Bible. Sergey was thrilled to find a group that used the name Jehovah. Interestingly, under the entry “Jehovah God,” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary gives the definition “a supreme deity recognized and the only deity worshiped by Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
In English, the divine name is commonly transliterated as “Jehovah.”