Can you think of any close friend of yours whose name you do not know? Likely not. A Bulgarian woman named Irina rightly observed, “It is not possible to be close to God if you don’t know his name.” Happily, as mentioned in the preceding article, God wants you to draw close to him. Therefore, by means of the Bible, he has in effect introduced himself to you by saying: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”—Isaiah 42:8.
By means of the Bible, God has in effect introduced himself to you by saying: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”—Isaiah 42:8
Does it really matter to Jehovah whether you know and use his name or not? Consider this: God’s name, written with four Hebrew consonants known as the Tetragrammaton, appears in the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures nearly 7,000 times. That is far more often than any other name mentioned in the Bible. Surely this is evidence that Jehovah wants us to know and use his name.*
Friendships often begin with two people learning each other’s names. Do you know God’s name?
Some, though, may feel that because God is holy and almighty, it would be disrespectful to use his name. Of course, it would be wrong to use God’s name in an unworthy way, just as you would not misuse the name of your close friend. However, it is Jehovah’s will that those who love him honor his name and make it known. (Psalm 69:30, 31; 96:2, 8) Recall that Jesus taught his followers to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” We can have a part in sanctifying God’s name by making it known. Doing so draws us closer to him.—Matthew 6:9.
The Bible shows that God pays special attention to “those meditating on [or possibly, “treasuring”] his name.” (Malachi 3:16; footnote) Concerning such a one, Jehovah promises: “I will protect him because he knows my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in distress.” (Psalm 91:14, 15) Knowing and using Jehovah’s name does matter if we wish to enjoy a close relationship with him.
Sadly, many Bible translations fail to include God’s name, despite the fact that it appears so frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures, commonly called the Old Testament. Instead, they replaced the divine name with such titles as “Lord” or “God.” For more information on this subject, see pages 195-197 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.