Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jehovah Witnesses vs. Catholicism


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  1. where can I get information about what catholics believe about jehovah witnesses.....?

  2. Hello Mark,

    There are many books available that explain the beliefs of Jehovah Witnesses. And there are acutally many parallels between Jehovah Witnesses and Mormonism.

    My book on the Jehovah Witnesses will be available in the upcoming months.

    God Bless you, and I hope you obtain the information you need.

    Roger LeBlanc~Trudeau

  3. Is it possible that a catholic marry a jehovah witness or vise-versa? anonymous

  4. Hello,

    A civil marriage would be possible for them, but this marriage would not be what the Catholic Church regards as a "Sacramental Marriage" which affords the graces so necessary to live a life of fidelity and constancy in a world that tests marriages in our day like none before.

    The Catholic Church recommends that Catholics marry Catholics for a number of reasons. There is a deep union of love when a couple discovers the indwelling in each other in Sacramental love so that they love God in each other, and each other in God.

    Add to this the consideration of children. Once children enter the picture "religion" becomes a more serious consideration, and it becomes very difficult to vette the ego and consider what is best for all considered.

    God Bless

  5. Who was Jehovah in the old testament?

  6. Jehovah is not a valid name for God. It is a mispronunciation of His name that is the result of vowel pointing.

  7. Roger, Copied from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    Jehovah (Yahweh)


    This entire website is available on CD-ROM. Includes the Catholic

    The proper name of God in the Old Testament; hence the Jews called it the name by excellence, the great name, the only name, the glorious and terrible name, the hidden and mysterious name, the name of the substance, the proper name, and most frequently shem hammephorash, i.e. the explicit or the separated name, though the precise meaning of this last expression is a matter of discussion (cf. Buxtorf, "Lexicon", Basle, 1639, col. 2432 sqq.).

    Jehovah occurs more frequently than any other Divine name. The Concordances of Furst ("Vet. Test. Concordantiae", Leipzig, 1840) and Mandelkern ("Vet. Test. Concordantiae", Leipzig, 1896) do not exactly agree as to the number of its occurrences; but in round numbers it is found in the Old Testament 6000 times, either alone or in conjunction with another Divine name. The Septuagint and the Vulgate render the name generally by "Lord" (Kyrios, Dominus), a translation of Adonai — usually substituted for Jehovah in reading.

  8. Hello Anonymous,

    Thank you for taking the time to write. Yes, I am familiar with this article in the Catholic Encyclopedia. However, consider the following.

    A previous generation pronounced God's name as Jehovah, not Yahweh. The American Standard Version of 1901 actually used the word Jehovah whenever God's name appeared in the Old Testament. But today the correct pronunciation and spelling is believed to be Yahweh. Why the change?

    The pronunciation can never be certain, since early Hebrew had no vowels, only consonants, though evidence from several sources, such as early Greek transliterations, point to the pronunciation as Yahweh. [1]

    The four letters of the divine name are YHWH, known as the Tetragrammaton (a Greek word meaning "four letters" from tetra "four" and gramma "letter). Here are the steps that moved us from the (presumed) original Yahweh to Jehovah.

    1. Substitution of Adonai for YHWH
    Probably the early Israelites actually pronounced the name Yahweh. But by the end of the pre-Christian era, a fear of misusing God's name developed (based on Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11) to such a degree that pious Jews avoided speaking the divine name out loud. When it appeared in the Hebrew Scriptures read in the synagogue, they would substitute the word adon or adonay, meaning "lord, master".

    If you compare "kingdom of God" in Luke, written for a Gentile audience, with "kingdom of heaven" in Matthew, written for a Jewish audience, you can see this phenomenon of avoiding the divine name in some of the Gospels. To this day, orthodox Jews avoid even spelling God, and render it G-d out of reverence. They refer to YHWH as the Ineffable Name, the Unutterable Name or the Distinctive Name. The first step in the transition from Yahweh to Jehovah was the substitution of Adonai for Yahweh when the Scripture was read.

    2. Vowel Pointing to Indicate Pronunciation
    The second step was vowel pointing to indicate pronunciation. As mentioned, early Hebrew had no vowels, only consonants. But in 906 AD, a group of Hebrew scholars at Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee known as Masoretes were concerned that because fewer and fewer people were actually speaking Hebrew at that time, the memory of the language and how it was pronounced would die out. To retain the correct pronunciation, they introduced vowel points -- a series of dots and dashes under the Hebrew consonants -- to indicate the vowels for each word. The Hebrew Bible with their vowel points is known as the Masoretic text. But ancient Hebrew (such as found in Hebrew manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls) and modern Hebrew use no such vowel points.

    3. Vowel Points for Adonai in YHWH
    The third step occurred when the vowel points for Adonai were substituted in YHWH. When the Masoretes added vowel points to the Hebrew text in the tenth century, instead of pointing the vowels of YHWH that would help the reader pronounce the name, instead they added the vowel points that would go with the regularly substituted word adonay or elohim. These vowel points were intended to prevent a reader from accidentally pronouncing the divine name, but they created a strange spelling of the word for those who didn't understand what was happening. Here's what happened:

    Presumed correct vowel pointing for Yahweh

    Vowel pointing for Adonai (inserted into the Tetragrammaton)

    4. Shift in Latin and Some European Languages from "I" and "Y" to "J".

    The fourth step involved a shift in Latin, English, and French (and perhaps other European languages from "I" to "J." Originally Latin had no "J." But in the Late Roman period a "J" was introduced. At first it was considered the same as the "I" but was used at the end of words that ended with "I". [2]

  9. continuing ....

    Following the French conquest of England in the Battle of Hastings (1066 AD), French and Latin influence increased in England. But from the early 1200s through the 1700s, "J" sound was slowly replacing "I" in words that began with "I," especially where "I" was used as a consonant. Names like Iames became James, Iakob became Jacob, and Yohan became John. In addition, Ioshua became Joshua and Iehouah became Jehovah. The pronunciation didn't necessarily change at the same time as the letter change.

    5. Shift in Pronunciation of the J Sound

    Finally, while pronunciation didn't necessarily change at the same time as the shift from "I" to "J," gradually the spelling of the words probably began to influence their pronunciation. In Germany, the "J" has a "Y" sound. In Spain the "J" is silent. But in English, the "J" developed to have a harder sound, that in the Divine Name developed into our present pronunciation of Jehovah.

    Hopefully this long explanation helps you see how the presumed original Yahweh came to be pronounced as Jehovah, both with the different vowel sounds and with a "J" instead of "Y" at the beginning.

    Anson F. Rainey, "How was the Tetragrammaton Pronounced?," Biblical Archaeological Review (July/August 1985), pp. 78-79. J. Barton Payne, hāwā, TWOT #484a.

    Thomas Pyles, The Origins and Development of the English Language (Second Edition: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1964, 1971), pp. 61-62.
    Spellings for the KJV are taken from a facsimile of the original 1611 publication. More recent editions of the KJV have modernized the spelling of numerous words. Verification of the original KJV spellings was made by my son, Dr. David Wilson-Okamura, Assistant Professor, English Department, East Carolina University. He notes: "u for v is the norm in the middle of a word in this period. It would be pronounced v, though, it being just a spelling convention."

  10. A Question for Roger Trudeau-LeBlanc:

    Given the preceding explanation on the emergence of the term Jehovah, what is the proper term for Christians to use for God, and why so?

    Thank you.


  11. Hi Cyril,

    Thanks for taking the time to write.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:





    I. JESUS

    430 Jesus means in Hebrew: "God saves." At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission.18 Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins".19 In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

    You may want to study the Catholic Catechism on this and other questions you may have. It's is a wonderful source for you to consider.

    All the best!