One of the tenets of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is use of the name Jehovah. Though this name never appears in any of the 5,500 known manuscript of the Greek New Testament, the Watchtower has penciled it in its New World Translation (NWT) 237 times from Matthew to Revelation.
Among those entries is Romans 10:13 where the NWT reads: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’” The Witnesses justify changing the word from the original of KURIOS (Lord) to Jehovah because this passage contains a quotation from Joel 2:32 and that prophet used that Hebrew word Jehovah. But the original language word in the Greek manuscripts of Romans is actually KURIOS (Lord). Interestingly, the most common version of the Bible in Jesus day was the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, which also used the word KURIOS in Joel 2:32. The Watchtower Society has often said that it follows the practices of the early church and teaches what the Bible says, but is that so?
Compare this Watchtower teaching with a passage found in Acts 9. Saul of Tarsus has just been saved on the Damascus Road and rendered blind when the Lord appeared to a man named Ananias and told him to visit the newly saved Pharisee Saul. The Lord’s words were recorded by Luke.
“Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name (Acts 9:11-14).
In this conversation Ananias had with the Lord, he mentioned that the authority and mission Saul had been assigned required everyone who called “on your name” to be arrested; apparently, Christians could be identified by the fact that they called upon the name of the Lord. But who was Ananias talking about?
Once Ananias traveled to Damascus and caught up with Saul of Tarsus, he said to him—and carefully note his words:
“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (9:17b-18).
The Lord who spoke to Ananias was none other than the Lord Jesus; it was his name that the believers called upon and how they were identified as Christians. (Keep in mind that the word Jehovah nowhere appears in any of the 5,500 extant manuscripts of the Greek New Testament.)
The Apostle Peter also made it clear that the name of the Lord Jesus is the only name for salvation.
“There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
If the name of the Lord Jesus is the only name by which we are saved, Romans 10:13 must be talking about Him because it speaks of salvation and the name of the Lord. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own version of the Bible refers to that person as Jehovah. “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’” Notice also what Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17).
If the early church called upon the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation, than the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not practicing what the early church practiced, nor are they teaching what the Bible teaches.
The name that is to dominate a Christian’s life and conduct is the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses revolve around a completely different name that doesn’t appear in the New Testament.