“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt
Question: Why do Catholics not use the title " ", if that's what Scripture commands? "Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved" (Rom. 10:13).
This is, of course, one of the main tenets of the (JWs).
When JWs come to our door I think we should be eager to engage them in dialogue, willing to be "prepared to give them a reason for the hope that is in us, with gentleness and respect"-1 Peter 3:15, (provided, of course, that we are knowledgeable in our faith). Instead, I think that the JWs find us Catholics to be woefully ignorant of our faith and easy targets for their very well-rehearsed, superbly-trained evangelization efforts. I suspect that they smile to themselves when they see that their potential target is a Catholic--"here's another Catholic we can show how unbiblical his faith is, and he won't have any defense!" ** How surprised would these JWs be to meet a Catholic who knows what we believe, why we believe it, and can provide apologia (defense) when prompted!
(Sadly, we Catholics have been poorly catechized and often aren't prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us.)
The JW's main objection to mainstream Christianity is that we have not named our god. That is, how can we have a personal relationship with a god if we can't call him by name? They propose:
"It would be reasonable that any god who has personality would need a personal name to distinguish him from other gods with names of their own. It would preferably be a name designated by the god himself, rather than a name coined by his worshipers.
In this regard, however, a very puzzling fact emerges. While most well-established religions ascribe personal names to their gods, Jews and mainstream churches of Christendom have failed to identify by a distinctive personal name the god that they worship. Instead, they resort to such titles as Lord, God, Almighty, and Father." source: Watchtower Society
Our response: Firstly, we don't need to call a person by his name in order to have a personal relationship with him. After all, we don't call our parents "Luis" and "Terry" but rather "Dad" and "Mom". Thus, calling someone by name is not an indicator of intimacy.
Secondly, the is the name of God: the four letter name, spelled in Hebrew: YHVH, translated in English as "I AM". This is the name God revealed to Moses in Exodus. The Jews do not pronounce this name.** When they encounter it in Scripture, they substitute "Adonai", which means, "The Lord." Scribes used to write the vowel points of Adonai beneath the Tetragrammaton, to remind the reader to insert the substitution. Later, people began to use these vowel points to pronounce the Tetragrammaton, which rendered Yehovah. In Latin, this rendering became Jehovah.
Thus, YHWH is the name of God in the . (He made the earlier covenant with Abraham under the name ). However, the fulfillment of the covenant was made in the New Testament, under the name of Jesus, at which every knee shall bow-Phil 2:10.
"The earlier covenants were impartial, imperfect, and provisional; they were foreshadowings of the new and eternal covenant... As the old covenant was transformed into the New and ceased to be, so too did the older understanding of God as absolute unity become modified to admit of a unity through Trinity. His name is still YHVH, as it indicates the mystery of his Eternity,but we have a new understanding of the Sacred Mysteries through the New Covenant. Because of this, we should not hold that those who remain fixed on points in the old covenant are being faithful; rather, they are breaking faith by giving pride of place to the old and dispensible covenant, over that of the New and Eternal." source
**Jews considered the Holy Name "Yahweh" too sacred even to speak. In accordance with this immemorial tradition, there are new Vatican directives on the use of the "name of God" in the sacred liturgy. Liturgical hymns which proclaim the sacred name Yahweh are "to be rendered into any given vernacular by a word equivalent in meaning". "Apart from a motive of a purely philological (i.e. scholarly) order, there is also that of remaining faithful to the church's tradition, from the beginning, that the sacred Tetragrammaton was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated." source: Catholic News Service
In other words, speaking the name "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" has never been part of Jewish or ; it is a recent innovation and this renewal/return to tradition is "an opportunity to offer catechesis for the faithful as an encouragement to show reverence for the name of God in daily life, emphasizing the power of language as an act of devotion and worship." ibid
For more in-depth study visit these websites:
Catholic Bible online
Catechism of the Catholic Church online
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15