Who Is Our Creator? Part I
First, let’s begin with something that we, as people, all have in common: each of us has a personal name. Well, according to our instruction manual, our Creator also has a personal name. In Psalm 83:18, the psalmist Asaph reveals it to us: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (King James Version).
What most people don’t realize is that our Creator’s name, in the form of the Tetragrammaton—which, when translated to modern Hebrew, is יהוה, or in English, is YHWH—appears roughly seven thousand times in the original manuscripts from which the Bible was composed (the Tetragrammaton appears with no vowel points since vowels did not come into use in Hebrew until the second half of the first millennium CE). The most widely accepted pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton is Yahweh, which, when translated to English, is JEHOVAH. Unfortunately, in nearly all seven thousand instances, most Bible translators and copyists chose to replace our Creator’s name with a variety of titles, such as Adonai, God, or Lord. The preface to the Revised Standard Version (1971) explains, “A major departure from the practice of the American Standard Version is the rendering of the Divine Name, the ‘Tetragrammaton.’ The American Standard Version used the term ‘Jehovah’; the King James Version had employed this in four places, but everywhere else, except in three cases where it was employed as part of a proper name, used the English word Lord (or in certain cases God) printed in capitals.” And the Good News Bible writes this in its preface: “Following an ancient tradition, begun by the first translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint) and followed by the vast majority of English translations, the distinctive Hebrew name for God (usually transliterated Jehovah or Yahweh), is in this translation represented by ‘Lord.'” As you can see for yourself, translators and copyists willingly admit to removing our Creator’s name from the Bible.
Unfortunately, most religions today would prefer if everyone forgot that our Creator has a name. That way, the term god becomes less definable and allows people with alternative beliefs about who God is to be accepted into their church. One of those beliefs, perpetuated by the Catholic Church itself, no less, is that Jehovah and Jesus are the same entity. Meanwhile, at Jesus’s baptism, Matthew 3:17 records that God Himself said these words, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). Ask yourself, if Jesus and Jehovah are one and the same, how exactly did this situation at Jesus’s baptism transpire? Furthermore, if Jesus is God, how do you make sense of John 12:49, where Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak” (New King James Version)? And these are just two of many examples from the Bible that don’t make sense if Jesus and God were one and the same. In light of the fact that the Bible records Jesus several times praying to his Father, the obvious and most logical conclusion is that they are two separate individuals. To believe or even suspect otherwise would be ignoring the Bible’s instruction, where it tells us “not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). In other words, stick to what the Bible teaches about who God is. Unfortunately, some religions ignore this advice and think they have some special knowledge about who our Creator is, making them feel “puffed up” with pride.
Fortunately, the Bible provides an abundance of information to help us clearly understand everything we need to know about our Creator, without our needing to guess. For example, Genesis 1:26 states, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness’” (Christian Standard Bible). Therefore, just as you have features and characteristics, it’s reasonable to conclude that Jehovah does as well—even a personality. Furthermore, since He created our universe, it would also be reasonable to conclude that Jehovah exists outside of our known universe.
Consider an illustration. Imagine you assembled a closed environment in which you supplied the necessary materials to build an ant farm. We will call that environment the ant’s universe. Just as you existed before creating the ant’s universe, so did our Creator exist before creating our universe. Compared to an ant, you would be considered a higher form of intelligence, perhaps even a supreme being. The comparison between humankind and Jehovah is not all that dissimilar. Job 37:16 says Jehovah is “perfect in knowledge” (King James Version). Therefore, just as 2 + 2 = 4 is a simple math equation to you, so is everything to Him. And since He created every element on the periodic table, it stands to reason that He also knows precisely what each element does, how they work, and how they interact with each other. Considering how everything in our known universe is made of these elements, it’s reasonable to believe that Jehovah truly is perfect in knowledge.
The next blog will reveal the characteristics of our Creator’s personality and His feelings toward humankind. Characteristics I’m sure many of you will be surprised to learn. If you are enjoying what you are learning and would like to have a personal Bible study, go to jw.org and fill out the ‘Request A Visit’ form and one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area will soon contact you. (Please note: Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, visits and Bible studies will be conducted via telephone or video conferencing tool)