Q. What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?
A. There are several differences between YRM and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The most notable are the names of Yahweh and Yahshua for the Father and Son along with the Sabbath and Feast days.
The Jehovah Witnesses call upon the name Jehovah. While scholarship may have favored this pronunciation many years ago, today nearly all scholars agree that the name is Yahweh. Even the Jehovah Witnesses acknowledge that Yahweh is favored by Hebrew scholars. They state the following in their Insight on the Scriptures, “‘Jehovah’ is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although ‘Yahweh’ is favored by most Hebrew scholars,” vol. 2, pg. 5.
Below are a few additional references on Jehovah:
A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, pg. 247. “Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites. In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization. The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh.”
The Journey from Texts to Translations, Paul D. Wegner, pg, 172, 173. “The scribes reasoned that if they did not point the name Yahweh then it could never be treated lightly since his name would not really be known. Initially the real pointing was probably passed along by tradition, but in time it was lost. In Exodus 20:7 the name Lord is written in capital letters according to the convention of signifying the name Yahweh, but the name as it appears in the Hebrew text is hwhy (yehowa), in which appear the consonants from the name Yahweh (hwhy [yhwh]) and the vowels from the word Lord (ynda [‘idonay]). Proof for the fabricated nature of this word are the two vowels which appear on the waw, an impossibility in Hebrew. However, until the revival of the Hebrew language in western Europe scholars read the consonants YHWH (Germans would read them as JHVH) with the vowels of ‘adonay, thereby originating the incorrect form Jehovah. This word was then introduced into English by William Tyndale and was continued by the King James Version.”
Understanding the Old Testament, Bernhard Anderson, “Definition: ‘Jehovah,’ ‘The Lord,’” pg. 61. “The personal divine name YHWH…has had an interesting history. In the Old Testament period the Hebrew language was written only with consonants; vowels were not added until the Common Era, when Hebrew was no longer a living language. On the basis of Greek texts, which of course use both vowels and consonants, it is believed that the original pronunciation of the name was Yahweh. Notice the shortened form of the divine name in the exclamation, ‘Halleluyah’ — ‘Praise Yah.’”
Along with the name Jehovah, another difference is they normally worship on Sunday (although they believe any day is acceptable for worship), while we observe the seventh-day Sabbath, as verified through Scripture. While there are no clear examples of Sunday being observed in the New Testament, the Sabbath is mentioned 60 times. In fact, Yahshua the Messiah and the apostles all observed the Sabbath. In two key passages, we see that it was Paul’s practice to worship and teach on the Sabbath.
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:2.
“And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks,” Acts 18:4.
In addition to the New Testament, prophecy shows that the Sabbath will be observed in the coming millennial Kingdom. Consider the following examples:
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.
“Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened,” Ezekiel 46:1.
We find similar evidence for the biblical Feast days. While many believe these days are no longer obligatory, including the Jehovah Witnesses, the New Testament along with prophecy confirms that the apostles observed these days and that they will be observed in the coming Kingdom. Consider the below examples from the New Testament:
- “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41).
- “…Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” (Luke 22:11).
- “Now before the feast of the passover, when Yahshua knew that his hour was come…” (John 13:1).
- “…For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us” (1Corinthians 5:7).
Feast of Unleavened Bread
- “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread…” (Acts 20:6).
- “Therefore let us keep the feast…” (1Corinthians 5:8).
Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
- “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” (Acts 2:1).
- “…for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16).
- “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1Corinthians 16:8).
Day of Atonement
- “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past…” (Acts 27:9).
Feast of Tabernacles
- “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:2, 37).
While there are other differences beyond the ones noted, these are the most significant. As believers, proper worship is critical to our walk. It’s paramount that we follow the Bible and not man’s tradition. Even though the Jehovah Witnesses have elements of truth, they are missing key aspects of Scripture.