The following is a paper I was asked to write by my brother-in-law to assist himself and others as they read the Bible. He made known to me that things I supposed were common knowledge that all Christians would know when reading the Bible, were in fact not widely understood. So I created this with some basic tools that would assist people as they study, mainly so they could understand that the Bible clearly teaches that Jehovah is God our Father, and Jesus is the Son of Jehovah, our eldest brother in spirit.
What I would add to what is already below, is that scripture interprets itself. Strange and complicated explanations that go beyond scripture to explain a passage, are oftentimes out of context. Scripture interprets scripture. The more you read it the more connections you will make, and you will begin to see it as one great picture. I pray the following information is useful as you continue to search scripture and seek to know your God.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
Most people really don’t care who they’re worshipping, as long as they feel good about themselves, and can believe they will have salvation without having to make any real changes in their sinful lives. For those of us however, who desire eternal life, we must know who and what we worship. Nothing will save you but a relationship with God, relying upon Christ. It is important then for us to understand who these beings are we claim to worship, that we might then approach them properly, commune with and then know them. The Old Testament reveals who our Father is, while foreshadowing the Son. The New Testament reveals who our Savior is, while always testifying of the Father. The Book of Mormon serves as valuable commentary to understand both of these primary records. God’s Torah is our foundation. Christ showed us how to live it and all other writings explain it.
Yehovah is the true pronunciation of the name of God, not Yahweh or Jehovah or anything else. Over 1,000 ancient Hebrew manuscripts attest to this pronunciation. Look at Nehemiah Gordon’s work for proof of this. The letter “J” is not used in Hebrew and was not even invented in English until 400-500 years ago. The original 1611 King James Version of the Bible did not even contain any J’s.
Therefore, no one ever called Jesus, Jesus, until about 400 years ago. Yeshua the Messiah was never called Jesus Christ by anyone until then. The name Yeshua was the true name of Jesus, or more properly Yehoshua (Yehovah Saves), but would be translated into English as Joshua. The name Jesus is a late English creation; even the Greeks did not call him that. He was known to them as Yesus. Christ is not his name, that is a title which in English means “the anointed one”; the Anointed One of Yehovah. When Christ appeared to the Nephites or anyone else, he did not tell them he was Jesus as that name had not been invented for him yet. He probably called himself by his given name, Yeshua, with his title, Messiah.
When you are reading the Old Testament and come across the following words in all capitals,
“LORD”, or “GOD”, the correct translation is always Yehovah (Jehovah in English)
Whenever you come across the word “God”, “god” or “gods”, they are translated from either El, or Eloheim. A “heim” placed at the end of a Hebrew word, designates a plural form, though often when placed at the end of “El”, is meant to add emphasis on God’s greatness. Most times the one true God is mentioned in the Old Testament, it was translated from the word Eloheim. El or Eloheim, is not a name of the supreme God, it is the designation of all gods, true or false. It can also be used to denote any “great and mighty one”. The term “El” or “Eloheim” could also refer to an angel or a judge or a great ruler.
*Anytime words are in italics, it means they were added by the translators, and may or may not be true to the original meaning. I have found most added words to be beneficial to comprehension and true, but I have found others which are false.
Anytime the New Testament references God, it is always referring to the Father, who is referenced as the God of Israel, the one true God; meaning God the Father is Jehovah. Christ did not teach his Apostles to serve or know of any other god other than God his Father, the God of Israel, who was Jehovah. His entire message was to serve Jehovah, his Father.
Example 1: Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus;”
Example 2: Acts 5:30, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour”
When “the Lord” appears in the New Testament text, it can be a reference to Yeshua, Yehovah, or some ruler. To mark those distinctions of who is referenced, context will be everything. Look for times when Old Testament scriptures are quoted, look up the references and then you will be able to see if it was a reference to Yehovah or Yeshua or some other Lord. This key will not work in every instance though.
Example 1: Luke 1:31-32, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord [Yehovah] God shall give unto him [Jesus] the throne of his father David:”
Example 2: John 21:7, “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord [Jesus]”
The entire message of the Old Testament is that Yehovah God the Father of all mankind, will send His Son the Messiah, to die for the human family that all may be saved. This is the same message of the New Testament.
Example 1: Psalms 2:2,7 “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yehovah, and against his anointed [Messiah]… Yehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Example 2: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
>The problem immediately arises, why then is the name of Jesus Christ used in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants? The answer is that “The Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding (2 Nephi 31:3).” God is merciful unto us according to our ignorance and folly and speaks to us accordingly, but He expects us to progress. We cannot be saved in ignorance.
-This also brings up some of the translation errors of the Book of Mormon, the most significant being that someone, possibly Joseph Smith, did not distinguish between when “Lord” signifies “Yehovah” and when “Lord” is just “Lord”, usually meaning Christ, but not always. Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was the MOST correct book, he didn’t say it was perfect and without error.
Example: 2 Nephi 7:1, is quoting Isaiah 50:1, where the Book of Mormon reads “Yea thus saith the Lord”, while Isaiah reads “Thus saith Yehovah”.
For these passages we know the distinction by turning to the original text, but in how many other places is this mistake made, where we are now left to confusion, to sort the differences? The Lord is not a name for God, it is a title that can be held by Him, or Jesus, or a pagan god or a British landowner, or any else who desire. We need to know the name whereby we are saved. We need to know who we worship.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, neither Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, nor John Taylor, among many others of the early brethren, ever made any comments referring to Jehovah as being Jesus Christ. There are on the other hand, hundreds of quotes from the early Saints, referring to Jehovah as being God our Father, the Father of Jesus Christ.
Example 1: Joseph Smith, “O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men–Thou eternal omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah–God–Thou Eloheim, that sittest, as saith the Psalmist, “enthroned in heaven,” look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed….” (DHC 5:127)
Example 2: Joseph Smith, “We believe in God the Father, who is the Great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father.” (T & S 3:578)
The idea that Jesus was Jehovah in Mormonism, was not even introduced until the very late 1800’s, and was not widely accepted until the early 1900’s. It only took a few decades to completely erase and create anew the deity of Mormonism. Do you worship the One True God or some other being? This is meant to be a quick reference sheet, not an exhaustive study; there are other papers and books which already do that; but this should help you to begin to see who your Father and Savior are.
Our Father Yehovah, is not this distant step-dad, who never sees us as important enough to visit us except on a few occasions. He has been present since the beginning, and has revealed Himself to many. God wants all of His children saved; from the simple to the great. Therefore, the interpretation to most passages of scripture, is exactly what it says, given proper context. It is manmade religion and interpretation which makes the scriptures so confusing. Read them for what they say. Take God at His word, and you will come to know him and Christ Jesus.