The Name Above Every Name…Or Every [Other] Name?

As I prepare to go to the Jehovah’s Witness district convention, I am doing some extra research in Phil. chapter 2. In verses 9-11 of Phil. 2, the text proclaims of Christ;

2:9 As a result God exalted him

and gave him the name

that is above every name,

2:10 so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow

– in heaven and on earth and under the earth –

2:11 and every tongue confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord

to the glory of God the Father.

(Phil. 2:9-11 NET BIBLE)

As I was looking over the New World Translation this evening, I noticed what the WTB&TS does with this verse;

For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name, 10 so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, 11and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11 NWT)

Well, there it is again. Another instance of the WTB&TS changing the rendering of a verse to subtract from the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, notice the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of this verse;

Notice the rendering of the verse via the KIT edition, which is faithful to Paul’s, via the Holy Spirit’s intent regarding this passage; “the name over every name.” Notice also the NWT english rendering of this verse to the right of the Greek text; “the name that is above every [other] name.” This is just another example of the lengths that the WTB&TS will go through to deny the deity of Christ. However, truth is truth and truth tells us that  Jesus Christ is the name above every name…the highest name in the universe and beyond.

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3 thoughts on “The Name Above Every Name…Or Every [Other] Name?

  1. Hi!

    I fail to see how the Society is trying “to deny the deity of Christ,” when the very verse itself notes that Jesus was given the name above every name. That is, if he has to given something that he previously did not possess, and even had to be exalted to a “superior position,” what does that say about Jesus’ deity?

    Best,
    Ivan

    • Thank you for your comment. With all respect, I think you’re missing the point of both the chapter (Phil. 2) and my post. First to the chapter in question.

      Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Phil. 2:5-11, NASB)

      Jesus existed in the form of God (v. 6) but, did not hold His equality with God as something to be grasped or held onto (v. 7). As a result, He emptied Himself, and, rather than holding on to His equality, He became incarnate in the form of a servant/in the form of man (v. 8). He then humbled Himself even further in obedience to the Father (the doctrine of the Trinity holds that each member of the God-head plays a unique role – while all three Persons are very God and ontologically equal, the Son and the Spirit do voluntarily submit to the Father) and died on the cross (v. 9). Now, it is for this reason that God the Father highly exalted Jesus, because of His voluntary act of submission and death. And the result of this exaltation is that He (Jesus) now possesses the name which is above EVERY name; a name which is, according to this verse, even higher than the Tetragrammaton. What is the further result of this exaltation? It is that every knee will bow to Jesus. Every tongue will confess that He is Lord (and this will glorify the Father because both persons are fully God – hence, to declare the name of Jesus is to declare the name of God). But, what does Paul mean by Lord? Here Paul draws on Isaiah 45:23 which states;

      “I have sworn by Myself,
      The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
      And will not turn back,
      That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.(Isa. 45:23, NASB)

      The verse which is being applied to Jesus is, in its Isaiah form, speaking about Jehovah Himself, as confirmed by the NWT;

      22“Turn to me and be saved, all YOU [at the] ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no one else. 23By my own self I have sworn—out of my own mouth in righteousness the word has gone forth, so that it will not return—that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear, 24saying, ‘Surely in Jehovah there are full righteousness and strength. All those getting heated up against him will come straight to him and be ashamed. 25In Jehovah all the seed of Israel will prove to be right and will boast about themselves.’” (Isa. 45:22-25, NWT)

      So, to summarize this, Jesus existed as God and in the form of God (c.f. Heb. 1:3) and emptied Himself to become a servant. Subsequently, Jesus being obedient, died on the cross and was exalted and given the highest of all names; a name even higher than Jehovah itself. Also, Jesus is identified as Jehovah God Himself with Isaiah 45:23 being applied directly to Him (c.f. Heb. 1:8-9 where He is again identified as Jehovah). Hence, Jesus being given the name and exalted by the Father is perfectly consistent with the voluntarily actions which He Himself engaged in and due to the fact that the Triune God never acts independently of one another.

      Finally, note the words of Textual Scholar Dr. James R. White in regards to Phil. 2:6;

      The first phrase of verse 6 sets the tone for the theological discussion to follow. Paul says that Christ was “existing” (huparchon) in the “form of God” (morphe tou theou). What does this mean? The participle huparchon is again “timeless” in that it does not point to any moment when Jesus “started” to exist in the form of God – Christ has always been in the form of God. And what is the morphe? It is that quality or characteristic which makes something what it is rather than what it is not. God is known by his morphe, and no other being has his form. The NIV picks this up by translating the phrase, “who being in very nature God….” http://vintage.aomin.org/The_Pre_Existence_of_Christ.html

      Next, to the post. Recall my argument in the post itself. I am claiming that the WTB&TS inserts words into their English translation (NWT) to hide or alter the texts which refer to the deity of Jesus Christ. Notice that I provided Watchtower images to substantiate this claim, where, the Kingdom Interlinear translates “pan” as “every,” – but, the NWT inserts the word “other” (every [other] name) into the text. This type of arbitrary change is consistent with Col. 1:16 which alters the meaning of “panta” (all things) to “all [other] thing.” My point is, the NWT does not allow the text to come over in its original form and in critical points within the text, they alter the text according to their presuppositions (Michael was Jehovah’s first of creation and Jehovah created all other things through Michael in an indirect fashion). Hence, with these insertions, the WTB&TS attempts to make Jesus into a temporal creature rather than the eternal God who created all things and who has the name above every name. Insert “other” and Jesus is a temporal creature. Leave the text alone as penned by the authors and Jesus is the eternal God. Hence, the Society denies the deity of Christ by altering the texts which pertain to His deity and ontological equality with the Father and the Spirit.
      I hope this answers your questions fully. Take care…

      JK

      • Hi!

        Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. It’s too much to answer here in the comments, but if you don’t mind, I’ll be responding by means of a blog post.

        Best,
        Ivan

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