Back in March of 2017, I wrote a post in this blog called, “Ever Heard of The Vindication of Jehovah’s Sovereignty”? Here’s a link to that post: Click! In that article I made a prediction, and now I think I might be a prophet, because my prediction is coming true! If I’m not at prophet-level, at least my track record of predictions is better than that of the Watchtower Society.
Here’s my prediction from that March 2017 post:
It will be interesting to see renewed emphasis given to this old doctrine in upcoming congregation meetings, regional assemblies, and district conventions. I’m sure the catchphrase “vindicating Jehovah’s sovereignty” will soon become part of the “theocratic language” of the common Jehovah’s Witness.
And where is the fulfillment of my prediction, you ask? See the article “Let Your Name Be Sanctified” in the June 2020 Watchtower (Study Edition), starting on page 2.
There’s an interesting shift in the precise terminology being used. The older language is, as quoted above, “the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty.” The latest Watchtower article acknowledges the legitimacy of that language, but also equivalates it with what I sense is their preferred terminology, “the sanctification of Jehovah’s name.” In paragraph 2 the author(s) say, “God’s name must be cleared of reproach.” Other ways are used to express the same concept, that Jehovah’s “name,” “sovereignty,” “way of ruling,” or “right to rule” must be “cleared of reproach,” “sanctified,” or “proved to be best.”
There’s another place where this concept is taught. In the Insight book (the JW equivalent of a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia), volume 2, under “Jehovah,” there’s a paragraph headed “The Sanctification of Jehovah’s Name.” Check it out for the official word on the subject! The Insight book is available on JW dot org, in the Online Library.
My recent discovery came about because of my long-time JW friend Mark. He had invited me to one of the JW zoom meetings, and when I tuned in, there was mention made of the recent article (June 2020) that they had just gone through in the previous section of the meeting. My reaction was “What?” And I checked out the article. There it was, the old doctrine, all polished up shiny and presented to a new generation of JW’s.
(Or is it still the same generation, because of the “overlapping generations”? See what I did there?)
I’m finding this all so very fascinating. But I still have a big question, which maybe someone out there can help me with. What is the history of this doctrine? Prior to whenever the JW’s adopted it, that is. Where did it come from? Who made it up in the first place? Don’t say the writers of the Bible, because it’s not there.
(Unless the concept is there in the Bible, but not the literal wording. Kind of like, oh, I don’t know, maybe, the Trinity? Oh, snap!)
I know that some doctrines were adopted and adapted from the Adventist, or Millerite movement. Is this one of those? If you have any insight on the history of this doctrine, please share with us in the comments! Thank you!