In 1911, H.A. Ironside (Plymouth Brethren) used the term in “Lectures on Daniel the Prophet” when referring to the Jews to whom the promises of Isa.43 would be fulfilled, noted on page 152:

“These shall be Jehovah’s witnesses, testifying to the power and glory of the one true God, when apostate Christendom shall have been given up to the strong delusion to believe the lie of the Antichrist.”

Then in 1931, the name was adopted by Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Proclaimers Book (jv) chap. 11 p. 152 – How We Came to Be Known as Jehovah’s Witnesses

“In contrast, A. H. Macmillan said concerning that announcement by Brother Rutherford: “There is no doubt in my mind—not then nor now—that the Lord guided him in that, and that is the name Jehovah wants us to bear, and we’re very happy and very glad to have it.”

Which viewpoint do the facts support?

Was the name ‘a stroke of genius’ on the part of Brother Rutherford, or was it the result of divine providence?

The Proclaimers book continues:

“… therefore we joyfully embrace and take the name which the mouth of the Lord God has named, and we desire to be known as and called by the name, to wit, Jehovah’s witnesses.”

The Watchtower 2/1/1980 p. 11 The Divine Name in Later Times

Interestingly, Raymundus Martini, a Spanish [Catholic] monk of the Dominican order, first rendered the divine name as “Jehova.” This appeared in his book Pugeo Fidei, published in 1270 C.E.— 750 years ago.

(Isaiah 62:2) “And you will be called by a new name, Which Jehovah’s own mouth will designate.”

Note: What does the Bible indicate this name would be?

(Acts 11:26) It was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians. 

Note: Interestingly, when the name was adopted in 1931, all ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ were said to be of the anointed (it was prior to the 1935 cut off date). After the two classes were identified in 1935, ONLY the anointed could call name ‘Jonadabs’.


fdb19eba49d09cce0f672bd1391b8142What have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically taught about whether Jesus should be worshipped?

Up to 1954 “YES” – Pastor C.T.Russell taught that Jesus was to be worshiped – Zion’s Watch Tower 1898 Jul 15 p.216

“Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty?

Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. … It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the creation of all things, including man.”

Judge J.F.Rutherford also taught that Jesus was to be worshiped – Watchtower 1939 Nov 15 p.339.

“Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah’s purpose (Heb.:3–6).”

Nathan Knorr continued the policy of teaching that Jesus was to be worshiped by all – Watchtower 1945 Oct 15 p.313

“Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy.”

In 1945 Knorr amended the Watchtower Charter. Included within the new Charter is the statement that the purpose of the Watchtower Society is to promote the worship of Jehovah and Jesus. This charter is a legal document that continues to be the Watchtower Charter to this day.

From 1954 on, the answer to whether we should worship Jesus was “NO”

The Watchtower 1/1/1954 p.31 – Questions from readers: “Should we worship Jesus?”—G. B., Ethiopia.

…the answer to the above question must be that no distinct worship is to be rendered to Jesus Christ now glorified in heaven. Our worship is to go to Jehovah God.

Hebrews 1:6 [As published in New World Translation, 1961, p.1293]

6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels worship him.”

Hebrews 1:6 [as published in New World Translation, 1971, p.1293]

6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”