May we Use Jehovah?

Problem: Jehovah does not appear in NT

This is indeed correct, but as both testaments are equally inspired, this need not overly trouble us. For example, the title ‘Son of God’ does not appear in the OT, except to describe angels in Job. If we took the OT alone, it would not refer to God Himself in the person of Christ, but the NT allows this. Scripture is a whole.  Writing anything to do with God with carelessness is wrong, and yes, this would include using His name.

Problem: The name does not appear in NT writings at all

Indeed. But neither does Adonai. Neither does Jireh; Nissi; Shalom; Shammah; Tsidkenu, but I don’t think this lessens their relevance nor our right to claim them and say them.

Problem: The early Jews did not write it     

They did, but they wrote it without vowels. I suspect they did not say it, but we cannot actually be certain of this. For example, Exodus 17:15:

And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner;

The text implies he spoke its name, not merely recorded it in his writings. Likewise:

Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

There is only one name used here, the rest are titles (Ex 3:15).

Problem: Jehovah is grammatically incorrect

If we spoke of Yahweh, which may be more correct, would your discomfort diminish? I suspect not. ‘Purist rabbis’ are not to be a guide when it comes to God, especially if this term refers to Jewish teachers who reject Christ. As the name was never written in pronounceable manner, one might always challenge how it is to be written or pronounced. Let’s also remember that Elohim might be seemed grammatically incorrect as it is plural, yet we know it refers to one God not several.

Yes, I’ve heard it said that ‘Jehovah’ is incorrect and therefore ‘Yahweh’ is better, but that would still make you and others feel uncomfortable. What if you applied the same level of translation certainty to the name Jesus, a name you are very comfortable using. The word Jesus is of course a translation- its syllabic sounds the Jews would not have recognised. The Greek word, from it is based, is pronounced Yay-soos. Should we say that rather than Jesus, as some ‘Messianic Jews’ insist? An even purer purist might point out that this Greek name is also not one that the Lord would have used- I doubt a Jewish family would have used Greek names for themselves. He was probably called Yeshua, which is closer to Joshua (“Yehoshu”). So arguing from absolute faithfulness to the original grammar casts doubt on all translated names. May we even pronounce Yehoshu/Joshua at all, considering God’s sacred name provides its first syllable? I ought to say that I have been criticised for using the name ‘Jesus’ using a similar argument.

Problem: It's used by JWs

Again, we cannot allow a cult to influence how we describe our God. Would they be more acceptable if they styled themselves the Lord’s Witnesses? Or YHWH’s Witnesses? No, their theology is just as warped, even if they did not use the name Jehovah.

Problem: A Mistranslation

It is my contention, possibly borne out of my concern for the adherents of that organisation that uses the name Jehovah to give itself exclusivity and an artificial ‘special intimacy with God’,  thereby assumes a self-generated authority to justify a false power base and subsequent control legitimacy over its adherents], that the name is a man-made concoction, and if false, the whole organisation is suspect – and not just because of its doctrine and behaviour – but because it is based on a falsehood, a false title. You will know of the argument and the antecedents of ‘missing vowels’ of the original Hebrew text and the subsequent insertion to vocalise the YHWH name, circa the fourteenth century where biblical scribes wanted to re-present the Hebrew in a form to vocalise the name acceptable to a church {in the Latin}, in this case the Roman Catholic. It is true that Tyndale used the name Jehovah in his transcription to the English in the sixteenth century – but he did not use the OE Bible of Wycliffe but had [and Tyndale spoke many languages fluently] used Jerome’s Latin Bible,

Tyndale referred to the Vulgate, but he based his translation on Greek and Hebrew, which made his translation far more accurate than anything Wycliffe could offer. As there is no letter Y in Latin, Latin-speakers could not even write YHWH, so it was inevitable they would exchange it for an I, which was later exchanged for a J in languages with that letter. Let us also consider that Tyndale, and those who followed him, were Bible translators. The words in the Greek or Hebrew they were to faithfully convert into their chosen language. Rendering YHWH as LORD might be theologically correct, but it is not an accurate translation. Accurate translation was Tyndale’s aim.

 the Vulgate, where the name of God was first used as Jehovah, vocalising in the Latin presentation that inserted the vowels e, o and a depending on the edition. So I have great misgivings using the name Jehovah. God’s name is so Holy and precious we need, I think, to be very cautious when using what we think is His Holy name.   I admit, I do not know, or have very little confidence in knowing, what God’s name really is, for now. Am I wrong in this?? I think His Name is a mystery that will be revealed when we shall meet face-to-face {Rev22v4}.

I believe the text you cite refers to the name of Christ, which is no mystery:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Yet there is a mysterious name in Revelation for Christ:

Revelation 19:12, KJV: "His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."

I imagine we shall one day be privy to this name, but I cannot be sure. I do not believe this name is YHWH for the simple reason that we actually know it already. What we know with certainty is how it is pronounced.  

This theme is found in the OT also:

Judges 13:17-18 17 (KJV) 17And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 18And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

The text uses the Angel of YHWH. So the reader is given God’s name but Manoah is of course not reading this, he is there, live. The point though, is that the ‘Messenger‘ of YHWH here is Jesus Himself, and this Manoah is not permitted to see, for His time was not yet.

Even believers will be given a new name one day, a mysterious name:

To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2:17 ESV)

Just because I don it know it now, does not mean I cannot use existing names in the meantime.

Nobody wants to use or ascribe a name that is wrong; worse still, invented.  So I opt out and only use Jehovah with a caveat - or do not use it at all. But we know Jesus’ name and therein I have my confidence. It is what is directed in “There is only one name by which you must be saved...” a name that is not in any doubt by the vagaries of historical human narratives, particularly the Roman – nor the latter and varied numerous watchtower re-writes!

I am not in disagreement with you here. You’ll note that I do not typically use Jehovah when I preach or pray, out of respect for NT usage. However, it is my belief that if a name of God is in the scripture, we should be able to use it. The unknown names of Revelation are not used- because they are unknown. God permits names to be used if He makes them known, even if we are unsure of pronunciation or rendering. A strict prohibition on using words, the pronunciation of which is less than certain, would ban the name Jesus also. Jesus is Jehovah. In Him is all the fullness of deity; by seeing Him, we see the Father. Joel writes in 2:32

And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the YHWH Shall be saved.

The Jews could not use that name. YHWH Himself became a man and gave us a new name- Yehoshu- the LORD who saves. All the names of God are His by right and by office.

Image by Republica from Pixabay