Thursday 7 February 2013

Jehovah in the BASF

George Booker looks at the BASF as a time-honored document. It has stood the test of generations, and if we let down our guard on a single matter, then we surely will have offended in all points!

No manmade statement can be perfect because it is, in the best case, the expression of saving truth by some fallible man (or committee of fallible men). You know what they say about a camel? It’s a horse designed by a committee.
But then it might be said, ‘It is the best we have, or are likely to have.’ This probably means, ‘We have no mechanism in the brotherhood for improving it — so you and I just have to make the best of it.’
This may be true. But then again, nothing was ever changed without somebody (forerunner, troublemaker, agitator, visionary: take you pick) suggesting that it could be changed.
Is someone who suggests that the BASF could be changed (i.e., improved) a heretic? Suppose the change could bring this “touchstone” of a Christadelphian statement of faith closer to the Biblical standard — we already know it isn’t perfect, so that is a possibility. Shouldn’t such proposals be discussed?

In North America it has been used to exclude from fellowship a lot of folks who would have been accepted long ago if they lived in Australia or the UK.

According to sources at The Christadelphian Office, “Yahweh” never occurs in the original version of the first Birmingham Statement of Faith, nor the earliest versions of the BASF. However, “Jehovah” does!

Which name of God is acceptable and suitable for Christadelphians to use? Well, the name “Jehovah” does appear in the BASF, but the name “Yahweh” never does, at least not in the “real” BASF, the one the was written in England and then amended there in 1898. That one used “Jehovah”!

The funny thing is: a lot of Christadelphians (in North America for sure) think they not only must substitute “Yahweh” for “God” when they do the Bible readings (even when the original text doesn’t allow for it!), but they just might throw out someone who tried to slip a “Jehovah” in there.
Jehovah-God%27s_Name_ (Photo credit: ideacreamanuelaPps)

On the other hand, probably many others would say, “So what?” Still they allow the “Yahweh” clique to persist and proselytize, oblivious to the evidence against it in the earliest BASF. A bit of an ironic or sarcastic anomalous situation, don’t you think? (If you’re not sure what that meant, feel free to look it up for homework. You may be tested.

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Description unavailable (Photo credit: Tom Paton)
By the way, an informal and unscientific survey suggests that, worldwide, there may be many more Central Fellowship ecclesias that use “Yahweh” than those that use “Jehovah”. This also means, of course, that — strictly speaking — they are not truly BASF ecclesias. But I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell them!

George Booker

Course Notes:
Class 1 | Class 2Class 3 | Class 4



 About God's Name find a.o.:
  1. The Bible and names in it
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything aroundיהוה The Only One Elohim who creates and gives all
  3. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words 
  4. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה 
  5. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  6. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name 
  7. God about His name “יהוה“
  8. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  9. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  10. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  12. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  13. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  14. Listening and Praying to the Father
  15. Prophets making excuses
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