Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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MIGHTY ONES

The Watchtower Society's theology is a based on a version called monolatrism, which basically alleges that all gods are actual deities; though not all deities are deemed worthy of worship. This is not quite the same as polytheism where numerous gods are all considered worthy of worship.

Monolatrism is distinguished from monotheism (asserts the existence of only one god) and distinguished from henotheism (a religious system in which the believer worships one god alone without denying that others may worship different gods of equal value)

While classical Christianity recognizes but two categories of gods; the Watchtower Society's theologians took the liberty to create a third sandwiched between the true and the false called "mighty ones". The mighty-one category is a sort of neutral zone where qualifying personages exist as bona fide deities without violating the very first of the Ten Commandments. For example:

"I myself have said: You are gods" (Ps 82:6)

The gods referred to in that passage are humans in positions of judicial authority; which everybody should know are only imitation deities rather than the genuine article; so in order to avoid stigmatizing humans as fake gods, the Society classifies them as mighty ones.

This gets kind of humorous when we plug "mighty one" into various locations. For example:

"In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a mighty one." (John 1:1)

And another:

"No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten mighty one who is in the bosom position with the Father is the one that has explained him." (John 1:18)

The "mighty one" category was an invention of necessity. In other words: without it, the Society would be forced to classify the only-begotten (John 1:18) and the Word (John 1:1) as a false god seeing as how Deut 6:4, John 17:3, and 1Cor 8:4-6 testify that there is only one true god.

POSIT: Jesus verified the authenticity of Ps 82:6 in a discussion recorded at John 10:34-36. If the word of God cannot be nullified, then those gods have to be real gods.

RESPONSE: They're real alright, no doubt about it; however: true gods are immortal; they're impervious to death. The gods in Psalm 82 are not impervious to death. In other words: they're real gods but they are not true gods because according to Deut 6:4, John 17:3, and 1Cor 8:4-6 there is only one true god. If the gods of Psalm 82 were true gods, then Deut 6:4, John 17:3, and 1Cor 8:4-6 would be invalidated.

So then, what does all this say about God's son? Well; if God's son is only a mighty one, as the Watchtower Society alleges; then he's an imitation god, and his divinity is no more divine in reality than a totem pole or a statue of Shiva.
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WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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THE LIVING GOD(S)

Jer 10:10 . . Jehovah is in truth God. He is the living god.

The Hebrew word for "living" in that passage is chay (khah'-ee) which first appears in the Bible at Gen 1:20 where it speaks of aqua life and winged life. Then it appears at Gen 1:24 where it speaks of life on land. It appears again at Gen 2:7 where it speaks of human life.

Vegetation is never spoken of as chay. So I think we can limit the kind of life spoken of by chay as conscious existence; viz: sentient life.

Jehovah is called the living god something like fifteen times in the Old Testament, and fifteen more times in the New.

I'm unaware of any other gods in the whole Bible identified as living gods; not even the gods of Psalm 82 to whom God said "You are gods".

Because of that; I think it safe to conclude that no other god is a living god. In other words: labeling Jehovah as the living god is a way of saying He is the only god that's actually eternal, i.e. always was, always is, and always shall be. This has some serious ramifications.

Speaking of Christ:

Col 2:9 . . It is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.

The Greek word for "divine quality" is theótes (theh-ot'-ace) which means: divinity

Seeing as how theótes is modified by the Greek definite article "ho" then what we're looking at here in Col 2:9 isn't nondescript divinity, but rather the divinity. In other words: we're looking at the fullness of the divinity of the living god.

Just about everybody on both sides of the aisle agrees that the Word spoken of at John 1:1 is a god. However: the Word isn't just any god; no, the fullness of the divinity of the living god dwells in the Word; viz: the Word is a living god, i.e. the life that's in the Word always was, always is, and always shall be.

John 5:26 . . For just as the Father has life in himself, so He has granted also to the Son to have life in himself.

When the Father granted the Son to have life in himself just as the Father has life in Himself, things got a bit complicated because unless Jehovah and the Word are different names for the same personage; there is now one too many living gods out there.
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THE FIRSTBORN

Col 1:15 . . He is the firstborn of all creation

The Watchtower Society has appropriated that verse as evidence that God's son was the first thing created before everything else in the cosmos.

However, the New Testament Greek word for "firstborn" in that verse is prototokos, which never means created first; no, it always means born first. The correct Greek word for created first is protoktistos.

The average Watchtower Society missionary doesn't know the difference between prototokos and protoktistos; and no doubt would care little about it anyway. To some of them; born first and created first are essentially one and the same.

But are they the same? No. Birthing requires a parent while creating requires a craftsman. Birthing produces progeny while crafting produces projects. God's son wasn't a project; no, he's God's progeny.

However; firstborn doesn't always refer to birth order. The term also refers to pay grade, so to speak, and as such is transferrable from an elder to a younger, e.g. Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:23) Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen 48:13-14) and Reuben and Joseph (Gen 49:3-4, 1Chr 5:1).

There was a time when David was God's firstborn (Ps 89:20-27). The position was later transferred to one of David's sons (Dan 7:13-14, Ps 110:1, Matt 22:42-45, Phil 2:9-11). So for now and forever; neither anything nor anybody is higher up on creation's chain of command than Christ.

You'd think that the Jews' religious experts of Jesus' day would have known about this.

Matt 22:41-46 . . Now while the Pharisees were gathered together Jesus asked them: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him: “David’s" He said to them: “How, then, is it that David by inspiration calls him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet” ’? If, therefore, David calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?”

Jesus referred to Psalm 110:1, which reads like this.

The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”

The Hebrew word for "Lord" in that verse is 'adown (aw-done'); a very common title of respect for one's superiors in the Old Testament. Sarah revered her husband Abraham as 'adown (Gen 18:12) Rachel revered her dad Laban as 'adown (Gen 31:5) and Jacob revered his brother Esau as 'adown (Gen 33:8). So then; Psalm 110:1 can be translated like this:

The utterance of Jehovah to my superior: "Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet."

David is the paterfamilias of his own line of royalty, making him superior to all of his male progeny; none of them outrank him, all are his subordinates. But Ps 110:1 speaks of one of David's male progeny who somehow breaks the rules; and the Jews' religious experts were utterly baffled by it.

Matt 22:46 . . And no one was able to answer him a word

The Jews' religious experts were no doubt aware, by means of their Old Testament studies, that the rank of firstborn can be moved around among siblings, but nobody even dreamed that a father's superiority could be taken from him and given to one of his children, making that child the head of the house over its parents.

This was something strange to their Jewish way of thinking; yet there it is in black and white in their own scriptures. They had somehow failed to catch the significance of Ps 110:1 until Jesus drew their attention to it.

Eph 1:20-21 . .It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come.

Phil 2:8-11 . . God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Q: What is the name that is above every other name?

A: Jehovah

Q: Is that another reason why Jesus is superior to David?

A: Yes. Jesus has the God-given right to use Jehovah's name as his own name; which allows him all the respect and reverence that the name deserves; viz: failure to revere Jesus as Jehovah dishonors the name of God the Father.
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WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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OTHER

Below is the text of Col 1:16-17 quoted verbatim from the Watchtower Society's New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures ©1969.

"Because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist."

Note that the word "other" is in brackets. This alert readers that "other" is not in the Greek manuscript; viz: the Society's editors took the liberty to pencil it in; which gives the impression that God's son was His first creation; and thereafter, His son created everything else.

One day, a pair of Watchtower missionaries came to my door consisting of an experienced worker and a trainee. I immediately began subjecting the trainee to a line of questioning that homed in on the Society's rather dishonest habit of penciling in words that go to reinforcing it's line of thinking.

I had him read the Society's text of Col 1:16-17 and then pointed out that the word "other" is in brackets to alert him to the fact that "other" is not in the Greek manuscript. The experienced worker corroborated my statement.

I then proceeded to have the trainee read the passage sans "other". It comes out like this:

"By means of him all things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all things and by means of him all things were made to exist."

The trainee's eyes really lit up; and he actually grinned with delight to discover that Col 1:16-17 reveals something quite different than what he was led to believe.

Had I pressed the attack; I would have pointed out to the trainee that the Society is inconsistent with its use of the word "other" by failing to pencil it into John 1:3 in order to make it read like this:

"All [other] things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one [other] thing came into existence."

Now; as to tampering with Paul's letters, and forcing them to mean things they don't say in writing; this is what Peter has to say about that.

2Pet 3:15-16 . . Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote you, speaking about these things as he does also in all his letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

NOTE: The 1984 revised version of the New World Translation omits brackets around the word "other" in Col 1:16-17. However, it's readily seen from the Watchtower Society's Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures that "other" is nowhere to be found in the Greek text.
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WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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HO THEÓS

Q: Why does the Watchtower Society translate the Word in John 1:1 as a god in lower case instead of God in upper case?

A: The Watchtower Society's translation is based upon an imaginary grammatical technicality.

The common Greek word for "god" is theós. When it's modified by the little Greek definite article ho the Society translates theós in upper case, viz: in the Society's theological thinking; ho theós pertains to the one true God, while theós by itself is somewhat flexible, for example John 1:18 and John 20:17 where theós is translated in upper case though it be not modified by ho.

However, according to Dr. Archibald T. Robertson's Grammar Of The Greek New Testament, page 767: in regards to nouns in the predicate; the article is not essential to speech. In other words: when theόs is in the predicate, ho can be either used, or not used, without making any real difference.

So then; a translator's decision whether to capitalize either of the two theόs in John1:1 or not to capitalize them, is entirely arbitrary rather than dictated by a strict rule of Greek grammar.

The Society prefers "a god" because lower case is agreeable with their opinion of Christ's celestial status.
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Idolater

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It still strikes me as outrageous that they explain away Christ's Resurrection. Although, from quite early on in the Church's history, there were those who doubted the reality of both His Passion and death, and His Resurrection. They are called 'Docetists,' and they teach 'Docetism.' It's a very old heresy. So, no innovators in the JW camp apparently.
 

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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THE FIG TREE

Mark 11:12-13 . .The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he became hungry. And from a distance he caught sight of a fig tree that had leaves, and he went to see whether he would perhaps find something on it. But, on coming to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season of figs.

Q: If Jehovah really was in the world as the man Jesus, then why didn't He know by omniscience that the fig tree would have no fruit? Why was it necessary for Him to examine it up close in person?

A: Jehovah's conduct in that matter would've been unusual but by no means uncharacteristic.

In the 11th chapter of Genesis, the people built themselves a tower. Jehovah came down to see the tower. Now, if Jehovah is omnipresent and omniscient, then why bother coming down out of heaven to inspect the tower in person?

In the 18th chapter of Genesis, Jehovah announced to Abraham that He was on a journey to visit Sodom in order to determine whether the reports He was hearing about the city were true or not. Again: if Jehovah is omnipresent and omniscient, why bother coming down out of heaven to visit Sodom in person?

In the 22nd chapter of Genesis, Jehovah had Abraham offer his son as a sacrifice made with fire. At the conclusion of the event; a celestial being-- speaking for Jehovah and speaking as Jehovah --said: "Now I do know that you are God-fearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me."

It goes without saying that Jehovah knows every man's thoughts, and He also knows the future, viz: nothing we do, say, or think catches Jehovah by surprise; He sees everything. So then, if Jehovah already knew in advance that Abraham would offer Isaac, and already knew in advance that Abraham was God-fearing, then why did He say "now I know"? Shouldn't Jehovah have already known?

The only sensible answer to those questions, including the question about the fig tree, is that there is a humanness to God that began quietly coming to light all the way back in the very beginning of the Bible; but the New Testament is where we see God's humanness on display even more.

John 1:18 . . No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god, who is in the bosom position with the Father, is the one that has explained him.

"explained him" is accurate enough but doesn't really say it right-- "revealed him" is much better.

John 14:7 . . . If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him. Philip said to him: "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him: "Have I been with you men so long a time, and yet, Philip, you have not come to know me? He that has seen me has seen the Father also.

Q: Well then, why didn't Jesus use his divine powers to make that tree produce fruit for him to eat right then and there on the spot instead of cursing the poor thing?

A: Isn't that similar to the Devil's reasoning in the 4th chapter of Matthew?

The fact of the matter is: Jesus was micro-managed. He cursed that fig tree in compliance with his Father's wishes to do so.

John 6:38 . . I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 8:28 . . I do nothing of my own initiative

John 8:29 . . He that sent me is with me; He did not abandon me to myself, because I always do the things pleasing to Him.

John 10:30 . . I and my Father are unified

John 14:10 . . Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father, and the Father is in union with me?
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WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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MONOGENES

Q: One translation of John 1:18 says that Jesus is the only-begotten god; while another translation says Jesus is the only begotten son. Which translation is correct?

A: Either translation will do because, biologically speaking, they're both saying the very same thing.

John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, and 1John 4:9 are translated from the Greek word monogenes (mon-og-en-ace') which is a combination of two words.

The first is mono, which music buffs recognize as a single channel rather than two or four in surround sound stereo. Mono is very common; e.g. monogamy, monofilament, monotonous, mononucleotide, monochrome, monogram, monolith, monologue, monomial, et al.

The other word is genes; from whence we get the English word gene; which Webster's defines as a biological term indicating a part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing. In other words: monogenes refers to one biological gene set rather than many.

Monogenes always, and without exception, refers to a couple's sole biological child in the New Testament. If a couple has two or more biological children, none of them qualify as monogenes because in order to qualify as a monogenes child, the child has to be an only child. Obviously then, an adopted child can never be monogenes because it wouldn't be the parents' biological child. Examples of monogenes children are located at Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, and Luke 9:38.

So then, scientifically speaking, Christ is unique in that he is God's biological offspring, while God's other sons are not; viz: they're placed as sons, i.e. adopted. (Rom 8:15-16, Gal 4:4-6, Eph 1:4-5)

Q: God literally fathered a child?

A: I think it's probably a bit more accurate to say that God literally co-fathered a child.

Q: How did he do it? Is there a Mrs. God? And who was the other father?

A: Jesus' conception, described at Luke 1:26-35, wasn't only miraculous, it was a very unusual combination of human and divine.

David contributed the human component. (Luke 1:32, Acts 13:22-23, Rom 1:1-3, and 2Tim 2:8)

God contributed the divine component. (Luke 1:35 and 1John 3:9)

Jesus then, is just as much God's progeny as he is David's; and just as much David's progeny as he is God's.

Q: What about Heb 11:17 where Isaac is stated to be Abraham's monogenes child? Wasn't Ishmael a biological child of his too?

A: Isaac is the only biological child that Abraham and Sarah produced together; just as Jesus is the only biological child that God and Man produced together.

To say that this is all very baffling, illogical, unscientific, and unreasonable would be an understatement. In my mind's normal way of thinking, Christ's rather odd case of mixed-species genetics is an outlandish fantasy that, biologically, makes no sense at all. It's sort of like crossing an iguana with an apricot to produce a reptilian fruit tree. But; the circumstances of Christ's conception are in the Bible, so those of us who call ourselves Christians have got to accept it.
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tetelestai

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View attachment 26655

The above photo is Charles Taze Russell's grave. It's 10 minutes from my house, here in Pittsburgh.

Charles Taze Russell is the founder of the Jehovah Witnesses. The group was founded here in Pittsburgh in 1870.

Please note the pyramid besides Russell's grave that was put there by the Watchtower. Oh, and by the way, that large complex in the background is The Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center.
 

tetelestai

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"I am very glad to have this particular opportunity of saying a word about some of the things in which we agree with our Masonic friends, because we are speaking in a building dedicated to Masonry, and we also are Masons. I am a Free Mason. I am a free and accepted Mason, if I may carry the matter to its full length, because that is what our Masonic brethren like to tell us, that they are free and accepted Masons. That is their style of putting it. Now I am a free and accepted Mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our Masonic brethren. We have no quarrel with them. I am not going to say a word against Free Masons. In fact, some of my very dear friends are Masons, and I can appreciate that there are certain very precious truths that are held in part by our Masonic friends.

I have talked to them at times, and they have said, How do you know about all of these things? We thought nobody knew anything about these things except those who had access to our very highest logic. I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject. And so if we talk to our Masonic friends about the Temple and its meaning, and about being good Masons, and about the Great Pyramid, which is the very emblem they use, and what the Great Pyramid signifies, our Masonic friends are astonished. One who had been a Mason a long time recently bought a lot of books that had the Great Pyramid discussed, and sent them to I am sure a thousand Masons. He paid for them and sent them out at his own expense. He wanted the Masons to see something about the Great Pyramid. He knew they were greatly interested in that. But we are not going to discuss the Great Pyramid this afternoon. We are going to discuss free and accepted Masonry-- the Bible Masonry, my dear friends."
- Charles Taze Russell, 1913
 

WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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FAIL SAFE

According to John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, and 1Pet 2:22; Jesus committed no sins of his own.

The Watchtower Society is of the opinion that Christ didn't sin because he "chose" not to sin. In other words: he could have failed, he could have sinned.

That's what they say; but it's not what the Bible says. The fact of the matter is; Christ's divine genetics make it impossible for him to sin.

1John 3:9 . . Everyone who has been born from God does not carry on sin, because His [reproductive] seed remains in such one, and he cannot practice sin, because he has been born from God. (NWT)

That translation makes it look as though one born of God's reproductive seed sins now and then but not all the time; viz: doesn't make a habit of sin. But the text on the Greek side of the Society's Kingdom Interlinear reads like this:

"He is not able to be sinning because out of God he has been generated."

There's more:

Col 2:9 . . It is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. (NWT)

The Greek word translated "divine quality" is theotes (theh-ot'-ace) which means divinity; defined by Webster's as the quality or state of being divine.

I don't mean to split hairs but the order of those words in a sentence makes a difference: divine quality and the quality of being divine are not the same. For example: patience is a divine quality, but people capable of patience aren't eo ipso divine. So let's get that straightened out right from the get-go.

Anyway; what we're looking at in Col 2:9 isn't nondescript divinity; rather, "the" divinity; viz: we're looking at God's divinity; which I think pretty safe to assume is impeccable. I seriously doubt even the Devil himself could fail and/or sin were he brimming with not just a percentage; but with all the fullness of God's divinity.

Q: If it was impossible for Christ to either sin or fail; then what practical purpose did his temptation serve?

A: Christ testified "I always do the things pleasing to Him" (John 8:29). The Devil's failure to break Christ certifies the truth of his statement. In other words: Christ was proof-tested to demonstrate that he contains no flaws.

No doubt the Devil expected that after forty days in the outback without food, Christ would be worn down to the point where he would no longer care whether he sinned or not. But it made no difference. Christ was still just as incapable of sin after forty days in the outback as he was during the first thirty years of his life in Nazareth because Christ's innocence doesn't depend upon his resolve; rather, upon his genetics so to speak; viz: upon God's [reproductive] seed. (1John 3:9)

While we're on the subject: what is the one thing God cannot do? Well; the JWs' conditioned response is that God cannot lie (Heb 6:18). But a better response than that is God cannot sin. In point of fact: it is just as impossible for God to sin as it is for His progeny to sin. I mean; think about it. If God's progeny is unable to sin due to the intrinsically sinless nature of God's reproductive seed; then it goes without saying that the source of that seed would be unable to sin too.

Jas 1:13 . . For with evil things God cannot be tried. (NWT)

NOTE: The Watchtower Society religion is a bit of an odd duck in the world of Christianity. While most, if not all, of the other denominations seek to glorify Christ; it seems the Society's primary purpose in life is to destroy him.

A very common Greek word in the New Testament for the Devil is diabolos (dee-ab'-ol-os) which refers to traducers; defined by Webster's as someone who exposes others to shame or blame by means of falsehood and misrepresentation; i.e. slander.
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TrevorL

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Greetings WeberHome,

I have been interested in reading your various segments concerning JW beliefs. I have agreed with your comments in some, and others were interesting as I had not heard of some aspects of these JW beliefs. I find that the following is also interesting, but I disagree with you on a few details.
MIGHTY ONES
While classical Christianity recognizes but two categories of gods; the Watchtower Society's theologians took the liberty to create a third sandwiched between the true and the false called "mighty ones". The mighty-one category is a sort of neutral zone where qualifying personages exist as bona fide deities without violating the very first of the Ten Commandments. For example:
"I myself have said: You are gods" (Ps 82:6)
The gods referred to in that passage are humans in positions of judicial authority; which everybody should know are only imitation deities rather than the genuine article; so in order to avoid stigmatizing humans as fake gods, the Society classifies them as mighty ones.
Your comments seem to ignore the fact that God called the Judges “Elohim”, and I suggest that the reason for this is that these Judges were supposed to represent God, applying the Law impartially to both poor and rich. Your comment that they were only imitation deities misses this explanation because you take the word “gods” in a literal sense. One interpretation of the word “Elohim” is mighty ones, and this meaning can underlie the meaning here, as the Judges had judicial power or might.
This gets kind of humorous when we plug "mighty one" into various locations. For example:
"No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten mighty one who is in the bosom position with the Father is the one that has explained him." (John 1:18)
I notice that the NWT has “god” here, but I prefer the KJV that has “only begotten Son” and this corresponds with John 3:16 and John 1:14.
POSIT: Jesus verified the authenticity of Ps 82:6 in a discussion recorded at John 10:34-36. If the word of God cannot be nullified, then those gods have to be real gods.
Again you are using “gods” in a sense that is different to the role of the Judges who represented God. To talk of “real gods” and “true gods” confuses this Bible usage.
So then, what does all this say about God's son? Well; if God's son is only a mighty one, as the Watchtower Society alleges; then he's an imitation god, and his divinity is no more divine in reality than a totem pole or a statue of Shiva.
I may not fully agree with the JW position here, but the fact that Jesus is addressed by Thomas as “my God” can be understood in the same sense as when the Judges represented God, and with Jesus he fully revealed God. I believe that John’s summary in John 20:30-31 where he calls Jesus “the Son of God” is a greater title that Thomas’ address of “my God”, because both Judges and Angels also were called “God” (Elohim). There is only one, who is the Only-Begotten of the Father, The Son of God.

Kind regards
Trevor
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again WeberHome,
FAIL SAFE
According to John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, and 1Pet 2:22; Jesus committed no sins of his own.
The Watchtower Society is of the opinion that Christ didn't sin because he "chose" not to sin. That's what they say; but it's not what the Bible says. The fact of the matter is; Christ's divine genetics make it impossible for him to sin.
Again, I may not fully agree with the JW position, as I believe that Jesus was the Son of God because God was his father and Mary his mother Luke 1:35. As such Christ’s divine genetics, and I am not sure that this is altogether a correct concept, did not annul his human nature which he received from Mary. Jesus overcame sin not by simple “choice”, but by his Divine mind overcoming the lusts of the flesh. In each of the three temptations his mind had meditated on Deuteronomy and he had learnt these lessons and espoused them in his heart and made them his delight Psalm 1:2.

Kind regards
Trevor
 

WeberHome

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Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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LEARNING OBEDIENCE

Heb 5:7-9 . . In the days of his flesh Christ offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered; and after he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him

The "perfection" Jesus Christ obtained by means of his suffering is directly related to his priesthood rather than his personal conduct.

Heb 5:10 . . Because he has been specifically called by God a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek.

In order for a priest to be effective, he has to be capable of empathy.

Heb 5:1-3 . . For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in behalf of men over the things pertaining to God, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal moderately with the ignorant and erring ones since he also is surrounded with his own weakness, and on its account he is obliged to make offerings for sins as much for himself as for the people.

Jesus Christ of course could do no wrong of his own; but he was put through the wringer so he'd have a taste of what us mere mortals face every day of our lives.

Heb 4:15 . . For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin.

Hence, the purpose of the suffering that the Son endured was for a far different purpose than the chastisement which the Father's lesser sons are put through at Heb 12:5-11 since according to 1John 3:9 and Col 2:9 it was, and it still is, impossible for God's son to ever be unholy, or unrighteous, or disobedient. In other words; the Son wasn't obedient by means of discipline; rather, he experienced what it's like to obey as a human being. As the Word in heaven, obedience is his way of life because according to John 1:1-14, the Word is a god; but the rest of us are mere mortals. Obedience isn't a piece of cake for those of us who are only human.

It's one thing to sympathize and say you feel your fellow man's pain; but in order to truly empathize with his pain; you've got to go through it yourself. It's exactly that which makes Jesus an excellent choice for high priesthood in heaven because the things he suffered made him a "merciful" high priest; viz: an high priest that's truly one of us instead of an indifferent judgmental bigot from another world.

During America's dust bowl era in the 1930's, the Federal Farm Security Administration sent out an educated young lady named Sonora Babb to counsel migrant farm workers out west. Nobody trusted her until they found out she grew up in the so-called No Man's Land of the southern great plains. Sonora wasn't just another indifferent stuffed-shirt bureaucrat. She was familiar with the dust bowlers' way of life first-hand, and it made all the difference in the quality of her rapport with migrant farm workers.
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WeberHome

New member
Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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I'm not in the habit of offering unsolicited spiritual counseling on internet forums; but today I probably should.

Post No.34 pertained to Christ's high priesthood. Non-anointed Jehovah's Witnesses-- a.k.a. the earthly class; viz: the hewers of wood and haulers of water, the great crowd ---do not have direct access to it, rather, they have indirect access to Christ's high priesthood via their affiliation with the Watchtower Society. (See post No.16)

May I suggest to any and/or all JWs hereabout that they take advantage of whatever degree of access they have for now and speak up candidly and forthrightly with Christ, asking him if there isn't some way to take advantage of his high priesthood's services without having to be affiliated with the Watchtower Society; i.e. as a free moral agent instead of dependent upon a hierarchy.

It's a reasonable request, and I'm pretty sure if asked in all honesty and sincerity that Christ will get back to its inquirer with a response.

John 6:37-28 . . Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and the one that comes to me I will by no means drive away; because I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.

Heb 4:16 . . Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.
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WeberHome

New member
Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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THOMAS' GOD(S)

John 20:28 . . Thomas said to him: "My Lord and my God!"

"God" is from the Greek word theós

Many moons ago; I asked some Watchtower Society missionaries to explain to me why theit Bible translated theós in upper case in Thomas' statement seeing as how in Watchtower theology; only Jehovah should be referred to with capital letters. Well; they were too inexperienced to explain and my question left them stumped.

The fact of the matter is: in John 20:28, theós is modified by the Greek definite article "ho". So by the Society's own rules; its translators had to use upper case because it is their practice that whenever theós is modified by the Greek definite article, then the upper case is required.

For argument's sake; let's remove the upper cases and translate the passage like this:

Thomas said to him: "my lord and my god!"

We could tolerate a lower case lord because that was a common way to address just about any superior back in those days, whether divine or otherwise; for example 1Pet 3:6.

However; we would have difficulty with a lower case god because the passage is possessive. In other words: the apostle Thomas didn't just declare that Jesus was a god. No, Thomas clearly declared that Jesus was his god.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with Jehovah in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy forbids them to possess more than one god.

"And God proceeded to speak all these words, saying: I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You must not have any other gods against my face." (Ex 20:1-30

"against my face" is a combination of two Hebrew words that essentially refer to God's competitors. In other words: it is not Jehovah's wishes to have a market share of His people's affections; no, He'll settle for nothing less than 100%. (cf. Mark 12:28-30)

If the apostle Thomas was a Torah-trained Jew, then he was fully aware that possessing any other god but Jehovah would incur the covenant's curse upon himself.

Deut 27:26 . . Cursed is the one who will not put the words of this law in force by doing them.

The way I see it: the Society has two options. Either the apostle Thomas knew what he was doing when he addressed Jesus as his god, or he meant to say something else.

Now, if the apostle Thomas knew what he was doing when he addressed Jesus as his god, then John Q and Jane Doe JWs need to ask around and find out why it is that Jesus Christ was the apostle Thomas' god but he isn't the Watchtower Society's god.

Plus: I would really like to know how it is that the apostle Thomas and the Watchtower Society are poles apart in their opinions of Christ's divine status when Thomas actually associated with Christ and was one of his close personal friends.
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WeberHome

New member
Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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CHRIST'S GOD

John 20:17 . . Be on your way to my brothers and say to them; "I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God."

Q: If Jesus is God, as classical Christianity claims, then how can he have a god? Does God worship Himself?

A: I have yet to encounter the language of John 20:17 in reverse, viz: I have yet to see a passage in the Bible where the Father refers to His son as "my God".

For simplicity's sake; it helps to think of the true God as a species; viz: if indeed a true God were to beget a child, He would beget a child of like species; i.e. a true God would beget a true divine being like Himself because that's the only kind of offspring that a true God could engender; just as when a true human begets a child, they beget a child of like species i.e. they beget a true human being like themselves because that's the only kind of offspring that a true human can engender.

There is a hierarchy in the divine relationship just as there is a hierarchy in human relationships. Though all members of a human family are equally human, they are not all equal in rank and privilege; some are superior and some are subordinate. (cf. John 14:28, 1Cor 15:28)

Now, we can volley back and forth with JWs, countering each other's verses with more verses: verse upon verse; but I can just about guarantee that us and they will both be chasing our tails and getting nowhere unless we approach the Son's relationship to his Father from a biological perspective; which is a perspective that just about anybody with even a cursory knowledge of the birds and the bees can understand with ease.

The Watchtower Bible And Tract Society calls Jesus "the only-begotten son from a Father" and also "the only-begotten god". Well, don't let that mislead you. The Society dare not accept Christ's status as God's literal offspring because the ramifications would force them to revise their theology.
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TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again WeberHome,
CHRIST'S GOD
The Watchtower Bible And Tract Society calls Jesus "the only-begotten son from a Father" and also "the only-begotten god". Well, don't let that mislead you. The Society dare not accept Christ's status as God's literal offspring because the ramifications would force them to revise their theology.
A proper understanding of Luke 1:35 which teaches that God the Father is the literal father of Jesus, the Son of God and that Mary is his mother would cause both the Watchtower Society and also Trinitarians to revise their theology.
Luke 1:34-35 (KJV): 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. .
There is One God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Kind regards
Trevor
 

WeberHome

New member
Re: Analyzing Jehovah's Witness Teachings

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THE LAST ADAM

1Cor 15:45a . . The first man Adam became a living soul.

1Cor 15:47 . .The first man is out of the earth and made of dust

Those verses are references to Gen 2:7, which reads like this:

"Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul."

The Watchtower Society alleges that Jehovah God wasn't directly involved in creating the first man, rather, His involvement was indirect. According to them, the actual work was done by the hand of a divine being called the Word.

"In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence." (John 1:1-3)

Seeing as that's the case; then the breath of life spoken of in Gen 2:7 was blown into the first man's nostrils by the Word. In all respects then, we owe the beginning of the original human race to the Word just as much as we owe it to Jehovah God because both are given credit for its origin.

1Cor 15:45b . .The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

That verse speaks of the origin of yet another human race. This second human race wasn't made of dust from the ground, nor was it given consciousness by blowing into its nostrils the breath of life, nor did it come to be a living soul.

Up to this point; I'm told of only two life-giving spirits in the Bible: the Word and Jehovah God. So unless there is now three life-giving spirits, I feel safe to conclude that the last Adam is one of the two; i.e. he's either the Word or he's Jehovah God. Well; it's easy to show by John 1:14 that the last Adam and the Word are one and the same person.

"So the Word became flesh and resided among us"

Q: When did this last Adam become a life-giving spirit? At his birth or at his resurrection?

A: According to John 5:26 and 1John 1:1-2, the Word is an everlasting life which, according to Gen 21:33 and Rom 16:26, is an indestructible category of life that's impervious to death. And according to John 1:1, the Word is a god. Well; people die, but gods never die. (Ps 82:6-7)

So the Word didn't go out of existence when he came into the world as an h.sapiens; which means of course that Jesus Christ was a life-giving spirit right from the moment of his conception rather than at his resurrection; i.e. he was capable of giving life prior to his crucifixion.

Speaking to the Jews of his day; Jesus said:

"My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life" (John 10:27-28)

"You are searching the Scriptures, because you think that by means of them you will have everlasting life; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me. And yet you do not want to come to me that may have life." (John 10:39-40)

Q: So you're saying a created man pioneered the original human race; and a man who's both creator and created pioneered the second human race?

A: Yes.

1Cor 15:47 . .The second man is out of heaven.

John 6:38 . . I have come down from heaven

John 6:42 . . They began saying: Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it that now he says: I have come down from heaven?

The dual nature of Christ's existence is a fatal hang-up for the Watchtower Society due to its spurious belief that it's impossible for the Word to exist as a human being and a spirit being simultaneously. But the evidence is very difficult to refute.

It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
(Mark Twain)
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TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again WeberHome,
The dual nature of Christ's existence is a serious hang-up for the Watchtower Society due to its faulty premise that it's impossible for someone to exist as a physical being and a non physical being simultaneously. But the evidence is very difficult to refute.
Again I disagree with much of the JW teaching, but there is no evidence that Jesus had a dual nature, and the following clearly refutes this, as Jesus was a man, he was a human, with human nature, he came in the flesh. He was not a God-man, with two minds, one human, one Divine, all-powerful and yet weak, all knowing, but lacking in knowledge and many other impossibilities.
Romans 8:3 (KJV): For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Hebrews 2:14 (KJV): Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 John 4:1-3 (KJV): 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

There is One God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
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