Training To Understand JWs

OutWest

Well-Known Member
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For a home-spun religion whose origin is relatively recent, the Watchtower Society has done pretty well for itself. Beginning with one man shortly after the American Civil War, it currently numbers approximately 8.2 million active members spread out in approximately 118,000 congregations worldwide. (Congregations have been displaced and consolidated in recent years due to the Society liquidating a number of Kingdom Halls in order to settle its legal obligations.)

My first encounter with a Watchtower Society missionary (a.k.a. Jehovah's Witness) occurred in 1969. At the time I was young and inexperienced; and thus assumed that the hewer of wood, and hauler of water coming down my dad's driveway was a typical Christian.

But when I talked this over with an elder; he became alarmed; and urged me to read a little book titled "30 Years A Watchtower Slave" by William J. Schnell; whom the Society at one time demonized as an agent of Satan. I would not be surprised if it still does.

After getting my eyes opened by Mr. Schnell's book, I was afterwards steered towards another book titled "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin. No doubt the Society demonizes Mr. Martin too.

Around late 1980, my wife and I attended a series of lectures sponsored by a local church titled "How To Witness To Jehovah's Witnesses". The speaker (call him Pete) was an ex JW who had been in the Watchtower Society system for near three decades before terminating his involvement; so he knew the twists and turns of its doctrines pretty good.

Pete didn't train us to hammer the Society's missionaries in a discussion because even if you best them scripture for scripture, they are very reluctant to give up on the Society. Their mind's unflinching premise is that the Society is right even when it appears to be totally wrong. They are thoroughly convinced that the Society is the voice of God, while your voice has no more validity than that of a squeaky little gerbil.

Later on, I read a book titled "Why I Left The Jehovah's Witnesses" by Ted Dencher. I also read the Society's little brown book titled "Reasoning From The Scriptures".

(This was all before the internet and the ready volume of information available online, e.g. YouTube.)

From all that vetting, study, and training I quickly discovered that although the Watchtower Society uses many of Christianity's standard terms and phrases, those terms and phrases mean something entirely different in the JW mind than what you'd expect because the Society has re-defined the meanings of those terminologies.

So your first challenge with Watchtower Society teachings is to scale the language barrier. That by itself is an Herculean task because you'll not only be up against a tangle of semantics, but also a Jumanji of twisted scriptures, double speak, humanistic reasoning, rationalizing, and clever sophistry.
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OutWest

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It's both tragic and ironic that the Watchtower Society's rank and file missionaries go worldwide advertising a kingdom that they themselves will never be allowed to enter. Here's why.

At John 3:3-12, Christ discusses what he labels "earthly things".

The primary earthly thing discussed was the kingdom of God. The other earthly thing discussed was a Spirit-birth requirement to enter it. In other words: God's kingdom on earth, and a Spirit birth, are joined at the hip.

The overwhelming majority of JWs coming to our doors aren't Spirit-born now, nor do they ever expect to be-- not in this life, nor in the next --yet they sincerely believe they have a shot at admission to God's kingdom on earth. However, seeing as how the Spirit-birth requirement is a must rather than an option; they will not succeed.
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OutWest

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Many of the Jehovah's Witness missionaries going door-to-door throughout the world are honestly, and sincerely, wanting to enter the kingdom of God; which is why I'm convinced that Christians really ought to know something about New Testament hope before engaging JWs in a conversation about the kingdom.

1Pet 3:15 . . Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

The New Testament Greek word for "hope" in Peter's instructions is elpis (el pece') which means to anticipate (usually with pleasure) and to expect with confidence. Note the elements of anticipation, and expectation, and confidence.

In other words: elpis hope is a know-so hope rather than a cross your fingers hope.

So, unless someone knows for proof-positive, beyond even the slightest glimmer of sensible doubt, that they have a passport to the kingdom of God locked in and irrevocable, then of course it is impossible for them to comply with Peter's instructions seeing as they would not yet have the kind of hope about which he wrote.

Rom 12:12 . . Be joyful in hope

When people are praying for the best, while in the back of their mind dreading the worst, they have absolutely no cause for rejoicing; but they do have plenty of cause to fear the unknown.

Elpis hope is one of the three principal elements of Christianity (1Cor 13:13). It's also a calling. (Eph 4:4)

When people are lacking the kind of hope described by the Greek word elpis, then I believe it's safe to assume that they have not yet responded to God's call; or worse, He has not called them; and quite possibly never will.
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Steve53

Well-Known Member
.... they have not yet responded to God's call; or worse, He has not called them; and quite possibly never will.
And since we don't have God's foreknowledge regarding who will respond, when we get the chance, having an answer for the JW's that appear on our front porch is the least we can do.

The tough part is that the most vulnerable of the JW's is always the babe that accompanies the elder.

I don't encounter JW's very often, but have adopted a method of delivering the Gospel message that's designed to make them question their standing before Holy God. It's not complex...

A couple of JW's appeared about a year ago as I was preparing to do some yard work.

The elder of the two, after a pleasant greeting, asked if I knew where I was going when I died.

I said I do know where I am going! (Big smile too!) Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and because of my belief in Him and His sacrifice for me, I am assured of salvation and therefore don't fear death at all.

I said this while making eye contact with the younger of the two and really felt as though I had struck a chord or a nerve - or at the very least made her curious to know more about my assurance. The elder woman's face lost color...
Sadly, the elder woman then immediately took the younger gal by the arm and they beat a hasty retreat while the elder woman was whispering something I couldn't hear into the younger woman's ear...

That seed of blessed assurance I hope and pray was planted and took root.
 

Goodboy

Well-Known Member
My sister is a Jehovah's Witness and for a number of years I use to debate with her until I finally realized what she was doing. As example, when I would present a bible verse that states salvation is a free gift and ask her what does that mean. She would not answer the question and just present some other verse that was more favorable to her beliefs. I then realized that she was not really hearing me, but just waiting for me to stop talking so she could continue trying to convert me.

Another thing she would do is bombard me with JW publications, but any time I sent her anything she would say it got lost, destroyed or some other excuse. The dumbest excuse she used when I sent her a copy of Left Behind, was that someone stole it. Yeah right, I'm sure that was the most valuable thing in her possession.
 
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OutWest

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Some of the Watchtower Society's ethics rub people the wrong way. For example they don't celebrate birthdays, observe Christmas, participate in Halloween, serve in the military, nor allow blood transfusions.

Their feelings about special days are protected by the fourteenth chapter of Romans so it would be extremely unchristian to criticize them on that front.

Their feelings about blood transfusions appear tenable from the passages below.

Gen 9:3-4 . . Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to you. Only flesh with its soul-- its blood --you must not eat.

Lev 7:26-27 . .You must not eat any blood in any places where you dwell, whether that of fowl or that of beast. Any soul who eats any blood, that soul must be cut off from his people.

Lev 17:10-As for any man of the house of Israel or some alien resident who is residing as an alien in your midst who eats any sort of blood, I shall certainly set my face against the soul that is eating the blood, and I shall indeed cut him off from among his people.

Acts 15:19-20 . . Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, but to write them to abstain . . from blood.

The Society construes those passages to imply that transfusing blood is all the same as using it for food.

Rather than get into a semantic quarrel with the Society over its interpretation of those passages; I suggest another tact. And our purpose is not to win a debate; only to offer a second opinion.

The Jews' sabbath law is very narrow. In point of fact, the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God imposes capital punishment for sabbath violators. (Ex 31:14-15)

Now, that is very interesting because Jesus broke the sabbath on a number of occasions, and when doing so based his actions upon the principle that human life, safety, and welfare trump strict observance of religious law.

One of the best illustrations I've seen of a die-hard legalist was a cartoon showing a man behind the wheel of his car stopped at a red light while huge landslide boulders are within seconds of crushing to death him, his family, and the family dog. While his wife and children shriek in mortal panic, the legalist calmly points out that he can't move the car until the light turns green.

Legalists typically refuse to accept the possibility of extenuating circumstances, which Webster's defines as: to lessen, or to try to lessen, the seriousness or extent of by making partial excuses; viz: mitigate.

Although it's illegal to run red lights, those boulders rumbling down the hill to crush the man's family to death unless he moves the car, are an acceptable excuse to go before the light turns green. In those kinds of cases, human life, safety, and welfare trump strict conformity to the law.

Compare Ex 1:15-21 where Jewish midwives lied through their teeth in order to save the lives of little Jewish boys. Did God punish the midwives for the sin of lying? No, on the contrary; He overlooked their dishonesty and instead rewarded the midwives' actions with families of their own. In point of fact, their actions were adjudged as fearing the true God. (Ex 1:21)

Should someone reading this section chance to discuss blood transfusions with a JW from Christ's sabbath perspective; I urge them to go about it with the utmost in civility because this is an emotional issue. Should your JW audience come to the realization that they've made a monstrous mistake, they will be overwhelmed with guilt, disappointment, and humiliation; not to mention fear of the organizational tsunami that'll come their way should they dare to question the Society's stance on blood transfusions.

Col 3:12 . . Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved: clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, and mildness.
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OutWest

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Were JWs to be questioned if they believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, I can assure you they would answer in the affirmative. However, what you may not know is that you and they would not be speaking the same language as the conversation would be talking about two very different processes that go by the same name. In other words: you would find yourself thrown off by semantic double speak.

The classical Christian understanding of Christ's resurrection is common throughout the gospels; viz: Jesus Christ's dead, crucified body was restored to life as per John 2:19-22.

"Jesus answered them: Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. The Jews replied: It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?

. . . But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken."

You see, if Jesus' dead, crucified body had not been restored to life, that entire passage would be easily proven false. But according to the Watchtower Society's way of seeing things; Christ's dead, crucified body didn't return to life at all; and here's why.

In Watchtower Society theology, an angel named Michael volunteered to come to the Earth to die for humanity's sins. But in order to do so; he had to relinquish his angel existence to become a human existence seeing as how in Society theology it is impossible for someone to exist as a spirit being and a human being simultaneously. However, when Michael expired, he didn't go completely out of existence. Instead, his "life force" remained intact and was transferred to a human form.

"the transferal of the life of his firstborn Son from the spirit realm to earth. Only in this way could the child eventually born have retained identity as the same person who had resided in heaven as the Word." (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, p.920)

"He had to become a perfect man and yet not lose his continuity of life. His life-force was not to be extinguished but would be transferred to the ovum of the virgin girl, Mary." (Watchtower magazine, 2-15-82, p.7)

But Michael's existence as a human being was only temporary. When his human form passed away on the cross, the Society claims that God transferred Michael's life force back into his angel form thus restoring him to his former spirit existence; leaving the corpse of his human existence in a permanent state of decease.

NOTE: The Society teaches that death terminates existence; but apparently not entirely because the Society also believes that at death, an angel's life force was transferred to another form-- in Michael's case, from a spirit form to an organic form; in effect, preserving a portion of Michael's existence so it could be re-transferred later when God went about restoring Michael to his former existence.

It could be argued that Jesus lives on in the body of an angel; but that wouldn't be true seeing as how Jesus' life force was Michael's to begin with.

The Society has to accept the obvious fact that their doctrine implies that Jesus Christ was never really fully human, rather, he was an amalgam of angel and human seeing as how it was the life force of an angel that kept Jesus' human body alive. In other words: the Society's Jesus wasn't an organic man in the normal sense, rather; he was an organic angel.

FYI: The Society maintains that Michael's crucified human form had to stay dead so he could be an angel again. But that's not the only reason the Society gives for keeping Michael's human remains perpetually deceased. An additional explanation is given on page 237 of the April 15, 1963 issue of the Watchtower magazine; where it's stated:

"If Jesus were to take his body of flesh, blood, and bones to heaven and enjoy them there, what would this mean? It would mean that there would be no resurrection of the dead for anybody. Why not? Because Jesus would be taking his sacrifice off God's altar."

There is a really, really big flaw in the Society's theology; and that's Michael's human remains. In order to confirm that his crucified human body stayed dead, the Society is going to have produce it. A piece of evidence of that significance can't be allowed to just slip through a crack unnoticed as if it makes no difference. As Carl Sagan once said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Till then, we should reckon that when the Bible speaks of Jesus Christ's resurrection, it's talking about a man's corpse rather than an angel's.
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OutWest

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Acts 1:1-3 . .The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom he had chosen. To these he also presented himself alive, after his suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

The Watchtower Society's version of those "convincing proofs" is interesting.

In order to show his friends that their savior was back from death, an angel named Michael is alleged to have materialized an artificial Jesus that was in all respects just as physical, and just as functional, as the actual Jesus.

However:

1• The New Testament never even one time, on any occasion, nor under any circumstances, nor in any situation, either attests, alleges, alludes, or states that an angel named Michael appeared to Christ's disciples cloaked in a human avatar.

2• The Society's Michael never once let on to his friends that he was an angel in disguise. He led them to believe that his avatar was the actual Jesus Christ they all knew prior to his crucifixion.

3• Passing one's self off in the guise of a dead man is the lowest form of identity theft imaginable. It's what I expect from human beings, but that is not the kind of behavior I have a right to expect from an arch angel.

4• A so-called materialized body is not a real person.

5• Neither Paul, nor Peter, nor John, nor James, nor Jude, ever even one single instance in any of their writings identify Jesus Christ as an angel named Michael: not once. You'd think that if Jesus Christ is currently an angel who goes by the name of Michael, those men would have said so because that would be a really big deal.

Q: Why make an issue of the nature of Christ's resurrection?

A: Were I the Devil, I would do my utmost best to disprove the resurrection of Jesus' crucified dead body because his crucifixion is only half enough to protect people from the wrath of God. Though his physical body's death obtains forgiveness for people's sins, its death doesn't gain people exoneration.

Rom 4:25 . . He was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification.

The Greek word translated "justification" is dikaiosis (dik-ah'-yo-sis) which means acquittal; defined as an adjudication of innocence.

People merely forgiven still carry a load of guilt; viz: they have a criminal record. Christ's physical resurrection deletes their record so that on the books, it's as though they've never been anything but 100% innocent.

This clearing of one's guilt that I'm talking about is obtained via the kindness and generosity of God through belief in the resurrection of Christ's crucified dead body. If the Devil can succeed in convincing people that Jesus' crucified body is still dead or, even better yet, make them question whether the man even existed at all; then they will fail to obtain an acquittal, and consequently end up put to death in brimstone because records are to be reviewed when people stand to face justice at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15.

Of all the doctrines invented by the Watchtower Society, I'd have to say that their resurrection story is the most insidious because belief in the recovery of Christ's crucified dead body is one of the essential elements of the gospel that must be accepted if one is to have any chance at all of escaping the sum of all fears.

1Cor 15:17 . . If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

NOTE: According to 1Cor 15:34, people that believe Jesus Christ's crucified body is still dead aren't fully conscious; viz: they're like someone in a stupor; i.e. dazed.
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OutWest

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Watch for the deliberate misquote in the passage below.

1Cor 15:44 . . So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spirit body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spirit body.

Catch the misquote? Well; there is no mention of a spirit body in that passage. The actual word is "spiritual".

The Greek word translated "spiritual" can be understood in more than one way. It doesn't necessarily refer to the characteristics of thin air. Below is a list of spiritual things that bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the bodily chemistry of an angel or a demon.

Spiritual gifts (Rom 1:11)
Spiritual law (Rom 7:14)
Spiritual things (Rom 15:27)
Spiritual people (1Cor 2:15)
Spiritual nourishment (1Cor 10:3)
Spiritual water (1Cor 10:4)
Spiritual rock (1Cor 10:4)
Spiritual counselors (Gal 6:1)
Spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3)
Spiritual music (Eph 5:19)
Spiritual understanding (Col 1:9)
Spiritual housing (1Pet 2:5)
Spiritual sacrifices (1Pet 2:5)

It's apparently been decided, and chipped in stone, by a number of theologians that the spiritual body has to be composed of spirit because of the passage below.

1Cor 15:50 . . Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God

But spirit isn't necessarily the default material when flesh and blood are ruled out.

It is my opinion that if God is capable of inventing all the natural atomic elements on the periodic table in order to create the current cosmos with all of its forms of life, matter, and energy, then it shouldn't be all that difficult for Him to invent yet another set of atomic elements, viz: unnatural elements.

In other words; I expect to be given a superhuman body that's composed of atomic elements heretofore unknown by Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Hawking.

There are some other things in addition to immortality that are known about the spiritual body.

1) The spiritual body is patterned after Christ's glorified body.

Phil 3:20-21 . . Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

2) The glorious body is capable of dining upon ordinary foods.

Luke 22:15-16 . . I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you: I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.

3) The glorious body is capable of imbibing ordinary beverages.

Matt 26:29 . . I tell you: I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.

4) The glorious body is capable of being seen by the naked eye.

Acts 1:11 . . Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched him go into heaven.

Rev 1:7 . . Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.
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OutWest

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Ps 110:4 . . The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Melchizedek's only personal appearance in the Bible occurs at Gen 14:18-20. The letter to Hebrews in the New Testament utilizes him as a "type" of Christ's high priesthood.

The author of the letter to Hebrews was reluctant to discuss Melchizedek's office, and how Christ's current high priest position relates to it, because the recipients of the letter were so spiritually immature, and so disinterested in Bible study, that he feared his comments would result in a ping. In other words: a discussion of Melchizedek and how he relates to Jesus Christ isn't everybody's cup of tea so I won't bother going into detail.

However; at least one of the salient features of Mel's priesthood should be readily obvious to everybody regardless of their spiritual acumen: Mel was a human being; just as all of God's high priests have always been human beings-- no exceptions. In point of fact, the letter to Hebrews clearly states that high priests are taken from among men (Heb 5:1). So that becomes the No.1 qualification for a Melchizedekian priest right out of the box and instantly disqualifies spirit beings.

Mel's jurisdiction was on the earth. But that was before Israel's covenanted law established Aaron's priesthood. So when that happened; Mel's post was temporarily suspended; and in point of fact, if Christ were on earth, he would not be an active priest because this is Aaron's district.

However, though Mel's post was moved to heaven's temple, there were no changes made to the nature of the person who holds the office. In other words; a priest according to the manner of Melchizedek is a human being no matter where he is. And since Ps 110:4 made Jesus Christ a priest to time indefinite, then he will remain a human being to time indefinite; and in order to be a human being, the Society says he has to have a human body because in their theology; human existence is entirely physical.

1Tim 2:5 . . For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.

The Greek for both "men" and "man" in that verse is the same. It's derived from anthropos (anth'-ro-pos) --a common word for human beings in the New Testament; which is why that passage doesn't say there is one mediator between God and men, an angel, Christ Michael. No it doesn't say an angel, Christ Michael; rather, it says a man, Christ Jesus; who everyone knows to be a human being rather than an angel by the same name.

A search of the entire New Testament for the angel Michael turns up but two references: Jude 1:9 and Rev 12:7. That angel is nowhere in the gospels, nowhere in Acts, and nowhere in the epistles other than Jude. If that angel is so all-fired important; then why is it so marginalized? Even the Society itself is a bit perplexed as to why the name of an angel so highly revered in their theology is nigh unto absent in the New Testament.

The Society claims that the names Jesus and Michael are interchangeable; but that's the most ridiculous case of apples and oranges on record; not to mention a very serious case of identity fraud. Even if an angel had once existed as a human being named Jesus; it no longer does. Now it exists as an angel being named Michael. The two names aren't interchangeable because the one name denotes a human being and the other name denotes a spirit being. Go ahead; search the New Testament and see how much luck you have finding somebody's name hyphenated like this: Jesus-Michael Christ. You won't because the Society's theology is an utter fantasy.

Oh what a wicked web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.

(Sir Walter Scott)

That poem rings so true. Once Charles T. Russell and/or Joseph F. Rutherford declared that Michael the angel, and Jesus Christ the human, are the same person; they were faced with the Herculean task of forcing the Bible to agree; and that was quite a challenge; which was accomplished by means of clever amalgams of fiction, sophistry, half-truths, semantic double speak, and humanistic reasoning.
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OutWest

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1Tim 2:5 . . For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.

On page 1129 of the Watchtower publication Aid To Bible Understanding a mediator is defined as one who interposes between two parties at variance to reconcile them: an intercessor.

Here's a question that someone wrote in to the "Questions From Readers" section of the April 01, 1976 issue of Watchtower magazine, asking:

Is Jesus the mediator only for anointed Christians? (a.k.a. the 144,000)

The answer given in the magazine is YES.

The magazine's answer is corroborated on page 1130 of Aid To Bible Understanding where it says that the 144,000 are the only ones who have the mediator; a.k.a. Jesus Christ. (1John 2:1)

Intercession for non anointed Witnesses is accomplished on the coattails of the 144,000; viz: Jesus Christ is an indirect, second party mediator for the rank and file via their affiliation with the Watchtower Society.

It's sort of like buying insurance from Allstate. The company doesn't sell direct; its business is conducted through brokers. In essence, that's what the Society presumes itself: Jesus Christ's mediation brokerage.

So then; when a Jehovah's Witness either defects or is disfellowshipped, it breaks the pipeline to the mediator that they enjoyed within the Society's fold; right quick losing all contact with God, and placing themselves in grave danger of the calamities depicted in the book of Revelation.

Bottom line: According to Watchtower Society theology; it is impossible for non-anointed people to be on peaceful terms with God apart from affiliation with the Society's anointed class, a.k.a. the faithful and wise steward.

In other words: Christ's mediation for rank and file JWs as per 1Tim 2:5 is accomplished via a chain of communication that begins with Christ's association with the faithful and wise steward; and from thence to the rest of humanity. Removing the faithful and wise steward from the chain cuts humanity off from Christ; thus leaving them with no way to reconcile with God.
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OutWest

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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 the Society translates theós 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 John 1:1 or not to capitalize them, is entirely arbitrary rather than dictated by a strict rule of Greek grammar. Of course the Society prefers that the Word be a lower case god because it's agreeable with their version of Christ's divinity.
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OutWest

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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)

Classical Christianity recognizes but two categories of gods: the true and the false, viz: the authentic and the imitation, the intrinsic and the artificial. 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 said: You are gods" (Ps 82:6)

The gods referred to in that passage are humans; which everybody should know are only imitation deities rather than the genuine article (Gen 3:22) 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 was the Word, 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 of the Father, he 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 human gods have to be real gods.

RESPONSE: Oh; they're real alright: real imitations because according to Deut 6:4, John 17:3, and 1Cor 8:4-6 there is only one true god. Therefore the gods in Ps 82 are artificial gods. True gods don't die; viz: they're immortal, impervious to death. The gods in Psalm 82 are not immortal.

"Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this seriously." (Ecc 7:2)

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 artificial god-- viz: an imitation --and his divinity is no more divine in reality than a totem pole or a statue of Shiva. I'm sorry, but that's just unacceptable.
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OutWest

Well-Known Member
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Mark 11:12-14 . . And on the next day, when they had departed from Bethany, he became hungry. And seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if perhaps he would find anything on it; and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he answered and said to it: May no one ever eat fruit from you again! And his disciples were listening.

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. For example:

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 Isaac 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 know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, 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 Him 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 Jehovah 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 His humanness on display even more.

John 1:18 . . No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared Him.

"declared Him" is accurate but in my estimation doesn't really say enough-- "displayed and declared" is much better. For example:

John 14:7-11 . . If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.

. . . Philip said: Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.

. . . Jesus answered: Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father"? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?

. . .The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

That passage easily proves that that the Jesus of the New Testament and the Jehovah of the Old Testament are one and the same person because it seems very obvious to me that Jesus not only claimed to speak for God but also to speak as God just as that mysterious celestial being did when Abraham offered his son Isaac.

If what I'm saying here is true, then Jesus' statement in John 14:7-11 is an astounding revelation.

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 not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.

John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own.

John 8:29 . . I always do what pleases Him.

In the end; Jesus had to examine that fig tree up close and personal because it was on his itinerary to do so.

NOTE: From dialogue in the 22nd chapter of Genesis; it appears that there are two Jehovahs in the Old Testament. Ancient Jewish scholars, baffled by this, arbitrarily re-named one of them Metatron and described him as a very high ranking celestial being whose name is his master's.


in other words: Metatron never associated with people by his own name, rather, by Jehovah's name; which can be really confusing at times because it can lead people to wondering who is actually speaking in the Old Testament when Jehovah's name shows up in dialogues; which it does many, many times.
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mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
The only sensible answer to those questions, including the question about the fig tree, is that there is a humanness to Jehovah that began quietly coming to light all the way back in the very beginning of the Bible
May I suggest that another sensible explanation is that in each case He was purposefully making an emphatic point so that man would not miss the significance of an event or teaching.
The fact of the matter is: Jesus was micro-managed.
May I also suggest that Jesus was not "micromanaged". He was simply one in essence with the Father and therefore always did the Father's will since Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always in perfect union and accord. There is, after all, just one God: Christ was still God while on this earth.
 

OutWest

Well-Known Member
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May I suggest that another sensible explanation is that in each case He was purposefully making an emphatic point so that man would not miss the significance of an event or teaching.
Good suggestion.


May I also suggest that Jesus was not "micromanaged". He was simply one in essence with the Father and therefore always did the Father's will since Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always in perfect union and accord. There is, after all, just one God: Christ was still God while on this earth.
Okay by me. Viewers are entitled to a second opinion, so to speak.
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OutWest

Well-Known Member
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Col 1:13-15 . . His dear son; the firstborn of every creature:

The Watchtower Society has appropriated that passage as evidence that Christ, as the Word, was the first thing God created before everything else.

NOTE: Well, I think we really need to ask: How far back in time are they talking about? till only the beginning of the current cosmos, or as far back in time when God existed all by Himself, and nothing else?


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

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

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 sibling to a younger, e.g. Esau to Jacob (Gen 25:23) Manasseh to Ephraim (Gen 48:13-14) and Reuben to 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. You'd think that the Jews' religious experts of Jesus' day would have known about this.

Matt 22:41-45 . . Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,42 saying: What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?

. . .They said to Him: The son of David.

. . . He said to them: Then how does David in the Spirit call Him "Lord" saying: The Lord said to my Lord; Sit at My right hand, until I put thine enemies beneath thy feet? If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his son?

Jesus was referring to Psalm 110:1, wherein we will find two very different Hebrew words for "Lord"'

The first is Jehovah (a.k.a. Yhvh, a.k.a. Yahweh) which is a name reserved for the one true God only and no other.

The second 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:

"Jehovah said to my superior: Sit at My right hand, until I put thine enemies beneath thy 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 . . No one could say a word in reply.

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 supremacy could be taken from him and given to one of his children; in effect making that child superior to 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.

Now; the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy does not permit children to be superior to their parents.

Ex 20:12 . . Honor your father and your mother

So then, Christ would have to outrank his father David by another route than family; and he does.

Renaming is fairly common in the Bible, e.g. Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Ben-oni to Benjamin, Simon to Cephas, and Rev 2:17. But with Christ, we encounter an astounding renaming.

Phil 2:8-11 . . God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, hand that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (cf. Eph 1:20-21)

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

A: Jehovah

Q: Is that the reason why Jesus outranks his father 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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OutWest

Well-Known Member
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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 translators 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.

I heard it from a JW that the Society's translators added "other" because that's what Col 1:16-17 means to say even though it doesn't say so in writing. In other words; that portion of the Society's Bible is an interpretation rather than a translation. Caveat Lector.
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mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
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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 translators 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.


I heard it from a JW that the Society's translators added "other" because that's what Col 1:16-17 means to say even though it doesn't say so in writing. In other words; that portion of the Society's Bible is an interpretation rather than a translation. Caveat Lector.
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Excellent and useful post. Thank you.
 

Goodboy

Well-Known Member
My sister is a JW and here are two dumb things she does that don't make sense..

1. She will not celebrate birthdays which is just an anniversary of your birth, but she will celebrate wedding anniversaries.

2. She will tell you that the building is not the church the people are, but she will not go into a church building.
This is just so crazy as my sister can and has attend both funerals and weddings presided over by a Christian pastor that were not held in a church. However when our father died and we had his funeral which was not presided over by a Christian pastor but was in a Church, she would not attend. She also would not attend my wedding ceremony because it was in a Church, so she just attended the reception.

I could never be a JW because it hurts my logical mind!!! :loco
 
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