JWs and Jesus Christ

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JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #1

Post by Overcomer »

As with my post on how the Jehovah's Witnesses church sees the Holy Spirit, I will quote verbatim information about Jesus from JW.org followed by my comments.

At JW.org, we read:

Jesus’ opposers accused him of making himself equal to God. (John 5:18; 10:30-33) However, Jesus never claimed to be on the same level as Almighty God. He said: “The Father is greater than I am.�—John 14:28.

My response:

Actually, Jesus DID claim to be God – many times and in several ways. That’s why the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees accused him of blasphemy. That’s what blasphemy was – declaring one’s self to be God. John 10:33 reads, “You, a mere man, claim to be God.� And Jesus did not deny it because he was, indeed, declaring himself to be God.

Take a look at Mark 2:1-11. Four men bring a paralytic on a mat. Jesus says to him, “Your sins are forgiven.� The Pharisees are incensed and say, “Only God can forgive sins.� Jesus replies that he has the authority to forgive sins. Therefore, he’s saying that he is God.

In John 8:58, Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.� “I AM� is a name that Yahweh gave himself in Ex. 3:14. It refers to the eternality of God -- that he was and is and will be. The present participle makes his existence ongoing. That Jesus used the title of himself means that he was claiming to be eternal God, having always existed. The fact that the people picked up rocks to stone him shows that they knew he was calling himself God because stoning someone to death was what one did with a blasphemer (Lev. 24:16).

https://www.compellingtruth.org/Jesus-I-AM.html

A third indication that Jesus thought of himself as God rests in the fact that he allowed people to worship him. When Thomas called him “My Lord and my God� (John 20:28), Jesus did not correct him. He allowed people to worship him many times (See Matt. 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38).

And then there’s Jesus’ use of the title “Son of Man� to describe himself. He is referring to the divine figure in Dan. 7:13-14. The High Priest recognizes he is claiming to be God and declares him guilty of blasphemy for doing so. For more read here:

https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/jesus-the-son-of-man

The title “Son of God� would also have been understood as a claim to be God. In the Ancient Near East, “son of� meant “a likeness of nature and equality of being� according to Charles Ryrie in Basic Theology. In John 19:7, the Jews insisted that Christ must die because he claimed to be the Son of God, meaning that he was claiming to be divine.

Theologian Millard Erickson, in his book Christian Theology, notes that Jesus says of himself, “The Son of Man will send HIS angels and they will gather out of HIS kingdom all causes of sin and evildoers� (Matt. 13:41). He notes that, given that angels and the kingdom are both said to belong to God (Matt. 13:41, for example), and given that Jesus called them his own, it’s obvious that Jesus is saying that he is God.

Additionally, there’s the fact that Jesus gave himself the same authority as Scripture. In the Old Testament, prophets would speak for God, saying, “And the Word of the Lord came to me.� But Jesus says, “You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . . . (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28).“ In other words, Jesus wasn’t speaking on behalf of God. He WAS God, God Incarnate. See here:

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/deityofx.html

Given all of that, what did Jesus mean when he said the Father was greater than he was? He wasn’t referring to his essence, but to his position. In his position on earth, he had to humble himself (as stated in Phil. 2:7, 8), divesting himself of his divine rights, to live as a man. In respect to that, he was in a lower position than God the Father.

From JW.org, we read:

Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.� Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.

My response:

The problem here lies in the fact that the verse has been taken out of context. It’s imperative that people read things in context. This statement comes from The Hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11. That hymn speaks of Christ in his pre-Incarnate state, his Incarnation, and his exaltation AFTER his Incarnation. That’s the key. God raises Christ from his lowly position on earth and exalts him in heaven for having come to earth and for having died for our sins.

And Paul did indeed believe Jesus was God as he called him both God and Saviour in Titus 2:13.

There are a series of videos of discussions about Jesus here for those who prefer to listen rather than read:

https://voice.dts.edu/tablepodcast/who-is-jesus/

Back to JW.org where we read the following:

Since all created things had a beginning, there was a time when God was alone. Countless ages ago, however, God became a Creator. Who was his first creation? The last book of the Bible identifies Jesus as “the beginning of the creation by God.� (Revelation 3:14) Jesus is “the firstborn of all creation.� That is so “because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible.� (Colossians 1:15, 16) Yes, Jesus was the only one directly created by God himself. Therefore, he is called God’s “only-begotten Son.� (John 3:16) The firstborn Son also bears the title “the Word.� (John 1:14) Why? Because before being born as a human, he served in heaven as one who spoke for God.

My response:

In Rev. 3:14, the word that the JWs understand as “beginning� is “arche� in Greek. It can be translated that way, but as Arndt and Gingrich noted in their Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, it means “first cause.� For that reason, the word used here means the “origin� or “source� of God’s creation. It does NOT mean that Christ was the first creation of God. It means he was the origin of the creation.

The word “arche� is used several other times in the Book of Revelation to refer to God as the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). We certainly don’t understand God to be a created being. So why use the word to mean that of Jesus? And given that Jesus is also called the beginning and the end (alpha and omega; Rev. 22:13), that represents one more item of proof that he is divine and always has been.

Secondly, “arche� is also used to mean “ruler� (see 1 Cor. 15:24, Eph.1:21, Col. 2:16). Therefore, the word carries a double meaning re: Jesus. He has authority over creation.

The JWs also misinterpret Col. 1:15, 16. When Paul calls Jesus the “firstborn�, he isn’t referring to the first-created being. The word Paul uses is “prototokos� which means “the first in rank, preeminence, supremacy or sovereignty�. The Greek word meaning the first to be born is “protoktisis�. Paul would have used that word if he meant that Jesus was the first created being. See here:

http://biblehub.com/str/greek/4416.htm

http://biblehub.com/greek/2937.htm

Look at it this way: In Psalm 89:27, David is called the first-born. But we know he was the eighth of Jesse’s sons. So it couldn’t be referring to his birth order. It was referring to his pre-eminence as the King of Israel, greater than any other king on earth. The same applies to Isaac who is called the first-born and we know his brother, Ishmael was 13 years older. It means unique, favoured, specially blessed.

And if we read further in Colossians, we see that in v. 18 of the first chapter, Jesus is called the head – which further indicates that we are talking about position, not order of creation.

Then there’s the phrase “only begotten Son�. Again, we go to the Greek and see that it comes from the word “monogenes� which means “the only one of his kind�. In other words, it means that Jesus is unique. It does not mean that he was a created being. And given that he calls himself “I AM�, meaning that he has always existed, we can see that he definitely is not a created being, but the eternal God.
https://www.compellingtruth.org/only-begotten-son.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/only-begotten-son.html

There is so much more I could write, but this post is getting overly long, like the one on the Holy Spirit, so I will stop here. I hope to address the topic of the Trinity itself as well in the near future.

One last link:

http://bib.irr.org/biblical-basis-of-do ... christ-god

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Re: JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #21

Post by JehovahsWitness »

PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11 WAS JESUS EXHALTED TO EQUALITY WITH ALMIGHTY GOD?


Overcomer wrote:
From JW.org, we read:

Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.� Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.

My response:

Philippians 2:6-11... speaks of Christ in his pre-Incarnate state, his Incarnation, and his exaltation AFTER his Incarnation. That’s the key.
RESPONSE



RELATED POSTS: So called trinity proof texts debunked [Full index]
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 594#936594
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:26 am, edited 5 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #22

Post by JehovahsWitness »

TITUS 2:13 DID PAUL CALL JESUS GOD ?
Overcomer wrote:
And Paul did indeed believe Jesus was God as he called him both God and Saviour in Titus 2:13.
RESPONSE



RELATED POSTS: So called trinity proof texts debunked [Full index]
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 594#936594
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"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #23

Post by JehovahsWitness »

REVELATION 3:14 DOES ARKHE MEAN "BEGINNING", "ORIGIN" OR SOURCE"?

Overcomer wrote:

Back to JW.org where we read the following:

Since all created things had a beginning, there was a time when God was alone. Countless ages ago, however, God became a Creator. Who was his first creation? The last book of the Bible identifies Jesus as “the beginning of the creation by God.� (Revelation 3:14) ...

My response:

In Rev. 3:14, the word that the JWs understand as “beginning� is “arche� in Greek. It can be translated that way, but as Arndt and Gingrich noted in their Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, it means “first cause.� For that reason, the word used here means the “origin� or “source� of God’s creation. It does NOT mean that Christ was the first creation of God. It means he was the origin of the creation.

The word “arche� is used several other times in the Book of Revelation to refer to God as the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
RESPONSE


RELATED POSTS: So called trinity proof texts debunked [Full index]
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 594#936594
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:26 am, edited 6 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #24

Post by JehovahsWitness »

COLOSSIANS 1: 15, 16 PROTOTOKOS: FIRSTBORN OR FIRST RANK ?
Overcomer wrote:

The JWs also misinterpret Col. 1:15, 16. When Paul calls Jesus the “firstborn�, he isn’t referring to the first-created being. The word Paul uses is “prototokos� which means “the first in rank, preeminence, supremacy or sovereignty�. The Greek word meaning the first to be born is “protoktisis�. Paul would have used that word if he meant that Jesus was the first created being. See here:

http://biblehub.com/str/greek/4416.htm

http://biblehub.com/greek/2937.htm

Look at it this way: In Psalm 89:27, David is called the first-born. But we know he was the eighth of Jesse’s sons. So it couldn’t be referring to his birth order. It was referring to his pre-eminence as the King of Israel, greater than any other king on earth. The same applies to Isaac who is called the first-born and we know his brother, Ishmael was 13 years older. It means unique, favoured, specially blessed.
REPONSE




RELATED POSTS: So called trinity proof texts debunked [Full index]
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 594#936594
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: JWs and Jesus Christ

Post #25

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 1 by Overcomer]

In a sense, I agree with both positions: the New Testament says Jesus is not God, and it says that he is God. Is that a contradiction? No. In some passages Jesus is implied to be God, and in other passages his deity is denied or at least not supported. This paradox can be resolved by postulating that the first Christians differed over whether or not Jesus was God. As their theology evolved, they generally went from a Christ who was not God to a Christ who was God.

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Post #26

Post by polonius »

Overcomer posted:

Back to JW.org where we read the following:


Since all created things had a beginning, there was a time when God was alone. Countless ages ago, however, God became a Creator. Who was his first creation? The last book of the Bible identifies Jesus as “the beginning of the creation by God.� (Revelation 3:14) Jesus is “the firstborn of all creation.� That is so “because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible.� (Colossians 1:15, 16) Yes, Jesus was the only one directly created by God himself. Therefore, he is called God’s “only-begotten Son.� (John 3:16) The firstborn Son also bears the title “the Word.� (John 1:14) Why? Because before being born as a human, he served in heaven as one who spoke for God.
PROBLEM: The problem here is that one of the attributes of God is that he is eternal (existed from all time). If Jesus was created ("by God himself"), Jesus wasn't eternal hence not divine.

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