Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to show a Jehovah Witness that Jesus is Lord in 5 minutes!

Undoubtedly, most of us have had a pair of Jehovah Witnesses come knocking on our door to share what they believe. Many consider their persistent evangelism style to be bothersome, but I personally see it as an opportunity to sow a seed of truth into their lives!

In my interactions with JWs, I have always found them to be respectful and kind. They listen to your points and questions, while adding their own. With that in mind, check out this brief article by Jason and Ron Carlson entitled Quick Tips: Witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses.

Witnesses believe that Jesus is only a god-a created being. In this article, the authors demonstrate how you can prove to JWs that Jesus is indeed God even with their own false bible, The New World Translation!

I encourage you to check out this article and the next time the JWs visit, you'll be ready!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and that article doesn't present anything new to be honest. All it does is show that Jesus and his Father are called by two similar titles, given in two entirely different contexts with two different meanings.

When Jehovah is called "the first and the last", it is along with the accompanying titles "the Alpha and the Omega" and "the beginning and the end." This is speaking to his Godship and sovereignty. The occurrence of this title at Revelation 22:13 is in reference to the Father, not Jesus. Jesus introduces himself in verse 16 in the same manner that the apostle John does in verse 8, signaling a change in speakers.

When Jesus is referred to as "the First and the Last", it is specifically in relation to his resurrection. The first time he is called this, it is immediately qualified with the further statement, "and the living one; and I became dead, but, look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18) Jesus was the first one resurrected to everlasting life by his Father, and also the last one. From that point on, the power of resurrection, "the keys of death and of Hades", has been entrusted to Jesus alone.

The other occurrence of this title applied to Jesus again qualifies its meaning in the same way: "‘the First and the Last,’ who became dead and came to life again." (Revelation 2:8) It is only in regards to the resurrection that Jesus may be called "the First and the Last".

The titles are similar, but they have different meanings, and they do nothing to establish an identity between Jesus and God. Following that same logic used in the article, Jesus must be Ezekiel, as both are called "Son of man" in scripture. (Ezekiel 2:1; Matthew 8:20) No, Jesus is not God, but he referred to his Father as "the only true God." (John 17:1, 3)


TJ

Marcus McElhaney said...

Now this is cool. It's a simple and easy-to-follow argument! An unassailable apologetic! Thanks for sharing!

Chad said...

Hello TJ,

Thank you for stopping by Truthbomb and taking the time to add to the discussion.

In regard to the article, “not really being anything new,” I’m not so much concerned about how new or old and argument is. I’m much more interested in whether or not it’s true.

Moreover, when discussing the phrase “Alpha and Omega” used in the NT (here, specifically Revelation), it is quite simple to demonstrate that Jesus does indeed claim to be the “Alpha and Omega.”

Please consider the follow line of reasoning, presented by former Jehovah Witness David Reed:

“Revelation 1:7-8...says that someone “is coming.” Who? Verse 7 says it is someone who was “pierced.” Who was it that was pierced when he was nailed up to die? Jesus! But verse 8 says that it is Jehovah God who “is coming.” Could it be that there are two who are coming? No! Verse 8 refers to “the One who…is coming.”

Revelation 1:8 states clearly that Jehovah God is the Alpha and Omega. Now note what he says at Revelation 22:12:13: ‘Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…’” So, Jehovah God is coming quickly. But notice the response when he says it again: “Yes; I am coming quickly.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20, NWT).

Who is speaking in Revelation 2:8? “These things that he says, ‘the First and the Last,’ who became dead and came to life again…” Obviously, it is Jesus. Who was Jesus identifying himself as being, when he called himself “the First and the Last”? This is how Almighty God described himself in the Old Testament (Isa. 48:12-13). [1]

It seems to me that for you to conclude that Jesus is not the one speaking in Rev. 22:16, you would have to read the JW doctrine into the text itself. Clearly, a plain reading of the text reveals that it’s Jesus speaking.

Also, Isaiah 44:6 records Jehovah-God as saying. “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Again, in Isaiah 48:12, God said, “I am he; I am the first and I am the last.” God said this right after His pronouncement that “I will not yield my glory to another” (verse 11b). Christ’s use of this title in Revelation 22:12, 13 was undoubtedly intended to be taken as a claim to be Jehovah-God. No other conclusion is acceptable.

Finally, for the ancient Jew, when Christ described Himself as “Alpha and Omega,” it was a description that they would have understood. Though the letters alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, John recorded the Book of Revelation for Jewish readers who were also familiar with the Hebrew language and alphabet. And therein lies the significance of Christ’s claim: In Jewish thinking, a reference to the first and last letters of an alphabet (“aleph” and “tau” in Hebrew) would have been regarded as including all the intermediate letters, and came to represent totality or entirely…

When used of God (or Christ), the first and last letters express eternality and omnipotence. Christ’s claim to be the Alpha and Omega is an affirmation that He is the all-powerful One of eternity past and eternity future (Jehovah-God). In describing Himself as ‘the first and the last’ Christ is relating Himself to time and eternity. He is eternal God who has always existed in the past and who will always exist in the future. For any created being, however exalted, to claim to be the Alpha and Omega, as these terms are used by Jesus Christ, would be utter blasphemy. [2]

So, when the context of the Revelation passages are considered and one understands ancient Jewish thinking, it seem inescapable that Jesus did indeed refer to Himself as “Alpha and Omega.”

Respectfully

References:

1. David Reed, “Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse” (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 102.
2. Ron Rhodes, “Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses” (Harvest House Publishers, 1993), p. 250-251.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chad, thanks for the response. Very simply, it isn't Jesus speaking in Revelation 22:13. The 22nd chapter contains many shifts in speakers, and a shift occurs to Jesus in verse 16 where he introduces himself saying, "I, Jesus...". This is the same introduction John uses in verse 8 and in Rev. 1:9. The same logic you are using in chapter 22, I could apply to chapter 1 in 'proving' that John is "the Alpha and the Omega" in verses 8 and 9.

And yes, Jesus does describe himself as the first and the last, but always in a specific context. Going to the book of Isaiah, we also read, "I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior." But look what is said of the judge Othniel, "Then Jehovah raised a savior up for the sons of Israel that he might save them, Othniel the son of Kenaz." (Judges 3:9) Does that make Othniel Jehovah? Of course not, the title of "savior" is applied to him in a specific context, not in the same context in which Jehovah alone is said to be the only savior.

And yes, the Alpha and the Omega in Revelation 22:13 is described as coming, as is Jesus later in the chapter. Does that make them the same person? No. Isaiah 40:10 describes Jehovah as coming. And since he acts through Jesus, his representative, when Jesus does something it can properly be said that Jehovah did it. Take a minute and read the account at Matthew 8:5-13. Who was it that approached Jesus? Now read Luke 7:1-10. Has your answer changed? This is agency at work. A person can be said to have done that which his representative(s) has done. This is often the case with Jesus and his Father.

Finally, unlike his Father, Jesus certainly did have a beginning. It even says so in the book of Revelation itself. Revelation 3:14 calls Jesus "the beginning of the creation by God." BDAG, the standard Greek lexicon, says this about this statement, "the [meaning] beginning=first created is linguistically probable." I agree with that. Jesus was the beginning of creation, the very first creature.


TJ

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this link. Do you know of any good short articles concerning talking with Mormon elders?

Thanks,
Joseph

Anonymous said...

This is for the Jehovah's Witness that responded. I would like to know what makes a Jehovah's Witness and a Christian different. I have read literature that claims Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians. I do not see how that claim can be true based upon your above post. Also, a quick question for you...can you please explain in Gen. from the Watchtower Bible, why scripture has been changed to say the word was "a" god. If the word was "a" god this referrs to their being many gods. Do witnesses believe in many gods?

Chad said...

TJ,

Part I

Thank you for the response. I apologize for taking a few days to respond myself. I haven’t been feeling 100%.

First off, I believe, once again, for you to conclude that Jesus isn’t speaking in Rev. 22:13, you must read the Watchtower Society’s teaching into the text. This conclusion does not flow from the text itself.

Second, no one is questioning whether or not it is John speaking in verse 8; however, your point may be relevant if in fact John was claiming to have been “pieced” (Rev. 1:7). Further, to say that “both are coming” ignores the fact that verse 8 says, “the One who…is coming.” Also, John himself writes, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20, NWT).

I’m going to try and break this down one more time:

1. In Revelation 1:8 it reads, “I am the Alpha and Omega,” says Jehovah God. I believe you know that “Alpha and Omega” means beginning and the end. You can only have One Alpha and Omega, yes?

2. Now, let’s look at Rev. 22:12-13 which says, “Look, I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end.” Alpha and Omega here is Jehovah, correct?

Then turn to Revelation 22:12-13 which says, "Look I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me....I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Again, "Who do you say the Alpha and Omega is?" Now take a careful look. The Alpha and Omega in verse twelve is coming quickly. Let's see who is speaking in verse twelve.

Look at verse sixteen, "I Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." It is Jesus speaking in verse twelve. If there is any doubt go to verse 20 which says, "He that bears witness of these things says, 'Yes; I am coming quickly' Amen come Lord Jesus." So it is clear that the Alpha and the Omega in verse twelve is Jesus. Here is a strong proof text that Jesus is God because both Jehovah and Jesus are called the Alpha and the Omega.

You see, it is logic that demands me to conclude that there can only be One Alpha and Omega that is coming quickly. Your other supposed name comparisons are irrelevant to this particular passage.

Chad said...

Part 2

Third, regarding Isaiah, it is ironic that you point to this book to prove an apparent “representative” relationship between Jehovah God and Jesus. Simply put, it’s this very book , in the Hebrew Bible, that clearly explains that God will come to earth in human form!

Dr. Walter Martin explains:

“Isaiah 9:6 in the Hebrew Bible is one of the most powerful verses in the Old Testament in proving the deity of Christ, for it incontestably declares that Jehovah himself planned to appear in human form. The verse clearly states that all government will rest upon the “child born” and the “son given” whose identity is revealed in the very terms used to describe His attributes. Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes Christ as “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”—all attributes of God alone. The term “mighty God” is in itself indicative of Jehovah since not only is He the only God (Isaiah 43:10–11), but the term “mighty” is applied to Him alone in relation to His deity. Jehovah’s Witnesses dodge this verse by claiming that Christ is a mighty god, but not the Almighty God (Jehovah). This argument is ridiculous on the face of the matter. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses insist that since there is no article in the Hebrew text, “mighty,” therefore, does not mean Jehovah. The question arises: Are there two “mighty Gods”? This we know is absurd; yet Jehovah’s Witnesses persist in the fallacy, despite Isaiah 10:21, where Isaiah (without the article) declares that “Jacob shall return” unto the “mighty God,” and we know that Jehovah is by His own word to Moses “the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). In Jeremiah 32:18 (with the article) the prophet declares that He (Jehovah) is “the Great, the Mighty God” (two forms of saying the same thing; cf. Isaiah 9:6; 10:21; Jeremiah 32:18). If we are to accept Jehovah’s Witnesses’ view, there must be two mighty Gods; and that is impossible, for there is only one true and mighty God (Isaiah 45:22).”

Fourth, your attempt to connect Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 is, once again, reading a teaching into the text. This is not a parable. This is recorded as a genuine, historical happening. I see no reason to relate these passages to the relationship between the Father and the Son.

Finally, regarding Revelation 3:14, your claim is misleading when one considers the fact that the Greek word, “arche,” translated “beginning” in this verse, carries the meaning of “one who begins,” “origin,” “source,” or “first cause.” The English word architect is derived from “arche.” This verse says that Jesus is the architect of all creation. (see John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb 1:2; cf. Isa. 44:24).

Furthermore, the same term, “beginning,” is applied to God the Father in Revelation 21:4-6. It cannot mean a created being, or God the Father is also a creature, which I’m sure you would reject! Hence, “beginning” should be understood in the absolute sense of Beginner or Source of all things.

Finally, I have a question for you: As a Jehovah’s Witness, do you believe the Watchtower to be “God’s only true organization?”

TJ, I appreciate the discussion and I am actually posting an article on the deity of Christ I hope you find it challenging and helpful in your search for that which is true.

Respectfully

Chad said...

Joseph,

Hello and thank you for taking the time to stop by Truthbomb and comment.

That is a great question! I do not know of any specific articles, but I can recommend some excellent websites that I'm sure you would find most helpful:

1. www.lifeafter.org

2. www.exmormon.org

3. carm.org (checkout the Mormonism section)

4. www.concernedchristians.com

5. www.mormonchallenge.com

I hope those are helpful; and if you don't find what you are looking for let me know and I'll do some digging.

Godspeed

Chad said...

Anonymous,

I would encourage you to checkout Dr. Martin's article that I will be posting. I believe you will find it helpful.

Godspeed

Chad said...

Marcus,

You are welcome and I hope it comes in handy!

Godspeed, my friend

Anonymous said...

Hi Chad,

Two people really cannot be described as 'coming' without being the same person? Really?

I'm sure you've heard people say something like, 'President Bush invaded Iraq' at some point. But did the president actually invade himself, personally? Of course not, it was those under his command. We recognize this representative aspect in everyday language, yet when it comes to Jesus and God, suddenly people start getting overly strict with language.

The two corresponding scriptures I pointed you to, Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, bear out the flaw in your conclusion.

"When [Jesus] entered into Capernaum, an army officer came to him, entreating him . . ." (Matthew 8:5)

"When he had completed all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum. Now a certain army officer’s slave, who was dear to him, was ailing and was about to pass away. When he heard about Jesus, he sent forth older men of the Jews to him to ask him to come and bring his slave safely through." (Luke 7:1-3)

Who was it that 'came' to Jesus, the army officer or the older men of the Jews? The Bible reports that both did, though it is apparent that only the older men of the Jews literally came to Jesus, acting in behalf of the army officer. Do we have evidence of Jesus acting in such a capacity for his Father? Absolutely! Jesus' stated clearly:

"I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge; and the judgment that I render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 5:30)

It works the other way too, doing something for or against someone's representative is the same as doing it for/against that person. An example:

"The entire assembly of the sons of Israel began to murmur against Moses and Aaron . . . So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel: 'At evening you will certainly know that it is Jehovah who has brought you out from the land of Egypt. And in the morning you will indeed see Jehovah’s glory, because he has heard your murmurings against Jehovah.'" (Ex. 16:2)

Was the murmuring against Moses and Aaron or against Jehovah? Both. By murmuring against Moses and Aaron, who were appointed by God, they were really murmuring against Jehovah himself.

I could list example after example of this kind of stuff, as it literally occurs throughout the Bible, but this should be enough for anyone willing to listen.


Thanks,
TJ

Anonymous said...

To anonymous asking me the questions...

Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians, though we have made an effort to remove teachings from our beliefs that are a product of tradition rather than scripture.

One such teaching is the Trinity. The New Encyclop√¶dia Britannica admits, "Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies."

Similarly, the New Catholic Encyclopedia states, "The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective."

You asked me, "can you please explain in Gen. from the Watchtower Bible, why scripture has been changed to say the word was 'a' god."

I'm guessing you're referring to John 1:1, in which case we have evidence, grammatically and contextually, that the Greek word is in fact an indefinite noun, i.e. "a god", or at the very least a qualitative noun, "divine". I'd be happy to explain it if need be.

This is in line with scripture. Jesus candidly calls his Father "the only true God". (John 17:1,3) Yet when Jehovah allows others to have a measure of real authority and power, these too are referred to as gods in scripture.

"Consequently Jehovah said to Moses: 'See, I have made you God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your own brother will become your prophet.'" (Exodus 7:1)

"I [Jehovah] myself have said, 'You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.'" (Psalm 82:6)

Others agree with this flexibility with the term "god". For example, read this blog: http://kenschenck.blogspot.com/2008/08/defining-first-century-jewish.html


Take care,
TJ

Chad said...

TJ,

Again, reading your "representative" relationship into texts that have nothing to do with the Father and Son does little to advance your case.

I encourage our readers to thoroughly read my responses, and the resources I've provided, as well as TJ's, and draw your own conclusions.

It is interesting to note, however, that the Watchtower itself concedes that if you read the Bible by itself, you will become a Trinitarian:

"From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude...They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..." (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1981).

What would the "apostate doctrines" be of 100 years ago? The Trinity!

Um, the Bible alone seems sufficient to me.

Finally, TJ, you didn't answer my question regarding the Watchtower:

Do you believe the Watchtower Society to be God's only organization here on earth?

Respectfully

Chad said...

TJ,

You wrote:

"Jesus candidly calls his Father "the only true God". (John 17:1,3) Yet when Jehovah allows others to have a measure of real authority and power, these too are referred to as gods in scripture."

It is this type of "scriptural tap dancing" that needs to be pointed out as false.

The question we must ask is this: "Is Jesus a true God or a false god?" If Jesus is a true god, then this forces a JW to believe in more than one true God, which is polytheism. If Jesus is not such a true God, then He is false god.

According to John 17:3, how many true Gods are there? The answer is one, Jehovah. Now, I believe that we both can agree that whatever is not true is false, correct? Then, if there is only one God, all other gods must be false gods, right? According to the NWT translation of the Bible (in which I reject), Jesus is a god. I believe you would agree with this, yes? So, is Jesus a true god or a false god? He can't be a false god, since that would mean the apostle John was guilty of falsely honoring Jesus as a god. Therefore, he must be a true God. But, you say, "Jehovah is the only true God!" I agree; therefore, Jesus must be Jehovah.

Finally, when grammer and context are considered (as they always should be), John 17:3 is not intended to contrast the Father and the Son, but rather the one true God's nature with that of false gods. The Greek word for "true" in this verse carries the meaning of "real" or "genuine." Hence, Jesus in this verse is simply saying that the Father is the "only true God"- the only real or genuine God- as opposed to the many false gods and idols (2 chronicles 15:3; Is. 65:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Rev. 3:70. John 17:3 does not take away from Christ's deity in any way. And John firmly establishes Christ's deity (as the true God0 elsewhere in his gospel (John 8:58; 20:28).

Respectfully

Chad said...

Anonymous,

I would encourage you to checkout the following article:

http://www.witnessinc.com/trinity.html

It explains how the Watchtower distorts the churches historic teaches on the Trinity.

Godspeed

Anonymous said...

Hello Chad,

You said, "Again, reading your 'representative' relationship into texts that have nothing to do with the Father and Son does little to advance your case."

Just stating that it doesn't apply isn't much of a response Chad. Jesus certainly is a representative and agent of his Father. This is stated over and over again in scripture. I've demonstrated it already, but here are a couple more verses making this plain:

"Then Jesus, while teaching in the temple courts, cried out, 'You both know me and know where I come from! And I have not come on my own initiative, but the one who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him, because I have come from him and he sent me.'" (John 7:28-29)

"Then Jesus said, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.'" (John 8:28-29)

If one rejects Jesus, he effectively rejects Jehovah who sent him. We, in turn, are representatives of Jesus, the head of the congregation, so that something done to us is treated the same as something done to Jesus:

"Then the righteous ones will answer [Jesus] with the words, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink?' . . . And in reply the king will say to them, 'Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" (Matthew 25:37-40)

Both God and Jesus can be said to do the same thing without it necessitating that they are the same individual.

You asked, "Do you believe the Watchtower Society to be God's only organization here on earth?"

The "Watchtower Society" is a legal organization in use by our congregation. I believe that our worldwide congregation is the one being used by Jehovah God, if I didn't I would be looking for another one.

You said, "The question we must ask is this: 'Is Jesus a true God or a false god?'"

That's a false dichotomy. I could ask you, is Moses a true God or a false god?

"Consequently Jehovah said to Moses: 'See, I have made you God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your own brother will become your prophet.'" (Exodus 7:1)

You said, "So, is Jesus a true god or a false god? He can't be a false god, since that would mean the apostle John was guilty of falsely honoring Jesus as a god. Therefore, he must be a true God. But, you say, 'Jehovah is the only true God!' I agree; therefore, Jesus must be Jehovah."

Again, I've already shown a few times how this is faulty reasoning. Instead of merely posting it again, I'll ask you straightforward questions related to the two verses below:

"I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:11)

"Then Jehovah raised a savior up for the sons of Israel that he might save them, Othniel the son of Kenaz." (Judges 3:9)

1. Is Othniel a "false" savior?
2. If not, is Othniel Jehovah?
3. If not, how do you reconcile those two verses?


Thanks,
TJ

Chad said...

TJ,

"That's a false dichotomy." It would appear so until you look at the issue as is.

Any translation that renders the Greek text in John 1:1 to say that Christ just has divine qualities (as you are claiming TJ)- but is not God Almighty- is reading a theological bias into the text.

As the "The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge" points out, "translators and translations which choose to render this phrase 'a god' or 'divine' are motivated by theological, not grammatical, considerations.

Theologian Robert Reymond notes that no standard Greek lexicon offers "divine" as a possible meaning of "theos", nor does the noun 'theos' ("God") become an adjective (conveying the idea of "divine") when it appears without the article. "If John had intended an adjectival sense [meaning, 'the Word was divine'], he had an adjective (theios) ready at hand. It would have been much more logical for John to have employed the adjective theios if he wanted to communicate that Jesus was divine. Instead, John says the Word is God (theos)!

An expert on John's gospel, commenting on John 1:1 says: "John is not merely saying that there is something divine about Jesus. He is affirming that He is God, and doing so emphatically as we see from the word order in the Greek." NT scholar F.F. Bruce agrees, noting that the structure of this clause in the Greek "demands the translation 'The Word was God.'

So, if John merely wanted to say that Jesus was divine, then why did he use one of the strongest words for absolute deity (theos) in the Greek language?

Chad said...

Part II

I would think that would be enough to prove the deity of Christ in John 1:1, but there is more!

Contrary to the claim of the Watchtower Society- theos ("God") with the definite article ho ("the") is indeed used of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. One example of this is John 20:28, where Thomas says to Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" The verse reads literally from the Greek, "The Lord of me and the God [ho theos] of me." Clearly, Christ is just as much God as the Father is.

Other examples of ho theos ("the God") being used of Christ include Matthew 1:23 and Hebrews 1:8. We see again, then, that the same words used of the Father's deity are used in reference to Jesus' deity.

One must wonder, "If theos ("God") with the definite article ho ("the") is used in the NT of Jesus Christ just as it is used of Jehovah God, then doesn't this mean Jesus is just as much God as the Father is?

Finally, regarding Moses and Othniel, when you show me a text that refers to them using the strongest words for "absolute deity" (theos), in the Greek language, also accompanied by the numerous claims, prophecies, and divine attributes that Christ fulfilled, displayed, and made, then we can compare them.

Take care

Anonymous said...

I'll ask again,

1. Is Othniel a "false" savior?
2. If not, is Othniel Jehovah?
3. If not, how do you reconcile those two verses?


TJ

Chad said...

Honestly TJ, I see this as a lame comparison. I don’t say that to be ugly, just honest. If the Bible said that Jesus was a savior one time, I could see the relevance. However, I believe this to be disingenuous at best and encourage our readers to weigh the arguments for themselves. As I said elsewhere, “apples and oranges."

Chad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad said...

TJ,

My kids slept longer than I thought they would...so I'll try this again...

Judges 3:9 refers to Othniel as a "savior" (and that, therefore, Jesus does not have to be God to be the Savior (Isaiah 43:11, Titus 3:6). Othniel, however, does not redeem people from sin, he delivers them from subjection to a king. Likewise, Cyrus of Persia, who is referred to as a "messiah" or "anointed" (Isaiah 45:1), merely frees the Israelites from Babylonian captivity. Only God, however, could save men from their sins against Him, which is the salvation that Jesus Christ, 'God is with us' (Mt. 1:23), brings. God alone can be this kind of Savior.

Hope this helps!

Later

Anonymous said...

Hi Chad,

You said, God alone can be this kind of Savior.

That sounds like you're using "savior" in a qualified sense. :) This is what I've been trying to get you to admit throughout this discussion; you can't simply match up similar titles and declare them to be the same person. Titles that are used of Jehovah can also be used of others in different senses. This is true of "God", "Savior", "King", etc. Only a select few titles, like "Almighty" are reserved for Jehovah alone.

Just as the term "savior" speaks of someone who saves, the term "god" speaks of someone with power. Jesus has such power, but his power is always relative to his Father's, who gave him that power. He is a Mighty God, but not Almighty God and not the only true God. Just as Moses wasn't a "false" God and Othniel wasn't a "false" savior, neither is Jesus a "false" god nor a "false" savior. The titles are applied to him in a different sense than his Father.

And the use of the definite article along with theos does not make one Jehovah. If that were the case, that would mean Satan is Jehovah! (2 Corinthians 4:4)


TJ

Chad said...

TJ,

I remember my brother used to say to me, "Hey Chad, two birds sittin' on a fence, one named Pete and one named Repeat, Pete flew away, who's left?" Of course, as most kids, I would say, "Repeat" and the entire thing would start over. I believe we have reached that point. A few points as I bring my comments in this thread to a close:

1. I am not and have not argued that simply because Jesus and Jehovah are called the same names that they are automatically equal. I have argued, to the best of my ability, that the Bible, and Jesus Himself, actual claims that Jesus is equal with God and that He is God; in nature.

2. It seems that the Greek text and the context of a passage is only relevant when it supports what you are trying to establish.

Finally, I encourage our readers to read through these arguments and weigh the evidence for themselves. I am confident of the conclusion you will come to.

TJ, thank you for adding to the articles.

Take care

Chad said...

Clarification:

"actual claims that Jesus is equal with God and that He is God; in nature, substance, and essence."

I apologize for the error.

Anonymous said...

Let the jehovah witness guy explain the following scriptures if he does not believe that Our savior Jesus Christ was Jehovah God in Human Flesh: Ist Tim 3:16, Isaiah 9:6, 10:21 & Jer 32:18-21; Jude 25, Titus 2:13-14, 2nd pet 1:1, ist tim 6:14-16, ist John 3:16, titus 3:4-6 and titus 1:3, Rev 17:14. he should also compare Rev 4:11 with Rev 5:12-14. A careful study of the bible can only prove to a truth seeking child of God that there is only one eternal God and Jesus was that one and only God in Flesh reconciling the World to himself---For God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Jesus is God incarnate in flesh and not a created being. thank U

littlelamblx said...

Oh dear me, that was exhausting!!!!

It's like going round and round a merry go round.

I pray that Jesus/God/Jehovah will reveal truth + understanding to everyone who reads this blog.

p.s. Here's my blog about the Trinity http://biblestudydailytopics.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/trinity/

Chad said...

littlelamblx,

Thanks for visiting the blog! Your telling me, I'm still TIRED! :-)

I appreciate the encouragement and encourage readers to checkout littlelamblx's blog!

Godspeed

Fred, a believer in Christ said...

Excellent! Chad, that was the best reading I've done since this morning, when I read my Bible (KJV/NIV parallel -NEVER that New World book). Jesus was glorified here and a seed was sown!