1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Watchtower: Jesus is not "a god"!

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Oeste, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian
    Non-Trinitarians like to say that the Trinitarians won out and everything became corrupted and should not be trusted.

    Jesus said,

    • Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. NLT

    Even though apostasy was coming, Jesus said that the Church that He was establishing was not going to be overthrown. There was no total apostasy otherwise you would be saying that Jesus was wrong. If there was total apostasy and Jesus was wrong, we can not even trust the scriptures. So, what Jesus started continued after his death. Those that dissolved were not the true Christianity but Gnosticism, Arianism, and those at the Nicene council trying to survive. True Christianity prevailed and never died off as Jesus promised.
     
    #221 SLPCCC, Aug 14, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  2. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian

    The burden of proof falls on you. You said Jesus is Michael. I asked you where in the bible does it say that. I know Jesus was the angel of God who spoke to Moses in the bush as the God of Abraham, etc. but so what? Jesus was the Word and the Word was God.

    As far as what theologians I respect. I don't follow any religion but I respect those who are honest scholars.
     
  3. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian
    This will take me some time because I have to fact check them. I already see quotations from a Unitarian. Are not Unitarian non-trinitarian? That's like me quoting a Catholic Bishop to prove that praying to Mary is Ok. Would that be fair?


    I'm not giving out anti-JW slurs. If I see misquotes should I not bring them out?
     
  4. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2,498
    Ratings:
    +389
    Religion:
    Christian
    Tigger2, thanks for your post 214. I assume it is a cut and paste from a JW site. The main argument seems to be that there have been Trinitarian changes to the New Testament manuscripts, so that means that the Ante Nicene writings have also been changed in the same way. I have to assume that there is no real evidence for these changes except this conspiracy theory. (except of course the long and short versions of Ignatius to the Ephesians).
    I can't help wondering why these supposed changes were not more thorough and did not change more, especially in the writings of those who were later seen as heretical, such as Origen.
    I cannot go through all the details of the post but pick out a couple of parts only to comment on.

    Heracleon was a Gnostic and the WT should have known that. This would no doubt explain his ideas about homoousios and believers.

    As I said above, Heracleon was a Gnostic and Origen was condemned as heretical in some of his writings about Jesus. I doubt that Origen however would have used 'homoousios' to mean 'united in will' since homoousios does mean "of one essence" and if it meant something less substantial the Arians would not have objected to it's use.

    I'm more concerned with the Apostolic Fathers than the later Anti Nicene Fathers, where outside influences (eg Greek Philosophy) has been seen to have entered their thinking at times. In these Apostolic Fathers Jesus at times is called 'the God' and 'our God' and is said to have been from eternity (ie not created) etc. Things that show a very high Christology. This also reflects the New Testament writings where Jesus is called 'the God' and 'my God' (notable by Thomas when addressing Jesus after His resurrection) and is implied to have not been created since ALL things were created through Him.

    So as I said, the main argument seems to be a conspiracy theory and this is due to lack of actual evidence of changes to the writings, except it seems for Ignatius to the Ephesians.
    This sort of argument is also used for the New World Translation's use of "Jehovah" in place of "Lord" in the New Testament wherever the translators thought was appropriate, which ended up being rather subjective and doctrinally based at times.
    So anyway, to finish, it appears that your post actually shows a tendency for the WT to deceive, in line with what SLPCCC has been pointing out to you. If this sort of behaviour is wrong for Trinitarians then it certainly would also be wrong for the people who like pointing out this behaviour in the past amongst Trinitarians.
     
  5. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    Most of us do not only read material published by Jehovah's Witnesses. As you can see, I have no big problem reading you or theologians you publish. As a former scholarship student, even if I were not, I have no problem reading other theological opinions, but I don't try to convince anyone who is firmly opposed to what I see in the Bible, except to sometimes gently reason with them as attitudes permit. From the quotes you provided, the main point (no reasonable assessment of a "trinity") is encapsulated.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    May I ask why you wouldn't believe a Catholic bishop who says it's ok to pray to Mary. Furthermore, I read about that in the Catholic Encyclopedia and they have their reasons for this. Also, many firmly believe that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life, they believe Jesus did not have literal brothers and sisters coming from the same mother, and so I would wonder about that as well.
     
  7. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    Again -- there are main points in a quote, and main points. And sometimes the means do not justify the end. :)
    Meantime, many people do not know that Constantine was baptized by an Arian supporter as he was nearing death. He waited until the so-called last minute to get baptized.
     
  8. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    271
    Ratings:
    +211
    Religion:
    JW
    "I am not giving out anti-JW slurs. If I see misquotes should I not bring them out?"

    It depends how you bring them out, I consider your following statements as slurs:

    "You are ignoring the point. The point is that the WTS is dishonest."

    "they even add words to the bible to deceive"

    "My point is that the WTS misquote sources"

    "This assertion is not only erroneous but is quite deceitful"

    (black bolding is mine, red is yours.)
    ................
    How about this quote of yours (when did you fact check it?):

    "Beside Him there was nothing, but He, while existing alone, yet existed in plurality...."

    Here's the full quote: "Beside Him there was nothing, but He, while existing alone, yet existed in plurality. For He was neither without reason, nor wisdom, nor power, nor counsel. And all things were in Him, and He was the All."

    So if you consider this a trinitarian statement, we find (1) God Himself, (2) reason. (3) wisdom, (4) power, and (5) counsel are the 'trinity' (?)

    Perhaps I should accuse you of dishonesty and deception by misquoting Hippolytus to promote your false trinitarian ideas ???
     
    #228 tigger2, Aug 14, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  9. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    271
    Ratings:
    +211
    Religion:
    JW
    Brian2: "Tigger 2, thanks for your post 214. I assume it is a cut-and-paste from a JW site."

    Sort of. It is from my own study as found on my computer. It is also found posted on my blog site along with many other of my personal studies. There may be some information from an official JW publication, but I try to do my own study using other sources (often Trinitarian).
     
  10. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    In actuality, at this point I'm beginning to think there have been changes. But we surely know that the trail of manuscripts passed down through the ages have had various differences. Now where would that come from? And from the so-called 'fathers' of the faith, so far in the first writings I see no trinity definition. No trinity.
     
  11. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    There WAS the great controversy that Constantine, not baptized at that time, who was later baptized by an Arian priest, was asked to settle. Why? Because -- his empire was being torn apart by the controversy. Now although, when I went to church, I certainly heard no sermons about the "church," the apostolic line as has been mentioned here, and the so-called fathers of the church as has been discussed here sometimes, that in itself would be an interesting study now. :) Although the good news of the kingdom that Jesus spoke about is certainly a great issue as people throughout the world are facing the future.
     
  12. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2,498
    Ratings:
    +389
    Religion:
    Christian
    I did not know that and do not consider it important. Is it?
     
  13. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2,498
    Ratings:
    +389
    Religion:
    Christian
    "At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian in the a strictly ontological reference. It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in apostolic the NT and other early Christian writings."

    But it was trinitarian in an economic reference,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,whatever ontological and economic may mean. It is good to have the whole quote however and realise that the trinity was present in the early church even is not defined.
    Actually it sounds like one of those things that Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead the church into and that the disciples of Jesus would not have been able to accept at that time.
    It is interesting that there probably was no definition of anything originally and it took time to define things. It took the attacks of Satan on the church teachings/the Biblical teachings, for it to define things more precisely.
    So if we assume that the Arians had won the battle, people would be complaining to them today about the same things. The argument about these things not having been defined before a certain time is not really a good one.
    The fact is that the Father is God and Jesus was called the God of Thomas and called Jehovah and studying the Holy Spirit in the Bible enables us to see that He is alive and is God. This has been expressed in various ways in the Bible and in the Church Fathers even as the discussion went on in the church as to what exactly the relationship is between them.
    Maybe theologians took the whole thing too far in their discussions and sometimes disagreements, which mainly were provoked by heretical attacks, but in the end there was a need for a definition so that the Church knew what the Church teaching was and could carry on in that direction.
    This sort of things happened even with the dispute about the Law and circumcision and their necessity for Christians,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,people were saying different things and one teaching was necessary.
    Not that I'm saying the Trinitarian church has been right always in their decisions, just as the JWs have not been right all the time in what they have decided to teach.
     
  14. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2,498
    Ratings:
    +389
    Religion:
    Christian
    Well I hope you change that Heracleon bit in your blog.:) Maybe get another example.
    You sound very organised. I wish I had been as organised over the years and did not have to reinvent the wheel every time I answer a post.
     
  15. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian
    Tigger2,

    I’m not promoting trinitarian ideas. I was once led to believe that the Trinity was false by a JW and the Trinity booklet. I’m not making up accusations of misquoting and deception. I’m just pointing out what I have found in some of the WTS publications. I can back up what I said and let the reader decide if there is something with my intentions or with the quotes and representations:

    In the Watchtower's booklet, "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" p. 5-6 in quotes,
    • A PROTESTANT publication states: “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century.” (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

    The full quote from, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, part 3, p. 1597 :
    • “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, and though used by Tertullian in the last decade of the 2nd century, it did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century. …Though it is not a biblical doctrine in the sense that any formulation of it can be found in the Bible, it can be seen to underlie the revelation of God, implicit in the OT and explicit in the NT.”

    The keywords are formulation, implicit, and explicit. While one cannot find a formula for the doctrine of the Trinity explicitly stated in the Bible, the concepts which provide the basis for the doctrine are clearly manifest. "...it can be seen to underlie the revelation of God, implicit in the OT and explicit in the NT.”



    In the Watchtower's booklet, "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" p. 6 they misrepresent Fortman. They say, "Similarly, in his book The Triune God, Jesuit Edmund Fortman admits:
    • “The Old Testament . . . tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead. . . . Even to see in [the “Old Testament”] suggestions or foreshadowings or ‘veiled signs’ of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers.”


    The quote left out from, Jesuit Edmund Fortman's The Triune God, pp. xv-xvi

    • “If we take the New Testament writers together they tell us there is only one God, the creator and lord of the universe.…They call Jesus the Son of God, Messiah, Lord, Savior, Word, Wisdom. They assign Him the divine functions of creation, salvation, judgment. Sometimes they call Him God explicitly.…They give us in their writings a triadic ground plan and triadic formulas….They give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. But they do give us an elemental trinitarianism, the data from which such a formal doctrine of the Triune God may be formulated."


    So while they frequently state the title of the books being quoted, one will search this brochure in vain to find the volumes and page numbers from which these quotes are derived. But when you go outside and do find the full quotes, you see a different representation.



    In the WTS bible Col 1: 16-17 states,
    • "because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. and by means of him all other things were made to exist,"

    Why would the WT add the word "other" to their bible when it's not in the original?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian

    I didn't say I wouldn't listen to a Catholic bishop's arguments about the Catholic doctrines. What I was trying to say as an example was that it would be deceitful to use a Catholic bishop's quote in support of prayers to Mary without identifying that the quote was coming from a Catholic bishop. I found a Unitarian's quote, from a source being used as a scholar, who was not identified as a Unitarian.

    I'm aware of some of the arguments that Catholics use in support of their traditions and beliefs but this thread is on the Watchtower's teachings that Jesus is a created god.
     
    #236 SLPCCC, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  17. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Messages:
    348
    Ratings:
    +50
    Religion:
    Spiritual Christian

    When an argument is posted, it is being subjected to scrutiny. This is how we learn. It shouldn't be about trying to convince anyone who is firmly opposed to or attacking the person who posted an argument. It should be about testing and examining closely through counter-arguments and comments on what has been posted. If something is fallacious or weak, it should be commented on so that all can benefit. It should not be to put down but to build up. I think that is why we are all here.



     
  18. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,501
    Ratings:
    +444
    Religion:
    Christian
    Hi @SLPCCC and @tigger2

    Can I first agree with SLPCCC in the specific claim that the text in John 1:1 does indicate that early Christians did view Jesus as either "a" God or "the" God or as a divine being (i.e. a "God"). I personally don't care whether John meant "A" God or "THE" God of the old testament since it doesn't affect my own Christian theology. (I believe Jesus was "a" God AND that he was "the" messenger/God who spoke to Moses in the burning bush - as per SLPCCCs quote of Justin Martyr in post #175)

    However I do want to point out that theology and translations or descriptions of theology are often driven by non-religious considerations as E.W. Hopkins (the "anti-Christian") says.

    For example, the "quote" from Ignatius above is actually two quotes combined (one from the introduction and a second quote from chapt 7). The two quotes demonstrate the problem of koine as well as translation the O.P. discusses.

    For example, the quote from chapt 7 of Ignatius above is incorrect. For example, the Greek "original" text doesn't actually say "God existing in flesh". Greek Ignatius reads "εν ανθροπο θεος " which is, grammatically, "a God in a man". However, just as with John 1:1c, Ignatius may actually MEAN "[THE] God in [a] man" (i.e. God in [a] man). I cannot say why the translator used "flesh" instead of "man", (presumably he did not want the implication of a "man" Jesus, being a "God", but I can't say for sure).

    The translator of your quote also uses the word "predestinated" instead of "planned" (or a similar other word) for "προωρισενη" and he, for some reason, translated προ αιωνων as "before the beginning of time". These are all dubious uses of the greek.

    Did Ignatius actually MEAN Jesus was "a God" or "the God". Again, one must turn to context and not grammar. In the case of Ignatius, I think the CONTEXT supports "the" God in the quote from the introduction and and he could have meant "a" God in the quote from Chapter seven. If early Christianity was henotheistic (3=3 trinitarians), then either translation doesn't affect their theology at all. If they were 3=1 trinitarians, then it affects their theology.

    Why translate ανθροπο as "flesh"? Why does the translator want to avoid the translation of "[a] or[the] God in a man"? (a political consideration....) Or does the translator have a theological bias? Is there a political consideration to avoid criticism that a man (Jesus) can also be a God?

    Why translate προωρισενη as "predestinate"? Why not use a more historically correct term? Is there a religious bias? Is the translator a linguist but not a historian?

    Why translate προ αιωνων as "before the beginning of time"?, this is simply an error. However, the error in translation can create theological error in the readers.

    I am sorry to add complicating details to your discussion.
    My first point is that context overrides grammar. Always. I LIKE the type of debate that you both are having that is based on Data.
    My second point is that the data itself is skewed and limited by translations and translators are as biased as anyone else is.

    We are often given"either or" type of questions in the forum regarding texts and theology, but frequently the ancient texts are not that simple.

    At any rate, thank you for the specific quotes you both are offering. It is a much finer debate when it is based on data.

    Good luck in your discussion and in your spiritual journeys.


    Clear
    drvinetzv
     
    #238 Clear, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  19. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    Listen has a multilevel meaning. For instance, I might hear something but not agree with it or put it into action. I have read many of your trinitarian teachers' ideas about these things, and see nothing in their comments other than conjecture and opinions to prove that Jesus was NOT a created person. They may imagine he was not a created person before everything else, based on a few statements that are somewhat enigmatic in the scriptures, but again -- nothing but conjecture in figuring what a scripture means by trinitarian supporters. Furthermore, upon review, I figure most would not believe in a trinity of three equal godpersons if they were not taught by those conjecturing up the equation. Either there ARE three distinct persons called God equal to the other, or there are not. I see nothing, absolutely nothing, in any of the scriptures that say there are three persons called God, but yet one being, each of the three persons without beginning or end and equal to one another. Nothing absolutely nothing.
     
    #239 YoursTrue, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  20. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    6,086
    Ratings:
    +1,011
    Religion:
    Christian
    I have found that the same is true in many areas, as one author said, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Evolution is full of conjectures from unearthed bones. Conclusions are drawn as to the various beings having evolved. Yet the conclusions are truly hypothetical.
     
Loading...