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Featured Watchtower: Jesus is not "a god"!

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

  1. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. It just means that Jesus is preeminent over creation. Note that just a few sentences down we see the following:

    And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Colossians 1:18)
     
  2. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Interesting!

    Did you notice?...Jesus is called THE faithful and true witness, and not "a" faithful and true witness. That eliminates a whole lot of folk claiming otherwise. As we all know, the Jews were referred to as God's witnesses, but they were not "faithful and true" as God was to them. Of course, we as Christians are not "faithful and true" to Jesus. It's just not possible as we all sin.

    There is only one "faithful and true" witness.

    But let's move on from the apparent and obvious. The word "arche" (beginning) here means origin or source, and not "first in a series. So Jesus is the source of creation, and not the first creation.

    Let's look at the text again:

    14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

    These are the words of the Amen,
    (Jesus calls himself "the Amen". This is an affirmation of who he is, the source of truth. see John 14:6)

    the faithful and true witness, (Already discussed, above)

    the <ruler> <originator> <firstborn> (arche) of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

    Many versions use ruler or originator, but even those who use "firstborn" generally add a footnote to demonstrate exactly what is meant by the term:
    • he 1599 Geneva Bible translates it "beginning of the creatures of God." The translators add an explanatory note to clarify the sense they mean: "Of whom all things that are made have their beginning."
    • The NASB translates it "the beginning of the creation of God," also clarifying in a footnote: "I.e. Origin or Source"
    • HCSB, NET, and the Messianic Jewish "Tree of Life Version" all render it - "the originator of God's creation"
    • The NRSV similarly translates it - "the Origin of God's creation"
    • The NIV renders it - "the Ruler of God's creation"
    • The Young's Literal Translation similarly translates - "the Chief of the creation of God"
    • The Living Bible offers the interpretation - "the primeval source of God's creation."
    The idea that Jesus would suddenly talk about his birthday (Hey! Did you know I was made at the beginning?) seems a rather strange notion for the reader to insert, as the WT does, into the text at Revelation 3:14.
     
  3. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Do you realize what you're saying?
    If " firstborn of all creation" to you means " preeminent of all creation", fine....I don't agree, but even so, you are still not changing anything! In fact, you're verifying Jesus as the best of Jehovah's creation!

    If I, in referring to a certain person, said, "He is preeminent of all Doctors," I just told you two things: First, that he's the best (of all Doctors). Second, that that person is himself a Doctor!

    So Jesus, being 'preeminent of all creation,' is himself a creation!

    I've dealt with this before....

    The Trinity: Was Athanasius Scripturally Right?
     
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  4. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    Psalm 89:24 My faithful love will be with him,
    and through my name his horn will be exalted.
    25 I will set his hand over the sea,
    his right hand over the rivers.
    26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, the Rock my Savior.’
    27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
    the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
    28 I will maintain my love to him forever,
    and my covenant with him will never fail.
    29 I will establish his line forever,
    his throne as long as the heavens endure.

    Ex 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn

    Deut 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will inform you. 8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He divided the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 But the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His allotted inheritance.…

    In Deut 32:7-9 and Ex 4:22 we see that God appointed Israel to be His firstborn even though Israel was not the first in time of the nations.
    In Ps 89:24-29 we see that God appointed the man He had found to be His firstborn even though this man was not the first man in time. You don't appoint someone to be your firstborn (as in "first one born") (Ps 89) they either are that or are not that. God can and does appoint Israel and the man of Ps 89 to be His firstborn (heir, preeminent one)
    Yet this man was and is a man and so as a man is part of the creation of God. I can say that and I'm a trinitarian. The uncreated Word who created ALL things stepped into creation as a man.
    Col 1:16 and on to maybe the end of verse 20 tells us why God made this man His firstborn. It is not because He was the first one created, it is because He created ALL things and is before ALL things and holds ALL things together and ALL things were created through and for Him etc and it even says that all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him and to reconcile all things to Himself.
    It is the other meaning of "firstborn", "heir, preeminent one",,,,,,,,,,,,the meaning that you have been taught does not exist in the OT, but which plainly does, which is meant at Col 1:15 and is the reason some translations use "over creation" instead of "of creation".
    That the prehuman Jesus created ALL things means that the prehuman Jesus was not created.
    If you want to point to the partitive genitive in Col 1:15 as proof that Jesus is part of creation, so be it, but you should also know that it is not proof that the prehuman Jesus was created,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,unless of course you want to change the scriptures and add "other" to the text to make the JW doctrine easier to see there or as you say, to clarify the meaning of the text,,,,,,,,,,,,,,JW style.
    But it is obvious that He did not create Himself or His Father or the Holy Spirit BUT as John 1:3 tells us He did create ALL things that have been created.
     
  5. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I have answered this post and said something about Phil 2:6 and "huparchon" but I thought I would ask you a question about the New World Translation and JW understanding of Phil 2:6.

    Phil 2:5 Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.

    How do you think that being a spirit would encourage the prehuman Jesus to think that He could somehow seize equality with God? If He was a spirit who was actually equal to God in power and in other ways then He may be able to seize equality, ie be on the same level as God and be seen to be equal with God.

    But also given the idea that Jesus may have been able to seize anything from God why do JWs say that He was scared of Satan at Jude 9.
    Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
     
  6. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Do we believe things only when we have perfect understanding of them?
    Your view of God however and the JW alterations to and understanding of the Bible, completely obscures the identity of Jesus who is the uncreated Son of the one who was to become His God when He became a human.
    Ps 22:9 Yet You brought me forth from the womb; You made me secure at my mother’s breast. 10 From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother’s womb You have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.…
    If Jesus was a created being then God would have been His God a long time before His mother's womb.
    We aren't talking about Judaism here, we are talking about the Bible.
    Jesus did actually claim to be God in various ways. Jesus for example said, "Who is good but God alone?"
    We know that Jesus was perfectly good and that He is exactly like His Father. You are forced to say that Jesus is not good and is not the exact image of His Father to claim that Jesus is saying here that He is not God.
    Jesus directed worship to His Father, the only true God, just as the Father exalts Jesus His Son who is equal to Him and is in Him, and draws all men to Him so that they can bow to Him, and in this way give glory to God His Father.

    Jesus is the "image" of the invisible God because He is the Son who has the same nature as His Father. However, as you know, the Bible tells us that ALL things that have been created, have been created by/through the Son. You have to alter that statement to mean the opposite of what it tells us so that you can get your JW doctrine of a created prehuman Jesus.
    Look up the meaning of a few key words in Heb 1:3 and you will see that Jesus is more than just a reflection.

    See this post. Watchtower: Jesus is not "a god"!

    Again I only need point to all the places that tell us that ALL things came into existence through Him. Hence the prehuman Jesus was not created.
    Why do you say "all other things came into existence "through" the son" when the Bible says that "ALL things came into existence through the Son."??
    As for Prov 8:22-31, if it refers to the prehuman Jesus, there is nothing there that tells us He was created,,,,,,,,,,,and if it refers to the prehuman Jesus it is really showing that the prehuman Jesus is God because: Isa 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by Myself spread out the earth,

    Sounds good but even the raw materials were created by the prehuman Jesus.

    Hebrews 2:10
    In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting for God, for whom and through whom all things exist, to make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

    Romans 11:35“Who has first given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

    To be continued............
     
  7. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    You took the Rev 3:14 quote from the NWT. I can tell because it says "the beginning of the creation BY God" instead of "the beginning of the creation OF God". This is a mistranslation and makes it look even more like God created Jesus.
    But also since "beginning" means "originator" and also "ruler" and I don't think it means "beginning in time" in other parts of Revelations where the word "arche" is used, and because we already know that the prehuman Jesus was not created because ALL THINGS that came into existence came into existence through Him, I would ignore what the WT tells you about that verse.

    Yes Jesus is still a man even now (and of course He is still God now also).
    1Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    If we get to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God sent it is because they live in us through the one Spirit, the Holy Spirit and we are getting to know the Holy Spirit also.

    One Lord and one God and you have no trouble saying that God is our Lord but have trouble saying Jesus is our God even if that is what Thomas said to and of Him.

    Do you know God just be reading a book and listening to the WT? Of course not, you need faith also and if you have faith and love God then the Holy Spirit will be given to you so that it can lead you and if you are led by the Holy Spirit then you are a child of God and coheir with Jesus, the firstborn, the heir of all.
    If you call God your Father and realise that you need to be led by the Spirit then don't let the WT tell you these things are for a limited number of Christians, the 144,000. The passage below tells you that you need to be led by the Spirit. Jesus said you need to be born again. Don't let the WT change the gospel message so that you are no included in the Covenant, or born again and are not members of the Church etc. There is nothing in the NT that divides Christians up like that, it comes from the imaginings of men.
    If you believe you are led by the Spirit (as I did read a post from one of you JWs on this forum that shows this) then believe what the passage below says, that you are a child of God and coheir with Jesus.

    Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
    9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
    12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
    14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
     
  8. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Brian, please look at the Greek wording in Philippians 2:6. The word translated "seizure" in NWT, in Greek is "Harpagmon",
    Philippians 2:6 Greek Text Analysis
    a form of "harpagmos". Strong's Greek: 725. ἁρπαγμός (harpagmos) -- the act of seizing or the thing seized

    It is never used, in Greek, to indicate 'holding on to,' or 'to cling to,' or 'remain,' as some trinitarian-supporting translations try to imply.
    So Jesus wasn't 'clinging to' equality with God. (But He wasn't trying to 'seize' or 'grasp' for it, either.)
    The Scripture's words make plain he never had it.
     
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  9. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hockeycowboy,

    Please look at @Brian2 's response. He's asking you questions about the NWT and never mentioned anything about "holding on to" or "to cling to" or "remain". Let's look at it again:


    Do you see the problem? Suppose you're giving a talk at a funeral and the Spirit (for you: God's "active force") suddenly moves you to say "Joe was a good family man, he pioneered actively, rarely missed a meeting, and gave no consideration to seizing Venus and hurling it into the sun." Do you see how zany and preposterous that sounds? We all know Joe couldn't do that, but why on earth, if you are being moved by "God's active force" would you even bother to mention the possibility of Joe seizing Venus?

    The apparent answer, at least to me, is that the Spirit wouldn't move you to say it unless Joe had at some time been able to do it. Yet we have something much more grander than seizing Venus here because scripture tells us Jesus gave no consideration to a seizure that would make him equal to God.

    I'm not trying to speak for @Brian2 but I believe essentially that's what he's asking.
     
  10. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Come on, man. King David was Lord. But he wasn't the God. Was he?

    And as a Jew, Thomas worshipped Yahweh. Idioms notwithstanding.
     
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  11. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    What are you trying to say, that Thomas thought Jesus was Yahweh?
    Well it does look that way. He believed Jesus to be the Son of God and knew that meant that He was equal to God, and that there are no gods equal with Yahweh.
     
  12. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    There is the problem of Jesus being a spirit, inferior to Yahweh and so would not even consider trying to be equal to Yahweh by force because he just was incapable of doing that. But also when we look at the whole passage, we see that the passage is about humility between humans who are equals,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and you are making the analogy that Paul presented about someone who is incredibly inferior to God being humble before God,,,,,,,,,,as if that was a good analogy for Paul to use if he wanted to show Jesus example of being humble with His equal.
    Another problem you have is that other clear scriptures show Jesus to be equal to God His Father, and you seem to want to start the discussion about Phil 2:6 as if we do not know already that Jesus and His Father are equal. eg John 5:18 where the Jews knew what Jesus was saying when He claimed God to be His Father, and knew it means Jesus was claiming equality with God. (maybe they thought He was claiming to be another god who was equal to Yahweh---------they had not thought of the trinity)
    How about Zech 13:7 where Jesus is called the "companion" "partner""associate" "fellow" "friend""relative""close to me". It seems to be a word that shows equality in the relationship.
    Heb 1:3,4 shows Jesus as shining with the same glory and being exactly like God and having the same name.
    Matt 28:18 shows Jesus to be Almighty. John 16:15 shows that Jesus owned all these things I have mentioned even while on earth.
    Heb 1 shows Jesus was not an angel but is the Son, even though He seems to have been a messenger for His Father.
    John 1:3 etc shows the prehuman Jesus was not created.
    So basically Jesus is equal to His Father in all ways BUT He is the Son and so is obedient to His Father and humble before His equal even when obeying means suffering and dying. (as Phil 2 suggests)
    In Phil 2 it is interesting that the prehuman Jesus was not in the form of a servant (an angel) but was in the form of God before becoming a man. It almost sounds as if there were 2 equal Gods, but of course there is just one God, the Father, and the Son is in Him (and the Father is in the Son). So the prehuman Jesus in Phil 2 was in the same form that His Father was in,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,not the same kind of form but the same form. Sort of 2 in one. (But of course the Holy Spirit was there also).
    To me it does not really matter about the translation of "harpagmos", if it means seizure that is fine because it would mean that the Son (who is equal with the Father in all ways except being the Father) would be just refusing to be treated like the Son any more and would want to take the role of His Father.
    But He obeyed and was exalted to that position anyway, with Him on the throne and His Father putting all His enemies under His feet.

    But anyway, "being in the form of God"? Do you want Jesus to have been spirit while a man or do you want Him to have been "in very nature, God"?
    Do you have a choice? It is already chosen for you and either way it is not good for JW doctrine.
     
    #112 Brian2, Jul 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  13. TrueBeliever37

    TrueBeliever37 Well-Known Member

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    1) Actually - He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own and his own received him not. John 1:10-11 Who is the "he" in these verses that made the world?

    I am YHWH that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; Isaiah 44:24 Now I ask you - Who made the world?

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

    2) Who said they were the first and the last in Isaiah 44:6?

    Now - Who is said they are the first and the last in Revelation 1:17-18 and Revelation 22:12-13?

    How many can be the first and the last?
     
    #113 TrueBeliever37, Jul 29, 2020
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  14. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

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    Alpha and Omega is a title used only for the Father [YHWH].

    First and Last however, meaning 'only' may be used for many persons and things. E.g., Adam is the first and last person made from the dust of the earth. I'm sure you can see how Eve was first and last in some respect.
     
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  15. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi Oeste;

    I haven't followed this thread as John 10:33 has been discussed before without changes in outcome when debating the grammar or historical context of 10:33.

    I simply wanted to make two specific points.

    1) The NIV text is not particularly traditional regarding John 10:33 if one is speaking of the early Judeo-Christian movement and it's theology.

    2) Secondly, the NIV translation is, in this instance, NOT an accurate translation of the greek but it is instead, paraphrasing the greek. For example, the NWT is more correct in it’s phrasing of vs 33. For example, “makest thyself” is the actual Greek while “claim to be” is a paraphrase and not the actual translation. While one cannot argue "THE" God is correct based on Grammar, that specific debate must leave grammar and debate historical context instead (which is what appears to be happening).

    My point is not to argue which modern trinity theory (yours or the JW theory) is correct, but to merely remind you that “tradition” is partly a construct of the Christian era one is describing (ancient, vs later, vs modern) and that all biblical texts have errors in them.

    Clear
    ειφινεδρω
     
    #115 Clear, Jul 29, 2020
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  16. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi @Oeste and @tigger2

    I had forgotten that another thread (two of them) discussed John 10:33 and the greek source text that grammatically, reads "[you] make yourself A God".

    I looked at GN-4 and there is one single papyrus (P66) that specifically reads grammatically, "you make yourself THE God". The fact that a single text exists that DOES say "THE God" means someone in the past understood this specific textual distinction.

    Other than this single variant, all other extant and significant source greek texts read, "[you] make yourself A God" gramatically. (I might as well point out that anthropos is nominative and theon, in this verse is accusative....)

    Clear
    ειφυτζδρω
     
    #116 Clear, Jul 29, 2020
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  17. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Not at all! That contradicts too many Scriptures.
    Like almost the entire chapter of John 17.

    And Jesus’ other prayers to his Father.

    Was Jesus praying to himself?
     
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  18. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it can be said with certainty that Alpha and Omega is a title used only of the Father. In Rev 22 it looks as if it is used of Jesus.
    You have made the meaning of "first and last" so broad that it could be used of anyone, because everyone is unique in some ways. That makes the title meaningless.
     
  19. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    No Jesus was not praying to Himself. I don't know why JWs pretend, with questions like that, to not be able to understand the doctrine of the trinity, and seem to want to turn it into Sabellianism.
    Many objections that I have read that JWs have to the trinity are based on that misunderstanding,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and are really mute points.
    But I guess it plays to an actual misunderstanding that many people do have and maybe a prejudice against the Christian Church of history and it's doctrines, esp the trinity doctrine.
     
  20. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I got concerned that you may not understand what I wrote about "harpagmon" in my reply to this post.
    I like to go with the understanding that JWs have of words sometimes and the translations they have in the NWT. I would like to say that harpagmon may mean "seizure" as in the NWT. This would actually indicate that Jesus was not fully equal to His Father, if He could consider "seizing" equality.
    But He did not consider this and He came to earth as a man to suffer and be obedient unto death. This indicates that the way He could "seize" equality is to refuse to come to earth as a man.
    So really He is equal in all ways, as indicated by some other scriptures I used in post 112, but is not equal in authority. Why is that? It is because He is the Son of God His Father and as a good Son, He is submissive to the will of His Father.
    But Jesus obeyed and was patient and His Father exalted Him to a place where He sat on the throne and His Father served Him. This gave glory to both of them.
    So anyway, the JW insistence on saying Jesus did not consider "seizing equality" does not detract from the trinity doctrine at all.
    If anything it shows it to be true. If anyone else refused to obey God it certainly would not be a way to seize equality.
    But of course all this is far too much to expect a JW to be able to follow and agree to when a JW is blind to the meaning of much simpler texts such as John 1:3 which shows that the Word was not created.
     
    #120 Brian2, Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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