Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jesus IS Jehovah!

I have decided to repost my "Jesus is Jehovah!" one-page summary of the Bible's teaching that Jesus Christ of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament, come in the flesh, so it stays on top as my last post to this blog. I have lost interest in opposing JWism, my primary blogging focus now being my The Shroud of Turin blog.


I have decided to post here a one-page summary of the Bible's teaching that Jesus Christ of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament, come in the flesh. As such it can be printed out by Christians and used as a witnessing tool to Jehovah's Witnesses.

[Above (click to enlarge): "Jesus is Yahweh" wheel, Cetnar, W.I. & J., 1983, "Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses," Bill & Joan Cetnar: Kunkletown PA, Reprinted, 2001, back cover.]

Up to now, I have had to refer to my one-page "Jesus is Jehovah!" post on my CreationEvolutionDesign blog, which I posted there before I had started this Jesus is Jehovah! blog. I have largely followed the outline of that post. I have also mostly used the American Standard Version (1901) because it translated the Hebrew הוהי (YHWH) as "Jehovah."


JESUS IS JEHOVAH!

1. INTRODUCTION
Why I use "Jehovah" instead of "Yahweh" "Jehovah" is the common English translation of the Hebrew YHWH; being three syllables it may be closer to the original than "Yahweh"; and it is the translation adopted by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in the name "Jehovah's Witnesses." If Jesus is Jehovah, which the Watchtower denies, then Jehovah's Witnesses are not Jehovah's witnesses.

What I mean by "Jesus is Jehovah" is that Jesus Christ of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament, come in the flesh. As Jehovah promised/warned in the Old Testament that He would come to Israel/Jerusalem in Person (Isa 40:3; Zep 3:14-15; Zec 2:10-11; 9:9; Mal 3:1).

What I don't mean by "Jesus is Jehovah" is that the Son is the Father. That Jesus is Jehovah does not preclude the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity (Mt 28:19; 2Cor 13:14; 1Pet 1:2): the Father and the Holy Spirit (Ps 139:7; Isa 40:13 = Rom 11:34 & 1Cor 2:16; Mk 3:28-29; Acts 5:3-4; 13:2; 28:25-27; 2Cor 3:17; Heb 3:7-11 = Ps 95:7-11; Heb 10:15-17 = Jer 31:33), also being Jehovah: the one Triune God.

Plurality in God/Jehovah in the Old Testament There are indications of plurality within God/Jehovah in the Old Testament:

2. JESUS CLAIMED TO BE JEHOVAH
I AM Jesus claimed to be "I AM" (Jn 8:24,28,58; 13:19; 18:5-6). The "I am he" in the original Greek of those verses is ego eimi - "I am" - with no "he". In the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint or LXX) ego eimi - "I AM" - is the self-designation of Jehovah (Ex 3:14-15; Dt 32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; 52:6). In particular, Jesus claimed to be Jehovah in His statements that, "Before Abraham was born, I am [ego eimi]" (Jn 8:58 ESV), and "unless you believe that I am [ego eimi - no "he"] ... you will die in your sins" (Jn 8:24 ESV). Likewise, Jesus also claimed to be Jehovah when He walked on the stormy sea and told the disciples in their sinking boat to, "Take heart; it is I" (ego eimi - "I AM") (Mt 14:23-27; Mk 6:47-50; Jn 6:16-20 ESV).

Shepherd Jesus claimed to be "the Good Shepherd" (Jn 10:11,14). Jesus is the "Great Shepherd of the sheep," "the Shepherd," "the Chief Shepherd" (Heb 13:20; 1Pet 2:25; 5:4; Rev 7:17). But Jehovah is the Shepherd of His sheep (Ps 23:1; Isa 40:10-11; Eze 34:15).

First and Last Jesus claimed to be "the first and the last" (Rev 1:17-18; 2:8; 22:13,16). But Jehovah is the first and the last (Isa 41:4; 44:6; 48:12,17). And there cannot be two "the first and the lasts! Jesus also claimed to be "the Alpha and the Omega" (Rev 21:6; 22:13). But "the Lord God ... the Almighty" is "the Alpha and the Omega" (Rev 1:8).

3. JESUS IS STATED/IMPLIED TO BE JEHOVAH
Jesus is Jehovah God Jesus blessed Thomas for his confession that Jesus was "the Lord of me and the God of me" (Jn 20:28-29).

Jesus is Jehovah "Jesus is Lord" (Rom 10:9; 1Cor 12:3; Php 2:10-11). If the Watchtower was consistent in its stated policy of substituting "Jehovah" for Gk. kyrios in its NWT New Testament, where it is a quote from the Old Testament that includes the name of "Jehovah", then it would have translated Php 2:11 NWT as:

"and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH"

because Php 2:10-11 NWT is a quote from Isa 45:23 NWT, where Paul has substituted "Jesus" for "Jehovah"!

Jesus is the only Lord "there is ... one Lord, Jesus Christ"; "There is ... one Lord"; "our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (1Cor 8:6; Eph 4:4-5; Jude 4).

Jesus is Jehovah seen in the OT All the appearances of Jehovah/God in the OT were the pre-incarnate Christ (Jn 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; Col 1:15; 1Tim 6:16, 1Jn 4:12). When Isaiah saw Jehovah's glory, he saw the pre-incarnate Jesus' glory (Jn 12:37-41; Isa 6:1-10).

Jesus is Jehovah of the Exodus Jesus is the "I AM" of the burning bush (Jn 8:58; Ex 3:2,14). "Jesus saved a people out of the land of Egypt" (Jude 4 ESV). Christ accompanied the Israelites out of Egypt (1Cor 10:4). Some of the Israelites of the Exodus "put Christ to the test ... and were destroyed by serpents" (1Cor 10:9; Num 21:5-6 ESV). "Moses ... considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt" (Heb 11:24-26 ESV). But it was Jehovah who reproached Moses (Ex 4:14; Num 20:11-13; 27:14; Dt 32:51).

4. JEHOVAH'S NAMES & TITLES ARE APPLIED TO JESUS
Jehovah Jesus' name in Hebrew (Yeshua) means "Jehovah is salvation" (Mt 1:21). It is the name that the Father gave Him (Jn 17:11-12). "Jesus" is now "the name which is above every name" (Php 2:9-10). There is now "no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" but "Jesus" (Acts 4:10-12).

God Jesus is "the God [Gk. ho Theos] with us" (Mt 1:23); "the great God and our Saviour" (Tit 2:13). Jesus is the Word who in the beginning was with God, and who was God (Jn 1:1); who is by nature God (Php 2:5-6 NIV). He is God the Son (Heb 1:8); "God over all" (Rom 9:5); in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9 ESV). To Christians Jesus is "my Lord and my God" (Jn 20:28); "our God and Savior" (2Pet 1:1).

Son of God Jesus claimed to be "the Son of God" (Mk 14:61-62; Jn 10:36; 11:4); or simply "the Son" (Mt 11:27; 24:36; 28:19; Mk 13:32; Lk 10:22; Jn 3:35-36; 5:19-23,26; 6:40; 8:35-36; 14:13; 17:1). Jesus was uniquely the Son of God: He distinguished between His "my Father" and others' "your Father" (Jn 8:38; 20:17). He spoke of God as "my Father" in a unique sense (Mt 7:21; 10:32-33; 11:27; 12:50; 16:17; 18:10,19; 20:23; 25:34; 26:39,42; 26:53; Lk 10:22; 22:29; 24:49; Jn 5:17; 6:32; 8:19,38,49,54; 10:17-18,29-30,37; 14:7,20-21,23; 15:1,8,15,23-24; 20:17; Rev 2:27; 3:5,21). Such that the Jewish religious leaders rightly understood Jesus to be claiming equality with God (Jn 5:18; 10:33; 19:7).

Lord [Gk. Kurios]. Used nearly 7,000 times in the Septuagint for "Jehovah". Jesus is "the Lord" [Gk. ho kurios] (Mt 21:3; 5:19; Mk 11:3; Lk 7:13, 10:1,41; 11:39; 12:42; 13:15; 18:6; 19:31,34; 22:61; 24:34; Jn 4:1; 21:7,12; Acts 2:47; 9:15,17; 12:11,17; 13:47; 16:14; 18:9; 22:10; 23:11; 26:15; 1Cor 3:5; 4:5,19; 7:10,12,17; 9:14; 2Cor 3:17; 10:8; 13:10; Php 4:5; Col 3:13; 1Th 3:12; 4:16; 2Th 2:8; 3:3,5; 2Tim 1:16,18; 2:7; 3:11; 4:8,14,17-18,22; Jas 5:11,15; 1Pet 2:3).

Lord of glory Jesus is "the Lord of glory" 1Cor 2:8; Jas 2:1). But Jehovah is "the King of glory" (Ps 24:10).

Lord of all Jesus is "Lord of all" (Acts 10:36; Rom 10:12). But Jehovah is "the Lord of all the earth" (Josh 3:13; Ps 97:5; Mic 4:13; Zec 4:14).

Lord of lords Jesus is the "Lord of lords, and King of kings" (Rev 17:14; 19:16). But God is "the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1Tim 6:15). And Jehovah is the "Lord of lords" (Dt 10:17; Ps 136:3).

Lord of the sabbath Jesus declared Himself to be "Lord of the sabbath" (Mt 12:8; Mk 2:28; Lk 6:5). But Jehovah instituted the Sabbath (Ex 20:8; Lev 23:3; Dt 5:12).

Saviour Jesus is "God and our Saviour" (Tit 2:13; 2Pet 1:1); "our Lord and Saviour" (2Pet 1:11; 3:18); "the Saviour of the world" (1Jn 4:14). But Jehovah is the "Saviour" (Isa 43:3; 45:21) and besides Him "there is no saviour" (Isa 43:11; Hos 13:4).

5. PASSAGES ABOUT JEHOVAH ARE APPLIED TO JESUS
Jn 12:37-41 = Isa 6:1-10 John in Jn 12:37-41 quotes from Isa 6:1-10 where Isaiah saw Jehovah of hosts' glory, and states that it was Jesus whose glory Isaiah saw and spoke of.

1Cor 1:30-31 = Jer 9:24 Paul in 1Cor 1:30-31 quotes Jer 9:24 "but let him that glorieth glory in this ... that I am Jehovah" and applies it to "Christ Jesus."

Eph 4:8 = Ps 68:18 Paul in Eph 4:8 quotes Ps 68:18 about "Jehovah God" having "ascended on high" and applies it to Jesus having "ascended on high."

Heb 1:10-12 = Ps 102:25-27 The writer to the Hebrews quotes Ps 102:25-27, which is part of a prayer to Jehovah (Ps 102:1), and applies to "the Son" (Heb 1:8), in Heb 1:10-12 (ESV):

You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.

1Pet 2:8 = Isa 8:13-14 Peter in 1Pet 2:8 quotes Isa 8:13-14 about "Jehovah of hosts" who will be "a stone of stumbling" and "a rock of offence" to Israel, and applies it to Jesus who is "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence" to Israel.

1Pet 2:3 = Ps 34:8 Peter quotes Ps 34:8, "taste and see that Jehovah is good" and applies it to Jesus, "if ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" in 1Pet 2:3.

2Pet 3:8 = Ps 90:4 Peter quotes Ps 90:4 about "a thousand years in" are "as yesterday when it is past" and applies it to Jesus in 2Pet 3:8.

6. PROPHECIES ABOUT JEHOVAH ARE APPLIED TO JESUS
Mt 3:1-3; Mk 1:2-4; Lk 3:2-4; Jn 1:19-23 = Isa 40:3 All four gospels state that John the Baptist's preaching in the wilderness was the fulfillment of Isa 40:3, "Prepare ... the way of Jehovah ... our God." But the "Jehovah God" who John prepared the way for was Jesus!

Mt 11:10, Mk 1:2, Lk 7:27 = Mal 3:1 "Jehovah of hosts" predicted, "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me" (Mal 3:1). But John the Baptist was that messenger and he prepared the way before Jesus (Mt 11:10, Mk 1:2, Lk 7:27)!

Mt 26:15; 27:9 = Zec 11:13 In Zec 11:13 "Jehovah" predicts that the "price that I was prized at by them" [the "shepherds" of "the flock" - vv. 8,12] was "thirty pieces of silver." This was fulfilled by the Jewish religious leaders paying Judas "thirty pieces of silver" for betraying Jesus to them (Mt 26:15; 27:9).

Jn 19:34-37; Rev 1:7 = Zec 12:10 In Zec 12:10 "Jehovah" (vv. 1,4) predicts that "the inhabitants of Jerusalem ... shall look unto me whom they have pierced." This was fulfilled by Jesus being "pierced" by nails and a spear on the Cross (Jn 19:34-37; Rev 1:7).

Acts 2:20 = Joel 2:31 Peter in Acts 2:20 quotes Joel 2:31 predicting "the day of Jehovah" and applies it to a future "day of the Lord." (On "the day of Jehovah" see also Isa 2:12; 13:6,9; Eze 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11; 3:14; Am 5:18,20; Ob 1:15; Zep 1:7,14; Zec 14:1; Mal 4:5). Peter in 2Pet 3:4,10 clarifies that "the day of the Lord" will be Jesus "coming." Paul interchanges "the day of the Lord" (1Cor 5:5; 1Th 5:1,2; 2Th 2:2), i.e. "the day of Jehovah" with "the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6, 10; 2:16).

Acts 2:21 & Rom 10:13 = Joel 2:32 Both Peter and Paul apply Joel 2:32, "whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered" to Jesus: "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13).

Rom 14:11 & Php 2:10 = Isa 45:23 Paul quotes Isa 45:23 where Jehovah predicts that, "unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" and twice applies it to Jesus, in Rom 14:11 & Php 2:10.

7. ATTRIBUTES OF JEHOVAH ARE APPLIED TO JESUS
Eternal In the beginning the pre-incarnate Word already was (Jn 1:1-2). The Son is "before all things" (Col 1:17). He is eternal (Heb 1:10-12; Ps 102:25-27).

Omniscient Jesus knew what others were thinking (Mt 9:4;12:25; Mk 2:6-8; Lk 6:8). In Rev 2:23 The risen Jesus quotes Jer 17:10, where Jehovah warns, "I, Jehovah, search the mind, I try the heart" and applies it to Himself. John states of Jesus that, "he himself knew what was in man" (Jn 2:25). Peter responded to the risen Jesus' questions with "Lord, you know everything" (Jn 21:17 ESV). The disciples prayed to Jesus, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all" (Acts 1:24 ESV).

Holy Jesus is "the Holy One of God" (Mk 1:24; Lk 4:34; Jn 6:69); the "Holy One" (Acts 2:27; 13:35; Rev 3:7); "the Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14). And Jehovah is "the Holy One of Israel" (Ps 89:18; Isa 48:17; Jer 51:5; Eze 39:7).

8. WORKS OF JEHOVAH ARE APPLIED TO JESUS
Creation The Son created all things (Jn 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2). Yet Jehovah/God created all things (Isa 44:24; Neh 9:6). The Son laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the works of His hands (Heb 1:8,10). Yet Jehovah laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the works of His hands (Ps 102:12,25; Gn 1:1; 2:4; Isa 42:5; 51:13)!

Forgiveness of sins Jesus forgave sins (Mt 9:2-6; Mk 2:5-10; Lk 5:20-24; 7:47-49; 1Jn 1:9). But it is Jehovah/God who forgives sins (Josh 24:19; Ps 25:18; 32:5; 79:9; Isa 42:5). In fact only God can forgive sins (Mk 2:7; Lk 5:21).

Judgment Jesus will be the Judge of all (Jn 5:22, 27; Ac 10:42; 17:31; Rom 2:16; 2Cor 5:10; 2Tim 4:1,8). Yet Jehovah is to be the Judge of all (Gn 18:25; 1Sam 2:10; 1Ch 16:33; Ps 9:7,19; 96:10,13; 98:9; Isa 66:16; Jer 25:31).

9. WORSHIP DUE TO JEHOVAH IS PAID TO JESUS
Worship Jesus is worshipped (Mt 14:33; 28:9,17; Lk 24:52; Jn 9:38; 20:28; Heb 1:6). But only Jehovah/God should be worshipped (Dt 6:13; Mt 4:10; Lk 4:8; Ac 10:25-26; Rev 19:10).

Glory "Glory forever" is ascribed to Jesus (Rom 16:27; Eph 3:21; 2Tim 4:18; Heb 13:21; 1Pet 4:11; 2Pet 3:18; Jude 25; Rev 1:6; 5:13). But Jehovah said that He would not give His glory to another (Isa 42:8; 48:11).

Honor "All" should honor the Son "just as they honor the Father," and those who don't (like the JWs) do "not honor the Father:

Jn 5:23 NWT. in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

Prayer Jesus is prayed to (Acts 1:24; 7:59-60) and answers prayer to Himself (Jn 14:14; 2Cor 12:8-9; 1Jn 5:13-15 ESV). A prayer of the early Church was to Jesus: "Our Lord, come!" (1Cor 16:22; Rev 22:20 ESV). Paul prayed to both "our God and Father ... and our Lord Jesus" (1Th 3:11). Jesus' name is to be called upon (Acts 2:21; Rom 10:12-13; 1Cor 1:2) as was Jehovah's name to be called upon in the Old Testament (Gn 4:26; 12:8; 26:25; 1Ch 16:8; Ps 99:6; 105:1; 116:4,13,17; Isa 12:4; 48:2; Lam 3:55; Joel 2:32; Zep 3:9). Jesus never prayed to "Jehovah" ("Lord") but to "Father" (Mt 11:25-26; 26:39,42; Mk 14:36; Lk 10:21; 22:42; 23:34,46; Jn 11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1,5,11,21,24-25) and once to "God" (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34) when on the Cross, quoting Ps 22:1. This is inexplicable unless Jesus is Jehovah!

10. ALL OBJECTIONS TO JESUS BEING JEHOVAH FAIL
"Jesus is `a' god, not `the' God" The Watchtower Society's New World Translation renders Jn 1:1 as "... and the Word was a god." But the original Greek is, kai theos en ho logos ("and God was the Word"). That is, the pre-incarnate Son (Jn 1:14) shared the Father's God-nature. New Testament Greek does not have an indefinite article ("a") as English does, so the absence of the definite article ho ("the") before a noun, e.g. "God," does not mean it is indefinite. In the same chapter the word "God" appears without the definite article in Jn 1:6,12,13,18 but the NWT each time translates it as "God" without the indefinite article "a". The NWT's "a god" translation of John 1:1 makes Jehovah's Witnesses polytheists: those who believe in the existence of more than one true god. That is unless they wish to claim that Jesus is a false god! And the Apostle John, being a devout Jew, was a monotheist: one who believed in the existence of only one true God (Jn 17:3). So the NWT's "a god" translation of John 1:1 cannot be correct, and in fact all mainstream English translations render John 1:1 "... and the Word was God" (e.g. ASV, ESV, KJV, NIV, RSV, NASB & NKJV).

"Jesus is a `Mighty God', not the `Almighty God." The Watchtower claims on the basis of Isa 9:6 NWT that Jesus is only a "Mighty God" not the Almighty God. See above on this belief in two true Gods, means that Jehovah's Witnesses are polytheists. But even the Society's "Mighty God"-"Almighty God" distinction fails, because in the very next chapter, Isa 10:21 NWT, Jehovah is called "the Mighty God" using the same Hebrew words (el gibbor). Also, after His resurrection Jesus has been given "All authority ... in heaven and on the earth" (Mt 28:18 NWT). He is now exalted "far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named" (Eph 1:21 NWT), with "all things in subjection under his feet" (1Cor 15:27; Eph 1:22; Heb 2:8). The Greek word translated "Almighty" in the New Testament is pantokrator which means "ruler of all", so even in the Watchtower's own Bible, Jesus is Almighty! Indeed in Rev 1:7-8 NWT, the One who "is coming" and has been "pierced," Jesus, is called "Jehovah God ... the Almighty":

Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him. Yes, Amen. "I am the Al'pha and the O•me'ga," says Jehovah God, "the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty."

Bearing in mind that in Rev 22:12-13 NWT the One who is "coming quickly" (Jesus) is "the Al'pha and the O·me'ga, the first and the last, the beginning and the end"!

"The Son was created" The Watchtower Society claims that the Son was Jehovah's first (and only) creation. But this contradicts those verses which state that Jehovah/God created the heavens and the earth (Gn 1:1; 2:4; Isa 42:5; 51:13; Neh 9:6), "alone" (Isa 44:24) by His "hands" (Isa 45:12; 66:2). And it is despite the next verse (Col 1:16) stating clearly that the Son created "all things," and Jn 1:3 ESV stating of the preincarnate Son that "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." The Society cannot find even one verse which clearly states that Jesus was "created", so it has to resort to a handful of verses which don't even say that!

  • "Firstborn" For example, the Society claims that because Col 1:15 calls Jesus "the firstborn of all creation," therefore He must have been the first created. But apart from the fact that "first-born" doesn't even mean "first-created," in the Biblical Hebrew culture, "firstborn" meant preeminent. Thus a few verses later Paul explains what he meant by Jesus being "firstborn": "that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Col 1:18). Remember that Jesus, the God-man, in His humanity was part of creation. While the first-born son in a Jewish family was usually the "firstborn" (daughters were not counted), he could lose his "firstborn" status, as Esau lost his to Jacob (Gn 27:19-36). Manasseh was born before his twin brother Ephraim (Gn 41:50-51; 48:14) but Jehovah declared that "Ephraim is my first-born" (Jer 31:9). Also in Ps 89:27 Jehovah says of David, "I also will make him my first-born, The highest of the kings of the earth," but David was actually the last born of eight brothers (1Sam 16:10-13).

  • "Beginning of the creation" Another verse the Watchtower claims proves that Jesus was the first created by Jehovah is Rev 3:14 NWT where the risen Jesus calls Himself, "the beginning of the creation by God." But this is a mistranslation by the NWT. The original Greek is, "he arche tes ktiseos tou theou, "the chief of the creation of God." The word "arche" translated "beginning" by the NWT means "chief in order, time, place or rank" (Strong's G746). In Jn 1:1-2 the same word arche is used by the author of Revelation, the Apostle John, to signify the "beginning" of time in which the Son already was, and was the Maker of "all things" (Jn 1:3), so John cannot mean here that Jesus was Himself part of the creation. The meaning of arche in Rev 3:14 therefore must mean "chief in rank". The NIV translates Rev 3:14 as, "the ruler of God’s creation." Although another possibility is that arche means "origin" or "source." The leading New Testament Greek Lexicon, the BAGD (1979, p.112), states that arche in Rev 3:14 means "the first cause." Accordingly the HCSB translation renders Rev 3:14, "the Originator of God’s creation."

  • "Jehovah produced me (Wisdom)" Another questionable passage the Watchtower resorts to try to prove that the Son was created is Pr 8:22 NWT where Wisdom says:
    "Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago."

    But this passage says nothing about the Son or Christ, and it is not applied in the New Testament to Jesus. The Hebrew word translated "produced" by the NWT is qanah which means "own," "possess" (Strong's H7069), not "create". The Society's claim that Jehovah "produced" Wisdom would mean that He originally didn't have it and that without wisdom Jehovah produced wisdom! Also "Wisdom" in Hebrew is feminine, as can be seen by the feminine personal pronouns "she" and "her" used of Wisdom in the context, e.g: "Wisdom ... she raises her voice" (Pr 1:20 ESV); "Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars" (Pr 9:1 ESV). Wisdom is a "sister" (Pr 7:4). She even lives with another woman named "Prudence" (Pr 8:12)!

"The Father is greater than the Son" The Watchtower Society highlights verses like Jesus' statement in Jn 14:28 NWT, "... the Father is greater than I am" to `prove' that Jesus cannot be God by nature. But the Greek word translated "greater" is meizon, "larger ... greater" (Strong's G3187), not kreitton "stronger ... better" (Strong's G2909). The disciples argued who was to be the "greatest" [meizon] in the Kingdom of heaven (Mt 18:1) but the Son is "better" [kreitton] than the angels (Heb 1:4). That is, the Father is "greater" in rank or position than the Son, but the Father is not "better" than the Son. Also, when Jesus was on Earth, He had voluntarily taken "the form of a servant" (Php 2:7) and had "been made a little lower than the angels ... that ... he should taste of death for every man" (Heb. 2:9)." That the Son is subordinate to the Father in rank (1Cor 11:3; 15:24-28) does not mean that He is not equal to the Father in nature.

"The Father is Jesus' God" The Watchtower cites verses where Jesus speaks of the Father as His God (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Jn 20:17; Rev 1:6; 3:2,12) and the New Testament writers call the Father Jesus' God (Rom 15:6; 2Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3,17; Col 1:3; Pet 1:3), as proof that Jesus cannot be God. But in Jesus' human nature (Jn 1:14; Rom 1:3; 8:3; Php 2:5-8; Heb 2:14) the Father is Jesus' God. And that the Son is officially subordinate to the Father (Jn 14:28; 1Cor 11:3), that does not preclude the Son from being equal in nature with the Father (Jn 1:1; 5:17-18; 10:30-33; Php 2:6 NIV). To the son of a king his father is his king, even though the son has the same nature as his father and to others the son is also king.

11. CONCLUSION
As can be seen above, the Biblical evidence is overwhelming that Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament, come in the flesh. And that all the objections that Jesus is not Jehovah, fail. Therefore Jesus is Jehovah! And Jehovah's Witnesses (who claim that Jesus is Michael the archangel) are not Jehovah's witnesses.


Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: The Shroud of Turin and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

Last updated: 6 August, 2013.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Jehovah's Witness visit #1

This morning a Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door. My wife answered the door as I was still getting dressed and had yet to put my shoes and socks on! I had been praying for a JW to visit since we had

[Right: Front cover of the The Watchtower, July 1, 2012, which the JW spoke to me on and left with me.]

downsized to a smaller house a little over a year ago.

As previously mentioned, following a home `Bible' study with a JW elder, which he abandoned because I was undermining his JW beliefs, my previous house was evidently blacklisted, because JWs would go past in the street ignoring my house, even when I was out the front and said "good morning" to them!

From our bedroom I heard my wife talking with someone at the front door and then, from what I could hear, I realised it was a JW. Afraid that my wife would send him away, as she had done before (this was not the first JW visit to our current house, but the first in which I had been home), I came to the door fully dressed except for bare feet!

There was a young man in a suit whom I estimate was in his thirties, holding a Bible and I could see other overdressed adults and children in the street behind him, laughing (presumably under orders from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society to always pretend to be happy when out on `field service'). My wife retreated from the door and left him to me. He introduced himself as "AN" (not his real name or initials but I want to minimise the chance that a JW will read this and tip off him or his Kingdom Hall's elders). I invited AN inside but he said "no."

He asked me if I believed in a God who answered prayer and I said "yes." I had resolved that if a JW was to come to my door to let him talk and I would listen to him as much as possible (very hard for me!), and to keep my answers low-key and to volunteer the bare minimum about myself. This was so that I would not drive him away and then my house would be blacklisted again. All through I looked him in they eyes, smiled and was friendly.

AN then read to me out of his New World Translation, Psalm 65:2, "O Hearer of prayer, even to you people of all flesh will come", positioning himself so I could read it for myself.

He then asked me, as someone who believed in a God who answered prayer, if I wondered why there was so much suffering in the world and I said "yes." He then opened the above Watchtower magazine, and turned to a page, ensuring I was reading along with him, and read out the following:

"Even though they may pray some people have doubts that God exists. Perhaps it is because they see so much suffering in this world. Have you ever wondered why God allows suffering? Did God really make humans as they are now - imperfect and subject to suffering? We could hardly respect a God who would purpose for humans to suffer. But consider: this if you walked admiringly around a new car only to find that the far side was damaged would you assume that the manufacturer made it that way? Of course not! You would conclude that the manufacturer made it `perfect' and that someone or something else caused the damage. ... The Bible teaches that God made the first human pair perfect but that later they caused themselves to become damaged (Deuteronomy 32:4, 5). The good news is that God has promised to repair the damage to restore obedient humans to perfection." ("Why Does the Hearer of Prayer Allow Suffering?," The Watchtower, July 1, 2012).

AN asked me if I agreed with that and I said I did. He looked a bit puzzled, as though this was too easy! He then asked me if I had a Bible and I said "yes." Then he asked me if I was a firm believer in God and again I said "yes." I would not be surprised if AN suspected that I was a Christian, but what is he to do? Not make a return visit to any householder who agrees with him on everything?!

AN then asked me if I wanted a free copy of his Watchtower magazine and I said "yes" (being well aware that should mark me as warranting a return visit). He then handed me the magazine (I later found that it had the July 2012 Awake! inside it). I asked AN what his name was again and when he told me I repeated it, so that I would remember it, if he calls again (which I will now pray daily for). AN then shook my hand and left.

I have called this part "#1" in case this is the first of a series of visits by AN.

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: The Shroud of Turin and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

Monday, June 11, 2012

`Jesus is Jehovah?'

AN

Thank you for your message. As per my stated policy, if I receive a private message that is about a topic covered by one of my blogs, I

[Above: "The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. ... This diagram consists of four nodes (generally circular in shape) interconnected by six links. The three nodes at the edge of the diagram are labelled with the names of the three persons of the Trinity (traditionally the Latin-language names, or scribal abbreviations thereof): The Father (`PATER'), The Son (`FILIUS'), and The Holy Spirit (`SPIRITUS SANCTUS'). The node in the center of the diagram (within the triangle formed by the other three nodes) is labelled God (Latin `DEUS'), while the three links connecting the center node with the outer nodes are labelled `is' (Latin `EST'), and the three links connecting the outer nodes to each other are labelled `is not' (Latin `NON EST'). The links are non-directional - this is emphasized in one thirteenth-century manuscript by writing the link captions `EST' or `NON EST' twice as many times (going in both directions within each link), and is shown in some modern versions of the diagram by superimposing each occurrence of the `is'/`is not' text on a double-headed arrow <-> (rather than enclosing it within a link). So the following twelve propositions can be read off the diagram: ...

`The Father is God'
'The Son is God'
'The Holy Spirit is God'
'God is the Father'
'God is the Son'
'God is the Holy Spirit'
'The Father is not the Son'
'The Son is not the Father'
'The Father is not the Holy Spirit'
'The Holy Spirit is not the Father'
'The Son is not the Holy Spirit'
'The Holy Spirit is not the Son'

The Shield of the Trinity is not generally intended to be any kind of schematic diagram of the structure of God, but instead is merely a compact visual device from which the above statements (contained in or implied by the Athanasian Creed) can be read off." ("Shield of the Trinity," Wikipedia, 21 February 2012)]

usually answer publicly via that blog, less the sender's personal identifying information, as I am doing here. Your words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

Hi there. Just read your Jesus is Jehovah God paper on your Blog Jesus is Jehovah

I assume you mean my one-page summary, "Jesus is Jehovah!"

First you state:

>who is HIS god?

"God" or "the Father."

Again, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus address "Jehovah" (Gk. kurios "Lord") as His God. (see above). That ... That Jesus called the Father (not "Jehovah", i.e. Gk. kurios "Lord") His God in these verses

But this is not from my post, "Jesus is Jehovah!." It is a quote from another of my posts, "Re: Is Jesus Jehovah? Please answer the following #2," in which I was responding to a Jehovah's Witness called "grandpa len" (his words (>bold):

>who is HIS god?
"God" or "the Father." Again, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus address "Jehovah" (Gk. kurios "Lord") as His God. (see above). That Jesus called the Father (not "Jehovah", i.e. Gk. kurios "Lord") His God in these verses ... [Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Jn 20:17; Rev 3:2,12] ... is no problem at all for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, since it is based on the Bible. The explanation is that, first, since Jesus in His human nature was a devout Jewish man, the Father was in that sense, Jesus' God.

Whilst I agree that the tetragrammaton does not appear in the TEXT of the Greek scriptures we presently have,

This is a fatal admission by a Jehovah's Witness that the tetragrammaton (Heb. YHWH = English "Yahweh" or "Jehovah") does not appear in the text of the "Greek scriptures" (i.e. the New Testament):

"Reading New Testament Greek, one quickly notices a problem for the Witnesses that the Watchtower has never been able to explain fully. The authors of the New Testament never use the word Jehovah, or even Yahweh. Even in quotes from the Old Testament where the divine name had been used, the authors of the New Testament decided to use the word Lord (Greek, kurios) instead." (Evert, J., "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses," 2001, p.96).

"Along these same lines, we must reiterate that according to the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, the word Jehovah does not occur a single time in the New Testament. This is highly significant, for if Jehovah was to be the sole name for God in all generations, then the word would certainly occur in the New Testament. But it does not occur there anywhere, despite the fact that the Watchtower's New World Translation deceitfully inserts the term throughout the New Testament in verses thought to refer exclusively to the Father." (Rhodes, R., "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses," 2006, p.55).

Moreover there is no evidence that the Greek equivalent of the tetragrammaton was ever in the text of the original New Testament manuscripts. The Watchtower's claim that it was originally there but it was removed, is not supported by the evidence:

"The Watchtower explains that the original manuscripts surely must have had Jehovah in them, but later copyists from the `apostate' Church altered them to hide the true name of God. [Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, p.887; The Divine Name That Will Endure Forever, 1984, p.25] To correct this, the NWT added the word Jehovah 237 times in the New Testament. [Ibid., p.888] In the appendix to the NWT the reader is assured: `To avoid overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis, we have been most cautious about rendering the divine name in the Christian Greek Scriptures, always carefully considering the Hebrew Scriptures as a background. We have looked for agreement from available Hebrew versions of the Christian Greek Scriptures to confirm our rendering.' [New World Translation, Appendix 1, p.1640). However, the Watchtower doesn't mention here that there is no early manuscript evidence to support such a change, since it was not until the fourteenth century that a Jewish translator named Shem Tob ben Shaprut used the divine name in his Hebrew translation of Matthew. [Ibid., p.887] Even then, he would not have used the term Jehovah, but the Tetragrammaton (YHWH)." (Evert, 2001, pp.96-97).

And would mean that the `Jehovah' of the Watchtower was a weak god, who could not prevent his name being removed from every copy of every book of the New Testament, in every language it had been translated into:

"Did the original authors of the New Testament use the name Jehovah before apostates altered the text to hide the name of God? There is absolutely no trace of that name's being used in the oldest manuscripts. There are thousands of ancient manuscripts of the Bible in Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic, Georgian, Ethiopian, Arabic, Gothic, Armenian, and Latin-but not one of them uses the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) in the New Testament, let alone Jehovah." (Evert, 2001, p.97)

as well as from every one of the thousands of New Testament quotations in the writings of the early church fathers!

The Bible most CERTAINLY DOES tell us that Jehovah is the God of Jesus!

First, since "the Father" is Jehovah (along with the other two Persons of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit and the Son):
"Jesus is Jehovah! ... What I don't mean by Jesus is Jehovah ... That Jesus is Jehovah does not preclude the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity (Mt 28:19; 2Cor 13:14; 1Pet 1:2): the Father (Ps 139:7; Isa 40:13 = Rom 11:34 & 1Cor 2:16; Mk 3:28-29; Acts 5:3-4; 13:2; 28:25-27; 2Cor 3:17; Heb 3:7-11 = Ps 95:7-11; Heb 10:15-17 = Jer 31:33), also being Jehovah: the one Triune God."

I have no problem with "the Bible" (i.e. the Old Testament part of the Bible) saying that Jehovah will be the God of the Messiah, who the New Testament revealed was Jesus:

Mt 2:4-6. "4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he [Herod] inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, `In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet [Mic 5:2]: 6 "And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel."'";

the God-man:

Jn 1:1,14. "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth"

But my point was that the New Testament does not say that Jehovah was Jesus' Father. You tacitly concede this below by quoting from the Old Testament, and only one verse at that!

Notice Micah 5:4 where we read (speaking of the messiah):

"And he (Jesus) will certainly stand and do shepherding in the strength of Jehovah, in the superiority of the name of Jehovah his God."

Yes, in His human nature Jehovah was Jesus' God and Father.

And you are playing Jehovah's Witnesses' favourite game of `Bible ping-pong', that is, playing one part of the Bible against another to force it to agree with Watchtower doctrine":

"In short, Jehovah's Witnesses pit one part of Scripture against another part to force the Bible to agree with their doctrine. This is one of the most frequent errors of Jehovah's Witness biblical interpretation. John 14:28 is said to rule out the possibility that John 1:1 makes Jesus God, regardless of the particular language used in John 1:1 (and indeed, without careful consideration of the precise language and context of John 14:28). In personal dialogue with Jehovah's Witnesses I have seen this error committed repeatedly. One rather naive Jehovah's Witness even presented me with a list of Scriptures `pro' and `con' on the Trinity, with texts such as John 1:1 listed as `pro' and John 14:28 listed as `con'!" (Bowman, R.M., Jr., "Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses," 1991, p.107. Emphasis original).

The correct approach is the Christian one, which is to accept what the Bible teaches, that is, both Jesus is God (Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Php 2:5-6; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1Jn 5:20) and that the Father is Jesus' God (Mic 5:4; Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Jn 20:17; Rom 15:6; 2Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3,17; Col 1:3; Pet 1:3; Rev 1:6; 3:2,12).

This verse not only PROVES Jehovah is the God of Jesus

Indeed it does, but only in the sense that Jehovah God the Father is the God of Jesus the God-man, i.e. in His human nature:

"Jesus is Jehovah! ... The Father is Jesus' God" The Watchtower cites verses where Jesus speaks of the Father as His God (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Jn 20:17; Rev 1:6; 3:2,12) and the New Testament writers call the Father Jesus' God (Rom 15:6; 2Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3,17; Col 1:3; Pet 1:3), as proof that Jesus cannot be God. But in His human nature (Jn 1:14; Rom 1:3; 8:3; Php 2:5-8; Heb 2:14) the Father is Jesus' God. And that the Son is officially subordinate to the Father (Jn 14:28; 1Cor 11:3), that does not preclude the Son from being equal in nature with the Father (Jn 1:1; 5:17-18; 10:30-33; Php 2:6 NIV). To the son of a co-regent king his father is still his king, even though he has the same nature as his father and to others the son is also king.

but the name Jehovah is SUPERIOR to the name Jesus!

The verse you cited (Micah 5:4 NWT) does not say anything about "the name Jehovah" being superior "to the name Jesus."

And the New Testament teaches that Jesus, looking forward to His resurrection, ascension and exaltation, thanked the Father for "your name, which you have given me":

Jn 17:11. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one."

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that this name which was "bestowed on" Jesus is in fact "the name that is above every name":

Php 2:8-9. 8 "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,"

So that now Jesus' name is "far above ... every name that is named":

Eph 1:19-21. "19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come."

So either Jesus' name is "Jehovah," or more likely now, the New Testament name "Jesus" (which means "Jehovah is salvation" - Mt 1:21) is above even the Old Testament name "Jehovah"!

That the name "Jesus" is now exalted higher even than the Old Testament name "Jehovah" is consistent with the fact that in the New Testament, "The name `Jesus' appears 912 times, hence far outnumbering the 237 insertions of the name `Jehovah" (my emphasis):
"Secondly, even if we were to accept the numerous insertions made by the translators (more accurately, the translator, Fred Franz) of the New World Translation of the name `Jehovah' in the Christian Scriptures, we are still faced with the fact that the original writers of those Christian Scriptures referred to the name of God's Son with far greater frequency. The name `Jesus' appears 912 times, hence far outnumbering the 237 insertions of the name `Jehovah.' This too is strikingly different from the practice found within Watch Tower publications, where the ratio is at times just the reverse. Beginning particularly with Rutherford's presidency, those publications reveal a progressive increase in the use of the name `Jehovah,' accompanied by at least a diminished reference to God's Son, Jesus Christ. Yet God himself has stated that it is His will that `all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.' [John 5:23 NWT] The writers of the Christian Scriptures clearly took that statement to heart and their example should be followed ... The evidence is, then, that the practice found within the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses as to repetitive use of, and emphasis on, the Tetragrammaton in actuality reflects more the practice existing within the nation of Israel in pre-Christian times than it does the practice within the congregation of Christ's followers in the first century." (Franz, R., "In Search of Christian Freedom," 2007, pp.504-505. Emphasis original).

Note that the above quote was by the late Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses!

This quote is from the vastly superior NWT of the Bible

In this particular verse, Micah 5:4, there is no essential difference between the New World Translation and mainstream Christian translations.

But as for the NWT being "vastly superior" that is simply false. In fact, the NWT is not even a translation! That is because the NWT's `translators' knew little Greek and even less Hebrew (let alone Aramaic):

"Not a Scholarly Translation The `Bethelites' (workers at the Watchtower's Brooklyn headquarters) were some of the people who worked on the New World Translation, but they had no linguistic skills or education in foreign languages when they entered Bethel. Most of those who go to the Brooklyn headquarters do so at the age of eighteen, with only a high school education at best. The only exception to this was Frederick Franz, who attended college for three years and studied some Greek during that time. Two or three years of college Greek, however, hardly qualifies a person to be a `Greek scholar.' Even more significant is the fact that he only studied Greek and not Hebrew. There is no evidence that the Watchtower Society's translation committee ever requested the help of any recognized Greek or Hebrew scholars. There is no evidence that any of them even knew any Greek or Hebrew, except for the little that Franz knew. ... The New World Translation is really not a translation taken directly from the original Greek and Hebrew but a compilation of material taken from about twenty-five other English translations of the Bible. It seems obvious that the men on the committee searched multitudes of English Bible translations to find verses that seemed to agree with their interpretation instead of going directly to the Greek and Hebrew." (Lingle, W., "What the Watchtower Society Doesn't Want you to Know," 2009, pp.161-162. Emphasis original).

Now, in all fairness, I see this was part of an online discussion, so I am not sure who is saying what, so I trust you can explain it to me.

See above.

TWO:

As you are a Trinitarian, I have a simple question for you:

You are telling the world Jesus is Jehovah God right?

No, the Bible is "telling the world Jesus is Jehovah God." Read my "Jesus is Jehovah!"

Okay then:

If the Great Jehovah God is a triune being of three distinct persons, and as we know, each of those persons can be divided,

No each of the three Persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit cannot "be divided."

another words, the Father is not the Son, the son is not the holy spirit,

It is not in "another words" that "each of those persons can be divided" means that "the Father is not the Son, the son is not the holy spirit." But it is correct, as the above "Shield of the Trinity" makes clear, that the Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Spirit, nor is the Son the Holy Spirit, nor vice-versa.

yadda yadda, and yet, we ALSO know that the persons CANNOT be divided from the ESSENCE of being God

You may be thinking of a garbled version of the Athanasian Creed, "Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence":

"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity." ("Athanasian Creed," Wikipedia, 3 May 2012).

Each of the three Persons of the Trinity share in the essence of God's being. There are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the one Being, the triune God.

then I ask:

ACCORDING TO THE GRAMMAR OR TEXT OF THE BIBLE:

Is Jesus the Great Triune God Jehovah?

No, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are together the Triune God.

If not, what God is he?

The Son is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Thanks

You're welcome.

AN

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: The Shroud of Turin & CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

Friday, April 27, 2012

What is a Jehovah's Witness? #2: Jesus returned invisibly in 1914 (1)

Continuing from "What is a Jehovah's Witness? #1: Jesus is not God and was not bodily resurrected" with this "What is a Jehovah's Witness? #2: Jesus returned invisibly in 1914," being my comments on an article by Daniel Ausbun, Pastor of First Baptist Moreland, Georgia. The words of the article are bold as are my headings. I am posting this initially without quotations to support the points I make, but will progressively add quotes later. I have since decided because of length to split this part #2 into two sub-parts #2(1) and #2(2). In this part #2(1) I will state the Watchtower position and in the next part #2(2) I will refute it.

"What is a Jehovah's Witness?," The Newnan Times-Herald, Daniel Ausbun, First Baptist Church, Moreland [Georgia], March 3, 2012 ... Knock knock! Two people are standing at your door, sharply dressed and very friendly, offering you The Watchtower magazine. They're Jehovah's Witnesses, and they're at your door to tell you God's good news. ... What do Jehovah's Witnesses' believe? ...

[Above (click to enlarge): Front page of the Herald of the Morning, July 1878, edited by Nelson H. Barbour (1824-1905), an Adventist, with Watchtower Bible & Tract Society founder "C. T. Russell" (1852–1916) listed as an assistant editor, and showing in the bottom right-hand corner the then Adventist teaching that the "Times of the Gentiles" would "end in 1914": Wikipedia, 18 April 2012. This proves that the foundational Watchtower Society date of 1914 was actually `borrowed' from 19th century Christian Adventist teachings, which the Watchtower effectively admits:

"In the course of their Bible studies, these searching students took up a consideration of the `times of the Gentiles,' as spoken of by Jesus at Luke 21:24 (AV), and they associated those Gentile Times with the `seven times' mentioned four times in Daniel, chapter four, verses 16, 23, 25, 32. What did those Bible students determine to be the date for those `seven times' of Gentile domination of the earth to end legally before God? Well, at that time there was a monthly magazine being published in Brooklyn, New York, by one George Storrs [an Adventist], and it was called "Bible Examiner." In the year 1876 the twenty-four-year-old Russell made a contribution on the subject to this magazine ... which was the issue of October, 1876 ... Russell's article was published under the title "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" In that article (page 27) Russell said: `The seven times will end in A.D. 1914.' In the following year (1877) Russell joined with one Nelson H. Barbour [another Adventist], of Rochester, New York, in publishing a book entitled 'Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World." In this book it was set forth that the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 C.E. would be preceded by a period of forty years marked by the opening of a harvest of three and a half years, beginning in 1874 C.E. This harvest was understood to be under the invisible direction of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose presence or parousia began in the year 1874. " (WB&TS, "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached," 1973, pp.186-187. My words in square brackets).]

* The second "coming" of Jesus was an invisible spiritual presence that began in 1914. From 1879 to 1914 (~35 years) the Watchtower Society taught that Jesus had come invisibly in 1874, and that He would come visibly in 1914, at the end of the Times of the Gentiles:

"According to an inaccurate chronology that had been worked out from the King James Authorized Version Bible, Russell calculated that Christ's `presence' had begun in the year 1874 C.E., unseen to human eyes and seen only by the eye of faith. This was why, when he began publishing a new religious magazine in defense of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Russell entitled it "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence." (WB&TS, "Man's Salvation Out of World Distress at Hand!," 1975, pp. 287-288).

But that prophecy was proved false in 1914, and Russell died in 1916:

"From that understanding of matters, the `chaste virgin' class began going forth to meet the heavenly Bridegroom in the year 1874, as they believed him to have arrived in that year and to be from then on invisibly present ... Due to this fact, when Charles T. Russell began publishing his own religious magazine in July of 1879, he published it under the title "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence." ... The new magazine was heralding Christ's invisible presence as having begun in 1874. This presence was to continue until the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, when the Gentile nations would be destroyed and the remnant of the `chaste virgin' class would be glorified with their bridegroom in heaven by death and resurrection to life in the spirit ... As the years passed by and the time drew closer, the remnant of the `chaste virgin' class looked ahead with intensifying interest to that critical date, October 1, 1914. ... They were endeavoring to let their light shine as they approached the time when they expected to meet their Bridegroom in the heavens. Finally the day arrived, October 1, 1914, and on the morning of that day Charles T. Russell as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society announced to the headquarters staff of workers in Brooklyn, New York: `The Gentile Times have ended and their kings have had their day.' However, with that end of the Gentile Times there did not also come the anticipated glorification of the remnant of the church in the heavens. It was first on October 31, 1916, that Russell himself died, leaving the Society's presidency to another. Something must have been miscalculated." (WB&TS, "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached," 1973, pp.187-188).

Russell's successor `Judge' Joseph F. Rutherford (1869–1942) in 1919 declared that Jesus had come invisibly in 1914:

"The `chaste virgin' class endeavored to let their light shine as they approached the time when they expected to meet their Bridegroom in heaven. Finally, that day arrived-October 1, 1914. The Gentile Times ended, but the anticipated heavenly glorification of the church did not come about. In fact, it had not occurred by the time Russell himself died on October 31, 1916. ... As the slumbering virgins were aroused by the midnight cry that the bridegroom was coming, so in 1919 C.E. the fact of the heavenly Bridegroom's presence in the Kingdom was thrust upon all who claimed to be virgins awaiting him ... A general convention was held at Cedar Point, Ohio, on September 1-8, 1919 ... The `discreet virgin' class had the faith that the kingdom of God's Son had been established in heaven at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914 ... The `discreet virgin' class thus met the glorious Bridegroom in 1919 and have continued as part of the procession that honors him down to the end." ("No Spiritual `Energy Crisis' for Discreet Ones," The Watchtower, August 15, 1974, pp.507-508)

"When the Bible Students assembled at Cedar Point, Ohio, in 1919, J. F. Rutherford, who was then the president of the Watch Tower Society, declared: `Our vocation was and is to announce the incoming glorious kingdom of Messiah.' At the second Cedar Point convention, in 1922, Brother Rutherford highlighted the fact that at the end of the Gentile Times, in 1914, `the King of glory had taken unto himself his great power and had begun to reign.'" ("Kingdom Proclaimers Active in All the Earth," The Watchtower, May 1, 1994, pp.15-17)

thereby contradicting Russell and the Watchtower's teaching for forty years that Jesus had already come invisibly in 1874!

The date of 1914 adopted by Russell from the Adventists was worked out by them as follows:

1. The "times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24 must be the period from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians to the second coming of Christ:

"`JERUSALEM shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' - Luke 21:24. The term `Times of the Gentiles' was applied by our Lord to that interval of earth's history between the removal of the typical Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Israel (Ezek. 21:25-27), and the introduction and establishment of its antitype, the true Kingdom of God, when Christ comes to be `glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day [2Th 1:10 KJV].'" (Russell, C.T., "The Time is at Hand," WB&TS, 1889, p.73. Emphasis original).

But this is false, as we shall see in part #2(2).

2. The date of that destruction of Jerusalem must be 70 years (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10) before 536 BC, the year that the Medo-Persian conqueror of Babylon, Cyrus the Great allowed the exiled Jews in Babylon to return to Jerusalem, i.e. 536 BC + 70 = 606 BC:

"The Bible evidence is clear and strong that the `Times of the Gentiles' is a period of 2520 years, from the year B.C. 606 to and including A.D. 1914 ... The date for the beginning of the Gentile Times is ... at the time of the removal of the crown of God's typical kingdom, from Zedekiah, their last king. According to the words of the prophet (Ezek. 21:25-27), the crown was taken from Zedekiah; and Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar's army and laid in ruins, and so remained for seventy years-until the restoration in the first year of Cyrus. (2 Chron. 36:21-23) Though Jerusalem was then rebuilt, and the captives returned, Israel has never had another king from that to the present day ... they, as a nation, were subject successively to the Persians, Grecians and Romans ... With these facts before us, we readily find the date for the beginning of the Gentile Times of dominion; for the first year of the reign of Cyrus is a very clearly fixed date -both secular and religious histories with marked unanimity agreeing with Ptolemy's Canon, which places it B.C. 536. And if B.C. 536 was the year in which the seventy years of Jerusalem's desolation ended and the restoration of the Jews began, it follows that their kingdom was overthrown just seventy years before B.C. 536, i. e., 536 plus 70, or B.C. 606. This gives us the date of the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles-B.C. 606." (Russell, "The Time is at Hand," 1889, pp.79-80. Emphasis original).

This also is false, as we shall see in part #2(2). Also note that the original Watchtower year for the destruction of Jerusalem and the start of the Times of the Gentiles was 606 BC, not the Society's current 607 BC.

3. The "seven times" in Daniel 4:16-32, which in the context is the period of Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar's temporary insanity (Dn 4:33-37), must mean seven years:

"We have already examined the initial, typical application of Daniel's prophecy of the `seven times' and have noted that it applied to the seven literal years of Nebuchadnezzar's madness." (WB&TS, "Let Your Kingdom Come," 1981, p.133)

"The prophetic dream recorded by Daniel mentions an immense tree that was chopped down and banded with iron and copper until `seven times' passed over it. During that time, it was said, `the heart of a beast' would be given to it. (Daniel 4:10-17) What did this mean? God caused his own prophet Daniel to explain: Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was to be removed from his throne and driven from among men to live as a beast. After seven years the king's sanity returned, he acknowledged the superiority of God's rulership, and he himself was restored to his throne. (Daniel 4:20-37)." (WB&TS, "True Peace and Security: How Can You Find It?," 1986, p.71).

But as we shall see in part #2(2), the Watchtower's claim that these "seven times" must be seven years is false.

(a) Each of those 7 years must be of 360 days:

"According to Daniel chapter four, these `appointed times' would be `seven times.' Daniel shows that there would be `seven times' during which God's rulership, as represented by the `tree,' would not be in operation over the earth. (Daniel 4:16, 23) How long are these `seven times'? In Revelation chapter 12, verses 6 and 14, we learn that 1,260 days are equal to `a time [that is, 1 time] and times [that is, 2 times] and half a time.' That is a total of 3½ times. So `a time' would be equal to 360 days." (WB&TS, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth," 1989, pp.140-141. Emphasis & square brackets original)

"In prophecy, a year averages 360 days, or 12 months of 30 days each. (Compare Revelation 12:6, 14.) So the king's `seven times,' or seven years, were 360 days multiplied by 7, or 2,520 days." (WB&TS, "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy," 1999, pp.95-96).

But as we shall see in part #2(2), there is no connection between the "seven times" of Daniel 4:16-32 and the "time and times and half a time" of Revelation 12:14 and therefore the Watchtower's claim that the "seven times" of Daniel 4 must be seven years of 360 days each is false.

(b) Each of those 360 days must be a year:

"Therefore, `seven times' would be 7 times 360, or 2,520 days. Now if we count a day for a year, according to a Bible rule, the `seven times' equal 2,520 years.-Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6." (WB&TS, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth," 1989, p.141)

"The Bible shows that three and a half `times' equal 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6, 14) Twice that period, or seven times, would be 2,520 days. But nothing noteworthy happened at the end of that short period of time. By applying `a day for a year' to Daniel's prophecy and counting 2,520 years from 607 B.C.E., however, we arrive at the year 1914 C.E.-Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6." (WB&TS, "Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life," 1995, p.97)

"However, the vision served notice that this `trampling of Jerusalem' would be temporary-a period of `seven times.' How long a period is that? Revelation 12:6, 14 indicates that three and a half times equal `a thousand two hundred and sixty days.' `Seven times' would therefore last twice as long, or 2,520 days. But the Gentile nations did not stop `trampling' on God's rulership a mere 2,520 days after Jerusalem's fall. Evidently, then, this prophecy covers a much longer period of time. On the basis of Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, which speak of `a day for a year,' the `seven times' would cover 2,520 years." (WB&TS, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?," 2005, p.217. Emphasis original).

But as we shall see in part #2(2), there is no "a day for a year" rule in the Bible, so therefore this claim by the Watchtower that each of those 360 days must be a year is also false.

(c) Hence the "times of the Gentiles" must span a period of 7 x 360 = 2520 years:

"When Nebuchadnezzar's sanity was restored by God, little did he realize that the `seven times' were to have a greater fulfillment of a year for each day of the seven prophetic years of 360 days each, a total of 2,520 (7 x 360) years. Little did he realize that it was a prophecy revealing that, from the overthrow of God's representative kingdom when Jerusalem was desolated in 607 B.C.E., there would be no king of the line of David exercising ruling authority in the affairs of mankind for 2,520 years. During this time `Jerusalem would be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations should be fulfilled'-that is, God would permit Gentile domination of the earth, with no king on the throne representing God. At the end of the 2,520-year period God's due time would arrive to set his Messiah upon the throne in the heavens. According to Bible chronology and world conditions fulfilling prophecy, these `times of the Gentiles' expired in 1914 C.E.-Luke 21:24, American Standard Version; Ezek. 21:27." ("The Best Time to Be Alive," The Watchtower, November 1, 1973, pp.644-645).

"One of these reasons is that this is the time of Christ's invisible presence in power as King. The `appointed times of the nations,' or the `times of the Gentiles,' have ended. These `times' began when God's representative kingdom on earth was overthrown in 607 B.C.E. by Babylon. How long were these `times' to run? They were to be `seven times' or seven prophetic years of 360 days each, in which a day was to count for a year. This would be 7 × 360, or 2,520 years. This brings us to the year 1914 C.E., when the Kingdom would be restored in the hands of the one `who has the legal right.'-Luke 21:24; Daniel 4:17; Ezek. 4:6; 21:27." ("Is Christianity Dying?" The Watchtower, September 15, 1974, p. 557).

"Nebuchadnezzar's case of madness, probably a condition known as lycanthropy, lasted for seven years. At his recovery he acknowledged the God who healed him, but he did not restore God's people to their homeland. Jehovah God had decreed that Jerusalem and the land of Judah should lie desolate for 70 years. So the trampling upon Jerusalem by the Gentiles continued on, even after Jerusalem was rebuilt by the repatriated Jews beginning in 537 B.C.E. How so? Because they remained subject to Gentile control, without any descendant of the royal line of David sitting on the throne at Jerusalem as independent king. So it is evident that in the case of Jehovah God, the `seven times' are symbolic, hence, longer than seven years counting from 607 B.C.E.- Daniel 4:16, 23, 25, 32. In the Bible's prophetic count of time, a lunar year is calculated as amounting to 360 days. So a symbolic year, or `time,' would amount to 360 calendar years. Seven symbolic `times,' or `years,' would therefore amount to 7 x 360, or 2,520 years. Counted from the year 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem, `the city of the great King,' was destroyed by Jehovah's `servant,' Nebuchadnezzar, and thus the trampling on Jerusalem by the Gentiles began, those 2,520 years would end in the autumn of the year 1914 of our Common Era." ("Israel and the `Times of the Gentiles," The Watchtower, August 1, 1983, p.21).

4. Therefore Jesus' second coming at the END of the Times of the Gentiles would be in 606 BC + 2520 years = AD 1914.:

"In Leviticus xxvi, the expression `seven times' is four times repeated in reference to the duration of the rule of its enemies over Jerusalem. It has often been shown that this is the basis and key of the Times of the Gentiles (Luke xxi. 24), or the duration of Gentile rule over Jerusalem. A time is a year; a prophetic year is 360 common years and has been so fulfilled. `A time, times and a half' (i.e., 3½ times) has been fulfilled as 1260 literal years ... If three times and a half are 1260 years, seven times are 2520 years. From B.C. 606, where the desolation of Jerusalem began, 2520 years reach to A.D. 1914. According to this application of the number seven, Jerusalem will be free at that time, and thence-forward be a praise in the earth." ("Number Seven," Zion's Watch Tower, June 1880, Reprints, p.109.

"It is an accepted fact that in Bible symbolism each day represents a year; and the Jewish year had twelve months of thirty days each. Thus each year represented, symbolically, three hundred and sixty years; and the seven years of chastisement represented 7 x 360 = 2,520 years. When, therefore, we read that the kingdom would be `overturned, overturned,' [Eze 21:27] until Messiah should come, we are to understand that the period of the overturned condition, as a whole, would be 2,520 years, beginning with the time the crown was taken from Zedekiah-in 606 B.C. (70 years prior to the proclamation of Cyrus permitting the people to return-536 B.C.). ("Overturned Until He Come," The Watch Tower, August 1, 1911, Reprints, p.4867).

"SEVEN TIMES' COMMENCED JULY-AUGUST, 606 B.C. The punishment for not properly observing the jubilee was a severe one, yet in Leviticus 26:18,21,24 and 28 mention is made of `seven times' more punishment if the Jews neglected to keep their Law, as they had covenanted. By the key given in other scriptures, Bible Students have long known that the `seven times' refer to seven symbolic or prophetic years of three hundred and sixty days, each day standing for a full year of actual time. Thus seven times would be 7 x 360, or 2520 years. In Luke 21:24 Jesus stated that Jerusalem, standing for the Jewish nation, would be trodden down, or under the dominion of the Gentiles, `until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' The nation went completely under the dominion of the Gentiles at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar July-August, 606 B.C. 2520 years from that date would be 1914 A.D." ("The Year of Jubilee," The Watch Tower, February 15, 1925, p. 54. Emphasis original).

"It is by Israel's jubilee system, detailed in the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus, and by the `seven times' of the twenty-sixth chapter, that the chronological system of the Bible is verified. The seven times or seven `years' (of 360 days each) of punishment are seven periods of 360 years each, or 2520 years in all, which began with the destruction of the national life of Israel at a kingdom, in 606 B.C., and which ended in 1914 A.D. with the outbreak of the World War, when Christ began to take control of earth's affairs." ("Obedience to Law," The Watch Tower, August 1, 1926, p.237).

"In Leviticus 26:14-39, God told the nation of Israel that if they failed to keep their covenant he would scatter them among the Gentile nations, where they would be a byword and a hissing for a long period called `seven times'. This foretold period of punishment began when Nebuchadnezzar carried the Israelites to Babylon, in 606 B.C., and ended in 1914, exactly 2520 years later. In Jewish reckoning, a time is a Jewish year of 360 days. Seven times would be seven times 360 days, or 2520 days; and the Lord through his prophet tells us that, in prophecy, a day counts for a year.-Ezek. 4:4-6; Num. 14:34." ("Divine Foreknowledge: Proof That Jehovah is God," The Watch Tower, July 16, 1930, p.218).

But as we shall see in in part #2(2), there is no connection between Jesus' prophecy of "the Times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24:

"They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

and the "seven times" of Daniel 4:16-32, or indeed any Old Testament passage.

The Watchtower Society later admitted (what it must have known since at least 1904) that there was no year zero between 1 BC and AD 1, therefore 606 BC + 2520 years = AD 1913. But rather than admit that 1914 was wrong (which would cause the collapse of the entire Watchtower `house of cards' system - see next part #2(2) - the Watchtower changed its date for the destruction of Jerusalem from 606 BC to 607 BC!:

"How long are `seven times', the times of the nations? ... In Revelation 12:6 (NW) there is mentioned 1,260 days and then in the 14th verse this very same period is referred to as 3½ `times'. So if 3½ `times' is 1,260 days, then 7 `times' (twice 3½ `times') must be twice 1,260, or 2,520 days. ... So according to this [year-day] rule established in the wilderness the Jewish nation [Num 14:34] ... These 2,520 years ran from the desolating of Jerusalem and the land in the summer and fall of 607 B.C. up to the summer and fall of 1914, when they expired. From 607 B.C. to 1 B.C. is 606 years. From 1 B.C. to A.D. 1 is only one year, because the ancients had not discovered the zero which according to modern mathematics would have made it two years. The use of the zero is only of comparatively recent mathematical origin. From A.D. 1 to A.D. 1914 is 1,913 years. Therefore adding 606 years plus 1 year plus 1,913 years we get a total of 2,520 years." ("Determining the Year by Fact and Bible," The Watchtower, May 1, 1952, pp.270-271).

"Jehovah's witnesses from 1877 up to and including the publishing of `The Truth Shall Make You Free' of 1943 considered 536 B.C. as the year for the return of the Jews to Palestine, basing their calculations for the fall of Babylon on secular histories that were inaccurate, not up to date on archaeological evidences [This is a lie. The WB&TS was repeatedly told by Christians from at least 1904 that 606 BC was wrong, based on historical and archaeological evidence, but it claimed that that they were wrong and that it got its 606 BC date from the Bible, which itself is false because the Bible has no dates-SEJ]. This meant that Jeremiah's seventy years of desolation for Jerusalem ran back from 536 B.C. to 606 B.C., instead of more correctly as now known from 537 B.C. to 607 B.C. (2 Chron. 36:21; Jer. 25:12; Zec. 1:12) With the above Absolute date for the fall of Babylon, the date 607 B.C. is on solid ground for the fall of Jerusalem, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon terminated the reigning Davidic dynasty by taking Jerusalem's last ruler, King Zedekiah, captive. This leads to the important modern date of 1914, which marks the end of the `seven times' of 2,520 years of Gentile domination since the first fall of Jerusalem 607 B.C. (Dan. 4:9-16; Luke 21:24) This adjustment of one year for Jerusalem's fall to 607 B.C. was acknowledged in the book `The Kingdom Is at Hand' of 1944, footnote of page 171, and also in The Watchtower of 1952, page 271." ("Questions From Readers ," The Watchtower, February 1, 1955, p. 94).

"1914 Foreseen ... `The Bible evidence is clear and strong that the `Times of the Gentiles' is a period of 2520 years, from the year B.C. 606 to and including A.D. 1914.'-Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 2, written by C. T. Russell and published in 1889, page 79. Charles Taze Russell and his fellow Bible students realized decades earlier that 1914 would mark the end of the Gentile Times, or the appointed times of the nations. (Luke 21:24) ... Providentially, those Bible Students had not realized that there is no zero year between `B.C.' and `A.D.' Later, when research made it necessary to adjust B.C. 606 to 607 B.C.E., the zero year was also eliminated, so that the prediction held good at `A.D. 1914.'-See "The Truth Shall Make You Free", published by Jehovah's Witnesses in 1943, page 239.' (WB&TS, "Revelation: Its Grand Climax At Hand!," 1988, p.105).

This was despite the Watchtower's founder Russell claiming that 606 BC was one of "God's dates, not ours":

"We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Russell, C.T., "Can It Be Delayed Until 1914?," Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1894, Watchtower Reprints, p.1677).

and, "To change the chronology even one year would destroy all this harmony" (my emphasis):

"Question.-If the `Times of the Gentiles' can be changed as suggested in the July TOWER, so that the anarchy will follow 1914 A. D., instead of preceding it, might not similar changes be made in respect to all the various lines of prophetic time-proof set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. II. and III.? Answer.-You are entirely in error. ... The harmony of the prophetic periods is one of the strongest proofs of the correctness of our Bible chronology. They fit together like the cog-wheels of a perfect machine. To change the chronology even one year would destroy all this harmony,- so accurately are the various proofs drawn together in the parallels between the Jewish and Gospel ages. It would affect the ending of the Jubilee cycles, the 1335 days, the 2300 days and the times of the Gentles, throwing out of gear all the wonderful harmonies of these in the `parallel dispensations.'" (Russell, C.T., "The Harvest and Gentile Times," Zion's Watch Tower, August 15, 1904, Watchtower Reprints, p.3415. Emphasis original).

But as we shall see in in part #2(2), the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was in 587 BC not in 606 BC, nor in 607 BC. The Adventists' (and therefore Russell's and the Watchtower's) fundamental error was in confusing Jeremiah's prophecy about Judah and the surrounding nations serving the King of Babylon as vassals for 70 years:

Jer 25:11 KJV. "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

which began soon after Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptians at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, with the actual destruction of Jerusalem 18 years later in 587 BC.

Note that if any one of the factors in the equation: 7 (times = years) x 360 (days = years) = 2520 years is even slightly different, the answer would not be 2520. For example, if the "seven times" of Nechuchadnezzar's temporary insanity was not "seven literal years" as the Watchtower claims, but six years and nine months (which is well within the meaning of "seven times"), that would make the calculation 6.75 x 360 = 2430 years, which if then added to the Watchtower's current year for the destruction of Jerusalem of 607 BC, would yield the end of the Gentile times of 1823! And even if all the factors were exactly what the Watchtower claims they are, and the answer was 2520, then the year of the destruction of Jerusalem has to be 607 BC (which it isn't-it was twenty years later in 587 BC) for -607 + 2520 +1 (no year zero) to equal 1914. And even if each part the Watchtower's equation was correct (and as we shall see all of them are wrong, with the possible exception of the "seven times" of Nebuchadnezzar's temporary insanity being seven years), there is still no good reason to think that "times" in "times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24) has anything to do with the "seven times" period of Nebuchadnezzar's temporary insanity in Daniel 4:16-32.

[To be continued in part #2(2)]

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & The Shroud of Turin