I had originally posted this is a question-based format, but I found that is too long-winded. So I am reposting it in a simpler Watchtower quote and then my comment format.
The aim of these topics is to chip away at the credibility of the Watchtower, so as to undermine JW's faith in it as "the true religion ... Of all the religious groups on earth" (my emphasis):
"How can we identify the true religion? ... Let us consider six features that identify those who practice true religion. Those who practice the true religion worship only Jehovah and make his name known. ... On the basis of what we have just considered, ask yourself: `What religious group bases all its teachings on the Bible and makes known Jehovah's name? What group practices godly love, exercises faith in Jesus, is no part of the world, and proclaims that God's Kingdom is the only real hope for mankind? Of all the religious groups on earth, which one meets all these requirements?' The facts clearly show that it is Jehovah's Witnesses.-Isaiah 43:10-12." ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?" Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, 2005, pp.144, 146, 151. Emphasis original)
so that those poor Watchtower slaves may "turn... to God from" that "idol... to slave for a living and true God" (1Th 1:9 NWT), who is "Jesus Christ. ... the true God and life everlasting." (1Jn 5:20 NWT)!
My first such topic (which I have split into two posts) is the Watchtower's claim that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael":
"The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9) Under his authority are seraphs, cherubs, and angels." ("The Truth About Angels," The Watchtower, November 1, 1995).
This is clearly a major claim of the Watchtower, being about who Jesus Christ really is, yet its degree of Bible support is very weak (to put it mildly)! I will base my discussion points on an Appendix, "Who Is Michael the Archangel?"at pages 218-219 of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society's current home Bible study booklet, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?":
THE spirit creature called Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible. However, when he is referred to, he is in action. In the book of Daniel, Michael is battling wicked angels; in the letter of Jude, he is disputing with Satan; and in Revelation, he is waging war with the Devil and his demons. By defending Jehovah's rulership and fighting God's enemies, Michael lives up to the meaning of his name-'Who Is Like God?' But who is Michael? At times, individuals are known by more than one name. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon. (Genesis 49:1, 2; Matthew 10:2). Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth. Let us consider Scriptural reasons for drawing that conclusion.
Archangel. God's Word refers to Michael `the archangel.' (Jude 9) This term means `chief angel.' Notice that Michael is called the archangel. This suggests that there is only one such angel. In fact, the term `archangel' occurs in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural. Moreover, Jesus is linked with the office of archangel. Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, l Thessalonians 4:16 states: `The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice.' Thus the voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture therefore suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael.
Army Leader. The Bible states that `Michael and his angels battled with the dragon ... and its angels.' (Revelation 12:7) Thus, Michael is the Leader of an army of faithful angels. Revelation also describes Jesus as the Leader of an army of faithful angels. (Revelation 19:14-16) And the apostle Paul specifically mentions `the Lord Jesus' and `his powerful angels.' (2 Thessalonians 1:7; Matthew 16:27; 24:31; 1 Peter 3: 22) So the Bible speaks of both Michael and `his angels' and Jesus and `his angels.' (Matthew 13:41) Since God's Word nowhere indicates that there are two armies of faithful angels in heaven-one headed by Michael and one headed by Jesus-it is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role.
I will now quote the above Appendix sentence-by-sentence and then comment on it. I have bolded the words in the Appendix to distinguish them from my words.
My first point is that the above is a major claim of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, since it is about who Jesus Christ really is. And therefore if the Watchtower Society is wrong about this claim, "that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael" (see below) then that would seriously undermine its credibility as "the true religion" which "bases all its teachings on the Bible"!
THE spirit creature called Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible. That "Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible" (in fact he is mentioned only five times-see below) is itself evidence against the Watchtower's claim that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael" (see below)? Such an important topic, as to who Jesus really is, should be clearly mentioned many times in the Bible, especially in the teachings of Jesus Himself in the gospels and also in the epistles of Paul.
In the book of Daniel, Michael is battling wicked angels ... There are in fact three references to "Michael ... in the book of Daniel." Here they are the JW's online New World Translation:
Dan 10:13 NWT. But the prince of the royal realm of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days, and, look! Mi´cha•el, one of the foremost princes, came to help me; and I, for my part, remained there beside the kings of Persia.
Note in the above that Michael is only "one of the foremost princes." That is, he is not unique but is one among many of the same rank. Therefore on that basis alone Michael the archangel cannot be Jesus Christ, who as God's only Son is unique and distinguished in the Bible from "the angels," which includes archangels, e.g. :
Heb 1:5,13 NWT. For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: "You are my son ... with reference to which one of the angels has he ever said: "Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet"? (my italics).
Note again in this second reference to "Michael ... in the book of Daniel," that Michael is only a "prince" in rank:
Dn 10:21 NWT. However, I shall tell you the things noted down in the writing of truth, and there is no one holding strongly with me in these [things] but Mi´cha•el, the prince of YOU people. (my italics).
And also in this third reference to "Michael ... in the book of Daniel," he is again only a "prince" in rank.
Dn 12:1 NWT. "And during that time Mi´cha•el will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.
So in all three of these references to "Michael ... in the book of Daniel," Michael is only a "prince," albeit a "foremost prince" and a "great prince." But he far lower in rank to Jesus Christ who is called, "Lord of lords and King of kings" (my emphasis):
Rev 17:14 NWT. "These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them.
as the Watchtower itself states in this very booklet:
Who is the King of God's Kingdom? Jesus Christ. Jesus as King is greater than all human rulers and is called "the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords." (1 Timothy 6:15)" ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?" Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, 2005, p.77. My emphasis)
And note that in none of these above three references to "Michael ... in the book of Daniel" is it stated, or even implied, that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael"!
... in the letter of Jude, he [Michael] is disputing with Satan ... This fourth of the five reference to "Michael ... in the Bible" is in fact the only place in the Bible where letter of Jude" NWT where the term "Mi´cha•el the archangel" appears:
Jude 9 NWT. But when Mi´cha•el the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses' body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: "May Jehovah rebuke you."
Again, there is nothing in this verse which states that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael"!
Jude in fact mentions "Jesus Christ" six times in his short letter:
Jude 1 NWT. Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, but a brother of James, to the called ones who are loved in relationship with God [the] Father and preserved for Jesus Christ:
Jude 4 NWT. ... ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 17 NWT. As for YOU, beloved ones, call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Jude 21 NWT. keep yourselves in God's love, while YOU are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with everlasting life in view. ...
Jude 25 NWT. to [the] only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and authority for all past eternity and now and into all eternity. Amen.
with no indication that "Mi´cha•el the archangel" and "Jesus Christ" are one and the same.
Indeed, the very fact that "Mi´cha•el the archangel ... did not dare to bring a judgment against" the Devil is itself evidence that Michael is not Jesus Christ, because Jesus did in fact rebuke Satan and drove him away:
Mt 4:10-11 NWT. Then Jesus said to him: "Go away, Satan! For it is written, `It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.'" Then the Devil left him ...
... and in Revelation, he is waging war with the Devil and his demons. Again, in this, the last of the only five verses of the Bible that mention "Michael" the archangel, at there is nothing which states that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael":
Rev 12:7 NWT. And war broke out in heaven: Mi´cha•el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled
So in all five verses of the Bible where "Michael" the archangel is mentioned, there is nothing about his being "another name for Jesus Christ"!
By defending Jehovah's rulership and fighting God's enemies, Michael lives up to the meaning of his name-'Who Is Like God?' Note the question mark, i.e. Michael's name does not mean that he is like God, but that no one is like God who is not God. The same thought is expressed in the following verses:
Ex 15:11 NWT. Who among the gods is like you, O Jehovah?
Ps 35:10 NWT. Let all my bones themselves say: "O Jehovah, who is there like you,
Ps 113:5 NWT. Who is like Jehovah our God, Him who is making his dwelling on high?
And even if "By defending Jehovah's rulership and fighting God's enemies" Michael "lives up to the meaning of his name- 'Who Is Like God?'" again there is no statement in that verse Michael and Jesus are one and the same, even though the same chapter Rev 12 mentions Jesus six times as: "Jesus" (v.17), "Christ" (v.10), "the Lamb" (v.11) and "child" (v.4,5,13).
But who is Michael? At times, individuals are known by more than one name. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon. (Genesis 49:1, 2; Matthew 10:2). Those two verses cited by the Watchtower to show that "individuals" in the Bible can be "known by more than one name"
Gn 49:1,2 NWT. Later on Jacob called his sons and said: "Gather yourselves together that I may tell YOU what will happen to YOU in the final part of the days. 2 Assemble yourselves and listen, YOU sons of Jacob, yes, listen to Israel YOUR father.
Mt 10:2 NWT. The names of the twelve apostles are these: First, Simon, the one called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the [son] of Zeb´e•dee and John his brother;
actually weaken their argument further (if that is possible)! That is because in those verses it is clearly stated that "Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon." So where are the equivalent verses which state that Michael the archangel is also known as Jesus Christ? If the Watchtower had any such verses they would quote them.
Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth. On the contrary, as the above critique shows, the Bible does not "indicate... that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ..." at all, before and after his life on earth. Therefore, that there are no verses in the Bible which show that "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael"?
And notice the weak word "indicates." Compare that to the examples given where "the patriarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, [is also known] as Simon". The Watchtower cannot say that "the Bible" states "that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ"
This concludes the first paragraph of the above Appendix, except for the last sentence of it which is the lead in to the second paragraph, which I will therefore critique in part #2.
So as we have seen in the above critique, in none of the Bible verses, cited or implied in the above Appendix, does "the Bible" state or even "indicate... that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ." So how can the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, honestly claim that it "bases all its teachings on the Bible"?
PS: See `tagline' quotes all from Watchtower literature in support of its claim that Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel, i.e. "Michael is another name for Jesus Christ," "Jesus himself is the archangel Michael" and "Michael is none other than Jesus Christ ..." In the next part #2 of this two-part post, I will quote from non-Watchtower literature critical of that Watchtower's claim.
"There [in heaven, Jesus Christ is] known as Michael, as shown by comparison of scriptures Jude 9 `When Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses' body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms.' (Compare with 1 Thess. 4:16.) Dan. 10:13 `Look! Michael, one of the foremost princes, came to help me.' (Compare with Isa. 9:6.) Dan. 12:1 `During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people. And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, every one who is found written down in the book.' (Compare with Matt. 24: 3, 21, 30.) Rev. 12:7, 8 `War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail." (Compare with 1 John 3:8.)" (WB&TS, 1965, "Make Sure of All Things, Hold Fast to What Is Fine," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, p.288. Emphasis original).
"MICHAEL ... [Who is like God?]. 1. The only holy angel other than Gabriel named in the Bible, and the only one called `archangel:' (Jude 9) The first occurrence of the name is in the tenth chapter of Daniel, where Michael is described as `one of the foremost princes' that came to the aid of a lesser angel who was opposed by the `prince of the royal realm of Persia.' Michael was called `the prince of [Daniel's] people,' `the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [Daniel's] people.' (Dan. 10:13, 20, 21; 12:1) This points to Michael as the angel who led the Israelites through the wilderness. (Ex. 23:20, 21, 23; 32:34; 33:2) Lending support to this conclusion is the fact that `Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses' body.' Jude 9." (WB&TS, 1971, "Aid to Bible Understanding," , Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, Second edition, p.1152. Emphasis original).
"Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. Michael is the only one said to be the `archangel,' meaning `chief angel' or `principal angel.' The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular. This seems to imply that there is but one whom God has designated chief or head of the angelic host. At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as : being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel. This text depicts him as descending from heaven with a `commanding call.' It is only logical, therefore, that the voice expressing this commanding call be described by a word that would not diminish or detract from the great authority that Christ Jesus now has as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 17:14) If the designation `archangel' applied, not to Jesus Christ, but to other angels, then the reference to an `archangel's voice' would not be appropriate. In that case it would be describing a voice of lesser authority than that of the Son of God." (WB&TS, 1971, p.1152).
"There are also other correspondencies establishing that Michael is actually the Son of God. Daniel, after making the first reference to Michael (10:13), recorded a long-range prophecy reaching down to `the time of the end' (11:40), and then stated: `And during that time Michael will stand up' (12:1), that is, will take-up power or begin to reign as king. (Compare Daniel 8:22, 23; 11:2, 3, 7, 20, 21.) This implies that a period of being seated preceded his standing up as king. In agreement therewith Hebrews 10:12, 13 says regarding Christ Jesus: `This man offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.' Michael's standing up was to lead to a `time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.'-Dan. 12:1." (WB&TS, 1971, p.1152).
"The book of Revelation (12:7, 10, 12) mentions Michael in connection with the establishment of God's kingdom and links this event with trouble for the earth: `And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon. and, the dragon and his angels battled. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now I have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, ... On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea.' ` Jesus Christ is later depicted as leading the heavenly armies in war against the nations of the earth. (Rev. 19:11-16) This would mean a period of distress for them, which would logically be included in the `time of distress' to-follow Michael's standing up. (Dan. 12:1) Since the Son of God is to fight the nations, it is only reasonable that he was the one who with his angels earlier battled against the superhuman dragon, Satan the Devil, and his angels." (WB&TS, 1971, p.1152).
"In his prehuman existence Jesus was called `the Word.' (John 1:1) He also had the personal name Michael. By retaining the name Jesus after his resurrection (Acts 9:5), the `Word' shows that he is identical with the Son of God on earth. His resuming his heavenly name Michael and his title (or, name) `The Word of God' (Rev. 19:13) ties him in with his prehuman existence. The very name Michael, asking as it does, `Who is like God?', points to the fact that Jehovah God is without like or equal and that Michael his archangel is his great Champion or Vindicator." (WB&TS, 1971, p.1152).
"MICHAEL (Mi'cha.el) [Who is like God?].1. The only holy angel other than Gabriel named in the Bible, and the only one called "archangel:" (Jude 9) ... 2. The father of chieftain Sethur of the tribe of Asher who was one of the twelve sent to spy out Canaan.- Num. 13:2, 13. 3. Forefather of Asaph; of the family of Gershom, the son of Levi.-1 Chron. 6:39, 40, 43. 4. One of the heads of the tribe of Issachar; of the family of Tola.-1 Chron. 7:1-3. 5. A chieftain of the tribe of Manasseh who deserted to David at Ziklag.-1 Chron. 12:20. 6. The father of Omri, the head of a paternal house of Issachar during David's reign.-1 Chron. 27:18. 7. One of the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Judah ... -2 Chron. 21:1-4. 8. A Gadite and descendant of Buz ... -1 Chron. 5:11, 13, 14. 9. A Gadite, and first of seven sons of Abihail ....-1 Chron. 5:11-17. 10. A Benjamite; descendant of Shaharaim by his wife Hushim through Elpaal and Beriah.-1 Chron. 8:1, 8, 11-13, 16. 11. Father of the Zebadiah who went up to Jerusalem from Babylon with Ezra in 468 B.C.E.-Ezra 8:1, 8." ("Aid to Bible Understanding," , Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, Second edition, 1971, p.1152. Emphasis original).
"Is Jesus Christ the same person as Michael the archangel? The name of this Michael appears only five times in the Bible. The glorious spirit person who bears the name is referred to as `one of the chief princes,' `the great prince who has charge of your [Daniel's] people,' and as `the archangel.' (Dan. 10:13[,21]; 12:1; Jude 9, RS) Michael means `Who Is Like God?' The name evidently designates Michael as the one who takes the lead in upholding Jehovah's sovereignty and destroying God's enemies. At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (RS), the command of Jesus Christ for the resurrection to begin is described as `the archangel's call,' and Jude 9 says that the archangel is Michael. Would it be appropriate to liken Jesus' commanding call to that of someone lesser in authority? Reasonably, then, the archangel Michael is Jesus Christ. (Interestingly, the expression `archangel' is never found in the plural in the Scriptures, thus implying that there is only one.) Revelation 12:7-12 says that Michael and his angels would war against Satan and hurl him and his wicked angels out of heaven in connection with the conferring of kingly authority on Christ. Jesus is later depicted as leading the armies of heaven in war against the nations of the world. (Rev. 19:11-16) Is it not reasonable that Jesus would also be the one to take action against the one he described as `ruler of this world,' Satan the Devil? (John 12:31) Daniel 12:1 (RS) associates the `standing up of Michael' to act with authority with `a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time.' That would certainly fit the experience of the nations when Christ as heavenly executioner takes action against them. So the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God." (WB&TS, 1989, "Reasoning from the Scriptures," , Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, Second edition, p.218. Emphasis original. Bible version NIV. Verse in square brackets added).