Sunday, February 14, 2010

Re: `So, Who sent Jesus? if he is Jehovah, did he send himself to earth?', etc

Anonymous

Thanks for you comment under my post, Introduction to my Jesus is Jehovah! blog (JiJ). As indicated in my brief reply, since it

[Above: The Stoning of St Stephen, Pietro Da Cortona, c. 1660: Lib-Art.com:

Acts 7:55. "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."]

would be too complex to answer your questions in a comment under a 2007 post that few would probably see, I am answering them here in a separate blog post. Your words are in bold to distinguish them from mine. Brief quotes are linked to the full quote towards the end of this post.

----- Original Message -----
From: Anonymous
To: Stephen E. Jones.
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 3:08 PM
Subject: New comment on Introduction to my Jesus is Jehovah! blog (JiJ).

Greetings, I am not JW but I read the bible and try to study it in a good way, have some questions for you, Please you can answer to my mail ...

Sorry, but I have a long standing policy to not get involved in private emails on topics that are relevant to one of my blogs, but to answer via that blog.

Just because you say you are not a JW does not mean that you aren't one. I have in the past encountered anonymous individuals on the Internet who claimed they were not JW's but they asked JW questions and directly or indirectly argued for JW positions. It later turned out that some of them were JWs engaging in "theocratic warfare," i.e. lying for the Watchtower:

"From time to time letters are received asking whether a certain circumstance would justify making an exception to the ... [JW's] obligation to tell the truth. In reply to these the following is given: ... There is one exception, however ... As a soldier ... he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies. ... This would come under the term `war strategy' ...." (WB&TS, The Watchtower, June 1, 1960, p.352).

You do not say what you are , except that you "read the bible and try to study it in a good way" whatever that means. I assume you are not a Christian because you deny the Trinity (see below where you say "if you believe in trinity").

But whatever you are, the arguments in your questions are similar to those presented by JWs and since I assume that many (if not most) of the readers of this blog are JWs, ex-JWs, or would-be JWs, my answers are directed to those readers, even though this reply is formally addressed to you personally.

Question A) if you say that Jesus is Jehovah, why does Jesus says on John 12:44 "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me"

First, it is not me who says that Jesus is Jehovah, but the Bible. See my post "Jesus is Jehovah!" and also my series "Jesus is Jehovah in the New Testament."

And also note that in Jn 12:44 that Jesus says, "When a man believes in me ..." That is, "Jesus ... expected them [his followers] to place their faith unconditionally in him" and for the disciples to believe in him as they believed in God ... as the supreme object of faith":

"On the basis of his divine identity, Jesus made promises to his followers and expected them to place their faith unconditionally in him. ... `... Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die' (John 11:25-26). ...`Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty' (John 6:35; see also 7:37-39). ... `You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he [Gk. I AM]' (John 8:24). Moses never spoke like this! Again, belief in Jesus is not in place of belief in God. The person who accepts his teachings, Jesus said, `believes him who sent me' (John 5:24). ... `Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me' (John 12:44). Jesus ... made the claim-audacious for any creature to make-that he was just as trustworthy an object of faith as God himself. `Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me' (John 14:1). Jesus' call here for the disciples to believe in him as they believed in God `links Jesus with the Father as the supreme object of faith:' ..." (Bowman, R.M., Jr. & Komoszewski, J.E., 2007, "Putting Jesus In His Place," pp.62-63. Emphasis original).

That would be blasphemous unless Jesus was (and is) Jehovah, come in the flesh, which the Bible states He is:

"Jesus Is Yahweh ... A comparison of the Old and New Testaments provides powerful testimony to Jesus' identity as Yahweh. .... In Zechariah 12:10 Yahweh is speaking prophetically: `They will look on me, the one they have pierced.'... We know that `the one they have pierced' is Jesus, for He is described this same way ... in Revelation 1:7. ... The Septuagint ... renders the Hebrew phrase for `I AM' (God's name) in Exodus 3:14 as ego eimi. On a number of occasions ... Jesus used this term as a way of identifying Himself as God. For example, in John 8:24 (NASB) Jesus declared, `Unless you believe that I am [I AM or ego eimi] He, you shall die in your sins.' ... The verse is literally, `If you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.' Then, according to verse 28, Jesus told the Jews, ...`When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM' (there is no he). Jesus purposely used the phrase as a means of pointing to His identity as Yahweh. ... Old Testament passages about Yahweh were directly applied to Jesus in the New Testament. For instance, Isaiah 40:3 says: `In the desert prepare the way for the LORD [Yahweh]; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God ...' Mark's Gospel tells us that Isaiah's words were fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-4). Still another illustration is Isaiah 6:1-5, where the prophet recounts his vision of Yahweh `seated on a throne, high and exalted' (verse 1). ... Later, the apostle John-under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit-wrote that Isaiah `saw Jesus' glory' (John 12:41). Yahweh's glory and Jesus' glory are equated." (Rhodes, R., 1993, "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses," pp.62-64. Emphasis original).

So, Who sent Jesus? if he is Jehovah, did he send himself to earth?,

The Father sent Jesus the Son to Earth (Jn 5:36-37; 6:44,57; 8:16,18,42; 10:36; 12:49; 14:24; 17:21,25; 20:21).

As for the second part of the above question, it wrongly assumes that if Jesus is Jehovah then the Father (and the Holy Spirit) cannot also be Jehovah. But as I stated at the outset of my series, "Jesus is Jehovah in the New Testament" (and several other times in that series):

"That the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in the New Testament as being Jehovah (Heb. Yahweh) of the Old Testament come in the flesh, does not preclude the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity (Mt 28:19; 2Cor 13:14; 1Pet 1:2): the Father (Dt 32:6; Isa 63:16; 64:8; Mal 1:6) and the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18 = Isa 61:1; Acts 5:3-4,9; 2Cor 3:17), also being, as revealed in the New Testament, Jehovah: the one Triune God."

As former JW, Ted Dencher, correctly points out, the Bible reveals that "All three Persons [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] are Jehovah, the one God":

"At Isaiah chapter forty-eight Jehovah is sent by the Lord God! In verse twelve He says: `I am the first, I also am the last' ([Isa 48:12] A.S.V.). In verse sixteen He says: `Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it [the beginning] was, there am I [John 1:1]: and now THE LORD JEHOVAH HATH SENT ME, and his Spirit.' ([Isa 48:16] We find at Acts 5:4 that the Holy Spirit is also God; and if God, then He, too is Jehovah. He is sent by the Father, as the Son is sent. So Jehovah sends and is sent; but it is the Father who sends and the Son and Holy Spirit are the sent Ones. ... All three Persons are Jehovah, the one God." (Dencher, T., 1985, "Why I Left Jehovah's Witnesses," p.144. Emphasis original).

Question B) to whom did Jesus prayed on John 17:1-3 If he is Jehovah, did he prayed to himself?

No. See above that Jesus is Jehovah does not preclude the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father and the Holy Spirit, being Jehovah, the one triune God.

It is noteworthy that you did not quote John 17:1-3 as you did the other verses you cited, because then you would have the answer, that Jesus prayed not to "Jehovah" but to the "Father":

Jn 17:1-3. 1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

In fact there is no prayer of Jesus in the Bible addressed to "Jehovah." As ex-JW elder David Reed points out, "The pattern Jesus set was to address God as `Father.' ... even the New World Translation does not contain any examples of Christ praying to `Jehovah'":

"Prayer The Watchtower Society has taught its followers that they must address all their prayers to `Jehovah God,' ... However, is that what Jesus taught? .... Did He pray to `Jehovah God?' No, the pattern Jesus set is this: `Abba, Father, all things are possible to you.' - Mark 14:36 NWT. `Father, I thank you.' - John 11:41 NWT. `Father, the hour has...' - John 17:1 NWT. `You must pray, then, this way: 'Our Father...' - Matthew 6:9 NWT. The pattern Jesus set was to address God as `Father.' In fact, even the New World Translation does not contain any examples of Christ praying to `Jehovah'-in spite of the fact that the name `Jehovah' is inserted by the translators in hundreds of verses.." (Reed, D.A. , 1996, "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject," 1998, p.182. Emphasis original).

Which again is inexplicable for a devout Jewish rabbi as Jesus was, unless Jesus is Jehovah come in the flesh, which again the Bible states He is :

"Jesus as Jehovah The amount of material in the Bible supporting the teaching that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God is actually quite staggering. ... Philippians 2:9-11, which says that Jesus has been given `the name which is above every name,' the name Lord, or Jehovah. Even clearer is Romans 10:9-13. Here we are told to confess Jesus as Lord (vv. 9-10) ... hen verse 13 concludes that whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. In context, this must be Jesus, because he is the Lord on whom all must call to be saved, as verses 9-12 have said; but the NWT translates `Lord' here as `Jehovah,' because it is a quote from Joel 2:32, where the original Hebrew has the divine name! Thus Jesus is here identified as Jehovah. Similar is 1 Peter 2:3, which is nearly an exact quotation from Psalm 34:8, where the Lord is Jehovah; but from verses 4-8 it is also clear that the Lord in verse 3 is Jesus. .... Jesus is the first and the last (Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6). He is the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). ... Jesus is revealed to be God by his having the titles Savior (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10), Shepherd (John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Ps. 23:1; Isa. 40:11), and Rock (1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Isa. 44:8). Jesus ... is to receive the same honor given to the Father (John 5:23). ... He receives prayer (John 14:14; Acts 7:59-60 ... worship (Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6), and sacred service (Rev. 22:3)." (Bowman, R.M., 1989, "Why You Should Believe in the Trinity," pp.108-109).

If the Watchtower was consistent in replacing "Lord" (Gk. "kyrios) with "Jehovah" in the New Testament, especially when it is a quote from the Old Testament containing "Jehovah" (Heb. YHWH):

"How is a modern translator to know or determine when to render the Greek words Κυριοσ and Θεοσ into the divine name in his version? By determining where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then he must refer back to the original to locate whether the divine name appears there. This way he can determine the identity to give to Ky'ri-os and the-os' and he can then clothe them with personality. Realizing that this is the time and place for it, we have followed this course in rendering our version of the Christian Greek Scriptures." (WB&TS, 1969, "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, pp.18-19).

then Php 2:10-11 NWT:

"10so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, 11and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."

then verse 11 should read:

"11and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH ...

because it is a quote from Isa 45:23 where Paul has substituted in Php 2:11 "Jesus Christ" for the "me" in Isa 45:23 who in the context is "Jehovah" (v. 21) and "God" (v. 22) :

Isa 45:23 NWT. By my own self I have sworn-out of my own mouth in righteousness the word has gone forth, so that it will not return-that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear,

In fact, Rom 14:11 NWT has the same quote from Isa 45:23 but it there translates "kurios" as "Jehovah":

11for it is written: "`As I live,' says Jehovah, `to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.'"

So it is only by being deliberately and dishonestly inconsistent can the Watchtower maintain its false claim that Jesus is not Jehovah come in the flesh.

Question C) When Stephen was dying, he said on ACTS 7:56 "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

Note that in the same passage (Acts 7:55-60 NIV), Stephen called Jesus "Lord" [Gk. kyrie] and "prayed" [Gk. epikaloumenon] to Him, "Lord [kyrie] Jesus, receive my spirit":

Acts 7:55-60. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

The NWT tries to get around this by translating Gk. kyrie as "Jehovah" in verse 60, even though in the context, and indeed the previous verse 59, kyrie is "Jesus":

[Acts 7:55-60 NWT] 55But he [Stephen], being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God's glory and of Jesus standing at God's right hand, 56and he said: "Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God's right hand." 57At this they cried out at the top of the voice and put their hands over their ears and rushed upon him with one accord. 58And after throwing him outside the city, they began casting stones at him. And the witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. 59And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal [epikaloumenon] and said: "Lord [kyrie] Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: "Jehovah [kyrie] , do not charge this sin against them." And after saying this he fell asleep [in death].

Also, note that the NWT correctly translates that Stephen is not even seeing God the Father, but only the "sight of God's glory." So inadvertently the NWT here states that Jesus is Jehovah!

Moreover, while the Gk. epikaloumenon can mean "appeal," that is only in the context of an "appeal to Caesar" (Acts 25:11-12, 21, 25, 26:32; 28:19) where one is calling on a higher authority to be set free. But Stephen was not appealing to be set free. He was asking Jesus to receive his spirit and to forgive his executioners. That is a prayer, not an appeal.

The primary meaning of the Gk. verb epikaleomai in the New Testament is "to call upon" in the sense of calling upon God in prayer, as is evident in the NWT's rendering of the following instances of epikaleomai (or its cognates):

Acts 2:21. And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.
Acts 9:14. And here he has authority from the chief priests to put in bonds all those calling upon your [Jesus'] name.
Acts 9:21. ... "Is this not the man that ravaged those in Jerusalem who call upon this [Jesus'] name ...
Acts 22:16. ... Rise, get baptized and wash your sins away by your calling upon his [Jesus'] name.
Rom 10:12. ...: for there is the same Lord over all, who is rich to all those calling upon him.
Rom 10:13. For "everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.".
Rom 10:14. However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith?
1Cor 1:2. ... together with all who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
2Tim 2:22. ... pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.
1Pet 1:17. Furthermore, if YOU are calling upon the Father who judges impartially according to each one's work ...

Indeed, the 1984 reference edition of the New World Translation in Acts 7:59 has a footnote against "appeal" explaining that it was an "invocation; prayer":

[Acts 7:59 NWT] And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal* and said: `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' ... * `invocation; prayer.']" (WB&TS, 1984, "New World translation of the Holy Scriptures: With References," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, p.1323).

In fact, the February 1, 1959 Watchtower five times referred to "Stephen's prayer to Jesus, as found in Acts 7:59," "The prayer offered by Stephen ...", "... his prayer ...", "In the wording of his prayer Stephen ..." and "it was proper for Stephen to petition Jesus over this matter, and his prayer ..."

"Does Stephen's prayer to Jesus, as found in Acts 7:59, show that he understood Jesus to be Jehovah?-W. R., U.S.A. The prayer offered by Stephen when he was being martyred is recorded at Acts 7:59, 60, ... Rather than indicating that Stephen understood both Jesus and Jehovah to be the same person, his prayer shows that he knew they were not, because he differentiates between the two. His request to Jesus he does not address merely to the Lord, but to the Lord Jesus, thus doing away with any ambiguity. Further, his statement shortly prior to this, as recorded in verse 56, indicates two persons: `And he said: `Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God's right hand.' He does not say the Son of man, Christ Jesus, is Jehovah God, but that he was standing at God's right hand. Not only does Stephen's request, `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,' not prove the trinity, but Jesus' similar fervent prayer, `Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit,' conclusively shows that Jesus is not the same as his Father Jehovah.-Luke 23:46. In the wording of his prayer Stephen showed that he understood the difference between Jehovah and the Lord Jesus as set out in Psalm 110:1 and applied by Jesus at Matthew 22:42-46. He was not perplexed by Jesus' application of it, as were the Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke and who were silenced by his answer. Jesus had taught his followers that the Father authorized him to raise others to life. (John 5:26; 6:40; 11:25, 26) So it was proper for Stephen to petition Jesus over this matter, and his prayer indicates proper understanding on his part. It does not support the trinity." (WB&TS, Watchtower, February 1, 1959, p.96. Emphasis original).

So the Watchtower Society has admitted that Stephen prayed to Jesus! Yet, "If a Witness were overheard praying to Jesus, he would be put on trial by a judicial committee and would be disfellowshiped unless he repented of his `sin'":

"Acts 7:59-60 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell on his knees and cried out, `Lord, do not hold this sin against them... .' (NIV) Jehovah's Witnesses never address Jesus in prayer. They have been taught that their prayers must be directed only to the Father and that they must call him `Jehovah.' If a Witness were overheard praying to Jesus, he would be put on trial by a judicial committee and would be disfellowshiped unless he repented of his `sin.' But the Scripture passage above clearly shows Stephen praying to Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. (The JW Bible changes `Lord' in v. 60 to `Jehovah,' but v 59 still says `Jesus.')"(Reed, D.A.1986, "Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Thirty-first printing, 2006, p.87. Emphasis original).

Moreover, the Society's counter-argument that this shows Jesus and the Father were "two persons" and therefore "does not support the trinity":

"Rather than indicating that Stephen understood both Jesus and Jehovah to be the same person, his prayer shows that he knew they were not ... Further, his statement shortly prior to this, as recorded in verse 56, indicates two persons ... Jesus' similar fervent prayer, `Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit,' conclusively shows that Jesus is not the same as his Father Jehovah " (WB&TS, Watchtower, February 1, 1959, p.96

fails because the Watchtower admits that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is "three persons in one God" or "one God in three Persons":

"Now, the trinity doctrine means that there are three persons in one God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, all coequal and coeternal." (WB&TS, 1967, "Qualified to be Ministers," pp.197-198).

"Thus, the Trinity is considered to be `one God in three Persons.' Each is said to be without beginning, having existed for eternity." (WB&TS, 1989, "Should You Believe in the Trinity?," pp.3-4).

"According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is `one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'" (WB&TS, 1989, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth," p.39).

"PEOPLE who believe the Trinity teaching say that God consists of three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three persons is said to be equal to the others, almighty, and without beginning. According to the Trinity doctrine, therefore, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, yet there is only one God." (WB&TS, 2005, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?," pp.201-202. Emphasis original).

and therefore far from not supporting the Trinity, Stephen's praying to the Person Jesus the Son, at the Person the Father's right hand, is further evidence for the Trinity of one God in three Persons!

So he saw 2 persons, if Jesus Is Jehovah , shouldn't Stephen see only one person ?

See above that Acts 7:55 does not say that Stephen saw "2 persons." It says that Stephen saw "God's glory," not God the Father Himself. So Stephen did "see only one person," Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.

And see above that Jesus is Jehovah does not preclude the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father and the Holy Spirit being Jehovah, the one triune God.

or three if you believe in trinity?

See above that I take it you don't believe in the Trinity, and therefore you are not a Christian.

This is fallacious that all three Persons of the Trinity must be seen if one or two of the Persons are to be seen. According to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, i.e. one God in three persons, Stephen could have seen one, two or three Persons of the Trinity, if they chose to reveal themselves.

But in fact all three persons of the Trinity ("God" the Father, "Jesus" the Son, and "the Holy Spirit") are mentioned in the passage because Acts 7:55 (NIV) says:

"But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."

So Acts 7:55 is another of the Trinitarian passages in the Bible that mention all three Persons of the Trinity in the same or adjoining verses, e.g. Mt 3:16-17; 28:19; Mk 1:10-11; Lk 1:35; 3:21-22; Jn 3:34; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; Ac 2:33,38; Rom 1:1-4; 8:11; 15:16,18-19,30; 1Cor 12:4-6; 2Cor 13:14; Eph 1:13-14; 2:18; 3:14-17; 4:4-6; 2Th 2:13; Heb. 9:14; 1Pet. 1:2; Jude 1:20-21.

Question D) As far as I know , in order for us to be saved , Jesus had no only to come to earth but DIE, so only by DYING he will free us from sin ,

Strictly speaking it was not Jesus who came to Earth, but the pre-incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, who at the Incarnation took upon Himself a human body and nature (see further below):

Jn 1:1-3,14. 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. ... 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Php 2:5-8. 5our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!

becoming Jesus, the God-man, who did not exist until His virginal conception in early 5BC:

Mt 1:18, 21,25. 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. ... 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." ... 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Lk 1:26-31. 26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. ...

and was not named "Jesus" until 8 days after His birth in late 5BC:

Lk 2:4-7,21. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ... 21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

but on Habakkuk 1:12 says that God never dies " LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die"

I don't know what translation you are quoting, but the NIV says "we will not die":

Hab. 1:12. O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

as does the ASV, KJV, NASB, NKJV, and my Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible.

However, I agree that God (including God the Son) not only "will never die" but can never die.

But the bible said that Jesus died on Mathew 16:21.

Yes, "Jesus" the God-man, died in His human nature. He did not and could not die in His God nature.

So if Jesus never died then the bible is lying, is that possible?

See above. Your argument is fallacious, not recognising that Jesus is both God and man, i.e. "Jesus, who is the non-created second hypostasis of the triune God, took on a human body and nature and became both man and God":

"Incarnation (Christianity) ... The Incarnation is the belief in Christianity that the second person in the Christian Godhead, also known as the Son or the Logos (Word), `became flesh' when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The word Incarnate derives from Latin (in=in or into, caro, carnis=flesh) meaning `to make into flesh' or `to become flesh'. The incarnation is a fundamental theological teaching of orthodox (Nicene) Christianity, based on its understanding of the New Testament. The incarnation represents the belief that Jesus, who is the non-created second hypostasis of the triune God, took on a human body and nature and became both man and God. In the Bible its clearest teaching is in John 1:14: `And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.' This is central to the traditional faith held by most Christians." ("Incarnation (Christianity)," Wikipedia, 14 February 2010).

In conclusiion, you claim you are not a JW but in your comment you used the typical JW and other cults' method of playing one Bible verse off against another, rather than the Christian method of trying to see how all the Bible's verses can be harmonised. The Bible warns in 2 Peter 3:16 that "ignorant and unstable people" can "distort" (Gk. strebloo "1. to twist, turn awry; 2. to torture, put to the rack; 3. metaph. to pervert, of one who wrests or tortures language in a false sense") "the .. scriptures" but it will be "to their own destruction":

He [Paul] writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort [Gk. strebloo "twist"] as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

You might consider whether from God's point of view, someone who deliberately sets out to twist His word, by playing one verse off against another, rather than trying to see how all His words can be harmonised, might be regarded by God of being guilty of a greater crime, and therefore due a greater punishment, than a murderer.

Stephen E. Jones
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & The Shroud of Turin


"Jesus as Jehovah The amount of material in the Bible supporting the teaching that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God is actually quite staggering. Here we can summarize only some of the remaining highlights. Mention has already been made of Philippians 2:9-11, which says that Jesus has been given `the name which is above every name,' the name Lord, or Jehovah. Even clearer is Romans 10:9-13. Here we are told to confess Jesus as Lord (vv. 9-10), confident that no one trusting in him, that is, in Jesus, the rock over which the Jews stumbled, will be disappointed (v. 11; cf. 9:33), because he is Lord for both Jew and Greek, rich to all who call upon him for salvation (v. 12). Then verse 13 concludes that whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. In context, this must be Jesus, because he is the Lord on whom all must call to be saved, as verses 9-12 have said; but the NWT translates `Lord' here as `Jehovah,' because it is a quote from Joel 2:32, where the original Hebrew has the divine name! Thus Jesus is here identified as Jehovah. Similar is 1 Peter 2:3, which is nearly an exact quotation from Psalm 34:8, where the Lord is Jehovah; but from verses 4-8 it is also clear that the Lord in verse 3 is Jesus. Besides the name Jehovah and the title God, Jesus has other titles belonging exclusively to Jehovah. Jesus is the first and the last (Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6). He is the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Used in a spiritual, ultimate sense, Jesus is revealed to be God by his having the titles Savior (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10), Shepherd (John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Ps. 23:1; Isa. 40:11), and Rock (1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Isa. 44:8). Jesus also receives the honors due to Jehovah God alone. He is to receive the same honor given to the Father (John 5:23). He is to be feared (Eph. 5:21), to receive absolute love (Matt. 10:37), and to be the object of the same faith we have in God (John 3:16; 14:1). He receives prayer (John 14:14; Acts 7:59-60 compared with Luke 23:34, 46; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2; etc.), worship (Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6), and sacred service (Rev. 22:3)." (Bowman, R.M., 1989, "Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Third printing, 1990, pp.108-109).

"On the basis of his divine identity, Jesus made promises to his followers and expected them to place their faith unconditionally in him. While Martha's brother Lazarus lay dead, Jesus assured her, `I am resurrection the life. Those believe me, even though they die, live, everyone who lives and believes in me will never die? (John 8:24). Moses never spoke like this! Again, belief in Jesus is not in place of belief in God. The person who accepts his teachings, Jesus said, `believes him who sent me' (John 5:24). This is what Jesus meant when he said, `Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me' (John 12:44). Jesus made it clear that he was not inviting faith in him apart from, or in place of, faith in God. On the other hand, he made the claim-audacious for any creature to make-that he was just as trustworthy an object of faith as God himself. `Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me' (John 14:1). Jesus' call here for the disciples to believe in him as they believed in God `links Jesus with the Father as the supreme object of faith:' [Keener, C.S., "The Gospel of John: A Commentary," Hendrickson: Peabody MA, 2003, 2:931]" (Bowman, R.M., Jr. & Komoszewski, J.E., 2007, "Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ," Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, pp.62-63. Emphasis original).

"At Isaiah chapter forty-eight Jehovah is sent by the Lord God! In verse twelve He says: `I am the first, I also am the last' ([Isa 48:12] A.S.V.). In verse sixteen He says: `Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it [the beginning] was, there am I [John 1:1]: and now THE LORD JEHOVAH HATH SENT ME, and his Spirit.' ([Isa 48:16] We find at Acts 5:4 that the Holy Spirit is also God; and if God, then He, too is Jehovah. He is sent by the Father, as the Son is sent. So Jehovah sends and is sent; but it is the Father who sends and the Son and Holy Spirit are the sent Ones. No one has seen the person of the Father, but they have seen the Son and the Spirit visibly manifested. All three Persons are Jehovah, the one God. At Isaiah 9: 6 the Son is called `Mighty God'. Is He a God other than Jehovah? At Deuteronomy 32:39 Jehovah says: `See now that I, even I, am he, and THERE IS NO GOD (elohim) WITH ME' (A.S.V.). Yet Jesus, referred to as the Word at John 1:1, is said to be eternally `WITH God'. The Watch Tower Society translates the end of this verse thus: `The Word was a god' (New World). They have `a god' WITH `the God', giving us a big God and a little god, one with the other. It is significant that the word elohim is used at Deuteronomy 32:39. This word means God, gods, or any object(s) of worship in any rank, position or category, `a god' included!" (Dencher, T., 1985, "Why I Left Jehovah's Witnesses," [1966], Christian Literature Crusade: Fort Washington PA, Revised, p.144. Emphasis original).

"Prayer The Watchtower Society has taught its followers that they must address all their prayers to `Jehovah God,' using this modern transliteration of the ancient Hebrew Tetragrammaton. (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, pages 44 and 228) However, is that what Jesus taught? The four Gospels record sufficient details of Jesus' earthly life for us to follow Him as our exemplar in the matter of prayer. Many of Jesus' prayers are recorded. Did He pray to `Jehovah God?' No, the pattern Jesus set is this: `Abba, Father, all things are possible to you.' - Mark 14:36 NWT. `Father, I thank you.' - John 11:41 NWT. `Father, the hour has...' - John 17:1 NWT. `You must pray, then, this way: 'Our Father...' - Matthew 6:9 NWT. The pattern Jesus set was to address God as `Father.' In fact, even the New World Translation does not contain any examples of Christ praying to `Jehovah'-in spite of the fact that the name `Jehovah' is inserted by the translators in hundreds of verses.." (Reed, D.A. , 1996, "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Second printing, 1998, p.182. Emphasis original).

"Jesus Is Yahweh ... A comparison of the Old and New Testaments provides powerful testimony to Jesus' identity as Yahweh. Support for this is found, for example, in Christ's crucifixion. In Zechariah 12:10 Yahweh is speaking prophetically: `They will look on me, the one they have pierced.' Though Yahweh is speaking, this is obviously a reference to Christ's future crucifixion. We know that `the one they have pierced' is Jesus, for He is described this same way by the apostle John in Revelation 1:7. ... The Septuagint provides us with additional insights on Christ's identity as Yahweh. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that dates prior to the birth of Christ. It renders the Hebrew phrase for `I AM' (God's name) in Exodus 3:14 as ego eimi. On a number of occasions in the Greek New Testament, Jesus used this term as a way of identifying Himself as God. For example, in John 8:24 (NASB) Jesus declared, `Unless you believe that I am [I AM or ego eimi] He, you shall die in your sins.' The original Greek text for this verse does not have the word he. The verse is literally, `If you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.' Then, according to verse 28, Jesus told the Jews, `When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [I AM, or ego eimi] He.' Again, the original Greek text reads, `When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM' (there is no he). Jesus purposely used the phrase as a means of pointing to His identity as Yahweh. It is also highly revealing that Old Testament passages about Yahweh were directly applied to Jesus in the New Testament. For instance, Isaiah 40:3 says: `In the desert prepare the way for the LORD [Yahweh]; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God [Elohim].' Mark's Gospel tells us that Isaiah's words were fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-4). Still another illustration is Isaiah 6:1-5, where the prophet recounts his vision of Yahweh `seated on a throne, high and exalted' (verse 1). He said, `Holy, holy, holy is the LORD [Yahweh] Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory' (verse 3). Isaiah also quotes Yahweh as saying: `I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another' (42:8). Later, the apostle John-under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit-wrote that Isaiah `saw Jesus' glory' (John 12:41). Yahweh's glory and Jesus' glory are equated." (Rhodes, R., 1993, "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses," Harvest House: Eugene OR, Reprinted, 2006, pp.62-64. Emphasis & parentheses original).

"Does Stephen's prayer to Jesus, as found in Acts 7:59, show that he understood Jesus to be Jehovah?-W. R., U.S.A. The prayer offered by Stephen when he was being martyred is recorded at Acts 7:59, 60, which says: `And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: `Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.' And after saying this he fell asleep in death.' Rather than indicating that Stephen understood both Jesus and Jehovah to be the same person, his prayer shows that he knew they were not, because he differentiates between the two. His request to Jesus he does not address merely to the Lord, but to the Lord Jesus, thus doing away with any ambiguity. Further, his statement shortly prior to this, as recorded in verse 56, indicates two persons: `And he said: `Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God's right hand.' He does not say the Son of man, Christ Jesus, is Jehovah God, but that he was standing at God's right hand. Not only does Stephen's request, `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,' not prove the trinity, but Jesus' similar fervent prayer, `Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit,' conclusively shows that Jesus is not the same as his Father Jehovah.-Luke 23:46. In the wording of his prayer Stephen showed that he understood the difference between Jehovah and the Lord Jesus as set out in Psalm 110:1 and applied by Jesus at Matthew 22:42-46. He was not perplexed by Jesus' application of it, as were the Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke and who were silenced by his answer. Jesus had taught his followers that the Father authorized him to raise others to life. (John 5:26; 6:40; 11:25, 26) So it was proper for Stephen to petition Jesus over this matter, and his prayer indicates proper understanding on his part. It does not support the trinity." (WB&TS, "Questions From Readers," The Watchtower, February 1, 1959, p.96. Emphasis original).

"From time to time letters are received asking whether a certain circumstance would justify making an exception to the Christian's obligation to tell the truth. In reply to these the following is given: ... There is one exception, however, that the Christian must ever bear in mind. As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies. A Scriptural example of this is that of Rahab the harlot. She hid the Israelite spies because of her faith in their God Jehovah. This she did both by her actions and by her lips. That she had Jehovah's approval in doing so is seen from James' commendation of her faith.-Josh. 2:4, 5; Jas. 2:25. This would come under the term `war strategy,' as explained in The Watchtower, February 1, 1956, and is in keeping with Jesus' counsel that when among wolves we must be as `cautious as serpents.' Should circumstances require a Christian to take the witness stand and swear to tell the truth, then, if he speaks at all, he must utter the truth. When faced with the alternative of speaking and betraying his brothers or not speaking and being held in contempt of court, the mature Christian will put the welfare of his brothers ahead of his own, remembering Jesus' words: `No one has greater love than this, that someone should surrender his [life] in behalf of his friends.'-Matt. 10:16; John 15:13." (WB&TS, 1960, "Questions From Readers," The Watchtower, June 1, pp.351-352, p.352).

"Successful argument is based on three main principles: First, get a plain, clear statement of the proposition, both sides agreeing as to what the argument is about. In this way you can come to grips with one another and not beat the air. ... Second, get definitions of terms clear. Be sure each understands just what the other means by his use of a term or expression. For example, someone may say, `You don't believe in the doctrine of the trinity.' Now, the trinity doctrine means that there are three persons in one God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, all coequal and coeternal." (WB&TS, 1967, "Qualified to be Ministers," [1955], Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, Revised, pp.197-198).

"How Is the Trinity Explained? THE Roman Catholic Church states: `The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion ... Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: `the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.' In this Trinity ... the Persons are co- eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.' - The Catholic Encyclopedia. Nearly all other churches in Christendom agree. For example, the Greek Orthodox Church also calls the Trinity `the fundamental doctrine of Christianity,' even saying: `Christians are those who accept Christ as God.' In the book Our Orthodox Christian Faith, the same church declares: `God is triune... . The Father is totally God. The Son is totally God. The Holy Spirit is totally God.' Thus, the Trinity is considered to be `one God in three Persons.' Each is said to be without beginning, having existed for eternity." (WB&TS, 1989, "Should You Believe in the Trinity?," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, Reprinted, 2006, pp.3-4. Emphasis original).

"Who is this wonderful God? Some persons say his name is Jesus. Others say he is a Trinity, although the word `trinity' does not appear in the Bible. According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is `one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'" (WB&TS, 1989, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth," [1982], Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, Second edition, p.39).

"The Truth About the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit PEOPLE who believe the Trinity teaching say that God consists of three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three persons is said to be equal to the others, almighty, and without beginning. According to the Trinity doctrine, therefore, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, yet there is only one God. Many who believe the Trinity admit that they are not able to explain this teaching. Still, they may feel that it is taught in the Bible. It is worth noting that the word `Trinity' never occurs in the Bible. But is the idea of a Trinity found there?" (WB&TS, 2005, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, pp.201-202. Emphasis original).

19 comments:

JohnOneOne said...

Concerning the translation and meaning of John 1:1, it may interest you to know that there is an 18+ year study (as of 01/2010) that is soon to be released entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

To learn more of its design please visit: http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com

Agape, JohnOneOne.

Stephen E. Jones said...

JohnOneOne

>Concerning the translation and meaning of John 1:1, it may interest you to know that there is an 18+ year study (as of 01/2010) that is soon to be released entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

Thanks for the advance info. I actually have my own series on John 1:1 in the pipeline but had almost decided to abandon it because it was going to be too long and complex.

That is because it aims to be a refutation of every argument I am aware of that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has made since at least the 1940s, that John 1:1c does not mean "and the Word was God" but rather means "and the Word was a god."

According to the link you provided, this book will be against "that God is a Trinity, and that Jesus is the second person of this triune God" with particular reference to "the third clause of John 1:1 as something different from the typical, Trinitarian influenced rendering [sic], `and the Word was God.'"

Since it is unlikely that the Watchtower Society has in the last 70+ years left any stone unturned in finding evidence and arguments against the overwhelming majority of mainstream Bible translations' and leading New Testament Greek scholars' rendering of Jn 1:1c, "and the Word was God," presumably my refutation of the Watchtower's major arguments against that rendering of John 1:1c will also be a refutation of the major arguments against that rendering in this book.

Your comment has given me the incentive to now proceed with my series. Thanks!

Stephen E. Jones

JohnOneOne said...

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for your reply, as I am looking forward to what you might have to say on this topic.

As you might expect, the principle reason for my interest is that I hope this can also provide some information of which we can assure ourselves of addressing.

Agape, JohnOneOne.

Stephen E. Jones said...

JohnOneOne

>Thank you for your reply, as I am looking forward to what you might have to say on this topic.

Feel free to comment on any post in this series, the first installment of which I which I have now started on and hope to post within the next few days.

But because I don't want to turn my blog's comments into a debating forum, I have a stated policy that: "Any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under that post."

Stephen E. Jones

Four* Pointer said...

Stephen,

I recently completed a post on the technical aspects of the original Greek of John 1:1, especially John 1:1c. And as you said, it is rather lengthy (and could have been even longer!).

You can check it out here: What exactly does John 1:1 mean, anyway? As I state in my opening, I am by no means a scholar of biblical Greek, so I asked several men who are well-schooled in biblical Greek if I had accurately conveyed the grammar of the biblical Greek of the verse, and was assured that I had. I hope it will be helpful to you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Friend, thaks for answering my questions about some texts asking if Jesus is Jehova, my mail is clyde556@hotmail.com so you know what I am talking about.
My intention of writing on your post was not to create a war of "warfare" as you said, really i come to you in peace. The only intention is to reason (in peace)about some points that are interesting to me.
My name is Jon, sorry for not saying it before, I have 35 years old, I see that you almost double my age , which I consider great since you have lot of valuable knowledge, and I congratulate you for your dedication in the word of God.
I am not a JW, so please dont be angry(like I think you were ) saying that I want to make a war hidding the truth.
I've collected different points of view from many religions and from my own points of view, so that is what came on my questions.
As I said above I admire your knowledge, so please not feel angry of what I ask.

I am analyzings your answers, and again my congratulations and admiration to you for the things you aswered, meanwhile I do have another questions

a) You said "The Father sent Jesus the Son to Earth" and "Jesus prayed not to "Jehovah" but to the "Father""
My question is, so who is the father? What is his name? Is the father's name important for us?
Because if you read the bible on mAthew 6:9 "New International Version (©1984)
"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, " American King James Version
After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name"

So in this prayer that jesus taught us says that the name of Father God is "holy" But do you consider a name to be "holy" if we dont even know what is that NAME?

On John 17:6 Jesus says that he revealed the Father's name as said on English Standard Version (©2001)
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word"
International Standard Version (©2008)
I have made your name known to these men whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word"

Also the same idea is repeated on John 17:26 International Standard Version (©2008)
I made your name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have for me may be in them and I myself may be in them."

So if Jesus revealed the name of the Father , what is that name?

Do you think a name is important ?
Is your name important ? sure it is and therefore should be important the name of the father , otherwise it would have no sense praying what says on Mathew 6:9 if we don't know that "name" to be "holy".

Please don't say that Lord or God is the name of the Father , since your name is not Man or Person but Stephen , even our pets (dogs and cats etc ) have names and we feel love to them , shouldn't our God have a name? Our Father God is more important than me and you and pets should have a name!!

Jesus also considered important the name of the father so if you follow Jesus then obey what he says.

John 12:28 New International Version (©1984)
Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." International Standard Version (©2008)
Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!"

Also personaly I think that is important to know the name of the father in order to be saved as Romans 10:13 says New International Version (©1984)
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

If you dont know that name...... then how can you be saved?

Please answer me those questions, and really sorry to "bother" you if I do.

Jon

Stephen E. Jones said...

Four* Pointer

>I recently completed a post on the technical aspects of the original Greek of John 1:1, especially John 1:1c. ... What exactly does John 1:1 mean, anyway?

Well done!

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Jon

>You said "The Father sent Jesus the Son to Earth" and "Jesus prayed not to "Jehovah" but to the "Father"" My question is, so who is the father? What is his name?

In the New Testament, i.e. New Covenant, the name of the Father is "Father" (Aramaic "Abba"):

Mk 14:36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

Rom 8:15. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Gal 4:6. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."

That "Father" is a name of God, as well as a title, is evident from Mt 28:19 "... baptizing them in the name of the Father ..."

>Please don't say that Lord or God is the name of the Father ,

I won't. Jesus revealed that the New Covenant name of God the Father is "Father."

That's why Jesus taught His disciples to pray to "Father" (not Jehovah):

Mt 6:6. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Mt 6:9. "This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Mk 11:25. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

Lk 11:2. He said to them, "When you pray, say: " 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

And why Jesus Himself prayed to "Father" (not Jehovah):

Mt 26:39. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Mt 26:42. He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

And why the Apostles prayed to "Father" (not Jehovah):

Eph 3:14. For this reason I kneel before the Father,
Col 1:3. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you

But if you don't want to accept the above clear teaching of the New Testament, and then again be warned that the penalty for those who twist the Scripture to make it fit what they want it to say is "their own destruction" (2Pet 3:16).

But as I said, as per my stated policies, my blog comments are not a debating forum. So you have had your last word on this topic in your above lengthy comment. Any more comments from you arguing this point further under this post will not appear.

Stephen E. Jones

Brandon J. Vance said...

Is it possible you can do a study of why JW's believe Jesus and the Archangel Michael are one in the same?

My mother is new to the JW within the last 5 years and I feel as though she is not getting the truth. It is frustrating because my mother was a very strong christian all her life. I am amazed that she was converted by an organization that is not even as old as the physical church we went to all my life.

I have tried to have discussions with her, but she seems almost brainwashed by the teachings of the WT society. I am truly worried for her.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Brandon

>Is it possible you can do a study of why JW's believe Jesus and the Archangel Michael are one in the same?

I have already done that. See my "Is Jesus Christ Michael the archangel? #1" and #2.

>My mother is new to the JW within the last 5 years and I feel as though she is not getting the truth.

I'm sorry to hear that. She definitely won't be getting the truth as a JW.

>It is frustrating because my mother was a very strong christian all her life.

There is hope then that she will eventually come out. Especially if none of her family are JWs. There are a number of testimonies by ex-JWs who were Christians, and got sucked in by the JWs. They eventually came to their senses and realised they were eating pig's food (Luke 15:15-17) in the Kingdom Hall when previously they were eating in the Father's house.

>I am amazed that she was converted by an organization that is not even as old as the physical church we went to all my life.

They just don't think it through. Why would God start the Church, only to let it fall into total apostasy for ~1,700 years until Charles Taze Russell (a proven liar, perjurer, occultist and false prophet) reestablished it in 1879?

>I have tried to have discussions with her, but she seems almost brainwashed by the teachings of the WT society.

It's not "almost." JWs are "brainwashed by the teachings of the WT society"! There are many online testimonies by ex-JW's who admit that they were "brainwashed" by the Watchtower Society.

>I am truly worried for her.

You have a right to feel worried for your mother. The Watchtower will enslave her, suck her dry and give her nothing but empty promises in return. But you need to seek help in order to get her out of JWs. The normal approaches of showing where the Watchtower is wrong won't work because one of the first things the Watchtower does is tell its converts that Satan will try to work through their relatives and friends to get them out of "God's Organization."

So it is very important to not criticise or ridicule the Watchtower, or even show where it is wrong. That is because she would be programmed to go to her Kingdom Hall's elders for help and they will tell her to have nothing to do with you. But there are ways to do it.

I suggest you listen to ex-JW elder David Reed's "How to Rescue Your Relatives from the Watchtower" online at "Tower to Truth Ministries." You might also read Reed's book, "How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower" (1989). There are also ex-JW support groups, who would be able to help you.

I hope this has helped. Let me know what happens.

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

what happened with the link to the letter posted here yesterday?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>what happened with the link to the letter posted here yesterday?

I deleted it. I thought that being primarily a link to another site about John 1:1c, it was off-topic under this post.

Also, I usually consider comments that consist primarily of a link to another site, with little or no accompanying comment (as this was), as being "sub-standard" and therefore I delete them according to my stated policy on this blog's front page.

However, re-reading the email copy of your comment, I now realise that it was on-topic to the comments about John 1:1c under this post.

To save you reposting your comment, here it is:

------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous

Here is to read and to download a letter to the Watchtower Society concerning John 1:1c in details:

http://pdfcast.org/pdf/letter-to-the-watchtower

Some comments would be appropriate!
------------------------------------------------------------

Stephen

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Some comments would be appropriate!

I have now read your entire open letter. Well done!

I too have considered the idea of posting on this blog open letters from me to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, on various topics, and actually snail-mailing a paper copy of each letter to the Society's Brooklyn headquarters.

In each of my letters I would tell the Society that I reserved the right to publish any reply I received from it.

In the unlikely event the Society answered any of my letters, I would then publish that answer on my blog.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Could you explain more what do you mean under "unlikely event"? What the letters did you sent already? In my opinion WTS should answer a lto of question about hidding the truth about cross, trinity and so on.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Could you explain more what do you mean under "unlikely event"?

As far as I am aware the WB&TS does not respond to questions from those whom it regards as "opposers."

>What the letters did you sent already?

I have not yet sent any letters to the WB&TS.

>In my opinion WTS should answer a lto of question about hidding the truth about cross, trinity and so on

I agree. In fact their own New World Translation in 1Pet 3:15 says they should:

"... always [be] ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU ..."

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Here is the second letter to the Watchtower!

http://pdfcast.org/pdf/letter-to-the-watchtower-1

to be continued....

Anonymous said...

could you make the link?
thanks. Some comments would be appropriate.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>to be continued....

Please don't continue to post any more bare links to other sites, under comments to my blog post. If you do, they will be deleted and won't appear.

As I indicated, I regard comments that consist primarily of a link to another site as "sub-standard" (and "off-topic") because they are not really comments about my original post, but are just using my blog to publicise the other site.

This is a matter of principle with me and applies whether I agree with the contents at the end of the link or not.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>could you make the link?
thanks. Some comments would be appropriate.

See above. Whether you realise it or not, you are effectively trying to post on MY blog and expecting me to comment on YOUR posts!

Sorry, but my blog is for ME only to post to and for others to comment on MY posts if they want to. It is NOT a discussion group or message board where anyone can post and anyone can comment on anyone's posts (see "What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?").

Stephen E. Jones