Friday, October 1, 2010

Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses A-Z

Here is a list of questions for Jehovah's Witnesses in alphabetic order, with

[Right: Ian Brown's "60 Questions Every Jehovah's Witness Should Be Asked." While I may refer to this book and other compilations of Christian questions to ask JWs, this list of questions is my own work.]

supporting quotes from Watchtower Bible & Tract Society sources. As I expand this list, I will add new pages, and change the headings to A-M, N-Z, and eventually to A, B, C, etc.

[Bible] [Cross] [God] [Jehovah] [Jehovah's Witnesses] [Jesus] [Michael] [Name] [NWT] [Russell] [Rutherford] [Trinity]

o Why did the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society warn that if JWs read the Bible exclusively, they would come to believe what Christianity teaches?

"From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those who ... say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago ..." (Watchtower, Aug 15, 1981, p.29).

o If Jesus was nailed to a stake, not a cross, with his arms above his head, affixed by one nail (singular) as consistently depicted in Watchtower publications, why does the Bible say Jesus had nails (plural) in his hands?

Jn 20:24-25 NWT. But Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called The Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. Consequently the other disciples would say to him: "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe."

o Why then would the Bible say that the charge was posted above Jesus' head, when according to Watchtower depictions, it would be above Jesus' hands?

Mt 27:37 NWT. Also, they posted above his head the charge against him, in writing: "This is Jesus the King of the Jews."

o If Jesus is only "a god" (Jn 1:1 NWT) and not "God" (Jn 1:1 KJV, etc) then are not JWs polytheists, believing in more than one god?

"poly-the-ism ... n. The worship of or belief in more than one god." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2009).

"poly-the-ism noun ... belief in or worship of more than one god" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2010).

"polytheism ...-noun the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods." (Random House Dictionary, 2010).

o Why does the Greek equivalent of the name "Jehovah" not appear in any manuscript of the Greek New Testament?

"In view of this evidence, it seems most unusual to find that the extant manuscript copies of the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures do not contain the divine name in its full form. The name therefore is also absent from most translations of the so-called `New Testament.' Yet the name does appear in these sources in its abbreviated form at Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6, in the expression `Alleluia' or `Hallelujah' ..." ("Aid to Bible Understanding," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, Second edition, 1971, p.886).

"God's Name and the `New Testament' THE position of God's name is unshakable in the Hebrew Scriptures, the `Old Testament.' ... With the Christian Greek Scriptures, the `New Testament,' the situation is different. Manuscripts of the book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible) have God's name in its abbreviated form, `Jah,' (in the word `Hallelujah'). But apart from that, no ancient Greek manuscript that we possess today of the books from Matthew to Revelation contains God's name in full." ("The Divine Name That Will Endure Forever," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY 1984, p.23).

o If use of the name "Jehovah" is so important, why is it missing from seven books of the New World Translation's New Testament?

"Even supposing that one felt inclined to accept the argument of the Watch Tower Society in justifying its insertion of the name `Jehovah' in the ... New Testament ... even in the Watch Tower's own translation, with its distinctive insertions, there are entire letters written by apostles in which the name `Jehovah' is completely absent, namely, Philippians, First Timothy, Titus, Philemon and the three letters of John. ... it would be completely unthinkable for any prominent individual in the Witness organization to write on a spiritual matter without employing the name `Jehovah' with frequency. To write letters of the length and content of Paul's letter to the Philippians, or his first pastoral letter to Timothy and that to Titus, or to write three separate letters of admonition and exhortation on crucial issues like those dealt with by the apostle John-to write these and not make repeated use of the name `Jehovah' would lay one open to suspicion of apostasy among Jehovah's Witnesses. Yet in their own New World Translation the name does not appear in any of these seven apostolic letters and their discussion of vital spiritual issues. ... in writing these letters the apostles Paul and John clearly did not conform to the norm predominating within the Watch Tower organization.." (Franz, R., 2007, "In Search of Christian Freedom," Commentary Press: Atlanta GA, Second edition, p.504).

o Why use the name "Jehovah" when it is not the correct translation but was coined by a 13th century Roman Catholic monk?

"By combining the vowel signs of 'Adhonay' and 'Elohim' with the four consonants of the Tetragrammaton the pronunciations Yehowah' and Yehowih' were formed. The first of these provided the basis for the Latinized form `Jehova(h);' The first recorded use of this form dates from the thirteenth century C.E. Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk of the Dominican Order, used it in his book Pugeo Fidei of the year 1270." ("Aid to Bible Understanding," p.884).

o Why use the name "Jehovah's Witnesses" when the New Testament says we are to be Jesus' witnesses?

Acts 1:8 NWT. but YOU will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon YOU, and YOU will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Ju•de´a and Sa•mar´i•a and to the most distant part of the earth."

o Why does the New Testament nowhere say that we are to be "Jehovah's Witnesses"?

o Why are there "Christians" in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1Pet 4:16 NWT) but no "Jehovah's Witnesses"?

o If Jesus is not God then why does the New Testament call Him God?

Mt 1:23. "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us."

Jn 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jn 20:28. Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Acts 20:28. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Rom 9:5. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Php 2:5-6. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, Col 2:9. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Titus 2:13. while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Heb 1:8. But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom."

2Pet 1:1. Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

1Jn 5:20. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

o Why does the name "Jesus" occur 912 times in the New World Translation but the name "Jehovah" only 237 times?

"Secondly, even if we were to accept the numerous insertions made by the translators ... 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." (Franz, 2007, pp.504-505).

o If Jesus is Michael the Archangel, as the Watchtower teaches, would not such an important truth be clearly taught in the New Testament, especially in the Gospels and the letters of Paul?

"Who Is Michael the Archangel? 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 [Dn 10:13; 10:21; 12:1]; in the letter of Jude, he is disputing with Satan [Jude 9]; and in Revelation, he is waging war with the Devil and his demons [Rev 12:7]. 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? ... the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth." ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, 2005, p.218).

o If Michael is the only archangel, as the Watchtower claims, why is he called "one of the foremost princes"?

"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.." ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?," pp.218-219).

Dn 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.

o And if Michael is the only archangel why did Paul say "an archangel's voice"?

1Th 4:16 NWT. because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice and with God's trumpet

o If Jesus was an angel, why does the New Testament contrast him with "the angels"?

Heb 1:4 NWT. So he [the Son] has become better than the angels, to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs.

Heb 1:5 NWT. For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: "You are my son; I, today, I have become your father"?

Heb 1:6 NWT. But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: "And let all God's angels do obeisance to him."

o Colossians 3:17 NWT says, "whatever it is that YOU do in word or in work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus..." (my emphasis). Do Jehovah's Witnesses do EVERYTHING in the name of JESUS?

"Col 3:17 NWT. And whatever it is that YOU do in word or in work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.

o Why has the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society never published the names of the translators of its New World Translation? Is it because, as former Governing Body member Ray Franz revealed, no member of the translation committee was qualified in Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek?

"The New World Translation bears no translator's name and is presented as the anonymous work of the `New World Translation Committee.' Other members of that committee were Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder and George Gangas. Fred Franz, however, was the only one with sufficient knowledge of the Bible languages to attempt translation of this kind. He had studied [non-Biblical] Greek for two years at the University of Cincinnati but was only self-taught in Hebrew." (Franz, R., "Crisis of Conscience," Commentary Press: Atlanta GA, Fourth edition, 2002, p.56).

o Was not Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), the founder and first President of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, a false prophet?

"True, there have been those in times past who predicted an `end to the world,' even announcing a specific date. The `end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying." ("A Time to `Lift Up Your Head' in Confident Hope," Awake! , October 8, 1968, p.23).

"In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i. e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A. D. 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. ... at that date the Kingdom of God ... will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be `set up,' or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions. ... from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor ... the great `time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation,' will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy ... the Lord's Anointed and his rightful and righteous authority will first be recognized by a company of God's children while passing through the great tribulation ... before that date God's Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (Dan. 2:34)-and fully consume the power of these kings. Its own power and dominion will be established as ... it crushes and scatters the `powers that be'-civil and ecclesiastical- iron and clay." (Russell, C.T., 1889, "Studies in the Scriptures, Series II: The Time is at Hand," Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, pp.77-78. Italics original).

"True it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the `Day of Jehovah,' in which matters culminate quickly ... In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A. D. 1914. Then the prayer of the Church, ever since her Lord took his departure `Thy Kingdom come'-will be answered ; and under that wise and just administration, the whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord-with knowledge, and righteousness, and peace (Psa. 72:19 ; Isa. 6:3 ; Hab. 2:14) ; and the will of God shall be done `on earth, as it is done in heaven.'" (Russell, 1889, pp.98-99).

"But let no one hastily infer a peaceable conversion of the nations to be here symbolized; for many scriptures, Such as Rev. 11:17, 18; Dan. 12:1; 1 Thes. 2:8; Psalms 149 and 47, teach the very opposite. Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A. D. 1878, and that the `battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Rev. 16:14.), which will end in A. D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's Word. If our vision be unobstructed by prejudice, when we get the telescope of God's Word rightly adjusted we may see with clearness the character of many of the events due to take place in the `Day of the Lord' -that we are in the very midst of those events, and that `the Great Day of His Wrath is come.'" (Russell, 1889, p.101. Italics original).

o Was not `Judge' Joseph Rutherford (1869–1942), the second President of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, also a false prophet?

"The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth." (Rutherford, J.F., 1920, "Millions Now Living Will Never Die," International Bible Students Association: Brooklyn NY, p.88).

"As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized. The Apostle Paul in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews names a long list of faithful men who died before the crucifixion of the Lord and before the beginning of the selection of the church. These can never be a part of the heavenly class; they had no heavenly hopes; but God has in store something good for them. They are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes or rulers in the earth, according to his promise. (Psalm 45:1.6; Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 8: 11.) Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac,. Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection." (Rutherford, 1920, p.89).

"Based upon the argument heretofore set forth, then, that the old order of things, the old world, is ending and is therefore passing away, and that the new order is coming in, and that 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning of reconstruction, it is reasonable to conclude that millions of people now on the earth will be still on the earth in 1925. Then, based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, we must reach the positive and indisputable conclusion that millions now living will never die." (Rutherford, 1920, p.97).

o If the Trinity (one God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a false doctrine, why does Jesus command that all nations be baptized "in the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19)?

o Why is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit mentioned together in so many passages of the New Testament (Mt 28:19; 2Cor 13:14; 1Pet 1:2. Mt 3:16-17; Lk 1:35; 3:22; Jn 3:34; 14:26; 15:26; Ac 2:33,38; Rom 15:16,30; 1Cor 12:4-6; Eph 1:13-14; 2:18; 3:14-17; 4:4-6; 2Th 2:13; Heb 9:14; Jude 1:20-21)?

o Why does God in the Old Testament speak of Himself as plural (Gn 1:26-27; 11:6-8; Isa 6:8)?

Gn 1:26 NWT. And God went on to say: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth."

Gn 11:6-7 NWT. After that Jehovah said: "Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be unattainable for them. Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another's language."

Gn 3:22 NWT. And Jehovah God went on to say: "Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad, and now in order that he may not put his hand out and actually take [fruit] also from the tree of life and eat and live to time indefinite,-"

Isa 6:8 NWT. And I began to hear the voice of Jehovah saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I proceeded to say: "Here I am! Send me."

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