Friday, March 16, 2012

Jesus is Jehovah!

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

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

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

This is still a work-in-progress. I am working through it verse-by-verse, day-by-day, in my morning `quiet time' and will improve it as I go along.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus is Jehovah God Jesus blessed Thomas for his confession that Jesus was "the Lord of me and the God of me" (Jn 20:28-29).

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus is Jehovah of the Exodus Jesus is the "I AM" of the burning bush (Jn 8:58; Ex 3:2,14). "Jesus saved a people out of the land of Egypt" (Jude 4 ESV). Christ accompanied the Israelites out of Egypt (1Cor 10:4). Some of the Israelites of the Exodus "put Christ to the test ... and were destroyed by serpents" (1Cor 10:9; Num 21:5-6 ESV).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jehovah's Witness' slander action over husband thrown out

Jehovah's [Witness'] slander action over husband thrown out, Irish Independent, Tim Healy, March 6, 2012 ... A JUDGE has thrown out a Jehovah's Witness

[Right: Killarney Kingdom Hall:]

slander action over allegations she implied her husband was an adulterer. Ruth Moram says she was shunned by members -- or "disfellowshipped" -- for allegedly slandering her husband by implying he was an adulterer. But she failed in a bid to bring her own High Court action for slander. Ms Moram, of Mastergeeha, Kilcummin, Killarney, Co Kerry, sought damages against three members of the Killarney Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. She claimed she had been slandered in a letter written by one of them to her in December 2009, which accused her of slandering her husband by the adultery allegation. Her husband denied the accusation, the court heard. Mr Justice John Hedigan yesterday ruled she had shown no cause of action in her claims against Killarney Witness elders Peter Van Benthem ... and Andrew Beeston ... He also dismissed a similar claim against Witness member Martyn Bell ... who wrote the 2009 letter. The judge also awarded legal costs against Ms Moram who said she would go to jail rather than pay them. She said she would also appeal the decision to the Court of Human Rights. In his judgment, Mr Justice Hedigan said the case dated back to June 2004 when Ms Moram claimed Mr Van Benthem and Mr Beeston accused her of slander. Later that month at a meeting of the Killarney Witnesses congregation, Mr Bell gave evidence of the alleged slander of her husband, and as a result Ms Moram was "disfellowshipped". The court heard that she appealed that decision internally in August 2004 -- and evidence was given in the appeal that Ms Moram had told a fellow Witness that a woman, referred to only by initials, had spent weekends away with her husband. Ms Moram claimed that as a result of this, she was accused of slander in that she implied her husband was an adulterer. Following these hearings, she was disfellowshipped from the Killarney Congregation. ... She then wrote a letter of complaint to the Witnesses branch office in Wicklow and it included photographs of her husband on a weekend break in Galway with the other woman, the judge said. The branch sent a letter to the appeal committee, which changed its decision and told Ms Moram they "forgave" her. She refused to accept this, as she insisted she had not slandered anyone and the accusation had not been withdrawn, the judge said. The court heard that in December 2009, she claimed that Mr Bell wrote a letter which stated she had slandered her husband. The following February, she formally left the Witnesses after elders of the Killarney congregation refused to allow her to speak at a meeting, he said. Since then, she claimed, all her Witness friends had been forbidden from speaking to her and that she had been brought into public hatred, contempt and ridicule. She then issued proceedings in the Circuit Court seeking damages and a declaration she did not commit slander. A Circuit Court judge found the issues raised were beyond the limits of a secular court. The judge also said the letter was not published to anyone other than Ms Moram. She appealed that decision to the High Court. But yesterday, Mr Justice Hedigan dismissed her case saying the events of 2004 were clearly statute-barred because her proceedings must be issued within three years of the event and she had only done so in 2011. ... Justice has been denied this woman, both by the Killarney Jehovah's Witness judicial committee `kangaroo court' and also by the secular courts. Her husband committed adultery but she was the one punished! But the secular court judge's hands were probably tied because: a) she could not claim damages for defamation because the contents of the letter were not made public; b) the statute of limitation of "three years" applied in this case; and c) a religion's internal disciplinary procedures are "beyond the limits of a secular court."

However, the facts were not disputed that her JW husband committed adultery, but she is the one the JW judicial committee `kangaroo court' found guilty of "slander" and apparently did nothing to her JW husband. And when they were given photos of her husband with this other woman, the elders admitted her allegation was true when "they `forgave' her," for her simply telling the truth!

This highlights again the Watchtower inhumane and un-Biblical disfellowshipping and shunning system which can be, and is, applied for comparatively minor `sins' like "smoking, working for military establishments, working for other religious organizations, voting in elections, accepting blood transfusions and celebrating birthdays or holidays":

"The WBTS have gone further than the practice of disfellowshipping unrepentant sinners, and have included in their reasons for disfellowshipping smoking, working for military establishments, working for other religious organizations, voting in elections, accepting blood transfusions and celebrating birthdays or holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Talking to other disfellowshipped ones, even if that one is a relative counts as a reason. Also, if a dissatisfied person disagrees with Watchtower teaching and discusses that disagreement with other Jehovah's Witnesses so as to promote apostasy, then that person will be disfellowshipped. Thus the organization protects itself from general discontentment and enforces unity by use of disfellowshipping." (Harris, D. & Browning, B., "Awake to the Watchtower," Reachout Trust: London, 1993, p.320).
And even when the victim's only `crime' is to voluntarily disassociate herself from the Society:
"... she formally left the Witnesses after elders of the Killarney congregation refused to allow her to speak at a meeting, he said. Since then, she claimed, all her Witness friends had been forbidden from speaking to her and that she had been brought into public hatred, contempt and ridicule.

So let those who are thinking about becoming a JW, think again! Once you are a JW, there is no easy way to leave. They will punish you for leaving: all your Jehovah's Witness friends and relatives will be forbidden to speak to you and you will be "brought into public hatred, contempt and ridicule." Indeed, you will be "totally rejected" by them and "treated as dead":
"Can you imagine being in a situation where you are totally rejected, treated as dead? The WBTS discourages association and friendship with those outside the organisation. So when a person leaves they are treated as a sinner rebelling against God Himself, and not even to be greeted. There is a dramatic change in his family relationship. If all the Watchtower instructions are obeyed he would hardly, if ever, see his relatives living outside the home and much of the normal family social life would be curtailed or stopped completely. Under these circumstances people have committed suicide; families have broken up. Imagine the pressure on the Witness wife of the disfellowshipped one. She still loves her husband yet the instructions of the WBTS begin to drive a wedge between their loving relationship. Her husband is no longer welcome in the Witness homes she visits." (Harris & Browning, 1993, p.332).

As one of "the sheep who leaves the fold" you will become "as good as dead in the eyes of the remaining Witnesses," including your JW "family and friends":

If another Witness simply departs without breaking any rules, the departure itself is treated as a violation. A judicial committee holds a hearing and then announces to the congregation that the individual has `disassociated' himself and therefore must not be spoken to. The end result is the same as disfellowshipping: the offender is cut off from contact with family and friends. This shunning has a dual effect; (1) the ex-Witness is punished by loss of loved ones, and (2) the remaining J.W.'s are prevented from getting a different perspective on their faith through contact with this maverick. Not only must they avoid eating with the ex-J.W., but they are also forbidden to read letters, articles, or books he may write. While, due to their separation from the secular state, Watchtower leaders lack the medieval Inquisition's power to cut out tongues and to burn heretics at the stake, they still wield a strong hand within the organization. They can guarantee that the sheep who leaves the fold becomes as good as dead in the eyes of the remaining Witnesses, and they can make sure that the dead man tells no tales-at least, none that other Witnesses will hear." (Reed, D.A., "Behind the Watchtower Curtain," 1989, pp.22-23).

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

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jehovah's Witnesses church leader 'poisoned' by rival

"Jehovah's Witnesses church leader 'poisoned' by rival," Sunday Mail (South Australia), Nigel Hunt, March 3, 2012 ... THE Adelaide Hills Jehovah's Witnesses community

[Right: Mt Lofty Kingdom Hall: Regi Varghese]

has been rocked by the alleged poisoning of a church official and his young family by a rival. The extraordinary series of events, in which glyphosate weed killer was injected into food, milk and fruit juice cartons in a fridge, was uncovered only after the victim set up a hidden camera in his kitchen - apparently catching the culprit in the act. The victim took the unusual step after becoming suspicious that someone had been repeatedly entering his Stirling home and tampering with food while his family was at church meetings in nearby Crafers. His family, including three young children aged five to 12, had also complained after coming home from church that food and drinks from the fridge had smelt and tasted toxic. As a result of this covert camera footage, a man is now facing 12 charges in connection with the alleged poisoning scheme, which played out over a seven-month period until he was arrested in October last year. ... The bizarre incident is believed to be connected to a disciplinary matter within the Mt Lofty Jehovah's Witnesses Church congregation, where both the charged man and the victim and his family are members. It is understood the charged man may have resented the involvement of the victim, a church elder, in a matter which saw him "disfellowshipped" in 2010 over his conduct. The poisoning victim, who asked not to be identified, said the charged man was no longer a member of the 100-strong congregation. "He was removed from the congregation," he said. "No single person makes a judgment like that - it's a committee decision. "There are processes there to address any grievance somebody might have if they feel wrongly done by. "There was no hint that was the case. He knew the score. "For all intents and purposes it seemed like he accepted it. "He was still free to attend our meetings, which he continued to do. We don't prevent anyone from attending the meetings; we just don't have anything to do with them if they have been disciplined by the congregation like that." ... After being remanded in custody for a fortnight, the man was bailed on November 11... He will next appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on May 4. ... A public window into the Watchtower cult's inhumane and un-Biblical disfellowshipping and shunning system:

"He was removed from the congregation ... it's a committee decision ... He was still free to attend our meetings, which he continued to do. We don't prevent anyone from attending the meetings; we just don't have anything to do with them if they have been disciplined by the congregation like that."

While not condoning this ex-JW man's alleged illegal actions, the fact that he allegedly targeted this particular JW elder and `reading between the lines' of the elder's comments, adds weight to the view that "the charged man may have resented the involvement of the victim, a church elder, in a matter which saw him `disfellowshipped' in 2010." Even the title of the article calling him a "rival" of this elder suggests he may even have been a also an elder? It will be interesting to see when the man has his day in court whether he airs the `dirty linen' of this congregation, and more importantly the Watchtower Society's `living death' disfellowshipping and shunning system:

"Shunning ... The elders form a `judicial committee' and `disfellowship' (expel) members who commit sexual immorality or who express disagreement with the Watchtower Society on any issue. The individual expelled for apostate thinking is shunned more completely than the JW disfellowshiped for fornication or adultery. One who voluntarily leaves the sect faces the same penalty at the hands of a judicial committee, but is considered `disassociated' rather than `disfellowshiped.' ... Visitors at Kingdom Hall meetings seldom learn about shunning right away or learn of the closed-door interrogations and trials held constantly to keep members in line. With press and media relations handled only by assigned spokesmen-always men, never women-trained in the art of euphemism, the sect usually manages to keep the internal disciplinary system hidden from the public eye, and hence to maintain a fairly good public image. The other side of the story is usually told in detail only by persons who have lived part of their lives in the group and, after leaving, have somehow been able to escape the fear and guilt that keep most former members quiet. When ex-JWs do speak out, the story that emerges is reminiscent of life in Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania where the Security Police were everywhere spying on people's private lives and forcing children to testify against their own parents. Many former Witnesses compare the Watchtower kingdom to the futuristic dictatorship of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four where `Big Brother is watching you!'" (Reed, D.A., "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject," 1996, pp.211-212. Emphasis original).

"We had been taught to see that ... God's kingdom has a judicial branch that judges wrongdoers. When a case comes to the attention of the elders, they appoint three or more of their number to form a judicial committee and summon the sinner to stand trial. Obedience is thus compelled by two powerful forces: the mind control exercised over individual JWs by the organization, and the threat of punishment through the sect's judicial committee arrangement. Witnesses whose thinking has been brought completely into line willingly obey whatever the Watchtower Society says, rejoicing at the opportunity to do `God's will.' Those who have not completely surrendered, or whose ability to think independently has somehow been reawakened, are kept in line through fear of punishment. This punishment results in the victim being totally shunned by JW family and friends. Witnesses will not speak or even say as much as hello on the street, and the offender is no longer welcome in the homes of friends or relatives. He or she is no longer considered a Witness, and faces divine execution at the Battle of Armageddon instead of life in paradise." (Reed, D.A., "Blood on the Altar," 1996, pp.192-193).

"Jehovah's Witnesses can be summoned before a judicial committee without warning, without prior notification of the charges against them, and without any right to face their accusers-who may remain anonymous or may even be members of the committee itself. There is no right to representation by counsel. In fact, the trial takes place behind closed doors, without observers. The judicial committee's goal is to bring about `repentance' - i.e., to get the erring Witness to turn from his bad ways and conform to the organization's instructions. In order to bring about this desired result, the committee is empowered to impose a wide variety of penalties on the offender. These range from a mild, private rebuke to the extreme penalty of disfellowshipping. When an unrepentant `wrongdoer' is disfellowshipped, the committee announces the individual's name to the congregation as notification that everyone must henceforth avoid association with that person. No one may engage him in conversation, and J.W.'s encountering him on the street, must not even say 'Hello'. Immediate family members must restrict their interaction with a disfellowshipped member of the household, and relatives living outside the home must avoid the expelled person except for `necessary family business'." (Reed, D.A., "Behind the Watchtower Curtain," 1989, p.18. Emphasis original).

and if he claims in his defense that it drove him `over the edge' to commit these alleged crimes.

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