Talking About Jesus With Jehovah’s Witnesses – Part 2

Posted: September 2, 2015 in Blog Post
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There are several reasons I love talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses. For one, they are theists with a high view of scripture, which means I don’t have to spend any time providing evidence and arguments for God’s existence. Secondly, I have a certain level of admiration for their willingness to go out and share what they believe. Most of them are very nice, friendly, sincere people, and I am quite sure that most JW’s have had countless doors slammed in their faces as they go out and share their faith the way Christians ought to. Finally, I love talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses because they need to know that not all Christians are ignorant, despite the fact that they are led to believe that constantly. The average Christian cannot even articulate what they believe, let alone defend it. Jehovah’s Witnesses are often pushed further into their corrupted theological system simply by observing how easily they can tie most Christians up in knots with a vicious onslaught of Bible verses, with almost no meaningful counter-arguments from the Christian at all. Often times, meeting a Christian who not only can defend their beliefs, but can challenge them on theirs, can be just the thing to wake them up and start researching what they have gotten themselves into. With that being said, let’s look at another corrupted scripture, as well as some arguments that might prove useful when conversing with the next JW’s who grace your porch.

  1. Did Jesus Create all things, or all other things?

In Colossians 1:15-17, Paul describes Jesus in terms that could only be used of God Himself. Have a look:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB))

Here we see Paul literally exhaust the Greek language in order to emphasize the fact that Jesus is the uncreated creator of everything. This is a big problem for the Watchtower Society’s view of Jesus. Remember, that they teach that Jesus is really Michael the Archangel. Their view is that God created Jesus first, and then Jesus created all other things. In order to fit that belief into a crystal clear passage like this, they commit one of the most blatant examples of altering the Bible to support their theology that one can find. Here is the rendering in their Bible:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist. (1985 New World Translation)

Did you notice the word [other] added four times? The reason it is in brackets is because it does not appear in the Greek AT ALL. The brackets were not even placed in the original 1950’s version of their Bible, until a huge amount of pressure from the scholarly community forced them to add them. In the latest 2013 version of the New World Translation however, the brackets have been removed again, in order to mislead its readers – who are far removed from the original conflict that the added words produced – into thinking the words belong there!

The reality is that there are two Greek words for “other”, heteros and allos, which Paul could have used if he was really trying to say that Jesus was God’s first creation, but he doesn’t. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have added this word with zero justification just retain their theology.

Likely they will tell you, as they have been taught to say, that the word “other” simply clarifies the passage. It should be obvious that it doesn’t clarify it, but rather changes it completely. So how can we deal with this blatant corruption of the text in a way that gets our visitors thinking?

One starting point after explaining that the word “other” has been added, is to ask them to read the entire passage without the word “other.” Then have them keep their finger on that page and turn to Isaiah 44:24 in their Bible, which reads:

This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser and the Former of you from the belly: “I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?

 Based on this clear statement in Isaiah, you might ask them how their understanding of this passage in Colossians is not a contradiction. Did Jehovah create the heavens and everything else by Himself, or was it Jesus? The answer is “Yes”, because Paul is identifying Jesus as Jehovah. The same problem exists when comparing this passage in Isaiah with John 1:3 which I discussed in my last post. Either Jesus is the creator, or they have a clear contradiction in their Bible.

One last thing. The word firstborn (Greek = prototokos) in verse 15, is actually a term of rank or sovereignty, and in English is misleading. King David was called the firstborn, despite being the youngest in his family. It does not mean “first created” as the JW’s will try to claim, any more than “firstborn from the dead” in verse 18 means “first created from the dead.” Jesus was not the first one raised from the dead, and He was not the first one created.

You can push this point home even further by asking the Jehovah’s Witnesses to read Psalm 102:25-27 in their Bible and tell you who it is referring to. It reads:

Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end. (Psalm 102:25-27 2013 NWT)

Without a doubt, they will say this passage is referring to Jehovah, as the Old Testament only ever speaks of Jehovah with such language. Keeping their finger on that page, have them now flip in the New Testament to Hebrews 1:10, and have them read it aloud:

At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands.  They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end. (Hebrews 1:10, 2013 NWT)

Hebrews 1:10 is almost a direct quote of Psalm 102, only the author of Hebrews is clearly applying this passage to The Son (Jesus)! Once they have seen this, ask them again: “Who created everything, Jesus or Jehovah? The answer once again is yes, because Jesus is Jehovah. The New Testament writers did not have the problem with Jesus’ deity that Jehovah’s Witnesses do, which is why they constantly applied passages referring to the God of the Old Testament to Jesus. In the next post I will discuss a few more examples.

 

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