The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuted by their own Bible (3)

 

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1950’s, the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s) came out with their own Bible, the New World Translation (nwt). It was produced by a very unique committee consisting of five men. If you write to the Watchtower (WT) today, to check their credentials, you’ll find the Society is unwilling to release this information. That’s because none of them held degrees in the biblical languages! None of these “scholars” had any qualifications to function as critical Bible translators. One key feature you’ll notice in their work was the insertion of the name “Jehovah” into the New Testament (NT) 237 times, even though the term is found in none of the more than 5000 NT Greek manuscripts. As a rule, they always rendered “Kiirios” (in the Greek NT) as “Jehovah” when it referred to the Father, but “Lord” when it referred to the Son. And wherever the NT quotes the OT, they used either “Lord” or “Jehovah” in their NT by noticing if the Hebrew word quoted was “Jehovah.” But as you will see, they faced some real problems in the NT, as the apostles often took OT passages referring to “Jehovah” and applied them directly to Jesus!

1 PETER 2* 3 (2:31 “Provided you have tasted that the Lord is kind.” I3:12al “The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous.” (3:12b) “The face of Jehovahnis against those doing bad.”

The name “Jehovah” appears in almost every verse in this psalm. This could easily be called a “Jehovah” psalm! It goes without saying that any NT writer, when quoting from Psalm 34, will certainly apply it to “Jeho­vah.” As you can see above, Peter quotes verses 15 & 16— “The eyes of Jehovah” and “The face of Jehovah.” Notice that the NWT was consistent in carrying over the name “Jehovah” into 1 Peter, just as it appears in the Psalm in these two verses. But Peter also quotes from verse 8 of this Psalm, as can be seen above: “Taste and see that Jehovah is good.” But here, notice that the WT refused to use the name “Jehovah.” They instead translated it: “the Lord.” They would have had no problem translating this “Jeho­vah,” but they were stumped! They were stumped by what Peter says in the next verse—”Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected…” We all know who that is—it’s Jesus! So the WT faced a real dilemma. They knew that if they were consistent and brought the name “Jehovah” over into 1 Peter 2:3, it would be obvious that Peter was identifying Jesus as “Jehovah!” And that’s a WT no-no. You probably noticed the word “kind” in 1 Peter—”the Lord is kind.” Don’t let that confuse you. That’s merely the word the NW translators chose to use. The Greek word is chrestos, which can be properly translated either “kind,” “gracious” or “good.”

So here’s what the WT wants us to swallow in plain English. The 3 occasions above in Psalm 34, David uses the same Hebrew word “YHWH” all 3 times, and the wr uses the same English word “Jehovah” all 3 times. Then, as these same texts are brought over into the NT in the 3 occasions above in Peter’s epistle, he uses the same Greek word “Kurios” all 3 times, but look out! here comes the WT shuffle. They’re now gonna impose their own bias upon the text. No longer do we have the same English word 3 times, but the WT with sleight of hand slips in different English words, and this allows these texts now to carry completely different meanings! Two of them now refer to “Jehovah” the Creator, while the other one refers to a mere creature, the WT’s “first creation of Jehovah.”

What does the WT have to say about all this? They know they have to say something. So, in their 1984 New World Translation (reference ed.}, in a footnote on this passage, this is what they came up with to try and cover up this glaring inconsistency—”Peter is not here making a for­mal quotation.” That’s it! That’s the reason they give for not being consistent and translating this “Jehovah.” It’s not a “formal quotation!” And they’re right. It’s not. But by admitting this, they’re plainly stating that it is really and truly “a quotation!”—a quotation from Psalm 34 (see marginal reference), and a quotation about “Jehovah!” And Peter, lead by the Holy Spirit, applies it all to Jesus!

As for the WT’s reason that because it’s not a “formal quotation” the name “Jehovah” is not used—in reality, that has nothing to do with it, that’s just an empty excuse. The WT is famous for saying anything to try and pull the wool over your eyes. This is the question that’s got to be answered—Is there another passage where Peter quotes from the OT that’s not a “formal quotation,” and if there is, did the WT insert the name “Jehovah”? It’s that simple. If the answer is “yes,” they are exposed as deceivers. What about it? Clearly, 2 Peter 3:8 is taken from Psalm 90:4 (see marginal reference), and just like 1 Peter 2:3, the NWT has no quote marks in the text, because it’s not a “formal” quotation. See for yourself. Peter says in 2 Peter 3:8, “One day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” This is obviously quoted from Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years are in your eyes but as yes­terday when it is past, and as a watch during the night.” Plainly, this is not a “formal quotation,” yet the WT has it translated “Jehovah!” Well, if they put “Jehovah” here and it’s not a “formal” quotation, why didn’t they put “Jehovah” in 1 Peter 2:3? Neither of these are “formal” quotations. Because their intention is clearly dishonest! And their excuse is exposed for what it is—worthless! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the translators of the Jw Bible were driven by their own agenda, and not by the text.

PSALM 6S  (18) “You have ascended on high; you have carried away captives; you have taken gifts in the form of men, yes, even the stubborn ones, to reside among them, O Jah God.”

A passage that needs no explanation! Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, quotes this psalm and applies it directly to “Christ” in his ascension. He says of Christ, (v!0) “that he might give,” and (vll) “and he gave.” Commenting upon such an obviously clear passage as this would probably only cast a shadow over it. So, I leave it right there for all to see. That One who gloriously conquered at Calvary, arose victorious and “ascended on high,” is none other than—              “O Jah God!”

PSALM 102 (1,12)”O Jehovah ” (15,16,19,21,221 “Jehovah” (25) “Long ago you laid the foundations of the  earth itself, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”

Psalm 102 is not only addressed to “Jehovah,” but he is spoken of throughout its entirety; and in Hebrews 1, “the Son” is spoken of in practically every verse! The apostle in Hebrews 1:8 above—”with reference to the Son”—is about to quote two OT passages and apply them to Jesus. The first quote is verses 8 & 9 taken from Psalm 45:6,7. The second quote is verses 10-12 taken from Psalm 102:25-27. Both of these references are listed clearly in the margin. There is no break between these two quotes. The first is listed (ttS,9), then the second begins as you see above (vto)—”And: ‘You…” Well, as you can see, the WT is up to their old tricks! They pulled “O Lord” right out of their sleeve and slipped it right in there! But that wouldn’t fool a 3-yr-old! Look at “O Lord” above in verse 10. Notice that it’s not in verse 25 of the Psalm. So where did the apostle get it? He got it from verse 1 & verse 12! “O Jehovah!” “O Jehovah!” But because Hebrews 1 refers directly to “the Son,” the WT’s not about to let “Jehovah” in there! Nobody gets to see that in the organization!

It’s always amusing each time to see what kind of an excuse they’ll come up with for tampering with the Word of God. Well, here it is. From the WT’s famous 1985 book,

Reasoning from the Scriptures, where they teach their admir­ers how to “explain away” plain texts in the Bible, they ask this question (p4l4): “Why does Hebrews 1:10-12 quote Psalm 102:25-27 and apply it to the Son, when the psalm says it is addressed to God?” They answer: “Because the Son is the one through whom God performed the creative works there described by the psalmist” (italics theirs). So the WT wants their followers to focus upon “through whom.”

So, here’s the WT picture—”At the beginning,” they have their “Jehovah,” the Father, with the Son, who is himself a creation of Jehovah—”a god” (John 1:1). Now, Jehovah is ready to create the universe, and according to the WT, he’s not going to do this by himself; he’s going to do all this creating “through” the Son (Whatever that means! Something like a puppet, I suppose. Jehovah’s doing it all, pulling the strings, and Jesus is just there for “honorable mention!”). So, we have here two beings— the first, Jehovah, the second, his Son—and everything is created by this heavenly duo, this creation team.

With doctrine like that, I’m surprised that the rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to have a Bible! Isaiah 44:24, “I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?” No one! There was not another being there! There was not another “god” there! “By myself!” “See now that I—I am he and there are no gods together with me” (Pent 32:39). “Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none” [Isaiah 43:10). Yet the “name” of Jesus is “Mighty God!” (Isaiah 9:6). “I am the first and I am the last,” Jehovah says, “and besides me there is no God” (44:6). “Does there exist a God beside me? No” (44:8). Can you even remotely imagine Jehovah making all these statements if there existed another “God!”—a “Mighty God!” It is unimaginable how far people will go to believe a lie! “Is it not I, Jehovah, besides whom there is no other God…there being none excepting me?” (45:21).

It may seem as though we have a contradiction in Scripture by comparing the question above, “Who was with me?” (44:24) with the opening statements in John’s Gospel—”In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God…This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him…” (1:1). Well, it certainly is a contradiction if you believe the WT way— the 2-God thing, the Big God/little god thing, the Senior Creator/junior partner thing! But there’s no conflict at all with these statements when you see a plurality in the Godhead—the person of the Son and the person of the Father, distinct in themselves, yet existing together eter­nally, harmoniously as one. “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). And so, when you open practically any recog­nized version of the Bible to John 1:1, you read and understand what it means when it says that “the Word” (Son) was “with God” and that he himself “was God!” He was “with God,” that is, with the Father!—”That which was from the beginning…the everlasting life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” (I John 1:1-2).

While there are separate persons in this unique Godhead, yet God is one—”I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. With the exception of me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). ISAIAH S (12b) “…the object of their fear you men must not fear, nor must you tremble at it.” (13) “Jehovah of armies…he should be the object of your Tear, and he should be the One causing you to tremble.” (14)”And he must become… a stone to strike against and as a rock over which to stumble…”

This is getting too easy! And the WT makes it even easier! They have complete marginal references pulling these two passages together, making them inseparable! Peter is sitting at a table with the book of Isaiah open, and he draws directly from these three verses. These two parallel passages don’t even have to be studied! Just take a look—even a glance! In the plainest of terms, Jesus is declared to be “Jehovah!” Peter is saying, “Get your eyes off of men and what they might do to you! And get your eyes on Christ! Hi is LORD! And as LORD, Hi controls every situation! And Hi should be the object of your fear! Not man!” That’s his message! Now, notice something— verses 12 & 13 in Isaiah are tied together with the words “object,” “fear” & “tremble”—with “JiHOVAH”right in the middle. Now look at verses 14 & 15 in 1 Peter and see how they’re tied together—by the little word “But,” and who’s right in the middle?—”<HRI*T JEtUt THi LORD!” Peter made it too easy for us—This is “Jehovah of armies!”

If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, you may still be saying, “I’m not convinced.” Alright, I’ll accept that. Let’s go a little further. Notice carefully that “Jehovah of armies” (i>13) “must become” (v!4)— something! Now, that’s an un­deniable fact! Jehovah “must become…” It says it right there—”He must become…” And would you not agree that whatever that something is, once we have found it in the Word of God, then, it goes without saying, we’ve found “Jehovah” that’s fair. So what is it?—”a stone to strike against and a rock over which to stumble.” Well, we know this is not “Jehovah the Father,” for the Father never “became” a “stumbling stone” or “rock of offense.” Never! But Peter says, JiSUS did!— “…’the identical stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the comer,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense'” (2:7-8). Did you notice the words—”has become”? This is Isaiah’s “Jehovah” who “must become!” and now “has become!”—the “stumbling stone” and “rock of offense!” None but Jesus—”JEHOVAH THi SON!” who himself said—”Happy is he that finds no cause for stumbling IN Mi!” (Matt 11:6; see Rom 9:32-33;!Cor 1:23).

AN ALL-TIME FAVORITE JW PROOF-TEXT ANSWERED

Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for lifting Bible verses (or even just phrases) out of their contexts and presenting them to you just that way, with no regard to what was said before or after. What this plainly means is, when they’re quoting Scripture to you, they generally don’t have a clue as to what preceded it or what follows it. They haven’t been taught to study the Bible that way— verse by verse—so that the surrounding verses help to explain the full meaning of a particular passage. Rather, they’re trained in the art of “salesmanship.” They’ve had a few isolated “proof-texts” drilled into them at the local Kingdom Hall; and when they come round quoting these so skillfully at the door and “polly-parroting” the WTs “slant” on these verses, they fool a lot-o-people! Many people actually think these are real “Bible students” who know the Scriptures well. But the truth is, all they can offer you at the door is a pre-programmed WT “sales pitch” and no more. Let’s examine one of their all-time favorite “proof-texts.” I’m sure you’ve heard it many times! JOHN 14:26

“BECAUSE THE FATHER If GREATER THAN I AM”

You say, “I’ve never heard it like that before.” That’s right. And that’s because they’ve only been trained to say, “Jesus said, ‘the Father is greater than 1 am.'” But Jesus didn’t say that. He said, “…because the Father is greater than 1 am.” This “because” is vital to the meaning of this phrase! The Lord has just said something significant that ties in directly with this statement, and he has it joined with this word “because.” Here is the entire verse: “You heard that 1 said to you. 1 am going awav and 1 am coming back to you. If you loved me. you would reioice that 1 am going mv wav to the Father, because the Father is greater than 1 am” (v28). Now that shed some light! The Lord is giving his disciples a reason to “rejoice” that he’s going away “to the Father!” We’ll come back to this.

The WT reads into this phrase, “the Father is greater than 1 am,” a comparison of nature—as if Jesus is saying that the Father is “bigger, better, and superior to me!” But if Jesus was making a comparison of nature, he would have said, “the Father is better than 1 am.” “Better” refers to nature. Jesus is “better than the angels” (Heb 1:4). By nature he is superior to the angels. But JW’s reduce him to the stature of a mere angel—Michael the archangel! “Greater,” on the other hand, refers to position. At this time in Jesus’ existence, the Father was in a greater position than he, since Jesus had humbled himself and taken the form of a servant, not clinging to his equality with God /Phil 2:6-8). By position, the Father was greater than the Son; by nature, they’re both one—”I and the Father are one.” The President of the U.S.A. is greater in position than any of his fellow Americans by virtue of his office as President, and he could say, “1 am greater than all these people.” But being human like all the rest, and no more of an American citizen, he would be the last to say, “1 am better than all these people.” Now, say it, and it becomes clear: “The President is greater than I am “—what? his position! “The Father is greater than I am”—what? his position! Why does a boy want to be president?—to be in the greatest position! to be “greater” than everyone else! Now, let’s take a closer look at this word “greater” in a few other verses.

Mark 9:34—The twelve argued over who was “greater.” This is the same word used in John 14:28 (Greek: meizon). Ls it the WT s comparison of nature? Of course not! These men were all human, and they knew they were perfectly equal in nature-, yet they still argued about being “greater!” This proves that “greater” carries another meaning other than the WT s bigger, better, and Superior-in-nature “greater!”

Luke 22:27—”Which one is greater [meizon\, the one reclining at the table or the one ministering?” Same thing again: human beings perfectly equal in nature, yet Jesus says, “one is greater!” The WT s interpretation fails again!

John 13:16—”A slave is not greater [meizon\ than his master, nor is one that is sent forth greater than the one that sent him.” The Lord has just washed the disciples’ feet. He says this to them to remind them they are not in a more glorious position than he, and are to humble them­selves following his example, and care one for another. Notice that the second phrase of the verse, in following the first phrase, carries the same meaning. The “slave” and the “master” are perfectly equal in nature. That’s not the comparison; rather, it’s a comparison of position. The WT s attempt to compare natures has no Scriptural basis! John 15:20—

“A slave is not greater [meizon\ than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” Christ’s true followers will suffer persecution. This has nothing to do with their nature, but rather their position. They are not “greater” than their Lord! That is, they are not in a greater and more glorious position than he! They should expect to endure hardships even as he endured. While the slave’s position is different from that of his master, there’s a perfect equality as to their nature!

The riddle is solved now! We see how Jesus uses this word “greater” time after time! And what passage do you think is squeezed right in between John 13 & John is— John 14:28! And Jesus uses the word “greater” in exactly the same way and applies exactly the same meaning to it! It has nothing to do with nature! So, look at it again— “The master is greater than the slave is “—his position! “The Father is greater than I am”—his position! And Jesus clarifies this even more by the following comparison:

  • • John 13:16—”A slave is not_______________ than his master.”

 

  • • John 15:20—”A slave is not_______________ than his master.”
  • • Matt 10:24—”A slave is not________________ his lord.”

Is not Jesus saying the same thing in all three instances? Yes! Does he use the same word in all three instances? No! He interprets his usage of “greater” in the first two byusing a different word in the third. What word? ABOVE! “A slave is not ABOVE his lord!” This is the key! Jesus uses “above” exactly as he uses “greater!” It’s position! And John 14:28 is just like every example above,—there’s a perfect equality of nature in the comparison Jesus gives—”the Father and 1″—but when Jesus compares himself to his Father at this time in his state of humiliation, his position was one of a “man of sorrows”—down here!—while his Father’s position in heaven was glorious beyond all com­parison!—up there! “ABOVE!” This is why his disciples should “rejoice” that he is going away! The object of Jesus here is not to compare bis nature with that of the Father, but his condition. You would rejoice that 1 am to leave this state of suffering and humiliation, and resume that glory which 1 had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5j. You ought to rejoice at my exaltation to bliss and glory with the understanding of the text. But because the WT demeans Christ, they totally ignore those passages that show plainly how Jesus uses the word “greater.” They put their own meaning into it, and thereby reduce Jesus to the level of a mere “creature.” He now fits nicely into the WT’s way of thinking.

Think of the son of a great emperor living a common life far away from his father who reigns over the entire domain. This son struggles of life, right along with those close to him. They know he’s a great one indeed, but they also know that he has chosen to be there with them, and to live a difficult life amongst them. The time appointed comes for him to return home to be with his father. He informs his friends about the move he is about to make. But because of their love of his company and friendship, they are saddened to think of him going. So he says to them, “If you loved me, you would be glad and rejoice that 1 am going my way to my father, because my father is greater than I am.” In other words, I’m leaving behind the trials and srings of my life here, and I’m entering into the greatness of my father—a greatness of vast proportion indeed! He rules over the entire domain! And the glory, and splendor, and majestic grandeur of the entire kingdom—he and 1 will share! If you loved me, you would rejoice and be glad for me!

This is the “greatness” of which Jesus speaks. It’s a “greatness,” not of nature, but of position and glory! To put the WT’s definition into this word “greater”—that the Father is bigger, better, and superior to the Son—makes no sense at all. It doesn’t fit our Lord’s common usage of the word “greater” as seen in those passages above. And it doesn’t fit the context of what he is saying to his disciples at this time. The only thing it does fit is WI theology! J

—Dan Shanks

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