Rob Bowman is an apologist who has kept his hand to the plow for a good long time. He is now the director of the Institute for Religious Research. I recommend his blog to your consideration.
well let me first say that i don’t think you’ve studied enough of the jehovahs witnesses material on the subject to state what they believe and why. i am not a JW but i did study with them for quite some time and i do have a basic idea on they’re beliefs and reasoning behind them. and quite frankly i was offended when you segragate the Jw and christians, what is your definition of a christian? by definition it is anybody who follows the teachings of christ, and that is exactly what the witnesses do, so you see they are christians. the second thing is addressing your trinity belief, if god and jesus and holy spirit are all one in the same, then lets go back to the time when john the baptist was baptising jesus and at the very moment that he was in the water the heavens opened up and from a cloud a dove appeared and a voice came down exclaiming “this is my son, the beloved, of whom i approve!” now if the trinity is as you say godhead in his human form, who was the godhead talking about when he said this is my son? coincidence that it happened in the middle of a baptism? i don’t think so. And according to all accounts of jesus’s life on earth there are numerous refferences to him saying that he is here on his FATHERS behalf. why would he be calling himself the father? Now you can put any kind of spin on it that you want to try and make it make sense but as far as i see it the truth is not complicated at all. and the fact that you have to put a spin on it at all should tell you something as well. so i hope you will be fair enough to post this comment on your website, unless you are afraid that it’s to contraversal! wich i am sure will be the case, anyways you and i both know that i have posted some valid statements and weather you are as you say “doing gods work” by slandering his people on your website or not, remains to be seen. here’s something else for you to think about, did you know that false religion is satan’s greatest work?
It seems odd that you feel compelled to speak in defense of a religion that you do not follow. Nonetheless, your complaint of my ignorance of the Watchtower religion is unfounded. I’ve been studying the Watchtower religion for over 20 years. I have one of the oldest websites responding to and interacting with Jehovah’s Witnesses, starting in the early 90’s. I have a large personal library of Watchtower books and magazines and have spent countless hours interacting with active JWs. I take pains to represent their beliefs with accuracy, and have been complimented by active Jehovah’s Witnesses for the accurate treatment their religion receives in my critiques.
You are offended when Jehovah’s Witnesses are contrasted with Christians? Here is a news flash for you (and this is a big one so hold on to your seat). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are following the only true religion, contrasting themselves with all other religions including “Christendom”. Why you are offended when I draw the same contrast they already do is beyond me.
It is not my definition of what a Christian is that matters. What does God’s Word say and how does the Watchtower religion compare? They differ with the Bible on nearly every major belief: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the gospel, salvation, and the list continues. You cannot be a Christian without Christ. Watchtower leadership claims exclusive insight into the real meaning of the Bible, teaching that no one can understand it without their help. With this so-called insight they deliver a false gospel to the world, heaping up God’s judgment against them for delivering a false message and a false hope.
It wouldn’t make any sense for me to criticize the design of a nuclear reactor, since I have absolutely no idea how one works. Similarly, you should hold your tongue from criticizing the Trinity. It is obvious that you have absolutely no idea what the Trinity is, as your statements clearly reveal.
Your defense of the Watchtower is empty. This is fitting and echoes the nature of the Watchtower religion itself. Empty, devoid of hope, filled with falsehood.
It is my great hope and prayer for you to come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah of Scripture, not the false religion held forth by the Watchtower. Please open your Bible and read it.
Rob Bowman has labored for many years in service to the church at large and to reach many individuals with the gospel of Christ. He has spent much of that time ministering to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although his opponent in this debate isn’t a Jehovah’s Witness, Mr. Beduhn is referenced by many JW apologists, especially when it comes to the translation and interpretation of John 8:58.
This is no trivial, abbreviated discussion. Buckle your seatbelts and hang on.
Christians believe, on biblical grounds, that there is one God. This belief is nicknamed ‘monotheism’. God is the unique being over all. In essence, God is the creator of everything and everyone else. He alone is uncreated. He alone is God. Anyone else who claims godhood is a mere pretender to the throne. Throughout the history of both old and new testaments, people have been constantly pursuing gods other than God. God has condemned this pursuit repeatedly.
- “You shall have no other gods before Me.” – Exodus 20:3, NAU
- “To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” – Deuteronomy 4:35, NAU
- “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;” – Isaiah 45:5, NAU
- “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” – I Timothy 1:17, NAU
Jehovah’s Witness beliefs differ from historic Christianity in several areas. One critical difference lies in their presentation of Jesus as ‘a god’ instead of God the Son. They believe that Jehovah is Almighty God and Jesus is a created being who fills the role of Mighty God. In defense of this, they feel compelled to justify the existence of ‘a god’ apart from Jehovah but there is an inescapable irony to their defense of this dual-god doctrine.
In their pamphlet on the Trinity, they make the following claim:
“Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer in this. … I am Yahweh your God . . . You shall have no gods except me.” —Exodus 20:2,3, JB. (http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/article_05.htm)
“You shall have no gods except me.” Now wait a minute. What did God say? Read it again. “… no gods”. But doesn’t the Watchtower teach Jehovah’s Witnesses that there is both God and a god ruling the universe? How does that make sense in light of God’s prohibition against having any god other than him? Jehovah’s Witnesses want to have God and a god. God denies that this is possible.
The Watchtower did get something right. “The Bible could not be any clearer on this.” It’s ironic that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe something that is opposite from what the Bible teaches so clearly.
To be continued…
Leon Morris writes concerning a healing sign that Jesus performed on the Sabbath in the Gospel of John.
That the miracle was performed on the Sabbath stamped Jesus as an evildoer in the eyes of Pharisaic officialdom. The sign is Jesus’ assertion that he could do on the Sabbath things that the Pharisees could not do. His relationship to God differs from theirs. Apart from God Jesus is helpless (vv. 19, 30), so that the healing of the man must not be seen as simple a magnificent human achievement. As John relatesit, it is a deed in which God set his seal on the work of his Son. ……
We are told of four Rabbis challenged to explain why God commands Israel to abstain from work on the Sabbath while he himself does not do so. They asked, “Is not a man permitted to carry on the Sabbath in his own courtyard?” and pointed out that both “the higher and lower regions are the courtyard of God”, so that in his own way God is keeping the Sabbath. Only it is not the way earthlings keep it. Jesus is saying that he observes the Sabbath in the same way the Father does. The Jews recognized that his claim meant that he was asserting that God was his own Father, his Father in a special sense, for he was “making himself equal to God” (5:18). But Jesus did not mean this in the sense that he was a second god, a being quite separate from the Father. He says that he is quite unable to do anything from himself, and that what the Father does the Son does (5:19). He does not say that he does similar things, but that he does the same things. (Morris, Jesus Is The Christ, pp. 28-29)
Again, Jesus does not say that he does similar things. He does
the same things! Glory to our Lord and Savior.
“The purpose of this article… is first to clearly articulate what has become known as Colwell’s rule, including its abuse, then to enunciate a revolutionary method by which to better understand the Colwell construction. This latter will be accomplished by the utilizing of the mass/count noun distinction. Finally we wish to apply these results to the New Testament as a whole, then to the Gospel of John in particular as a case study. It is hoped that this method can aid in a more scientific approach to this grammatical construction and assist in making a more surer semantic determination… .” – Donald Hartley, Th. M.
Ok… this is a theoretical circumstance and I know some of you may not like it. But whether you like it or not, we’re staring down the barrel of modern medicine and questions like this need to be discussed.
Concerning the resurrection, the Watchtower holds that there is no continuity of existence from one plane to the next. In other words, if a Jehovah’s Witness (we’ll call him Joe) dies today he completely and totally ceases to exist. Joe is no more. There is nothing left of Joe. There are only fond memories… or not-so-fond memories, depending on your relationship with Joe.
At a future time, Jehovah decides to ‘resurrect’ Joe. To do this, he creates a physical body, breathes life into it, and infuses it with all of the memories, likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and somesuch that Joe had when he was alive the first time around. This new creature is now considered to be Joe, although he is not directly connected to the first existence of Joe in any way. In other words, he is a really good copy of Joe. In today’s technospeak, we could call him Joe v2.0. According to the Watchtower, Joe v2.0 is as Joe as he can be. He is exactly like the original Joe. This constitutes a ‘resurrection’ of Joe in the Watchtower vernacular.
Which leads me to the theoretical scenario. Let’s say that sometime in the next 50 years, human cloning is achieved. Through a rigorous selection process, they select someone who has led an exemplary life concerning their physical body and habits. That someone could be named Sally. Sally is a Jehovah’s Witness. What if… and this is a huge ‘what if’, Sally v2.0 has the same memories, mannerisms, habits, physical tics, etc as Sally?According to the Watchtower, has Sally been resurrected? What if Sally is still alive? If the definition the Watchtower articulates regularly concerning resurrection is the true biblical picture, then I believe we will have a real dilemma on our hands. Sally will be resurrected in Sally v2.0, whether or not Sally is dead and resurrection will have been accomplished by science apart from Jehovah’s raising of Sally.
Theoretical? Undoubtedly. Confusing? Again, undoubtedly.
A friend wrote:
I am talking to a JW that tells me that Jesus and the angels (Lucifer) are all called “morning star[s]”. Jesus is called the [Bright] morning star in Rev 22 and he is (I think) called “morning star” in Rev 2:28. I have looked on the web, but I can’t find a good answer to give him that Jesus isn’t an angel even though he is called a morning star too. Can you help me on this?To which I replied:
Dear Friend,Thank you for writing. I can offer some comments that might help you. However, I also must pause to reflect that there is rarely ‘a good answer’ to give to someone who is committed to a religion. Since Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses both hold to the Bible as their source for religious truth, there are precious few arguments you could present that the JW isn’t already prepared for. Given that… onward and upwards.
The references in Rev 2 and 22 could be taken to be a reference to Christ. The JW will be quick to group all the angels in with this and try to draw a strong inference that this indicates Jesus is also an angel. It is common for sound Christian commentators to see a reference to Jesus and to angels in these and other verses. Take note that it does not say in these verses that ‘Jesus is an angel’ or that ‘Jesus is one of many angels’. The JW tries to frame their argument to make it appear to be that clear and strong, but it isn’t. This is figurative language so we need to be cautious about pressing figurative descriptions as if they were explicit declarations.Then how do you know that Jesus is not just another one of the angels?
- John 1:1 affirms that he is God, not merely an angel.
- John 1:3 affirms that Jesus made everything that has been created, again affirming that he is God and not a creature (angel or otherwise).
- Colossians 1:16 affirms that Christ created ALL things, visible and invisible, affirming that he is God and not a creature.
- Hebrews chapter 1 in it’s entirety contrasts Christ with the angels profoundly, indicating that he is above them as God.
The strength of these clear and explicit affirmations concerning Jesus is more than enough to destroy all speculation founded upon interpretations of implicit verses that utilize figurative imagery.
I hope this helps answer your question. You can certainly
study up on these verses and prepare yourself to dialog with your Jehovah’s Witness friend but do not be surprised if they are able to shrug off these clear statements as if they were less than worthy of consideration. After all, to do so would overturn their commitment to the JW religion. False religion ensnares people in complex ways. There can be components of pride (I know I’m right this time), fear (if I leave, I will lose my family/job/home/etc.), loyalty (they have helped me through so much) and many other factors. Pray for your friend. Only our Triune God can set them free from this blinding spiritual darkness.