Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More on Jehovah's Witnesses' Magazines

The most visible difference between Jehovah's Witnesses' magazines and Evangelical Christian publications is the photography. The vast majority of images in Watchtower and Awake! magazine are of people. The reader is shown lots of pictures of happy people of different nationalities studying the Bible and J.W. publications. Or else they show pictures of smart, but concerned-looking men and women in deep contemplation of life's dilemmas. Their eschatological artwork also shows people; Libbie the English Muffin described the images of the coming kingdom as 'multi-racial barbecues.'

In contrast, while some Evangelical publications have a few pictures of happy people, if they have photographs, the majority of them are of sunsets, landscapes or wildlife.

I think pictures in Evangelical publications tend to be used to illustrate specific points or else just too look nice. The many images of people in J.W. magazines send out a very significant psychological message. That is, that there are many people all around the world who are studying the Watchtower teachings and you can be among them.

While I think it is wrong to use psychological manipulation , the photographs that are used in Jehovah's Witnesses' magazines are very positive and pleasent. They emphasise the internatioanl community of J.W.s, revealing the importance of their fellowship. I suspect that the absence of human imagery in Evangelical publications says something about the emphases of our theology. We focus a good deal on the individual. Evangelicals often neglect the importance of the Christian community, the Church. It is so important to be conscious of the reality and the beauty of that people from every tribe, nation and tongue.

What do you think about this post, Danny Hazard?

41 comments:

Rose~ said...

Good observations, Matthew. You must have paid attention in Public Relations class. :~)

H K Flynn said...

Matthew, I have thought of this (JW and also 7th Day Adventist illustrations) many times. I think your comments are right on.

I have felt that the illustrations show more faith because they really embrace prophesy. It seems as though Evangelical publications are attempting to teach or at least engage the commited Christian, but also to inform and influence the non-Christian, or non-churched, people at the borders of Christian culture. Things like prophetic charts and prophetic illustrations are no longer welcome.

This is a problem because what has been discarded (rewards etc) is what is so motivating. The idea that our only motivations should be gratitude and glorifying God really isn't as Biblical as it sounds at first blush.

God bless.

Gayla said...

I think what's far more vital than the illustrations is what's being put forth inside the pubications. The photography is meaningless, especially if what's inside is false teaching.

Kc said...

I agree with you, Rose and Jodie and especially concerning the emphasis on the brotherhood of believers, or "community". ;-)

Gayla makes a good point as well and we need to continue to put forth the truth in all. ;-)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Rose~, thanks. Public relations class? What a thing.

Jodie, I do enjoy those sort of illustrations, but I am not 100% comfortable with them. The second commandment, while dealing with images pertaining to divinity, ought to make us cautitous about such pictures.

I can certainly see the benefits, but the visual can often take preminence over the verbal (which is the inspired part). For that reason, I do not favour Christian movies.

I would like to see more illustrations of the Prophecy, but not images of our Lord.

Gayla, I certainly agree with that.

But if pictures and photos are included in magazines and pamphlets, somebody has to choose them.

Is the J.W. approach to photos and pictures a good one (regardless of their wicked teaching)?

Kc, thanks. Yes, you hit the nail on the head as to what I like about J.W. photography.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

BronxBarbie said...

More?! Where's the first post on this! I'd like to read....

Gayla's comment about actions to support teachings is correct - but "false/wicked" teachings? Well that has to be proven with independent sources - and Le Bib of course.

Hit me back at http://thejscene.blogspot.com so I can read more on your views of this - thanx!

Redeemed said...

Sorry, Matthew, but I don't appreciate anything that is jw.

Often during tract passing I get ppl coming up to me and asking "can I get this tract". We distribute hundreds of them in just an hour and the jws at the other corner stand there looking like death with their dead material - not even one person approaches them.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, that is good that people are not taking their literature.

Bronxbarbie, thanks for visiting.

There is another psot on this somewhere in my archives.

God Bless

Matthew

Danny Haszard said...

The Watchtower fantasy art is their grabber bait and switch.They also have ghoulish armageddon art to instill fear and dread for disobedience to Watchtower high disciples.

Jehovah's Witnesses are a fraud for God destructive false cult from the get-go.--Danny Haszard www.dannyhaszard.com log on to my site and see what i mean.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Danny, you are so reliable.

Thanks for your comment.

God Bless

Matthew

Chris said...

I think "Christians" are the most judgemental people I've ever come across, this batch included.

Everyone needs to step back, take a look at all the false doctrine they are married to and get it out of their lives. Let's start with Christmas, Easter, Popery, Worship of Saints, Mary, Image worship, The Trinity, The immortality of the soul, the list goes on and on.

If you knew anything about our theology, and I'm not talking about from people like Mr. Haszard who has an ax to grind and is letting his anger effect his relationship with God, you'd know that it is a message of hope and a message of dedication to God.

Wicked? Please. Stop judging and get out there and share the good news. All of you.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris, thanks for visiting.

I can understand why you find some of the comments here offensive.

Your own comment reveals your own concern about the dangers of false teaching. I oppose Popery, Christmas, Easter, worship of saints, Mariolatry and Image Worship as strongly as you do.

The Christians who visit here are concerned about false doctrine. Hence, we believe that much Watchtower teaching is dangerous and compromises the Good News of Jesus Christ. I cannot apologise for that.

As it happens, I am not a stranger to your theology. I have spent mcuh time reading Watchtower magazines and I am always keen to study Jehovah's Witness materials. I would strongly protest at the charge of being judgmental. I am no more judgmental than you are in rejecting the Trinity.

I value your visits and hope that you will not hold my opposition to many of the teachings of your faith against me.

Chris said...

Matthew,

Thanks for your response.

We are not mind numbed robots or Stepford Crusaders. Many are born into the faith, but many like myself chose it after much study. I was baptized as an adult. I studied the Bible for years and have attended numerous churches. I was born into a Roman Catholic household and rejected it when I reached an age of understanding. I have engaged in numerous Bible studies with learned people from all denominations, who, try as they might, were unable to convincingly explain key doctrinal issues. I prayed to God insessantly for understanding, but so many of their explanations rendered other parts of the bible contradictory. We know that it cannot be that. The Bible is the truth. If you have 3 or 4 ways to interpret a passage, based on language or syntax or context, you cannot adopt the interpretation that renders other aspects of the bible contradictory or inoperative. I find that the Trinity does just that. It never sat well with me and its history (the so-called Arian Contraversy or Heresy if you will)smacked of imperial fiat rather than inspiration of God. I am confident that something as important as an understanding of the essence of God would not be left to humankind to interpret.

I just hope and pray that this tendency of Christians to quibble and fingerpoint does not anger God. I hope at worst that it amuses him.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris thanks for coming back.

I do not doubt that many Jehovah's Witnesses have come to their views through study and reasoned judgment.

If you do not mind my asking, what Christian theologians have you read?

Chris said...

Matthew,
The list is seemingly endless. I've read the Roberts-Donaldson translations of Justin Martyr and Ignatius, I've read Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Kant, Hodge, Hislop, Frend, and Bainton. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few.

How would you explain to a non-trinitarian the doctrine of the Trinity.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris, I am glad you have done a fair bit of reading.

To be honest, I would question the wisdom of attempting to debate the Trinity with one who rejected it. The deeper truths of God can only be accepted by one who has received the knowledge of Christ's saving work.

As you do not appear to be trusting in Christ for eternal life, I think it is doubtful that you would receive the truth of Trinity.

I could give you plenty of arguments, but the nature of sin is such that it hardens one to the truth. As you do not want to believe the Trinity, I doubt that I could convince you of it.

In answer to your question, the Trinity is the eternal existence of God as three persons who are one in substance.

That is not going to satisfy anyone, hence I would inroduce a person to Christ and His saving work before telling them much about the Trinity.

I see absolutley no point in attempting to convince one who rejects it.

I can reel off a lot of texts and you would have your own counter-explanation handy.

Until you have come to the point of believing in Christ for eternal life, as opposed to seeking eternal life, you will never move away from your non-trinitarian position. Or if you did, you would be no better than a Catholic anyway. The Catholics uphold the Trinity, and yet their religion is utterly debased and idolatrous.

Chris said...

Matthew,
Please, your patronizing tone is not helpful. This is precisely what I was referring to when I spoke of my history with bible teachers. I'm asking you to witness to me.

Clearly your view is that I and my ilk are wrong. If the Trinity is the truth about the essence of God than how can you "see absolutely no point" in discussing it with me? I'm not going to debate you. I just want to know the truth and that if "the Trinity is the eternal existence of God as three persons who are one in substance" is in fact, the truth, why isn't it in the bible? Why did it have to be addended at the Council of Nicea? Does that not bother your bible trained concience?

As for your barb that I don't appear to trust in Christ for eternal life, I will say, contrary to your statements otherwise, you don't really know what we believe. Christ is the way, the only way.

I apologize for my tone. I want the truth. I don't want to be told that I can't handle the truth.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

If the Bible teaches Watchtower doctrines, why produce all those publications explaining your teachings? Does the Bible not teach them?

The Bible teaches the Trinity. It affirms the deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Bible does not give us systematic statements of doctrine.

That is why the creeds are helpful; though it is certainly vital to test them against Scripture.

Your comment actually makes my point that it is futile to discuss this issue with you. In dealing with the Trinity, the assumption is apparent in your mind that the Trinity is taught in the creeds, not the Bible.

Any citation of Scripture in favour of the Trinity you will simply see as a proof text for creedal doctrine.

"As for your barb that I don't appear to trust in Christ for eternal life, I will say, contrary to your statements otherwise, you don't really know what we believe."

You seem to have forgotten that we had a very interesting discussion on the subject of eternal life not long ago.

I have already stated that I have read much Watchtower material, so I am not sure your grounds for accusing me of being ignorant.

'Christ is the way, the only way'

Absolutely. But the only way to what? Christ's saving work provides the believer with the present posession of eternal life. If rceive this gift by faith, you will receive it. If you believe on Him for some other way of salvation, you will not get that instead. That is why it is vitally important to have a right understanding of the salvation that Christ provided.

It was clear from the discussion we had on that subject that you do not believe you have received eternal life.

Chris said...

Matthew,

I do indeed recall our discussion.

Tell me, what is prayer?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris, thankyou for your question.

Prayer is the presenting of our praise, thanks, confessions and supplications.

Chris said...

Matthew,
Would you also agree that prayer is an acknowledgement of our powerlessness and an appeal for strength from God?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Not essentially. I might pray without any acknowledgment of my own position, out of religious formality. Such prayer would of course be wrong.

Such a view of prayer certainly reflects true piety in a Christian. However, it is not essential to the definition of prayer.

I am pretty sure I know where you are going with this line of reasoning.

Chris said...

Since I find such conflict in the scripture with the Trinity Doctrine, I have to ask people who firmly believe it, not on faith alone, but who can logically explain why, why Jesus prayed. As God, wouldn't an appeal for help, for strength be out of character for the Soveriegn of the Universe?

Also, just to not prolong the debate, such as it is, can you offer me your thoughts on the Mosaic Law Covenant prefiguring Christ. As I read the old testament, I am struck with the fact that there are 3 parties to a sacrifice. There is the one to whom a sacrifice is offered, God, there is the one offering the sacrifice and there is the object of sacrifice, usually a lamb or some other first fruit. If God and Jesus are one, how can the sacrifice have any meaning?

Point 3, Jesus is described at Matthew 20:28 as a "ransom". A ransom is defined as something given in exchange for another thing to obtain its release. Given that, isn't the life of God too high a price for the redemption of mankind?

Given these points, how is the Trinity Doctrine supportable without creating contradictions and discrepancies with other scriptures?

The IBEX Scribe said...

Jesus was both fully God and fully man, and in His humanity he both ate and slept, which means that his body grew hungry and weary. He faced the limitations of humanity when He took the form of a servant, and then became obedient unto death on the cross. In the flesh of humanity such obedience was no simple matter, and Jesus prayed because fellowship with God is the greatest protection we have against disobedience. The price of His life was high indeed, but it was a price that God was willing to pay, being pleased to crush His sinless Son on our behalf.

The Bible upholds the deity of Christ even as His humanity is apparent. Colossians 2:9 says, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." How else can we understand this than to say that Jesus Christ is indeed God?

Jesus is a member of the Godhead, along with the Father and the Spirit. One member sacrificed and another received the sacrifice. In the same way prayer involves more than one member of the Godhead. The Christian prays to the Father and the Spirit intercedes on the believer's behalf (see Luke 11:2, Romans 8:26-27).

My explanation is weak, but these are all scriptural truths. Jesus Christ is God. If you will not see that I cannot help you understand. When we rely on the vain philosophy of man instead of taking the scriptures for what they say we are certain to miss the the truth of the gospel that is the very power of God unto salvation.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris, it baffles me why Jehovah's Witnesses find Christ's prayers such a problem. To my mind that is actually the weakest argument against the Trinity that there is. The fact that it gets used so often makes me suspect that most Jehovah's Witnesses do nto really understand the Trinity or the Incarnation.

I would refer you to the Scriptures:

Phillipians 2
7 "but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

The Son of God became man, accepting the limitations on His strength that this entailed. This does not mean that He ceased to be God. No, He surrendered the use of His divine nature in becoming man and submitted totally to the will of the Father as a servant.

The same is taught in Hebrews 2:

9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

The humnaity of Christ was not an illusion, but a genuine state of humility that the Son of God entered.

Hence, it was necessary for Christ to pray.

"If God and Jesus are one, how can the sacrifice have any meaning?"

The Father and the Son are not one in the sense of being the same person. They are distinct persons. Those who reject the Trinity seem to have great difficulty apprehending this.

As for the ransom, the ransom was a perfect man offered as a sacrifice to the Father. It was Christ's human nature that was sacrificed not His divine. If you think that was too high a price, I think you would need to show that this is a Scriptural value judgment.

Chris said...

Matthew,
You said:
"The Father and the Son are not one in the sense of being the same person. They are distinct persons. Those who reject the Trinity seem to have great difficulty apprehending this."

I Agree with this statement! I don't have difficulty in apprehending this at all. Its what the bible tells us.

Ibex said "Jesus Christ is God". I don't understand the verbal gymnastics that yields that statement.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Chris, please tell me then how I ought to interpret Colossians 2:9. Please tell me how I ought to interpret Jesus saying, "I AM," and still be without sin, for if He is not God, would that not be blasphemy? "I AM" is the very name of God given to Moses. Jesus claims that name. (See John 8:58 and context)

I do not see how concluding that "in Him all the fullness of God dwells in bodily form" means that Jesus is God is verbal gymnastics. I will be most interested in hearing how you explain that away.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris, I hope I am not the one who made you turn green and tear your clothes.

"I Agree with this statement! I don't have difficulty in apprehending this at all. Its what the bible tells us."

I meant by this that Jehovah's Witnesses often seem to be under the impression that Trinitarian theology holds the Father and the Son to be the same person.

"Ibex said "Jesus Christ is God". I don't understand the verbal gymnastics that yields that statement."

Maybe so, but the Bible says that very thing in Hebrews 1:8

"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."

The same chapter identifies the Son as the express image of the Father (verse 3), the one who upholds all things (verse 3), the object of worship by angels (verse 6), the creator (verse 10) and eternal and unchangeable (verse 12).

Thus, when we say that Jesus is God, we mean that He shares the same divine nature as His Father. As Angie points out, this doctrine is clearly maintained in Colossians 2:9.

Chris said...

Ibex-
I don't explain it away. This is not a philisophical debate. We have legitimate differences in scriptural interpretation. My view, long before I became a Witness was to seek the truth. I've read numerous Bibles and have researched countless other publications, but always refering back to the Bible.

Collosians 2:8 and 9 means that the way to God is through Christ, not the empty and deceptive traditions of men, which I believe refers to the way the Law Covenant became overly burdensome and legalized and empty. "Godship" refers to the Divine Quality that the teachings of men lack and that Christ possesses in all fullness.

Matthew-I do not wish to offend you or your faithful readers. You are all wonderful people and steadfast in your faith. We obviously disagree on some key issues. Witnesses consider themselves a faithful people, faithful Christians. Whenever I see us attacked, my Christian meakness unfortunately takes a back seat to my football brawler side.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Chris,

What about what Jesus said of Himself in the passage in John to which I referred? I would like to know how you understand that.

Thanks.

Angie

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris,
Thanks for the compliment.

I think your interpretation of Colossians 2:9 is extremely arbitrary. You are effectively limiting the fulness of divine quality to moral qualities. The fact is that God has qualities that are not limited to His moral character; that is His eternity, His power, His knowledge and His nature.

I think Colossians chapter 1:13-17 yields a better expanation of what it means for Christ to be posess the fulness of the Godhead:

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darknes, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or domminions, or the principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

So we see that Jesus is the very image of God, is the Creator of the universe and is eternal and all things consist by him (which indicates His omnipresence as well as His power).

Chris said...

Angie,
The King James version renders it "I am", while the Amplified renders it "I AM" and references Exodus 3:14, which clearly is saying that Jesus is Jehovah. I think this is incorrect. Our bible renders it "Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been." I believe John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:13-17 clarify the matter, as Matthew has referenced here in his last comment refer to Jesus' pre-human existence. He was the first born of all creation. Jehovah God is from time indefinite to time indefinite, without beginning or end.

God says at Genesis 1:26 "Let us make man in our image..." John 1 helps us to understand this statement. God is eternal, Jesus was born of God and became his Co-Creator. All things came into existence through Jesus.

I differ with Matthew and you in that since Jesus clearly had a beginning, being the first born of creation, he is by definition not eternal. He is without end, but he certainly had a beginning.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Chris, does firstborn always mean literally the first to be born or can it possibly be a designation of preeminence?

Also, when Thomas says to Jesus, "My Lord and my God," why does Jesus not rebuke him? Jesus is clearly well versed in the law as His response to Satan in Matthew 4 would show. He says in response to one of the temptations, "for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10). Compare Acts 12:21-23, when the people proclaim that Herod's voice was the voice of a god. Herod accepted the praise that was not due him and he was struck down. In Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas are called gods by the people, and they tore their clothes and protested against it. Jesus accepted the worship and was not struck down, nor did He in any way indicate that Thomas had misspoken. How could Jesus do that if He were not indeed God? I don't understand.

Chris said...

Angie,
I honestly don't know the answer to that question. We know that Jesus is referred to as a god in John 1:1. We know that he created us after first being created, so I suspect its a reverential comment of some sort on the part of his Disciple.

The earliest reference to the Messiah is in Genesis 3:15 and we see that God is refering to the seed of the woman bruising the serpent in the head. Clearly this seed is different than Jehovah God speaking in this verse.

Since the Messiah and the Holy Spirit are both referenced in the Hebrew Scriptures why do you suppose that the Jews never understood God to be Triune? Why is it that Christians have this view? How can Jesus both be the Lamb of God and God himself?

Also, I don't know which Bible translation you read but why has God's name been ommitted and substituted with titles such as Lord or God or Almighty. The Tetragrammaton appears 7000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. The substitution of Lord is particularly confusing since it is also used with respect to Jesus.

The IBEX Scribe said...

I typically read NASB, but since Matthew prefers KJV I will often use that translation when quoting the Bible here out of respect. The NASB differentiates between YHWH and Adonai by rendering them LORD and Lord, respectively. In Psalm 110:1, for instance, it says, "The LORD says to my Lord:
'Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" The KJV also differentiates between the two by using all caps for the tetragrammaton. We might ask why your translation insists on rendering John 1:1 as saying that the Word was a god instead of the more standard the Word was God. Likewise with John 8:58 reading "I have been" rather than "I am." I don't know Greek, so I can't say how it should be translated, but your translation is certainly in the minority.

Many Jews thought that the Messiah would bring them immediate political sovereignty. Their understanding of the Messiah was not completely accurate, I think, as proven by their general rejection of Him. The New Testament offers insight into the mysteries of God that were not revealed fully in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ was prophecied but not revealed to them. When Genesis 1 records God as saying, "Let Us make man in Our image," I think it is possible that the Jews might have had a concept of a "complex" Godhead, although without the revelation of the Word, Jesus Christ, they would not have the means to understand what form that took. My response is somewhat speculative, as I really don't know what the Jews believed about the personhood of God before the coming of the Christ.

Speaking of Genesis 1, it is interesting to me that God says, "Let Us make man in Our image" to the co-creator. "Our image" would imply to me that they share the template from which the image (man) was made. Certainly our image is not that of God, rather it is a reflection of God. How can the created and the Creator be of the same image that God would say "Our image" to a created one? The created one must have a lesser image than the Creator, and cannot share an image to that degree. Only one of the same essence can truly share an image. Just my thoughts.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Chris
"I differ with Matthew and you in that since Jesus clearly had a beginning, being the first born of creation, he is by definition not eternal."

It would be helpful if you give some evidence that Jesus was created. As Angie says, firstborn may refer to Jesus' position and relationship with His Father rather than indicate His being a created being.

I would refer you to John 1:1

1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

What is the beginning here? If it is the point of the Son's creation, then it is difficult to avoid the possibility that the Father also had a begining in time.

Revelation 1
8 ¶ "I am Alpha and Ome'ga, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

Now this tells us that the Son will exist unto the end, the Omega. Does this mean that at some point, the Son will cease to exist? No, rather it refers to the eternal future when it refers to the Omega, the ending.

Hence, if the Omega is the eternal future, is it not logical to conclude that the Alpha, the beginning is not some definite point in the past, but is the eternal past and that the Son has no beginning in time?

"How can Jesus both be the Lamb of God and God himself?"

'Lamb of God' refers not to Christ's divine nature, but to His human nature as a spotless sacrifice offered to the Father.

"Also, I don't know which Bible translation you read but why has God's name been ommitted and substituted with titles such as Lord or God or Almighty."

If you have a problem with this, you have a problem with the inspired Greek New Testament, for when it quotes the OT, it consistently gives Jehovah as Lord or Kyrios in the Greek.

Chris, let me break with my usual custom and quote J.N. Darby's translation of the Bible:

Zechariah 12 begins:
"The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel: (Thus) saith Jehovah, who stretcheth out the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him:"

So we see that this chapter is Jehovah's narrative.

In verse 10, what does Jehovah say?

"and they shall look upon me whom they pierced"

Now this passage is in fact applied to Christ in John 19:37

"And again another scripture says, They shall look on him whom they pierced."

So, we see the clear declaration of Scripture that Jesus is Jehovah.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Matthew, I do like the point you make from Zechariah. Good stuff.

Chris said...

In light of this, explain Jesus baptism and God's voice from the heavens.

Also, in many instances Jesus talks not of his will but the will of the one who sent him.

Also, after his baptism, (Matt 4:4) the devil (who knows God)is talking to Jesus. Jesus replies,"...but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 2 Things here. Does Jesus mean "out of my mouth"? And is the devil not aware he is speaking to God?

1 Thes 4:16 says "...with the voice of the archangel..." Why the diminutive archangel and not God's voice? There is only one other reference to archangel in the bible and that is at Jude 9 which says that Michael is the archangel.

I'm not studied in Greek but if you look at John 1:1 in the Greek you see that the 1st God and the 2nd God are rendered differently, the 2nd one with an article.

Matthew the passage in Zechariah further says, "..., and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son..." On the one hand we have Jehovah saying in your translation "me, whom they have pierced..." and then "... and they shall mourn for him..."

Is there an explanation for the switch in the personal reference? Because I can see from this the bitterness of Jehovah over the past conduct of the Nation of Isreal. It is very much like a piercing. The whole theme of the bible is the vindication of God's soveriegnty, after the figurative "piercing" in the garden.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Angie, thanks.

Chris,
"In light of this, explain Jesus baptism and God's voice from the heavens."

"Also, in many instances Jesus talks not of his will but the will of the one who sent him."

Chris, with respect, you and other Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have a mental block that stops you acknowledging that Trinitarians recognise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as distinct persons.

Jesus was in a relationship with His Father and related to Him as a distinct person. He submitted completely to the will of the Father.



There are verses in the New Testament where God refers to the Father as distinct from the Son.

This does not cast any doubt on the deity of Christ.

"Also, after his baptism, (Matt 4:4) the devil (who knows God)is talking to Jesus. Jesus replies,"...but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 2 Things here. Does Jesus mean "out of my mouth"? And is the devil not aware he is speaking to God?"

Satan spoke to God in Job. He certainly would have known, but this is irrelevant. Making inferences from the psychology of Satan is not a legitimate method of exegesis.

Jesus was both man and God. You seem to have trouble apprehending this doctrine. When He was tempted, He acted in the capacity of a perfect and righteous man.

"I'm not studied in Greek but if you look at John 1:1 in the Greek you see that the 1st God and the 2nd God are rendered differently, the 2nd one with an article."

And I understand that God is rendered in the same way as the Word is rendered God in verses 6, 12 and 13.

I am not arguing the issue of God or a God here. I am contesting your conclusion that the Son had a beginning in time. Where is the evidence for this? John 1:1, regardless of whether it says God or a God implies the co-eternity of God and the Word.

"Is there an explanation for the switch in the personal reference? Because I can see from this the bitterness of Jehovah over the past conduct of the Nation of Isreal. It is very much like a piercing. The whole theme of the bible is the vindication of God's soveriegnty, after the figurative "piercing" in the garden."

Have you any evidence to support the conmclusion that piercing has anything to do with the Garden of Eden? That the verse is used in connection with the crucifixtion clearly indicates the piercing of Christ on the cross by the Jews, for which they were responsible as a nation.

Rev 1:7
"Behold he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which PIERCED him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

I would contend that Zechariah 12:10 refers to a future event, the appearing of Christ.

Chris said...

Matthew,
Thank you. Perhaps I do have a mental block. You say 3 distinct persons, as do we. I'm not sure then where we differ with regard to this. I will say, having spoken to thousands of people, most Christians do not have this view. Of course, few are as schooled in the Bible as you are.

As for Jesus being created, I take the Bible at its word. Unless the words "first born" or "begotten" at John 1:14 have different meanings than the ones we know today, I take those to mean starting points. The Nicene Creed, of which I'm not sure you are an adherent to, introduces the concept of consubstantiation. But aside from that, I've not seen this expressed explicitly in the bible.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Chris.

I would have to say that most Christians (if that they truly be) are ignorant of both the Bible and theology.

I would say that Rev 1:7 and John 1:1 are key arguments that the Son has no beginning in time. Any examination of the words 'begotten' and 'firsborn' must take them into account.

Given that the Father is not a Father in the same sense as a human father, we are clearly dealing with a begetting that is distinct fromt he normal meaning of the word.

I would refer you back to Col:2:9. If Jesus has the fulness of the divine quality, as you describe it, then He shares the eternity of the Father.