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Steven3
Sep 27th 2007, 08:37 AM
Hi Gypsy :)
I'm a total heretic myself - a liberal unitarian with all sorts of flaky ideas, so far worse than a JW :) and I probably need being saved into orthodoxy more than your colleague does, so best take what I'm going to say with a large teaspoon of salt :spin: ....and also I have to admit that I've never been to a JW meeting (I can't imagine it'd be my cup of tea but don't imagine they eat babies either) ...but all the same I take them to be sincere Bible-believing Christians, with some oddities. Other people are always odd ;)


She does see that she is witnessing to me with a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other and her life falling apart around her. She often sais things like "Please don't think that I'm a representative Witness" but, even in the face of that evidence she can not admit any errors of her faith, but rather she believes that she is not doing it right. I can feel her doubts, but can also feel that she has been conditioned to squelch them. That any doubt is in fact a threat to her salvation. That if she doubts, or even listens to anything else she is not doing it right.

Please pray for my friend and that I be made able to “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel”

God Bless

At the risk of being controversial, can you say clearly what it is you're trying to convert her into? :) Ephesians 6:19 "that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel" relates back to Ephesians 3:6 "This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." If she's a JW she'll already know that better than most Evangelical Christians. They have quite a good grounding in the promises/gospel preached before to Abraham and so on, even if they do now believe that God has now totally finished with Israel.

What specifically is it that is so terrible about JWs that means they have to be pulled out of their churches?

* They believe that Jesus came back halfway in 1914, and is coming the whole way later? - pretty stupid in my view given "every eye will see him" and Mark 13:32, but not a million miles away from the pre-trib rapture-to-heaven preached by the "Left Behind" books. And of course millions of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many Protestant believers don't believe Christ is literally coming back at all, ever.

* They believe only 144,000 go to heaven, and the other millions of "saved" on earth? Again what's so terrible? In my local Anglican church, half the members believe in heaven-going, half believe in sleep and resurrection on earth. The only difference is the JWs seem to believe in both at the same time. (Seems a bit odd to me to preach mortality of the soul and then except your own members, but there we go, everyone believes their church is special ;))

* While they busily deny the word "Trinity", and the Nicean and Chalcedonian creeds, in fact in what they actually believe about Jesus they are often more Trinitarian than many Trinitarians - particularly Anglicans and Roman Catholics. They take very literally a preexistent distinct Logos-Person (Michael in their view, which I personally think weird, but again is found in some Evangelical churches too) Jesus taking part in making creation, physically casting off his heavenly body and entering Mary's womb, and so on.

* They don't allow blood-transfusions, but fortunately the government in most countries no longer allows their views to harm their children (a blessing I suspect many JW parents are quietly very happy to have). But they're hardly the only church whose leaders are against making full use of medical treatment. How many fundamentalist churches pressure families to deny psychiatric care to people with mental illness?

* They're pacifists - hurray!! Good for them (John 18:36)

* They have their own translation of the Bible - as if Evangelicals don't. :lol:

* They don't celebrate Christmas. (Well I do, but only as a worldling)

I can't see that any of these put them so far outside the mainstream of Christendom that this lady needs converting/saving. In fact in a few areas - like pacifism and mortality of the soul (well non-JW 144,000 souls at least!) for example - you might do well to let the discussion be two-way :)

God bless
Steven

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 01:10 PM
I agree with Steven. The Jehovah's Witnesses, most of them anyway, are Christians with just strange beliefs. You can't "convert" one who is already converted. While I may not agree with their organization and some of their doctrines, I believe there are many Jehovah's Witnesses out there who are true followers of the Messiah (to the best of their ability). I think we should be willing to enter friendly debates with Jehovah's Witnesses, because one of us may learn something. The biggest problem I see with Jehovah's Witnesses is they see no room for improvement. Perhaps, if anything, this is the error we need to help Jehovah's Witnesses see. But then again, many mainstream Christians hold a similar view, that they are right, and everyone else is wrong.


I'm a total heretic myself - a liberal unitarian with all sorts of flaky ideasYes, no one wants to listen to you, you poisonous root! :lol:


* They believe that Jesus came back halfway in 1914, and is coming the whole way later? - pretty stupid in my view given "every eye will see him" and Mark 13:32, but not a million miles away from the pre-trib rapture-to-heaven preached by the "Left Behind" books. And of course millions of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many Protestant believers don't believe Christ is literally coming back at all, ever.
Exactly. The belief Jesus came back halfway in 1914 is not too far off from Hal Lindsay's prediction of Jesus returning around 1989.


I can't see that any of these put them so far outside the mainstream of Christendom that this lady needs converting/saving. In fact in a few areas - like pacifism and mortality of the soul (well non-JW 144,000 souls at least!) for example - you might do well to let the discussion be two-way :)I don't think it has to do so much with Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs, but with their attitude. It seems many of them think they are inherently better and more correct than everyone and as a result cut themselves off from the rest of the body of Christ. This bothers me. Also, most of them put all their trust in their leaders. This is not much different than what goes on in mainstream Christianity, but you should never put your trust in the teachings of men, but search the truth for yourself in prayer and through diligent study of the Scriptures. On the other hand, not all Jehovah's Witnesses are like what we stereotype them as.

I don't know what more else to say that Steven didn't already.

One more thing, the fact most Jehovah's Witnesses are handy with their Bibles should be something to be admired. They may not be right, but at least they usually can show you why they think they are right.

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 01:16 PM
Also, can someone refer me to a good Trinitarian apologetic? We haven’t talked at length about this but I know it’s coming.The Trinity debate tends to be fruitless in my opinion.

Tanya~
Sep 27th 2007, 01:58 PM
The Christian faith is centered on Jesus Christ. If you have a different Jesus, you don't have the Christian faith. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is not deity, but an angel -- Michael the Archangel. They believe He is 'a god' not God in human flesh. They deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus, which is absolutely critical to Biblical faith (1 Cor 15). This places them outside of orthodox Christianity.

Steven3
Sep 27th 2007, 09:21 PM
Hi Gypsy :)
Ahah, if you're busy converting each other then fine. Maybe you'll each move a step into the middle ;)

So, to be directly responsive to your question, I pray that the Holy Spirit will move to “convert her into" the understanding that God loves her and has a plan for her life, but that, because she is a sinner, she has been separated from God. That the wage of that sin is death. That Jesus Christ, who was both the son of God and the son of man, suffered brutally and died in order to settle that debt. That His blood has washed away her sins so that she may become presentable to God. That He alone is the gate to God’s fellowship in the kingdom of heaven and that by asking Him for forgiveness and placing her faith in His love, her salvation will be secure.

Is this not what you believe? We can not talk about it here but maybe we could start a thread in the World Religion Forum. No need I think. Yes I do, but more to the point, doesn't she? As far as I can tell every JW I've met does too. Why wouldn't they?

We're all sinners, but why would she be "separated from God" after baptism because of belonging to the wrong church? Surely she's been baptised and born again just like any Evangelical. JWs do believe in baptism and the new-life. Isn't it, as Paul says, up to the Lord to "know who are his" not us?

As to her life. You seem to be identifying, I dunno, touchy-feely differences, identifying that's she's not very up, or happy. Is that necessarily anything to do with which church someone goes to?

Anyway, take care, and have fun converting each other :D
Steven

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 10:02 PM
Gypsy, the situation you have found yourself in actually sounds quite nice. I unfortunately do not have many people in the flesh to talk with about Biblical issues. So I think you and her are both in a beneficial situation. Perhaps both of you will learn something new. If your friend learns anything, I hope it is that being a part of any one congregation or denomination does and should not mean anything. We should all be non-denominational in fact; but that should not stop us from going to one church over the other.

However, I feel you may be misinterpreting or misrepresenting her personality. I am a Christian but I'm sure I come off as "dry" or "cold" in person sometimes, because I am quite composed and emotionally conserved. Sometimes that changes after you get to know me. That's not because I'm not filled with the Holy Spirit, but just because that's who I am and how I act in most situations; we all tend to act different around those we are comfortable with and those who we are just getting to know. I am happy but it does not always bluntly show as it does in some other people I know. I can't help it. In any case, personality does not necessarily indicate if one is filled with the Holy Spirit or not. Sometimes it is how one acts physically and not emotionally, i.e. you may appear sad but at the same time to go to great lengths to help others while not actually being sad at all. In short, I mean to say, you may be interpreting this person's personality for sadness, when in fact she is not sad.

If you have any questions in particular, feel free to ask us two heretics, Steven and I.

Just some friendly advice.

Tanya~
Sep 27th 2007, 11:12 PM
We're all sinners, but why would she be "separated from God" after baptism because of belonging to the wrong church? Surely she's been baptised and born again just like any Evangelical. JWs do believe in baptism and the new-life. Isn't it, as Paul says, up to the Lord to "know who are his" not us?

Unless you have received the Holy Spirit, you aren't born again. The JWs have a different spirit, a different Jesus, and a different gospel. It doesn't matter if they were baptized, if the baptism is into something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ who died and rose again (bodily).

What is insidious about the JW religion is that it closely resembles Christianity but is a complete counterfeit.


As to her life. You seem to be identifying, I dunno, touchy-feely differences, identifying that's she's not very up, or happy. Is that necessarily anything to do with which church someone goes to?

I think Jeffry is discerning in the Spirit that this woman is lost and in need of salvation.


Maybe you'll each move a step into the middle

The essential differences have no middle. What is in the middle of Jesus as God vs. Jesus as some sort of demigod or angel? What is in the middle of Jesus rising bodily (in the flesh) from the dead vs. rising in a 'spirit body?' What is in the middle of the Holy Spirit as personal Deity vs. some sort of impersonal life force?

There is much that can be agreed upon between JWs and Christians, but there are certain things that cannot be compromised. The nature of God cannot be compromised, or you end up worshiping something that is not God. A false gospel cannot save anyone.

If this were someone other than Jeffrey I would be concerned that some of the things you're saying would confuse him, and adversely affect his faith but I know Jeffrey knows better than that. Still, I don't think it's appropriate for anyone to argue in this New in Christ forum for the JW religion, however subtly.

threebigrocks
Sep 27th 2007, 11:15 PM
Hi Gypsy :)
Ahah, if you're busy converting each other then fine. Maybe you'll each move a step into the middle ;)
No need I think. Yes I do, but more to the point, doesn't she? As far as I can tell every JW I've met does too. Why wouldn't they?

We're all sinners, but why would she be "separated from God" after baptism because of belonging to the wrong church? Surely she's been baptised and born again just like any Evangelical. JWs do believe in baptism and the new-life. Isn't it, as Paul says, up to the Lord to "know who are his" not us?

As to her life. You seem to be identifying, I dunno, touchy-feely differences, identifying that's she's not very up, or happy. Is that necessarily anything to do with which church someone goes to?

Anyway, take care, and have fun converting each other :D
Steven

The purpose of evangelization is to win souls over to Christ, not to meet halfway. That would mean a compromise on the part of both of them - leaving neither one of them with faith in Christ but something else. It's a loose loose situation. We will be spit out if we are cold or lukewarm, only those who are all for Christ will be saved. No fence sitting or partial faith.

Revelation 3


14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

15'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,


The JW friend doesn't know what keeps her seperated from God or even that she is. She doesn't know, which is why Gypsy is sharing the Gospel with her as best he can.

Gypsy's friend has stated that her belief is causing her and her family a great amount of stress. They expect her to measure up to their standard's, not a Godly standard. This friend does not belong to a Chrisian church. Their baptism is not a Christian baptism, of the Holy Spirit, as we know it but different in principle by a long shot. That's the thing with a cult - they make you think that it's wonderful and perfect and not out of the ordinary on the surface yet when you dig, even just a bit you find that it's not anything it's professed to be. JW are not Christian. As Gypsy said, just because it walks and talks like a duck doesn't mean it's a duck.

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 11:35 PM
The essential differences have no middle. What is in the middle of Jesus as God vs. Jesus as some sort of demigod or angel? What is in the middle of Jesus rising bodily (in the flesh) from the dead vs. rising in a 'spirit body?' What is in the middle of the Holy Spirit as personal Deity vs. some sort of impersonal life force?

I agree Jesus is God, but I do not believe that belief is essential to the Christian faith; if it was, the authors of the gospels would have went to larger length to establish it. I believe it is essential to believe Jesus is the risen Messiah, the lamb that was slain for his people, and Lord of the world. If you believe there is one God and one Lord (1Co 8:6), you are on the right track in my opinion.

I understand your concerns about JW beliefs about Jesus' resurrection, but I've never really looked into their argument in the first place. I can see them quoting the bit about flesh and blood not inheriting the Kingdom of God, but then again, I believe the Kingdom of God is on Earth right now.

As for the whole thing about Jesus being Michael, I think it is pretty ridiculous to understand Jesus as an angel based on a few passages about a figure that is otherwise absent from Scripture, but on the other hand, the last time I checked, Daniel employs Michael as a Messianic figure. I’ll need to check that again later.

Steven3
Sep 28th 2007, 09:34 AM
Hi Threebigrocks :)
The purpose of evangelization is to win souls over to Christ, not to meet halfway. True, but is what we're discussing here really evangelization by the NT definition? In this context it isn't a Christian preaching to a Hindu, it's two people from two different churches - Evangelical and JW - preaching to each other. It's rather unlikely that one church is going to be 100% correct and the other 100% wrong.


The JW friend doesn't know what keeps her seperated from God or even that she is. Where in the Bible does it say that JWs are "separated from God"? Ephesians 2:12 is talking about pagans worshipping idols.

2 Timothy 2:19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”



As Gypsy said, just because it walks and talks like a duck doesn't mean it's a duck.That's certainly something we can agree on:

Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

We obviously see this differently - each to his own. I won't say any more.
Steven


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Tanya

If this were someone other than Jeffrey I would be concerned that some of the things you're saying would confuse him, and adversely affect his faith but I know Jeffrey knows better than that. Still, I don't think it's appropriate for anyone to argue in this New in Christ forum for the JW religion, however subtly.This is "Apologetics and Evangelism" forum. And I am not "arguing for the JW religion, however subtly", I've made it clear that I consider a lot of their ideas crackers (though not the pacifist one), I'm simply suggesting that a bit of tolerance and kindness for other Christian churches is no bad thing. The Lord, not us, knows who are his. But as I said, I've no more to say.
Steven

ServantofTruth
Sep 29th 2007, 08:25 AM
I'm from a Church of England / Anglican background - now outside of all denominations. I have studied with different denominations, including the Jehovah's Witnesses. The first thing you notice when approaching any church, is how kean they are to deny that other Christians are biblical/ saved/ are from Satan.
Roman Catholics are hated and denied by many, in my very short time on this board i 've already seen it here! Of course J Wits want to deny all denominations and i don't know any denomination that accepts them.
So can someone tell me what is wrong with them? They require all their followers to study the bible and not in a childish way but every day and with people with serious knowledge. I can't find this in any church/ denomination i approach! What is it they believe that contradicts the bible, because christians i know don't know?
The churches i know allow people to live together, have sex outside of marriage, divorce and remarry, abandon children, have homosexuals need i continue....
I am able, unlike most i meet, to hold my opinion, biblical opinion in my mind and listern to others without being changed. In all my study, even when i disagreed i was never able to see them denying bible truth. I just saw it differently. They certainly don't express personal opinion like in other denominations.
All i've ever heard against them is the status they give to the organisation. Is any denomination/ church different. If you don't value the opinions of the church/ denomination your in and their way of studying the scriptures, surely you wouldn't be in it!
I dislike their way of 'study'. That is mind control. Read a paragraph, answer from the paragraph, don't think for yourself. But if it is biblical even this would be hard to criticise. After all my opinion or yours is not important - only YaHWeH's Word through the scriptures.
Lastly no J Wit i have ever met would come to a message board and argue. It just is not their way. If any have come here they must be 'rogue' or ex ones. The elders would not allow it. It is so easy to gang up and attack people who can't respond.
I certainly am not a Jehovah's Witness and have had no contact with any for some years. I don't even see it as my role to defend them. But for balance, tell me, FROM A BIBLICAL POSITION ONLY, what they teach that is wrong. All denominations have unhappy followers. People will also change denominations. Shouldn't we spend more time reaching out to sinners than daily bible studiers who try harder than most to live loving lives in family groups. This especially applies to NEW Christians who by their own admission on this topic don't know what the bible says. I went to study once, to be told by the teacher that she hadn't even read the whole bible! I have and more than once. Perhaps each person who replies, could state if they have actually read the WHOLE bible!!!

Steven3
Sep 29th 2007, 10:44 AM
Hi Servant of Truth :)
I wasn't going to comment on this thread (or even stray into this forum) again, but the example of another Brit with a bit of CofE background encouraged me.
I'm from a Church of England / Anglican background - now outside of all denominations. I have studied with different denominations, including the Jehovah's Witnesses. The first thing you notice when approaching any church, is how keen they are to deny that other Christians are biblical / saved / are from Satan.

Best of all the last one!! I get that last one all the time :) usually, ironically, because I don't believe Satan is anything more than a symbol of sin - therefore I must be serving Lucifer himself. I've even had a JW tell me that to "not believe in Satan" (his definition) means that Satan's got me :D. But generally my experience has been that JWs are okay, more tolerant than Exclusive Brethen and the more HS Evangelical churches in the UK, less tolerant than Open Brethren, Anglicans, Methodists, United Reformed, Catholics, Quakers etc.

But visiting the US you really get a feeling of how people there feel about JWs when the subject comes up. And it has deep roots going back at least to WWII.


TIME MAGAZINE 1940 - re how a mob of 2,000 fired a JW Kingdom Hall in Maine.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,764089,00.html


To outsiders, Jehovah's Witnesses are without doubt the most irritating of U. S. sects. They clatter about the country in jalopies, often a couple to a car, the man in overalls, the woman in calico. They ring doorbells, ask whoever answers to listen to their phonograph records attacking all "organized religion" (the Roman Catholic church in particular) as a racket. They disregard the law because they owe allegiance to "none but God." In school their children refuse to salute the flag, believing that it is a graven image. Last week into clink from Maine to Texas as alleged spies, radicals, fifth columnists and non-patriots bounced Bible-dizzy but patently sincere Jehovah's Witnesses. At Litchfield, 111., townsfolk mobbed a Witness motorcade, wrecked its cars. Police rushed 61 Witnesses to the city jail, then had to call for State policemen and neighboring sheriffs to protect the jail.

Several weeks after the attack, the witness is still trembling. "Everyone knew trouble was coming," ...

Liberals as well as conservatives gave the Witnesses short shrift. Mayor Maury Maverick of San Antonio, Tex., forbade a Witnesses' convention there, swore their refusal to salute the U. S. flag was an "overt act." But Republican Maine had the worst riots. At Kennebunk last week. Witness headquarters were sacked, burned by an angry mob. There and in nearby towns private houses were raided, Witnesses dragged out and beaten up.
Trouble at Kennebunk began when patriotic natives concluded that Witnesses were spreading subversive doctrines. When a threatening group marched to "Kingdom Hall," flimsy frame headquarters of the Witnesses, late one night, two got potted with buckshot. Next morning a mob of 2,000 set fire to Kingdom Hall. Police clapped its six occupants into jail for assault with intent to kill, later jailed two of the 2,000 for arson. Then the riots began. By the second night mobs were hunting victims. At Wells, Me., a crowd went to one man's house, demanding to know whether he was a Witness and whether he would salute the flag. Reported A. P.: "When the man denied membership and expressed no objection to saluting the flag, the crowd became abusive and threw stones at the house." Not until calmer heads pointed out that throwing stones would do no good to Maine's summer tourist season did thrifty Down-Easterners stay their hands.

At week's end, with little Witness literature left unburned in Maine, three Witness defendants were under protective guard in the jail of another county, three in hiding after giving bail.

The ironic thing is I'm sure that the invective, saying they're not even Christians and so on only makes them stronger. Persecution and prejudice are great strengtheners for any church.
God bless
Steven

Ninna
Sep 29th 2007, 12:40 PM
This is going to World Religions....now discuss away.

jujubea
Sep 29th 2007, 07:44 PM
I dislike their way of 'study'. That is mind control. Read a paragraph, answer from the paragraph, don't think for yourself. But if it is biblical even this would be hard to criticise.

Actually, it is encouraged that those studying answer from their own thoughts and words. Many do fall back on just answering from the paragraph, but this is not what Witnesses are aiming for. We want your thoughts, your feelings on any given paragraph. However, even if a person defaults to the paragraph answer, I would hardly say this is mind controle. As you noted, it is backed with scripture.


Lastly no J Wit i have ever met would come to a message board and argue. It just is not their way. If any have come here they must be 'rogue' or ex ones. The elders would not allow it..

It is true that it is not encouraged, however, it is not something that Elder "allow or disallow". Watching violent movies is discouraged too, but Elders aren't going around checking out peoples movie colections. Elders are not controling in such ways. They are there to guide and encourage, but they are not masters over our faith.

I can assure you that I am a Witness in good standing. I am very cautious when posting on sites, such as this. I, woud not recomend it to others, as I am not sure of their strength or lack there of. For the most part it is a waist of time, since most on such sites are not really looking to learn anything, but I enjoy a challenge every now and again. It hones my skills, moves me to do more research and strengthens my faith.


It is so easy to gang up and attack people who can't respond.

I certainly am not a Jehovah's Witness and have had no contact with any for some years. I don't even see it as my role to defend them. But for balance, tell me, FROM A BIBLICAL POSITION ONLY, what they teach that is wrong.

Thank you for your balance. All too often people accept rumor and lies rather than try to get answers from Witnesses. They hold a prejudice without having the facts. So thank you for not being a lemming.

Judy

jujubea
Sep 30th 2007, 12:17 AM
* They believe that Jesus came back halfway in 1914, and is coming the whole way later?

I can kinda see that, that is how some would enterpret what Witnesses believe, although I would say that it is not quite accurate.

When Jesus was resurrected he was invited to sit at Jehovahs right had. There he had to wait.

Psalm 110:1 "The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is:'Sit at my right hand
Until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.'"

Isaiah 66:1 "This is what Jehovah has said: 'The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool....'"

Revelation 12:9-10 "So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God!"

Once Jesus enemies were placed as a stool for his feet, he was given the throne. Rather than being King designate waiting, he was now King of God's Kingdom. This is what took place in 1914.

After Jesus goes "subduing in the midst of his enemies" (Psalm 110:2) he will come, in power to execute judgement at Armegedon.

Rev.19:19,20 "And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse (Jesus) and with his army. 20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. 21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse (Jesus), which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth. And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them."

So it is not that Jesus came half way. He was given Kingdom power, and soon he will act with all his authority to remove the wicked from the earth.

- pretty stupid in my view

You are certainly entitled to your view.


- * They don't allow blood-transfusions, but fortunately the government in most countries no longer allows their views to harm their children (a blessing I suspect many JW parents are quietly very happy to have).

Actually we view forced blood transfusions as a form of spiritual rape. Not something we want visited on our children, any more than we would want physical rape visited upon them.


- I can't see that any of these put them so far outside the mainstream of Christendom that this lady needs converting/saving. In fact in a few areas - like pacifism and mortality of the soul (well non-JW 144,000 souls at least!) for example - you might do well to let the discussion be two-way :)
God bless
Steven

Thank you for that. It is always a good thing when people can be rational and carry on a reasonable discussion.

Judy

Sold Out
Oct 1st 2007, 04:24 PM
I agree with Steven. The Jehovah's Witnesses, most of them anyway, are Christians with just strange beliefs. You can't "convert" one who is already converted.

One more thing, the fact most Jehovah's Witnesses are handy with their Bibles should be something to be admired. They may not be right, but at least they usually can show you why they think they are right.


Whoa...somebody pull on the reigns here.

Jehovah's Witnesses vehemently deny the doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Christ. One cannot be saved that does not believe Jesus is who He said He is.

"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24

Jesus claimed to the Christ, the anointed One - God in Flesh.

jujubea
Oct 1st 2007, 09:52 PM
Whoa...somebody pull on the reigns here.

Jehovah's Witnesses vehemently deny the doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Christ. One cannot be saved that does not believe Jesus is who He said He is.

"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24

Jesus claimed to the Christ, the anointed One - God in Flesh.


At no point did Jesus claim to be "God in the flesh"...Niether did any other person in the scriptures say he was "God in the flesh". The only scripture that discusses Jesus becoming flesh is John 1:14 "So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son."


You will notice that it says nothing about him being God that became flesh. His glory is that of a begotten son, not of God. This scripture also points out that Jesus was begotten. Someone begat him. He is Jehovah's only direct creation. He is Jehovah's "only begotten" Since all other things were created through him.


Col.1:15,16 "He is the image (an image is a reflection of the original but is not the original) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; (He is the first born of creation. Meaning he was created and he is part of creation) 16 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."

Sold Out
Oct 2nd 2007, 01:12 PM
At no point did Jesus claim to be "God in the flesh"...Niether did any other person in the scriptures say he was "God in the flesh". The only scripture that discusses Jesus becoming flesh is John 1:14 "So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son."
You will notice that it says nothing about him being God that became flesh.

So are you saying that you don't believe Jesus is God? You're scaring me.

jujubea
Oct 4th 2007, 02:15 AM
So are you saying that you don't believe Jesus is God? You're scaring me.

Yes. The scriptures do not uphold the thought that Jesus is God. Rather they teach that Jehovah is God. Jesus, as the Word or Logos, was Jehovah's first creation. All other creatures were created through the Word, Logos, Jesus. As pointed out in Col.1:15-20

enarchay
Oct 4th 2007, 02:32 AM
Once Jesus enemies were placed as a stool for his feet, he was given the throne. Rather than being King designate waiting, he was now King of God's Kingdom. This is what took place in 1914. So the enemies were made a footstool in 1914? Then why does death still exist (1Co 15:26)? Why 1914 anyway? Coming up with a date so exact would take some pretty exegetical footwork beyond that of Hal Lindsay's, in my mind.

So it is not that Jesus came half way. He was given Kingdom power, and soon he will act with all his authority to remove the wicked from the earth.He was given the Kingdom as soon after he ascended, not in 1914 (if that's what JW teach). That is what "right hand of power" means.
"Jesus said to him, 'You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven'" (Mat 26:64).

"And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'' (Mar 14:62).

"But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Luk 22:69).

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man [going upward, not downward], and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him [cf. Heb 9:11-12]. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan 7:13-14).

"that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come" (Eph 1:20-21).

Actually we view forced blood transfusions as a form of spiritual rape. Not something we want visited on our children, any more than we would want physical rape visited upon them.
Spiritual rape?

Can I ask a question about the blood transfusion thing? Why do you adhere to a commandment within the Torah but not all of the commandments within the Torah (e.g. food laws)? I've seen one passage quoted from Acts, but it is spoken clearly within the context of blood sacrifice to idols.

I'm sorry if I am not coming off as friendly, I have nothing against Jehovah's Witnesses, I just do not agree with most of their doctrines (from what I understand to be their doctrines thus far).

enarchay
Oct 4th 2007, 02:42 AM
Jehovah's Witnesses vehemently deny the doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Christ. One cannot be saved that does not believe Jesus is who He said He is.They believe Jesus is the risen Messiah and, in some sense, divine. I do not believe adhering to the doctrine of the Trinity is required for being a Christian. But you are entitled to your own opinion.


Jesus claimed to the Christ, the anointed One - God in Flesh.Jesus did not need to be God in the flesh to be the Messiah. The claim for divinity and the claim for Messiaship are two completely different claims.

enarchay
Oct 4th 2007, 03:28 AM
At no point did Jesus claim to be "God in the flesh"...Niether did any other person in the scriptures say he was "God in the flesh". The only scripture that discusses Jesus becoming flesh is John 1:14 "So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son."
While Jesus never comes out and bluntly claims to be God (certainly not God the Father), he does provide us with hints of his divinity. He creates parables with striking resemblances to the prophecies of YHWH returning to Zion but interprets them in light of his own presence.

This is pulled from a lecture between N.T. Wright and James D.G. Dunn where both Wright and Dunn discuss Jesus' divinity:

Wright: This is why I’ve said we need to spend more time with the idea of the return of YHWH to Zion. The penultimate chapter in my book on Jesus has to do with Jesus’ reappropriation of those return of YHWH themes and his application of them to himself. To my surprise, no reviewer has dumped on me from a great height on this (probably because they all stopped reading before they got to that chapter) because I actually thought it was the most controversial thing I was saying in the whole book. I go back to that again and again: When we look for the self-consciousness of Jesus (and I’m aware of yards of books complaining about that phrasing), I believe, as a historian and as a Christian, that when Jesus came to Jerusalem on that last journey and told stories about a king or a master coming back to see what was going on and to judge people, what he had in mind was to explain what he was doing in coming at last to challenge Jerusalem and to explain it by means of telling stories about YHWH returning to Zion. In other words, as I think I say at one key point in the book (I’d love to know what Jimmy thinks of this), when you go back to the Exodus narratives, YHWH is there as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night with the Israelites in the wilderness. Isaiah 40:5 says:

“Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together” (NASB).

But it remains an open question as to what that’s going to look like. I believe, and have argued in detail, that Jesus believed that those prophecies of the return of YHWH, the glory of the Lord returning to Zion would not look like a whirlwind, a fire, Ezekiel’s dynamo picture, but would look like a young Jewish prophet riding in tears on a donkey and going off to have a last meal with his friends and die on a cross. In other words, I think Jesus was telling stories about God coming back to explain his own return to Jerusalem. That’s where I find very deep and rich, and very, very high Christology in the mind of Jesus himself, which then gives me a bridge to understand all the other hints which have been picked up in other bits of the tradition. Jimmy himself would say, and has said, that you take a thing like Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I take it that means “You are the Messiah.” I don’t think that means “You’re the second person of the Trinity.” Now Matthew maybe already thinks that Peter said more than he knew, and by the time we get to Paul, Paul is construing it as a lot more. But just because I think that doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t have that sense of his own identity. Jimmy, you might want to come in on this.

Dunn: Yes, there’s no doubt, I think, that from very early days, the first Christians were seeing God in Jesus, seeing Jesus as the human face of God, seeing Jesus as the one who shows them what God is like and all that. And the way in which already in Paul you have Jesus inserted into the Shema: “For us there is one God, the Father … and one Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 8:6, NRSV), and so on – that’s really very astonishing" ("An Evening Conversation On Jesus and Paul").
John, in particular, is packed full of implications of Jesus' divinity:

Jesus is the logos made flesh and the logos is theos (cf. Joh 1:14; John 1:1).
All things are said to be made through the logos (Joh 1:3).
Jesus is called light (Joh 1:5), while God is called light also (1Jn 1:5).
Jesus claims to have come down from Heaven (Joh 6:38).
Jesus claims to be one with the Father (Joh 10:30), which motivates the Jews to stone him.
Jesus claims to have existed before Abraham while alluding to Exo 3:14 LXX, which in turn motivates the Jews to stone him for blasphemy (Joh 8:58).
Thomas answers the risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God [theos]" (Joh 20:2).
You will notice that it says nothing about him being God that became flesh. His glory is that of a begotten son, not of God.Read the UBS4 rendering of Joh 1:18, based on p66, p75, and the Codex Vaticanus (click here (http://www.bible-researcher.com/john1.18.html) for more info), three of the oldest surviving Greek manuscripts: theon oudeis ewraken popote monogenes theos, ho wn eis ton kolpon tou patros ekeinos exegesato, literally, "No one has seen ever seen God; an only one, God, the one being in the bosom of the Father, that one has explained him," or as the ESV translates it, "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known" (Joh 1:18).


This scripture also points out that Jesus was begotten. Someone begat him. He is Jehovah's only direct creation. He is Jehovah's "only begotten" Since all other things were created through him. Scholars are now translating monogenes as "unique" or "only" instead of "only begotten" due to textual criticism. Jesus was in fact born, but the logos existed with God en arche, "in the beginning."



Col.1:15,16 "He is the image (an image is a reflection of the original but is not the original) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; (He is the first born of creation. Meaning he was created and he is part of creation) 16 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."
I would interpret this in light of the author's comment a few verses later that Jesus is "the beginning, the firstborn from the dead" (Col 1:18). That is, Jesus is the firstfruits (1Co 15:20), the first to be risen from the dead of all creation.

Maybe the doctrine of the Trinity isn't spot on, but it is close enough for me. You are entitled to your own opinion, though.

CFJ
Oct 5th 2007, 08:10 PM
I agree with Steven. The Jehovah's Witnesses, most of them anyway, are Christians with just strange beliefs. You can't "convert" one who is already converted. While I may not agree with their organization and some of their doctrines, I believe there are many Jehovah's Witnesses out there who are true followers of the Messiah (to the best of their ability).

A Christian is only someone who follow Christ for who He is, namely God. JW's are not christians... After finding Saul, Barnabas brought him back to Antioch. Barnabas and Saul met with the church in Antioch for a whole year and taught a large group of people. The disciples were called Christians for the first time in the city of Antioch.
(Act 11:26 GW)

You can only be a Christian, if Christ lives in you... The anointing you received from Christ lives in you. You don't need anyone to teach you something else. Instead, Christ's anointing teaches you about everything. His anointing is true and contains no lie. So live in Christ as he taught you to do.
(1Jo 2:27 GW)

enarchay
Oct 5th 2007, 09:27 PM
You can only be a Christian, if Christ lives in you...


Who are we to say Christ does not live in all Jehovah's Witnesses? I'm not saying all Jehovah's Witnesses are true Christians. But then again, not all Protestants are true Christians; not all Roman Catholics; and so on. We shouldn't single Jehovah's Witnesses out in particular.

By the way, to the best of my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses do not deny Jesus is in some sense divine; they just deny the doctrine of the Trinity.

CFJ
Oct 6th 2007, 06:08 AM
Who are we to say Christ does not live in all Jehovah's Witnesses? I'm not saying all Jehovah's Witnesses are true Christians. But then again, not all Protestants are true Christians; not all Roman Catholics; and so on. We shouldn't single Jehovah's Witnesses out in particular.

By the way, to the best of my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses do not deny Jesus is in some sense divine; they just deny the doctrine of the Trinity.

enarchay,

How can Christ live in you, if you don't see Him as God?

enarchay
Oct 6th 2007, 08:19 PM
enarchay,

How can Christ live in you, if you don't see Him as God?

Christos means "anointed," i.e. Messiah, but the Messiah didn't need to be God, and to the best of my knowledge, no Jew prior to Christianity expected the Messiah to be God.

The Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus is the Messiah. That is what the followers of Jesus believed. It was only later that the Apostles of Jesus began to realize he was God, and after that, there remained sects throughout Christianity who viewed Jesus in different ways until the proto-orthodox view ultimately won.

Personally, I don't believe it is a requirement to view Jesus as God. God knows ones heart and he knows that at least some Jehovah's Witnesses honestly seek the truth through the Scriptures and believe they are holding the proper interpretation of the Scriptures. It's not just Jehovah's Witnesses, also. I know Messianic Jews who do not believe Jesus is God and they earnestly love God and the Messiah more than some Christians who believe Jesus is God do (i.e. the lukewarm).

Besides, to the best of my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses do not deny Jesus as divine; they deny the Trinitarian formula.

On the other hand, just because I believe the view that Jesus is God is not a requirement, does not mean it does not make a heck of a lot of sense! It is still good to debate these issues, but if you hold the view that Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians just because they differ with you on some doctrines that are not as unambiguous as we would like to admit, you will not be much better off than those Jehovah's Witnesses who think Christians are pagans for believing in the Trinity.

Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians should be reluctant to create schisms and earnest to show each other the respect they deserve and the love of Christ God expects us to exemplify.

CFJ
Oct 7th 2007, 02:22 PM
enarchay,

You've got it all wrong my dear friend, JW's can never be christians and I can testify that I've seen with my own eyes JW's flee from me, when greeting them in the precious name of Jesus. They cannot stand when one tells them Jesus is God... Jesus is not God according to them and they flee like demons when the powerful name of Jesus came upon them.

Maybe you need to reconsider your stance on this... :hmm:

enarchay
Oct 7th 2007, 05:02 PM
You've got it all wrong my dear friend, JW's can never be christians and I can testify that I've seen with my own eyes JW's flee from me, when greeting them in the precious name of Jesus. They cannot stand when one tells them Jesus is God... Jesus is not God according to them and they flee like demons when the powerful name of Jesus came upon them.
Like I said, it's obvious not all Jehovah's Witnesses are true Christians, with the Spirit of God living inside of them. But the same is true for all denominations. There are large groups of people who go to Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, and Pentecostal churches every Sunday but could care less about Jesus any other time. I'm sure there are many Jehovah's Witnesses who believe what they believe just because they were raised to believe it. This is the result of their structure, if you ask me. But on the other hand, there are some Jehovah's Witnesses who really know the Scriptures and are dedicated to God our Father and his son Jesus Christ. It's not right to clump all Jehovah's Witnesses into a non-Christian category, just like it's not right to clump all Roman Catholics into a non-Christian category, Seventh Day Adventists into a non-Christian category, and so on! That would be like saying all Native Americans own casinos, all African Americans listen to is rap music, all white people can't dance, and whatever stereotypes you can think of and so on.

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 05:08 PM
So the enemies were made a footstool in 1914? Then why does death still exist (1Co 15:26)?

There would be a time period of subduing in the midst of his enemies. Having taken kingdom power Jesus would go subduing in the midst of his enemies. (Psalm 110:2) The final enemy, death, is not brought to nothing until the end of the thousand year reign. Rev. 21:1- 8 .

It is interesting to note what takes place once death “is brought to nothing”. 1Cor. 15:27 “For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”



Why 1914 anyway? Coming up with a date so exact would take some pretty exegetical fotwork beyond that of Hal Lindsay's, in my mind.


Two lines of evidence point to that year:

(1) Bible chronology

Read Daniel4:1-17. Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment. How do we know that? Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God’s promise to give it “to the one whom he wants to . . . even the lowliest one of mankind.”


The entire Bible shows that Jehovah’s purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind. (Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible’s description of Jesus shows that he was indeed “the lowliest one of mankind.” (Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son.

What was to happen in the meantime? Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have “the heart of a beast.” (Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China.


The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan. (Dan. 7:2-8, 17,23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1,2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations” were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)


“Jerusalem” represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on “the throne of the kingship of Jehovah.” (1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would ‘trample’ on the right of God’s Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan’s control.—Compare Luke 4:5, 6.

For how long would such governments be permitted to exercise this control before Jehovah gave the Kingdom to JesusChrist?
Daniel 4:16 says “seven times” (“seven years,” AT and Mo, also JB footnote on verse 13). The Bible shows that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34) How many “days,” then, are involved? Revelation 11:2, 3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1,260 days. Seven years would be twice that, or 2,520 days. Applying the “day for a year” rule would result in 2,520 years.

When did the counting of the “seventimes ”begin? After Zedekiah, the last king in the typical Kingdom of God, was removed from the throne in Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Ezek. 21:25-27) Finally, by early October of 607 B.C.E. the last vestige of Jewish sovereignty was gone. By that time the Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who had been left in charge by the Babylonians, had been assassinated, and the remaining Jews had fled to Egypt. (Jeremiah, chapters 40-43) Reliable Bible chronology indicates that this took place 70 years before 537 B.C.E., the year in which the Jews returned from captivity; that is, it took place by early October of 607 B.C.E. (Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2; for further details, see the book “LetYourKingdomCome,” pages 186-189.)

How, then, is the time calculated downto1914? Counting 2,520 years from early October of 607 B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914 C.E.,


CALCULATINGTHE“SEVENTIMES”
“Seven times” = 7 X 360 = 2,520 years
A Biblical “time,” or year = 12 X 30 days = 360. (Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6,14)
In the fulfillment of the “seven times” each day equals one year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34)
Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E.= 1/4 year
January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E. = 606 years
January 1, 1 C.E., to December 31, 1913 = 1,913 years
January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 = 3/4 year
Total: 2,520 years

(2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy:

The prophecies are set out in Mathew 24, 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21; there are further details at 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Peter 3:3, 4, and Revelation 6:1-8.
We believe their fulfillment has been quite evident since 1914 . It is important to note that in Matthew 24 the question put to Jesus is not about his “coming” as many translations render it rather it is about his presence. (erchomai, meaning coming) (parousia, meaning presence). If you would like more detail, just let me know.

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 05:37 PM
He was given the Kingdom as soon after he ascended, not in 1914 (if that's what JW teach). That is what "right hand of power" means.
"Jesus said to him, 'You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven'" (Mat 26:64).

"And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'' (Mar 14:62).

"But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Luk 22:69).).





I am not sure why you give it that definition. The righthand was considered to be of great importance, symbolically. Joseph was displeased when Jacob crossed his hands in order to lay his right hand on Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son. But Jacob did this purposely, to give Ephraim the superior blessing. (Ge 48:13-20) To be on the right hand of a ruler was to have the most important position, next to the ruler himself , or a position in his favor. (Mt 25:33)


Jesus being at the right hand of power , places him in at the right hand of God, who is the source of power.


Acts 7:55,56 “But he, being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand, and he said: “Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.”

It is noteworthy that Jesus is not pictured here as God, but as the "Son of Man" He is next to God, who id the source of power.


Jesus is spoken of in the vision of Revelation as having the seven stars of the seven congregations in his right hand. That is, all these bodies of elders have his favor and are under his full control, power, and direction.—Re 1:16, 20; 2:1.
For God to take hold of one’s right hand would strengthen that one. (Ps 73:23) Usually the right hand of a warrior was his sword-wielding hand, and it was unprotected by the shield in the left hand. Therefore, a friend would stand or fight at his right hand as an upholder and protector. This circumstance is used metaphorically with regard to God’s help and protection to those serving him.—Ps 16:8; 109:30, 31; 110:5; 121:5.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says: “The heart of the wise is at his right hand, but the heart of the stupid at his left hand.” In other words, the wise one inclines toward a good, favorable path, but the stupid one inclines toward a bad course.—Ec 10:2.



"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man [going upward, not downward], and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him [cf. Heb 9:11-12]. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan 7:13-14).

I agree that the kingdom was given to Christ after his resurrection, however this scripture does not give a time frame. It is not necessarily immediate. It is a good scriptures, that once again shows the Christ to be someone seperate and subordinate to God. Jehovah God is the "Ancient of Days" Jesus is the one like the "Son of Man"

Some versions say "he came to", some say "he approached", "was led into his presence" "they brought Him near before Him", but no matter the phrasing, Jesus comes in before Jehovah God. He is not a third part of the ancient of days that rejoins the Godhead.

enarchay
Oct 7th 2007, 05:51 PM
There would be a time period of subduing in the midst of his enemies. Having taken kingdom power Jesus would go subduing in the midst of his enemies. (Psalm 110:2) The final enemy, death, is not brought to nothing until the end of the thousand year reign. Rev. 21:1- 8 .

I agree with you but what does any of this have to do with 1914? Jesus took the Kingdom the day he ascended and now reigns among his enemies.


It is interesting to note what takes place once death “is brought to nothing”. 1Cor. 15:27 “For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”
Yeah. I agree. Even as a Trinitarian, I believe Jesus is not equal with the Father in role.


What was to happen in the meantime? Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have “the heart of a beast.” (Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China.
What does modern times have to do with Daniel?


The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan. (Dan. 7:2-8, 17,23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1,2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations” were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)
Yes and this happened 70 C.E, before Jesus' generation passed away as he predicted.


“Jerusalem” represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on “the throne of the kingship of Jehovah.” (1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would ‘trample’ on the right of God’s Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan’s control.—Compare Luke 4:5, 6.
So suddenly Jerusalem is not Jerusalem?


We believe their fulfillment has been quite evident since 1914 . It is important to note that in Matthew 24 the question put to Jesus is not about his “coming” as many translations render it rather it is about his presence. (erchomai, meaning coming) (parousia, meaning presence). If you would like more detail, just let me know.
Yes but it is also about when the Temple was to be destroyed, which was 70 C.E.

To me, Jehovah's Witness eschatology seems weirder than Hal Linday's eschatology, but then again, I guess some would think my eschatological beliefs are weird.

enarchay
Oct 7th 2007, 05:55 PM
I agree that the kingdom was given to Christ after his resurrection, however this scripture does not give a time frame. It is not necessarily immediate. It is a good scriptures, that once again shows the Christ to be someone seperate and subordinate to God. Jehovah God is the "Ancient of Days" Jesus is the one like the "Son of Man"

Some versions say "he came to", some say "he approached", "was led into his presence" "they brought Him near before Him", but no matter the phrasing, Jesus comes in before Jehovah God. He is not a third part of the ancient of days that rejoins the Godhead.
Regardless of your beliefs about the Godhead, the point is the Son of Man who ascends to the Ancient of Days receives the Kingdom. This is what Jesus did in the first century, not 1914.

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 05:55 PM
Can I ask a question about the blood transfusion thing? Why do you adhere to a commandment within the Torah but not all of the commandments within the Torah (e.g. food laws)? I've seen one passage quoted from Acts, but it is spoken clearly within the context of blood sacrifice to idols.

In the Bible, the soul is said to be in the blood because blood is so intimately involved in the life processes. God’s Word says: "For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon the altar for you to make atonement for your souls, because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul in it." (Le 17:11) For like reason, but making the connection even more direct, the Bible says: "The soul of every sort of flesh is its blood." (Le 17:14) Clearly, God’s Word treats both life and blood as sacred.

The first prohibition on blood was given to Noah and his family, who at the time represented all of mankind (Gen.9:1,3,4) It was restated in the Mosaic Law (Leviticous17) and then again in the Christian law Acts 15:28,29).

"For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!"

Concerning the permanence of this prohibition, Joseph Benson noted: "It ought to be observed, that this prohibition of eating blood, given to Noah and all his posterity, and repeated to the Israelites, in a most solemn manner, under the Mosaic dispensation, has never been revoked, but, on the contrary, has been confirmed under the New Testament, Acts xv.; and thereby made of perpetual obligation."—Benson’s Notes, 1839, Vol. I, p. 43.


I'm sorry if I am not coming off as friendly, I have nothing against Jehovah's Witnesses, I just do not agree with most of their doctrines (from what I understand to be their doctrines thus far).

Not at all. Questions are always welcome. Its what we hope for.

Teke
Oct 7th 2007, 07:47 PM
And of course millions of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many Protestant believers don't believe Christ is literally coming back at all, ever.


Actually the traditional ones do still adhere to the Creed.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

EO very much believe in his second coming and the final judgment.;)

Teke
Oct 7th 2007, 08:05 PM
Yes. The scriptures do not uphold the thought that Jesus is God. Rather they teach that Jehovah is God. Jesus, as the Word or Logos, was Jehovah's first creation. All other creatures were created through the Word, Logos, Jesus. As pointed out in Col.1:15-20

The speech of God, Word/Logos, is another person??

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 10:29 PM
The speech of God, Word/Logos, is another person??

I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Jehovah God spoke to the Word/Logos who was his first creation, the one who was later transfered to the womb of Mary. Does that answer you or am I missunderstanding your question?

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 11:46 PM
I agree with you but what does any of this have to do with 1914? Jesus took the Kingdom the day he ascended and now reigns among his enemies.


Yeah. I agree. Even as a Trinitarian, I believe Jesus is not equal with the Father in role.


What does modern times have to do with Daniel?


Yes and this happened 70 C.E, before Jesus' generation passed away as he predicted.


So suddenly Jerusalem is not Jerusalem?


Yes but it is also about when the Temple was to be destroyed, which was 70 C.E.

To me, Jehovah's Witness eschatology seems weirder than Hal Linday's eschatology, but then again, I guess some would think my eschatological beliefs are weird.

Perhapps I did not give enough detail. It may remain in the relm of weird to you, but perhapps it will at least answer why we believe what we do about 1914. I have to break it up into two posts but here goes...


The use made of prophecy by Jesus and his disciples shows that a predictive prophecy may have more than one fulfillment, as when Paul referred to Habakkuk’s prophecy, originally fulfilled in Babylon’s desolation of Judah, and applied it in his day. (Hab 1:5, 6; Ac 13:40, 41) Jesus showed that Daniel’s prophecy concerning “the disgusting thing that is causing desolation” was due for fulfillment in the generation then living; yet Daniel’s prophecy also connects “the disgusting thing” causing desolation with the “time of the end.” (Da 9:27; 11:31-35; Mt 24:15, 16)

Jesus’ own prophecy regarding the conclusion of the system of things likewise includes mention of his coming in Kingdom power, which did not take place in the first century C.E. (Mt 24:29, 30; Lu 21:25-32) This indicates a dual fulfillment. Hence, in discussing the matter of double fulfillment of prophecy, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia (1894, Vol. VIII, p. 635) comments: “This view of the fulfilment of prophecy seems necessary for the explanation of our Lord’s prediction on the Mount, relating at once to the fall of Jerusalem and to the end of the Christian dispensation.”

While the literal city of Jerusalem is obviously referred to in Jesus’ description of the destruction that was to come and did come upon that city in the year 70 C.E. when the Romans demolished Jerusalem, the statement concerning “the appointed times of the nations” carries the prophecy far beyond that point, as many commentators have noted. Thus, the well-known Commentary by F. C. Cook says of Luke 21:24: “It serves to separate the strictly eschatological portion [that is, the portion relating to the last days] of the great prophecy, from the part belonging properly to the destruction of Jerusalem.” So, it becomes essential to determine what significance the inspired Scriptures attach to “Jerusalem” in order to ascertain whether “the appointed times of the nations” relate only to the literal city of Jerusalem or to something additional and greater.


Jerusalem was the capital of the nation of Israel, whose kings of the line of David were said to “sit upon Jehovah’s throne.” (1Ch 29:23) As such, it represented the seat of the divinely constituted government or typical kingdom of God operating through the house of David. With its Mount Zion, it was “the town of the grand King.” (Ps 48:1, 2) Hence, Jerusalem came to stand for the kingdom of the dynasty of King David, much as Washington, London, Paris, and Moscow represent the ruling powers of present-day nations and are so referred to in news communiqués. After Jerusalem was trampled on by the Babylonians, its king being taken into exile and the land laid desolate, no member of the Davidic dynasty again ruled from earthly Jerusalem. But the Scriptures show that Jesus, the Messiah, who was born in the line of David, would rule from heavenly Mount Zion, from heavenly Jerusalem.—Ps 2:6, 7; Heb 5:5; Re 14:1, 3.


Beginning of‘ trampling.’ The ‘trampling’ on that kingdom of the dynasty of Davidic rulers did not begin with the Roman devastation of the city of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. It began centuries earlier with the Babylonian overthrow of that dynasty in 607 B.C.E. when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and took captive the dethroned king Zedekiah and the land was left desolate. (2Ki 25:1-26; ) This accorded with the prophetic words directed to Zedekiah at Ezekiel 21:25-27, namely: “Remove the turban, and lift off the crown. This will not be the same. ... A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no one’s until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him.” The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown lost by Zedekiah is demonstrated in the Christian Greek Scriptures to be Christ Jesus, of whom the angel, announcing his future birth, said: “Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.”—Lu 1:32, 33.

With Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E. the Gentile powers exercised domination over the entire earth. The Davidic dynasty and rule suffered interruption, and so Jerusalem, or what it stood for, would continue to be “trampled on” as long as God’s kingdom, as functioning through David’s house, was kept in a low, inoperative condition under the Gentile powers. Observing this connection with rulership Unger’sBibleDictionary (1965, p. 398) comments: “Consequently Gentiles move on as ‘the nations’ to the end of their stewardship as earth rulers. The termination of this period will be the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles.’ (Luke 21:24; Dan. 2:36-44).”—Compare Eze 17:12-21; also the description of Medo-Persia’s fall at Da 8:7, 20.

jujubea
Oct 7th 2007, 11:51 PM
Relation to Daniel’s Prophecies. At least twice in this prophecy concerning the time of the end, Jesus referred to the contents of the book of the prophet Daniel. (Compare Mt 24:15, 21 with Da 11:31; 12:1.) In the book of Daniel we find a picture drawn of the domination of the earth by the Gentile powers during their “appointed times.” The second chapter of Daniel contains the prophetic vision (received by King Nebuchadnezzar) of the great image that Daniel by inspiration showed to represent the march of Gentile world powers, ending with their destruction by the Kingdom set up by “the God of heaven,” which Kingdom then rules earth wide. (Da 2:31-45) It is of note that the image begins with the Babylonian Empire, the first world power to ‘trample Jerusalem’ by overthrowing the Davidic dynasty and leaving “Jehovah’s throne” in Jerusalem vacant. This also confirms the start of “the appointed times of the nations” in the year of Jerusalem’s destruction, 607 B.C.E.


Dream vision of tree in Daniel chapter 4. Again in the book of Daniel we find a close parallel to Jesus’ use of the word “times” with regard to “the nations,” or Gentile powers. And again it is Nebuchadnezzar, the dethroner of David’s descendant Zedekiah, who was given another vision interpreted by Daniel as relating to divinely appointed kingship. The symbolic vision was of an immense tree; an angel from heaven commanded that it be chopped down. Its stump was then banded with iron and copper and had to stay that way among the grass of the field until “seven times” passed over it. “Let its heart be changed from that of mankind, and let the heart of a beast be given to it, and let seven times pass over it . . . to the intent that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind.”—Da 4:10-17; see 4:16, ftn.

In view of the above, it does not seem logical to evaluate the vision of the symbolic “tree” and its reference to “seven times” as having no other application than to the seven years of madness and subsequent recovery and return to power experienced by one Babylonian ruler, particularly so in the light of Jesus’ own prophetic reference to “the appointed times of the nations.” The time at which the vision was given: at the critical point in history when God, the Universal Sovereign, had allowed the very kingdom that he had established among his covenant people to be overthrown; the person to whom the vision was revealed: the very ruler who served as the divine instrument in such overthrow and who thereby became the recipient of world domination by divine permission, that is, without interference by any representative kingdom of Jehovah God; and the whole theme of the vision, namely: “that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind” (Da 4:17)—all of this gives strong reason for believing that the lengthy vision and its interpretation were included in the book of Daniel because of their revealing the duration of “the appointed times of the nations” and the time for the establishment of God’s Kingdom by his Christ.


The tree symbolism and God’s sovereignty. The symbolisms used in this prophetic vision are by no means unique. Trees are elsewhere used to represent ruling powers, including that of God’s typical kingdom at Jerusalem. (Compare Jg 9:6-15; Eze 17:1-24; 31:2-18.) A stump’s being caused to sprout and the symbol of “a twig” or “sprout” are found a number of times as representing the renewal of rulership in a certain stock or line, particularly in the Messianic prophecies. (Isa 10:33–11:10; 53:2-7; Jer 23:5; Eze 17:22-24; Zec 6:12, 13; compare Job 14:7-9.) Jesus spoke of himself as both “the root and the offspring of David.”—Re 5:5; 22:16.


The fact is evident that the key point of the vision is Jehovah God’s exercise of irresistible sovereignty in “the kingdom of mankind,” and this provides the guide to the full meaning of the vision. The tree is shown to have an application to Nebuchadnezzar, who at that point in history was the head of the dominant World Power, Babylon. Yet, prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem, the typical kingdom of God ruling out of that city was the agency by which Jehovah expressed his rightful sovereignty toward the earth. It thus constituted a divine block or impediment for Nebuchadnezzar in attaining his goal of world domination. By allowing that typical kingdom at Jerusalem to be overthrown, Jehovah permitted his own visible expression of sovereignty through the Davidic dynasty of kings to be cut down. The expression and exercise of world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” unhindered by any representative kingdom of God, now passed into the hands of the Gentile nations. (La 1:5; 2:2, 16, 17) In the light of these facts “the tree” is seen to represent, beyond and above its application to Nebuchadnezzar, world sovereignty or domination by God’s arrangement.


Renewal of world domination. God, however, here makes clear that he has not forever delivered up such world domination to the Gentile powers. The vision shows that God’s self-restraint (represented by the bands of iron and of copper around the stump of the tree) would continue until “seven times pass over it.” (Da 4:16, 23, 25) Then, since “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind,” God would give world domination “to the one whom he wants to.” (Da 4:17) The prophetic book of Daniel itself shows that one to be the “son of man” to whom are given “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Da 7:13, 14)

Jesus’ own prophecy, in which the reference to “the appointed times of the nations” occurs, points definitely toward Christ Jesus’ exercise of such world domination as God’s chosen King, the heir of the Davidic dynasty. (Mt 24:30, 31; 25:31-34; Lu 21:27-31, 36) Thus, the symbolic stump, representing God’s retention of the sovereign right to exercise world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” was due to sprout again in his Son’s Kingdom.—Ps 89:27, 35-37.


SevenSymbolicTimes. In Nebuchadnezzar’s personal experience of the vision’s fulfillment the “seven times” were evidently seven years, during which he became mad, with symptoms like those of lycanthropy, abandoning his throne to eat grass like a beast in the field. (Da 4:31-36) Notably, the Biblical description of the exercise of world domination by the Gentile powers is presented through the figure of beasts in opposition to the holy people of God and their “Prince of princes.” (Compare Da 7:2-8, 12, 17-26; 8:3-12, 20-25; Re 11:7; 13:1-11; 17:7-14.)


Concerning the word “times” (from Aramaic ‛id·dan´), as used in Daniel’s prophecy, lexicographers show it here to mean “years.” (See LexiconinVeterisTestamentiLibros, by L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Leiden, 1958, p. 1106; A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, by Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1980, p. 1105; Lexicon Linguae Aramaicae Veteris Testamenti, edited by E. Vogt, Rome, 1971, p. 124.) The duration of a year as so used is indicated to be 360 days, inasmuch as three and a half times are shown to equal “a thousand two hundred and sixty days” at Revelation 12:6, 14. (Compare also Re 11:2, 3.)



“Seven times,” according to this count, would equal 2,520 days. That a specific number of days may be used in the Bible record to represent prophetically an equivalent number of years can be seen by reading the accounts at Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. Only by applying the formula there expressed of “a day for a year” to the “seven times” of this prophecy can the vision of Daniel chapter 4 have significant fulfillment beyond the day of now extinct Nebuchadnezzar, as the evidence thus far presented gives reason to expect. They therefore represent 2,520 years. Pointing to 1914 as the point in time marking the end of the “gentile times”, as well as the time when God would give the ruler ship to the one who had “the legal right”.

Teke
Oct 8th 2007, 12:41 PM
I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Jehovah God spoke to the Word/Logos who was his first creation, the one who was later transfered to the womb of Mary. Does that answer you or am I missunderstanding your question?

Then God is like a man to Witnesses, who creates other man type things like the Logos?

What is creation to a JW? A means to an end, or what?

Are JW's chiliast (revolution of man brings about Jesus second coming)?

jujubea
Oct 8th 2007, 04:09 PM
Then God is like a man to Witnesses, who creates other man type things like the Logos?

What is creation to a JW? A means to an end, or what?

Are JW's chiliast (revolution of man brings about Jesus second coming)?

No. Jesus is far mor than just a man. While on the earth he was a perfect man, the second Adam (1Cor.15:46,47) Prior to his time on earth he was God's first creation, and all other things have been created through him. The angels, the universe, man, all things. He is second only to God himself. He has been given all authority.

(Matthew 28:18,) "And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: "All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. "

(Matthew 11:27) "All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him."

(Philippians 2:9) "For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name,"

Jesus is our King and High Priest- ( Hebrews 3:1-6) "Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we confess—Jesus. 2 He was faithful to the One that made him such, as Moses was also in all the house of that One. 3 For the latter is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who constructs it has more honor than the house. 4 Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God. 5 And Moses as an attendant was faithful in all the house of that One as a testimony of the things that were to be spoken afterwards, 6 but Christ [was faithful] as a Son over the house of that One."

He is our only aproach to God. (John 14:6; 1Tim.2:5)

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that it takes any doing on thier part to bring about the second comming. They do recognize that they are fulfilling Matthew 24:14,
We also believe this is more God's doing than our own.

Teke
Oct 8th 2007, 07:49 PM
So do JW's believe God is the Alpha and Omega, or Jesus is? (Rev. 22, the one coming)

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 04:35 PM
Since you use scripture Juju, what about Colossians.

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Steven3
Oct 9th 2007, 05:30 PM
Hi Teke

Actually the traditional ones do still adhere to the Creed.You're right of course, it was something of a generalization on the denial of the second coming among so much of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christendom. I certainly would be delighted if Patriarch Alexei II and Pope Benedict XVI would issue a joint communique confirming the Old Roman Creed (and Acts 1:11 etc) Or for that matter that whoever the current Patriarch and Pope are of Protestantdom ;) would stamp out the "Left Behind" idea which in some ways is even worse than the 1914 idea...

Hi Judy
I apologise for not having responded to your reply on this thread - to be honest for some reason I failed to find the subforum. We disagree on various things - particularly (sorry) I really do think JWs could improve their church enormously by just admitting that Judge Rutherford was wrong about blood transfusions - it's not scriptural and not even the original JW doctrine; there are arguments against Rutherford's view by early JWs who were just silenced. But at the end of the day it's behaviour that counts - and the considerable respect I have for the non-violence stand counts for a lot. Also I know that if they come again for the Jews and JWs I'll be next... or might even be first ;)
You take care
God bless
Steven

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 06:12 PM
Hi Teke
You're right of course, it was something of a generalization on the denial of the second coming among so much of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christendom. I certainly would be delighted if Patriarch Alexei II and Pope Benedict XVI would issue a joint communique confirming the Old Roman Creed (and Acts 1:11 etc) Or for that matter that whoever the current Patriarch and Pope are of Protestantdom ;) would stamp out the "Left Behind" idea which in some ways is even worse than the 1914 idea...


:lol::lol::lol::lol:

I really couldn't see an Orthodox denying the Creed they say at every divine liturgy. There are a lot of things a cradle Orthodox do not know, but that is not one of them.

The church is pretty much the same as ever, disagreeing and agreeing. The key is understanding the issues in debate. ;)

Sold Out
Oct 9th 2007, 07:15 PM
Never got an answer to my question (why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus), so here's the answer:

"but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."John 10:32-33

jujubea
Oct 10th 2007, 02:04 PM
While Jesus never comes out and bluntly claims to be God (certainly not God the Father), he does provide us with hints of his divinity. He creates parables with striking resemblances to the prophecies of YHWH returning to Zion but interprets them in light of his own presence.
John, in particular, is packed full of implications of Jesus' divinity:

Jesus is the logos made flesh and the logos is theos (cf. Joh 1:14; John 1:1). When it comes to the word theos how it is translated is dependent on context and grammer. For example in the KJV theos is translated as godly in 2 Cor.1:12 ; 7:9, 11; 11:2; 1Tim.1:4 3John 1:6.


The context of John 1:1 shows that the Logos was with “the God”. Grammatically it shows that the Logos was not “the God”(ho theos) but was theos. Grammatically and contextually the Logos being theos is better translated as godly or divine. This is why , The Bible-An American Translation (1935), J. M. Powis Smith and Edgar J Goodspeed reads: “the Word was divine”;


A New Translation of the Bible (1934), James Moffatt renders it “Logos was divine”;


The New Testament in an Improved Version (1808) “the word was a god.”


In his German translation Ludwig Thimme expresses it in this way: “God of a sort the Word was.”


All things are said to be made through the logos (Joh 1:3). It is noteworthy that all things are not said to be made by him but through him.


Jesus is called light (Joh 1:5), while God is called light also (1Jn 1:5). Jesus disciples are called light (Matt.5:14)


Jesus claims to have come down from Heaven (Joh 6:38). Yes he did. “because I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.” He and God the Father have separate wills. This would not be the case were they the both God. Since he was created as a spirit person in heaven it should not surprise us that to come to earth he would need to do so from heaven. This does not make him God. There are any number of accounts where angels came down from heaven.


Jesus claims to be one with the Father (Joh 10:30), (John 17:11) “Also, I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am coming to you. Holy Father, watch over them on account of your own name which you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are.


(John 17:20, 21) I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so that the world may believe You sent Me.


which motivates the Jews to stone him. The Jewish leaders of Jesus day were notorious for trying at every turn to condemn Jesus. This account was no different. In answer Jesus said John 10:34-36 “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said: “YOU are gods”’? If he called ‘gods’ those against whom the word of God came, and yet the Scripture cannot be nullified, do YOU say to me whom the Father sanctified and dispatched into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, I am God’s Son?”


You can here the incredulity in Jesus voice. He just couldn't believe it. The leaders knew that within the law the Judges were referred to as gods, since they were given God's authority to render judgments. Yet Jesus is not calling himself God, but God's Son and their freaking out. Unbelievable!


Jesus claims to have existed before Abraham while alluding to Exo 3:14 LXX, which in turn motivates the Jews to stone him for blasphemy (Joh 8:58).
In Exodus the words being translated are ’Eh·yeh´ ’Asher´ ’Eh·yeh´. The Hebrew verb ha·yah´, from which the word ’Eh·yeh´ is drawn, does not mean simply "be." Rather, it means "become," or "prove to be."

This is noted in the Complete Jewish Bible which renders Ex.3:14 "God said to Moshe, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be]," and added, "Here is what to say to the people of Isra'el: 'Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.'"

In Exodus, ’Eh·yeh´ ’Asher´ ’Eh·yeh´ is stated as a title whereas the scripture in John the words being translated are not. Jesus is pointing to his prehuman existance, nothing more. The Greek words being translated are "ego eimi" and is translated in the King James as: "I am", "I am he" "I was" "have been" "am" as well as "it is".

Translating John 8:56-58 as "I Am" in an effort to link it to Exodus shows the translators leanings. It doesn't even make sense grammatically if it is a title or name. The very same wording can be found at John 9:9 yet the translators of many versions do not translate it as "I am" but as "I am he". Why? Because the translator have no vested interest in trying to link the formerly blind beggar to the title of Exodus.


Thomas answers the risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God [theos]" (Joh 20:2).

Some scholars have viewed this expression as an exclamation of astonishment spoken to Jesus but actually directed to God, his Father. However, others claim the original Greek requires that the words be viewed as being directed to Jesus. Even if this is so, the expression “My Lord and my God” would still have to harmonize with the rest of the inspired Scriptures. Since the record shows that Jesus had previously sent his disciples the message, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God,” there is no reason for believing that Thomas thought Jesus was the Almighty God. (Joh 20:17) John himself, after recounting Thomas’ encounter with the resurrected Jesus, says of this and similar accounts: “But these have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that, because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.”—Joh 20:30, 31.

So, Thomas may have addressed Jesus as “my God” in a way similar to expressions made by his forefathers, recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, with which Thomas was familiar. On various occasions when individuals were visited or addressed by an angelic messenger of Jehovah, the individuals, or at times the Bible writer setting out the account, responded to or spoke of that angelic messenger as though he were Jehovah God. (Compare Ge 16:7-11, 13; 18:1-5, 22-33; 32:24-30; Jg 6:11-15; 13:20-22.) This was because the angelic messenger was acting for Jehovah as his representative, speaking in his name, perhaps using the first person singular pronoun, and even saying, “I am the true God.” (Ge 31:11-13; Jg 2:1-5) Thomas may therefore have spoken to Jesus as “my God” in this sense, acknowledging or confessing Jesus as the representative and spokesman of the true God. Whatever the case, it is certain that Thomas’ words do not contradict the clear statement he himself had heard Jesus make, namely, “The Father is greater than I am.”—Joh 14:28.
I know that you have stated that you believe the Father to be greater than Jesus, however if they are one and the same God, I fail to see how this is possible.

jujubea
Oct 10th 2007, 02:05 PM
Read the UBS4 rendering of Joh 1:18, based on p66, p75, and the Codex Vaticanus , three of the oldest surviving Greek manuscripts: theon oudeis ewraken popote monogenes theos, ho wn eis ton kolpon tou patros ekeinos exegesato, literally, "No one has seen ever seen God; an only one, God, the one being in the bosom of the Father, that one has explained him," or as the ESV translates it, "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known" (Joh 1:18).


Yes, I am aware of the oldest surviving Greek manuscripts. Our translations reads, “No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.

Scholars are now translating monogenes as "unique" or "only" instead of "only begotten" due to textual criticism. Jesus was in fact born, but the logos existed with God en arche, "in the beginning."
Let me give you a few other Greek words that help us to understand what monogenes means.
Eugenes: Well, born; of a noble family
Hermogenes: Lucky born or born of Mercury
Genesia: a birthday celebration
Agenes: Low born; ignoble, of no family
Monon: Only, alone
Monos: alone (without a companion), forsaken, destitute of help, only, merely
Monoo: to make single or solitary, leave alone
From the above we can see that the mono part of the word monogenes means “only”, “one”, “solitary”, alone. Where as the genes component of the word means “born” or “birth”. Therefore monogenes means only born, or solitary born, or one born.
I would suggest to you, that if some “scholars” are now trying to change the meaning of monogenes, to “unique” or just “only” they are deliberately ignoring the genes component in an effort to uphold Trinitarian belief. Every scriptures which refers to Jesus as “only begotten” is clearly stating that he was indeed begotten. Especially at John 1:18.



I would interpret this in light of the author's comment a few verses later that Jesus is "the beginning, the firstborn from the dead" (Col 1:18). That is, Jesus is the firstfruits (1Co 15:20), the first to be risen from the dead of all creation.


Colossians 1:15 – 18 sets out a sequence of events. First Jesus is the firstborn of creation, then all things are created through him, afterwards he is the firstborn from the dead, and the reason is so that he can be first in all things. If the statement he is the “firstborn of creation” were speaking of his being firstborn from the dead, it would not then sum it up as by saying “that he might become the one who is first in all things”. The ways in which he is first is listed, in creation and born from the dead, then it is summed up by saying this is so he is first in all things.

Teke
Oct 10th 2007, 03:36 PM
Juju, from the direction you've taken, I can only conclude that it is some type of pantheism you are putting forth (as your relating everything to creation and or that which is created). Is the Holy Spirit another person in your theology, or the same as God? Or what is God to you? ie. creation :hmm:
You've definitely shown that JW's divide up the Godhead in some systematic manner.

There is a tendency among modern theologians to "divide the Substance" of the Godhead by positing such independence and equality of the Persons of the Trinity that we can no longer conceive of them as being one God. Some modern theologians have little use for the term ὁμοούσιος ("one essence"), and they cannot abide the idea that there is any ontological priority of the Father in the Trinity, because this is too "hierarchical" and "patriarchal" for our egalitarian age. The Son and the Spirit must be made totally equal to the Father in all respects, even if it means making them into three Gods. This trend is largely driven by liberal theologians who favor the new "social Trinity" concept (Moltmann being prominent among them), which imagines the Trinity to be like a voluntary society of persons who are not ontologically connected.

Without that ontological factor, I see no connection in JW theology with man and God (the two become one concept). But rather a duality.

enarchay
Oct 10th 2007, 10:08 PM
When it comes to the word theos how it is translated is dependent on context and grammer. For example in the KJV theos is translated as godly in 2 Cor.1:12 ; 7:9, 11; 11:2; 1Tim.1:4 3John 1:6.

The context of John 1:1 shows that the Logos was with “the God”. Grammatically it shows that the Logos was not “the God”(ho theos) but was theos. Grammatically and contextually the Logos being theos is better translated as godly or divine. This is why , The Bible-An American Translation (1935), J. M. Powis Smith and Edgar J Goodspeed reads: “the Word was divine”;

A New Translation of the Bible (1934), James Moffatt renders it “Logos was divine”;

The New Testament in an Improved Version (1808) “the word was a god.”
Here's a post I had made in the past:

The Greek reads as follows: εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος.

Here's a literal translation:

εν [in (the)] αρχη ην [was] ο [the] λογος [Word] και [and] ο [the] λογος [Word] ην [was] προς [with] τον [the] θεον [God] και [and] θεος [God] ην [was] ο [the] λογος [Word].

In Greek there is no indefinite article, the English "a" and "an." So indefiniteness can only be determined by the lack of the definite article. However, this does not mean every time a word lacks an article that it is indefinite. For example, εν αρχη contains no article, and could be translated "in a beginning." However, it is clear John is referring to the beginning of Genesis. The translator would then carry over the article "the" into the English to let the reader know John is not talking about some non-specific beginning, but about "the beginning," the beginning of Genesis.

It is also important to notice that θεον is in the accusative case. The presence of τον, the accusative singular masculine definite article, indicates that θεον is also in the accusative singular masculine case. This means it is the direct object.

θεος contains a sigma ending. Usually a word ending with sigma is in the nomintaive case and therefore the subject. In John 1:1, (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=John+1%3A1)λογος has the same case ending. However, the article, ο, indicates that the λογος is the subject. This means θεος is in the predicate nominative case.

In English, the predicate nominative is the noun following a linking verb that restates or stands for the subject.

For example, the English sentence, "For many of us on the team, the fans were an [B]embarrassment." "The fans" are the subject and "embarrassment" is the predicate nominative. The embarrassment restates the subject fans.

In John 1:1, (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=John+1%3A1)θεος is the nominative predicate, relating what the Father has, the Word also has. In other words, John is indicating that Jesus is equally divine with the Father, yet a separate being than the Father.

Martin Luther explained, “The lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.”

If you translate John 1:1 indefinitely, you are supporting polytheism (or at least henotheism), a belief that there are two gods.

Steven3
Oct 11th 2007, 06:13 AM
Hi Enarchay, Judy :)

Here's a post I had made in the past:

The Greek reads as follows: εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος.

Here's a literal translation:

εν αρχη ην [was] ο [the] λογος [Word] και [and] ο [the] λογος [Word] ην [was] προς [with] τον [the] θεον [God] και [and] θεος [God] ην [was] ο [the] λογος [Word].

In Greek there is no indefinite article, the English "a" and "an." So indefiniteness can only be determined by the lack of the definite article. However, this does not mean every time a word lacks an article that it is indefinite.

Very much correct - it doesn't. But the way the definite article works in Greek is so different from English (see Granville Sharp, Stanley Porter, et al) that it'd be wise not to make too much mileage out of it for any view (and that comment applies to Jehovah's Witnesses as much as fundamentalist Evangelicals).

The real problem with John 1:1 (and again this comment too applies both to JWs and fundamentalist Evangelicals) is reading the text too mechanically as if it's a nuts-and-bolts restatement of Gen 1:26-27. It isn't, it's the last of the 4 Gospel writers, the one who writes in allegory whenever he can, pulling together Genesis and the Pauline "eyewitnesses of the Logos since the Beginning" of Luke 1:2 (a verse that is pretty much ignored by everyone, but probably predates John 1:1 and 1 John 1:1 by two decades) to systemize a whole nest of OT and NT concepts including:

Genesis 1:1 In the [B]Beginning
Genesis 5:1 the book of Genesis of Adam.
Psalm 33:6 the heavens were made by the Logos of God
Matt 1:1 the Book of Genesis of Jesus Christ (see Greek text)
Mark 1:1 the Beginning of the Gospel
Luke 1:2 eyewitness of the Logos from the Beginning
[I]John 1:1 ----
1 John 1:1 He who was from the Beginning, which we have heard, whom we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Logos of life

So, given that there are so many parallels with so many other verses, I suggest that what John, in both John 1:1 and 1 John 1:1, is doing is perhaps trying to tie the Old Creation and the New Creation together to express that God's ultimate purpose in both creations was Christ, and thereby place the New Creation before the Old Creation.

In other words, turning this:
Ps33:6 Logos -> Luke 1:2 Logos
Gen 1:1 Beginning -> Mark 1:1 Luke 1:2 Beginning
Gen5:1 Genesis -> Matt 1:1 Genesis

into this:
Ps33:6 Logos <- Luke 1:2 Logos
Gen 1:1 Beginning <- Mark 1:1 Luke 1:2 Beginning
Gen5:1 Genesis <- Matt 1:1 Genesis

Compare Heb 1 which is doing the same thing.

But instead of this both JWs and fundamentalist Evangelicals (with respect :)) get caught up into the mechanics of trying to position Jesus of Nazareth as God/god/a god (:confused) by his role as creator of the dinosaurs. It's very unlikely that this is what John has in mind in either John 1 or 1 John 1.

God bless :)
Steven

jujubea
Oct 11th 2007, 10:08 PM
Never got an answer to my question (why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus), so here's the answer:

"but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."John 10:32-33

Right, and then Jesus goes on to explain that he is not claiming to be God but God's Son. That the Jews missinterpreted Jesus , does not make there assertions correct.

jujubea
Oct 11th 2007, 10:17 PM
Since you use scripture Juju, what about Colossians.

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

An image is not the original, but a reflection of the original. Jesus is the image or reflection of God. Man was made in God's image, yet we are not gods. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, or as the version you quoted of every creature. He was created and is thus a creatur, the firstborn of such.

Teke
Oct 11th 2007, 10:50 PM
An image is not the original, but a reflection of the original. Jesus is the image or reflection of God. Man was made in God's image, yet we are not gods. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, or as the version you quoted of every creature. He was created and is thus a creatur, the firstborn of such.

After reading this, that you yourself wrote, I do not see how you do not understand this. As you wrote, "Jesus is the image (icon or eikon in Greek) or reflection of God".

I will agree with you in so far that the substance or material was not actually God but human flesh. But that human flesh is the reason for God entering it to heal it or restore it to it's original icon He created.

However, the difference in Jesus Christ and the rest of humanity in the flesh, is that He was created (Incarnation) by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary. Meaning in "essence" He is equal to the Father and Holy Spirit. However, essence of God is something that no human can know, but the Son who came in human form.
The historical dogma of the church is that God as Trinity is not created but uncreated. This is significant when theologically identifying aspects of God. As His uncreated 'essence' is unknowable, but His energies are knowable and what we participate in, such as grace, love, mercy etc. (this is also what Jesus meant, in a sense, when He quoted the scripture, "ye are gods")

This is what the Transfiguration depicts. God standing in human flesh transforming it. A transfiguration by grace (as I term it).

See God doesn't just stand in the cosmos with a magical formula for the world, He actually rolls up His sleeves and enters into it (in weakness is strength perfected). Scripture is your proof and witness to this fact. This is also why man is without excuse before God.

jujubea
Oct 12th 2007, 12:18 AM
Maybe the doctrine of the Trinity isn't spot on, but it is close enough for me. You are entitled to your own opinion, though.

The problem with the Trinity is: Throughout the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. Even today we find Trimurti, the Hindu concept of God as three deities; Triple Goddess, a neo-pagan / Wiccan trinity; Ayyavazhi trinity, Ayya Vaikundar the triune God; the Shinto trinities (which predates Christ by two or three hundred years); Ahura, the Zoroastrian trinity (which predates Christ by four to five hundred years). That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.



Historian Will Durant observed: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . .. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.” And in the book EgyptianReligion, Siegfried Morenz notes: “The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians ... Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.”

Thus, in Alexandria, Egypt, churchmen of the late third and early fourth centuries, such as Athanasius, reflected this influence as they formulated ideas that led to the Trinity. Their own influence spread, so that Morenz considers “Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.”

In the preface to Edward Gibbon’s HistoryofChristianity, we read: “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians ... was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.”

ADictionaryofReligiousKnowledge notes that many say that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.” And ThePaganisminOurChristianity declares: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”
That is why, in the EncyclopædiaofReligionandEthics, James Hastings wrote: “In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahmā, Siva, and Visnu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus ... Nor is it only in historical religions that we find God viewed as a Trinity. One recalls in particular the Neo-Platonic view of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality,” which is “triadically represented.”

PLATO, it is thought, lived from 428 to 347 before Christ. While he did not teach the Trinity in its present form, his philosophies paved the way for it. Later, philosophical movements that included triadic beliefs sprang up, and these were influenced by Plato’s ideas of God and nature.

The French NouveauDictionnaireUniversel (New Universal Dictionary) says of Plato’s influence: “The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches. ... This Greek philosopher’s conception of the divine trinity ... can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions.”

TheNewSchaff-HerzogEncyclopediaofReligiousKnowledge shows the influence of this Greek philosophy: “The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who ... were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy ... That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied.”

TheChurchoftheFirstThreeCenturies says: “The doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation; ... it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures; ... it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers.”

By the end of the third century C.E., “Christianity” and the new Platonic philosophies became inseparably united. As Adolf Harnack states in OutlinesoftheHistoryofDogma, church doctrine became “firmly rooted in the soil of Hellenism [pagan Greek thought]. Thereby it became a mystery to the great majority of Christians.”

The church claimed that its new doctrines were based on the Bible. But Harnack says: “In reality it legitimized in its midst the Hellenic speculation, the superstitious views and customs of pagan mystery-worship.”

In the book AStatementofReasons, Andrews Norton says of the Trinity: “We can trace the history of this doctrine, and discover its source, not in the Christian revelation, but in the Platonic philosophy ... The Trinity is not a doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, but a fiction of the school of the later Platonists.”

For thousands of years, none of God’s prophets taught his people about the Trinity. They were however, well aware of the triads and trinity gods of the surrounding nations. Jehovah's repeated statements of his being “one God”, would have stood in sharp contrast.

When the first century Christian congregation began to spread, and people of both Jewish background and pagan backgrounds became Christian. It would seem reasonable that these ones would need an explanation of a teaching as complicated as the Trinity. Yet, no such explanation is forthcoming in the scriptures. Especially those of Jewish decent would need clarification, since they had always been taught “Jehovah your God is one Jehovah”.

Would Jesus not use his ability as the Great Teacher to make the Trinity clear to his followers? Would God inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the “central doctrine” of faith? Would not Jewish opposer's of this newly formed Christian congregation attack this teaching that was so familiar from the pagan nations around them? Would it not cause some controversy within the newly formed Christian congregation? One would think so, but we find none of it.

Paul gives a detailed explanation of God's arrangements in the book of Hebrews. Rather than explaining a trinity, he points out that the Law covenant and the temple arrangement, mirrored realities in heaven. What role does Jesus have? Not that of God, but of a Mediator, King, and High Priest who represents us before God. (Hebrews 9)

The testimony of history is clear: The Trinity teaching is a deviation from the truth, an apostatizing from it. How it was developed and introduced is well documented. It was not all at once, rather it was a development over many years. The council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. was one of the first to begin it's development. But it did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Godhead.

AFTER Nicaea, debates on the subject continued for decades. Those who believed that Jesus was not equal to God even came back into favor for a time. But later Emperor Theodosius decided against them. He established the creed of the Council of Nicaea as the standard for his realm and convened the Council of Constantinople in 381C.E. to clarify the formula.

That council agreed to place the holy spirit on the same level as God and Christ. For the first time, Christendom’s Trinity began to come into focus. Well, over 300 years after Christ.

jujubea
Oct 12th 2007, 12:39 AM
Hi Judy
I apologise for not having responded to your reply on this thread - to be honest for some reason I failed to find the subforum. We disagree on various things - particularly (sorry) I really do think JWs could improve their church enormously by just admitting that Judge Rutherford was wrong about blood transfusions - it's not scriptural and not even the original JW doctrine;

Original JW doctrine...hmmmm..If by that you mean to say it is not the same as what Charles Taze Russel taught, you are quite right. There is much that Russel had yet to address. The paganism in Holidays for example, or the use of Tabaco. There is much that has been learned in the time since Russel. We are not Russelites, neither are were Ruthorforders. We are Witnesses of Jehovah. As such we follow no man. We follow the scriptures and the direction Jehovah gives through them.

I am not sure why it is that you do not believe it is biblical. Is it the prohibition on blood that you do not believe is biblical? Or is it that you do not believe that prohibition would include transfusions?

The Parson
Oct 12th 2007, 01:26 AM
Good Golly Miss Molley folks!!!

So far reading this thread I've seen the denial that Christ is God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. If you don't believe that the Lord Jesus is God, you might want to reconsider your statement ON THIS BOARD on wheather you are a Christian or not. The rule says:
For the purpose of posting as Christian on this board _ We believe

A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as Christ or Messiah. Christians believe Jesus to be the only Son of God, who lived a sinless life and that He is the creator of the universe. He is God. At the end of his earthly life He was crucified, on the third day He rose from the dead, and later ascended into heaven.

Christians further believe that Jesus alone offers salvation, and that it is only possible through and by Him. Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 states that "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God that no one should boast". Humans cannot save themselves through good works, only Jesus can save them. Good works, however, are a result of living according to the Word of God.

Christians identify themselves as monotheistic, believing that there is one God.This statement is true even in the World Religions section...

I'm also reading that folks see no problem with JW's and the way they intrepret scripture. Galations 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

JW's have made the following prophesies and I tend to discern a group by their statements:

1872 - The beginning of the Millenium
1874 - The second coming of Christ
1914 - All world governments overthrown by the Lord
1915 - Again, the 1914 prediction
1918 - The churches destroyed
1920 - Republics and Kingdoms along with the Mountains disappear.
1925 - Isreal restored
1929 - They built a house for the returning Old Testament saints
1932 - A repeat of the 1918 prediction
1975 - The 1872 prediction of the Millenium
etc, etc, etc... Aren't we to measure the credibility of a prophet but his accuracy?

Anyway, the first part of this post is from the mediator part of the Parson, the second part is from the parson part of the Parson...

Steven3
Oct 12th 2007, 04:56 AM
Hi Judy :)
Original JW doctrine...hmmmm..If by that you mean to say it is not the same as what Charles Taze Russel taught, you are quite right.I got my facts wrong actually, it was Nathan Knorr not Rutherford, who introduced the ban on blood transfusions in 1945
http://www.answers.com/topic/jehovah-s-witnesses-and-blood-transfusions, so this is long after the 1914 changes where many of Charles Taze Russell's ideas were set aside.
http://www.tj-encyclopedie.org/images/8/82/Knorr.jpg


I am not sure why it is that you do not believe it is biblical. Is it the prohibition on blood that you do not believe is biblical? Or is it that you do not believe that prohibition would include transfusions?The Acts 15 Jerusalem council decision was clearly a stopgap relating to problems in Antioch, because Paul later waived the second and third (blood and idol-meat) provisions of James' decision when writing to the Corinthians "whatsoever you find in meat markets buy without asking questions". Which is just as well because a lot of the meat and poultry in Walmart wouldn't pass the Jerusalem Council Acts 15 definition of what didn't have blood in it or was strangled.

But, even if the Jerusalem council decision was still binding - as I believe SDAs and several Messianic churches believe - that still wouldn't cover something that had not yet been invented, blood transfusions. To have a donation of living-blood from a live person fed into the artery is not the same as eating/consuming the blood of a dead person or animal. The "life is in the blood" in the OT was literally true - because the animal was killed, but when someone donates blood they are not killed. In fact they are often paid.

So the whole "life is in the blood" verse becomes irrelevant - the donor's life wasn't in his blood.

That's the reason. It's not for me to judge the doctrinal positions of your church, as I said, I find several things in the Watchtower movement to respect, but this transfusion thing goes against a basic Bible teaching - respect for life.

This is a small list of 84 of the estimated _____? Witnesses and their children who have unneccessarily died since Nathan Knorr introduced this doctrine to your church
http://www.ajwrb.org/victims/index.shtml

Why should Nathan Knorr's decisions be right and Russell and Rutherford's be wrong?

God bless
Steven

Teke
Oct 12th 2007, 04:37 PM
The problem with the Trinity is: Throughout the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. Even today we find Trimurti, the Hindu concept of God as three deities; Triple Goddess, a neo-pagan / Wiccan trinity; Ayyavazhi trinity, Ayya Vaikundar the triune God; the Shinto trinities (which predates Christ by two or three hundred years); Ahura, the Zoroastrian trinity (which predates Christ by four to five hundred years). That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.


Is this post from the Watchtowers "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" pamphlet?
Let's address it.

"Is the Trinity Pagan?

Critics of orthodox Christianity and liberal Bible scholars have alleged that many elements of Christianity are of pagan origin, including the doctrine of the Trinity. It is ironic that the JWs, who claim to be the only true heirs of biblical Christianity, would use these allegations about the Trinity, because the same allegations are made about the Noahic flood, the creation story of Genesis, and the Gospels. It is well known, for example, that flood stories similar to the one in Genesis can be found in the literature and legends of many peoples all over the world, e.g., in the The Epic of Gilgamesh. Many scholars have thus argued that the Noahic flood account finds it origins in pagan mythology. JWs will no doubt reject this conclusion, but they unwittingly use the same kind of reasoning against Trinitarianism. For example, Mankind's Search for God states:


[A]postate Christians of the second century took on the trappings of the pagan Roman religion. They moved away from their pure biblical origins and instead clothed themselves with pagan Roman garb and titles and became imbued with Greek philosophy....

Such an attitude left the way open for Greek philosophy and terminology to infiltrate Christendom's teachings, especially in the fields of Trinitarian doctrine and the belief in an immortal soul. (264)

The pamphlet Should You Believe in the Trinity? goes even further by contending that not only did Greek thought influence Trinitarianism, but that other cultures, such as Babylon and Egypt, did so as well:


Throughout the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity. (11)

These remarks in SYBT are accompanied with pictures of artifacts depicting various triads of gods from pagan religions along with artifacts depicting the Christian Trinity. Despite the ostensible scholarship of these claims, they are false and fallacious for several reasons.

First, as mentioned, it is simply inconsistent for the Watch Tower to use the opinions of liberal scholars against the Trinity. For example, SYBT cites the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library:


The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus ... certainly never believed himself to be God. (20, ellipses SYBT's)

What SYBT does not say is that this same research also concludes that Christ never even claimed to be the Son of God, that the Gospels are largely mythical, and that we can never be sure about the true identity of Christ. Another example of this inconsistency is SYBT's citation of the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon:


If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians ... was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief. (11, ellipses SYBT's)

This claim is not only out-of-date and biased (no scholar today would call early Christians deists), but Gibbon portrayed first century Christians as superstitious, credulous fanatics ready to believe in any supernatural notion. Such "scholarship" no more supports JW belief than it does orthodox Christian belief.

Second, the use of Greek terminology in Christian thought is hardly an indication of pagan influence. For example, when Paul preached to the philosophers of Athens, he quoted two Greek poets, Epimenides and Aratus, to make his point (all scriptures are from the Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted):


The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' (Acts 17:24-28)

Likewise, John 1:1 uses the Greek word logos to describe Christ, a word first used by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus to describe the underlying order behind the flux of everyday sense experience. Yet in an odd twist, SYBT favorably cites The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge as suggesting that the doctrine of the logos is an "error" and a "corruption" derived from Greek thought:


The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who ... were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy ... That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied. (11, ellipses SYBT's)

SYBT's use of this quote raises some interesting questions. Do the JWs believe that John was corrupted by Heraclitus and other Greek thinkers, and if not, how can they claim that Trinitarianism is corrupt simply because it has alleged antecedents in Greek thought? Moreover, given that the doctrine of the logos is in the Bible, is it not at least possible that the doctrine of the Trinity is as well? This inconsistency devastates the Watch Tower's claims about the pagan origins of Trinitarianism. At any rate, Christianity arose in a Greek milieu, so it is not surprising that early Christians used Greek terminology in the same way that contemporary American Christians use idioms native to English. The use of such terminology does not mean that pagan thought infiltrated the Christian Church.

Third, Trinitarianism became the official position of the Christian Church in spite of Greek philosophy, not because of it. In Greek thought, perfection is found in absolute unity; that which admits of distinction is less perfect. Christian philosopher Terry Miethe writes:


It is clear that the nature of God that originated in Greek philosophical thought is not sufficient. Certainly the Christian concept of God is much richer than the Greek view. If one views God as utter and simple unity, that which does not admit to degrees, this makes the problem of how the many physical things can participate in that which is without parts. The identification of God with the One of Plato, as interpreted by Plotinus, gives birth to negative theology in the history of Western Christian thought. [Negative theology defines God by stating what He is not, rather than what He is.] The traditional theory of the nature of God has always strongly emphasized the utter simplicity and the utter transcendence of God. Thus God is indivisible and transcendent of everything beneath him. Yet, it is clear this is not the God of the Christian revelation. (117)

Christian theology, particularly its concepts of divine triunity and divine incarnation, far surpasses Greek theology. Aristotle, for example, taught that all objects seek to actualize their potential, i.e., they seek to fulfill the potential of their nature. Seeds seek to become plants, acorns seek to become trees, and so forth. Since God's nature is complete, He has no potential to actualize; He is pure actuality. As such, God is at complete rest; He does not move, and He does not act or interact with creation. Hence Aristotle called God the "Unmoved Mover." The Christian doctrine of the incarnate logos sharply contrasts with Aristotle's concept of a God who does not move or act. Aristotle's theology could never incorporate the concept of God becoming a man, because he conceived of God as being utterly beyond the material universe.

The same is true of Plato, who in the famous "Allegory of the Cave" (see book IX of the Republic) taught that the material universe is only a shadow of the true reality. Plato likened our sense perceptions to shadows thrown on to the wall of a cave by puppets, pale reflections of what Plato called the forms, i.e., the ideal objects that cast their reflections on the wall. In contrast, Christianity teaches that the material universe, though fallen, is real and that God, though He is omniscient and transcendent, can become flesh. Greek theology simply cannot incorporate these Christian concepts of God. Hence the claim that Greek thought "infiltrated" Christianity, particularly regarding Trinitarianism is patently false. As Miethe notes, Christian theology is far richer than Greek theology. Christians agree with Greek thinkers that God is the One in whom "we live and move and have our being," but we do not agree that He is an Unmoved Mover, a being who cannot act, a being so beyond the universe that He cannot interact with it. As Paul told the Greek philosophers of Athens: "what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you" (Acts 17:23 New International Version)

Ironically, the teachings of Arius show more of a Greek influence than the doctrine of the Trinity. Arius was the leading opponent of Trinitarianism in the fourth century, and his views on Christ and the Holy Spirit were very similar to those of the JWs. The underlying principle of Arian thought is that God must be a perfect unity:


[T]he Arians used as their prime principle the absolute unity of the monad [an indivisible substance or entity]. They denied the possibility of any multiplicity in unity, a principle which destroyed the Christian answer to the philosophical problem of the one and the many. Orthodox Christianity believes that both unity and plurality characterize ultimate reality. Arianism sees only unity as ultimate. (Beisner 113)

In the tradition of Greek thought, the Arians believed that the unity of God cannot admit of distinction.

Fourth, the Watch Tower's claim that the doctrine of Trinity was influenced by the tritheism and divine triads found in other cultures--Babylon, Egypt, India--reduces to an absurdity. How did these disparate cultures actually influence the supposed apostate Christians of the second century? What is the causal mechanism at work in this influence? How did the Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu of Hinduism become the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of Christianity? The reader of SYBT is never told but is instead expected to see causal connections between pagan "trinities" and Trinitarianism, based merely on facile resemblances. Even worse for the Watch Tower's case, we know that similar concepts in science, philosophy, and religion can develop independently in disparate cultures, including logocentric and quasi Trinitarian doctrines. For example, in the fifteenth century, the Inca king Pachacuti attempted to replace sun worship with the worship of a being called Viracocha, who used a logos to create and who manifested himself as a trinity (Richardson 38). Yet there was no interplay between Old World Christianity and New World Incan logocentrism. Likewise, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz discovered calculus independently; and Charles Darwin and Lord Alfred Wallace formulated the theory of natural selection independently. It should be noted that the views of Arius and the Watch Tower are very similar, and yet JWs reject the connection. But if they are not bothered by the close parallels between their views and those of Arius, then on what grounds should anyone be bothered by the weak parallels between Trinitarianism and pagan tritheism?

Moreover, the comparison between tritheism and Trinitarianism is faulty. Pagan tritheism is not the worship of three persons in one Godhead or even the worship of three gods; rather, the divine triads served as an oligarchy reigning over a pantheon. This henotheistic view, in which there are many gods but only a few supreme gods, has more in common with Arianism and Gnosticism than it does with Trinitarianism. Arius believed that God created Christ as a subsidiary god who participated in the creation of everything else. The Gnostics taught that matter is inherently evil and hence that God had to allow a lesser god to create the universe. Trinitarians reject this as biblically unsound: [A]ll things were made through him [Christ], and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3). Christ is not a god or a lesser deity assigned to aid creation; He is the Creator. More will be said about Christ as the Creator in section IV.

Fifth, apart from the dubious comparison between the Trinity and various pagan triads, the Watch Tower's arguments about the alleged historical and philosophical roots of Trinitarianism commit two logical fallacies. The first is known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, which means "after this, therefore because of this." One commits this fallacy by positing a causal connection between events or ideas solely based upon the temporal sequence of those events or ideas, i.e., that because X preceded Y, X must be the cause of Y. A non-fallacious analysis of how ideas influence one another hinges on legitimate cause-and-effect relationships among them, whereas post hoc analysis looks merely for parallels among them. The second fallacy is known as the genetic error fallacy. This occurs when one traces an idea back to its supposed historical or psychological source and then argues that the idea is therefore invalid. For example, many skeptics argue that religious belief is based solely upon the psychology of believers--that people believe in God because to do so makes them feel better. Thus skeptics conclude that belief in God is intellectually invalid, although it may have a psychological value for believers. This is not an argument at all, but an attempt to predicate the basis of a belief to non-rational causes. It is fallacious, because it begs the question of the truth-value of a belief, i.e., the evidential and logical grounds for holding a belief. Likewise, those who attempt to trace the history of the Trinity back to pagan religions beg the question of its biblical soundness.

Another problem with post hoc and genetic reasoning in regard to the Trinity is that such reasoning can be turned against itself. For example, one can find non-Trinitarian monotheism in early pagan religions. In 1375 B.C., an Egyptian Pharaoh named Amenhotep overthrew the polytheistic religious order of his time and instituted a religion based upon exclusive worship of Aton, said to be creator of the universe. Does this parallelism between pagan monotheism and Old Testament monotheism mean that the latter was infiltrated by the former? JWs will quickly answer in the negative. But if these parallels do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between pagan and biblical monotheism, then neither do the dubious parallels between tritheism and Trinitarianism.

Finally, the claim that Trinitarian thought was a late development unknown to early Christians is false. One of the earliest indications of Trinitarian thought is found in Matthew 28:19: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." JWs will no doubt say that this does not "prove" the Trinity, but the point is that the link between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has its roots firmly in the Bible and first century Christianity and not in the divine triads of Babylon, Egypt, and India. It was Christ Himself who linked them together, not "apostate" Christians of later centuries. This is corroborated by the early Christian document known as the Didache (literally "teaching of the twelve") and the First Epistle of Clement, both of which contain Trinitarian references (see Louth 21, 194; for a good account of the history of Trinitarian thought, see Beisner.)"
Bill Ramey blog at "ourworld"

Shall we continue................?

Steven3
Oct 13th 2007, 04:25 AM
Hi Judy
Seeing as JWs have a much more concrete belief in the coeternal divine nature of Jesus (i.e. before his birth) than myself, or indeed many Anglicans and Methodists, I'm slightly off my bearings in this topic and am going to leave it to you and Teke or others :) - but just out of curiousity, do you have a publication date for that Watchtower "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" pamphlet? Because by its content I'd guess it's rather elderly - perhaps something that has been updated, but not rewritten since the 1950s or earlier? Really any pamphlet discussing the Trinity needs to be abreast of more modern sources, such as:

First and foremost R.P.C. Hanson "Search for the Christian Doctrine of God"

http://images.bestwebbuys.com/muze/bookthumbs/65/9780801031465.jpg

Rowan Williams, now Archbishop of Canterbury, "Arius, Heresy and Tradition"

http://covers.allbookstores.net/c/1127410133/book/big/9780802849694

And what else... egyptologist J. Gwynn Griffiths 'Triads and Trinity' (which tests this claim about Egyptian influence), Rubenstein 'When Jesus became God' (Jewish scholar of conflict resolution), etc...


Hi Teke
This I didn't know:
This is corroborated by the early Christian document known as the Didache (literally "teaching of the twelve") and the First Epistle of Clement, both of which contain Trinitarian references (see Louth 21, 194; for a good account of the history of Trinitarian thought, see Beisner.)"Bill Ramey blog at "ourworld"Can you find for me which specific verses in Clement and the Didache? :)
God bless
Steven

enarchay
Oct 13th 2007, 08:26 AM
Very much correct - it doesn't. But the way the definite article works in Greek is so different from English (see Granville Sharp, Stanley Porter, et al) that it'd be wise not to make too much mileage out of it for any view (and that comment applies to Jehovah's Witnesses as much as fundamentalist Evangelicals).


This is true.



But instead of this both JWs and fundamentalist Evangelicals (with respect :)) get caught up into the mechanics of trying to position Jesus of Nazareth as God/god/a god (:confused) by his role as creator of the dinosaurs. It's very unlikely that this is what John has in mind in either John 1 or 1 John 1.


Paul sees the logos existing before its being made flesh. So I think the beginning John is imagining is in fact related with the beginning of creation, when "All things were made by [through] him" (John 1:3).

enarchay
Oct 13th 2007, 08:29 AM
The problem with the Trinity is: Throughout the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. Even today we find Trimurti, the Hindu concept of God as three deities; Triple Goddess, a neo-pagan / Wiccan trinity; Ayyavazhi trinity, Ayya Vaikundar the triune God; the Shinto trinities (which predates Christ by two or three hundred years); Ahura, the Zoroastrian trinity (which predates Christ by four to five hundred years). That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.


So? Christianity has parallels with other religions. That does not falsify it. From the beginning of Christianity the doctrine of the Trinity was one of many doctrines, the one that ultimately won.

Steven3
Oct 13th 2007, 09:43 AM
Hi Enarchay :)
Paul sees the logos existing before its being made flesh. So I think the beginning John is imagining is in fact related with the beginning of creation, when "All things were made by [through] him" (John 1:3). In Luke 1:2?

Otherwise, yes. I'm guilty of side-tracking the thread. Since, as I said, Jehovah's Witnesses see "the Beginning" in John 1 as solely referring to the same Genesis 1, creation of the dinosaurs etc. "Beginning", that orthodox Protestants do. I was simply commenting on the similarity.

Irrelevant to topic, I know :)
God bless
Steven

Joyfilled
Oct 13th 2007, 12:52 PM
Hi Gypsy :)
I'm a total heretic myself - a liberal unitarian with all sorts of flaky ideas, so far worse than a JW :) and I probably need being saved into orthodoxy more than your colleague does, so best take what I'm going to say with a large teaspoon of salt :spin: ....and also I have to admit that I've never been to a JW meeting (I can't imagine it'd be my cup of tea but don't imagine they eat babies either) ...but all the same I take them to be sincere Bible-believing Christians, with some oddities. Other people are always odd ;)



At the risk of being controversial, can you say clearly what it is you're trying to convert her into? :) Ephesians 6:19 "that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel" relates back to Ephesians 3:6 "This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." If she's a JW she'll already know that better than most Evangelical Christians. They have quite a good grounding in the promises/gospel preached before to Abraham and so on, even if they do now believe that God has now totally finished with Israel.

What specifically is it that is so terrible about JWs that means they have to be pulled out of their churches?

* They believe that Jesus came back halfway in 1914, and is coming the whole way later? - pretty stupid in my view given "every eye will see him" and Mark 13:32, but not a million miles away from the pre-trib rapture-to-heaven preached by the "Left Behind" books. And of course millions of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many Protestant believers don't believe Christ is literally coming back at all, ever.

* They believe only 144,000 go to heaven, and the other millions of "saved" on earth? Again what's so terrible? In my local Anglican church, half the members believe in heaven-going, half believe in sleep and resurrection on earth. The only difference is the JWs seem to believe in both at the same time. (Seems a bit odd to me to preach mortality of the soul and then except your own members, but there we go, everyone believes their church is special ;))

* While they busily deny the word "Trinity", and the Nicean and Chalcedonian creeds, in fact in what they actually believe about Jesus they are often more Trinitarian than many Trinitarians - particularly Anglicans and Roman Catholics. They take very literally a preexistent distinct Logos-Person (Michael in their view, which I personally think weird, but again is found in some Evangelical churches too) Jesus taking part in making creation, physically casting off his heavenly body and entering Mary's womb, and so on.

* They don't allow blood-transfusions, but fortunately the government in most countries no longer allows their views to harm their children (a blessing I suspect many JW parents are quietly very happy to have). But they're hardly the only church whose leaders are against making full use of medical treatment. How many fundamentalist churches pressure families to deny psychiatric care to people with mental illness?

* They're pacifists - hurray!! Good for them (John 18:36)

* They have their own translation of the Bible - as if Evangelicals don't. :lol:

* They don't celebrate Christmas. (Well I do, but only as a worldling)

I can't see that any of these put them so far outside the mainstream of Christendom that this lady needs converting/saving. In fact in a few areas - like pacifism and mortality of the soul (well non-JW 144,000 souls at least!) for example - you might do well to let the discussion be two-way :)

God bless
Steven

Jesus said; "He who is not with me is against me." One cannot be both. One cannot claim that Jesus was telling the truth and was lying at the same time. Jesus told us who he is and how he would return. Those who don't believe him are against him.

Jesus is also the Word. And the bible of the JW's did not come from the apostles or any original OT or NT writer. So it wasn't God inspired because God doesn't change his mind. So no, the JW's are not Christian. They worship Charles Russel's beliefs, not Jesus's words.

Steven3
Oct 13th 2007, 01:53 PM
Hi Joyfilled :)
They worship Charles Russel's beliefs, not Jesus' words.But if we look six posts up we see our JW sister freely dismissing Charles Russell's belief about blood transfusions, holidays, and smoking and other things (which presumably would include the visible first return of Christ, and the physical regathering of Israel and various other things) because of their reading of Jesus' words :)
Original JW doctrine...hmmmm..If by that you mean to say it is not the same as what Charles Taze Russel taught, you are quite right. There is much that Russel had yet to address. The paganism in Holidays for example, or the use of Tabaco. There is much that has been learned in the time since Russel. We are not Russelites, neither are were Ruthorforders. We are Witnesses of Jehovah. As such we follow no man. We follow the scriptures and the direction Jehovah gives through them.I don't agree with JWs on these issues, but as Paul says "the Lord knows who are his". We don't.
Take care and God bless :)
Steven.

Teke
Oct 13th 2007, 02:10 PM
Hi Teke
This I didn't know:Can you find for me which specific verses in Clement and the Didache? :)
God bless
Steven

In Clement I believe it is the second letter. The "Trinity reference" (of Didache and Clement) likely means the baptismal tradition of immersing the person three times in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

To best understand how the Trinity doctrine came about is by studying the history and development of Christian theology. (good book, but not for the novice, is, "The Way to Nicaea: Formation of Christian Theology, Volume 1"
By John Behr).

The Athanasius Creed is more specific IMO of why God is expressed as Trinity.

Athanasian Creed

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

jujubea
Oct 19th 2007, 06:18 AM
I got my facts wrong actually, it was Nathan Knorr not Rutherford, who introduced the ban on blood transfusions in 1945
Yes, I should have double checked myself.



The Acts 15 Jerusalem council decision was clearly a stopgap relating to problems in Antioch, because Paul later waived the second and third (blood and idol-meat) provisions of James' decision when writing to the Corinthians "whatsoever you find in meat markets buy without asking questions".

Naturally I beg to differ. Paul is speaking specifically of things sacrificed to idols as is pointed out in verse 28. He makes no mention of the need for abstinence from blood, or lack there of.


Which is just as well because a lot of the meat and poultry in Walmart wouldn't pass the Jerusalem Council Acts 15 definition of what didn't have blood in it or was strangled.

Actually the FDA has placed rather stringent requirements in this regard. Everything is bled properly.
It may be different if you are buying meat directly from a farm. In Canada, there are less stringent rules as to what is allowed in sausage meats. Blood and by-products can be used as fillers. For this reason JW's check the ingredient list. In the U.S. Such fillers are not alloud.


But, even if the Jerusalem council decision was still binding - as I believe SDAs and several Messianic churches believe - that still wouldn't cover something that had not yet been invented, blood transfusions. To have a donation of living-blood from a live person fed into the artery is not the same as eating/consuming the blood of a dead person or animal. The "life is in the blood" in the OT was literally true - because the animal was killed, but when someone donates blood they are not killed. In fact they are often paid.

We can take the example of the Mesia (sp?) tribe of Africa. They regularly tap the juggler vain of their cattle, mix it with milk and drink it. The cow is not killed but is tapped many times. I find it very hard to believe that this would not contravene the command to abstain from blood. Whether it is an animal or a human, blood is sacred. If it is considered sacred after the person or animal is dead, how much more so when they are still alive.


So the whole "life is in the blood" verse becomes irrelevant - the donor's life wasn't in his blood.

That the “life is in the blood” shows why it is sacred. It is no less sacred, no less true, even if the person did not die. A persons life is in their blood and therefore that blood is sacred.

I personally have another way of viewing this term, “life in the blood”. Not only does your blood sustain your life, but whatever is going on in a person's life, it is in their blood. If they have cancer, it is in their blood. If they are malnourished it is in their blood. If they have been drinking, it is in their blood. If they have contracted an STD it is in the blood. If your liver is not functioning, your kidneys, pancreas, lungs, heart, it is in the blood. Parasites, bacteria, illness of almost any kind, it is in the blood.


That's the reason. It's not for me to judge the doctrinal positions of your church, as I said, I find several things in the Watchtower movement to respect, but this transfusion thing goes against a basic Bible teaching - respect for life.

On the contrary, it upholds it.


This is a small list of 84 of the estimated _____? Witnesses and their children who have unneccessarily died since Nathan Knorr introduced this doctrine to your church
http://www.ajwrb.org/victims/index.shtml


Let me just say that people do not die from lack of blood transfusion. They die from Cancer, or bone marrow failure, or trauma, etc. Blood transfusion is a treatment that is at times employed to treat such conditions. It at times seems helpful and other times not. There is no guarantee even when a person accepts transfusions that they will survive.

I would like to give you an example of a young Witness girl in my city. She was diagnosed with cancer. She was given a 10% likelihood of survival with the recommended treatment which involved blood transfusions. She requested that she be given the opportunity to pursue alternative treatments in a nearby city. Since she was not of a legal age (she was a month shy of 18) the courts denied her request and ordered the blood transfusions. So, everyday she was sedated, strapped down and forcefully given transfusions. (Must have done wonders for her mental well being ) She received over 70 transfusions. Her health rapidly declined, she developed a secondary cancer. When the doctors decided she was going to die and there was no hope, they allowed her to pursue the alternative treatments. Unfortunately it was too late, and she did die. The headlines read, “ Jehovah's Witness Dies After Refusing Blood”. Of course they fail to mention that she received every transfusion, or that her likelihood of survival was slim at the outset. They fail to mention that perhaps her state of mind would play a role in her ability to recover, something forcing transfusions on her would have compromised. They fail to mention that the transfusions did not improve her health.

Doing just a few minutes of research on the net provided this:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Blood transfusions save the lives of millions of heart surgery patients and others each year. But a new study suggests that patients who receive transfusions during heart bypass surgery have a higher risk of developing potentially dangerous infections, and dying,after their operation.
In fact, this increased risk may help explain a longstanding medical mystery: why women bypass patients are more likely than men to die in the first few months after surgery. Women are more likely to receive blood during heart bypass operations, which are performed on more than 465,000 Americans each year.
The findings, from the Patient Safety Enhancement Program (PSEP) at the University of Michigan Health System, are based on data from 9,218 Michigan bypass patients. After adjusting for factors such as the urgency of the operation, those who received blood transfusions from donors were five times more likely to die within 100 days of their operation than those who did not.


In a two part, multicentre international study involving 3543 patients drawn from 146 intensive care units across western Europe, patients who received packed red blood cell transfusions had a higher death rate than their similarly ill counterparts who did not receive transfusions
(http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/325/7367/735/a)
Sunil V. Rao, M.D., of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (http://www.dcri.duke.edu/), Durham, N.C., and colleagues used clinical data from three large international trials of patients with ACS to determine the association between blood transfusion and outcomes among patients who developed moderate to severe bleeding, anemia, or both during their hospitalization. The study included 24,111 participants in the GUSTO IIb, PURSUIT, and PARAGON B trials. Patients were grouped according to whether they received a blood transfusion during hospitalization.
Of the patients included, 2,401 (10.0 percent) underwent at least 1 blood transfusion during their hospitalization. The researchers found that the rates for three outcomes (30-day death, heart attack, and composite death/heart attack) were significantly higher among patients who received a transfusion (30-day death, 8.00 percent for patients who received a transfusion vs. 3.08 percent for patients who did not; 30-day heart attack, 25.16 percent vs. 8.16 percent; 30-day composite death/heart attack, 29.24 percent vs. 10.02 percent). Blood transfusion was associated with a nearly four times increased risk for 30-day death and nearly three times increased risk for 30-day death/heart attack. In further analysis that included procedures and bleeding events, transfusion was associated with a trend toward increased risk of death. (http://www.news-medical.net/?id=5319)
Patients who received blood platelet transfusions during coronary bypass surgery were more likely to have prolonged hospital stays, longer surgeries, more bleeding and higher risk of infection, stroke and death, according to an international study led by the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (http://www.vcu.edu/).
The retrospective analysis showed that death was greater than five times more likely to occur in patients receiving platelet transfusions, and stroke was at least three times more likely to occur compared with patients who did not receive transfusions. In addition:

The operation was almost one hour longer for patients receiving a platelet transfusion than for those not receiving one.
Almost 20 percent of patients who received platelet transfusions returned to surgery for re-exploration compared with a 2 percent re-operation rate for those who did not receive platelets.
The amount of bleeding and length of time in the hospital were greater in the group who received transfusions. "Blood transfusions may do more harm than good in virtually every instance except trauma," says Spiess. "Blood transfusions increase the risk of pneumonia, infections, heart attacks and strokes. Patients who don't have transfusions often do better." http://www.news-medical.net/?id=3679

Why should Nathan Knorr's decisions be right and Russell and Rutherford's be wrong?

The decision regarding blood was not made by Nathan Knorr, but by the Governing Body, of which he was a part. As I stated before, Russel and Rutherford were not wrong on this issue. They did not address or state their beliefs of the propriety of transfusions in light of scripture.

Steven3
Oct 19th 2007, 06:34 AM
Hi Judy
I'd agree that the Maasai of Kenya would be breaking OT kosher laws, as interpreted even by the most liberal rabbi, even though their practice probably would never have been anticipated by Moses. But nevertheless the "life is in the blood" does in the Law, and in Jewish context, does refer to animals or men which have been killed, wheras blood donors are not ritually sacrificed.

I won't debate medicine - if a doctor says you or I need a blood transfusion we do. End of story.


The decision regarding blood was not made by Nathan Knorr, but by the Governing Body, of which he was a part. As I stated before, Russel and Rutherford were not wrong on this issue. They did not address or state their beliefs of the propriety of transfusions in light of scripture.
Are you sure? I thought Russell was actually in favour? Not that it would matter as many of his ideas have been overturned, and no reason why they shouldn't be. Also was the Governing Body unanimous on this 1945 decision? ....what about the 144,000 who started going to heaven (as I understand Watchtower teaching) in 1914, can your church be certain none of them had eaten blood or taken a blood transfusion?

God bless
Steven