Is Jesus Jehovah? Ask the New World “Translation” (part four)

Members of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” cult have their own Bible “translation” which changes key verses to support their false teaching.  This series of posts gives verses we can use which, even in the “Jehovah’s Witness” translation, show the errors of the cult.

Previous Posts

The cult teaches rightly that God’s name is Jehovah.  But they deny that Jesus is Jehovah, one with the Father, and their New World “Translation” has “adjusted” some verses that refute their error.

Part one showed the deceiving influence of this mistranslation, but also that even it shows Jesus as THE one true Shepherd, the owner of the sheep — and also shows Jehovah as the true Shepherd, thus demonstrating that Jesus is Jehovah.

Part two showed that Psalm 110, even in the New World “Translation,” reveals Jesus as Jehovah at the right hand of Jehovah (the Father) — they share the same name, Jehovah.

In part three, we saw that Jesus, in Matthew 28:19, spoke of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all having the same name.  If Jehovah is the Father’s name, and He and Jesus have the same name, Jesus must be Jehovah.

A few related articles elsewhere:

  • As mentioned in the last post, Glenn Chatfield’s extensive defense of the doctrine which has come to be known as the Trinity.
  • One Way to Respond by a pastor in Tennessee (disclaimer, I know nothing about him, so if he’s a heretic, please let me know! 🙂 But it’s a good post.)
  • How I Answered by a seminary student (same disclaimer :)).  Justin uses a similar approach on one Scripture text, in using the New World “Translation.”

The Creator

The New World “Translation” shows that Jesus is the Creator.  Again, we are using their version, not because it is reliable, but because it shows their teachings are refuted even by their own translation.

John 1:1-3, 10 (New World “Translation”)

1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
2 This one was in [the] beginning with God.
3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.

10 He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, but the world did not know him.

As discussed earlier, the first verse is horribly mistranslated, but we’ll ignore that for the purposes of this post.  These verses identify the Word (a title for Jesus) as the One who brought everything into existence.

Colossians 1:16-19 (New World “Translation”)

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.
17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,
18 and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things;
19 because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him,

This passage even uses the word “created” and clearly identifies Jesus (head of the church, firstborn from the dead) as the One who created.

There are other passages, but this is enough.  The Bible says Jesus is the Creator, the New World “Translation” says so, and “Jehovah’s Witnesses” acknowledge Him as Creator.

The “Created Creator,” the “Apprentice”?

The “Jehovah’s Witnesses” cannot deny that Jesus is the Creator, but this causes a problem for them, because even their “Bible” teaches that Jehovah is the Creator:

Isaiah 42:5 (New World “Translation”)

This is what the [true] God, Jehovah, has said, the Creator of the heavens and the Grand One stretching them out; the One laying out the earth and its produce, the One giving breath to the people on it, and spirit to those walking in it:

If Jehovah is the Creator, as Isaiah says, and if Jesus created (as the passages above say), how can they say Jesus is not Jehovah?  Their answer is based on verses like the following:

Hebrews 1:1-2 (New World “Translation”)

1 God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets,
2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things.

“Through whom He made” — the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” claim that Jehovah-God is the real Creator, and Jesus is only an assistant, Himself created by God, merely the agent by which Jehovah-God did His work.

They may say Jesus was like an “apprentice.”  A craftsman may instruct his apprentice in implementing his design, and yet the result is known as the teacher’s work.  So also they say Jesus was the Father’s apprentice in creation, that Jehovah-God the Father is the true Creator, and the creation verses about Jesus describe His work as Jehovah’s assistant.

“By Myself”

Isaiah 44:24 (New World “Translation”)

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

Jehovah says He created the heavens and earth by Himself — even in the New World “Translation.”  To say He did it by Himself, and then to ask “Who was with me?” is to say that no one was with Him.  It is as He says further up in the same chapter:

Isaiah 44:8 (New World “Translation”)

Does there exist a God besides me? No, there is no Rock.

As there is no God beside Jehovah, so also there was no Creator with Him, He created “by Myself.”

A master craftsman, guiding apprentices, can claim credit for the work — but he cannot honestly say he did it by himself, that no one was with him in it.  Yet, that is Jehovah’s claim.  It cannot be true if Jesus was an apprentice with Him.  It can only be true if Jesus is also Jehovah, one with the Father.  If Jesus was present, He must be Jehovah, for only Jehovah was present.  Jehovah Himself said so.

Question for Jehovah’s Witnesses:  If Jesus created, if Jehovah told the truth that He is the only Creator, if He did it by Himself, why do your teachers tell you Jesus is not Jehovah?  Will you believe Jehovah, or will you believe your teachers?

Isaiah 44:24, as much as any other verse, discredits the false teaching of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (even in their translation).  And so the very next verse seems very fitting, even in the words of the New World “Translation”:

Isaiah 44:25 (New World “Translation”)

[I am] frustrating the signs of the empty talkers, and [I am] the One that makes diviners themselves act crazily; the One turning wise men backwards, and the One that turns even their knowledge into foolishness.

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in Rightly Dividing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Is Jesus Jehovah? Ask the New World “Translation” (part four)

  1. perthians says:

    I’m not a Jehovah’s witness but even I could give you over 100 scriptures to prove Jesus is not god. Jesus is referred to as a ‘god’ but so is Satan. Jesus is also called the ‘word,’son’,michael,teacher,etc but never does Jesus call himself ‘jehovah’ Why would he pray to himself or say the father knew things he didn’t? God sent his ‘son’
    I can’t comprehend this trinity theory

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Jesus doesn’t call Himself Jehovah because Jehovah is a Hebrew name and the New Testament is recorded in Greek. But He says, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He says He is the Shepherd of the sheep, and that they are His — that is a claim only Jehovah could rightly make.

      Jesus is not the Father, so of course He does not pray to Himself. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are distinct beings, yet One with a unity far beyond our human comprehension.

      Jesus is never called “Michael” — Michael is identified as an angel, while Jesus says He sends His angel. You say you are not a Jehovah’s Witness, but it is the Jehovah’s Witnesses who say that Jesus is called “Michael.”

      The doctrine which has come to be known as “the Trinity” does not teach that Jesus is the Father or that the Father is the Son, but that the Father, Son, and Spirit are united, are together the One God. Their union is the true God, Jehovah. That is why the Three have the same Name.

      • marcusampe says:

        dear Jon Gleason you seem to have an other concept of the Trinity than most Trinitarians, because they do believe that Jesus is also God and they also take the Holy Spirit to be another godhead, a person instead of the Power of God, His breath His being.

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Hello, Marcus. Perhaps you misunderstand Trinitarian doctrine. No one who believes Scripture would claim that Jesus is God the Father. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are distinct yet One. Together they are one Godhead, yet they are also distinct.

        Jesus is also God, but He is not God the Father, He is God the Son.

        Theologians have used “Three Persons in one nature” to describe the Triune God. I don’t reject the terminology, though “persons” is not defined Biblically, so I’m not bound by those terms. But the Holy Spirit is more than merely “the Power of God” — He speaks, He can be lied to, He can be grieved, He gives gifts, He has a will. That’s not just “God’s Power”.

      • marcusampe says:

        How can be the one not the other but stil be the other in that one God.
        For us the teaching in the Scripture is clearly saying that they are united in spirit, like a family can be united and as such be one, but that is not exactly what the majority of trintiarian Christians do believe or accept as the meaning of ‘Unity’ or ‘Union’.
        In the Scriptures Jesus also says the father is greater than him and he (Jesus) can not do anything without the Father, to whom he also prays and did not ask to himself why He (Jehovah God) had abandoned him (Jesus)..

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Marcus, he is not “one not the other but still be the other”. I’ve given Scriptures down below.

        Jesus acknowledged the Father’s leadership role in the Godhead. Any analogy is flawed, but perhaps this would help. Our company has an executive committee. I am just as much an employee of the company as they are. I am better equipped to do some things than any of them are, while they are each, in different ways, better equipped to do some things than I am. I don’t necessarily think that they are spiritually, morally, or mentally superior or inferior to me — but I still acknowledge their authority, that they have a superior position to mine.

        That is a poor analogy for many reasons, but it should demonstrate at least that it is possible to recognise a person as having authority over our actions and having a greater position than ours without seeing them as being a superior being.

        In John 14:28, Jesus is talking about this “executive” role of the Father, in that the Father is going to send the Holy Spirit. So also in John 10:29, where He talks of the Father giving the sheep to the Son.

  2. marcusampe says:

    It is wrong to understand that Jesus would be Jehvoah because he says: “Before Abraham was, I am.” He says “He is the Shepherd of the sheep, and that they are His” but that is not a claim only Jehovah could rightly make. Jehovah is the Father of Jesus and has given him the right to take care of the human flock. God, who never tells lies and who can not die told about this Nazarene man from the tribe of David that he is the beloved son. Jesus who did not sin but could sin was tempted many times (though God cannot be tempted) but he preferred always to do the will of his Father. Jesus also prayed to his Father and asked Him to do His (God’s) Will and not his (Jesus’s) will.

    +
    Note I am also not a Jehovah Witness (and never have been) but like many other Christians only believe in One God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Elohim, Al-El, Allah, Hashem Jehovah.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Jehovah is the shepherd to whom the sheep belong. He called His people “My flock.” There were undershepherds (kings of Israel) but none could claim that the sheep were his — they belong to Jehovah, and always have.

      Jesus said the sheep were His. Jesus is the Creator. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are Jehovah, One God in Three. This is what the Bible clearly teaches, in so many places. John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus the Messiah, was said to be the one preparing the way of Jehovah. Jehovah is the Judge, and Jesus is the Judge. Jehovah is the Redeemer, and Jesus is the Redeemer. And more….

      I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t bother Christadelphians that the only people who agree with them are the heretical Jehovah’s Witnesses….

  3. marcusampe says:

    Were does the Bible teach Trinity, a word you shall no where find in the Word of God? There are more non-trinitarians than JW, Christadelphians, Church of God, Abrahamic Faith, and the several bible Students Movements.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Hello, Marcus. That’s some pretty shaky company you are claiming there. A whole bunch of people who, among other things, deny that Christ existed before His incarnation. And they really are pretty much splinter groups of the Christadelphians, anyway.

      John 1:29-30 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
      This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

      There are so many verses that demonstrate the preexistence of Christ.

      You are, of course, correct that the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, which is why I speak of it as the doctrine which has come to be known as the Trinity.

      The Bible clearly teaches that there is one God. Deuteronomy 6:4.

      It clearly teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Beings / Persons. Perhaps Matthew 3:16-17 is a good example of this.

      It clearly teaches that Jesus is God — the verses I’ve cited and many others. In Matthew 4:10 we learn that only Jehovah is to be worshiped, and in Hebrews 1:6 we learn that Jesus is to be worshiped even by the angels.

      It clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is not just the power of God, but is God Himself. Acts 5:3-4.

      Father, Son, and Spirit, all identified as God, all distinct, yet a Unity as the One God.

      Why does your latest blog post link to a Jehovah’s Witness blog, and even give its text from the New World Translation? I didn’t realise the Christadelphians were so sympathetic to a cult that teaches the things the JWs teach.

  4. marcusampe says:

    How does it come that God, who is an eternal Spirit (so can not die) told about Himself that He does not tell lies; But when He says nobody can see Him or they would die and when He said ‘This is my beloved son’, did He not tell the truth then? That would mean that He told not the reality so did what we call ‘tell a lie’.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      God was an eternal Spirit (so cannot die) but became flesh so He could die (John 1:14, Hebrews 2). Hebrews 2:14 explains it very clearly. He was not flesh and blood (therefore, was spirit) but became flesh and blood so that He could deliver us.

      Hebrews 10:4-9 explains this as well. The One who existed as Spirit became flesh and blood for the purpose of death to remove our sins.

      These passages do not make any sense at all unless Jesus was pre-existent as Spirit. And if He was pre-existent as Spirit, they make complete sense, and it really answers your questions. He existed as Spirit, He took on Himself human nature in addition to His spiritual nature, and thus became the One who declared the Father (John 1:18, Hebrews 1:1-3).

      • marcusampe says:

        “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJ21)

        Tells that the Word of God, that what God had said became reality in the flesh of the son of God. When you read carefully there is written ‘the word came flesh’ not ‘God came flesh’ Jesus was the fulfilment of what God had promised in the Garden of Eden. You yourself agree that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father, so how can he be then Himself. Jesus is the only one person who is after the first Adam made by God Himself and therefore is also considered to be the second Adam.

        In the many bile translations I have I can find that Paul writes: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death—that is, the devil—” (Hebrews 2:14 KJ21) clearly indicating that Jesus about whom the apostle is talking is like us a man of flesh and blood and also had to undergo the same things as we do, even when he came from God the Father, being implanted in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Power of God (the Holy Spirit and not a third Godhead).

        “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” (John 1:18 KJ21)

        Many people could see Christ and did not die, though God can not be seen by man or they would die. (Exodus 33:20) Jesus being part of God like any child would be part of his parents had naturally elements of his parent, the Father God. Jesus also very well knew his Father and considered Him as the Only One God to whom he prayed and to whom we also should pray. Jesus also wanted only to do the will of his Father and not his own will. In case he was God himself jesus would do God His Will as his Will being himself that same person, but now in the many books we can find clearly that Jesus, who could be tempted (while God cannot be tempted) was brought many times into temptation to do his own will or to go against the Will of God or to do those things which many humans being did. Jesus placed himself above that all. Jesus had to learn many things (though God knows everything) and even did not know when he would be coming back. He never claimed to be God but always told that he could do nothing without his Father who should be praised and not him.

        Perhaps it is not bad to look at following verses: Galatians 4:4; Luke 1:30-35; Acts 10:38; Matthew 4:10, 25-26; John 5:19; 8:40,44-45; 14:28; 17:1,3; 18:37; 20:17; Philipians 2:5-8; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 11:3; 15:28; Hebrews 2:9,14,17;

        So would we not better believe and say that Jesus was and is the son of God?: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15 KJ21)

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Marcus, you are arguing, in part, against something which I and no other believer in the Trinity believe. “You yourself agree that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father, so how can he be then Himself.” Jesus is not the Father. I have not said He is. He is distinct from the Father, yet so completely One with the Father that God is One.

        I agree with your quote from Hebrews 2. Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh and blood, fully human. And it is true that before Christ came, no one could look on God, but He came in the flesh so people could, so He could reveal Himself.

        And it is true that Jesus is to be called the Son of God, and I do call Him that. But He is also God the Son, for He is called God (I John 5:20, John 1:1, John 20:28, Isaiah 9:6, and other verses). He is worshiped (Hebrews 1:6 and other verses) and only God is to be worshiped. He is to be honoured with the same honour that is given to the Father (John 5:23). He shares the same name as the Father, and He is the Creator.

        You cannot take the verses that say He is flesh and blood and throw out the verses that say He is God. You have to take them all. Your explanation fails to do that. I readily admit that the doctrine called “Trinity” is difficult (though we would not expect it to be easy to understand everything about God, because He is transcendent). But it at least takes all the Scriptures that deal with this question into account, acknowledging both the oneness of God and the distinctness of the Father, Son, and Spirit. It fits with the pre-existence of Christ, which is clearly taught in Scripture, and His becoming flesh.

  5. marcusampe says:

    You call the JW a cult, but than it depends what you understand under ‘cult’. When you mean that they are teaching not the main teachings of a bigger group like Catholics or Anglicans than naturally you could call Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal also cults. By the way do youk now a few years ago I fought against the government because they had placed the Baptist on the List of cults?
    At the time of Christ the followers of the Master Teacher or rabbi Jeshua (Jesus) where consider to be a sect or cult. For a long time this cult group moved around under the name ‘the Way’.

    In India they may consider the Roman Catholics or the Orthodox Catholics as cults.
    But in the West we consider a cult something totally different and than we think of groups like in Wacco a.o..
    The JW are the most difficult religion to get into and the most easy one to get out. Normally one of the signs of a cult is that it is easy to enter but very difficult to get out. so not something you could say of the JW.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      I’d say “cult” has two general definitions, a sociological one and a theological one. A sociological cult has certain characteristics in regard to the way they behave — mind-control, etc. Every Baptist church is different, and I’ve known of some Baptist churches that began to go into this kind of behaviour (though it is directly opposed to standard Baptist beliefs). I would not describe the JWs generally as a cult sociologically, though the fear of shunning generates an emotional pressure that can be cult-like.

      Theologically, the general definition historically is those who are accursed for preaching another Gospel (as per Galatians 1) and/or those with whom we can have no fellowship because they do not have the doctrine of Christ (II John). Under this definition, the JWs are definitely a cult.

      Some groups that are not cults by the theological definition definitely have sociological cult-like characteristics. Some groups that are not cults sociologically are cults by theology. Some groups are definitely cults under both definitions.

      Historically, “cult” has had primarily a theological definition, and that is the definition I was using here. The sociological definition is relatively new, but that is obviously the one you are working with, by what you’ve said. When I read your comment, it shows you are thinking of “sociological cult”, and I would agree and not label the JWs as such, either.

      • Rod says:

        Hi Jon Gleason,

        I know your debate with Marcusampe is nearly two years old but it was still interesting to read. Is he a JW or not ? My understanding of JW beliefs is, if you are not a JW, then you are part of apostate christendom.

        I wonder if marcusampe has considered this if he isn’t a JW !

        Also regarding the Trinity (Godhead) the KJV in (1John 5;7) clearly identifies the Father, Word and Holy Ghost as one. I know this verse is disputed among bible scholars as lacking mss evidence (all this Greek makes my head spin around !)

        What are your views on this, its in the KJV (Greek T.R) which is good enough for me.

        Regards,

        Rod.

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Hello, Rod. Marcus is a member of the Christadelphians. They are not JW, and differ in some beliefs, but they hold the same Arian heresy, denying that Jesus is God.

        As to I John 5:7, I believe it is part of Scripture. I’ve not written on this passage, and probably won’t soon. Suffice to say I understand why many reject it, and respect some of their reasons, but don’t find the case compelling.

        I see little point in debating it, however. The truths it contains run throughout Scripture, if someone wants to dispute that passage I will use others. It is a waste of time to use that Scripture with a JW or a Christadelphian. You just end up debating something which is a side issue to the real problem. The real problem is that they are rejecting what the Scriptures clearly teach over and over again. Since they can’t understand the triune nature of God, they exalt their intellect over the revealed Word of God. Ultimately, it is idolatry of their own logic.

      • Rod says:

        Hello Jon,
        Thanks for clearing that up with Marcus. I do know of christadelphians and unitarians who will jump on the JW band wagon when the topic of Christ’s deity or the trinity is being discussed.

        Seems to me that these cults will unite with the JWs to attack our Lord Jesus and the word of God even if the JWs are calling them apostate !

        And yes, (1John 5;7) is scriptural as far as I’m concerned. It can make a good cross-reference to verses such as (Mat 28:19 ) and (Eph 4:3-6) etc, when presented this way to a JW or other trinity denying cults. But when shown on its own, an informed JW (and others) will attack it as being not an inspired scripture which is difficult to refute.

        Regards,

        Rod.

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