Biblical Response to Jehovah’s Witnesses

 Biblical Response to Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Their attacks on the Deity of Jesus.
    1. Why did Jesus pray to the Father? (John 17).
    1. Because as a man He needed to pray to the Father.
    2. Because He was both God and man (Col. 2:9; John 8:58 with Ex. 3:14).
        1. The two natures of Christ are why we have two types of scripture concerning Jesus: those that seem to focus on His divine-side, and those that seem to focus on His human-side. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are simply ignoring, or changing, the divine-side scriptures and concentrating on those that describe His human-side.
    1. Why did He say the Father was greater than He (John 14:28)?
      1. This is because His position was different than that of God, not His nature.
      2. Heb. 2:9 that Jesus is made for a little while lower than the angels; that is, when He became a man. The Father sent the Son (1 John 4:10).
    1. Why did He say, “Why call me good, only God is good?” (Luke 18:19)?
      1. Jesus was confirming His own deity because what He was doing was good.
      2. Ask them, “Was Jesus good?”
    2. Why did Jesus say that He could only do those things that He saw the Father do? (John 5:19).
      1. This is an interesting verse and it is one that proves the divinity of Christ, not that He wasn’t God.
      2. Ask the Jehovah’s Witness who can do the same things God the Father can do? Could an angel? Could a man? Of course not. Jesus, however, says He could do whatever He saw the Father do. “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
    3. The answer to these and other verses like them is that Jesus has two natures. Jesus was fully man as well as fully God and as a man there will be verses that show His humanity.
  1. Witnessing Approaches using the Bible.
    1. John 1:1: They translate as “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a god.”
      1. Ask if Satan is a true god or a false God. The Jehovah’s Witness will say a false god. Then have them read aloud John 1:1 again in their Bible and ask them if Jesus is a true god or a false one. If he says “true god,” he’s in trouble because that would make Jesus true God — which the JW’s do not believe. If he says “false god,” he’s in trouble because that would make Jesus a false God.
      2. If Jesus is a god, then doesn’t that mean there are two gods? They often answer, “Yes. But Jesus is not the Almighty God, He is only the mighty god. And besides, there are those in the Bible who are called gods but really aren’t.”
        1. But, in Isaiah 10:21, God is called the Mighty God.  So if Jesus is not the Almighty God and only the mighty God, then that makes Jesus God since GOD is called the mighty God.
      3. The problem with this is that every God besides Jehovah is a false God. God says to have no other God before Him (Exodus 20:3) because they are not by nature gods (Gal. 4:8).
        1. But, there are those who are called gods such as Exodus 7:1 where God says to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet,” (NASB).  God is not, of course, making Moses a god, but He is saying that Moses will exhibit the power of God.  But Jesus is not said to be God in the same sense as Moses was said to be “as” God.
    2. Col. 1:15: Is used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to say that Jesus is the first created thing. This verse says, “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
      1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that “firstborn” means first created. This cannot be the case because…
  1. There is a Greek word for “first created” and it is not used here.
    1. Firstborn can certainly mean the first one born in a family. However, it can also mean preeminence. For example:
  2. In Jeremiah 31:9, the firstborn title is attributed to one of the tribes of northern Israel. “They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.”
    1.   Understanding biblical culture is important when interpreting Scripture. Firstborn was a title, not only of the first born male, but also of preeminence which is precisely what is occurring when it is said that Jesus is the firstborn.
        1. “First born” is proto, “first,” with tikto “to bring forth, bear, produce.”
        1. There is no word used in the New Testament for “first created.” However, if there were, the construction would be proto, “first,” with ktizo “to create.” And this is not the construction used in Col. 1:1
  1. Col. 1:15-17 in the Jehovah’s Witness Bible has an addition of four words. Their version reads, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 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. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,” (Their word “[other]” is in their Bible with the brackets. They maintain that they know it isn’t in the original Greek Scriptures but the word is implied and should be there.)
    1. Instead of refuting the bad translation, simply ask them if this means that Jesus created everything. They will say yes. Review this and be very clear and get them to admit that it was Jesus who created everything. Then turn to…
      Isaiah 44:24 “This is what the LORD says -your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”
      1. If Jesus created everything, then why does it say that the Lord (Jehovah in the Hebrew) did it by Himself?
      2. The only answer is that Jehovah is not simply the name of the Father, but that it is the name of God the Trinity. Therefore, since Jesus is God in flesh, it could be said that Jesus created all things and that Jehovah did it alone.
    1. You can also ask them to try to read the section of verses and omit the word “other”. You will find it to be an interesting experience.
  1. John 8:58 in the Jehovah’s Witness Bible says, “…Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”
    1. They have translated the present tense ego eimi, in the Greek, into the perfect tense, I have been. Though this can be done rarely in the New Testament, it is not correct here because Jesus was quoting the O.T. verse of Exodus 3:14 where God was telling Moses who He was: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.” Jesus was purposely using the divine title: I AM.
    2. The Jehovah’s Witness won’t agree. So ask him if Jesus was saying that He “had been” before Abraham, then why does it say in the next verse that the Jews pick up stones to kill him?
    3. Additionally, about 250 years the Jews translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. It is called the Septuagint, also known as LXX. In the Septuagint Exodus 3:14 is translated in the Greek in a present tense, i.e., I AM… The correct translation is, therefore, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
    4. If this verse should really be translated as “I have been” then why did the Jews want to kill Jesus? The answer is simple: They knew He was claiming to be God, see the next example.
  2. John 10:30-34 is a section of verses where the Pharisees say that Jesus is making Himself out to be God (v. 33).
    1. “I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 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.”
    1. You can say, “See, even the Jews knew He was claiming to be God. The Jehovah’s Witness (if he’s quick enough) will say something like, “Jesus wasn’t God, the Jew’s only thought that Jesus was claiming to be God.” Then you can say, “Oh, I see. Then let me get this right. You agree with the Pharisees, Jesus wasn’t God? Is that correct? The Jehovah’s Witness will not like it that he agrees with a Pharisee.
  1. Plurality in the Godhead
    1. The following group of scriptures strongly suggests a plurality within the Godhead. These verses are translated correctly in the Jehovah’s Witness Bible so you can encourage them to use it. The NIV is not as literal in its translation in the Amos verses, so I recommend using either the King James or the New American Standard Bible when doing your own.

Gen. 1:26, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . . “

  1. They will say that angels are the ones who helped God make man. However, there is no scriptural evidence for that. God is the only creator.
    1.   Gen. 19:24, “Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.”
  2. Is this saying there are two Lords, two Jehovah’s?
    1.   Amos 4:10-11, I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the LORD. ˜I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . ‘”
  3. Jehovah is the one talking and He says, “I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah…” Very interesting.
    1. Isaiah 44:6, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ˜I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides me . . . See also, Isaiah 48:1
        1. You can also take him to Col. 1:15-17 where it says that Jesus is the creator of all things–including man.
      1. If you are reading these verses to a Jehovah’s Witness he might say something like, “Are you trying to show the Trinity from these verses?” You can then say, “You got the Trinity out of these? That’s very interesting.”
      2. These verses and others are more fully developed in The Plurality Study, which is a powerful tool for witnessing to the Witnesses.
  1. John 20:25 says, “The other disciples therefore were saying to him, We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe’” (NASB).
    1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus was crucified on a cross. They say it happened on a torture stake where His wrists were put together over His head and a single nail was put through both. If that is true, then why does Thomas say “Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails…” In the Greek the word used here for “nails”, helos, is in the plural. Therefore, there was more than one nail used in the hands of the crucifixion of Christ.
  1. First and Last
    1. How many firsts and lasts are there? In the Bible God is called the first and last and so is Jesus. Since God says there is no God apart from Him and Jesus and God are both addressed by the same title, then that poses a problem for the Jehovah’s Witness
    2. Isaiah 44:6, “This is what the LORD says -Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”
    1. Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
    2. Revelation 1:17-18, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
  1. Obviously, Rev. 1:17-18 can only refer to Jesus.
    1.  Revelation 22:12-13, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
  2. Here, both the “Alpha and the Omega” and the “First and the Last” are said to be one and the same.
        1. Also, at this point go to Titus 2:13 where it says that Jesus is the one who is coming soon, therefore, Jesus and Jehovah are the same.
  1. The Holy Spirit
    1. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the Holy Spirit is an active force like radar. They deny that He is alive, that He is a person. This is, of course, because they deny the Trinity. Yet, if the Holy Spirit is simply a force then…

Why is He called God (Acts 5:3-5)?

      1. How is it that He can teach (John 14:26)?
      2. How can He be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31,32)?
      3. How can be the one who comforts (Acts 9:31)?
      4. How is it possible for Him to speak (Acts 28:25)?
      5. How then can He be resisted (Acts 7:51)?
      6. How can He be grieved (Eph. 4:30)?
      7. How can He help us in our weaknesses (Rom. 8:26)?
    1. If the Holy Spirit is a force, then how is it possible that the above mentioned phenomena are attributed to Him? A force doesn’t speak, teach, comfort, etc.
    2. Nor can you blaspheme against a force.
  1. The Resurrection of Jesus
    1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. They say that if the sacrifice of Jesus were real then the body had to stay in the grave. They say that He rose in a spirit body. This body was a manifestation similar to the way angels manifested themselves in the Old Testament.

The problem with their view is that the angels were not incarnated. Jesus became a man by birth, therefore, He had a real, physical body, a permanent body. In fact, right now, Jesus is in heaven in the form of a man. He still has two natures, God and man, and will eternally be that.

    1. For scriptural proof of Jesus being raised in the same body He died in, consider the following verses.

In John 2:19-22 before the crucifixion Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up…He was speaking of the temple of His body.” Since Jesus said He would raise the same body He died in, then it must be true.

  1. This last verse is worth focusing on. Remember, Jesus said He would be the one to raise His body. So, it must be true.
    1.   John 20:27 -(to Thomas) “reach your finger…and put it into My side…”
  2. If Jesus were not raised from the dead, then why did He have a physical body.
    1.  Luke 24:39 – “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
  3. Jesus said that He had “flesh and bones” not “flesh and blood.” This is important because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). The blood of Jesus was the sacrifice for sin (Rom. 5:9). It is the blood that cleanses us of our sin (Heb. 9:22).
      1. They will reply that it was a temporary body materialized so the apostles would believe that He was raised. Yet, this is not what Jesus said in John 2:19-22.  He said He would raise His very body.
      1. The blood of Jesus was shed on the cross and so, most probably, Jesus doesn’t have any functioning blood in His body.
  1. Similarities between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Pharisees:
    1. Both deny the Trinity and the Deity of Christ
    1. Both deny the physical resurrection of Christ and salvation by grace alone.
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