Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, April 09, 2007

Apologetics in Action

A Jehovah's Witness at the Door

Doug Kutilek describes his evangelistic encounter with a Jehovah's Witness who stopped by his house.

Taken from the March 2007 edition of Doug's electronic newsletter, As I See It. [used with permission].

I was in my basement study one Monday morning preparing for my afternoon lectures in Greek and Bible exposition. Though at some distance from the front door, I distinctly heard a knock (usually the dog barking is my notice that someone has come to the door, but not this day). Since it was about the time that the postman comes by, I imagined that it was she, with some parcel too big for the roadside mailbox.

But no, as I opened the door, I discovered a well-groomed elderly woman, surely in her upper 60s, maybe lower 70s. I knew immediately from the literature in her hand that she was an agent of “The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,” a.k.a. the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

She opened the conversation with some casual pleasantry. I decided to get to the heart of the matter right away.

“I worship Jesus Christ as my Lord and God, just as Thomas did in John 20:28,” I plainly stated.

“We believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” she replied.

“But you don’t believe He is God, equal with the Father, and that is a grave mistake. Your own Watchtower Bibles declare that He is God--in John 5:22-23, it states,

‘For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.’ [
New World Translation].

If you honor the Father as God the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, then this verse says you must give precisely the same honor to the Son. And the Son could only deserve such equal honor with the Father if He were in fact God Himself. To worship an angel or created being with the same honor given God the Father would be blasphemy and idolatry.”

She was a bit taken back by my bold assertion.

I continued, “And just who do angels worship?” I asked her.

“Well, God of course!” she immediately replied.

“That’s right, just as we learn from Revelation 22 when John was overwhelmed by all he had been shown, and ‘fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that had been showing’ him these things. [Revelation 22:8, NWT]. The angel immediately rebuked John, saying ‘Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who are prophets and of those who are observing the words of this scroll. Worship God.’

“Now, over in Hebrews 1:6, we see something very interesting on this same subject. God the Father is giving instruction to His angels:

‘But when he again brings his First-born into the inhabited earth, he says, “And let all of God’s angels worship him.” ‘ [

Here, then, God Himself commands the angels to worship the Son--the Father must think the Son is God, too!”

And I didn’t let up.

“In your own The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures [published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in 1969], it tells us in John 8:58 that Jesus is the “I am,” that is, God who appeared to Moses in Exodus 3. Sure, the English translation has ‘before Abraham came into existence, I have been’ with some convoluted explanation in the footnote, but the Greek, as you can see for yourself says ‘I am.’ And the Emphatic Diglott [a parallel inter-linear Greek and English edition], published by the Watchtower in 1942, also has ‘I am’ as the literal translation of the Greek--and in it’s English, it gives “I am he.”

“And then, of course, there is John 1:1 where the Word is identified as God, with a capital ‘G,’ not ‘a god,’ small ‘g.’ I am a seminary Greek professor--in fact, I have a class to teach in a couple of hours, and I can say with certainty, that no one who really knows Greek would ever translate John 1:1 the way the NWT does.”

“So, even your own Watchtower translation tells you that Jesus is God, that He is to be honored as God and worshipped as God. The problem is that you have been led astray by those you thought you could trust. Don’t believe the Watchtower literature--believe what the Bible says. Worship Jesus as God.”

Somehow, she had no time to speak with me further just then. I invited her to come back, and she said she would. She hurried back to the car and has not returned. May the Holy Spirit cut through the layers of lies this woman has sincerely believed, and may she fall at the feet of Jesus, worshipping Him in truth as both Lord and God.



Blogger SteveP said...

You made 2 key mistakes in your posts.

1) You misquoted the NWT. Hebrews 1:6 says: "But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.” Obeisance is not worship.

2)You state that the NWT is alone in translating John 1:1 different. Here's a list:

"and was himself a divine person" (Edward Harwood, H KAINH DIAQHKH. London, 1776, 2 vols; 2nd ed. 1784, 2 vols. 1768)

"and the word was a god" (Newcome, 1808)

"the Word was God's" (Crellius,as quoted in The New Testament in an Improved Version)

“and the Word was a divine being.” (La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel,1928)

"the Logos was a god (John Samuel Thompson, The Montessoran; or The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists, Baltimore; published by the translator, 1829)

"the Word was divine" (Goodspeed's An American Translation, 1939)

"the word was a god." (Revised Version-Improved and Corrected)

"and god[-ly/-like] was the Word." (Prof. Felix Just, S.J. - Loyola Marymount University)

"the Logos was divine" (Moffatt's The Bible, 1972)

"the Word was God*[ftn. or Deity, Divine, which is a better translation, because the Greek definite article is not present before this Greek word] (International English Bible-Extreme New Testament, 2001)

"and the Word was a god" (Reijnier Rooleeuw, M.D. -The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, translated from the Greek, 1694)

“[A]s a god the Command was" (Hermann Heinfetter, A Literal Translation of the New Testament,1863)

"The Word was a God" (Abner Kneeland-The New Testament in Greek and English, 1822)

"[A]nd a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word" (Robert Young, LL.D. (Concise Commentary on the Holy Bible [Grand Rapids: Baker, n.d.], 54). 1885)

“the Word was a god” (Belsham N.T. 1809)

"And the logos was a god" (Leicester Ambrose, The Final Theology, Volume 1, New York, New York; M.B. Sawyer and Company, 1879)

"the Word was Deistic [=The Word was Godly] (Charles A.L. Totten, The Gospel of History, 1900)

”[A]nd was a god" (J.N. Jannaris, Zeitschrift fur die Newtestameutlich Wissencraft, (German periodical) 1901, International Bible Translators N.T. 1981)

"[A] Divine Person." (Samuel Clarke, M.A., D.D., rector of St. James, Westminster, A Paraphrase on the Gospel of John, London)

"a God" (Joseph Priestley, LL.D., F.R.S. [Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1794], 37).)

"a God" (Lant Carpenter, LL.D (in Unitarianism in the Gospels [London: C. Stower, 1809], 156).)

"a god" (Andrews Norton, D.D. [Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833], 74).)

"a God" (Paul Wernle,(in The Beginnings of Christianity, vol. 1, The Rise of Religion [1903], 16).)

"and the [Marshal] [Word] was a god." (21st Century Literal)

[A]nd (a) God was the word" (George William Horner, The Coptic Version of the New Testament, 1911)

"[A]nd the Word was of divine nature" (Ernest Findlay Scott, The Literature of the New Testament, New York, Columbia University Press, 1932)

[T]he Word was a God" (James L. Tomanec, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958)

"The Word had the same nature as God" (Philip Harner, JBL, Vol. 92, 1974)

"And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word" (Siegfried Schulz, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1975)

"and godlike sort was the Logos" (Johannes Schneider, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1978)
"the Word was a divine Being" (Scholar's Version-The Five Gospels, 1993)

"The Divine word and wisdom was there with God, and it was what God was” (J. Madsen, New Testament A Rendering , 1994)

"a God/god was the Logos/logos" (Jurgen Becker, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1979)

"The Word/word was itself a divine Being/being." (Curt Stage, The New Testament, 1907)

"the Word was of divine kind" (Lyder Brun (Norw. professor of NT theology), 1945)

"was of divine Kind/kind" (Fredrich Pfaefflin, The New Testament, 1949)

"godlike Being/being had the Word/word" (Albrecht, 1957)

"the word of the world was a divine being" (Smit, 1960)

"God(=godlike Being/being) was the Word/word" (Menge, 1961)

"divine (of the category divinity)was the Logos" (Haenchen (tr. By R. Funk), 1984)

"And the Word was divine." (William Temple, Archbishop of York, Readings in St. John's Gospel, London, Macmillan & Co.,1933)

The Word of Speech was a God" (John Crellius, Latin form of German, The 2 Books of John Crellius Fancus, Touching One God the Father, 1631)

"the word was with Allah[God] and the word was a god" (Greek Orthodox /Arabic Calendar, incorporating portions of the 4 Gospels, Greek Orthodox Patriarchy or Beirut, May, 1983)

"And the Word was Divine" (Ervin Edward Stringfellow (Prof. of NT Language and Literature/Drake University, 1943)

"and the Logos was divine (a divine being)" (Robert Harvey, D.D., Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Westminster College, Cambridge, in The Historic Jesus in the New Testament, London, Student Movement Christian Press1931)

'the word was a divine being.' (Jesuit John L. McKenzie, 1965, wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated . . . 'the word was a divine being.')

"In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word." (Interlineary Word for Word English Translation-Emphatic Diaglott)

Harwood, 1768, "and was himself a divine person"

Thompson, 1829, "the Logos was a god

Reijnier Rooleeuw, 1694, "and the Word was a god"

Hermann Heinfetter, 1863, [A]s a god the Command was"

Abner Kneeland, 1822, "The Word was a God"

Robert Young, 1885, (Concise Commentary) "[A]nd a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word"

21st Century NT "In a beginning was the [Marshal] [Word] and the [Marshal] [Word] was with the God and the [Marshal] [Word] was a god." Literal Belsham N.T. 1809

_the Word was a god_
Leicester Ambrose, 1879, "And the logos was a god"
J.N. Jannaris, 1901, [A]nd was a god"
George William Horner, 1911, [A]nd (a) God was the word"
James L. Tomanec, 1958, [T]he Word was a God"
Siegfried Schulz, 1975, "And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"
Madsen, 1994, "the Word was a divine Being"
Becker, 1979, [a God/god was the Logos/logos]
Stage, 1907, [The Word/word was itself a divine Being/being].
Bohmer, 1910, [It was strongly linked to God, yes itself divine Being/being]
Holzmann, 1926, "ein Gott war der Gedanke" [a God/god was the Thought/thought] Rittenlmeyer, 1938, "selbst ein Gott war das Wort" [itself a God/god was the Word/word]
Smit, 1960, "verdensordet var et guddommelig vesen" [the word of the world was a divine being]
Schultz, 1987, "ein Gott (oder: Gott von Art) war das Wort" [a God/god (or: God/god of Kind/kind) was the Word/word].
John Crellius, Latin form of German, 1631, "The Word of Speech was a God"
Greek Orthodox /Arabic translation, 1983, "the word was with Allah[God] and the word was a god"
Robert Harvey, D.D., 1931 "and the Logos was divine (a divine being)"
Jesuit John L. McKenzie, 1965, wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated . . . 'the word was a divine being.'
Joseph Priestley, LL.D., F.R.S. "a God"
Lant Carpenter, LL.D "a God"
Andrews Norton, D.D. "a god"
Paul Wernle, Professor Extraordinary of Modern Church "a God"

Couple this with others who have chosen an alternative rendering focusing on the quality of the Logos,
and we have a very strong case:

Goodspeed, 1939, "the Word was divine
Torrey, 1947, "the Word was god
New English, 1961, "what God was,the Word was"
Moffatt, 1972, "the Logos was divine
International English Bible, 2001, "the Word was God*[ftn. or Deity, Divine, which is a better translation, because the Greek definite article is not present before this Greek word]
Simple English Bible, "and the Message was Deity"
Charles A.L. Totten, 1900, "the Word was Deistic [=The Word was Godly]
International Bible Translators N.T. 1981
_In the beginning there was the Message. The Message was with God. The Message was deity._
Ernest Findlay Scott, 1932, "[A]nd the Word was of divine nature"
Philip Harner, 1974, "The Word had the same nature as God"
Maximilian Zerwich S.J./Mary Grosvenor, 1974, "The Word was divine"
Translator's NT, 1973, "The Word was with God and shared his nature
Barclay, 1976, "the nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God"
Schneider, 1978, "and godlike sort was the Logos
Schonfield, 1985, "the Word was divine
Revised English, 1989, "what God was, the Word was
Cotton Parch Version, 1970, and the Idea and God were One
Scholar's Version, 1993, "The Divine word and wisdom was there with God, and it was what God was”
Lyder Brun (Norw. professor of NT theology), 1945, [the Word was of divine kind]
Haenchen, 1980, [God (of Kind/kind) was the Logos/logos]
Die Bibel in heutigem Deutsch, 1982, [He was with God and in all like God]
Haenchen (tr. By R. Funk), 1984, "divine (of the category divinity)was the Logos"
William Temple, Archbishop of York, 1933, "And the Word was divine."
Ervin Edward Stringfellow (Prof. of NT Language and Literature/Drake University,1943, "And the Word was Divine"

I’d like to know if you are aware of the correct arguments regarding John 1:1, or have you only been listening to Trinitarians as they say what you like to hear, I don’t mean that to sound rude but it seems you’ve made your mind up based on a single side of the story. Above was a list a scholars and how they might view John 1:1. This was research you should have done before singling out the NWT as false.

Or the neutral ground would be translations such as

American translation = “the word was divine”
New simplified Bible = “the Word was like God.” (Greek: Theos: a deity, magistrate, supreme God, God-like)

Again more research that you should have done before making claims such as you do against the NWT. Are these bibles also “erroneous” as you claim???

8:09 AM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

There are several contentions I have with your post:

1) It represents what I call "canned overload." It is plain to see that you had this information all ready to be posted BEFORE I had even posted this story. The length of time I posted this article and before you left this comment that contains an extensive list of sources was maybe an hour. That means, Steve, that you probably troll around many blogs and leave this post. Such an action is dishonest to say the least, because it means you have an agenda, as in trolling for the veracity of the New World Translation. Seeing that your post contains some points I can respond to that may be helpful for my readers, I will let it stand. However, just for your information, I delete maybe 90 percent of any canned overloaded response like this one.

2) Are you friends with Dan Mages? I have noticed your name in the comments under my posts railing against him. So either you are a genuine JW, or your using the NWT as an excuse to promote your Unitarianism. Then again, you may be a different Steve all together.

3) Please read my post carefully. You will notice I am reprinting a section from another author, Doug Kutelik, and his encounter with a JW. Even though I agree with him, your objection is aimed more at him than me.

4) With #3 in mind, have your sent Doug your "list" of sources? Did he respond? What did he say? If none of these, can I send him this list?

5) In response to Hebrews 1:6, it doesn't matter what the NWT says for three reasons:
a) The translation as a whole is routinely updated and changed to eliminate these sorts of "difficulties."
b) The JW response fails to take into consideration the contextual references Hebrews is making to the various cited OT passages.
c) The Greek word proskuneo is rightly understood as worship. Both the translators of the LXX for the OT, and the NT writers, employed the word to mean the worship of God. This was clearly the intended meaning of the word in Revelation 22:8,9 as Doug pointed out.

6) A massive list of past Unitarian apologists, unknown theological quacks, and other crackpots, is unimpressive. It is a common ploy of apologists of an abnormal doctrine to call upon a list of what appears to be impressive scholars in order to bolster their argument. For example, "gay" Christian apologists who attempt to make the Bible affirm homosexual relationships use the same tactic. "'Dr' so-and-so who teaches at such-and-such university or seminary says thus-and-such about this particular passage and it supports my views about homosexuality," or whatever. Even Islamic apologists do the same thing, calling upon wild-eyed liberal scholars supposedly writing in favor of Christianity, to prove their position. Having "Dr" in front of your name or an arsenal of thickly bound books does not automatically make one an expert on anything.

7) Your list is comprised of many, many Unitarian authors I noted.

8) It is also my experience that apologists for an abnormal, unorthodox theology who call upon obscure "experts" to bolster their case, often mis-cite those people or selectively cite from their works for their own purposes.

9) In spite of a massive list of supposed "experts," you still have a vast body of other experts who say the exact opposite. You will still have to deal with their arguments sufficiently.

10) I would like to know if YOU are truly aware of the correct arguments regarding John 1:1 or have you only been listening to unitarians as they say what YOU like to hear.

11) I am curious as to why you favor a translation put together by a group of individuals who obscure their identity and did their translation work in the dark, as it were. I am also curious as to why you would wish to follow the translation put out by a society that has a dismal track record of predicting prophecy about when Jesus returned or is suppose to return.

It appears as though you are the one in need of doing some extra "research."

1:57 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger SteveP said...


You are much too quick to impute bad motive.

1) I simply have a google alert set to send me an email whenever the name Jehovah is mentioned. I received the mail and noticed your very common fallacious statement that no one else translates John 1:1 like the NWT does. Because I am a very serious student of the Bible, I happen to have a list of 50+ other translators who had done just that. The translators come from multiple religious backgrounds. The simple fact is that John 1:1 has been the subject of much discussion and MANY translators see there's a problem in translating this traditionally. If a person wants to know the truth about John 1:1, he'll welcome the information that 50+ other translators see it differently. If someone wants to keep the blinders on and only read about what he already believes, he can put out false arguments that ONLY the NWT translates it this way.

2) I’ve never heard of Dan Mages. There must be another “SteveP” out there. Not me.
3) As for Doug Kutelik, that’s fine. I was simply responding to the content.

4) I don’t know who Doug Kutelik is. You may send him this list if you’d like. I notice 2 distinct responses from people 1) “Wow, this is very interesting, I’ve learned something I didn’t know before” 2) “Who cares, it doesn’t matter, all these people are wrong, the only correct way to translate is like KJV and as for JW’s there all wrong”.

5) First, we have to understand what Paul meant here by worship. He used the Greek word pro•sky•ne´o. Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that this word literally means to ‘kiss the hand of someone in token of reverence or to do homage.’ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine, says that this word “denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man . . . or to God.” In Bible times pro•sky•ne´o often included literally bowing down before someone of high stature.
Consider the parable Jesus gave of the slave who was unable to repay a substantial sum of money to his master. A form of this Greek word appears in this parable, and in translating it the King James Version says that “the servant therefore fell down, and worshipped [form of pro•sky•ne´o] him [the king], saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” (Matthew 18:26) Was this man committing an idolatrous act? Not at all! He was merely expressing the kind of reverence and respect due the king, his master and superior.
Such acts of obeisance, or expressions of respect, were fairly common in the Orient of Bible times. Jacob bowed down seven times upon meeting his brother, Esau. (Genesis 33:3) Joseph’s brothers prostrated themselves, or did obeisance, before him in honor of his position at the Egyptian court. (Genesis 42:6) In this light we can better understand what happened when the astrologers found the young child Jesus, whom they recognized as “the one born king of the Jews.” As rendered in the King James Version, the account tells us that they “fell down, and worshipped [pro•sky•ne´o] him.”—Matthew 2:2, 11.

Clearly, then, the word pro•sky•ne´o, rendered “worship” in some Bible translations, is not reserved exclusively for the type of adoration due Jehovah God. It can also refer to the respect and honor shown to another person. In an effort to avoid any misunderstanding, some Bible translations render the word pro•sky•ne´o at Hebrews 1:6 as “pay him homage” (New Jerusalem Bible), “honour him” (The Complete Bible in Modern English), “bow down before him” (Twentieth Century New Testament), or “do obeisance to him” (New World Translation).

6) “A massive list of past Unitarian apologists, unknown theological quacks, and other crackpots, is unimpressive”

A little quick with the name calling? Anyone who sees things differently than you is a theological quack or crackpot? Take a little closer look at the list.

8) Check the list again, I see Moffat, Goodspeed, The Archbishop of York, various professors, Jesuits. You claimed “no one” else translated this like the NWT. This list proves that statement to be false. Why can’t you just say you stand corrected?

9) Of course many experts see John 1:1 as saying “The Word was God”. Up until the late 1600’s, you got the death penalty if you translated it differently or disagreed with that statement. Once the death penalty was lifted, more and more scholars from the 1700’s onwards began translating it they understood the Greek to say.

10) I have read 50+ pro-Trinity, pro-KJV John 1:1 books because I am more interested in knowing the truth than anything. I agree with millions of others that the Trinity doctrine is a fraud.

11) I use multiple translations, in fact, I have about 50 in my library. No one translation is perfect. The NWT is frankly quite good and doesn’t deserve the hysterical anti-JW treatment it does. Before you beat up on the NWT, you might read the following review from a non-JW professor who compared the NWT against multiple other translations. I’ve included the link and some key information about John 1:1. Sorry if you don’t like the length. The content is interesting and useful.

1. Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament by Jason David BeDuhn
Jason David BeDuhn is an associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff. He holds a B.A. in Religious studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and M.T.S. in New Testament and Christian Origins from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in the Comparative Study of Religions from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Here is a link to a very detailed review of the book:
here’s was Dr. BeDuhn has to say on it:
“It is true that the most formal, literal translation of the words in John 1:1c would be “and the Word was a god.” The grammatical rules involved in this passage weigh very heavily against the more commonly seen, traditional translation, “and the Word was God.” However, translation is not only about rendering a passage word-for-word. It involves also consideration of broader syntax and the meaning of a passage as a whole.
“The grammatical construction used here can be called the qualitative or categorical use of the indefinite. Basically, that means x belongs to the category y, or “x is a y.” The examples I used in a letter now widely circulated are “Snoopy is a dog”; “The car is a Volkswagen”; and “John is a smart person.” The common translation “The Word was God” is as erroneous for this construction as it would be to say in English “Snoopy is dog”; “The car is Volkswagen”; or “John is smart person.” The indefinite article is mandatory because we are talking about a member of a class or category.
“Sometimes in English we can accomplish the same syntactical function by using a predicate adjective in place of the indefinite noun phrase. In the examples I gave above, this only works with “John is a smart person,” which means the same thing as “John is smart.” What Harner calls the qualitative sense is the same as what I call the categorical sense. In the many examples throughout the New Testament of the same grammatical construct as found in John 1:1c, the indefinite noun used is always a class or category to which the subject is said to belong. But in several of these examples, the category is used to suggest the quality the subject has, as in the many “a son of x” expressions found in the New Testament.
“Because of this evidence, we cannot rule out the possibility that for John quality was the center of focus rather than category”" Being honest to the original Greek, we cannot narrow the range of acceptable translation of John 1:1c any further than to say it is EITHER “And the Word was a god” OR “And the Word was divine.” I can, if pressed, explain at length why these two translations amount to the same thing FOR JOHN. But I also recognize that they leave open interpretation to a range of possible understandings. I am afraid I cannot do anything about that. If I were to say that the NWT translation is the only possible one, I would be committing the same offense as those who have said that “And the Word was God” is the only possible translation. The whole point of my work is to get us past these false assertions, and follow the original Greek, and follow it only as far as it takes us.
“What I can say is that “And the Word was God” is extremely difficult to justify, because it goes against the plain grammar of the passage. Either of the other two translations are acceptable, because the Greek allows them, while it does not obviously allow the traditional translation. What your correspondent needs to understand, in dealing with others on this question, is that the wording “The Word was divine” agrees 100% in meaning with “The Word was a god” and only 50% with “And the Word was God.” What must be given up from the latter wording is the absolute identity between Word and God that the traditional translation tried to impose. John clearly did not intend to make such an absolute identification, and that is precisely why he very carefully manipulates his word in the passage to rule it out. But, yes, John is putting the Word into the “god” or “divine” category, and that is as true if the wording is “a god” or “divine.”
“Remember, the Word is not a human person, and John does not use “god” for the Word to say he is talking about a prophet or a leader or an important person. The Word is a superhuman (hence “divine”) essence or being, very intimately connected to The God. How intimately? In what way connected? In what precise relationship? The answers to those questions are much more involved, and must be based on a reading of the Gospel of John as a whole, where John works very hard to make it all clear. And yes, there will be disagreements about how to understand this larger picture John is trying to convey.
“Of course, if your correspondent is using what I have written in arguments with people who favor the traditional translation, they are likely to seize upon my acceptance of “The Word was divine” as somehow a defense of their view. That is also something that cannot be helped. The idea of a Trinity developed over the centuries after the Gospel of John was written precisely as one solution to the questions raised by John’s wording. The JWs have a different solution to those same questions. I am not in a position to arbitrate such historical interpretations of the text. I think John went as far as he felt inspired to go in his understanding of things, and I do not fault him for not going further and for not answering all of the additional questions people have been able to raise since his time.
“The bottom line is that “The Word was a god” is exactly what the Greek says. “The Word was divine” is a possible meaning of this Greek phrasing. “The Word was God” is almost certainly ruled out by the phrasing John uses, and it is not equivalent to “The Word was divine” because without any justification in the original Greek it narrows the meaning from a quality or category (god/divine) to an individual (God).”

2:48 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger SteveP said...

One more comment on the "worship/obeissance" discussion.

Go to this link and read the section under Chapter 4:


3:17 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Raulemir said...

Mr. Fred,

My friend say this link helpful if you readers interested:



4:21 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Raulemir said...

Mr. Fred,

It's me Raulemir. No delete my post this time.

SteveP quote man with degree from Indiana University. I have friend with two degrees from Indiana University. He also have two theology degrees, including Master Theology in New Testament. He read Greek. He teach Greek. He have 50 Greek grammars. He read them.

I think he crazy. But he good guy, even though he no Muslim.

Friend say he no impressed with big quotation from man with PhD in comparative religion at Indiana University. It no Bible-teaching school.

Friend say SteveP have problem if he go to Indiana University to support his belief about Bible. Why SteveP quote Unger Bible Dictionary and Ivy Vine Dictionary? These no scholarly sources for Greek. Why he no quote AT Robertson, Kittel, or Bauer, who really know Greek? That what my friend say.

Friend say SteveP probably no read Greek himself--that why he quote silly sources. Even if garbage pile really, really tall, it still just that--garbage.

That what my friend say.

4:36 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Raulemir said...

One more thing, Mr. Fred. SteveP act like John 1:1 only verse relevant.

My friend say everyone should remember Christ deity taught all through gospel of John and rest of Bible. Not just John 1:1.

My friend say SteveP much sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I no sure what that mean, Mr. Fred. My friend think you know.

I done now. Thanks for no deleting my posts this time.

4:37 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger SteveP said...


The original author made this incorrect statement:

"I can say with certainty, that no one who really knows Greek would ever translate John 1:1 the way the NWT does."

I clearly proved this statement false by pointing to 50 other translations that don't say "The Word was God".

Instead of humbly acknowledging the original statement was incorrect, Fred resorted to name calling (crackpot, quacks) towards translators of multiple faiths.

When I pointed out a content-rich site reviewing serious details regarding John 1:1 and other key scriptures, you attack the University where the author got his Ph.D.

Seems to me that this is not a place for serious open-minded sharing of ideas...

Because I value understanding truth over tradition, I diligently studied both sides of the Trinity argument before making my decision.

Perhaps you should consider reading some details on the other side of the discussion yourself?

Here something:



9:52 PM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger SteveP said...

The author said: “I worship Jesus Christ as my Lord and God, just as Thomas did in John 20:28,” I plainly stated.”

To which I would have responded: “It is true that Thomas’ statement is curious. However, as a Christian, I have to first look to Jesus’ example as a far greater authority in deciding who to worship.

Jesus himself referred to his Father as his God (Rev 3:12)

“‘The one that conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out [from it] anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.

Because Jesus diligently copies the example of his God, this has confused many people thinking that he might be almighty God. However, ultimately Jesus will subject himself to his God such that Jehovah will be over all. (1 Cor 15:24-28)

24 Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to HIS GOD and FATHER, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. 26 As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. 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. 28 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.

Then, I might ask the following questions:

If Jesus Is God…

1. Why is he called the "firstborn" of all creation? Col. 1:15, Rev. 3:14

2. Why did he say that he did not come of his "own initiative but was sent?"
John 8:42, 1 John 4:9

3. Why did Jesus not know the "day and the hour" of the Great Tribulation but God did? Matt.24:36

4. Who did Jesus speak to in prayer?

5. How did he "appear before the person of God for us"? Heb 9:24

6. Why did Jesus say "the Father is greater than I am"? John 14:28, Phil.

7. Who spoke to Jesus at the time of his baptism saying "This is my son"?

8. How could he be exalted to a superior position? Phil 2:9,10

9. How can he be the "mediator between God and man"? 1 Tim 2:5

10. Why did Paul say "the head of Christ is God"? 1 Cor.11:30

11. Why did Jesus "hand over the Kingdom to his God" and subject himself to God"? 1 Cor.15:24,28

12. Who does he refer as to "my God and your God"? John 20:17

13. How does he sit at God's right hand? Ps.110:1, Heb.10:12,13

14. Why does John say "no man has seen God at any time"? John 1:18

15. Why did not people die when they saw Jesus? Ex. 30:20

16. How were Jesus dead and God alive at the same time? Acts 2:24

17. Why did he need someone to save him? Heb.5:7

18. Who is referred to prophetically at Prov.8:22-31?

19. Why did Jesus say "that all authority has been GIVEN to me in heaven and on earth"? Matt.28:18, Dan.7:13,14 (similar)

20. Why did he have godly fear? Heb.5:7

21. How could he learn obedience and be made perfect? Heb.5:8,9

22. Why would an angel be able to strengthen him or angels minister to him?
Luke 22:43, Matt.4:11

23. Why would Satan try to tempt him if he KNEW that he was GOD? Matt.4:11

24. Jesus when sent to earth was made to "be lower" than the angels.
Heb.2:7. (How could any part of a Godhead EVER be lower than angels?)

25. Then if Jesus was the same as God, who was he being tempted to rebel against?
(Could God be tempted to rebel against himself ?)

26. Near the end of his earthly life, Jesus cried out, 'My God, why have you forsaken me?' Matt.27:46 (Can God desert or forsake himself ?)

27. Heb.5:8 says that Jesus learned obedience! To whom would he obey if he were GOD?
(And does God need to LEARN anything?)

28. God's justice is strictly perfect. Ex.21:23-25

For example: The ransom price was one perfect human for the life of another perfect human life.

An imperfect man's life would not be equal to the required equivalent of a perfect life as an exchange as mans creator required the two to be of equal value, in every aspect of their make up, just any humans life would not be of equal value, far too low. Ps. 49:7

If Jesus were the same as God, the required ransom price paid a God would have been too high. Adam was a perfect

MAN and the ransom price was a perfect MAN, not higher or lower. Matt.4:1
Questions like these are far easier to explain if Jesus is simply as he himself claimed “The Son of God”.

At the least, an intellectually honest person should admit there is ample reason for millions of people to believe that Jesus is simply the Son of God instead of some part of a mystery, impossible to understand, 3-in-1 Trinity God.


11:09 PM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

"I can say with certainty, that no one who really knows Greek would ever translate John 1:1 the way the NWT does."

I clearly proved this statement false by pointing to 50 other translations that don't say "The Word was God".

(Fred) No, you didn't. You merely cited a group of unknown, unqualified men who agree with you. Those 50 other "translations" are not reputable Bible translations. They are clearly manufactured due in part to the bias of the person translating the language who has a anti-Christ agenda.

For your alleged 50 scholars, I can show you 350 who say they are crackpots and quacks. For example, I can think of 4 individuals off the top of my head I know personally who are conversant with the original Greek. One of those individuals regularly translates from the Greek text on his lunch break and would love to be "paid" for doing it as a living. Another acquaintance of mine is fluent in both the Hebrew and Greek and will more than likely be writing professional commentaries in the future. I can dig out his email for you if you would like to contact him with your list.

Like Raul stated, having a PH.D doesn't necessarily mean anything if you don't handle the Bible correctly. There are probably 50 "scholars" who say the Bible encourages homosexuality and that Christians have been "mistranslating" the Bible for centuries due in part to Roman Catholic influences. Additionally, on a secular level, the entire scientific PH.D community claims the world evolved contra the biblical revelation that God created it. Using your logic, I should reject the biblical record of creation or compromise and re-interpret the creation narrative in light of all those "expert" evolutionary constructs.

The Latin translation, as well as the Coptic, pre-date the Nicean era by a hundred years, yet they translate John 1:1 in the Latin and the Coptic in the same way the standard, English translations have done so since the 1500s. Why is that? There was obviously no Nicean trinitarian bias influencing the translators of the Latin and Coptic.

Instead of humbly acknowledging the original statement was incorrect, Fred resorted to name calling (crackpot, quacks) towards translators of multiple faiths.

(Fred) That is because there is only "One faith." There isn't muliple faiths to God. There is a reason why these other "faiths" translate the Bible in the manner they do.

Seems to me that this is not a place for serious open-minded sharing of ideas...

(Fred) That is correct. This isn't a postmodern, emergent style blog where we have a "valuable" interchange of ideas to determine who is right. It is a blog dedicated to truth and the confrontation of error.

Because I value understanding truth over tradition, I diligently studied both sides of the Trinity argument before making my decision.

(Fred) I don't believe you. I believe you may have read trinitarian argumentation, but not for the purpose to learn, but to be critical of it. Who were some of the trinitarians you read and studied? Can you even name the three key historical heretics connected to anti-trinitarianism?

Now Steve, you have to realize that I really have no time to deal exhaustively with your trolling. Take that as a cop-out if you wish, but I have other things occupying my time here at work, and honestly, I have other blogging subjects I am interested in. I may revisit your 28 questions about the trinity later, but for now, I am putting it aside.

I would sincerely encourage you to stop by the Narrow mind Aftermath blog and visit with them. Those guys would love to entertain your lengthy posts. Gene Cook, you might have heard of him, is currently doing a podcast addressing the errors of JWs. He addresses nearly all of your 28 questions. Stop by and tell them I sent you.


5:42 AM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger Raulemir said...

Hoo boy, Mr. Steve. You "value truth over tradition"? You only one in continental United States who do? Hoo boy. You no should flatter youself so much.

You no answer my friend comment. You no know Greek, do you? You fool talking Greek if you no know Greek.

Tell us, Mr. Steve. What case, gender, and number is "theos" in John 1:1? Why it anarthrous? Why John say "theon" in one part of verse but "theos" in another part?

Maybe you no good at nouns. Maybe verbs you thing. OK. Parse "en." It three times in verse. Must be important. What its lexical form? Why imperfect tense important in verse? How imperfect tense relate to prepositional phrase at start of verse?

Maybe you no good at verbs either. OK. Why "arche" in dative case? Why "pros" have grave accent? Who put period after "logos?"

You no know answer any those questions, do you Mr. Steve? Then how you know what good translation of John 1:1? How you know if you list of "translators" do good job either?

You just choosing what you want believe. That OK. Just say so. No act like you know Greek or good Bible translation. Make you look like fool.

Muslim see right through you. You talk Greek but no know Greek. You talk theology but no know theology.

2:31 PM, April 11, 2007  

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