Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Who is the One Jehovah? (response)

In response to email from the owner of a site:

The questions are asked:

Who is the single person Lord God who directly appears to and covenants with God's people in the entire Bible? Who is the single person being called upon, prayed to, worshipped  and served by the people of God in the entire Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament unto the heavens and unto the new creation in eternity?

An outline was sent to us which, we suppose, is designed  to allegedly give answers the above questions, as provided by Mario I. Quitoriano, evidently of "The Trinitarian All for Jesus Ekklesia Of the Lord God." The outline appears to be addressed to "oneness" believers, rather than those who believe in the Hebraic application to John 1:1, and other scriptures in which the words for "God" may be seen to apply to Jesus. We are of the latter (Hebraic) class, and while we believe in the Biblical oneness of Jesus and his God, we do not believe that Jesus is his God.
We first ask our readers to study the scriptures presented at:

Under "The Trinitarian Teaching of the Bible", we actually do not find any scriptures that present "the trinitarian teaching of the Bible", since in reality there is no "trinitarian teaching of the Bible." What we are provided with are scriptures where the imaginations of men are added with assumptions by which the reader is expected to filter the scriptures so that the reader may assume, add to, and read into those scriptures the extra-Biblical doctrine of men. Not one scripture is presented in which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is presented as being more than one person, or three persons, although that thought is being read into a lot of scriptures.
In our discussion here, we will not be giving any detailed discussion on the scriptures presented, but we will provide links to where one may find more information concerning the scriptures.
The Plurality of Elohim
We are evidently being asked to believe with our imagination that the plural form ELOHIM denotes that God is three persons; the plurality of ELOHIM doesn't means "persons" -- it means "gods". Like several words in the Hebrew, the plural forms of EL are often used in a singular setting to denote superiority or the superlative. This is called the plural intensive. It means that a plural form is used in a singular sense, but that the meaning is intensified so as to denote either the superior or superlative.
We are presented with the following scriptures to allegedly support the erroneous idea that in some imagined way ELOHIM is supposed to mean the three alleged "persons" of the only true God; we present the scriptures with links to further discussion.
Genesis 1:26
Genesis 3:2211:6,7
Jesus is indeed depicted in the New Testament as the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of God's creatures (Colossians 1:15); Jesus is not depicted as the "only true God" who sent Jesus. (John 17:1,3) Yes, no human has ever seen the only true God (Yahweh / Jehovah) at any time, and Jesus, being fully obedient to the only true God, is figuratively in the bosom of the only true God; however, humans have seen Jesus in terrestrial, human glory, thus Jesus is not the only true God whom no man has seen (John 1:14,18; 1 Corinthians 15:40; Hebrews 2:9) -- the son of the only true God (Luke 1:32,35; John 10:36), Jesus, declared to men the words of Yahweh (Jehovah), the only true God. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 11:27,28; John 1:18; 3:34; 14:10; 17:1,3,4.
John 1:1 with is presented with trinitarian assumptions added. See:
and
Jesus is indeed the only begotten of the only true God. (John 1:14; 16:28; 17:1,3) Before becoming flesh, Jesus did indeed have the celestial glory alongside the only true God whom he was with, which glory he did not have while in the days of his flesh. -- John 1:1,2; 17:1,3,5; 1 Corinthians 15:40; Hebrews 5:7.
Having sacrificed once for all time his terrestrial glory (Hebrews 2:9; 10:10) as a human being, the only true God raised up Jesus' soul from the Bible hell (Acts 2:24,25,27,32; Psalm 16:8-10), and Jesus was made alive, not in the flesh, but in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18), and now again enjoys the celestial glory, having sit down at the right hand of the only true God, Yahweh (Jehovah). (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34; Ephesians 1:20-22;  Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 3:21) None of this means that Jesus is Yahweh (Jehovah), at whose right hand Jesus now sits.
Yahweh willing, we will be adding more to this in response to the rest of the scriptures and points presented by Mr. Quitoriano in the study sent to us.
Coming (Yahweh willing):
Did Jesus Teach a Plurality of his God, making himself a person of his God?
The Everlasting Covenant & the Alleged Plurality of God
The One Yahweh Who spoke to Moses (and to Israel through Moses.)
Yahweh and the Three Men Who Appeared to Abraham
The Hebrew Word Echad
http://reslight.net/forum/index.php/topic,137.0.html
Jesus and Ehyeh
http://reslight.net/forum/index.php?action=search2

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Unpacking John 5:18 (response)

One has posted a series of assertions related to John 5:18 on youtube. Since my response is getting to be very long, I decided to post it here. I suggest a that one study what I have presented in my study: The Jewish Leaders' "Cause" to Kill Jesus

Considering Section #1 in the OP of the thread linked to above:
The claim appears to be saying that John did not say that it was the Jews who were claiming that Jesus was equal with God, but rather that they only took issue with Jesus calling God his father. This would seem to seek to separate "called God his Father" from "making himself equal to God." It appears to be saying that the Jews objected to Jesus' referring to God as his father, but did not equate this with being equal to God, but that rather it is John himself (not the Jews), who supplies the information that it is making himself equal with God, and that "the idea that it was just their [the Jews'] opinion is merely an assumption not found in the text."
Actually, the ending phrase is giving the reason -- from the perspective the their argument -- as to why the Jews were objecting to Jesus' referring to his God as his Father. In view of the Jews' claim recorded in John 10:33, wherein they stated that Jesus was a man making himself out to be God (or a god), the default reasoning is that John was simply defining the Jewish "cause" to kill Jesus in John 5:18. Indeed, it really doesn't make sense to say that they were only objecting to Jesus referring to God as his Father, without there being some reason for such objection based on Jewish law, and such a reason would have to be such that it would offer a "cause" for killing Jesus.
Of course, although I find this doubtful, the Jewish leaders could have been speaking of "god" in the more general way as the angels are referred to as "gods" (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7), or similar to the way the sons of the Most High are "gods". (Psalm 82:6) Jesus, by claiming to have come down from heaven from God was indeed claiming to have been such a god -- a mighty spirit being -- before he became flesh (John 1:14), and John wrote of this in John 1:1. If this is what is meant in John 5:18, then the finally statement is partly true, for Jesus was such a divine being before he became flesh, but it was not true at the time the Jews were making their accusation because Jesus did not have that divine glory while he was in the days of his flesh. -- John 17:5; Hebrews 5:7.
For more related to Psalm 82:6, see:
Who Are the Gods?
Nevertheless, Jesus' calling his God his Father would not make him equal to such a divine being, nor equal to the Supreme Being. This is indeed but an assumption being made the Jewish leaders, for Jehovah is called "our Father" in 1 Chronicles 29:10; Isaiah 63:16; 64:8, without any thought that this make the people of Israel equal to Jehovah. Jehovah Himself confirms his being a Father to Israel as recorded in Jeremiah 3:19; 31:9.
Likewise, Jesus instructed his followers to refer to God as "our Father" (Matthew 6:9) and many times referred to his God as being the Father of his disciples (Matthew 5:16,45; 6:1,4,6,8,15,18; 7:11; 10:20,29; 18:4; John 20:17, etc). Paul spoke of God as "our Father" (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; Philemon 1:3) without any thought that such makes one equal to God.
Jesus, however, was just not a son of God, he was "the" Son of God, the only one who was begotten directly from God, being the firstborn (first to be brought forth) of God. (Colossians 1:15) Whether the Jews understood this or not, the Bible does not say, but Jesus' parable indicates the Jews did know he was the heir sent by God, but did not want to accept him as such. -- Matthew 21:38.
For more regarding Jesus as the firstborn creature, see:
Jesus as Firstborn
In Section #2 of the OP, it appears to be denying that John, by his statement recorded in John 5:18, was reporting any reason of the Jews for killing Jesus, but that they were simply "balking at what Jesus was saying". If this is the thought, I have no reason to imagine and assume such. Indeed, I am not sure how one could read John 5:18 and come to such a conclusion, for it is plainly stated: "for this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because ..., but also". John does indeed record two different legal causes that the Jews were claiming for killing Jesus. If the point is in reference only to last phrase "making himself equal to God", then this would seem to be in contradiction to the claim in the first section that this was not the Jews who were making this claim.
In Section 3 it is claimed that John calls Jesus "God" throughout his gospel, and a list of scriptures is given where, evidently, it is alleged that John calls Jesus "God", although when we look at those scriptures, we do not find what is being claimed: John 1:1; 1:18; 5:18; 5:23; 8:58; 9:38; 10:33, 36; 12:41 and 20:28. Other scriptures are given for comparison: Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; Hebrews 1:8; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:19; 2:9.
I do not believe that John ever intended anything he wrote to mean that he was saying that Jesus is the Supreme Being. While I do not believe that in all of these scriptures presented that Jesus is being referred to as a god, a mighty one, in Hebraic usage, the Hebrew/Greek words that are often translated as "God/god" can be used of others than the Supreme Being of false gods in a general sense of might, strength, power, etc.
In John 1:1, John was definitely not saying that Jesus was the only true God (Supreme Being) whom he had been with (John 17:1,3,5), thus we should recognize a more general usage of the word. In John 1:1, we find that forms of the Greek word often transliterated as THEOS is being used. Forms of THEOS in the New Testament simply correspond to forms of the word often transliterated as "EL" (including "elohim) in the Old Testament, and may thus be used with the same Hebraic usage as in the Old Testament. What many do not realize is that there is a scriptural Hebraic tradition that allows the usage of the words for "God/god" in a more general sense of might, power, authority, etc. Most translations of the Bible into English as well as other languages recognize this usage. We can use the most popular English translation -- the King James Version -- to illustrate such usage. This can be demonstrated in such verses where the KJV renders the word for God/god (forms of EL, including ELOHIM, in the Hebrew) so as to denote strength, power, might, rulership, etc., such as in the following verses: Genesis 23:6 (mighty); Genesis 30:8 (great); Genesis 31:29 (power); Deuteronomy 28:32 (might); 1 Samuel 14:15 (great); Nehemiah 5:5 (power); Psalm 8:5 (angels); Psalm 36:6 (great); Psalm 82:1 (mighty); Proverbs 3:27 (power); Psalm 29:1 (mighty); Ezekiel 32:21 (strong); Jonah 3:3 (exceeding). If one were to substitute "false god", or Supreme Being, in many of these verses, we would have some absurd statements. This proves that these words are used in a sense other than the only true God, or as false god.
Nevertheless, in John 1:1, we do find that the Greek word often transliterated as "THEOS" is applied to Jesus before he became flesh -- John is speaking of what he "was" before he became flesh. Since Jesus shows by his words in John 17:1,3,5 that he had been with the only true God before the world of mankind had been made, rather than imagining that John was saying that Jesus was only true God, the default reasoning regarding John 1:1 should be to apply the general Hebraic usage as shown above. Applying Hebraic usage, and to make it better understood in English, the final phrase of John 1:1 would better be rendered “the Logos was mighty,” in accordance with such similar usage as given by the King James Version in Genesis 23:6; 30:8; 31:29; Deuteronomy 28:32; 1 Samuel 14:15; Job 41:25; Psalm 33:16; 36:6; 50:1; 82:1; 89:6; Proverbs 3:27; Ezekiel 32:21, Jonah 3:3; Micah 2:1, wherein the Hebrews words for “God” are not rendered either “God” or “god”, but rather as “exceeding,” “might,” “mighty,” “great,” “power,” or “strong.” Thus, if we render the word THEOS as the KJV renders "EL" in Psalm 82:1 (mighty), we would have "the word was mighty", and all makes perfect sense without adding all of the imaginations and assumptions that would have to accompany viewing the scripture through the tint of the trinity doctrine, or the oneness doctrine. Jesus was indeed a mighty one with the only true MIGHT -- the only source of all might -- before the world of mankind was made. The word THEOS as used in John 1:1, refers to Jesus' mighty spirit being before he became flesh. As we can see from John 17:5, during the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus did not have the glory of being a heavenly, celestial, mighty spirit being (1 Corinthians 15:39-41), for he was a human being, a little lower than the angels. -- Hebrews 2:9.
For more related to the Hebraic usage of the words for "God/god", see my study:
The Hebraic Usage of the Titles for "God"
For more related to John 1:1, see my studies:
John 1:1 Resources
I will not here go through all the scriptures listed in the OP, but I will provide links to where I have discussed the scriptures presented:
John 1:18 (variant readings in manuscripts)
Did Jesus Have a Beginning?
Only Begotten Theos
John 5:18 (THEOS is not applied to Jesus, but rather to the God of Jesus)
The Jewish Leaders' Cause to Kill Jesus
John 5:23 (No form of THEOS is applied to Jesus in this verse)
Honor the Son As the Father
The Honor Due Jesus
John 8:58 (No form of THEOS is applied to Jesus in this verse)
"I am" Resource Page
John 9:38 (No form of THEOS is applied to Jesus in this verse)
Jesus Received Worship
John 10:33 (The Jews do apply THEOS to Jesus in their accusation)
The Oneness of Jehovah and Jesus
In What Sense are Jesus and the Father One?
The Real Reason the Jews Sought to Kill Jesus
John 10:36 (THEOS is applied only to the God of Jesus, not to Jesus)
John 12:41 (No form of THEOS appears in this verse)
Isaiah Saw His Glory
John 20:28 (The Greek structure may have been used to denote two persons)
My Lord and My God
http://jesus-rlbible.com/?p=339
Thus, seen, we can see that John himself definitely only used the word THEOS in his Gospel once of Jesus, and that is in John 1:1. Due to variant readings, he may or may not have used THEOS of Jesus in John 1:18. It is possible that in John 20:28, John quotes Thomas as applying the word THEOS to Jesus, and John does quote the Jewish leaders as applying the word to Jesus in John 10:33. Nevertheless, in the very, very few instances where the Bible does indeed apply the word THEOS to Jesus, it can be seen in to be in the general sense of might, strength, power, not as being the Supreme Being.
Other Scriptures Given:
Romans 9:5 (THEOS in this verse probably refers to the God of Jesus, not to Jesus)
Who Is Over All
Titus 2:13 (THEOS in this verse probably refers to the God of Jesus, not to Jesus)
The Great God
2 Peter 1:1 (Variant readings)
Our God and Savior
Hebrews 1:8 (THEOS may or may be applied to Jesus in this verse; Hebrews 1:9, however, shows that if it is applied to Jesus is verse 8, it is not in the sense of Supreme Being.)
Why is Jesus Called ELOHIM and THEOS
What Does Hebrew 1 Say About "God"?
Philippians 2:6 (THEOS in this verse is directly applied to the God of Jesus, not to Jesus)
Did Paul Say That Jesus is God?
Morphe
The Unipersonal God Exalted Jesus
Humility of Mind
Colossians 2:9 - A form of THEOS is found here, applied to Jesus regarding the abundance of bodily might given to him.
The Fullness of Deity
Regarding Section 4, it is claimed that the Jews accusation, "you, being a man, make yourself God" shows that they understood what Jesus said when he that he was the "Son of God". In reality, in John 10:30-36, we find that Jesus refuted the claims of the Jewish leaders by pointing out the sons of the Most High -- to whom the Logos came --  are "gods" (mighty ones). (John 10:34,35) He certainly was not saying that the sons of the Most High are Supreme Beings, but he did acknowledge the Hebraic usage discussed earlier, and thus showed that his being the Son of God does not mean that he is the Supreme Being. Jesus, however, had already shown to them the real reason that they wished to kill him, which the Jews denied (they lied).
In Section 5, it is claimed that if God is your father, then you are unique and of the "Godkind". This appears to be same line of logic that says God begets God, which would, in effect, mean that the Supreme Being begets Supreme Being. There is nothing, however, anywhere in the Bible that says that if the Supreme Being begets a son, that son has to be the Supreme Being. This is man's reasoning, which has to imagined beyond what is written, and actually places the Supreme Being as though he were under the reproduction laws which God has placed upon his earthly living creation. (Genesis 1:11,12,21,22,28) It is possible that the Jewish leadership was using such reasoning, but that does not mean that such reasoning is true.
In section 6, it is claimed that the statement (evidently of Section 5) is consistent with Jesus' other claims, such as his "pre-existence", heavenly origin, sinlessness and moral perfection, and pointing to himself as the way, the truth and the life. Added to this, is the fact that he forgave sins and received worship.
In reality, nothing in any of this means that Jesus is the Supreme Being; one has to reason such beyond what is written by placing a lot of assumptions upon the scriptures. All the related scriptures are fully in harmony with each other without adding to them that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jesus' Prehuman Existence:
Jesus' Prehuman Existence
Regarding John 14:6: Jesus did not make claim to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; he did claim to be the "way" to the only true God. -- John 17:1,3.
Jesus is the "Way" in that only through his sacrifice, the "ransom," imputing his merit to sinners, could any of us be made acceptable to the Father or be received back again into fellowship with him. He is the "Truth" in the sense that only through his words, his instructions, his guidance, could there be any hope of coming into harmony with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth. His words, however, are not actually "his" words, for they are the words of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had sent him. (Exodus 3:13,14; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Isaiah 61:1; John 3:34; 5:19; 6:29; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,42; 10:36; 12:44-50; 14:10,24; 17:1,3,8; Acts 3:13-26; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:1,2; 1 John 4:9,10) He is the "Life" in that in Adam all the race was dead, under divine sentence – had forfeited the rights of life – and none could come again into life conditions except through him, through the life which he gave for ours. Jesus was not born into this world under this condemnation, thus in him was life, a human life that could be sacrificed to purchase back what Adam had lost. Thus, Jesus is our Ransom or Way; our Teacher or Instructor in righteousness, in the truth, and our Life-giver – "Neither is there salvation in any other." "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" – no man need hope for any place in any of the mansions of the Father's house by any other way, by any other truth, by any other life. – Acts 4:12; John 14:6.
Nothing in any of this, however, means that we need to imagine and assume that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I will now present the scriptures given; if I have already addressed these scriptures elsewhere, I may simply give link(s) to that discussion.
John 8:42 (also John 16:27,28) - "God" in this verse refers to only one person, not three persons. Jesus does not say that he is "God", but rather that he came from God. Jesus proceeded forth and came from God. But Jesus is not God; he is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15) He stated that he is inferior (John 10:29; 14:28); he worshiped God; he prayed to God (John 11:41, 42; 17:1-26); he submitted to God; he called upon God for help with things he could not do himself; he accepted God’s will as his own; he affirmed that God heard his prayers; and unlike God, who must by definition be perfect in every way, Jesus was made complete as a high priest through sufferings, and learned deeper levels of obedience by the things which he suffered (Hebrews 2:10; 5:8,9). Jesus of Nazareth was just what the scriptures style him: the Only-Begotten, the Son of the Highest, the First-Born of every creature. — John 1:18; Luke 1:32; Revelation 3:14.
John 8:29 - It was the Lord Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1 who sent Jesus.
Is Jesus the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
John 8:45,56
Only God is Sinless?
John 8:47 - The words Jesus spoke were not his own, but were those of his God who had sent him. — Exodus 3:13,14; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Isaiah 61:1; John 3:34; 5:19; 6:29; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,42; 10:36; 12:44-50; 14:10,24; 17:1,3,8; Acts 3:13-26; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:1,2; 1 John 4:9,10.
John 14:6 - discussed earlier.
There is nothing in any of the scriptures given that present Jesus as being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; there is definitely nothing in any of the scriptures that present the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as being more than one person.

In Section 7, we are told that Jesus is presented as being "the supreme judge" (John 5:22) Yet, in John 5:22, we find that the only true God (John 17:3) is giving all judgment to His Son. The Supreme Judge does not need anyone to give to Him authority to judge. Rather than presenting Jesus as the Supreme judge, then, John 5:22 shows that Jesus is NOT the Supreme judge, but that Jesus receives the authority to judge from the only true God. In verse 27 we read "He [the only true God] gave Him [Jesus] authority to execute judgment." Therefore, Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, comes to judge through — by means of — His son. — Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Isaiah 40:10; 62:11; Luke 1:32,35; John 5:22,23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 22:12.
It is claimed that Jesus is to be "honored as supremely as the Father" (John 5:23) The implication of the statement appears to be that we should honor the Son as being as Supreme as the Father. In that Jesus does not do anything of his own initiative and that his judgement is always in harmony with the will of his God (John 8:30), we should indeed honor him just as we would honor the Father. There is nothing at all in John 5:23 that says that we should honor Jesus as being the Supreme Being.
Honor the Son As the Father

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Many Scriptures Alleged to Prove that Jesus is Jehovah

There is a list of scriptures that has been presented, that is evidently alleged to show that Jesus is Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I have examined most of these scriptures already elsewhere, and in every case what is actually presented as proof is either what has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into the scriptures, are else depends on the translation of scriptures in such a way that would make it appear that there is something in the scripture that would mean that Jesus is the Supreme Being.
Hebrews 1:5
For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? [Psalm 2:7] And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? -- New King James Version.
It is stated that Hebrews 1:5 is not speaking of Jesus' being created. I agree that Hebrews 1:5 isn't speaking directly of Jesus' creation. In Hebrews 1:5, however, "he" who is speaking his son is the unipersonal "God" of Hebrews 1:1. This the same one whom Jesus identified as the "only true God" in John 17:1,3. He who anointed and sent Jesus is identified in Isaiah 61:1 as "the Lord Jehovah". Thus, the only true is the Lord Jehovah, and Jesus excluded himself from being that "only true God" by saying that the only true God had sent him.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -- New King James Version.
The word "begotten" never means "uncreated", and always means that one who is begotten was brought forth into being. It never means that which is being spoken of was never brought forth into being. No one actually disputes this except as it may be applied to Jesus. Jesus was indeed the firstborn creature, having been brought forth before the all that was made by means of him. (Colosians 1:15,16)
Hebrews 1:3
His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. -- World English translation.
"His" is the only true God of Hebrews 1:1; Isaiah 61:1 and John 17:1,3, the God and Father of Jesus. Jesus is here said to sit at the right hand of Jehovah (Psalm 110:1); he is not being spoken of as Jehovah. It was the only true God who exalted Jesus to this position of glory, far above the angels.
In the Bible, we find that Jehovah (Yahweh) is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has One who is the Supreme Being over him; Jesus is not his Supreme Being whom he worships, prays to, and who sent him, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12
Micah 5:2
But you, O Bethlehem Eph'rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. -- Revised Standard Version.
Many translations render the latter as from "everlasting" or from "eternity". However, the same translations no where else render the Hebrew phrase as "from everlasting" or "from eternity". Thus, an exception is made only in Micah 5:2, evidently for the very purpose of making it appear that Jesus is uncreated. Thus, to make an exception in Micah 5:2 so as render it as "from everlasting" or "from eternity" in Micah 5:2 is actually based on circular reasoning. Micah 5:2 does not prove that Jesus did not have a beginning.
Son of God
It is being claimed that if "Jesus can't be called God because he is also called "Son of God", then if I use this form of reasoning, he can't be called "Son of Man" either." This appears to be based on the trinitarian assumptions related to "Son of God" and "Son of Man", ignoring that the title, "Son of the Man" designates Jesus as the son of the man, David, the Messianic heir. In reality, there is nothing at all in the expression "Son of God" that means that Jesus is the Supreme Being of whom he is the son.
See what I have presented at:
Son of Man and Son of God
John 20:28
apekrithee thwmas kai eipen autw ho kurios mou
ANSWERED THOMAS AND HE SAID TO HIM THE LORD OF ME
061 2381 2532 1511_7 0846_5 3588 2962 1473_2
kai ho theos mou
AND THE GOD OF ME!
2532 3588 2316 1473_2
Westcott & Hort Interlinear
Nothing in John 20:28 means that Thomas was referring to Jesus, who was standing before Thomas with body of flesh and bones, as being the Supreme Being. To reason thus would, in effect, by the context, tend make the Supreme Being to be the flesh and bones that was before Thomas. See my study: "My Lord and My God."
John 1:1
John 1:1
en archee een ho logos kai ho logos een pros
IN BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS TOWARD
1722 0746 1511_3 3588 3056 2532 3588 3056 1511_3 4314
ton theon kai theos een ho logos
THE GOD, AND GOD WAS THE WORD.
3588 2316 2532 2316 1511_3 3588 3056
Westcott & Hort Interlinear
Scripture no where depicts Jesus as being "God", the Supreme Being, although many translations would make it appear so. In the very, very few instances where it is claimed that forms of the Hebrew word often transliterated as EL, or the forms of the Greek word often transliterated as THEOS, are applied to Jesus, the default reasoning should not be to imagine and assume that such application means that Jesus is the Supreme Being, but, in harmony with the Scriptural Hebraic usage of such words, one should conclude that such usage as applied to Jesus is describing Jesus as being mighty, a mighty one, as it is often used in the Bible, not as meaning Supreme Being. In other words, Hebrew forms of the word EL, and therefore, its corresponding forms as found in the Greek transliterated as THEOS are applicable to anyone to whom God has given special power or might, whether man, angel, our Lord Jesus, or the Supreme Being Himself. In the KJV, for instance, the Hebrew word EL in Psalm 82:1 is rendered, not as "God" or "god", but as "mighty", referring collectively to the Sons of the Most High spoken of in Psalm 82:6. In John 1:1, since Jesus stated that the one whom he had been with is the only true God (John 17:1,3,5), it should be apparent that THEOS as applied to the Logos is not being used in the sense of Supreme Being, but rather in the sense of "mighty". Jesus, the Logos of God, "was" (past tense), mighty in his being before he became flesh.
Jesus was in indeed "mighty" (THEOS) -- a mighty being -- before he became flesh (John 1:1), but he was never the Almighty Jehovah. In studies, I have found at least four different ways that the Hebrews used forms of the word for "God":
(1) The MIGHTY ONE, the only one who is MIGHTY of himself (not receiving His might from anyone else), which corresponds to our common usage of “God” as meaning “the Supreme Being”, the “Almighty” Yahweh. Only He is the source of all (1 Corinthians 8:6)
(2) False gods — so-called gods who by nature have no might at all to
do anything (Deuteronomy 4:28; Daniel 5:23; Isaiah 45:20; Galatians
4:8; 1 Corinthians 8:5).
(3) Mighty ones who are such because the only true Supreme Being has given them special power or authority, either directly or by allowance, such as Moses to Pharoah (Exodus 7:1), the sons of the Most High (Psalm 82:1,6; John 10:34-36), and the angels (Psalm 8:5; compare Hebrews 2:7), and others (1 Samuel 28:13; Ezekiel 32:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4), including Jesus (John 1:1, possibly also in Psalm 45:6; John 20:28 and Hebrews 1:8).
(4) General might, power, great, etc. — Genesis 31:29; Deuteronomy 28:32; Nehemiah 5:5; Psalm 36:6; Proverbs 3:27.
Anyone can verify that the KJV translates the words for god, at least in the Old Testament, with words such strength, might, mighty, etc. In Psalm 82:1 of the KJV, the Hebrew word for "God" is translated as "mighty". Applying this same principle to the one whom the only true Supreme Being sent (Isaiah 61:1; John 17:1,3), in John 1:1, we would have "the Word was mighty".
http://beta.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/el.html
http://beta.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/elohiym.html
John 1:18
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. -- John 1:18, New American Standard
The translators of New American Standard, believing Jesus to be the Supreme Being, capitalized the word "God" to make it appear that Jesus is the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being, however, was never begotten, are brought forth into being. Jesus was indeed the first one and only one to be brought forth as a mighty spirit being, having been brought forth before the angels, who are also referred to as "gods". -- Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7.
In John 1:18, Jesus is distinguished from the only true God who sent him (John 17:1,3), thus Jesus is not being depicted as being the only true God.
Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. — King James Version
As this reads in the KJV, it does not apply "God" to Jesus; many other translations, however, would have that Jesus is "the great God" here. If, in this verse, Paul did apply the Greek word transliterated as THEOS to Jesus (which is highly unlikely), it still would not mean that should imagine and assume that Paul was applying in the sense of Supreme Being.
See my study:
The Great God
John 5:23
That all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn't honor the Son doesn't honor the Father who sent him. -- Wold English
Evidently, it is being imagined and assumed that there is something in John 5:23 that means that Jesus is the Supreme Being. Actually, the context shows that this power and authority is being given to Jesus from the only true God who sent Jesus. This harmonizes with 1 Corinthians 8:6: the God and Father of Jesus is the source of all; Jesus is the agent used by the only true God. If the president of the company assigns one the authority and power to another to act on his behalf, and thus tells everyone to give him the same honor as would be given to himself, this does not mean that the one so assigned IS the president.
See my related study:
Jesus Received Worship
Below presents links to studies related; I may return later to add more comments. If no link is provided, it probably means I have written anything related to that scripture as yet, and will, God willing, have to return to it later.
(Honor)
Hebrews 3:3,4 - There is definitely nothing in these verses that means that the honor that due to Jesus is that of being the Supreme Being. All is of the only true Supreme Being, through the one whom the only true Supreme has made both lord and Christ. — Psalm 2:26; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Ezekiel 34:23,24; John 10:29; 17:1,3; Acts 2:23,36; 4:27; 10:38; Hebrews 1:9.
(Glory)
2 Timothy 4:18 - See the study: Who is Over All
Hebrews 13:20 - God in this verse is presented as only one person; Jesus is distinguished from God; probably meant to be Hebrews 13:21. Hebrews 13:21 refers to glory -- in the sense of praise -- being offered to Jesus; it does not say that Jesus' glory is the glory of the only true Supreme Being.
1 Peter 4:11 - God is presented as being one person and Jesus is distinguished from the Supreme Being. The glory that is given to Jesus is to the glory of the God and Father of Jesus, “that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ”. – Matthew 9:8; 15:31; Luke 17:16; 13:13; 17:15; 23:47; John 5:23; 13:31,32; 21:19; Ephesians 1:17; Romans 15:6; Philippians 2:11; 1 Peter 4:11.
2 Peter 3:18 - See the study: Who is Over All
Romans 16:27 - The Unipersonal God is glorified through Jesus. Nothing in this means that we need to imagine, assume, add to, and read into this that Jesus is the Supreme Being.
Jude 1:25 - Speaks of the God and Father of Jesus; it is not speaking of Jesus. See: To the Only Wise God
Revelation 5:12,13 - Nothing here says that Jesus is the Supreme Being. Both the Supreme Being and Jesus do receive glory; this does not mean that one needs to imagine and assume that Jesus is the Supreme Being. The Lamb proved himself obedient to death and thus is recognized as worthy of being exalted by the only true Supreme Being with power, so that at the name of Jesus all should bow to the glory of the only true God. .– Acts 2:33,36; 5:31; Philippians 2:8-10; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 1:4; 1 Peter 3:22. See: Jesus Received Worship
(Worship) See the studies under "Worship of Jesus"
Matthew 2:2 -- See the study: Jesus Received Worship
Philippians 2:10 - See: Jesus Received Worship and The Unipersonal God Exalted Jesus
Revelation 5:12,13- See: Jesus Received Worship
(Prayer) - John 14:14; Acts 1:24; Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 1:2; - Evidently it is thought that prayer or spiritual conversation directed to Jesus is proof that Jesus is God. See my study: Jesus As an Object of Prayer
1 Corinthians 1:2, Acts 1:24, Acts 1:25, Acts 7:59, Acts 7:60, John 14:12, John 14:13, John 14:14,
Romans 10:11 - This is probably referring to Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, not to Jesus. Nevertheless, to call upon the name of Jesus is also to call upon the name of Him who sent Jesus.
See: Whoever Will Call Upon the Name of Jehovah
1 Corinthians 16:22- Making an expression to Jesus to "come" does not mean that we need to imagine, assume and read into the scripture that Jesus is the Supreme Being.
2 Corinthians 12:8 - "The Lord" as it appears here in most translations is probably a replacement of God's Holy Name. Regardless, it offers no proof that Jesus is Jehovah.
Revelation 22:20,21 - John did address Jesus, saying, "Come, Lord Jesus". This does not mean that one needs to imagine and assume that Jesus is the Supreme Being.
(Song) Obviously, singing a song directed to Jesus, or about Jesus, does not mean that Jesus is the Supreme Being. Jehovah is glorified in all the the praise given to Jesus. All is "through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 8:6) All the songs sung to Jesus are "to the glory of God, the Father." -- Philippians 2:11.
Ephesians 5:19 - "Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and singing praises in your heart to [Jehovah]." (World English, with the Holy Name restored as "Jehovah") More than likely, this is speaking of singing praise to the God and Father of Jesus.
Revelation 5:9 - "God" here is depicted as one person, not as three persons, as he is so depicted throughout the entire Bible. Jesus presented his blood in sacrifice to the only true God. -- Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14.
Philippians 2:6-11 - "God" is depicted in these verses, not as three persons, but as only one person, and Jesus is distinguished from that one person throughout. It is the unipersonal God who made Jesus both Lord and Christ, who exalted Jesus, so that all should bow before Jesus, to the glory of the only true God, the God and Father of Jesus. Nothing in this means that we need to imagine and assume that Jesus is the Supreme Being, or that we need to imagine and assume that Jesus is a person of the Supreme Being, etc. See my studies: "The Humility of Mind", "The Unipersonal God Exalted Jesus", "Philippians 2:6,7 and the Greek Morphe", and "Was the Holy Name Changed to 'Jesus'?"
I will, God willing, come back to this later. Last update 1/23/2015

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bible Students Did Not Become Jehovah's Witnesses

The story as it is often stated is that the Bible Students became Jehovah's Witnesses. And yet, Bible Students will say this is not true, because the majority of the Bible Students did not accept Rutherford's new organization. We have been asked for the evidence that the majority of the Bible Students rejected Rutherford's new organization.
This can be seen by the JWs' own publication entitled "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose." In the latter part of the 1920s, Rutherford stopped printing the reports of how many had attended the memorial service because the figures had suddenly dropped extremely. From 1925 to 1928, there were no reports presented. It was in 1925 that Rutherford began his crackdown on the Bible Students by demonstrating the alleged theocratic authority he had claimed for himself. The rule was, in effect, either you accepted his new gospel, his new teachings, and his new organization and the "theocratic" authority he claimed for himself, or you did not, and if you did not then you must be disfellowshiped. His represetatives began literally going to congregations and determining who and who did not accept Rutherford's claimed "theocratic" authority, and his new dogma. Tens of thousands either willfully withdrew any support from such an authoritarian arrangement, or else they were disfellowshiped by Rutherford's representatives.
The annual memorial participants worldwide that had been reported to the Watch Tower Society in 1925 is given as 90,434; however, the number given as reported for memorial "attendance" for 1928 is 17,380. That is a decrease of over 70,000 from 1925 to 1928. Thus, these figures show that by 1928, the greater majority of the Bible Students movement had rejected Rutherford's new organization and his new doctrine. These numbers are shown in the book, "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" (Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1959, pages 110, 312–313). Thus, the great increases that came after 1928 were not because the greater number of Bible Students supported Rutherford (as I have seen some JWs claim), but because many new converts from outside the Bible Students movement were accepting Rutherford's message. All those "old-time" Bible Students who did not accept Rutherford's new doctrine were, especially between the years 1925 to 1928, anathematized and generally treated with animosity and indignation. These Bible Students who refused to accept Rutherford's new organization and his new gospel were called by Rutherford "the evil servant" (or, "the wicked and sluggish slave").
Nevertheless, from the standpoint of most Bible Students, Rutherford was using the legal instrument, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as a means to draw disciples after himself, and was seeking to bring all the congregations into subjection to himself; what was really happening is that Rutherford rejected the main teachings of the Bible Students, rejected the idea of independent congregations, and instituted a new organization with a new gospel, demanding that all accept his new arrangements and his new teachings.
In effect, those of the Bible Students who followed Rutherford left the general Bible Students movement and joined Rutherford in his new organization and his new gospel. There has never been a great number who have appreciated truth. Once the truth was denied by Rutherford and a new gospel was put into effect, such a gospel would be more acceptable in appeal to those whose minds were carnal.
That the Bible Students were actually rejecting Rutherford's new organization can be seen from the words of Morton Edgar, who had been a prominent author amongst the Bible Students while Russell was alive.
The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.
How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23....
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see.... If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin. -- Published in "Gleanings From Glasgow".
From the above, one should be able to realize that Morton Edgar had not been associated with such an organization, and that he repudiated the organization that Rutherford had created. The same is true for the Bible Students in general.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

John 8:1-11 and the New World Translation

One, evidently mistaking the owner of this site as being with the JWs, demanded that I respond to the claim to the New World Translation and what Jesus wrote on the ground. Many sites have statements that appear to fault the NWT for "removing" parts of the Bible regarding John 7 and 8. Here are a few:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99LBdNmwOYE
http://avoidjw.org/2015/02/missing-verses/



My response:

I am not with the JWs, and rarely use the NWT, mostly due to the prejudice so many seem to have against it. At any rate, I consider it one of the more accurate translations, although I do agree that in some cases it appears to arbitraly word some verses in such a way so as to support their doctrine. Nevertheless, I don't know of any translation out there that does not do the same thing.

The site linked to mentions that John 8:1-11 has been removed. Of course, if those verses were not originally part of what John wrote, then in actuality, those translations that contain the verses actually join wth the adding of those verses to the Bible. I do notice that several Bible versions leave out those verses, put these verses in brackets, or otherwise note that the verse as probably being spurious; thus, this not just something involving the JWs NWT. The verses in question actually begin with John 7:53 through and including John 8:11. The NWT gives a footnote explaining that the Sinaitic, Vatican 1209, and evidently the Syriac Peshitta do not have these verses.

James Parkinson, in his "Corrected" Version, states:

|--97 Vss. 7:53-8:11 are not added by p66,75 B? LT copsa,pbo,ach2 sys,c geo. Twelve verses (about a woman taken in adultery and uncondemned by Jesus) are added here by 892 and a majority of lesser Gk. mss., ite vg. Vss. 8:3-11 alone are added by other lesser Gk. mss. after Lk 21:38, 24:53, Jo 7:36, or 21:25, sometimes marked as of doubtful authenticity. It is evident these verses were not written by the Apostle John or any other New Testament writer, whether their account is true or not.--|


A. T. Robertson, Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament, on John 7:53, states:

|--This [John 7:53] verse and through John 8:12 (the passage concerning the woman taken in adultery) is certainly not a genuine part of John's Gospel. The oldest and best MSS. (Aleph A B C L W) do not have it. It first appears in Codex Bezae. Some MSS. put it at the close of John's Gospel and some place it in Luke. It is probably a true story for it is like Jesus, but it does not belong to John's Gospel. The Canterbury Version on which we are commenting puts the passage in brackets. Westcott and Hort place it at the end of the Gospel. --|

Charlest John Elliott (Elliott's Commentary for English Readers), under John 7:53, states:

|--The section which follows (John 7:53 to John 8:11) is one of the most striking instances of an undoubted addition to the original text of the Gospel narratives. We shall find reason to believe that it belongs to the Apostolic age, and preserves to us the record of an incident in the life of our Lord, but that it has not come to us from the pen of St. John. (Comp. Excursus B: Some Variations in the Text of St. John’s Gospel.) While, therefore, it is printed in the text here, our text being a reprint of the Authorised version, without addition or alteration, the reader will observe that it is an insertion which breaks the order of the discourse, and in working out the line of thought will bear this in mind.--|

Adam Clarke states under John 7:53:

|--This verse and the first eleven verses of the following chapter are wanting in several MSS. Some of those which retain the paragraph mark it with obelisks, as a proof of spuriousness. Those which do retain it have it with such a variety of reading as is no where else found in the sacred writings. Professor Griesbach leaves the whole paragraph in the text with notes of doubtfulness. Most of the modern critics consider it as resting on no solid authority.--|

I could probably find more quotes from scholars, but I would like to point out that if the above quoted scholars are correct, then the NWT did not remove those verses, but they simply did not add those verses. This would mean that translations that contain those verses are based on adding those verses to the Bible.

I do not, however, believe that the translators of the NWT had any doctrinal bias for not including those verses.

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Addendum:

It is not for me to say that John did not write the verses being questioned; nor would I claim that John did write the verses. I do believe that more than likely John did write the verses in question, but probably not in the place where they are found in the Textus Receptus. I do not, at the present time, have my 1971 edition of the NWT with me, but it does usually add footnotes explaining differences in the manuscripts.