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Monday, April 30, 2012

Are There Really Two Members of Trinity Mentioned at Genesis 19:24?

This trinitarian 'proof' - text seems too ridiculous to even bother with, but some trinitarians appear to be serious about it. It goes this way: when we read Gen. 19:24, we find there are two different persons who have the only personal name of God, "Jehovah," (or "LORD" in some mistranslations). Therefore these two different persons with God's personal name show the "plural personality" of that one God.

But even if we assume this to be a correct translation, it seems obvious that it can be honestly interpreted as a simple repetition of the same person's name. That is, the very same person who produced the brimstone and fire, Jehovah, is also the one who rained it down upon these cities.

The explanatory note by trinitarian Dr. Young in Young's Concise Critical Bible Commentary, Baker Book House, for this verse states: "JEHOVAH...JEHOVAH, i.e. from Himself."

If that is the correct explanation, then this Scripture might provide a somewhat parallel example: "And King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon." - 1 Kings 10:13, RSV. (Cf. KJV.) Even though this is a very literal translation of the original manuscripts and the one personal name of King Solomon is actually used twice, we surely don't believe there were two different persons making up the one King Solomon! Wouldn't we interpret this as Dr. Young (and others) have done with "Jehovah" above? That is obviously how the Living Bible, NIV, MLB, NASB, etc. have interpreted it. ("King Solomon gave her everything she asked him for, besides the presents he had already planned." - LB.)

Another honest explanation for Gen. 19:24 given by trinitarian scholars themselves is that the use of the phrase in question ("from the LORD out of heaven") is in doubt. The very trinitarian New American Bible, 1970 ed. (Catholic) encloses the last part of Gen. 19:24 in brackets: "the LORD rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah [from the LORD out of heaven]." And the preface to the NAB tells us: "Doubtful readings ... appear within brackets." - p. 45, St. Joseph Edition.

That is why these trinitarian Bible translations have actually omitted that doubtful portion: NEB, REB, AT, Mo, LB, and GNB. (E.g. "then the LORD rained down fire and brimstone from the skies on Sodom and Gomorrah." - New English Bible.) And others, like the NJB, have rendered it "[Jehovah] rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire of his own sending." Certainly no trinitarian Bible translation would do this if it could possibly be used as honest trinitarian evidence.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Why Does the New World Translation Bible Say, "God's Active Force" at Genesis 1:2?

In the New World Translation (NWT) Bible, it says at Genesis 1:2,

"Now the earth was formless and desolate, and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep, and God’s active force was moving about over the surface of the waters."

Yet many translations do not say "God's active force" at Genesis 1:2.

However, the New World Translation's "active force" for the Hebrew RUACH is both accurate and appropriate for Genesis 1:2 because the way that the Bible uses the term "holy spirit" indicates that it is God's active force that He uses to accomplish a variety of His purposes.

Even many trinitarian scholars will admit this:

"In the New Testament there is no direct suggestion of the Trinity. The Spirit is conceived as an impersonal power by which God effects his will through Christ." - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 344, Virgilius Ferm, 1945 ed.

Using Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4 and Psalm 33:6 as its basis, Swete writes about the "Spirit" in the Old Testament:

"The Spirit of God is the vital power which belongs to the Divine Being, and is seen to be operative in the world and in men. It is the Divine Energy which is the origin of all created life, especially of human existence and the faculties of human nature." Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (1909), page 2.

The commentator clearly sees the Spirit as a force, not a person in this verse.

About the translation of Genesis 1:2:

"There is little to commend "a mighty wind" (NEB, Speiser, von Rad); in the relatively few passages where "God" is used as a superlative, the context usually makes it clear. The sense is excellently given by "the power of God" (GNB)." A Bible Commentary for Today, General Editor G. C. D. Howley (1973), page 135.

Note that this Commentary states, "The sense is excellently given by "the power of God" (GNB)."

"There is apparent a development in the direction of hypostatization of the Spirit, not in the sense that it is conceived as a person but as a substantial source of force and activity. It is the creative force of Yahweh (Gn. 1:2; Jb 33:5)" Dictionary of the Bible, McKenzie (1965), page 841.

This Bible Dictionary agrees with the NWT that in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit is the "creative force of Yahweh."

"The Spirit brooding over the primeval waters (Gn. 1:2) and creating man (Gn. 2:7), the Spirit who garnishes the heavens (Jb 26:13), sustains animal life and renews the face of the earth (Ps. 54:30), is the ruah ('breath,' 'wind') of God, the outgoing divine energy and power." The New Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas (1962), page 531.

The ruach is not a person, the basic meaning in Genesis 1:2 (and the other scriptures quoted) is shown to be "the outgoing divine energy and power."

Additional Reading:

Genesis 1:2 New World Translation - "..and God's active force was moving to and fro..." (In Defense of the New World Translation)

Holy Spirit - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

The Holy Spirit—God's Active Force (Insight-2 pp. 1017-1027; Watchtower Online Library)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2 Cor. 3:17 - "The Lord is the Spirit."

One thing that Trinitarians actually do have correct: The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Father. They are different persons. Now if the Holy Spirit is a person, as they say, then the Holy Spirit is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is not the Son.

Nevertheless, occasionally 2 Cor. 3:17 is used as evidence that the Holy Spirit is a person who is God: "The Lord is the Spirit."

Now it is provable that the Lord Jehovah is the Father, and it is provable that the Lord Jesus is the Son. Therefore, IF the HS is a person, "he" cannot be either Jehovah or Jesus! That is why the noted trinitarian scholar E. F. Scott (in his The Spirit in the N.T.) can understand

"Kurios ["Lord"] here [in 2 Cor. 3:17] to be Christ and interpret Paul as denying the personality of the Holy Spirit." - Word Pictures in the New Testament, A. T. Robertson, Vol. IV, p. 223.

Also the trinitarian The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan Publishing, 1986, tells us:

"It is important to realize that for Paul too the Spirit is a divine power whose impact upon or entrance into a life is discernible by its effects." and, "It is important for Paul that the Spirit is a shared gift; it is a centripedal force [not a person!] drawing believers together into the one body of Christ. .... They are constituted the one body of Christ by their common participation in the one Spirit." - Vol. 3, pp. 701, 702. (Also see: Quotes: Holy Spirit is a Force from God, Trinitarians Admit; SFBT)

Therefore to be 'one' with the Spirit results in being one with the Lord (whether it refers to Jehovah here, as I believe, or to Jesus as in most trinitarian interpretations. Having the active force of God, the Spirit, figuratively means having the Lord. Or as CBW, AT, and Moffatt translate 2 Cor. 3:17 "The Lord means the Spirit." Or, as the extremely trinitarian The New American Bible, St. Joseph ed. tells us in a footnote for 2 Cor. 3:13-18 -
"The apostle knows that his work is to result in the permanent presence of Christ among men through the power of the Holy Spirit."

And Thayer, also tells us:

"But in the truest and highest sense it is said ['the Lord is the spirit'], he in whom the entire fulness of the Spirit dwells, and from whom that fulness is diffused through the body of Christian believers, 2 Co. iii. 17.... to be filled with the same spirit as Christ and by the bond of that spirit to be intimately united to Christ, 1 Co. vi. 17...." - pp. 522, 523, Baker Book House, 1984 printing.

So we can see that even many trinitarians believe this particular scripture is saying that Jesus is figuratively the Spirit because union with that Spirit means union with Jesus.

Another possibility is shown by this trinitarian translation:

"the Lord [whether Jehovah or Jesus] no doubt is a spirit .... but we ... are changed unto the same similitude, from glory to glory, even of the spirit of the Lord [or 'just as the spirit comes from the Lord' - Lamsa]." - 2 Cor. 3:17, 18, Tyndale's New Testament, 1989, Yale University Press.

Not only do we never find anything approaching a clear statement of the trinity in the entire Bible, but in all the dreams, visions, etc. where we "see" God we never see a three-in-one God represented in any manner, nor do we ever see the "person" of the holy spirit (even though we often see the real spirit persons, the angels and Jesus, in association with that one true God). We nearly always "see" the heavenly spirit persons (God, Christ, angels) represented in human-like form. (E.g., Ezek. 1:5, 26; Acts 7:55.)

"The name ['angel'] does not denote their nature, but their office as messengers" - p. 38. "As to their nature, they are spirits.... whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form." - p. 39. And, "In...2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:18, it ['spirit'] designates the divine nature." - p. 593, Today's Dictionary of the Bible, 1982, Bethany House Publ., written by mainstream trinitarian scholars.

So we see God (who is a spirit person) always represented in human form and always as a single person, e.g., Ezek. 1:26 (Ezekiel could have easily represented him as three persons or even one person with three faces-compare Ezek. 1:10 -- but no Bible writer ever does such a thing! (Compare Dan. 7:9, 13) We nearly always see the spirit person of the resurrected Jesus in human form and always as a single person. We always see the individual spirit persons who are messengers (angels) of God as individual persons (and, incidentally, always with masculine, not neuter or feminine, personal names). But we never see the holy spirit as a person (and it is frequently represented as something that can be dealt out in multiple portions) - Acts 2:3, 4. (Also see: Is the Holy Spirit really a thing that can be poured out into portions?; SFBT)

It is more than just odd that we "see" God (the Father only, Jehovah), we see Christ (the Son only, Jesus) with God, sent from God praying to God, etc., but we never see the neuter "person" of the nameless holy spirit in heaven with God or with the Son. (Also see: "Holy Spirit" in the Original Greek is Neuter - "It," "Itself" are Used in the Original New Testament Greek; SFBT)

This could not be if the trinity doctrine were true. The inspired Bible writers simply could not so completely ignore as they have in the Holy Scriptures a person who is God.

There is no proper evidence (let alone proof) for the concept of the holy spirit being a person who is God.

This certainly should come as no surprise when we understand that the Bible writers all considered the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force sent by God. When a person rejects that force which God himself has produced and sent, then, of course, he is also rejecting the Most High God. This is why Jesus can equate the Holy Spirit with God and, at the same time (since Jesus is not God), show the superiority of God to himself:

"whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven" - Matt. 12:32, RSV. (For more, see: Matthew 12:32 "whoever says something against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven"; Examining the Trinity)

For much more, see:
Holy Spirit - Links To Information (SFBT)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Holy Spirit 'Proof-Texts' (SFBT)

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind So-Called Trinity 'Proof' - Texts

Many who believe that Jesus is God or in the Trinity rely only on a few selected, so-called 'proof-texts'.

The following links lead to research showing how the most frequently used so-called 'Proof Texts' are not proof of the Trinity in any way.

(Links to more guides can be found at the bottom of this list.)

Gen. 1:26
Gen. 1:26 - "Let Us Make Man in Our Image" (SFBT);   This scripture prove Trinity? (SFBT);    Image (Examining the Trinity);   How is Man Made in God's Image? (Gen. 1:26) (SFBT);   ("Let us make man in our image") - ELOHIM 3-6; I-AM 5; (Examining the Trinity)

Gen. 19:24
Gen. 19:24 ("Jehovah rained down fire ... from Jehovah") (Examining the Trinity)

Ps. 45:6
"Your throne, O God" - HEB (Examining the Trinity);   God and gods (SFBT);   How is Jesus a god? (SFBT)

Isa. 6:3
"Holy, Holy, Holy" - Is. 6:3 (SFBT)

Isa. 9:6
Isa. 9:6 "Mighty God, Eternal Father" (Examining the Trinity);   Isa. 9:6 - NWT (DNWT);   NAME - “Jesus,” “Immanuel,” and Is. 9:6 (Examining the Trinity);   BOWGOD (God and gods) (Examining the Trinity);   Does Isa. 9:6 prove that Jesus is God? (SFBT);   Why is Jesus called "Mighty God" at Isa. 9:6? (SFBT);   One God in Three? (Pastor Russell; Heading: "No Trinity in the “Old Testament”');   How does the Codex Sinaiticus render Is. 9:6? (JWQ&A);   How is translated Isaiah 9:6 in old Aramaic Targums? (JWQ&A)

Isa. 42:8
Heb. 1:3 / Isa. 42:8 Does Jesus really share Jehovah's Glory? (Examining the Trinity)

Isa. 43:11
Isa. 43:11 / 2 Pet. 3:18 Jehovah only Savior; Jesus Savior (SFBT);   Title Confusion Trick "Saviour" (Examining the Trinity);   How many saviors at Isaiah 43:11? (jwitness forum);   A short exchange on "savior" and Isaiah 43:11 (INDNWT)

Isa. 44:6
Isa. 44:6 "pronoun confusion trick" (Examining the Trinity);   Isa. 44:6 / Rev. 1:17 "First and the Last" (SFBT)

Isa. 48:16
Isa. 48:16; Trinitarian "speaker confusion" trick (SFBT)

Jer. 23:6
"Jehovah Is Our Righteousness" - NAME 4 (Examining the Trinity);   Why is Jesus called Mighty God? (SFBT)

Micah 5:2
Micah 5:2 (Examining the Trinity);   BWF - 'Beginning,' 'Wisdom,' and 'Firstborn' (6th par. down; Examining the Trinity);   Is Micah 5:2 saying that Jesus' ORIGIN was “from early times”? (SFBT);   Who created Jesus? (SFBT);   Did Jesus have a beginning (Micah 5:2)? (jwitness forum);   Micah 5:2 (JW Stand Firm)

Hab. 1:12
Habakkuk 1:12 (INDNWT);   Why does the NWT render Habakkuk 1:12 "Are you not from long ago, O Jehovah? O my God, my Holy One, you do not die", when many other Bibles render it as "O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die."? (JWQ&A);   Scribal notes (JWQ&A);   "King of Eternity" did not die, but His Son did (JWQ&A)

Zech. 12:10
Zech 12:10 / John 19:37 (DNWT);   Zech. 12:10 "...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced." (DNWT);   Zechariah 12:10 (INDNWT)

Mt. 1:22,23
Matt. 1:23 ("Immanuel") - NAME 2 (Examining the Trinity);   How was it that "all things were made through (Jesus)"? (Vs. 22) (SFBT);   How and why did Jesus come to Earth? (SFBT);  Jesus merely a man? (SFBT);   Should Jesus really be considered to be God because he was symbolically “named” Immanuel (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23) which means “God is with us”? (SFBT)

Mt. 12:32
Blasphemy to Christ: forgiven; to HS: not - HS (Last 20 par.) (and f.n.#10 &11);(Examining the Trinity);   BOWHS (f.n.) (Examining the Trinity);   Matthew 12:32 "whoever says something against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven" (Examining the Trinity)

Mt. 28:19

John 1:1
In Defense of the New World Translation. John 1:1 files (INDNWT);   John 1:1 - A Number of Trinitaran Translations and Scholars Admit "a god" (Defending the NWT);   Defending the charge that the NWT translators made up a rule for the word for "God/god" (theos). (Defending the NWT);   How does the Coptic text render John 1:1? (VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF POST; SFBT);   The Coptic Language and John 1:1 (SFBT);   John 1:1c - English translation: "The Word was a god." (SFBT);   John 1:1 "and the Word was" (pastorrussell);   "and the Word was divine." (pastorrussell);   Should John 1:1 read: "And the Word was divine"? (JWQ&A);   "and the word was with (pros) God."  (JWQ&A);   John 1:1c Primer (Examining the Trinity);   DEFinite John 1:1c (Examining the Trinity);   Harner's JBL 'Qualitative' Article (Examining the Trinity);   HARNER: JBL 'Qualitative' Article Refuted (Examining the Trinity);   QUAL ("Qualitative" John 1:1c) (Examining the Trinity);   SEPTGOD (John 1:1c and the Septuagint) (Examining the Trinity);   Logos (The 'Word') (Examining the Trinity);   VIDEO: John 1:1 Part 1 and Part 2 (SFBT);   John 1:1 was examined by Origen in his "Commentary on John." (JWQ&A);   IF God is a trinity, then how is it that “the Word (Jesus) was WITH God”? (John 1:1) (SFBT);   Is the New World Translation the only Bible to phrase John 1:1c as "the Word was A God"? (SFBT);   NWT - John 1:1 (Defending the NWT);   "Was" and "Beginning" in John 1:1 (Examining the Trinity);   If Jesus is not God, how can he be a god? (SFBT);   God and gods - What is a god and who have been called 'gods'? (SFBT);   Video: "Early Jewish and Christian Monotheism - The Early use of "God" and the Christological Implications" (SFBT);   God and gods (from BOWGOD study) (Examining the Trinity);   Was the Word “God” or “a god”? (pastorrussell);   If the Father is the "only true God" (John 17:3), does that mean that Jesus is a false god? (SFBT);   Why is Jesus called "Mighty God" at Isa. 9:6? (SFBT);   The Holy Trinity (pastorrussell);   They call me Trinity (pastorrussell);   What About Trinity "Proof Texts"? (WBTS);   The Truth About the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (WBTS);   Is Jesus God? (WBTS);   “Those Who Are Called 'Gods'” (WBTS);   Is There Only One True God? (WBTS);   Jn 1:1 NWT - Mantey (DNWT);   Jn 1:1 Martin (DNWT);   John 1:1c - English Translation: "The Word was a god." (SFBT);  With God? (SFBT) 

John 2:19-22
RU - Jesus Raised Himself? (Examining the Trinity);   The Trinity and John 2:19-22 (JW United)

John 5:18

John 5:23

John 6:7-15
John 6:7-15 Holy Spirit as a "he" (Examining the Trinity);   Why, in John 16:7, is the holy spirit spoken of as a "helper"? (Examining the Trinity)

John 8:19

John 8:58
What did Jesus actually say at John 8:58? (SFBT);   John 8:58 "I AM"; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4 (Endnotes) (Examining the Trinity);   In Defense of the New World Translation. John 8:58 files (INDNWT);   Stafford's "'ANI HU and the LXX of Isaiah" (INDNWT);   Sahidic Coptic John 8:58 and Sahidic Coptic Exodus 3:14 (Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses);    What About...John 8:58? (From God's Word);   John 8:58 (Bible Translation and Study; Scroll down to First Scriptural Heading);   Miscellaneous Questions about the New World Translation (Jn 8:58) (Bible Translation and Study; Scroll down to Fifth Heading);   What About Trinity "Proof Texts"? (WBTS; Scroll down to 5th Heading);   How do we know that 'I Am' at Ex. 3:14 in KJV is incorrect? (JWQ&A);   Jesus' reply had to do with the length of his existence...not his identity (JWQ&A);   Luke 23:43 and the New World Translation (SFBT)

John 10:17,18

John 10:30

John 10:33
John 10:33 "a god" or "God"? (Examining the Trinity);   THEON (Examining the Trinity);   MY GOD 8-9; (Examining the Trinity);   How is Jesus a god? (SFBT); John 1:1c - English Translation: "The Word was a god." (vs. 33) (SFBT);   How is John 10:33 translated in the coptic? (JWQ&A)

John 14:7-9
Seen Me: Seen Father - John 14:7-9 (Examining the Trinity) 

John 14:14
John 14:14 (DNWT);   Words Omitted (John 14:14) (DNWT);   What kind of prayers are heard by God? (SFBT);   Ask Who? (jwitness forum);  John 14:14: To "me" or not to "me", that is the question (Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses);   The Sahidic Coptic of John 14:14 (JWQ&A)

John 20:28
John 20:28 "My God" (DNWT);   MY GOD (Examining the Trinity);   Why did Thomas say "My Lord and my God" at John 20:28? (SFBT); Why did the apostle Thomas exclaim "My Lord and my God!" at John 20:28? (JWQ&A);   John 20:28 - Is Jesus Given the Title 'ho theos'? (Bible Translation and Study; Scroll down to 3rd Scriptural Heading);   God and gods (SFBT);   How is Jesus a god? (SFBT)

Acts 5:3,4

Acts 8:29

Acts 10:38
"Anointed with Holy Spirit" (Examining the Trinity)

Acts 13:2

Acts 20:28

Acts 28:25
Acts 28:25 "The holy spirit aptly spoke through Isaiah" (Examining the Trinity)

Rom. 8:27

Rom. 9:5

1 Cor. 8:5,6
How was it that "all things were made through (Jesus)"? (Vs. 6) (SFBT);  'Unitized Title' Vs. 'Title with Identifiers' (1 Cor. 8:6) (Examining the Trinity);   1 Cor. 8:5,6 ("To us one God, the Father") - TC 6-7 (and f.n.'s #4, 6);  BWF 3-4 ("source")

1 Cor. 12:11

2 Cor. 3:17

2 Cor. 3:17 "The Lord is the Spirit." (Examining the Trinity)

2 Cor. 4:4
2 Cor. 4:4 "Christ, who is the image of God" (Examining the Trinity);   Image (Examining the Trinity);  Does Gen. 1:26 prove Trinity? (SFBT)

2 Cor. 13:14

Eph. 4:30

Eph. 5:5
Eph. 5:5 (Examining the Trinity);   SHARP'S RULE - Pt 1 (Examining the Trinity); SHARP'S Rule - Pt 2 (Endnotes) (Examining the Trinity);   'Sharp's Rule' Primer (Examining the Trinity);   Sharp's Rule (A response to a major accusation made by Robert H. Countess) (DNWT);   Titus 2:13 "Sharp's Rule" (DNWT);   Trinitarian Apologetics: A Case Study Involving Rob Bowman and Granville Sharp (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

Phil. 2:6

Col. 2:9

2 Thess. 1:12

1 Tim. 3:16

1 Tim. 5:21

Titus 2:13
SHARP'S RULE - Pt 1 (Examining the Trinity);   SHARP'S Rule - Pt 2 (Endnotes) (Examining the Trinity);   'Sharp's Rule' Primer (Examining the Trinity);   Sharp's Rule (A response to a major accusation made by Robert H. Countess) (DNWT);   Titus 2:13 "Sharp's Rule"; (DNWT);   Trinitarian Apologetics: A Case Study Involving Rob Bowman and Granville Sharp (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

Heb. 1:3

Heb. 1:6

Heb. 1:8
Heb. 1:8 "Thy Throne O God" (Examining the Trinity);   Hebrews 1:8 "Thy throne, O God" (DNWT);   Heb. 1:8 (INDNWT);   George Wesley Buchanan and Hebrews 1 (INDNWT)

2 Pet. 1:1

2 Pet. 3:18

1 John 5:7

1 John 5:8

1 John 5:20

Rev. 1:8
Rev. 1:8 "Alpha and Omega" (Examining the Trinity);   Is Jesus the "Alpha and the Omega" (Rev. 1:8)? (jwitness forum)

Rev. 1:17

Rev. 5:6
Throne (Rev. 22:1) (Examining the Trinity);   Rev. 5:6 and Rev. 5:13 "Throne" (Examining the Trinity);   "Jehovah" in the New Testament; "Holy, Holy, Holy" - Is. 6:3 (SFBT)

Rev. 5:13
Rev. 5:6 and Rev. 5:13 "Throne" (Examining the Trinity)

Rev. 22:1
Throne (Rev. 22:1) (Examining the Trinity)

Rev. 22:13

More material:
Trinity 'Proof' Texts Refuted (From In Defense of The New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures)

What About Trinity "Proof Texts"? (From the Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses)

(Still can't find what you're looking for? Try using the Scripture Index.)

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Does Matthew 1:22, 23 Really Imply That Jesus is God?

Of course, Matthew 1:22, 23 does not imply that Jesus is God despite what many trinitarians may claim.

A fairly common trinitarian “proof” that “Jesus is God” uses the meanings of personal names. It is very true that personal names were extremely important to God and to his people as recorded in the Bible. The meanings of their names were often carefully selected by their parents and were sometimes changed during their lifetimes because of changing circumstances.

But honestly, should Jesus really be considered to be God because he was symbolically “named” Immanuel (Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23) which means “God is with us”? No more so than Gabriel was calling himself God when he visited Mary and declared: “The Lord is with thee” - Luke 1:28. Nor did Zacharias mean that John the Baptizer (his new son) was actually God when he was asked, “I wonder what this child [John] will turn out to be?”, and he answered, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to visit his people and has redeemed them.” - Luke 1:66-68, LB.

Gabriel and Zacharias (Zechariah) meant exactly what Israelites have meant throughout thousands of years when saying “God is with us” and similar statements. They meant “God has favored us” or “God is helping us”. - Joshua 1:17; 1 Samuel 10:7; 2 Chron. 15:2-4, 9 (cf., Jer. 1:8; Haggai 1:13).[3] But if we insist on trinitarian-type “proof,” then Gabriel must have meant that he (Gabriel) is God. And Zacharias (whose own name means ‘Jehovah is renowned’ - p. 678, TDOTB) must have meant that John the Baptizer is God! – Also see 1 Sam. 17:37; 2 Sam. 14:17; 1 Ki. 8:57; 1 Chron. 17:2; 22:18; 2 Chron. 1:1; 35:21; 36:23; Ezra 1:3; Is. 8:8, 10; Is. 41:10; Amos 5:14; Zech 8:23. (Also see “Immanuel” in the Insight books.)

This understanding is seen throughout the Bible. For example, “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” - 1 Corinthians 14:24-25, RSV.

Or, in a Psalm many of us apply to ourselves or our friends:

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me - ASV.

Even the widely acclaimed trinitarian Bible dictionary, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Vol. 2, pp. 86, 87, admits:

“The name Emmanuel [or Immanuel] which occurs in Isa. 7:14 and 8:8 means lit. ‘God [is] with us’ .... In the context of the times of Isaiah and King Ahaz the name is given to a child as yet not conceived with the promise that the danger now threatening Israel from Syria and Samaria will pass ‘before the child knows how to refuse evil and choose the good.’ Thus, the child and its name is a sign of God’s gracious saving presence among his people .... [The name Emmanuel] could be a general statement that the birth and naming of the special child will indicate that the good hand of God is upon us.” - p. 86. And, “The point of the present passage [Matt. 1:23] is to see in the birth of Jesus a saving act of God, comparable with the birth of the first Emmanuel. Both births signify God’s presence with his people through a child.” - p. 87.

For more, see:

This identity of Jesus Christ as Immanuel did not mean he was the incarnation of God (Insight-1 pp. 1187-1189; Watchtower Online Library)

Does Matthew 1:23 indicate that Jesus when on earth was God? (rs p. 209-p. 220; Watchtower Online Library)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Trinity Proof Texts (Examining the Trinity)

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