Search This Blog

JW.ORG and Watchtower Library in one search box:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watchtower And Awake! Magazines - Publishing Statistics

As of 8-15-2012, The Watchtower has had a circulation larger than any other magazine in the world. Each issue has a print run of more than 42 million copies. Awake! is second, with a circulation of 41 million copies each issue. Both magazines are published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and are distributed in 236 lands.

How do other publications compare? According to The Association of Magazine Media, the top U.S. paid-for magazine is published by AARP, an organization that targets people over 50 years of age. That magazine has a circulation of over 22.4 million. Germany’s ADAC Motorwelt averages close to 14 million copies, and the Chinese Gushi Hui (stories) prints 5.4 million copies.

The Witness publications also excel in translation. The Watchtower is translated into more than 190 languages, and Awake! into more than 80. By comparison, Reader’s Digest is published in 21 languages, though content varies from country to country.

Unlike the other magazines mentioned above, The Watchtower and Awake! are financed by voluntary contributions, have no advertising, and carry no sales price.

The purpose of The Watchtower is to explain Bible teachings—and particularly what the Scriptures say about God’s Kingdom. It has been published continually since 1879. Awake! deals with general subjects, such as nature and science, with a view to building faith in the Creator. It also stresses how the Bible can be of practical value in our life. (The above excerpts are from the 8-15-12 Watchtower: The Watchtower—No Other Magazine Comes Close. To view the entire article, click here.)

Also see:

VIDEO: The Watchtower—Published Since 1879 (JW.ORG)
See how the most widely circulated magazine in the world has looked over the years.

Read the Watchtower and Awake Magazines Online (JW.ORG)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Does the Hebrew Word 'Qanah' Mean at Prov. 8:22?

"Jehovah himself produced (qanah) me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago." (Prov. 8:22) NWT

The Hebrew word 'qanah', can mean either to "produce, aquire, create" or "possess". Context is key in finding out which one it means.

Many Bible commentators agree that the Son is referred to as wisdom personified here. (See: Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created?; Search For Bible Truths) Bibles which are biased toward the Trinity do not want to render it as "Produce" or something similar because that would mean that Jesus has a beginning, and that would contradict the Trinity doctrine.
Yet because the context of Prov. 8:22-31 so overwhelmingly supports the translation of the word 'qanah' as "create" (See: Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ; Examining the Trinity), even scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render it as such. Notice how these trinitarian Bibles reluctantly render qanah at Prov. 8:22):

(1) "[Jehovah] created me at the beginning of his work" - RSV;

(2) "[Jehovah] created me" - NRSV;

(3) "[Jehovah] made me" - MLB;

(4) "Yahweh created me" - JB; "Yahweh created me" - NJB;

(5) "[Jehovah] created me" - NEB;

(6) "[Jehovah] created me" - REB;

(7) "I was the first thing made" - ETRV;

(8) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his creations" - Lamsa;

(9) "[Jehovah] created me first of all" - GNB;

(10) "[Jehovah] formed me as the first of his works" - AT;

(11) "[Jehovah] formed me first of his creation" - Mo;

(12) "Jehovah framed me first" - Byington;

(13) "[Jehovah] created me" - The Reader's Digest Bible;

(14) "[Jehovah] brought me forth as the first of his works" - The NIV Study Bible. It also explains in a footnote for Prov. 8:22: "brought...forth. The Hebrew for this verb is also used in Ge 4:1; 14:19, 22 (`creator')." - Zondervan, 1985;

(15) "[Jehovah] made me the beginning of his ways for his works" - The Apostles Bible;

(16) "[Jehovah] made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. - BBE;

(17) "Yahweh created me first, at the beginning of his works" - Christian Community Bible;

(18) "[Jehovah] made me as the beginning of his way, the first of his ancient works" - The Complete Jewish Bible;

(19) "[Jehovah] made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago" - The Holman Christian Standard Bible;

(20) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his creations, before all of his works. - Peshitta - Lamsa Translation;

(21) "[Jehovah] sovereignly made me—the first, the basic— before he did anything else." - The Message;

(22) "[Jehovah] created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago." - NET;

(23) "I, wisdom, was with [Jehovah] when he began his work, long before he made anything else. 23 I was created in the very beginning, even before the world began." - New Century Version;

(24) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his works, before his acts of long ago." - New International Reader's Version;

(25) "[Jehovah] made me at the beginning of His work, before His first works long ago." - New Life Bible;

(26) "[Jehovah] formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. - New Living Translation;

(27) "Jehovah created me in the beginning of his way, before his works of antiquity." - New Simplified Bible;

(28) "[Jehovah] created me as the head of His ways, to perform all of His works" - 2001 Translation.

For more concerning Prov. 8:22, see:

Jesus Christ / Wisdom personified (Insight-2 pp. 52-72; Watchtower Online Library)

“From Time Indefinite I Was Installed” (w01 3/15 pp. 25-28; Watchtower Online Library)

How do we know that the description of wisdom at Proverbs 8:22-31 applies to Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence? (w06 8/1 p. 31; Watchtower Online Library)

How do we know that these words refer to God’s Son? (cf chap. 13 pp. 129-138; Watchtower Online Library)

Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created? (Search For Bible Truths)

Is Proverbs 8:22-31 talking about Wisdom personified instead of Jesus? Why is Wisdom referred to in the feminine gender? (Search For Bible Truths)

Scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render the word 'qanah' as "create". (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ (Examining the Trinity)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Addressing the False Claim That Jehovah's Witnesses Do Not Think "Independently"

Whoever says that Jehovah's Witnesses do not investigate, challenge, and scrutinize their beliefs is either completely ignorant of Jehovah's Witnesses, or purposely spreading prejudicial information.

Those who claim that Jehovah's Witnesses do not think logically or “independently” have been seriously misled because they gullibly accept a biased view of what Witnesses teach regarding "independent thinking."

Such people must misrepresent quotes from our literature. Because these quotes say we must reject "independent thinking" it is NOT referring to "independent research" or "independent reasoning."

"Independent thinking" can be used when referring to either a good or a bad thought process. The context must be examined to determine what it is referring to. For example here are two examples:

WT 3/15/72 p. 170: "Man possesses a mind and a heart, not controlled automatically by instinct, but capable of independent thinking and reasoning, making plans and decisions, exercising a free will, building up strong desires and motivation. That is why you are capable of exercising the fine qualities of love and loyalty, of devotion and integrity. That is why you are also capable of understanding what God has revealed in his Word respecting his will and purpose."

WT 1/15/83 p. 22: "Avoid Independent Thinking. From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ‘You can decide for yourself what is good and bad,' Satan told Eve. ‘You don't have to listen to God. He is not really telling you the truth.' (Gen 3:1-5) To this day, it has been Satan's subtle design to infect God's people with this type of thinking.—2 Tim 3:1, 13."

So the term is often used to refer to thinking that is specifically independent of God's thinking as expounded primarily in the Bible. It is also used in a general way of thinking that is contrary to the Christian beliefs.

In this negative sense Witnesses use the term "independent thinking" in condemning the same idea that the Bible does in various texts:

(Pr 28:26) He that is trusting in his own heart is stupid, but he that is walking in wisdom is the one that will escape.

(Jer 10:23) I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.

(1Co 1:18-20) For it is written: "I will make the wisdom of the wise [men] perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual men I will shove aside." Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish?

These Bible writers are warning us against *human* "wisdom" or thinking that is independent of God's input.

However, God has given us "reasoning ability" and "intellectual capacity" so we can discern truthful sayings (1Jn. 5:20). And throughout our literature Jehovah's Witnesses are counseled and trained to "be logical and convincing" in their ministry (See Logic in the WT Index).

Jehovah's Witnesses are repeatedly and constantly admonished that they cannot simply trust anyone else to tell them the Truth, but that they must study the Bible for themselves and make sure that they personally know and understand the facts. Others can only assist us to search for and gather the evidence, but we must confirm it through personal study.

From the first study with Jehovah's Witnesses a person is taught to examine the Bible on his own and compare their personal beliefs with it. Through extensive study individual Jehovah's Witnesses have come to trust the accuracy of their beliefs. Through experience they have proven that all True Christians are associated with Jehovah's Witnesses and this organization is the only one which gives solid evidence of being God's congregation (Mt.7:16-19; Jn.13:34,35).

The truth of the matter is that any individual who does not continue to seriously examine their beliefs in light of the Scriptures will not become one of Jehovah's Witnesses and if they do not continue to do so after being baptized they will not remain a Witnesses. They will go back to the war-mongering, sectarian, immoral, tickle your ears religions of Christendom (2Pt.2:22; 2Tim. 4:3,4).

Witnesses do not believe that individuals can place their *own* interpretations on the Bible, which is what Christendom does. The Bible interprets itself (2Pet.1:20, 21; 3:15-16). And any personal interpretative efforts to get the sense out of Scripture will agree with the overall teaching of the Scriptures as well as with true Christian doctrine as confirmed by the Christian Congregation as a whole (1Cor.1:10; Eph.3:10, 11; 4:11-14; Jn.6:67,68; Heb.13:17).

On the other hand Satan is the one who said: ‘Be independent of God. Do your own thinking. Decide for yourself what is right and wrong. (Gen.3:1-5).

SOURCE: The above is the chosen best answer to a question by Bar_Anerges at Yahoo Answers.


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Deluge—A View from Ancient Mesopotamia

The Deluge—A View from Ancient Mesopotamia

The ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh contained an account about a vast flood that destroyed all mankind. Many claim that this flood legend is based upon history that is much older than the Biblical account of a global flood as found at Genesis chapters 6 through 8.

Babylonian Deluge Stories

During the early part of the 19th century, the Bible’s record of a worldwide deluge survived by Noah and his family was subjected to much criticism and dismissed by many as mere legend. But due to an archaeological discovery in the spring of 1850, widespread interest in the Noachian flood was once again aroused. Diggings at Nineveh led to the discovery of a room filled with clay tablets. Archaeologists had found the clay-tablet library of Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal.

Later, as George Smith of the British Museum proceeded to decipher cuneiform texts from this collection, he encountered a series of tablets known as the Gilgamesh Epic. As he worked with one of those tablets, Smith’s heart leaped for joy. Letter by letter he made out:

“Man of Shurippak, son of Ubara-Tutu! Tear down (thy) house, build a ship! Abandon (thy) possessions, seek (to save) life! . . . [Cause to] go up into the ship the seed of all living creatures. The ship which thou shalt build, Its measurements shall be (accurately) measured . . . ”

Smith realized that he was dealing with a report of the Flood from an Assyro-Babylonian point of view.

Though that version was dated to the seventh century B.C.E., scholars realized that the source material used in its composition was much older. Today some of the more ancient accounts have been discovered. The oldest known non-Biblical Flood account is found in a Sumerian narration. Fragments of that narration on a broken clay tablet were found at Nippur in southern Mesopotamia. Some experts believe that it was written between the 21st and 18th centuries B.C.E. A passage from this Sumerian document reads: “[Give] ear to my instruction: By our . . . a flood [will sweep] over the cult-centers; To destroy the seed of mankind . . . Is the decision, the word of the assembly [of the gods].”

The Gilgamesh Epic

But let us return to the Gilgamesh Epic. Gilgamesh is thought to have been an early ruler of the town of Uruk (called Erech at Genesis 10:10). A Sumerian king list assigns him to the first dynasty of Uruk. One dictionary says of this individual: “A cycle of Sumerian mythical-epic poetry was built around Gilgamesh, handed down only fragmentarily since about 1900 B.C.E.”

The Gilgamesh Epic itself contains a number of poems combined into one work. It spans 12 clay tablets of which the 11th presents the Flood story. In summary, its contents are as follows: Gilgamesh learns that his friend Enkidu has died. Consequently, fear of death drives Gilgamesh to seek out Utnapishtim, said to be the only mortal who has attained to eternal life. Gilgamesh crosses the river of death by means of a ferryman and meets Utnapishtim, who tells him of the Flood and how he managed to survive it. In an older Babylonian Deluge story Utnapishtim bears the name Atrahasis, meaning “the exceedingly wise one.”

That information on clay tablets is truly significant. Though highly charged with fanciful details, it demonstrates that a flood of massive proportions had become stamped on the memory of mankind.

A Difference of Opinion

After experts had carefully examined the Gilgamesh Epic, opinions became divided over which Flood account was older, the Mesopotamian one mentioned in the Epic, or the one found in the Bible. Many adopted the viewpoint that the non-Biblical account was first. For example, in Gods, Graves, and Scholars, C. W. Ceram asserts that it is “impossible to question the fact that the primal version of the Biblical legend of the Deluge had been found.”

But is it correct? Does the Flood narrative of Genesis really have its origin in Sumerian or Babylonian legends? It seemed best to seek an answer to that question by making a comparison of the Bible’s Flood account with that found in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Some Similarities

The global flood occupies a prominent place in the histories of ancient nations. More than 100 separate Deluge stories from every part of the earth have been found, including the one in the Gilgamesh Epic.

In some details, that ancient Mesopotamian Flood account resembles the one in the Holy Scriptures. For instance: Both sources relate that, with the exception of just a few survivors, the entire human race suffers destruction. One person is told to build a vessel for preservation. Waters pour down from the heavens day after day. Afterward, birds are sent out of the vessel to determine whether dry land has emerged. Upon leaving the preservation vessel, survivors offer sacrifice.

Do such resemblances constitute proof that the Gilgamesh Epic or earlier Mesopotamian Deluge legends take precedence over the Biblical record? Before answering that question, it would be helpful to isolate some of the . . .

Conspicuous Differences

First, as to the cause of the Deluge. According to the Gilgamesh Epic, an assembly of gods resolved to destroy mankind by means of a flood. Though that decision was to be kept secret, the god Ea (in the Sumerian account “Enki”) warned his favorite, Utnapishtim, about it.

The older Babylonian Atrahasis Epic states that one of the gods (Enlil) felt disturbed in his sleep due to noise made by humans. He turned for help to the divine assembly of “great gods” who then sent a famine for some six years, but without bringing the desired quietness. When the gods decided to send a flood, Ea disclosed the plan to Atrahasis, who built a survival vessel according to divinely given measurement.

The Biblical Flood account is altogether different. In it is stated a truly just cause for the Flood:

“Jehovah saw that the badness of man was abundant in the earth and every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time. And the earth came to be ruined in the sight of the true God and the earth became filled with violence. So God saw the earth and, look! it was ruined, because all flesh had ruined its way on the earth. After that God said to Noah: ‘The end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth.’”—Gen. 6:5, 11-13.

As to perishing in the Flood or surviving it, the Bible relates that people died because they ‘took note’ of neither the work being done by Noah and his family on the ark for survival nor what Noah said as “a preacher of righteousness.” (Matt. 24:39; 2 Pet. 2:5) If they had heeded Noah’s warning words and example, they would have survived.

Too, in the Bible there is no command that Noah keep secret the fact that God was going to bring a global flood. However, the Mesopotamian legend indicates that the god Ea went so far as to suggest that Utnapishtim should deceive his contemporaries so as to keep them in the dark with regard to the coming catastrophe.

Important differences appear also with reference to the effect of the Flood. The Gilgamesh Epic relates that the gods became full of dismay and sought refuge in the highest heavens of the god Anu. Before entering, they “cowered like dogs,” crouched in distress and pressed to the wall. With weeping they raised voices of protest. Especially the goddess Ishtar reproached herself bitterly for originally consenting in the council of gods to mankind’s destruction.

And there are yet further differences. The Epic reports that, following the Flood, when Utnapishtim was about to offer sacrifice, “the gods crowded like flies about the sacrificer.” Ishtar, “the great goddess,” desired to exclude Enlil from the sacrifice and reproached him for having caused the calamity. The Mesopotamian account depicts Enlil as being enraged that one of the human race had survived.

This analysis of similarities and differences is very helpful in determining which account of the Flood came first.

‘Dependence Totally Unlikely’

After noting differences between Flood accounts from the Bible and ancient Babylon, P. J. Wiseman wrote in New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis: “The Bible account is simple in its ideas, and irreproachable in its teaching about God, while the Babylonian tablets are complex and polytheistic. The difference may be compared to that between the pure waters of the springs at the source of the Thames, and the contaminated waters of the docks of London. There are resemblances between a river at its source and at its termination, both are in one sense the same river; so in Genesis we find the story at its pure source, while in the Babylonian it is seen at its contaminated development.”

As for the Bible’s being dependent upon Flood accounts from ancient Babylonia, the Lexikon zur Bibel by Fritz Rienecker contains the remark: “A literary dependence of the Biblical, entirely unmythological Flood account on the Babylonian stories appears to be, however, totally unlikely in view of the differences of both texts in manner and contents.”

(According to) Bible chronology, the writer of Genesis did not need to draw upon any Babylonian legend. Because of the overlapping of life-spans, the truth about the Flood could easily have been handed down by Noah’s son Shem (who was an eyewitness) through just three human links to Moses, the writer of Genesis. It is unreasonable to think that the Hebrews, who worshiped the same God as Noah did, would not have included an event of such importance in their history.

Other Bible writers had endorsed the Genesis account. For example, Isaiah and Ezekiel called attention to Noah and the Flood. (Isa. 54:9; Ezek. 14:14, 18, 20) The apostles Peter and Paul made specific references to the Flood. (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5, 6; Heb. 11:7) And all such Bible writers, including Moses, were “inspired of God,” which gives me assurance as to the truthfulness of their accounts.—2 Tim. 3:16.

Jesus Christ, too, acknowledged that the Genesis account was the truth. When speaking of the coming destruction of the present wicked system of things, he said: “For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away,” so it would be at this system’s end.—Matt. 24:37-39.

Thus, this strengthens the conviction that the Bible’s account of the Flood is authentic, genuine. It does not rest on the shifting and exaggerated folklore of primitive peoples. - 7/8/80 Awake! "The Deluge—A View from Ancient Mesopotamia"

Also see:

GILGAMESH, EPIC OF (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Since "No Man Has Seen God at Any Time", Then How Was it That Moses Knew God "Face to Face"? (Deut. 34:10)

John 1:18 says that "No man has seen God at any time." So how was it that Moses knew God "face to face"? (Deut. 34:10)

Moses, though he never literally saw the very person of God, he had a more direct, constant, intimate relationship with God than did any prophet prior to Jesus Christ.

Because God said: “Mouth to mouth I speak to him,” this reveals that Moses had a personal audience with God (by means of angels, who have access to the very presence of God; Mt 18:10). As Israel’s mediator, he enjoyed a virtually continuous two-way conversational communication arrangement. He was able at any time to present problems of national importance and to receive God’s answer. The later prophets simply continued to build on the foundation that had been laid through Moses.

The manner in which God dealt with Moses was so impressive that it was as if Moses actually had beheld God with his own eyes, instead of merely having a mental vision or a dream in which he heard God speak, which was the usual way in which God communicated with his prophets. God’s dealings with Moses were so real that Moses reacted as if he had seen “the One who is invisible.” (Heb 11:27)

For much more, see:

Face (Insight-1 pp. 801-802; Watchtower Online Library)

A Prophet Jehovah Knew “Face to Face.” (Insight-2 pp. 434-441; Watchtower Online Library)

No Man Has Seen the Father (Search For Bible Truths)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is God's Name in the Book of Esther? Should the Book of Esther be a Part of the Hebrew Bible?

Is God's Name in the Book of Esther?

There are those who want to say that the book of Esther is neither inspired nor beneficial but is simply a beautiful legend. They base their claim on the absence of God’s name.

While it doesn't appear directly in the text, there are evidently four instances of the Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew spelling of God's name, appearing in the form of an acrostic. At Esther 1:20; 5:4, 13; and 7:7 we find four successive words starting with the Hebrew letters for YHWH (or JHVH, from which we get the English form Jehovah [JeHoVaH]). These initials are made especially prominent in at least three ancient Hebrew manuscripts and are also marked in the Masora by red letters. At Esther 7:5, there is also an acrostic for EHYH, meaning 'I shall prove to be', which is tied in to the divine name as its definition (see Exodus 3:14-15).

Should the Book of Esther be a Part of the Hebrew Bible?

Many facts establish the record as authentic and factual. It was accepted by the Jewish people, who called the book simply the Meghil‧lah′, meaning “roll; scroll.” It appears to have been included in the Hebrew canon by Ezra, who would certainly have rejected a fable. To this day, the Jews keep the feast of Purim, or Lots, in celebration of the great deliverance in Esther’s time. The book presents Persian manners and customs in a lifelike way and in harmony with the known facts of history and archaeological discoveries. For example, the book of Esther accurately describes the way Persians honored a man. (6:8) And archaeological excavations have revealed that the descriptions of the king’s palace as given in the book of Esther are exact to the smallest detail.

All the evidence points to the book of Esther as being part of the Holy Bible, "inspired of God and beneficial." (2 Tim. 3:16) Even without directly mentioning God or his name, it provides us sterling examples of faith.

More about the Book of Esther:

ESTHER, BOOK OF (Insight-1 pp. 762-764; Watchtower Online Library)

ESTHER (Book) (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gen. 2:2 - How and Why Did God Rest on “the Seventh Day"?

Gen. 2:2 - How and Why Did God Rest on “the Seventh Day"?

Because God enjoys an “abundance of dynamic energy” and “does not tire out or grow weary” (Isaiah 40:26, 28), it is clear that He did not rest because He was tired.

As the “sixth day” of creation came to a close, the account tells us: “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) God was satisfied with everything He had made. Many translations speak of God’s resting on the seventh day with expressions such as "he rested," "he desisted," "he had desisted," from further creative work with respect to the earth. As perfect and beautiful as the paradise garden then was, however, it covered only a small area, and there were just two human creatures on earth. It would take time for the earth and the human family to reach the state that God purposed. For this reason, He appointed a “seventh day” that would allow all that he had created in the preceding six ‘days’ to develop in harmony with his sacred will. (Compare Ephesians 1:11.)

So God rested (or desisted) from His creative work on “the seventh day.” It is as though He stepped back and allowed what He set in motion to run its course. He has full confidence that by the end of “the seventh day,” everything will have turned out exactly as He has purposed. Even if there have been obstacles, they will have been overcome.

Also see:

Day - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Does the Bible Show That the Creative Days Were Longer Than 24 Hours Each?

Young Earth Creationists believe that the word “day” in the Bible’s creation account refers to a literal twenty-four hour period. But, this belief is without exegetical evidence and ignores the facts from Scripture.

First, they ignore that while the Hebrew word YOHM can refer to a literal day, it can also be used to refer to a time period. Lexicons show that the word ‘day’ can be used for “time,” “time of light,” “a division of time,” “lifetime,” even “year.”

As “A Religious Encyclopaedia” (vol. I, p. 613) observes: “The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each.”—Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.

1.) First, a 24-hour day reference would be impossible for the first three days. This is because, while the sun and moon were evidently created before this, the fourth day was the first that the sun and moon were “placed” so as to cause a “division between the day and the signs for...days and years” (1:14). The 24 hour day is dependent on the sun’s relationship with the Earth. Only on the fourth day was the sun “established” (‘ASA) (1:16) or “set” (NATAN) (1:17) so as to cause this division.

2.) Next, if we exclude the 9 references to the seven creative days, out of the remaining seven references to “day” in the first two chapters of Genesis only one of them can refer to a 24 hour period (1:14b). In 1:5,14a,16 and 18, only the period of “light” is called “Day” (cf. Jn.11:10).

3.) The seventeenth and eighteenth occurrences of the word makes it clear that “day” cannot be taken literally (2:17; 3:5). Jehovah said that “in the day you eat from it you will positively die”. Adam did not die within 24 hours but lived on for hundreds of years. Obviously the word “day” means a period of time here.

4.) The description of the events during each ‘day’ would logically require far more than 24 hours (1:11-12; 1:20-25; 2:5- 9). Those who adamantly insist on a literal interpretation for ‘day’ inconsistently claim that the “planting” “growing,” “watering” and etc. are not to be taken literally, but rather miraculously occurred instantaneously. God noted that it was not good for Adam to continue by himself. If the sixth “day” was only 24 hours long why would there be a concern for Adam becoming lonely? The context indicates that for a lengthy time Adam developed a longing as he saw that there was no complement for him (2:18-20). His exclamation indicated Adam had anticipated Eve for some time: “This is at last...” (2:23).

All these activities do not seem to be describing the last part of a literal 24 hour day!

5.) Further, Gen 2:4 uses the Hebrew word TOLEDAH which means “history” (generations) to describe the whole period of creating the heavens and earth. TOLEDAH never means a short period. This whole history or time period in its entirety is then called a “day” (YOHM). This use of the word “day” to refer to all six creative days and also the prior creation of “heaven and earth” conclusively demonstrates that the word day denotes a period of time, not just a 24 hour period.

[6].) Next we have the implications of Ps. 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8. These two Scriptures do not tell us how long a creative “day” was, but they do tell us that God’s “days” cannot be measured by human standards and thus limited to 24 hours!

[7].) Last, but not least, is the obvious continuance of the seventh “day.” Every day but the seventh was ended with the refrain “There was an evening and morning a xx day.” This omission could only lead to the conclusion that the seventh day did not end back then. Further confirming this, we have the verbal statements in 2:2 & 3, correctly rendered by the NWT as, “he proceeded to rest” and “he has been resting.”

The above examination of Scripture makes it clear that we cannot force God’s creative “day” into a 24 hour period. This would be like saying that God must have hands like ours because this is what most other uses of the word “hand” means! The word “day” is obviously used anthropomorphically (or poetically) in the first chapter of Genesis! The meaning of “day” is simply “a measured length of time.” Only the context can tell us how the writer used this term, whether in reference to “daylight,” “24hrs,” a “lifetime,” or some “time period."

(Source: This is the chosen best answer given by Bar_Anerges to this question.)

Please also see:

How Long Were the Creative Days? (lc pp. 24-28; Science and the Genesis Account; Watchtower Online Library)

ARE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CREATIONISTS? ("Are Jehovah's Witnesses Creationists?"; g 9/06 p. 3; Watchtower Online Library)

Day - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rom. 9:6 - "For Not All Who [Spring] From Israel Are Really 'Israel.'”

God's Word itself clearly teaches that Israel was a typical representation and what was said of Israel now directly applies to the True Christian congregation.

Peter applies what was said of Israel to Christians (Ex. 19:5-6 / 1 Pet. 2:9-10). Paul shows that what was said of Israel now applies to an "Israel" which has nothing to do with whether one is a natural Jew or not (Gal. 3:26-29; 6:16; Mt. 3:9; 21:42-43). Replacing natural Israel as God's nation, it becomes a new "Israel" that is "really 'Israel'" (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-9).

It is clear that "Although the number of the sons of Israel may be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved" (Rom. 9:27).

So "only a remnant" of natural Israel will be saved and NOT Israel as a nation. Jews would have to become Christian and accept Christ. John's vision of those on the heavenly Mount Zion revealed the spiritual Israel of God to be 144,000 "bought from among mankind" not "from among the Jews" (Rev. 7:4; 14:1,4; 5:9,10; Jas. 1:1).

Paul said that natural "Israel" is not "really Israel" (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-9).

Rom. 11:1,2 says: "God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew" but, the context makes it clear that salvation would not be given to Israel as a "nation" but only to a "remnant," and only to the "ones chosen" as contrasted with "the rest" who were blinded. Paul only held out a hope to "save some from among them" (Rom. 11:5-14).

(Jehovah's) Witnesses know that the primary fulfillment of the N(ew) T(estament) statements are directed at spiritual Israel and the Gentile nations.

Speaking to the Jewish religious leaders; Jesus said: "This is why I say to YOU, The kingdom of God will be taken from YOU and be given to a nation producing its fruits (Matt. 21:42-43). Replacing natural Israel as God's nation, it becomes a new "Israel" that is "really 'Israel'" (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-9).

John's vision of those standing on the heavenly Mount Zion with the Lamb revealed the number of this spiritual Israel of God to be 144,000 "bought from among mankind" not "from among the Jews (Rev. 7:4; 14:1, 4; 5:9,10; James 1:1).

As God's covenant people, these natural Jews had the first opportunity to be part of the New Covenant to rule as kings in heaven (Acts 3:25,26; Rom. 1:16; Heb. 8:7-13). However, as a nation, Israel failed to fill up that number (John 1:10-13; Acts 13:46; Rom. 9:27; 11:7-10). Later, so that the "full number of those sealed" would be completed the invitation was extended to non-Jews (Isa. 55:5; Acts 10:44-45; 15:14; Rom. 11:25; 15:14; Eph. 2:11-13; 3:1-6; Rev. 5:9-10; 7:4). Jews could only get another chance by becoming Christian and accepting Christ. John's vision of those standing on the heavenly Mount Zion with the Lamb revealed the number of this spiritual Israel of God to be 144,000 "bought from among mankind" not "from among the Jews (Rev. 7:4; 14:1, 4; 5:9,10; James 1:1).

The restoration prophecies of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah are in line with the prophecies of Christ regarding the complete restoration of True Worship that would come at the "time of the end" (Acts 3:20- 21; 20:29-30; Luke 19:11,12; Mt. 25:21-30; 2 Thess. 2:3-12; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1-3).

At "the conclusion of the system of things...the righteous ones would then shine as brightly as the sun" (Mt. 13:24-30, 36-43; 24:45-47; Dan. 12:1,3,4,10).

By their biblical beliefs and Christlike actions, Jehovah's Witnesses prove that they are fulfilling the restoration prophecy of Ezekiel regarding faithful spiritual Israel. This is the testimony of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-22).

(Source: This is the answer given by Bar_Anerges to this question.)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Isaiah 44:24 - What is meant when God said, "I ALONE stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth"? (GNT)

The Bible clearly shows that the Father alone is the source of all creation. And His first creation (the only direct creation by Him), His only-begotten son, is the channel through whom He caused all the rest of creation to be. "His son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through [dia] whom he made the world." - Heb. 1:2. "All things came into being through [dia] him.... The world was made through [dia] him" - John 1:3,10.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth." - Col. 1:14-16

So what is meant when God said, "I alone stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth"? - Isaiah 44:24 (GNT)

This following is the answer given by Bar_Anerges to this question.)

There is no contradiction between Isaiah saying Jehovah alone was the Creator and Colossians saying Jesus was the agent for the Creator. In Isaiah 44:24 Jehovah is spoken of in an active sense—the Creator. But in Colossians, and everywhere else, Christ is only the passive agent of the only Creator. God is the *only one* who creates, but he uses his son as a “master worker.”

The context of Isaiah is not addressing the issue of whether Jehovah used someone else in creation or not. The context was a comparison between the true Creator and false Gods. BDB lexicon on page 94 gives one definition of the Hebrew BAD (alone) as that of “acting independently.” In this sense Jehovah needed no assistance from the false Gods in the context to create. But Christ’s activity in creation is never described as acting independently.

Jehovah many times says he does something “alone” and yet we find that he used humans and angels to actually do the work.

BDB lexicon lists the use of BAD in Isa.63:3 where Jehovah indicates that he “alone” acted when He exacted retribution upon Edom. But, it was not Jehovah who personally punished these people but He used men as agents. So, is there a contradiction here? Or does it just mean that Jehovah as the SOURCE of retribution?!!

De.32:12 says: “Jehovah alone (BADAD) kept leading him.” Was Jehovah the “only one” leading Israel? Ex.32:32-34 says that Jehovah used Moses and an angel to lead Israel! (cf. 1Sam.9:16; 13:13-14; 2Sam;5:1-2). Again, there is no contradiction here. Jehovah used his representatives to lead his people, but He “alone” was the SOURCE of direction!

At Ezek 36:33, 36 Jehovah says “I myself” will build the cities of Israel after the exile. Did He personally rebuild them or did His people do the work at His direction?

All these acts were done by Jehovah’s permission and authority alone, but it was others who carried them out.

Daniel 4:30 says the king built Babylon himself. Did King Nebuchadnezzar literally build Babylon by himself? No! But rather he was credited as it’s ORIGINATOR. It was built by his authority and no other’s.

So, the use of the term, “alone” and “by myself” do not necessarily mean that Jehovah did not use some representative to actually perform the action.

The context of Isaiah is on Jehovah being the “author” or “originator” of the creation, in contrast with the false idol gods the nation of Israel were getting involved with. Jehovah is the true source of all life and all things. He alone deserves the honor and worship of his creation, and not the false idol gods.

Logically, semantically, and contextually there is no reason that Jehovah cannot be said to be the “Sole Creator,” and yet still have delegated the actual work to an intermediary or representative. Since Jehovah was the Source of the power, and the sole designer, he indeed could say “I alone have created all things,” even though the Bible does clearly teach that he created the heavens and the earth THROUGH his *Son* and “master worker” in heaven! (Jn. 1:3; Col.1:15- 16;1Cor.8:6; Heb.1:2; Pro. 8:30).

Jehovah is alone the source of all things, the one alone from which the stretching out the heavens and the laying of the foundations of the earth comes. No other has such an authority or ability within himself, including Jesus. Nevertheless, God did grant Jesus the power and authority perform these tasks.

So, there is absolutely no dilemma concerning these two statements. In his role as the Creator, and sole author of the creation, Jehovah indeed *alone* created the systems of things, through the agency of Jesus, his “master worker.” (Proverbs 8:30) Here we see that Jesus calls the earth “his,” or Jehovah’s, and not “mine.”

Whether the word “other” is added to Col. 1 makes absolutely no difference. The fact is that EVERY verse mentioning Jesus’ role in creation actually proves that he is NOT the Creator. The Bible always makes it clear that God created “THROUGH” (DIA) Christ, and it is never said that Christ created!! The Greek text *always* presents Jesus as the intermediate *agent* or “masterworker” who worked under God’s direction (Col.1:16; Heb.1:2; Jn.1:3; Pro.8:30). Correct translations make this clear: NKJV, NASB, ASV, WEB, NAB, NJB, NIV, NRSV.

Jesus always clearly states that he “can do nothing of myself” and “is not able to do anything from himself” (Jn 5:19,30; 6:38). Jesus must always be *given* power or authority! (Mt.28:18; 11:27; Jn.5:22,25,26; 17:2; 3:35; 2Pt.1:17). Jesus says the Father had to *grant* him the power to give life (Jn.5:26). The Son does not naturally possess the ability to give life as the creator does.


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Does Daniel 10:13 Prove That Michael the Archangel is Not Jesus Christ?

Many point to Daniel 10:13 as evidence against Michael being Jesus.

Daniel 10:13 – Michael is one of the chief princes.

Daniel 12:1 – Michael is the great prince.

Some say that if Michael is one of the chief princes, then he can't be the Son of God. That doesn't follow. People seem to misunderstand the biblical word for "prince." It doesn't mean "prince" in the modern English sense. It means, according to the BDB Hebrew lexicon: "chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince." Even God is said to be a prince in Daniel 8:25.

So Daniel 10:13 is saying Michael is "one of the chief rulers." This would be like saying that the President of the United States is "one of the chief rulers." The President is still a unique position, and it is the highest ranking position, but there would be others in various offices that would be counted as "one of the rulers" of the US. Daniel 12:1 says Michael is "the great ruler." The Bible doesn't say that there is only one ruler, and that that ruler is God. No, it speaks of many rulers, or princes. God is a ruler. Michael is a ruler. Jesus is a ruler. The Jewish religious leaders were rulers. The Jewish kings were rulers. All Daniel 10:13 is saying is that Michael is "one" of the rulers, without specifying his exact rank among all the rulers. Logically, Michael/Jesus can hold the unique position of "archangel," be above the angels, and still be called "one of the chief rulers." To say that this somehow prevents Michael from being Jesus is to not understand reason.

Interestingly, the Greek Septuagint has "o angelos o megas" - the Great Angel - at Daniel 12:1. Theodotian's Greek Daniel - which some used to replace the original Septuagint version of Daniel because it was thought to be more accurate - has "o arkhon o megas" - the Great Ruler. Both versions have "ton arkhonton ton proton" - "one of the first rulers" - for Daniel 10:13.

(Source: This is the answer given by Abernathy to this question.)

For more concerning "Archangel", see:

Archangel - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Jehovah" in The New Testament - Links to information

Click on any of the following links to view:

Should the Name Jehovah Appear in the New Testament? (w08 8/1 pp. 18-23; Watchtower Online Library)

God's Name and the New Testament (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures Heb., יהוה (YHWH) (Watchtower Online Library)

"Jehovah" in The New Testament (Search For Bible Truths)

Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained (Search For Bible Truths)

NWT - Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions? - "Jehovah" in the New Testament (Defending the NWT)

On the Form of the Divine Name "Jehovah" (In Defense of the NWT)

Should God's name “Jehovah" appear in the New Testament? (Search For Bible Truths)

YHWH in the New Testament (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

"Jehovah" 50 or 237 places in the New Testament? (Examining Countess' list) (Defending the NWT)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

How Do Jehovah's Witnesses View Ouija Boards?

Most Ouija believers feel that the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija's action. However, it may be parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychophysiological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect.

But even though the scientific community has repeatedly debunked the Ouija board, it should be noted that the Bible plainly shows that demons do exist and even though today they are evidently restrained from materializing, they still have great power and influence over the minds and lives of people, even having the ability to enter into and possess humans and animals. The Bible also shows that they use inanimate things such as houses and charms. (Mt. 12:43-45) This can, of course include Ouija boards.
So is there any harm in using using Ouija boards? True Christians would look to see what the Bible may indicate on the matter. 1 Cor. 10:21 plainly states:

"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons." RSV

God commanded his ancient people, the Israelites, to avoid all occult practices. "Everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah," warns Deuteronomy 18:10-12. Christians were likewise warned that "those practicing spiritism" would meet destruction at God's hand. (Revelation 21:8)

So all who truly love God will stay away from books, movies, computer games and everything that is rooted in the occult or that promote occult practices and beliefs.

Even if one may dismiss the idea that demons are the source behind Ouija boards, the general association is that the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija's action. So even though consciences vary in sensitivity, depending on one’s religious background and spiritual maturity, the important thing is that one maintains a clean conscience before God and does not offend the consciences of others, including family members. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God,” says Romans 14:10, 12.

Also see:

Who Is Really Behind the Occult? (g 2/11 pp. 4-6; Watchtower Online Library)

Dabbling in the Occult—What's the Harm? (g02 1/22 pp. 25-27; Watchtower Online Library)

Spiritism - Links to Information (Search For Bible Truths)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

1 Timothy 2:5 - How Can Jesus Possibly Be God Himself When Scripture says that Jesus is Mediator Between Man and God?

Those who believe that Jesus is God should consider 1 Timothy 2:5 where it says that Jesus is the “one mediator between God and men”.

Since by definition a mediator is someone separate from those who need mediation, it would be a contradiction for Jesus to be one entity with either of the parties he is trying to reconcile. That would be a pretending to be something he is not. So since 1 Timothy 2:5 explicitly states that Jesus is a "mediator" between God and men, this separates Jesus from the entity God and places him between the Deity and us, not equal with God.

As Bar_Anerges so eloquently put it:

"Those who are indoctrinated in the Trinitarian "word magic" will mentally redefine the word "God" in these cases to mean "the Father" or just one of the "persons" instead of the collective Godhead. This is because while the Trinity can separate the Father from Christ it cannot have Christ separated from "GOD." But if Christ were equal to, and the same as Almighty God, he could NEVER be distinguished from *"God"* in any sense." (Entire answer from Bar_Anerges can be found here.)

The Bible is clear and consistent about the relationship of God to Jesus. Jehovah God alone is Almighty. He created the prehuman Jesus directly. (John 1:18; Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15) Therefore, Jesus had a beginning and could never be coequal with God in power or eternity. (Micah 5:2; 1 Cor. 11:3)

Also see:
“The Mediator of a New Covenant” (Examination of 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 in the w08 12/15 found at the Watchtower Online Library.)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who is the "TRUE God"? If ANYONE Else is Called 'a god' in Scripture, Are They Always a False god?

Who is the "True God"?

John 4:24 tells us we must worship God in truth (aletheia in the Greek text). There can be no doubt what "truth" means here. It can be properly contrasted here with "falsity." If we are not worshiping God correctly (in truth), then we are worshiping him falsely. There are only two choices here. This is confirmed by John 17:3 and 2 Thess. 1:8, 9 where we are told that it means eternal life to us to know the true God and Jesus Christ, and, conversely, it means eternal destruction to not know God and obey Jesus. Obviously, if we "know" God and Christ falsely, we cannot worship them in truth. We must know them accurately!

But what about the word "true" [alethinos (contrasted with aletheia, 'truth')] in NT Greek? If something is true, does that mean all other things in that same category are necessarily false? Some trinitarians insist that this is so when the term "the true God" is used in Scripture. In other words they are insisting that if he is the true God, anyone else called 'a god' would necessarily be a false god! (And, therefore, Jesus cannot be called "a god" in scripture as JWs have translated.)

Well, alethinos "is unquestionably used sometimes in the Gospel and First Epistle [of John] to signify that a thing truly corresponds to the idea of the name given to it" - p. 819, Vol. 4, A Dictionary of the Bible, Hastings, Hendrickson Publishers, 1988 printing.

And respected NT Greek expert W. E. Vine tells us that alethinos

"denotes true in the sense of real, ideal, genuine; it is used (a) of God, John 7:28 ...; 17:3; I Thess. 1:9;...." - p. 1170, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Nelson Publ., 1983 printing.

Therefore, if we should see, for example, someone being called the 'true prophet,' that should mean that the person so described is truly a prophet. In either case this certainly does not have to mean that all other prophets must be false! Even if it was said that this one was the "only true Prophet," we would probably consider him the only prophet in the highest sense of the word, but that still would not make all other prophets of God false prophets!

Or, since the Proverb quoted at 2 Peter 2:22 is "the true (alethous) Proverb," does that really mean that all other Proverbs must be false?

And at Heb. 8:2 we see Jesus as "a minister in the sanctuary [in heaven], and in the true (alethinos - Young's; Vine) tabernacle" - NASB. Here again, although the heavenly "tabernacle" is the "true tabernacle," that does not mean that the earthly tabernacle was a false tabernacle. As W. E. Vine puts it when discussing Heb. 8:2,

"not that the wilderness Tabernacle was false, but that it was a weak and earthly copy of the Heavenly [cf. Heb. 9:24]." - p. 1171, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984.

Therefore, the heavenly tabernacle was the only true Tabernacle. There could be other, earthly, tabernacles which were still not false tabernacles. Or as Heb. 9:24 puts it:

"For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands [the earthly tabernacle], a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself" - NASB.

No, just because the heavenly tabernacle is the true one, does not make holy tabernacles on earth false tabernacles. They were merely tabernacles in a lesser sense of the word - "in the image of" the only true Tabernacle (in heaven)!

“Christ proclaims Himself [‘the bread the true’ - 'the true bread'] (John vi. 32), not suggesting thereby that the bread which Moses gave was not also ‘bread of heaven’ (Ps. cv. 40), but only that it was such in a secondary inferior degree; it was not food in the highest sense, inasmuch as it did not nourish up unto eternal life those that ate it (John vi. 49). He is [‘the vine the true’ - 'the true vine'] (John xv. I), not thereby denying that Israel also was God's vine (Ps. lxxx. 8; Jer. 21), but affirming that none except Himself realized this name, and all which this name implied, to the full (Hos. x. I; Deut. xxxii. 32)” - p. 29, Trench’s Synonyms of the New Testament.  [Thanks to 'Reality.']

Perhaps the best illustration of this would be the use of the term "Christ" (or 'Messiah' in Hebrew) ["christos, christou, christw, and christon in the original Greek]. As far as Christians are concerned there is only one "true Christ," our Savior, Jesus! We know that the Bible has also warned us about "false christs."

However, less well-known is the fact that God himself appointed King Saul (1 Sam. 24:7, christos) and King David (2 Sam. 23:1, christon), among many others, as His christ. "Christ" (or "Messiah" in Hebrew) simply means "anointed" or "anointed one," and those who properly bear that title are those who have been chosen by God for a special assignment. This included the high priests, prophets, and righteous kings of Israel. They all had the title "Christ" or "Christ of God" in the ancient Greek of the Septuagint Bible. Why, even the foreign king, Cyrus, was called the christ (christw) of God (Is. 45:1, Septuagint) because God chose him for a special assignment!

So, even though we would say that Jesus is the only true Christ and that there have been many false Christs who have arisen, it still would not be proper to insist that any person other than Jesus who is called "christ" or "a christ" must be a false christ! We would then be saying that King David, Moses, and innumerable others chosen by God to do his will were false christs!

What we are saying, then, is that Jesus is the only true Christ in that he is the only person who is God's anointed in the highest sense of the word! And all others called "christ" are either false christs or faithful servants of God in a lesser sense of the word (as compared to Jesus himself)!

So, for God to say that he is the true (alethinos) God does not demand that all others called 'god' or 'gods' are false gods as a few trinitarian apologists imply. The inspired scriptures when speaking of faithful angels, prophets, God-appointed judges, kings, and magistrates clearly calls them "gods" on occasion (see the BOWGOD and DEF studies). These are called "gods" in the sense of faithful servants of God, representing the true God.[1]

Of course "God" [theos] (the "Most High God" - Luke 8:28; Ps. 82:6; Luke 6:35[2] - and the "God of gods" - Deut. 10:17; Ps. 136:2) was distinguished from "a god" [theos] by the use of the definite article ("the") in the original languages - see the DEF and THEOS studies. (Also remember that capital letters were not used to distinguish things in the original manuscripts of the Bible as they are in modern English Bibles: God, Christ, etc.)

But let's examine the scriptural uses of the "true God" more closely.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible shows only 5 places where this is used in the entire Bible: (1) 2 Chron. 15:3; (2) Jer. 10:10; (3) 1 Thess. 1:9; (4) 1 John 5:20; and (5) John 17:3. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jehovah the God of the Bible is one person only (as his singular, masculine, personal name, "Jehovah" clearly shows): the Father in heaven. So does the term "the only true God" ever refer to the Son or the Holy Spirit or a 'multiple-person' God? Or do the JW's teach the truth about the knowledge of God that means our very eternal lives (Jn 17:3; 2 Thess. 1:8, 9)?

Here, then are all the uses of "the true God" to be found in the entire Holy Scriptures (according to Strong's; Young's; and the New American Standard Concordances):

(1) ---2 Chron. 15:3, 4 says:
"Now for a long season Israel was without the true (alethinos - Sept.) God, and without a teaching priest, and without law: but when in their distress they turned unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them." - American Standard Version (ASV).

(2) ---Jeremiah 10:10 says:
"But Jehovah is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting king..." - ASV. (This passage is not in the Septuagint.)

These two scriptures (the only two in the OT to use 'the true God' according to Young's; the New American Standard; and Strong's concordances) clearly identify the true God as Jehovah. And the only person to be identified as Jehovah in the entire OT is the Father alone! (Is. 63:16; 64:8, ASV; Deut. 32:6, ASV; Ps. 2:7 and 89:26, 27 {compare Heb. 1:5}.)

And, in fact, it is also clearly shown that the Messiah is not Jehovah! (Psalm 110:1, ASV {compare Acts 2:33-36 and Eph. 1:17, 20}; Micah 5:4, ASV; Psalm 2:1, 2, ASV {compare Acts 4:25-27}; Psalm 2:7, ASV {compare Acts 13:33; Heb. 5:5}; Is. 53:6, 10, ASV {most Christian churches recognize that all of Is. 53 refers to the Messiah}.)

But what about the New Testament? Is "the true [real] God" ever clearly identified here (in contradiction to the OT) as the Son? As the Holy Spirit? As a "multiple-person" God?

(3) ---1 Thess. 1:9, 10 -
"They tell how you [the Thessalonian congregation] turned to God from idols to serve the living and true [alethinos] God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus..." - NIV.

Well, here again the true God is clearly the Father alone as context demands (and who has been identified as Jehovah alone above). And the Son, Jesus, is clearly differentiated from that 'true God"!

So what about the only two remaining references in the NT: 1 John 5:20 and John 17:3?

The only hope for the trinitarian argument that the "true God is Jesus" is found at 1 John 5:20.

(4) ---1 Jn 5:20 -
"We are in him that is true [alethinos], even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This [outos] is the true [alethinos] God, and eternal life." - KJV.

Some trinitarians actually insist that the word "this" (outos) here refers to Jesus. In other words, "[Jesus Christ] is the true God and eternal life." For example, Robert M. Bowman in his Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John states that at 1 Jn 5:20 Jesus is called 'the true God and eternal life' "indisputably identifying Christ as the Almighty God of the Old Testament." - p. 41, Baker Book House, 1991 printing. I understand why some trinitarians are so desperate in their search for non-existent scriptural "evidence" that they have to make it up, but this is incredibly poor!

It is obvious that grammatically the word "this" (outos) could be referring to either the Father or Jesus in this particular scripture (see the footnote for 1 John 5:20 in the very trinitarian NIV Study Bible). But the fact that the true God (or "the true One") has just been identified as the Father of Jesus (1 Jn 5:20, TEV and GNB; and the footnote in the NIV Study Bible[3]) makes it highly probable that "this is the true God" refers to the Father, not Jesus. The highly trinitarian NT scholar Murray J. Harris sums up his 13-page analysis of this scripture as follows:

"Although it is certainly possible that outos refers back to Jesus Christ, several converging lines of evidence point to 'the true one,' God the Father, as the probable antecedent. This position, outos = God [Father], is held by many commentators, authors of general studies, and significantly, by those grammarians who express an opinion on the matter."[4] - p. 253, Jesus as God, Baker Book House, 1992.

Notice how this trinitarian scholar actually admits that the probability is that the Father (not Jesus) is being called the true God here. He even tells us (and cites examples in his footnotes) that New Testament grammarians and commentators (most of them trinitarian, of course) agree!

So this single "proof" that the "true God" is a title for anyone other than the Father alone is not proof at all. The grammar alone merely makes it a possibility. The immediate context makes it highly improbable since (as in all other uses of the term) the true God (or the true one) was just identified as the Father ("We are in the one who is true as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and this is eternal life." - NJB; and "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God - in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life." - TEV "And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life." - New Living Translation).

So the immediate context alone makes it probable that the true God is the Father in this scripture also. As we have seen, if we include the context of all the uses of the 'true God,' it is certain that He is the Father alone (whose personal name is Jehovah - Ps. 83:18, Ex. 3:15).

To clinch John's intended meaning at 1 John 5:20, let's look at his only other use of the term: John 17:1, 3, where, again (as in 1 Jn 5:20), he mentions Father, Son, and eternal life.

(5) ---At John 17:1, 3 Jesus prays to the Father:

"Father, .... this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." - New International Version (NIV).

Here the Father alone is not only very clearly identified as the only true [alethinos] God, but Jesus Christ is again pointedly and specifically excluded from that identification ("AND Jesus Christ whom you [the only true God] have sent")!

Notice how this popular trinitarian Bible has rendered John 17:1, 3 - "Father,....This is eternal life: to know thee who alone art truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." - New English Bible (NEB).

So, the title "the true God" does not have to mean that there are no others who may be called "gods" or "a god" in a subordinate but righteous sense. It is, however, an exclusive title for God, the Most High, only true God, Jehovah. And clearly it refers exclusively to the Father! No one else is the God or the True God! (Compare Ps. 86:10; 2 Kings 19:19; Is. 37:16.)

Therefore, the argument by certain trinitarian "guides" that the term 'true God' must mean that all others called 'gods' in the Scriptures are false gods is clearly false itself. Those who use it have not examined it with anything that could be called proper scholarship. They are either terribly misinformed (the fault of their spiritual "guides") or, in the case of the trinitarian authors, lecturers, and ministers who are aware of methods of proper research, Bible language grammar, etc., terribly dishonest ("deliberately-blind guides")! How does this fit with the command that we must worship God in truth (aletheia)- Jn 4:24? Or the warning that when the knowingly blind (false religious leaders) lead the blind (the ones following those leaders with blind faith) both will fall into the pit? Shouldn't we ALL carefully and diligently examine all sides of any essential, life-saving Bible teaching?


Some of the many trinitarian sources which admit that the Bible actually describes men who represent God (judges, Israelite kings, etc.) and God's angels as gods include:

1. Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible, "Hints and Helps...," Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;

2. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew and Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;

3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133, Tyndale House Publ., 1984;

4. Today's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208, Bethany House Publ., 1982;

5. Hastings' A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;

6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;

7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;

8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; and p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;

9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; and Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;

10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7, 1970 ed.;

11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;

12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;

13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, Baker Book House, 1992;

14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press, 1975;

15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6);

16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);

17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown
(John 10:34-36);

18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);

19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).

20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.

21. The Expositor's Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.

22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.

23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.

24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.

(also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV; David Guzik -; Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John.)

And, of course the highly respected and highly popular Jewish writer, Philo, had the same understanding for "God"/"a god" about the same time the NT was written.

And many of the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen (and others including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus; the writer of "The Epistle to Diognetus" - Staniforth, p. 181; and even super-trinitarians Athanasius and St. Augustine) also had this understanding for "a god." And, as we saw above, many highly respected NT scholars of this century agree. (For example, Ernst Haenchen tells us in his commentary on the Gospel of John:

"It was quite possible in Jewish and Christian monotheism to speak of divine beings that existed alongside and under God but were not identical with him. Phil 2:6-10 proves that. In that passage Paul depicts just such a divine being, who later became man in Jesus Christ". - John 1, translated by R. W. Funk, 1984, pp. 109, 110, Fortress Press.)

"I say, 'You [human judges representing God] are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you'" - Ps. 82:6, RSV. Footnotes in NIVSB for Ps. 82:1, 6 say: "In the language of the OT ... rulers, and judges, as deputies [representatives] of the heavenly King, could be given the honorific title 'god' ... or be called 'son of God'...." God Himself (as Jesus noted in Jn 10:34) said these representatives of Him were gods!

"Jesus, Son of the Most High God" - Lk 8:28, RSV.

"you [Jesus' disciples] will be sons of the Most High" - Luke 6:35, RSV.

Just these three scriptures alone show who the "only true God" and "most high God" is and that other persons may be called "a god" and "son of God" or "son of the most high" in a subordinate but still proper (not "false") sense.

"5:20 him who is true. God the Father." And next, the same footnote admits: "He is the true God. [This] Could refer to EITHER God the Father OR God the Son." [Emphasis added - as usual]

4.Commentators who Professor Harris says support Jesus not being called "true God":
Huther, Alford, Haupt, Westcott, Holtzmann, Law, Brooke, Dodd, Preisker, Stott, Smalley, Grayston.

Authors of general studies who Dr. Harris says support Jesus not being called "true God": Findlay, Harnack, Dupont, W.F. Howeard, Wainwright, Taylor, Segond

Grammarians who Professor Harris says support Jesus not being called "true God":
Winer, Buttman, Schmiedel, A.T. Robertson, N. Turner, Zerwick, Grosvenor, see also BADG 37a, 340c


" is more likely that the word 'this' has a wider and vaguer reference. The writer is gathering together in his mind all that he has been saying about God- how He is light and love, how He is revealed as the Father through his Son Jesus Christ, and 'this', he adds, 'is the real God' ... For illustration of this we need only recall John 17:3." C. H. Dodd, Moffatt New Testament Commentary.

"[1 John] 5.20-21. Knowing the true God;... The Greek of 5:20 has only the true (one) and reads literally: we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding 'so that we know the true(one) and we are in the true (one)', in his Son Jesus Christ. 'This (one) is the true God and eternal life.' It is clear from this that 'the true (one)' is God throughout. Christ is his Son. In the final sentence this (one) most naturally refers still to God, not to Christ, as some have suggested. It is not unknown for Christ to be given God's name(Phil. 2:9-11) or even to be called 'God' (Heb. 1:8-9; John 1:1), but that would run contrary to the theme here, which is contrasting true and false understandings of God for which Christ's revelation is the criterion. 5:20 reminds us of Jesus' prayer according to John 17:3: 'This is eternal life: to know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent...."- William Loader, The Johannine Epistles, Epworth Commentaries, 1992, p.79.(This commentary uses the Revised English Bible (1989) for it's quotations.)

"The final sentence of verse 20 runs: This is the true God, and eternal life. To whom does this refer? Grammatically speaking, it would normally refer to the nearest preceding subject, namely his Son Jesus Christ. If so, this would be the most unequivocal statement of the deity of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, which the champions of orthodoxy were quick to exploit against the heresy of Arius. Luther and Calvin adopted this view. Certainly it is by no means an impossible interpretation. Nevertheless, 'the most natural reference'(Westcott) is to him that is true. In this way the three references to 'the true' are to the same Person, the Father, and the additional points made in the apparent final repetition are that this is this One, namely the God made known by Jesus Christ, who is the true God, and that, besides this, He is eternal life...."-The Epistles of John, An Introduction and Commentary by The Rev. J. R.W. Stott, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Tyndale Press, London, 1st edition, July 1964, p.195, 196.

"Him that is true (ton alethinon). That is, God. Cf. 1:8. In him that is true (en to alethino). In God in contrast with the world 'in the evil one' (verse 19). See John 17:3. Even in his Son Jesus Christ (en to huio autou Iesou Christo). The autou refers clearly to en to alethino (God). Hence this clause is not in apposition with the preceding, but an explanation as to how we are 'in the True One' by being 'in his Son Jesus Christ.' This (houtos). Grammatically houtos [or outos] may refer to Jesus Christ or to 'the True One.' It is a bit tautological to refer it to God, but that is probably correct, God in Christ, at any rate. God is eternal life (John 5:26) and he gives it to us through Christ."-Robertson, A.T., p. 245, Vol. 6, Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament.

"As far as the grammatical construction of the sentence is concerned the pronoun [houtos, 'this one'] may refer to 'Him that is true' or to 'Jesus Christ'. The most natural reference however is to the subject not locally nearest but dominant in the mind of the apostle. (compare 1 John 2:22; 2 John 7; Acts 4:11; 7:19) This is obviously 'He that is true', further described by the addition of 'His Son.' Thus the pronoun gathers up the revelation indicated in the words which proceed."-Brooke Foss Westcott, The Epistles of St. John: The Greek Text with Notes and Essays, London, Macmillan and Co, 1883, p. 187.

"The KJV by adding here the word 'even,' implies that him that is true now refers to Christ...But the natural sense of the passage and the charecteristic thought of the epistle and the Gospels preclude this interpretation. It is through Christ that we are in God. This God so known is the true God. The thought centers in God from Vs. 18 on, and the contrast with the idols in the last verse confirms it."-The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. XII, p. 301.

"houtos ["this one"] in the Gospel and Epistles is not used merely to avoid the repetition of a name. It seems often to refer to the previous subject as previously described. Here (verses 18-20) God has been described as truly made known in Jesus Christ. The God who completely fulfills the highest conception of the Godhead is the God who has been revealed in Jesus Christ as contrasted with all false conceptions of God, against which the readers are warned in the next verse...Holtzman aptly quotes 2 John 7 as proof that in the Johannine writings houtos ["this one"] may refer to the subject of the preceeding sentence rather than to the name which has immediately preceded."- A. E. Brooke, The International Crititcal Commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epsistles, p 152-153.

Also see:

If the Father is the "only true God" (John 17:3), does that mean that Jesus is a false god? (Search For Bible Truths)

God and gods (Examining the Trinity)

DEFinite John 1:1c (Examining the Trinity)

Who Is “the Only True God”? (g05 4/22 pp. 5-7; Watchtower Online Library)


            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX