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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Does the Governing Body Really Claim a “Right to Rule” Over Jehovah's Witnesses as Some Opposers Suggest?

Neither the Governing Body nor the Elders in the Christian congregation claim a personal “right to rule” the Witnesses. Rather, every decision is based on Scriptures as the final authority--or logic in the case of policy.

The very fact that critics of Jehovah's Witnesses constantly resort to such ridiculously opinionated argumentation only proves that they realize that they have no real evidence against our actual beliefs.

First, Jehovah's Witnesses have only one leader: Christ Jesus. Second, we do NOT look to the Watchtower Society or any organization as the final authority or infallible.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible is the final authority on doctrinal belief and it cannot be overridden by any human or organization (w98 3/15 p.18; km 9/02 p.2; g80 9/22 p.12; it-1 p.1205; g75 10/22 p.22; g70 4/22 p.25).

Jehovah's Witnesses are repeatedly and constantly admonished that they cannot simply trust someone 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 make it our own and solidly confirm it through personal experience.

Further, the Governing Body itself has reproved Jehovah's Witnesses for even using terminology that would even appear to place the Watchtower Society as their authority on any subject, reemphasizing that Jehovah's Witnesses should use only the Bible as their source.--(w98 3/15 p.18)

The Witnesses actual teaching is very clear for all to read: "What God's Word has to say on any issue should be considered as final and binding on all members"--(w68 2/1 p. 84)

However, the Scriptures also explicitly state that God did set up organizational authority within the Christian Congregation (Ac.14:23; Eph.4:11-13; 1Cor.12:18-31; Tit 1:5,9).

We pattern our organization after that indicated in the Bible: First, a "governing body" of experienced spiritual men oversee the worldwide evangelizing work (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14; Gal 2:9). Each congregation is taught and organized by a group of spiritual men who are "elders" (PRESBYTER) or "overseers" (EPISKOPOS) and "ministerial servants" (DIAKONOUS) 1Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; 1Pt 5:2,3). The True Christian organization would be identified by having this Biblical structure.

According to God’s Word, the congregation members must be obedient to the "orders" of those “overseers” and “elders,” and it required that "all within its fold agree" with expressed Christian beliefs. Those that did not were removed from fellowship (1Thes.4:1,2; 2Thes.3:14; Heb.13:7,17; Php.2:12). Any religion which does not follow these mandates cannot be truly Christian.

"Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls."

Just as in the first century Christian congregation, the decisions of these elders are not arbitrary but are completely based on Scriptures and the obvious direction of the Holy Spirit. Their decisions can be double-checked and verified by an examination of the Scriptures. So, confidence and obedience to these teachers in the congregation comes from personally confirming that the decisions are based ONLY on the Scriptures.

The authoritative organization serves as the instrument to build faith and maintain correct doctrine based only on Scripture (Eph.4:11-13; 2Tim.3:16,17). The purpose of headship is to preserve unity and ensure that "all things take place decently and by arrangement" (1Cor.14:40).

So, we do not blindly follow any organization but we recognize those who give evidence of accurate teaching. Witnesses give evidence that they are True Christians by their strictly following Scriptural truth and by their fruitage (Mt.7:16-19; Jn.13:34,35).

The only authority Jehovah's Witnesses give to Christian overseers is that which is mandated by Holy Scripture. Anyone who criticizes Jehovah's Witnesses on this arrangement must also criticize the Apostles, the first century Christians and the Bible itself. Because Jehovah's Witnesses pattern their organization after that indicated in the Bible (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14, Gal 2:9; 1Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; 1Pt 5:2,3). The True Christian organization would be identified by having this Biblical structure.

All Jehovah's Witnesses do is to invite others to do the same, critically examine your beliefs in light of the plain and explicit teaching of Scripture and the evidence in the actions of your religion and its members, then choose to follow Christ closely (Rom.10:1-3; Eph.1:17).

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES at Yahoo Answers.

Also see:

How Does the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Today Look to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ For Direction in all Matters? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Why did Thomas say "My Lord and my God" at John 20:28?

The context of John 20 (indeed, the context and testimony of the entire Bible) does NOT confirm the trinitarian belief that the Messiah is equally God.

Even the TRINTIARIAN NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985, states in a footnote for this scripture:

“This whole Gospel is written to show the truth of Jesus’ Messiahship and to present him as the Son OF God, [NOT GOD] so that the readers may believe in him.”

The context of John 20:24, 25, and 29 shows that Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. Jesus’ statements before and after Thomas’ exclamation (“my Lord and my God!”) show not only that Jesus wanted Thomas to believe that he had been resurrected to life but that he could not possibly be God.

Jesus’ command to Thomas to literally touch his wounds and actually see his hands proves that he meant, “See, I am the same person you saw die, but now I am alive ... be believing that I have been resurrected to life” (NOT, “see, these wounds prove I am God ... be believing that I am God”).

Notice that the reason given for Thomas to “be believing” is that he can see Jesus’ hands and their wounds. Likewise, after Thomas says “My Lord and my God,” Jesus reaffirms that Thomas now believes (as did the other disciples after seeing - Jn.20:20) that Jesus has been resurrected (NOT that he is God) “because you have seen me” (:29)

John himself has made it manifestly clear that “no one [no human] has ever seen God” - 1 John 4:12, RSV.

If Thomas' statement truly meant that he believed that Jesus was God, surely John would have shown Thomas prostrating himself before “God” and worshiping him (but he doesn’t). So how does John summarize this incident? - “But these were written that you may believe [Believe what? That Jesus is God? Here, then, is where it should have been written if John really believed such a thing:] that Jesus is THE CHRIST, the Son OF God.” - John 20:31, RSV. (Be sure to compare 1 John 5:5.)

This may be, then, one of those places where the idioms of an ancient language are not completely understood by modern translators.

As the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., vol. 13, p. 25, puts it:

"And it is not certain that even the words Thomas addressed to Jesus (Jn. 20:28) meant what they suggest in the English Version." - (Britannica article by Rev. Charles Anderson Scott, M.A., D.D. Dunn Professor of New Testament, Theological College of the Presbyterian Church of England, Cambridge.)

For much more, see:

What did Thomas mean when he said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God”? (Insight-2 pp. 52-72; Watchtower Online Library)

Three verses after the account about Thomas, John explained that he wrote so that people “may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God”—not that he is God. (g05 4/22 pp. 8-9; Watchtower Online Library)

Does Thomas’ exclamation at John 20:28 prove that Jesus is truly God? (rs p. 209-p. 220; Watchtower Online Library)

John 20:28 "My God" (Defending the NWT)

MY GOD (Examining the Trinity)

Why did the apostle Thomas exclaim "My Lord and my God!" at John 20:28? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

John 20:28 - Is Jesus Given the Title 'ho theos'? (Bible Translation and Study)
(Scroll down to 3rd Scriptural Heading)

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


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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Curiosity - Beneficial When Balanced

Concerning our spiritual advancement, 1 Tim. 4:15 encourages us to "Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, that your advancement may be manifest to all [persons]."

Have you ever seen or read someone express slight irritation toward another person's questions and observations by saying that they are being a little simplistic? But really, shouldn't we truly appreciate those who desire to know more about any or all aspects of things wholesome and righteous? There exists a wide variety of interests in a wide variety of people. Some enjoy pondering different aspects of the Bible at different paces. As long as the curiosity and interest is there, certainly we can be pleased in the fact that those who sincerely ask these questions are making a sincere effort in our shared goal of continually trying to "find the very knowledge of God". (Prov. 2:5)

Curiosity can be very beneficial, but there also exists the need to (like everything else in life) balance it. A highly recommended article that explorers this subject further can be found in the 2/1/87 Watchtower; "Do You Have an Inquiring Mind?", a small excerpt of which can be found below:

"CURIOSITY is a "desire to know." A strong curiosity makes a person eager to learn, to find out about things. Jehovah implanted this eagerness in us, so that almost from the moment of birth we are driven to explore the world about us. Our very existence is a never-ending learning process. If we are to become mature, well-adjusted adults, we need to gratify our curiosity, our desire to find things out.

"This is especially true on a spiritual level. Our prospects for eternal life depend upon our learning about Jehovah God. (John 17:3) The Bible tells us that he wants us to inquire about him, to "grope for him and really find him." (Acts 17:23, 24, 27) If we suppress our curiosity or fail to allow it to develop, our advancement will be very slow. In fact, a lack of interest in spiritual things can be fatal.—Psalm 119:33, 34; Hosea 4:6.


The Need for Balance

"So, like many other things in life, our curiosity can be a blessing or a curse. Properly directed, it can uncover priceless gems of knowledge that bring joy and refreshment. A healthy curiosity about our Creator, his will, and his purposes can be profoundly satisfying and beneficial. An unbridled, morbid curiosity can lure us into a morass of speculation and human theories wherein genuine faith and godly devotion cannot survive. Hence, when your curiosity threatens to lead you into something questionable, "be on your guard that you may not be led away . . . and fall from your own steadfastness."—2 Peter 3:17."


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Does Rev. 20:6 Show That Those of the First Reurrection are Anointed and Does This Scripture Show That Jesus is not God?

Rev. 20:1-6 is definitely strong evidence that there are two different groups. And this group who take part in the “first resurrection” are the ones who rule and judge with Christ for the thousand years. This also is evidence that there must be a “second” resurrection of worthy ones. These will be “kings and priests.” So in keeping with the illustration they logically must be a limited number compared to the second group who would be ruled over.

When you cross reference to other scriptures which mention those ruling with Christ you see they are called “firstfruits” and given the number of 144,000 compared to a “great crowd.” Parallel verses call these “anointed,” “sealed,” and “Christ’s brothers” compared to others who are declared righteous because they were kind to Christ’s brothers. So we ALWAYS see a small group which would be followed by a larger group which also would be *good* fruitage. These other verses also show that ONLY the 144,000 are said to be “taken from the earth” and the ONLY ones ever definitely seen in heaven. We can then refer to the dozens of Scriptures which explicitly show that righteous humans will live on the earth for eternity.

So when you put all the evidence together you have “proof” that Rev. 20:6 is speaking of those anointed to rule in heaven with Christ.

And yes, this verse does provide overwhealming evidence that Jesus is not *Almighty* God and that the Trinity is false! If Christ were equal to, and the same as Almighty God, he could NEVER be distinguished from *"God"* in any sense.

So, this is just one of many Scriptures which clearly separates and distinguishes Christ from “GOD.” Even when Christ is referred to as "God" in the Bible the context always shows that Jesus is separated from and less than the Eternal, Almighty God (cf. Heb.1:8 w/ Heb.1:9!).

The Trinitarian belief is completely destroyed since Christ cannot be separated from the being of "God." The Athanasian Creed states that Trinitarian's must not "confuse the persons or divide the substance." In other words, while all share the substance “God” it cannot be separated as can the Father, Son and HS. Since "God" to Trinitarians is composed of all three persons combined, separating "God" from Christ would mean that we have four divine beings: the tri-personal God (Father, Son, HS) is with a fourth–the Christ as a separate entity.

The only way that Trinitarians can get around this clear differentiation between Christ and *“God”* is to commit the fallacy of Equivocation. They must redefine the word "God" here to mean “the Father” or just one of the “persons” instead of the whole Godhead. But, the Scriptures plainly separate Christ from the being of "GOD" here and in the other verses above. If Trinitarians do not equivocate on the definition of “God” they identify themselves as polytheistic (One God (Christ) is with another God).

Again, according to Trinitarianism Christ cannot be separated from "God" like he can from the "person" of the Father. If Christ were equal to, and the same as Almighty God, he could NEVER be distinguished from "God" in any sense, especially as is done here.

This is why Jn.1:1 actually destroys the Trinity doctrine. Because we have two beings BOTH who are referred to as “God.” So, logically and semantically, either there were two equal Gods talking to each other or there was one individual classed as divine (a quality) who was with a second individual identified as The [Almighty] God. There are no other valid explanations.

So, the belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in complete harmony with God's Word, the rules of interpretation, and Bible Lexicons: There is one Almighty God but in the Bible the title "God" is also be used of many different and unequal individuals such as humans and angels.

Everywhere in the Bible God is separate and distinct from Christ. Christ is always presented as less than Almighty God (Jn. 14:28; 20:17; Mk.13:32; 1Cor.15:27,28; Rev.3:2,12). At the highest position he will ever attain, Jesus still has a God over him and is "subject" to GOD the same way we are "subject" to him.

SOURCE: This the answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.


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Friday, April 26, 2013

New World Translation Bible (NWT) - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:

NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

NEW WORLD TRANSLATION (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

Responses To Questions Concerning The New World Translation:

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Their Own Bible? (JW.ORG)

How Can I Access a Copy of The New World Translation? (Defending the NWT)

Why Was The New World Translation Printed? (Defending the NWT)

How Accurate is the New World Translation? (Defending the NWT)

The New World Translation - a “Remarkably Good” Translation (Pastor Russell)

Why Do The NWT Translators Choose to Remain Anonymous And Are They The Only Ones To Do So? (Defending the NWT)

What Greek text was used for the NWT? How were the textual variations reconciled? (Defending the NWT)

Is the New World Translation the only Bible to phrase John 1:1c as "the Word was A God"? (Defending the NWT)

Should God's name “Jehovah" appear in the New Testament? (Defending the NWT)

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses primarily use the New World Translation Bible? Why not just use the King James Version? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Have Jehovah's Witnesses always used the New World Translation Bible? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Why are some verses missing in the New World Translation Bible? (Defending the NWT)

Why does the New World Translation sometimes use all capitals for certain words (most often 'YOU' and 'YOUR')? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is the NWT's use of "discreet" appropriate for the NT Greek word 'phronimos'? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Are There Other Sites and Pages That Defend The New World Translation? (Defending the NWT)

Sites and Pages in Defense of The New World Translation:

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

Should the Name Jehovah Appear in the New Testament? (Watchtower Online Library)

Bible Translation and Study (Bible Translation and Study)

The New World Translation (Pastor Russell)

Critics allege that the New World Translation is biased in its translation of Jeremiah 29:10. Is this true? (Jehovah's Witnesses - Setting the Record Straight)

How Can You Choose a Good Bible Translation? (Watchtower Online Library)

From God's Word

Examining the Trinity

How Theology and Bias affects Bible Translation (How Theology and Bias affects Bible Translation)

In Defense of the New World Translation (In Defense of the New World Translation)

Jehovah's Witnesses - Reasoning From Scripture: Defending The NWT Section (Reasoning From Scripture)

Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers Yahoo Group (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Jehovah's Witnesses United - Biblical Exegesis Section (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

Search For Bible Truths (Search For Bible Truths)

NWT and Coptic

Coptic Truth

Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses

God's View of Blood

Replies To Criticisms Made By Ankerberg and Weldon:

NWT - Ankerberg and Weldon (Defending the NWT)

Replies to Criticisms Made By Robert M. Bowman Jr.:

BOWNWT (Zechariah 12:10; Adding 'Other'; Other Additions; Words Omitted; Translating 'In'; Only Believe?; Treatment of the word "spirit"; Words for God; ISA. 9:6; JOHN 1:1; JOHN 1:18; JOHN 20:28; ROM. 9:5; HEB. 1:8; 2 PETER 1:1 (and Titus 2:13); 1 JOHN 5:20; ACTS 20:28; (Defending the NWT)

Rom. 10:13 / Joel 2:32 (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Replies To Criticisms Made By Robert H. Countess:

NWT - B (1 Peter 2:3; 1 Peter 3:15; Zech. 12:10/John 19:37; Sharp's Rule; KERAS SOTERIAS - "a horn of salvation,"; ASIARCHES `the commissioners of festivals and games.'; DIAKONOS "minister"; MONOGENES "onlybegotten"; KOLASIS; PSYCHE "soul"; TASSO; STAUROS ""torture stake"; (Defending the NWT)

Replies to Criticisms Made By Dr. Edgar J. Goodspeed:

NWT - Goodspeed's Criticism (Defending the NWT)

Replies to Criticisms Made By Dr. Julius Mantey:

NWT - Heb. 9:27 - "Once For All Time" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - John 1:1 (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Jn 8:58 - "I AM" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Kolasis - "Cutting Off" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Luke 23:43 - Punctuation (Defending the NWT)

Luke 23:43 and the NWT (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Accuracy of the NWT: "Tombs" - The original Greek word is derived from the verb meaning "to remember" or "to memorialize." (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

NWT - Rev. 3:14 (Defending the NWT)

Replies to Criticisms Made By Walter Martin:

NWT - Analuo ("Releasing") - Phil. 1:21-23 (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Martin: NWT "Misquoting" and "Obvious Misuse" of Mantey's Work (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Other" at Col. 1:16 (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Parousia ("Presence") (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Pneuma - "Spirit," "Wind," "Breath" (Defending the NWT)

Replies to Criticisms Made By Zondervan's "So Many Versions?":

NWT - "Baptism for Dead" and "Virginity" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "God/a god" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Is" Translated as "Means" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Jehovah" in the New Testament (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "[Other]" and Phil. 2:6 (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Peculiar Translations" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Rock-mass"; "Holy Ones"; and "Inspired Expression" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Sharp's Rule (Defending the NWT)

NWT - SMV Conclusion (Defending the NWT)

NWT - "Too Literal" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions? - "Torture Stake" vs. "Cross" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Weights and Measures (Defending the NWT)

Replies To General Criticisms:


NWT - Jn 17:3 - "Taking in Knowledge" (Defending the NWT)

NWT - Unnamed (Anonymous) Translators and Humility (Defending the NWT)


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Does Gen. 2:5,6 Indicate That it Never Rained Before the Flood?

"At an early point in the history of the preparation of the earth, "God had not made it rain upon the earth," but "a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground." The time referred to is evidently early on the third creative "day," before vegetation appeared. (Gen. 2:5, 6; 1:9-13) ) The first instance in the Biblical record when rain is specifically mentioned as falling is in the account of the Flood. Then “the floodgates of the heavens were opened,” and “the downpour upon the earth went on for forty days and forty nights.” - Gen. 7:11, 12; 8:2." - Insight on the Scriptures Vol. 2; "Rain"; par. 3.

Did Rainbows Exist Before the Flood?

"The first Biblical reference to a rainbow is in the account of the covenant God made with Noah and his offspring after the Flood survivors came out of the ark. (Ge 9:8-17; Isa 54:9, 10) This splendid sight of itself would have been reassuring and an indication of peace to Noah and his family.

"Many opinions have been offered as to whether this was the first time humans saw a rainbow. Some commentators have held that rainbows had been seen before and that God’s ‘giving’ the rainbow at this time was really a ‘giving’ of special meaning or significance to a previously existing phenomenon. Many of those holding this view believe that the Flood was only local or did not substantially change the atmosphere.

"Nevertheless, this is the first mention of a rainbow, and if a rainbow had been seen earlier, there would have been no real force in God’s making it an outstanding sign of his covenant. It would have been commonplace, and not a significant marker of a change, of something new.

"The Bible does not describe the degree of clarity of the atmosphere just prior to the Flood. But apparently atmospheric conditions were such that, until a change came about when “the floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Ge 7:11), no others before Noah and his family had seen a rainbow. Even today, atmospheric conditions affect whether a rainbow can be seen or not." - Insight on the Scriptures Vol. 2; "Rainbow"; pars. 3-6.

For more, see:

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


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Does One Identify the True Religion?

When you compare two religions who both claim to be Christian you must use Scriptural evidence to identify the true Christians. These evidences are not complicated.

Scriptures say true worshipers could be identified in at least three main ways: Love, Truth (Jn.4:23; 17:17), and Fruitage (Mt.7:16ff). Conversely, by these we can also identify the false.

The True religion would be primarily known for it's love toward all (Jn.13:34,35; 1Jn.3:10-12; 4:7, 8). This would include their enemies (Mat.5:44-48; Rom.12:17-20; 1Pet.2:21-23; 3:8- 9). It would not participate in or condone carnal war (2Cor.10:3,4; Isa.2:4).

Apply this basic evidence to what happened in both world wars and current conflicts. People of the same religions met on battlefields and slaughtered one another because of nationalistic differences. Each side claimed to be Christian, and each side was supported by its clergy, who claimed that God was on their side. The definition of a "Christian" is "one who does what Christ would do": WWJD (1 Pet.2:21). That slaughter of "Christian" by "Christian" is rotten fruitage. It is a denial of any claim to being the true Church (cf. Mat.26:52). No Christian would continue to associate with these religions (Rev.18:4). What is the historical record of Catholics and Protestants regarding warfare? Jehovah’s Witnesses have never participated in warfare.

Another evidence is that the true religion would be made up of people who would all be in agreement on doctrine. It would not have members who believe differently on abortion, war, homosexuality or morals. Its members would not "agree to disagree" (1Cor.1:10; 2Cor.13:11; Phil.1:27). True Christians would be separated from the world by "truth" from God's Word the Bible (Jn.17:17; 4:23). All its teachings would be based on the Bible (2 Tim. 3:14-16; Gal. 1:8, 9).

The true religion would have a reputation for promoting exceptional morality in its members (1Cor.6:9,10; Eph.5:3-5; 2 Pet.3:14; 2Cor.7:1; 2Tim.3:5). Does a religion require their congregation members to live moral lives, not allowing practicers of homosexuality, fornication, or adultery to be accepted members of their congregation? Or do they turn a blind eye? If so, their "fruitage" would show they are not true Christians.

True Christians would be associated with God's name: (Jn.17:3,6,26; Acts 15:14/Isa.55:5; 1 Peter 2:9/Ex.19:4- 5; Ps.83:18). They would not use Bibles which have removed the Most Holy Divine Name of God. Replacing the Divine Name with the common noun "Lord" cannot be justified by any translational principles so it is a blatant "subtraction" from God's word which brings a curse on anyone who approves it (Rev.22:18).

The true Church would be engaged in an unprecedented teaching activity (Matthew 24:14, 28:19, 20). Witnesses right now are performing the greatest Bible education work ever done in all human history!

There are more scripture evidences, however these are plenty to show which religion meets the requirements of being the True religion.

Apostate Christianity has neither the spiritual strength nor the support of God's holy spirit to motivate people to follow the truthful teachings of Jesus Christ. For this reason, the result in Christendom is not true Christianity but counterfeit believers, "weeds" unfit for the Kingdom.-Mat13:24ff.

When you examine most religions you find that they cannot meet any of the other requirements of true Christianity. Their historical record is of bloodthirsty wars, immorality, sectarian violence and factional splits (Mat.7:21- 23; 2Tim3:5; Gal.5:19-23). Today Catholics continue to kill Catholics and Protestants kill Protestants, something true Christians would not do (1Jn.3:10,15; 4:8). Our hearts tell us that any religion who is willing to shoot their own members in warfare cannot possibly be trusted to teach Biblical truth.

I have found only one group which has presented absolute evidence of truly being Christian: Jehovah's Witnesses. This is the testimony of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal.5:19-22).

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES at Yahoo Answers.

Also see:

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


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John 6:52-68: Why Did "Many" of Jesus' Disciples Stop Following Him? Is There a Lesson Here For Christians Today?

John 6:52-68: Why Did "Many" of Jesus' Disciples Stop Following Him? Is There a Lesson Here For Christians Today?

This instance is where Jesus wanted his listeners to understand that the eating of his flesh and drinking his blood would be done in a figurative way. He was emphasizing that all who receive everlasting life must exercise faith in the sacrifice that he is to make when he offers up his perfect human body and pours out his lifeblood. Yet, even many of his disciples made no attempt to understand his teaching and so objected by saying: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”

After many of his disciples left and no longer wished to follow him, Jesus asked his 12 apostles: “You do not want to go also, do you?” What Peter said next is key and is something that Christians can learn from:

"Who shall we go to? You have the MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE." - John 6:68 (The Jerusalem Bible)

Today, which organization provides the ESSENTIAL Scriptural teachings for true Christians such as:

--- Exactly who is God? (John 17:3 and 2 Thess. 1:7, 8, among others, show how essential such knowledge really is.)

--- Who, alone, is proclaiming God's Name as He says must be done in the last days? (Ezek. 39:6, 7; Jer. 17:19-21)

--- Who, alone, is actively preaching the kingdom in the entire world as Jesus said must be done in the very last days? (Matt. 24:14; 28:19). Not all the nearly 1 billion members of Christendom combined are as active in "all the nations" as is the Watchtower Society, and no other organization even begins to approach the Watchtower organization in publications which further that "Great Commission." And certainly none of Christendom's organizations are actively preaching the kingdom message at all.

-- Who alone has actually made a reality of the "one body ... one spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all"? - Eph. 4:4-6. Who has really embodied a great crowd who sincerely strive for "complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering ... earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace"? - Eph. 4:2,3.

This very solid unity or "oneness" which is so often criticized is, in itself, a necessity according to Scripture (and reason). It is also unique among all the organizations claiming to be Christian today.

Obviously there are other important Scriptural teachings which this organization lives by that other organizations either completely ignore or give only lip-service to. But when considering only these few essentials even, it becomes obvious that there is either only one organization today being guided by Jehovah's spirit or there is none.

Many who became Jehovah's Witnesses came to the same conclusion Peter came to in John 6:68 in spite of some doubts about the certainty of various other teachings and Scriptural interpretations by the Watchtower Society. Some of these teachings can seem quite important, but, EVEN IF wrong, these are not really the "messages of eternal life".

Shouldn't these Witnesses hope to follow the God-appointed leadership on earth which has "the message of eternal life" even if it tells them a few things they personally find difficult to accept or understand? Even if they believe they can prove it is probably wrong in certain of these secondary areas? After all, "Who else is there to go to?" Who else has the message of eternal life?

It's not worth being "right" and losing everlasting life for it. There must be priorities in all things. Being right in one area does not compensate for being wrong in a greater area. Who would choose an operation to remove a small non-harmful blemish which may be causing some slight irritation when there is a distinct possibility that the operation itself will lead to death?

Jehovah's servants are commanded to be "fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought." (1 Cor. 1:10; Php. 2:2; 1 Pet. 3:8) This means, of course, being united where the interests of pure worship are involved - the important things - not in minor matters that will be resolved as maturity is reached. (Rom. 14:2-6, 17) They are to be "of the same mind in the Lord." (Php. 4:2), not to be quarreling, but to "think in agreement." (2 Cor. 13:11)

For more, see:

Unity - Links to Information (Search For Bible Truths)


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Sunday, April 21, 2013

At Job 40:17, is the "Behemoth" a Dinosaur or a Hippopotamus?

Not only does the context Job 40:17-23 describe the behemoth as similar to a hippopotamus, but a number of Bible translations (AT, La, Ro, NW, JB, RS) actually use the word “hippopotamus” in the main text or in footnotes to identify the creature referred to by God.

The tail of a hippopotamus is fairly short, measuring about 18 to 20 inches. But verse 17 says that it's the actions of its tail that are compared to a cedar, not that it looked like a cedar. This corresponds well to the hippopotamus because the animal has the ability to set its thick tail rigidly upright or swing it about like a tree.

Additional Reading:
Animal Creation Magnifies Jehovah (w06 1/15 pp. 13-16; "Behemoth Glorifies God")

BEHEMOTH (Insight-1 pp. 280-281; Watchtower Online Library)

Dinosaurs - When Did They Live? (Search For Bible Truths)


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Earthquakes - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:

EARTHQUAKES - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

EARTHQUAKE (Insight-1 pp. 669-670; Watchtower Online Library)

Earthquake (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

Latest Earthquakes in the World - Past 7 days (USGS)

Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase? (USGS)

Matthew 27:52,53 - ‘Many Bodies of the Holy Ones...Were Raised Up' (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Natural Disasters Today - Is God Really Responsible? (Search For Bible Truths)

Are Natural Disasters Punishment From God? (Search For Bible Truths)

Video Clip: Japan Earthquake—Rebuilding Lives One Year Later (JW.ORG)


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why is Jesus Called "Eternal Father" at Isaiah 9:6?

"Eternal Father" could mean that the Messiah is one who has been given eternal life and through him God has brought eternal life to many others. (We might make the comparison that the Heavenly Father has brought men to life in this world through their earthly fathers.) This would be intended in a clearly subordinate sense and not to take anything away from the ultimate honor, glory, worship, etc. due the Most High God and Father in heaven - Jehovah.

At any rate, even trinitarians do not confuse the two separate persons of the Father and the Son. They do not say the Son is the Father. They say the Father and the Son are two separate individual persons who are equally "God".

Therefore, since we obviously cannot take "Eternal Father" in the literal sense to mean that Jesus is the Father, we cannot take the rest of that same name (esp. `Mighty God') in its literal highest sense and say that Jesus is Mighty God, etc., either.

Rotherham has rendered "Eternal Father" as "father of progress," and the New English Bible translates it: "father of a wide realm."

The above-mentioned Bible translations by trinitarian scholars which apply the words in the name at Is. 9:6 in a subordinate sense directly to Jesus clearly show that they do not believe this scripture implies an equality with Jehovah the Father.


Also, Bible scholars have interpreted the MEANING of this name with the understanding that it (as with many, if not most, of the other Israelites' personal names) DOES NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE MESSIAH (as we can see with "Elijah," "Abijah," etc.) but is, instead, A STATEMENT PRAISING the Father, Jehovah God.

Personal names in the ancient Hebrew and Greek are often somewhat cryptic to us today. The English Bible translator must fill in the missing minor words (especially in names composed of two or more Hebrew words) such as "my," "is," "of," etc. in whatever way he thinks best in order to make sense for us today in English.

For instance, two of the best Bible concordances (Young's and Strong's) and a popular trinitarian Bible dictionary (Today's Dictionary of the Bible) differ greatly on the exact meaning of many Biblical personal names because of those "minor" words which must be added to bring out the intended meaning.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, for example, says the name "Elimelech" (which is literally just "God King") means "God of (the) King." Young's Analytical Concordance says it means "God is King." Today's Dictionary of the Bible says it means " God his king" - p. 206, Bethany House Publ., 1982.

Those missing minor words that the translator must supply at his own discretion can often make a vital difference! - For example, the footnote for Gen. 17:5 in The NIV Study Bible: The name `Abram' "means `Exalted Father,' probably in reference to God (i.e., `[God is] Exalted Father')."- Brackets in original.

Therefore, the personal name at Is. 9:6 has been honestly translated as:

"And his name is called: Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the everlasting Father, the Ruler of peace" - The Holy Scriptures, JPS Version (Margolis, ed.) to show that it is intended to PRAISE the God of the Messiah who performs great things through the Messiah.

Also, An American Translation (by trinitarians Smith and Goodspeed) says:

"Wonderful counselor is God almighty, Father forever, Prince of peace."

Of course it could also be honestly translated: "Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God is the Eternal Father of the Prince of Peace."

And the Tanakh by the JPS, 1985, translates it:

[a]"The Mighty God is planning grace;
[b] The Eternal Father [is] a peaceable ruler."

This latter translation seems particularly appropriate since it is in the form of a parallelism. Not only was the previous symbolic personal name introduced by Isaiah at Is. 8:1 a parallelism ("Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz" means [a]"quick to the plunder; [b] swift to the spoil" - NIV footnote) but the very introduction to this Messianic name at Is. 9:6 is itself a parallelism: [a]"For unto us a child is born; [b] unto us a son is given." It would, therefore, be appropriate to find that this name, too, was in the form of a parallelism as translated by the Tanakh above.

So it is clear, even to a number of trinitarian scholars, that Is. 9:6 does not imply that Jesus is Jehovah God.

For much more, see:

Isa. 9:6 "Mighty God, Eternal Father" (Examining the Trinity)

Isa. 9:6 - NWT (Defending the New World Translation)

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? (Search For Bible Truths)

One God in Three? (Pastor Russell; Heading: "No Trinity in the “Old Testament”')

How does the Codex Sinaiticus render Is. 9:6? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

How is translated Isaiah 9:6 in old Aramaic Targums? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Or see the Scripture Index.


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

John 17:3 - A Very Meaningful Scripture

At John 17:3, Jesus said in a prayer to his Father:

"This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." (NWT)

Many have the mistaken belief that one just needs to 'believe in Jesus and you will be saved'. But in actuality, this makes light of serious Bible study and demonstrates that most of these people who profess religious faith give little thought to why they believe what they do or to whether there is a reasonable basis for their faith.

John 17:3 shows that more than simply 'believing in Jesus' is required in order to gain "eternal life".

The Bible likens the searching for "the very knowledge of God" to "silver, and as for hid treasures". (Prov. 2:5) That is because when one finally begins to discover the truths to the mysteries of life in the Bible they will have more peace of mind along with the knowledge about God that can lead to "eternal life". (John 17:3)

Jesus said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3)

To fill our spiritual need, we can imitate the example of the Beroeans. Luke wrote that they “received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind,” and that they were “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

When "carefully examining" John 17:1-3, we can learn a few basic truths. Jesus prayed to the Father: "FATHER, .... this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." - NIV

A prevalent teaching in the world today is the Trinity Doctrine or that Jesus is God. Yet at John 17:3, the Father alone is not only very clearly identified as the only true God, but Jesus Christ is again pointedly and specifically excluded from that identification ("AND Jesus Christ whom YOU [the only true God] have sent").

To understand that Jesus is not God is a tremendous bit of information in knowing who Jesus is and who God is. Especially if it means "eternal life"!

One would reasonably conclude that it would also be important to know what God's name is if it means "eternal life". (Also see: God Has a Name!; g04 1/22 pp. 3-4; Watchtower Online Library)

Sincere Bible students could and should use the import of John 17:3 as an incentive to further Search for Bible Truths. Much can be gained when one finally learns the accurate knowledge contained in the Bible. (Also see: "What Does the Bible Really Teach? - What Is the Truth About God?"; bh chap. 1 pp. 8-17; Watchtower Online Library)

For much more concerning John 17:3, 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)

"The Only True God" (Examining the Trinity)

Jn 17:3 "Taking in Knowledge" (Defending the New World Translation)

John 17:3 (Bible Translation and Study; 2nd Scriptural listing on page)

Gods or only one God? (Search For Bible Truths)

Is Jesus God or the Son of God? (Search For Bible Truths)   

How is Jesus a god? (Search For Bible Truths)

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Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Only Assist Fellow Members Suffering From War, Natural Disasters, or Other Calamities?

For decades, Jehovah’s Witnesses have organized relief efforts, not only to help fellow members, but others who have suffered the effects of war, natural disasters, or other calamities. Often they are the first relief agency to appear on the scene.

For numerous examples of this, see: 
When Disaster Strikes, Love Moves Us to Action (JW.ORG)

Our Ministry - Contributions to the Community - Disaster Relief (Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site)

Jehovah’s Witnesses desire to extend human kindness and do this by following the Bible's formula found at Galatians 6:10:

"Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith." - NLT

So Jehovah's Witnesses take care of their brothers and sisters first, and others as they are able to do so.

Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) And the disciple James emphasized that true faith is accompanied by good deeds. (James 2:14-17) Jehovah’s Witnesses take those words to heart and endeavor to show such love by helping and supporting those in need. Jehovah’s Witnesses donate needed materials and volunteer their services without pay. Jehovah’s Witnesses do so in response to the Bible’s commands to love our neighbor and to have intense love for one another.—Matthew 22:39; 1 Peter 4:8

The video below shows just one more relatively recent example of how Jehovah's Witnesses continue to provide practical help - in this case to earthquake survivors over one year after the disaster in Japan.

Japan Earthquake—Rebuilding Lives One Year Later


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Was Jesus a Real Historical Person? Do Scholars Believe That Jesus Existed?

"Was Jesus a Real Historical Person? Do Scholars Believe That Jesus Existed?"

Yes. The works of Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, and a few other classical writers include numerous references to Jesus. Of them, The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1995) says: “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”

For much more, see:

Jesus Christ—Our Questions Answered - Was Jesus really a historical person? (w12 4/1 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)

The Real Jesus (w01 12/15 pp. 5-8; Watchtower Online Library)

Do Scholars Believe That Jesus Existed? (JW.ORG)

Archaeological Evidence of Jesus’ Existence? (w03 6/15 pp. 3-4; Watchtower Online Library)

Jesus Christ—Evidence That He Walked the Earth (w03 6/15 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That People Can Understand the Bible on Their Own Without Watchtower Literature?

In actuality, Jehovah's Witnesses do believe individuals can understand the basic teachings of the Bible on their own. Our magazines have given many examples of individuals who accurately understood many Bible teachings without contact with Jehovah's Witnesses.

However, can they come to a complete knowledge of every doctrine on their own? The Bible and practical experience prove otherwise.

The Ethiopian eunuch is just one example showing that mere access to the Word of God and personally reading it is not enough to gain a complete knowledge. Only after Philip explained the prophecy to him was he was ready to be baptized as a disciple of Christ (Ac 8:27-38). That more is needed than merely reading the Bible by oneself can also be seen from Eph.4:11-13 (Cf. Mt.22:29; Jn.17:17). Another example is the resolution of the circumcision issue in Ac.15 (esp. 15:2,22-29; 16:4).

What we do not believe is that individuals can place their own interpretations on the Bible, which is what Christendom does. The Bible interprets itself (2Pt.1:20, 21; 3:15-16). And any personal interpretative efforts to get the sense out of Scripture will agree with the Scriptures as well as with true Christian doctrine.

However, God has always used an organized teaching method to disseminate his Truth i.e., Patriarchs, Prophets, Priests and Apostles. The current method is the True Christian Congregation. Paul identified this channel when he wrote that "there might be made known through the congregation the greatly diversified wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose that he formed in connection with the Christ, Jesus our Lord." (Eph.3:10, 11; Jn.6:67,68; Heb.13:17)

Daniel was inspired to write that the correct knowledge of his book would only come about in the time of the end (Dan.12:4,8,9). So, it should not be surprising that the wheat-like cleansed Christian congregation would be teaching others the correct understanding of prophetic types. And that the weed-like imitation Christians would not see it.

Jehovah's Witnesses give evidence that they are that present day organization by their strictly following Scriptural truth and by their fruitage (Mt.7:16-19; Jn.13:34,35).

What many fail to note is that 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. I regularly give a Public Talk which explicitly states that everyone must gain a personal knowledge of what and why they believe. I ask the audience the specific question: “Do you believe just because your parents or the Watchtower Society tells you to?” The sermon nowhere says that you must simply rely on some organization or person to tell you what to believe. Others can only assist us to search for and gather the evidence, but we must make it our own and confirm it further through personal experience.

So Jehovah's Witnesses are REQUIRED to read the Bible on their own. We also read and use standard reference works, lexicons and dictionaries from all types of authors. I personally have over 2000 books in my personal library, most of them reference works on the Bible or history. Logically, there are some which I have come to trust as being accurate and honest and others which I always double check because of their being less accurate or inconsistent.

It is the same with the literature from the Watchtower Society. Through extensive study individual Witnesses have come to trust the accuracy of the information the Watchtower presents. 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 means for disseminating accurate Biblical teaching. So, we do not blindly follow any organization but we also recognize those who give evidence of accurate teaching and are obedient to them (Heb.13:17,24; 1Thes. 5:12; 1Cor.16:16)

Further, Jehovah's Witnesses do not need Watchtower literature to prove their beliefs. The Bible is clear enough and other standard lexicons and dictionaries provide additional support.

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Is Proverbs 8:22-31 talking about Wisdom personified instead of Jesus? Why is Wisdom referred to in the feminine gender?

When examining Proverbs 8:22-31, some have argued that this passage isn't talking about Jesus but rather Wisdom itself personified. They further may point out that Wisdom may previously have been referred to in the feminine gender.

However, in Prov. Chap.8, Wisdom is manifest only by being expressed in some way. God's own wisdom was expressed in creation (Prov. 3:19, 20) but through his Son. But as for Prov. 8:22-31, many professed Christian writers of the early centuries of the Common Era understood this section to refer symbolically to God's Son in his pre-human state.

It is true that in Hebrew, which assigns gender to its nouns (as do many other languages), the word for "wisdom" is always in the feminine gender. This would continue to be the case even though wisdom is personified and so would not rule out wisdom's being used figuratively to represent God's firstborn Son. For instance, the Greek word for "love" in the expression "God is love" (1 John 4:8) is also in the feminine gender but that does not make God feminine.

Also, Jehovah God is the Creator of all things. He is uncreated, without beginning (Rev. 4:11). Job 36:26 says, "In number his years are beyond searching." It is impossible to place an age upon him, for there is no starting point from which to measure. Because He is ageless, He is properly called "the Ancient of Days" since His existence stretches endlessly into the past. (Dan. 7:9, 13) And so, since Jehovah God has existed forever, therefore wisdom had to have always existed within Jehovah forever. (Ps. 90:2)

So we could ask those using these trinitarian arguments: If Prov. 8:22-31 is really talking about literal wisdom itself, than how could wisdom even have been "begotten"? How could it have even been "produced", "set up", "created", or "made"? If this was talking about literal wisdom itself, then how could wisdom be "beside" God or "before" Him? How could wisdom be "the one He was specially fond of"?

So instead of literal Wisdom itself (of which God had to already have in order to "beget", "produce", "set up", "create", or "make" anything), when Prov. 8:22 also says that the subject is, "the earliest of his achievements of long ago", this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Col. 1:15 where it says that he is "the first-born of all creation". Or when Prov.8:23 says, "From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth", this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Micah 5:2 where it says that his "origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite". Or when Prov. 8:22 says, "Jehovah God himself produced me as the beginning of his way," this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Rev. 3:14 where it says that Jesus is "the beginning of the creation by God".

And as for the Hebrew word 'qanah', it can mean either to "produce, aquire, create" or "possess". Context is key in finding out which one it means. 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", even scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render it as such:

(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 Proverbs 8:22-31, see:

Jesus Christ / Wisdom personified (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? (How do we know that the description of wisdom at Proverbs 8:22-31 applies to Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence?; 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? (Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created?; Search For Bible Truths)

Scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render the word 'qanah' as "create". (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 (Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ; Examining the Trinity)


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jehovah's Witnesses and Birthdays - Why Don't They Celebrate?

There are many wholesome occasions that Jehovah's Witnesses participate in or celebrate such as marriages, anniversaries, the birth of a baby, graduations and various other happy occasions. But some may wonder why Jehovah's Witnesses do not participate in birthday observances. "What is wrong with birthdays?" they may ask. "After all, there is no specific command in the Bible that condemns birthdays, is there?" Some have even pointed to Job 1:4 as evidence for celebrating birthdays noting that the Scripture seems to show Job’s children celebrating their birthdays. (Yet, upon closer examination of this Scripture, the Hebrew text shows that this does not apply to birthdays. Job himself apparently did not attend and at Job 1:5 Job even prayed for his children saying that they may have "sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.")  

To provide a basis in understanding why Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays, it is important to consider that Jehovah's Witnesses place the highest priority on basing their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible. So then, there needs to be an honest examination to Bible references and principles regarding birthdays.
What the Bible Does and Does Not Say About Birthdays

It is significant that the only two direct references in the Bible to birthday celebrations (Pharaoh of Egypt and Herod Antipas) were remembered for executions and painted in a negative light. (Gen. 40:18-22; 41:13; Mt. 14:6-11; Mark 6:21-28)

"Origen [a writer of the third century C.E.] . . . insists that `of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.'" -The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Vol. X, p. 709

It is also significant that the Bible never mentioned that Jesus - the greatest man who ever lived and all Christian's exemplar - ever celebrated his birth, nor did the early Christians. In fact, the attitude was quite the opposite:

Historian Augustus Neander writes: "The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period." (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, translated by H. J. Rose, 1848, p. 190)

Birthday Celebrations Were Viewed as Having Pagan Origins

The Bible's direct references to birthdays are helpful in how true Christians should view them. Jehovah's Witnesses also do not celebrate birthdays because popular customs associated with birthday celebrations were viewed as having pagan origins:

The Jews "regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship . . . , and this probably on account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born."- M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia (1882, Vol. I, p. 817)

"The later Hebrews looked on the celebration of birthdays as a part of idolatrous worship, a view which would be abundantly confirmed by what they saw of the common observances associated with these days."—The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (London, 1874), edited by Patrick Fairbairn, Vol. I, p. 225

“Early Christians [from time of Christ until the 4th century] frowned on [celebrating anyone’s birthday], which was too closely linked with pagan customs to be given the approval of the church.” - How It Started, Garrison, copyright 1972 by Abingdon Press, p. 213

The Christian Book of Why, by Dr. John C. McCollister (Lutheran minister and university professor, graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary), Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 1983, tells us on p. 205:

"Christians of the first century did not celebrate the festival honoring the birth of Jesus - for the same reason they honored no other birthday anniversary. It was the feeling at that time by ALL Christians that the celebration of all birthdays (even the Lordâs) was a custom of the PAGANS. In an effort to divorce themselves from ALL pagan practices, the early Christians refused to set aside a date marking Jesus' birth. As a result, the first celebration of Christmas by Christians did not take place until the fourth century."

The Jews themselves never celebrated birthdays until long after the death of Jesus. They considered it a purely pagan custom and detestable to the God they worshiped. Jesus and his Apostles continued this belief and so did their followers for centuries.

Likewise, just as the early Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses today view these things seriously because they are aware that Jehovah God views these things very seriously. (Lev. 19:2) God Himself said: "You must not have any other gods against my face. Because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion." (Ex. 20:1-5) NWT

If pagan ceremonies, customs, god names, etc. are really mixed in with ceremonies, customs, etc. that we use today, they are not merely unacceptable - - - they are detestable to God. We must completely get away from these unclean things and not even "touch" them:

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." - 2 Cor. 6:17.

Notice how exclusive the worship of God must be: "Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips." - Exodus 23:13, NIVSB.

Why Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate Wedding Anniversaries but not Birthday Anniversaries

Considering the above also explains a common question as to why Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate wedding anniversaries but not birthday anniversaries. This is because there are no pagan origins connected to marriage or wedding rings. Marriage was divinely instituted by the "one true God"...Jehovah. (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 17:3)

And unlike the mentioned examples of birthday celebrations, the Bible does not put marriage in a bad light. Jesus himself both attended a marriage celebration and contributed to the pleasure of the occasion.—John 2:1-11.

To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses, please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information on Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs and practices you should look to the source at

For more information concerning birthdays found at the Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses, see:

BIRTHDAYS - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

BIRTHDAY (Insight-1 p. 319; Watchtower Online Library)

How did early Christians and Jews of Bible times view birthday celebrations? What is the origin of popular customs associated with birthday celebrations? (rs p. 68-p. 70; Watchtower Online Library)

Biblical Light on Birthdays (lv chap. 13 pp. 144-159; Watchtower Online Library)


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