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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cosmic "Coincidences" or The Result of "Fine-Tuning"?

There are some extremely unusual and precise characteristics this Universe has in order for life to exist:

The Excess of Matter over Antimatter

Scientists agree that there was one extra proton produced in the early universe for every 10 billion or so protons and antiprotons. Without these extra protons, matter would have annihilated with antimatter, and there would be no matter left in the universe today.

The origin of the excess of matter over antimatter is one of the most interesting unsolved problems in physics today. Yet this relatively tiny excess is very relevant to our existence.

The Numerous Fundamental Physical Quantities in Nature That Could Easily Be Slightly Different

"At a fundamental microphysical level, there is a whole slew of cosmic coincidences that allowed life to [exist] on Earth. If any one of a number of fundamental physical quantities in nature was slightly different, then the conditions essential for the [existence] of life on Earth would not have existed. For example, if the very small mass difference between a neutron and proton (about 1 part in 1000) were changed by only a factor of 2, the abundance of elements in the universe, some of which are essential to life on Earth, would be radically different from what we observe today.

"Along the same lines, if the energy level of one of the excited states of the nucleus of the carbon atom were slightly different, then the reactions that produce carbon in the interiors of stars would not occur and there would be no carbon (the basis of organic molecules) in the universe today."

On the "Just-Right" Balance of the Universe's Expansion

"It turns out, however, that it is not so easy to design a universe that expands, as our universe does, without either re-collapsing very quickly in a reverse big bang (a "big crunch") or expanding so fast that there would have been no time for matter to clump together into stars and galaxies. The initial conditions of the universe, or some dynamical physical process early in its history, would have to be very fine tuned to get things just right." - Lawrence Krauss; American theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project

The "Just Right" Status of the Strength of the Gravitational Force

Commenting further about this remarkable 'coincidence', the following is an excerpt from The God Hypothesis, by Michael A. Corey:

"For thousands of years, careful thinkers have recognized that we live in a world that is very well suited for the existence of life. This realization has been confirmed in recent years by the plethora of scientific discoveries pertaining to the "just right" status of the entire cosmos with respect to the existence of living organisms.

"The strength of the gravitational force, which is one of nature's most fundamental building blocks, provides a good case in point. The numerical value that is associated with the gravitational constant, g, is 6.67 times 10 to the 11th power, and this value appears to have remained rock steady from the birth of the universe to the present day. However, the most remarkable thing about the gravitational constant isn't its fixed nature as such, but rather its perfect fit for the needs of life. For had the strength of the gravitational force been even slightly different, the universe would have been "stillborn," and we wouldn't be here to discuss the fact. This is all the more remarkable because the gravitational constant could conceivably have occupied an infinite number of possible values. Yet, out of this endless sea of possible strengths, nature ended up choosing the only one that happens to be "just right" for the needs of life.

"This "just right" status is now known to apply to all of nature's fundamental constants, and not just to the strength of gravity. Indeed, this could very well turn out to be the single most perplexing conundrum in all of modern science. For whereas scientists and philosophers have long been aware of the fact that we live in a "just right" world and universe, they have nevertheless been at a total loss to explain why this might be so."

For more, see:

 What Evidence is There That God Exists? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

 The Universe — Did It Come About by Chance or by Design? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

 Earth's Perpetual 'Habitable Zone' - Accident or "Remarkable Fine-Tuning"? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

 How Likely is it For a Basic DNA Molecule to Form Spontaneously? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

 The “Simple” Cell - A Product of Design or Extraordinary Coincidence? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Monday, May 26, 2014

Do Jesus and Jehovah Share the Same Title of "Alpha and Omega"?

Some trinitarians attempt to prove their "Jehovah is Jesus" idea by pointing to Rev. 1:8 where God is clearly called "Alpha and Omega" and then saying that Jesus claims the same title at Rev. 22:13. They point to Rev. 22:16 in the KJV as proof that it is Jesus who is claiming to be the Alpha and Omega of verse 13. Since Jehovah is clearly Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8), they say, and Jesus is Alpha and Omega (Rev. 22:13), then Jesus IS Jehovah!

As you probably know, the original Bible writers didn't use any punctuation or capitalization and frequently ran the words of one speaker right into those of another speaker without any warning or indication. Eerdmans 1978 edition of Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, for example, warns Bible readers:

"The language of the MESSENGER frequently glides into that of the SENDER ..." and, "what a SERVANT says or does is ascribed to the MASTER." - "Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation" - Preface.

There is another thing that helps show the originally-intended meaning here. Although it is very common that the words of one speaker slide right into those of another speaker (e.g., Is. 10:4, 7), it also happens that sometimes the writer identifies the new speaker. As we see in Daniel, for example, Daniel nearly always identifies himself as the new speaker when he uses the words "I, Daniel" whenever it might be confusing to the reader (especially after a different person has been speaking) - Dan. 7:15, 28; 8:15, 27; 12:5.

If we then examine Revelation (which is recognized as being similar to, patterned after, and frequently referring to, the Book of Daniel), we find that John also uses this technique. "I, John" identifies a new speaker in every instance John uses it: Rev. 1:9; 22:8. So Rev. 1:9 is merely the statement of a new speaker.

Now look again at Rev. 22:8-16.

John is identified as the speaker in 22:8. The angel speaks in (:9). The angel apparently continues speaking in (:10). The angel may be still speaking in (:11) --- or it could be John or even someone else (as implied in verse 10 in the NAB,1970 ed.).

Now is the angel still speaking in (:12) or is it God, or is it Jesus, or even John?

There is simply no way of telling who the speaker is from any of the early Bible manuscripts. It's entirely a matter of translator's choice. Some translators have decided it is the angel who continues to speak, and they punctuate it accordingly.

So the NASB, JB, and NJB use quotation marks to show that these are all words spoken by the angel.

However, the NKJV, NEB, REB, RSV, and NRSV show by their use of quotation marks that someone else is now speaking in verse 12.

Most Bibles indicate that the person who spoke verse 12 (whether God, angel, Jesus, or John) also spoke verse 13 ("I am Alpha and Omega").

So the big question is: Is it clear that the speaker of verses 12 and 13 continues to speak? Some Bibles indicate this. But other highly respected trinitarian translations do not!

The RSV, NRSV, NASB, NEB, REB, NKJV, and NAB (1991 ed.) show (by quotation marks and indenting) that Rev. 22:14 and 15 are not the words of the speaker of verses 12 and 13 but are John's words. (The Jerusalem Bible and the NJB show us that the angel spoke all the words from verse 10 through verse 15.)

Then they all show Jesus as a new speaker beginning to speak in verse 16.

So, if you must insist that the person speaking just before verse 16 is the same person who is speaking in verse 16, then, according to the trinitarian NEB, RSV, NKJV, and NASB Bibles, you are saying John is Jesus! (According to the JB and NJB you would be insisting that the angel is Jesus!)

Remember, "I, John" indicated a new speaker in Revelation.

So Rev. 22:16 - "I, Jesus" also introduces a new speaker. This means, of course, that the previous statement ("I am the Alpha and Omega") was made by someone else!

Even the KJV (and NKJV) translators have shown by their use of the word 'his' ('His' in the NKJV) in verse 14 that they didn't mean that Jesus was the same speaker as the Alpha and Omega. The speaker of verse 13 is Almighty God. The comment in verse 14 of these Bibles (as literally translated from the Received Text) explains the importance of doing "His Commandments" (not "My Commandments")! Therefore, the speaker of verse 14 is obviously not God as clearly stated by those Bibles which were translated from the Received Text, e.g., KJV; NKJV; KJIIV; MKJV; Young's Literal Translation; Webster Bible (by Noah Webster); and Revised Webster Bible.

So we can easily see that there is no reason to say Jesus spoke the words recorded at Rev. 22:13 (or the above-named trinitarian Bibles would surely have so translated it!) and, in fact, the context really identifies the speaker as being the same person who spoke at Rev. 1:8, God Almighty, Jehovah, the Father.

The only other use of the title "Alpha and Omega" confirms this understanding.

"And He who sits on the throne said, `Behold, I am making all things new.' .... And He said to me, `It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. .... He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.'" - Rev. 21:5-7, NASB.

"Revelation 21:6, 7 indicates that Christians who are spiritual conquerors are to be `sons' of the one known as the Alpha and the Omega. That is never said of the relationship of spirit-anointed Christians to Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of them as his `brothers.' (Heb. 2:11; Matt. 12:50; 25:40) But those `brothers' of Jesus are referred to as `sons of God [the Father].' (Gal. 3:26; 4:6)." - pp. 412-413, Reasoning from the Scriptures, WBTS, 1985.

So Rev. 21:6, 7 confirms the understanding that the Alpha and Omega is the Father, not Jesus.

Furthermore, The only one "seated on the throne" in Rev. is the Father, Jehovah alone. (See, for example, Rev. 4 & 5 where the "Lion that is of the tribe of Judah," the lamb [the Son] approaches the one seated on the throne!)

In short, there is no reason, other than a desire to support the trinity tradition, to believe that Jesus is being called "Alpha and Omega" in Rev. 22. And there is good evidence to believe that it is his Father only who uses this title for himself.

For more, see:

Alpha and Omega - Speaker Confusion Trick (Examining the Trinity)

Alpha and Omega (Insight; Watchtower Online Library)

Alpha and Omega: To whom does this title properly belong? (rs p. 405-p. 426; Watchtower Online Library)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Trinity 'Proof'-Texts (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)

 Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day and Jehovah's Witnesses

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.

Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves do not go to war because the Bible shows that God's servants are not to “learn war anymore.” —Isaiah 2:4. Jesus also showed that his followers would not take up weapons of warfare. (Matthew 26:52)
Also see: Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Go to War?

Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Maintain Political Neutrality?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians. They recognize Jesus’ command to be “no part of the world” by remaining strictly neutral in political matters. (John 17:16) Yet it is important to note that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not protest against military actions or interfere with those who choose to serve in the armed forces.

Below is an excellent article that outlines Jehovah's Witnesses' position to remain politically neutral for religious reasons, based on what the Bible teaches:

Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Maintain Political Neutrality? (JW.ORG)

Also see these subjects from the Watchtower Online Library; JW.ORG - the official website of Jehovah's Witnesses:


Conscientious Objection 

Flag Salute

Military Service 

National Anthems


(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)

 Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Luke 23:43 - Punctuation and the New World Translation; "Truly I tell you today,..."

On occasion, opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to attack the scholarship and honesty of the translators of the New World Translation Bible. One passage that is cited by them is Luke 23:43 and the issue concerns punctuation.

Addressing this issue, the late Dr. Julius Mantey, noted NT Greek scholar and strong trinitarian, allegedly wrote a powerful attack against the honesty and accuracy of the NWT. He complained of the NWT's "attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after `today' in Luke 23:43," when he knows better than anyone that none of the earliest manuscripts (up to the 9th century A.D.) originally had capitalization or punctuation! Later copyists have added punctuation wherever they felt it should be!

Just because a modern text writer decides where he wants the punctuation and capital-ization to be in his interpretation of the original text (as Westcott and Hort did for the text that is used by the NWT and Nestle did in the text used by the NASB, etc.) does not mean that is how the original Bible writer intended the meaning - as explained in the Kingdom Interlinear footnote for this verse.

For example, at John 8:58, most (if not all) text writers have left ego eimi uncapitalized. However, some respected trinitarian Bibles (such as NASB, TEV, and Phillips) have ignored the text writer's preference and used capitalization here in an attempt to make this verb appear to be a Name: "I AM."

Are these popular trinitarian Bibles also guilty of "deliberately deceiving," then, by miscapitalization?

Clearly, for Dr. Mantey to even hint that punctuation can be precisely determined at Luke 23:43 is totally dishonest. We see The Emphasized Bible by Joseph B. Rotherham also punctuating this Scripture to produce the meaning found in the NWT:

"Verily I say unto thee this day: With me shalt thou be in Paradise."

And the footnote for Luke 23:43 in Lamsa's translation admits:

"Ancient texts were not punctuated. The comma could come before or after today."

The Concordant Literal New Testament renders it: "43 And Jesus said to him, 'Verily, to you am I saying today, with Me shall you be in paradise.'"

2001 Translation – An American English Bible: 43 And [Jesus] replied, `I tell you this today; you will be with me in Paradise.'

A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament by E.W. Bullinger, DD., page 811 says:

"'And Jesus said to him, Verily, to thee I say this day, with Me shalt thou be in the Paradise.' The words today being made solemn and emphatic. Thus, instead of a remembrance, when He shall come in...His kingdom, He promises a presence in association (meta, 'with') Himself. And this promise he makes on that very day when he was dying.... Thus we are saved (1) the trouble of explaining why Jesus did not answer the question on its own terms; and (2) the inconvenience of endorsing the punctuation of the [KJV] as inspired; and we also place this passage in harmony with numberless passages in the O.T., such as 'Verily I say unto you this day,' etc.; 'I testify unto you this day.' etc.; vii.1; x.13; xi.8;,13,23; xii.13; xix.9; xxvii.4; xxxi.2, etc., where the Septuagint corresponds to Luke xxii.43."

Yes, there is no reason to deny the rendering of Luke 23:43 as, "I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise."


A couple examples from the Hebrew Scriptures of the OT in modern Bibles:

(NKJV) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I announce to you today that you shall surely perish"

(NASB) Deuteronomy 30:18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish.

(RSV) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I declare to you this day, that you shall perish"

(God's Word) Deuteronomy 30:18 "If you do, I tell you today that you will certainly be destroyed"

(MKJV (Green)) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I declare to you today that you shall surely perish"


(NASB) Zechariah 9:12 "Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you."

(KJV) "even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;" (TEV) "Now I tell you that I will repay you twice over"

(RSV) "today I declare that I will restore to you double."

(JPS) "even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee"

(BBE) "today I say to you that I will give you back twice as much"

(God'sWord) "Today I tell you that I will return to you double blessings."

(CEV) "because today I will reward you with twice what you had."

(NJB) "This very day, I vow, I shall make it up to you twice over."

(NAB) "This very day, I will return you double for your exile."

[Also compare Deut. 5:1 and 6:6]

For much more, see:

What is the Paradise that Jesus promised to the evildoer who died alongside him? (Insight-2 pp. 574-577; Watchtower Online Library)

Earthly Resurrection (Insight-2 pp. 783-793; Watchtower Online Library)

Luke 23:43 and the New World Translation (Search For Bible Truths)

What About...Luke 23:43? (From God's Word)

Luke 23:43 (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)
Luke 23:43 (Jehovah's Witnesses United; Scroll Down to Second Letter)  
Luke 23:43 - The Greek adverb which is rendered in English “today” in relation to its verb in Biblical Greek when found in Direct Discourse (Scriptural Truths)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Is It True That You Place Punctuation In Your NWT To Support Your Own Teachings? (Y/A)


(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dinosaurs - When Did They Live?

The following is an excerpt from the 2/8/90 Awake!: "Discovering `The Great Reptiles' of the Past" pp.7-11; Heading: "When Did They Live?"

When Did They Live?

Dinosaurs played a dominant role in life on earth during their age. But then they came to an end. The rock layers containing human fossils consistently occur above those layers containing dinosaur fossils. Because of this, scientists generally conclude that humans came on the earthly scene later.

In this regard the book Palaeontology, by James Scott, states: "Even the earliest species of Homo sapiens (man) lived long after the disappearance of the dinosaurs . . . After tilting (through earth movement) has been allowed for, rocks containing fossil men consistently occur above those preserving the bones of the great dinosaur reptiles and it follows that the latter belong to an earlier age than the human remains."

In the Red Deer River valley, there is a layer of sedimentary rock that contains dinosaur bones. Just above this, there is a purplish-brown layer that follows the contour of the hillside. On top of the purplish-brown layer is a layer of brownish siltstone containing fossils of subtropical ferns, indicating a hot climate. Above this, there are several layers of coal. Farther up the hillside are coarser-grained layers of earth. There are no dinosaur bones in any of the higher layers.

The book A Vanished World: The Dinosaurs of Western Canada states that "all of the 11 major kinds of dinosaurs . . . ceased to exist in the western interior at about the same time." This, and the fact that human bones have not been found with dinosaur bones, is why most scientists conclude that the Age of Dinosaurs ended before humans came on the scene.

However, it should be noted that there are some who say that dinosaur bones and human bones are not found together because dinosaurs did not live in areas of human habitation. Such differing views demonstrate that the fossil record does not yield its secrets so easily and that no one on earth today really knows all the answers.

(For additional reading, see the Dinosaurs category.)


(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Near-Death or Afterlife Experiences - What the Bible Says About Death

What Causes Near-Death Experiences?
There have been accounts of people who have come close to dying who say that they recall being separated from their body or seeing a bright light or a place of great beauty. ‘Some consider the experience to be a privileged glimpse of another realm of existence,’ states the book Recollections of Death. However, there happens to be a medical explanation for so-called afterlife experiences. The medical editor of The Arizona Republic wrote:

“When physical prowess is at its lowest ebb, as under anesthesia, or the result of disease or injury, automatic control of bodily functions diminishes accordingly. Thus, the neurohormones and catecholamines of the nervous system are released and pour out in uncontrolled quantity. The result, among other manifestations, is the hallucination, rationalized after returning to consciousness, of having died and returned to life.”—May 28, 1977, p. C-1; also the German medical journal Fortschritte der Medizin, No. 41, 1979; Psychology Today, January 1981.

What The Bible Says About Death

The Bible doesn't mention anything about near-death experiences. However, it does contain a fundamental truth that shows that they are not visions of the next life.

The Bible says this about what happens after death:

"The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all." (Eccl. 9:5)

"His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts ["thoughts," KJ, 145:4 in Dy; "all his thinking," NE; "plans," RS, NAB] do perish." (Ps. 146:4)

Bible Likens Death to Deep Sleep
The Bible shows that the condition of the dead is one of inactivity - likened to a deep sleep. (Ps. 13:3; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 1 Cor. 7:39; 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:13)

Therefore, any memories from a near-death experience cannot be glimpses of heaven, hell, or the afterlife.

The Account of Lazarus - An Actual Death Experience

The Bible’s account of Lazarus describes an actual death experience: He was resurrected by Jesus after being dead for four days. (John 11:38-44) If Lazarus had been enjoying some form of afterlife, it would have been cruel of Jesus to bring him back to life on earth. However, the Bible records no comments from Lazarus about the afterlife. Surely Lazarus would have spoken about his afterlife experience if he had had one. Significantly, Jesus described Lazarus’ death as being like sleep, indicating that while Lazarus was dead, he was conscious of nothing at all.—John 11:11-14.

Resurrection of Dead Loved Ones

Future Hope of Resurrection
The Bible talks about a promised future hope for those who have passed away:

"The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29)

"There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." - Acts 24:15

At that time "no resident will say: 'I am sick.'" (Isaiah 33:24)

God "will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

For more, see:

Near-Death Experiences—What Do They Not Mean? (JW.ORG)

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Does Elohim Mean a "Plural Oneness" or a "Plurality of Persons"?

Elohim does not mean a "plural oneness" or a "plurality of persons".

That the Hebrew plural is often used for a singular noun to denote "a `plural' of majesty or excellence" is well-known by all Biblical Hebrew language experts and has been known from at least the time of Gesenius (1786-1842), who is still regarded as one of the best authorities for Biblical Hebrew.

Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament ("long regarded as a standard work for students"), p. 49, shows that elohim, is sometimes used in a numerically plural sense for angels, judges, and false gods.  But it also says,

"The plural of majesty [for elohim], occurs, on the other hand, more than two thousand times."  And that elohim when used in that sense "occurs in a [numerically] singular sense" and is "constr[ued] with a verb ...  and adjective in the singular."

Gesenius - Kautzsch's Hebrew Grammar, 1949 ed., pp. 398, 399, says: 

"The pluralis excellentiae or maiestatis ... is properly a variety of the abstract plural, since it sums up the several characteristics belonging to the idea, besides possessing the secondary sense of an intensification of the original idea.  It is thus closely related to the plurals of amplification .... So, especially Elohim ... `God' (to be distinguished from the plural `gods', Ex. 12:12, etc.) .... That the language has entirely rejected the idea of numerical plurality in Elohim (whenever it denotes one God) is proved especially by its being almost invariably joined with a singular attribute."

More modern publications (trinitarian Protestant and Catholic) also make similar acknowledgments of the intended plural of majesty or excellence meaning for elohim.  (See the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. v., p. 287.)

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, describes elohim

"The common plural form `elohim,' a plural of majesty." - Unger and White, 1980, p. 159

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says: 

"It is characteristic of Heb[rew] that extension, magnitude, and dignity, as well as actual multiplicity, are expressed by the pl[ural]."  - Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984 ed., Vol. II, p. 1265.

Today's Dictionary of the Bible, 1982, Bethany House Publishers, written by trinitarian scholars, says of elohim:
"Applied to the one true God, it is the result in the Hebrew idiom of a plural magnitude or majesty.  When applied to the heathen gods, angels, or judges ..., Elohim is plural in sense as well as form." - p. 208.

The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. xxi, July 1905 (Aaron Ember) tells us:  "several phenomena in the universe were designated in Hebrew by plural expressions because they inspired the Hebrew mind with the idea of greatness, majesty, grandeur, and holiness."

Ember also says: 

"Various theories have been advanced to explain the use of the plural elohim as a designation of the God of Israel.  least plausible is the view of the Old Theologians, beginning with Peter Lombard (12th century A. D.), that we have in the plural form a reference to the Trinity .... that the language of the OT has entirely given up the idea of plurality [in number] in elohim (as applied to the God of Israel) is especially shown by the fact that it is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular attribute.

"...elohim must rather be explained as an intensive plural denoting greatness and majesty, being equal to the Great God.  It ranks with the plurals adonim [`master'] and baalim [`owner', `lord'] employed with reference to [individual] human beings."

The famous trinitarian scholar, Robert Young, (Young's Analytical Concordance and Young's Literal Translation of the Bible) wrote in his Young's  Concise Critical Commentary, p. 1,

"Heb. elohim, a plural noun ... it seems to point out a superabundance of qualities in the Divine Being rather than a plurality of persons ....  It is found almost invariably accompanied by a verb in the singular number."

Both Exodus 4:16 and 7:1 show God calling Moses "a god" (elohim).  This alone shows the error of some that the plural elohim must mean a "plural oneness" unless we want to believe Moses was a multiple-person Moses.
And The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan Publishing, 1986, tells us: 

"Elohim, though plural in form, is seldom used in the OT as such (i.e. `gods').  Even a single heathen god can be designated with the plural elohim (e.g. Jdg. 11:24; 1 Ki. 11:5; 2 Ki. 1:2).  In Israel the plural is understood as the plural of fullness; God is the God who really, and in the fullest sense of the word, is God." - p. 67, Vol. 2.

The NIV Study Bible says about elohim in its footnote for Gen. 1:1:

"This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality." – p. 6, Zondervan Publ., 1985.

And the New American Bible (St. Joseph ed.) tells us in its "Bible Dictionary" in the appendix:

"ELOHIM.  Ordinary Hebrew word for God.  It is the plural of majesty." – Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1970.

A Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith (Smith's Bible Dictionary, p. 220, Hendrickson Publ.) declares:
"The fanciful idea that [elohim] referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars.  It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God."

And the prestigious work edited by Hastings says about this:

"It is exegesis of a mischievous if pious sort that would find the doctrine of the Trinity in the plural form elohim [God]" ("God," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics).

To show how ancient Jewish scholars themselves understood this we can look at the work of the seventy Hebrew scholars who translated the ancient Hebrew Scriptures (OT) into Greek several centuries before the time of Christ.  The Greek language did not use the "plural of excellence" that the Hebrew did.  So, if we see a plural used in the Greek Septuagint, it was really intended to represent more than one individual.

So how is elohim rendered in the Greek Septuagint by those ancient Hebrew scholars?  Whenever it clearly refers to Jehovah God, it is always found to be singular in number (just as in New Testament Greek): theos .   Whenever elohim clearly refers to a plural (in number) noun, it is always found to be plural in number in Greek (just as in the New Testament Greek): "gods" theoi (nominative) or theois (accusative).

For example:  "I am the Lord thy God [elohim - plural of excellence in Hebrew becomes theos - singular in the Greek Septuagint]" - Ex. 20:2.  And "know that the Lord he is God [as always, the plural elohim, as applied to the God of Israel, becomes the singular, theos in the Septuagint] he made us..." - Ps. 100:3.

But when elohim really does mean plural in number, we see it rendered into the Greek plural for "gods" in the Septuagint:  "Thou shalt not worship their gods [elohim in Hebrew becomes theois - plural in the Greek Septuagint], nor serve them .... And thou shalt serve the Lord thy God [singular - Greek]." - Ex. 23:24-25.

And elohim at Ps. 82:6 is translated in the Septuagint as the plural theoi.  This scripture is also quoted in the NT at John 10:34 where Jesus is shown also using the plural theoi

The plural elohim argument is no more proper than the plural "faces" argument:  When the Hebrew scriptures speak of the face of God, they invariably use the plural Hebrew word which is literally "faces" (e.g. Ex. 33:20, Num. 6:25, Ps. 10:11).  Obviously, according to this type of trinitarian reasoning, to have "faces" God must be more than one person!
It is apparent to any competent OT Bible scholar that "faces" is used in a similar manner to the plural "elohim."  That is, the plural "faces" is used in a  singular sense in the ancient Hebrew idiom.

We only have to look at other uses in the Bible.  King David, for example, is described with the plural "faces" usage: 2 Sam. 14:24 uses the plural "faces" twice for King David!  This scripture, when translated into the ancient Greek Septuagint hundreds of years before Christ, used the singular "face" in Greek.  The same thing has happened in many scriptures, e.g. 2 Ki. 3:14 (Jehoshaphat) and 2 Ki. 18:24 (an official).

Clearly, the Hebrew translators of that time did not understand a "multiple-person God" (any more than a "multiple-person David [or Jehoshaphat]") or they certainly would have translated the plural Hebrew "faces" of God with the plural Greek word for "faces."  But they never did!

Likewise, as with the plural elohim, the New Testament writers never followed the Hebrew plural usage for "face," but always used the singular "face" for God (e.g., Heb. 9:24).  How extremely strange if they really believed God was more than one person.

We see exactly the same thing happening for translations of the plural elohim in the ancient Septuagint and in the Christian NT.

Yes, all the NT Bible writers, whether quoting from the OT or writing their own God-inspired NT scriptures, always used the singular "God" (theos) in NT Greek when speaking of the only true God of the Bible.  (If the plural form had been used for the only true God, we would even discover a new "trinity" at John 10:34.)

It is absolutely incredible that John, Paul, and the other inspired NT writers would not have used the plural Greek form to translate the plural Hebrew form of "God" if they had intended in any degree to imply that God was in any way more than one person!

For more, see:

ELOHIM - Links to Information (Index; Watchtower Online Library)

GOD (Insight-1 pp. 968-971; Watchtower Online Library)

God and gods (Examining the Trinity)

ELOHIM - Plural 'God'  and "Let Us Make Man in Our Image" (Examining the Trinity)

HUMPTY - (DEFINITIONS OF “GOD”) (Examining the Trinity)

Old Testament Monotheism: The Usage and Meaning of Elohim (JWs United)


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Does the Fact That Worship is Given to Jesus Prove That He is God?

Does the Fact That Worship is Given to Jesus Prove That He is God?


The "worship" given to Jesus means no more than the "worship" given to king David as God's representative. "And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king." -- 1 Chronicles 29:20, KJV

The "worship" given to king David did not prove that he was God.

But like David, as God's representative, Jesus is given deference and respect, "worship" in that form as God's resurrected Son and heavenly King, but not as God.

The Meaning of the Greek and Hebrew Words 'Proskuneo' and 'Shachah'

The act described by proskuneo (or shachah) was of bowing or kneeling, and it generally indicated an act of respect and a display of one's willingness to submit to or serve another person who occupied a superior position, regardless of his nature (somewhat similar to a salute in the military today).

The Hebrew word most often translated "worship" is shachah, and it is usually rendered as proskuneo in the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament. Unger and White say of this word: "Shachah ... 'to worship, prostrate oneself, bow down.'" And, "The act of bowing down in homage done before a superior [in rank] or a ruler. Thus David 'bowed' himself [shachah] before Saul (1 Sam. 24:8). Sometimes it is a social or economic superior to whom one bows, as when Ruth 'bowed' [shachah] to the ground before Boaz (Ruth 2:10)." - Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, 1980, Thomas Nelson Publ., p. 482.

Even the extremely trinitarian W. E. Vine writes in his An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 1247:

"PROSKUNEO ... to make obeisance, do reverence to (from pros, towards, and kuneo, to kiss), is the most frequent word rendered 'to worship'. It is used for an act of homage or reverence (a) to God ...; (b) to Christ ...; (c) to a MAN, Matt. 18:26." ("Obeisance," of course, shows "respect, submission, or reverence" - Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1961.)

It was done, of course, in its very highest sense to God alone, but it was also done, in a lower sense of the same word, to kings, angels, prophets, etc. That is why proskuneo is translated "prostrated himself before" at Matt. 18:26 NASB, even though the KJV uses "worship" there. Notice how other trinitarian translations render that verse (RSV and NIV for example) where a servant "worships" [proskuneo] his master. And that is why, in the account of the man blind from birth whom Jesus healed, we see that man giving proskuneo to Jesus at John 9:38. The ASV, in a footnote for John 9:38, says,

"The Greek word [proskuneo] denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature, as here [Jesus], or to the Creator."

For more, see:

Is It Proper to Worship Jesus? "Worship" (Proskuneo /Shachah) (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

"Worship" (Proskuneo /Shachah) Different Levels of Meaning in Scripture (Examining the Trinity)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Is It Proper to Worship Jesus? (g00 4/8 pp. 26-27; Watchtower Online Library)

Obeisance to the Glorified Jesus Christ (Insight-2 pp. 523-524; Watchtower Online Library)

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

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tattoos - Should Christians Get Them?

Tattoos - Should Christians Get Them?

It is significant that the Mosaic Law forbade God's people to tattoo themselves. Leviticus 19:28 says:

"(You) shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Jehovah." (ASV)

Even though Christians today are no longer bound to the Mosaic Law, the prohibition it laid on tattooing is worth considering. (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14, 15) Additionally, if you are a Christian, the Bible counsels that you certainly would not want to make markings on your body—even temporarily—that has any trace of paganism or false worship. (See 2 Corinthians 6:15-18.)

Another thing to consider is whether choosing to get a tattoo would enhance or undermine your claim of being a Christian. As many react negatively, one could ask themselves, "How may others feel about my wearing a tattoo?" (1 Corinthians 10:29-33)  Could it be a "cause for stumbling" others? (2 Corinthians 6:3)

One who seeks to please God should also keep in mind that becoming a Christian involves the offering of oneself to God. The Bible says that our bodies are living sacrifices presented to God for His use:

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?" - Rom 12:1 (NLT)

For much more, see:

What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos? (JW.ORG)

Should I Get a Tattoo? (g03 9/22 pp. 25-27; Watchtower Online Library)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Body Decoration—The Need for Reasonableness (g00 8/8 pp. 18-19; Watchtower Online Library)

Tattoos (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses