Friday, December 23, 2016

Why do JW's say Jehovah God?

Why you say Jehovah God? Me no get!

[Note, the questioner deleted his question soon after I answered, and I was the only one who answered. His description of his question is restructured from his similar question he asked me on this Q&A under Gloria's answer.]

Is Jehovah God a different god from God? Or are you using Jehovah as some kind of first name; like Jesus God, Holy spirit God, or Father God?

My answer

Jehovah (Psalm 83:18) is the Almighty God who is the Father. Jesus declared that the Father person is the “only true God” in John 17:1-5 in accords with divine revelation seen in Deuteronomy 32:6, Isaiah 63:16, 64:8, Jeremiah 31:9, Psalm 89:26 and Malachi 2:10, which all in one way or another identify God or Jehovah as the Father.

See:
Biblical monotheism is...
http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2011/01/biblical-monotheism-is-monolatrism.html

[To this, the questioner replied here under Gloria's answer:]
Why not just say Father, or God? Why Jehovah God?

ME:
Because that's his name, used some 7,000 times in the OT. For instance, see: Psalm 83:18.

Why are Christians so utterly confused about the Trinity?


They say "I'm correct, I know the facts", but when you see 10 other Christian answers about the same Trinity question ....... THEY ARE often **DIFFERENT** answers. They all think "I'm correct, I know the facts".

Clearly these Christians are making it up as they go along, in order to appear as the "winner".

My answer

Well for one, because it's full of contradictory teachings, like Jesus being fully divine and fully human simultaneously outside of earth's atmosphere, and that God is not a person but an impersonal construct housing three people.

See my extensive explanations here:

Jesus: a Spirit Born on Earth

Jesus’ Resurrection Body

Hebrews 5:7 and Trinitarianism: A Compatibility Crisis

What a tangled web we weave...

Biblical monotheism is...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Protestants: Do you know what the "Protestant's Burden" is?

See pages 163-4 of Truth in Translation:
books.google.com link

Update: Hi [name removed]! Thanks for posting. However, I'm afraid his book is far more credible and serious than you are allowing for.
Update 2: Same goes for "[name removed]." He's very objective and for the most part very reliable. (He's not perfect however, but he doesn't need to be and none of us are.)


Best Answer: 

Yes, BeDuhn's book has far more value than many wish it to have. It was favorable to the NWT, and critical of the most popular English translations. Therefore it is understandable that Protestants or Catholics would be critical of BeDuhn's book.

BeDuhn's analysis is often misrepresented - his book was about *bias* in translation and how it affects accuracy - not translation accuracy in general. He said he picked the verses he analysed because those were the most talked about and controversial - they were the ones that others brought to his attention. They tended to be verses that were theologically important, so much so that bias would color the translation. Basically, the NWT was accused of bias in a certain verse, BeDuhn would investigate, and found that the NWT was actually the most accurate compared to other Bibles. BeDuhn did not say that the NWT was the most accurate Bible translation, bar none, but that it was the most accurate in the verses analysed.

BeDuhn found what he calls the Protestant Burden - the burden that Protestants have to make their teachings conform to the Bible - their supposed ultimate authority. Catholics don't have this because their church has equal or more authority. So, for example, Protestants need Trinitarian proof texts, but the Catholics are fine with church creeds that proclaim the Trinity. I have found that many Catholics are Ok with the Trinity not being formulated until 325 CE, for they think the Church had God's backing to proclaim the Athanasian Creed. But Protestants want Paul and John to be writing about the Trinity in the first century.

Basically, Protestants will color their translation in such a way that supports the Trinity - a doctrine they're not willing to abandon. On the other hand, Jehovah's Witnesses are interested in what the Bible itself says, stripped of tradition.

I agree with BeDuhn. JWs would believe in the Trinity if it was biblical, but I don't think Protestants are willing to disbelieve the Trinity if not biblical.

LINK


Related blog entries:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Why does the King James Version retain Jehovah four times?


The King James Version uses the name "Jehovah" four times (Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4) out of the nearly 7,000 times it appears in the OT, (6,828 times in the Hebrew text printed in Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia).

Why were they left in these four (4) places? Is there any significance in this, or is it random?

Please note that while a few place-names which include "Jehovah" are also left intact (see Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:24), I'm not referring to these, but to these four places where Jehovah is a name:

Exodus 6:3
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Psalm 83:18
That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH, [art] the most high over all the earth.

Isaiah 12:2
Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 26:4
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:

Best Answer:

1) Why does the King James Version retain Jehovah four times?

Consistency in translation (when appropriate) is an important issue in modern translation - but was deemed much less important in 1611. Different individuals translated different portions of the KJV without extensive guidelines regarding translation consistency. (Ideally, consistency in translation means that a particular word in the source language is always rendered in the same way in the target language. In practice the best translations implement consistency when it benefits the accuracy and precision of the translation, but not at other times.)

A good example of inconsistency in the KJV is in the transliteration of names. Several names that are identical in Hebrew are rendered differently by the various translators.

However, probably an even more important reason is that "Jehovah" was used in the Bishops' Bible. The translators of the KJV were under strict orders to use the same wording as the Bishops' Bible whenever accuracy would allow.

So: I think the real answer is:
a) The KJV translators had to follow the Bishops' Bible, which used "Jehovah" in Exo 6:3
b) Because there was only a minimal attempt (by today's standards) to ensure consistency of translation in the KJV


Note that the translators were instructed to follow the wording of older Bible versions when the Bishops' Bible was inaccurate; it may be that in those 3 other verses the word "Jehovah" appears in older Bibles such as the Geneva Bible and the Great Bible.
http://studylight.org/desk/?l=en&query=I... 


Another contributor (the late Solomon Landers) said:

It is probably random. There is no indication in the Hebrew text that "Jehovah" should only be represented in these four places, and not elsewhere.

If the KJV translators had followed their Hebrew text, they would have used "Jehovah" consistently throughout their Bible, as the later KJV revision, the American Standard Version (1901) does.

The use of "Lord" in Bibles as a substitute title for God's name (YHWH, "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" in English) is based on a tradition that is not found in the Bible itself, where people from all walks of life freely speak God's name openly.

If the KJV were accurately translated, the fact of the frequent and customary reference to God by name would be evident.

LINK

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Did you know that Baptist Theologian John Gill connected Michael with Jesus?


John Gill (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian who held to a staunch Calvinistic soteriology.[1]

His magnum opus, John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, has this comment on 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

with the voice of the archangel;
so Michael is called, in (Jude 1:9) with which compare (Revelation 12:7) and who perhaps is no other than Christ himself, who is the head of all principality and power; and the sense be, that Christ shall descend from heaven with a voice, or shall then utter such a voice, as will show him to be the archangel.[2]

Additionally, he made the same connection for Revelation 12:7, while maintaining his Trinitarianism:

[I]t seems best to interpret it of Jesus Christ, who is equal with God, is his fellow, is one with the Father, and in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily: he is the Archangel, the first of the chief princes, the head of all principality and power, who is on the side of the Lord's people, pleads their cause, defends their persons, and saves them; see (Jude 1:9) (Daniel 10:13) (12:1).[3]

While he did not deny the Trinity, did you know that he still made the connection of Michael the archangel with Jesus Christ?

Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gill_(theologian)
[2] http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=1th&chapter=004&verse=016
[3] http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=re&chapter=012&verse=007

See related question:
Why does Christ come to raise the dead with the archangel's voice?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AuUVPk0R3ZUfMMKa8vYqL84jzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20100727085806AANv8uV [See Appendix B]

See also: http://jehovah.to/xlation/ar.html under "What Some Commentators Have Said".

Best Answer:

Does it really matter to them? It doesn't seem to be that way!

Several others had come to that conclusion as well, like John Wesley, founder of the Methodists. I'm sure they have no clue that John Wesley believed that Jesus IS Michael.

LINK

Appendix

  1. Confessions of Clerics
  2. From Y!A
  3. The Works of Jonathan Edwards

Confessions of Clerics

John Calvin:

"Michael may mean an angel; but I embrace the opinion of those who refer this to the person of Christ, because it suits the subject best to represent him as standing forward for the defense of his elect people." 'Michael the Archangel and Jesus Christ have the same role.'

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom25.vii.iii.html


John Wesley:

"Michael here is commonly supposed to mean Christ."
"Michael - Christ alone is the protector of his church, when all the princes of the earth desert or oppose it."
"Michael your prince, the Messiah shall appear for your salvation."

http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/john-wesleys-notes-on-the-bible/notes-on-the-book-of-daniel

Geneva Bible Commentary:

"God will send his angel to deliver it, whom he here calls Michael, meaning Christ, who is proclaimed by the preaching of the Gospel."

http://www.ccel.org/g/geneva/notes/Daniel/12.html


John Gill:

"with the voice of the archangel; so Michael is called, in Jude 1:9 with which compare Revelation 12:7 and who perhaps is no other than Christ himself, who is the head of all principality and power; and the sense be, that Christ shall descend from heaven with a voice, or shall then utter such a voice, as will show him to be the archangel; or as the Syriac version renders it, "the head", or "prince of angels";"

http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-thessalonians-4.html#16

While maintaining his Trinitarianism, he added:

"it seems best to interpret it [Michael] of Jesus Christ, ... he is the Archangel, the first of the chief princes, the head of all principality and power, who is on the side of the Lord's people, pleads their cause, defends their persons, and saves them."

(Note, the "..." cuts out his wordy Trinitarian explanation, removed for clarity.)

http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-12.html#7

From Y!A

Question:
Why does Christ come to raise the dead with the archangel's voice?

Would not more command and authority be with his own voice?

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." -- 1 Thessalonians 4:16, NET Bible

Why did some Christian theologians, like John Calvin, (Calvin’s Commentaries on The Prophet Daniel, Vol. II, Baker reprint, vol. XIII, pp. 369, 370), John Gill (A Complete Body of Practical and Doctrinal Divinity, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1987 reprint, p. 617), and Johathan Edwards (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth, 1979 reprint, p. 606.), postulate that the archangel was Christ himself?

Best Answer:
It is evident that these Christian theologians postulated that the archangel was Christ himself because of the scriptural evidence. They concluded that because the prefix "arch," means "chief" or "principal," and the word "Archangel" is never found in the plural, that this implies that there is only ONE Archangel (Compare Jude 9, "Michael THE Archangel"). So when the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is also described as being that of the "Archangel" at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, this suggests to them that he is, in fact, himself the Archangel.

Today, Jehovah Witnesses are widely associated with this belief. BUT THEY WEREN'T THE FIRST TO REASON that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. Note what early Christian scholar Origen wrote:

"There are certain creatures, rational and divine, which are called powers [spirit creatures, probably ANGELS]; AND OF THESE CHRIST WAS THE HIGHEST and best and is called not only the wisdom of God but also His power." - ANF 10:321-322.

"The EARLIER PROTESTANT SCHOLARS usually identified Michael with the preincarnate Christ, finding support for their view, not only in the juxtaposition of the "child" and the archangel in Rev 12, but also in the attributes ascribed to him in Dnl." - The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, John A. Lees (1930, Vol. III), p. 2048.

"ARCHANGEL. This word is only twice used in the Bible, 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9. In the last passage it is applied to Michael, who, in Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1, is described as having a special charge of the Jewish Nation, and in Rev. 12:7-9 as the leader of an angelic army. So EXALTED are the POSITION and offices ASCRIBED TO MICHAEL, THAT MANY THINK THE MESSIAH IS MEANT." - Inter-National Bible Dictionary, published by Logos International, Plainfield, New Jersey, p. 35.

Even MODERN TRINITARIANS sometimes admit that Jesus in his pre-human existence appeared as an angel.

Highly respected trinitarian Bible scholar, Dr. E. F. Scott, Emeritus Professor at the Union Theological Seminary, wrote:

"The author of Hebrews ... thinks of [Jesus] as an angel, whom God had exalted above all others, investing him with his own majesty and calling him by the name of Son." - p. 726, An Encyclopedia of Religion, 1945 ed.

And, again, the very trinitarian The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible tells us that at this time the Jewish expectation was that the Christ was

"a pre-existent, heavenly angelic being who, at the end of time, will appear at the side of God as judge of the world [see Acts 7:55-56]." - p. 364, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, 1962.

"Angel of the Lord [angel of Jehovah] - occurs many times in the Old Testament, where in almost every instance it means a supernatural personage to be distinguished from Jehovah .... Some feel the pre-incarnate Christ is meant." - p. 39, Today's Dictionary of the Bible (trinitarian), Bethany House Publ., 1982.

"Angel of the Lord. ... Christ's visible form before the incarnation." - p. 40, Smith's Bible Dictionary (trinitarian), Hendrickson Publ.

"ANGEL OF THE LORD, ... is represented in Scripture as a heavenly being sent by God to deal with men as his personal agent and spokesman [`word'] .... In the NT [which trinitarians agree explains and amplifies the OT] there is no possibility of the angel of the Lord being confused with God. .... mostly when appearing to men he is recognized as a divine being, even though in human form, and is [sometimes] addressed as God" - p. 38, New Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House (trinitarian), 1984 printing.

"The Angel of the LORD.... Traditional [from 2nd century A. D. (at least)] Christian interpretation has held that this `angel' was a preincarnate manifestation of Christ as God's Messenger-Servant. It may be ..., the angel could speak on behalf of (and so be identified with) the One [Jehovah] who sent him." - footnote for Gen. 16:7 in the highly trinitarian The NIV Study Bible by Zondervan Publishing, 1985.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AuUVPk0R3ZUfMMKa8vYqL84jzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20100727085806AANv8uV

The Works of Jonathan Edwards

Satan has ever had a peculiar enmity against the Son of God. Probably his first rebellion, which was his condemnation, was his proudly taking it in disdain, when God declared the decree in heaven, that his Son in man’s nature, should be the King of heaven, and that all the angels should worship him. However that was, yet it is certain that his strife has ever been especially against the Son of God. The enmity has always been between the seed of the woman, and the serpent. And therefore that war which the devil maintains against God is represented by the devil and his angels fighting against Michael and his angels (Rev. 12:7). This Michael is Christ (Dan. 10:21 and 12:1).
(Christ Exalted Section III)

When Lucifer rebelled and set up himself as a head in opposition to God and Christ, and set himself as a head in opposition to God and Christ, and drew away a great number of angels, the Son of God, manifested himself as an opposite head, and appeared graciously to dissuade and restrain by his grace the elect angels from hearkening to Lucifer’s temptation, so that they were upheld and preserved eternal destruction at this time of great danger by the free and sovereign distinguishing grace of Christ. Herein Christ was the Saviour of the elect angels, for thought he did not save them as he did elect men from the ruin they had already deserved, and were condemned to, and the miserable, state they were already in, yet he saved them from eternal destruction they were in great danger of, and otherwise would have fallen into with the other angels. The elect angels joined with him, the glorious Michael, as their captain, while the other angels hearkened to Lucifer and joined him, and then was that literally true that fulfilled afterwards figuratively. Rev xii. “When there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the dragon ; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not ; neither was there place found any more heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world ; he was case out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
(The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth, 1979 reprint, p. 606.)

http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/82062-Is-Michael-Jesus-Edwards-Calvin-Revelation?s=d821c3d2464d4591f27f55c6c572ffc1

§ 45. Overcoming Satan ... But it is the special work of Christ to bruise the serpent’s head; to destroy the works of the devil; and that by his own strength. For he is represented as conquering him, because he is stronger than the strong man armed, and so overcoming him and taking from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and spoiling his goods. It is he that has spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them. He is the spiritual Samson, that has rent the roaring lion as he would have rent a kid; and the spiritual David, that has delivered the lamb out of his mouth, and has slain that great Goliath. He is that Michael who fights with the dragon and casts him out; and at last will judge Satan, and will utterly destroy him; and will inflict those everlasting torments on him spoken of in Rev. 20:10. In the apprehension of which he now trembles, and trembled for fear that Christ would inflict those torments on him, when he cried out and fell down before him, saying, “Art thou come to torment me before the time?” and, “I beseech thee, torment me not.”
(The works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 2. Originally published in 1834. (507). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 2008)


VI. ... The glorious majesty of God appears in conquering all those mighty enemies of the church one age after another; in conquering Satan, that proud and strong spirit, and all his hellish host; in bringing him down under foot, long after he had vaunted himself as god of this world, and when he did his utmost to support himself in his kingdom. Christ, our Michael, has overcome him, the devil was cast out, and there was found no more place for him in heaven; but he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
(The works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1. Originally published in 1834. (618). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 2008)

Related blog entries:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses say they believe in the divinity of Christ...?


How can Jesus be divine and not be God?

My Answer:

Everyone who lives in the spirit realm lives in the divine realm as they are the same place. All spirit beings are divine. The Almighty Creator is to be worshiped as such.

See:
Biblical monotheism is...
http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2011/01/biblical-monotheism-is-monolatrism.html

I'll add that since Trinitarianism teaches that Jesus is truly 100% man and truly 100% divine, that it unwittingly denies the full divinity of Christ.

LINK

Monday, September 14, 2015

Why did the mob sent to arrest Jesus retreat and fall down when he said "I am he"?


John 18:6 tells us that when Jesus said “I am the man” (J.B. Phillips) that the mob of soldiers and officials “retreated and fell to the ground.” (J.B. Phillips; NET Bible) The expression “I am the man” is literally “I am” from Ἐγώ εἰμι. Jesus said that because he asked them ‘Who are you looking for?’ and they replied ‘Jesus the Nazarene,’ and thus Jesus replied, ‘I am him, I’m the one you’re looking for.’

A NET Bible footnote tells us that “L. Morris says that “it is possible that those in front recoiled from Jesus’ unexpected advance, so that they bumped those behind them, causing them to stumble and fall” (John [NICNT], 743-44).” But the rest of the footnote claims that Ἐγώ εἰμι is a Divine Name and then connects it to their preferred English translation of Exodus 3:14, of “I AM.”

But we can test that interpretation by replacing “I am” with another divine designation:
Test:
Jesus: “Who are you looking for?”
Police: “Jesus.”
Jesus: “YHWH!”
End of test.
Result: Nonsense.

So why did they fall to the ground since Jesus was not using a divine name but simply affirming that he was the man they were seeking?


Best Answer:

The mob, or at least some of them, fell back because Jesus’ confident and forthright response caught them off guard. It may have seemed as if he were prepared to fight with a mob of disciples himself. His courageous response despite the formidable mob before him surprised them, causing them to brace themselves for what could have been an ambush of Jesus’ own device against them. Besides, there were possibly two swords possessed by his present disciples that may have been visible to the mob, even one of the disciples did cut off an ear of one of the members of the mob! Quickly they realized that no such attack was intended. Jesus taught peace and love, not violence and hate. :)

Another answer:

I have to agree with the footnote concerning the unexpected response of Jesus.

This is not a well lighted park as we have to day. Torch light is not very powerful.

On the other hand the second half of the commentary about the "I Am" is wrong.

Though the greek does say: "I am" the correct translation is "I am he"

NASB: 5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.”
NIV: 5 *said to them, “I am He.”
KJV: 5 Jesus saith unto them, I am he.
YLT: 5 Jesus saith to them, `I am [he];'
NCV: 5 “Jesus from Nazareth.”“I am he,”

Add to this "I am" at Exodus 3:14 is translated from the Latin Vulgate and not the original Hebrew.

scripture4all.org translates it as: "I shall prove to be whom I am becoming"

Jehovah in Ex. 3:14 is not telling Moses that He exists, but that he will prove whom he is.

.J Washington Watts, Professor of Old Testament, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1930-1968. A Distinctive Translation of Exodus With An Interpretative Outline, 1977, pp.140,1.

"Such a translation [in English] as "I am what I am" appears to be ruled out completely by the fact that the [Hebrew] verbs here are imperfects. "I am" is the normal translation of the Hebrew perfect, not an imperfect... This thought is made explicit in the verse that follows, and the proper name Yahweh, the memorial name, is made synonymous with the description "I shall continue to be what I have always been." This makes the description a restatement of Yahweh's faithfulness an assurance that he will fulfill the covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".

LINK


Related blog entry: