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A Biblical Response to Jehovah's Witnesses
Biblical Response to Jehovah's Witnesses
- Their attacks on the Deity of
- Why did Jesus pray to
the Father? (John 17).
- Because as a man
He needed to pray to the Father.
- Because He was
both God and man (Col. 2:9; John 8:58 with Ex. 3:14).
- The two
natures of Christ are why we have two types of scripture
concerning Jesus: those that seem to focus on His
divine-side, and those that seem to focus on His
human-side. The Jehovah's Witnesses are simply ignoring,
or changing, the divine-side scriptures and
concentrating on those that describe His human-side.
- Why did He say the Father was
greater than He (John 14:28)?
- This is because
His position was different than that of God, not His nature.
- Heb. 2:9 that
Jesus is made for a little while lower than the angels; that
is, when He became a man. The Father sent the Son (1 John
- Why did He say, "Why call
me good, only God is good?" (Luke 18:19)?
- Jesus was confirming His
own deity because what He was doing was good.
- Ask them, "Was Jesus
- Why did Jesus say that He
could only do those things that He saw the Father do? (John
- This is an interesting
verse and it is one that proves the divinity of Christ, not
that He wasn't God.
- Ask the Jehovah's Witness
who can do the same things God the Father can do? Could an
angel? Could a man? Of course not. Jesus, however, says He
could do whatever He saw the Father do. "I tell you the
truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only
what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father
does the Son also does."
- The answer to these and other
verses like them is that Jesus has two natures. Jesus was fully
man as well as fully God and as a man there will be verses that
show His humanity.
- Witnessing Approaches using the
- John 1:1:
They translate as "In the beginning was the word and the word
was with God and the word was a god."
- Ask if Satan is a
true god or a false God. The Jehovah's Witness will say a
false god. Then have them read aloud John 1:1 again in their
Bible and ask them if Jesus is a true god or a false one. If
he says "true god," he's in trouble because that would make
Jesus true God -- which the JW's do not believe. If he says
"false god," he's in trouble because that would make Jesus a
- If Jesus is a god, then
doesn't that mean there are two gods? They often answer,
"Yes. But Jesus is not the Almighty God, He is only the
mighty god. And besides, there are those in the Bible who
are called gods but really aren't."
- But, in Isaiah 10:21, God is called the Mighty God.
So if Jesus is not the Almighty God and only the mighty
God, then that makes Jesus God since GOD is called the
- The problem with
this is that every God besides Jehovah is a false God. God
says to have no other God before Him (Exodus 20:3) because
they are not by nature gods (Gal. 4:8).
- But, there are those who are called gods such as
Exodus 7:1 where God says to Moses, "See, I make you
as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your
prophet," (NASB). God is not, of course, making
Moses a god, but He is saying that Moses will exhibit
the power of God. But Jesus is not said to be God in
the same sense as Moses was said to be "as" God.
- Col. 1:15: Is used by
the Jehovah's Witnesses to say that Jesus is the first created
thing. This verse says, "He [Jesus] is the image of the
invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
- The Jehovah's
Witnesses maintain that "firstborn" means first created.
This cannot be the case because...
- There is a
Greek word for "first created" and it is not used here.
- "First born"
is proto, "first," with tikto "to bring forth, bear,
- There is no
word used in the New Testament for "first created."
However, if there were, the construction would be proto,
"first," with ktizo "to create." And this is not the
construction used in Col. 1:1
- Firstborn can certainly
mean the first one born in a family. However, it can also
mean preeminence. For example:
- In Jeremiah
31:9, the firstborn title is attributed to one of the
tribes of northern Israel. "They will come with
weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will
lead them beside streams of water on a level path where
they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and
Ephraim is my firstborn son."
- Understanding biblical
culture is important when interpreting Scripture. Firstborn
was a title, not only of the first born male, but also of
preeminence which is precisely what is occurring when it is
said that Jesus is the firstborn.
- Col. 1:15-17 in the
Jehovah's Witness Bible has an addition of four words. Their version
reads, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of
all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were
created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and
the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or
lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have
been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other]
things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,"
(Their word "[other]" is in their Bible with the brackets. They
maintain that they know it isn't in the original Greek Scriptures
but the word is implied and should be there.)
- Instead of refuting
the bad translation, simply ask them if this means that Jesus
created everything. They will say yes. Review this and be very
clear and get them to admit that it was Jesus who created
everything. Then turn to...
- Isaiah 44:24
"This is what the LORD says -your Redeemer, who formed you
in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who
alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by
- If Jesus created
everything, then why does it say that the Lord (Jehovah in
the Hebrew) did it by Himself?
- The only answer
is that Jehovah is not simply the name of the Father, but
that it is the name of God the Trinity. Therefore, since
Jesus is God in flesh, it could be said that Jesus created
all things and that Jehovah did it alone.
- You can also ask them to try
to read the section of verses and omit the word "other". You
will find it to be an interesting experience.
- John 8:58
in the Jehovah's Witness Bible says, "...Before
Abraham came into existence, I have been."
- They have translated
the present tense ego eimi, in the Greek, into the perfect
tense, I have been. Though this can be done rarely in the New
Testament, it is not correct here because Jesus was quoting the
O.T. verse of Exodus 3:14 where God was telling Moses who He
was: "God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are
to say to the Israelites: "I AM has sent me to you."'" Jesus
was purposely using the divine title: I AM.
- The Jehovah's Witness
won't agree. So ask him if Jesus was saying that He "had been"
before Abraham, then why does it say in the next verse that the
Jews pick up stones to kill him?
- Additionally, about
250 years the Jews translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek.
It is called the Septuagint, also known as LXX. In the
Septuagint Exodus 3:14 is translated in the Greek in a present
tense, i.e., I AM... The correct translation is, therefore,
"Before Abraham was, I AM."
- If this verse should
really be translated as "I have been" then why did the Jews want
to kill Jesus? The answer is simple: They knew He was claiming
to be God, see the next example.
- John 10:30-34 is a section
of verses where the Pharisees say that Jesus is making Himself out
to be God (v. 33).
- "I and the
Father are one." Again the Jews picked
up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown
you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do
you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these,"
replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man,
claim to be God."
- You can say, "See,
even the Jews knew He was claiming to be God. The Jehovah's
Witness (if he's quick enough) will say something like, "Jesus
wasn't God, the Jew's only thought that Jesus was claiming to be
God." Then you can say, "Oh, I see. Then let me get this right.
You agree with the Pharisees, Jesus wasn't God? Is that correct?
The Jehovah's Witness will not like it that he agrees with a
- Plurality in the Godhead
- The following group
of scriptures strongly suggests a plurality within the Godhead.
These verses are translated correctly in the Jehovah's Witness
Bible so you can encourage them to use it. The NIV is not as
literal in its translation in the Amos verses, so I recommend
using either the King James or the New American Standard Bible
when doing your own.
- Gen. 1:26,
"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to
Our likeness . . . "
- They will say
that angels are the ones who helped God make man.
However, there is no scriptural evidence for that. God
is the only creator.
- You can also
take him to Col. 1:15-17 where it says that Jesus is the
creator of all things--including man.
- Gen. 19:24, "Then the
LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from
the LORD out of heaven."
- Is this
saying there are two Lords, two Jehovah's?
- Amos 4:10-11, "‘I sent
a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your
young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and
I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; yet
you have not returned to Me,' declares the LORD. ‘I
overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . '"
- Jehovah is
the one talking and He says, "I overthrew you as God
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah..." Very interesting.
- Isaiah 44:6, "Thus says
the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of
hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no
God besides me . . . ‘" See also, Isaiah 48:1
- If you are reading these
verses to a Jehovah's Witness he might say something like,
"Are you trying to show the Trinity from these verses?" You
can then say, "You got the Trinity out of these? That's very
- These verses and others
are more fully developed in
Plurality Study, which is a powerful tool for witnessing
to the Witnesses.
- John 20:25
says, "The other disciples therefore were saying
to him, ‘We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, ‘Unless I
shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger
into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will
not believe'" (NASB).
- The Jehovah's
Witnesses deny that Jesus was crucified on a cross. They say it
happened on a torture stake where His wrists were put together
over His head and a single nail was put through both. If that is
true, then why does Thomas say "Unless I shall see in His
hands the imprint of the nails..." In the Greek the word
used here for "nails", helos, is in the plural. Therefore, there
was more than one nail used in the hands of the crucifixion of
- First and Last
- How many firsts and
lasts are there? In the Bible God is called the first and last
and so is Jesus. Since God says there is no God apart from Him
and Jesus and God are both addressed by the same title, then
that poses a problem for the Jehovah's Witness.
- Isaiah 44:6,
"This is what the LORD says -Israel's King and Redeemer, the
LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from
me there is no God."
- Revelation 1:8,
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is,
and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
1:17-18, "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though
dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not
be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One;
I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I
hold the keys of death and Hades."
Rev. 1:17-18 can only refer to Jesus.
- Revelation 22:12-13,
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will
give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the
Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning
and the End."
- Here, both
the "Alpha and the Omega" and the "First and the Last"
are said to be one and the same.
- Also, at this
point go to Titus 2:13 where it says that Jesus is the
one who is coming soon, therefore, Jesus and Jehovah are
- The Holy Spirit
- Jehovah's Witnesses
teach that the Holy Spirit is an active force like radar. They
deny that He is alive, that He is a person. This is, of course,
because they deny the Trinity. Yet, if the Holy Spirit is simply
a force then...
- Why is He called
God (Acts 5:3-5)?
- How is it that He
can teach (John 14:26)?
- How can He be
blasphemed (Matt. 12:31,32)?
- How can be the
one who comforts (Acts 9:31)?
- How is it
possible for Him to speak (Acts 28:25)?
- How then can He
be resisted (Acts 7:51)?
- How can He be
grieved (Eph. 4:30)?
- How can He help
us in our weaknesses (Rom. 8:26)?
- If the Holy Spirit is a force,
then how is it possible that the above mentioned phenomena are
attributed to Him? A force doesn't speak, teach, comfort, etc.
- Nor can you blaspheme against
- The Resurrection of Jesus
- The Jehovah's
Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. They say that
if the sacrifice of Jesus were real then the body had to stay in
the grave. They say that He rose in a spirit body. This body was
a manifestation similar to the way angels manifested themselves
in the Old Testament.
- The problem with
their view is that the angels were not incarnated. Jesus
became a man by birth, therefore, He had a real, physical
body, a permanent body. In fact, right now, Jesus is in
heaven in the form of a man. He still has two natures, God
and man, and will eternally be that.
- For scriptural proof of Jesus
being raised in the same body He died in, consider the following
- In John 2:19-22
before the crucifixion Jesus said, "Destroy this temple
and in three days I will raise it up...He was speaking of
the temple of His body." Since Jesus said He would raise
the same body He died in, then it must be true.
- This last
verse is worth focusing on. Remember, Jesus said He
would be the one to raise His body. So, it must be true.
- John 20:27 -(to Thomas)
"reach your finger...and put it into My side..."
- If Jesus were
not raised from the dead, then why did He have a
- They will reply that
it was a temporary body materialized so the apostles
would believe that He was raised. Yet, this is not what
Jesus said in John 2:19-22. He said He would raise His
- Luke 24:39 - "a spirit
does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
- Jesus said
that He had "flesh and bones" not "flesh and blood."
This is important because flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). The blood of Jesus
was the sacrifice for sin (Rom. 5:9). It is the blood
that cleanses us of our sin (Heb. 9:22).
- The blood of
Jesus was shed on the cross and so, most probably, Jesus
doesn't have any functioning blood in His body.
- Similarities between the
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Pharisees:
- Both deny the Trinity
and the Deity of Christ
- Both deny the
physical resurrection of Christ and salvation by grace alone.
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