What to Say to Jehovah's Witnesses
When they Knock on Your Door


By Michael Licona



Someday it will happen to you.  You are about to sit down for a late breakfast on a Saturday morning.  The French toast smells delicious!  A glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee will make the start of a great day.  You pour the syrup and prepare to take that tasty first bite, when there is a knock on your door.  Perhaps it is the neighbor's child asking for your daughter.  Maybe it is the guy next door who would like to borrow your Craftsman Tools—again.  You open the door and . . . oh! . . . it is the Jehovah's Witnesses!

Sharply dressed and very friendly, they ask if they can come in and tell you about God's good news.  But you are unsure.  You remember your Sunday School teacher talking about these visitors who claim they are Christians.  Some of the points the teacher made are vague in your mind and many are forgotten.  You desire to share with them and feel that you should, but you do not want to get into a conversation unprepared.  So you politely say, "I'm too busy" and close the door.

Ah, yes.  Where were you?  That is right, back to your breakfast.  You slice off a piece of French toast with syrup and take a bite.  Mmmm!  However, while sipping your coffee you feel a sense of disappointment.  You know that you just passed up a valuable opportunity to share your faith because you were unprepared.  You say to yourself, "If Jesus were here he would have spoken to them."

If you want to be ready the next time they come, this book is for you.  Its purpose is to provide the knowledge you need to see why these groups do not represent God's truth and to share this information effectively with Jehovah's Witnesses the next time they knock on your door!


Chapter 1: About the Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's)

Who are the JW's?

A. History:  The movement was started by Charles Taze Russell.  In 1870, at the age of 18, Russell formed a Bible class whose members eventually made him their pastor.  Russell wrote, traveled, preached, and formed the Watchtower Society, the governing body for the JW's.  He died in 1916 and was succeeded by Joseph F. Rutherford, who coined the term "JW's" for the group.  Rutherford died in 1942 and was succeeded by Nathan H. Knorr, under whose leadership the Watchtower's own New World Translation of the Bible (NWT) was produced.  Knorr died in 1977 and was succeeded by Frederick W. Franz, the spokesman for the translation committee of the New World Translation.  As of the writing of this book in 2005, there are approximately 6.7 million JW's worldwide.

B. Doctrines:  The following are a few of the theological points held by the JW's, which differ from orthodox Christianity.

Jesus. Originally created by God as the Archangel, Michael.  Michael was later given a human body and renamed Jesus.  Therefore, Jesus is not God.

Holy Spirit. Not regarded as a person, but rather God's force.

Heaven. The home of God.  The majority of believers will not spend eternity with God in heaven, but rather with Jesus on a refurbished earth.

Soul Sleep. Believers will not immediately be with Christ after death.  They remain in a soul sleep until his second coming.

C. The People: As with Mormons, JW's are very sincere and caring.  Generally, they are better students of the Bible than Mormons.  In my personal experience, I have found that conversations with JW's are more likely to become adversarial than with Mormons.  Therefore, extra caution is needed when talking with them.

What JW's tell you when they knock on your door

As with Mormons, much of what JW's initially tell you when they come to your door is in agreement with the beliefs of most religious people.  "God loves you and wants to do something special with your life.  Make sure of where you stand with him because he's coming back again."  They will talk you through the Bible explaining God's good news and that Christians are commanded to be "witnesses" to others of this news.  JW beliefs begin to differ from those of the Bible when they mention that Christ is going to permanently reign on a refurbished earth, not in heaven.  However, the major difference will surface when they claim that Jesus was created by God and is inferior to him.

How to answer JW's

Although Mormons believe that the text of the Bible has been corrupted over the years, JW's unquestionably believe in its preservation and inspiration by God.  This provides a common ground.  Therefore, your strategy should be different when talking with them than it is with Mormons.  JW's, however, differ on the interpretation and translations of many verses.  This is why they prefer to use their New World Translation (NWT), which has translated many verses in such a manner as to be friendly to their own theological interpretation.  JW's will claim that the New World Translation is a much more accurate translation of the Bible than other English translations.  They will also claim that the consensus of scholarship has acknowledged this.  However, to my knowledge, not a single credible biblical scholar has ever made such a claim much less a consensus, and JW's will he hard pressed to mention the names of even a few or one.


The JW's frequently quote from "Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar," a widely recognized work of two scholars, whom the JW's contend agree with the New World Translation's rendering of John 1:1 in which the NWT asserts: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."  However, the scholars Dana and Mantey have objected to the JW's misquoting of their work and issued a personal letter in 1974 written by Mantey in which they requested the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of the JW's to cease and desist from misquoting and misapplying their work.  (See the letter posted below)

Learning how to refute their interpretations and translations of key verses will require more technical knowledge than for answering Mormons.  In most cases, this will involve a little knowledge of the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament).  A little Hebrew will be discussed as well (the original language of the Old Testament).  But don't worry.  We will explain these as we go.

As mentioned above, the Watchtower has several doctrines that differ from the Bible and JW's will want you to know them.  These become focal points as they discuss the Bible with you.  For example, JW's insist that you should call God by His name, Jehovah, rather than by His title, God.  They also believe that Jesus will reign on a refurbished earth.  However, these doctrines are of secondary importance when compared to the main doctrine in contention, the deity of Christ.

Deity is a theological term for "Godness".  To believe in the deity of Jesus is to believe He is God.  JW's do not believe in Christ's deity but rather than He is a being created by God originally as an angel.1  Christians believe that Jesus is God, by His very nature and essence, as is the Holy Spirit.2  Christians also believe that although God the Son willingly became subordinate to God the Father, they are equal in their essence.3  JW's, on the other hand, believe that Jesus is inferior not only in his position to God, but in his essence.4  Therefore, the issue to discuss is, Is Jesus God?  The reason this issue is so important is because if I am worshipping Jesus as God, and He is not, then I am guilty of blasphemy.  However, if Jesus is God and JW's refuse to worship Him as such, then they are guilty of just as great a sin, since they refuse to worship the true God.

When talking to JW's it is easy to get sidetracked and move from one issue to another.  Many of these issues are of minor importance.  So why spend a lot of time on them?  Stick to the single issue that really matters: the deity of Christ.  This will keep the conversation on the focal point that separates JW's from Christians.  Watchtower founder Charles T. Russell said in reference to one's belief about the deity issue, "It means our salvation."  Russell believed that where a person stands on the deity issue may mean their own salvation.  Unfortunately for Russell, as we shall see, it was he who stood on the wrong side.

Our study of the deity of Christ will be two-fold

A. Biblical texts used by JW's against the deity of Christ.  We will examine the six (6) major biblical texts used by JW's for their belief that Jesus is NOT God, but rather was created.  Unless indicated otherwise, the Watchtower's New World Translation (NWT) will be the translation quoted in this section, so you can meet on the same playing field when you talk to the JW who knocks on your door.

B. Biblical texts for the deity of Christ.  In this section, we will look at five (5) biblical texts that support the belief that Jesus is God.  Many more could be given.  However, for brevity's sake, we will stay away from those that are not the strongest.  This is not to say those texts do not support the deity of Christ.  Many of them do.  However, your time with JW's will be limited (usually by them).  So discuss only those texts that are extremely difficult, if not impossible for them to answer, because they clearly refer to Jesus as God.


Chapter 2: Biblical Texts used by
JW's against the Deity of Christ

In this chapter, we will examine the six (6) main arguments given by JW's to support their belief that Jesus is not God, but was created by God.  First, the verse used will be cited as it appears in the translation used by JW's (NWT).  Next the JW interpretation of the verse will be provided. A refutation of their interpretation follows.  Finally, a summary of each discussion is provided as a "bottom line."

1. Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the congregation in Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God."

JW Interpretation: "the beginning of the creation by God" means Jesus was the first thing created by God.

To understand why the Watchtower's interpretation is incorrect, a little knowledge of Greek is helpful.  The Greek word for "beginning" is arche and rhymes with "parkay."  Arche is used with different shades of meaning throughout the Bible.  The following illustrate a few:

A. Time. The apostle John writes, "In the arche (beginning) the Word was . . ." (John 1:1).  In other words, in the beginning of time the Word existed.  The same word is used in Genesis 1:1 in the Septuagint.
5  In the verse we are presently considering (Revelation 3:14), if John meant arche in the sense of time, the verse may be translated as the New World Translation renders it, "the beginning of the creation by God."  If translated as such, Jesus was the beginning of God's creation by being the first thing created by God.  "Beginning" is used in a passive sense; in other words, Jesus is receiving the action (being created).  However, arche could also be translated as the majority of translations render it, "the beginning of the creation of God."  If translated this way, "beginning" can be interpreted in an active sense.  When a word is used in the active sense, it is producing the action; in other words, Jesus was the "beginning one" or the originating source of creation (i.e., the Creator).

B. Political.  When arche is used in this manner it means a government or ruler.  For example, Luke 20:20: " . . . so as to turn him over to the arche (government) and to the authority of the governor."  Colossians 1:16: " . . . whether they are thrones or lordships or archai (governments.  Archai is a plural form of arche) or authorities . . . "  Most translations render arche in these verses as "rule" or "rulers."  The sense, however, is the same.  Arche is the top (or beginning) of a power hierarchy.  Imagine the pyramid structure of a corporation.  The president is at the top or beginning of the pyramid. A few vice presidents are below him.  And below them are more managers who oversee even more employees.
6  If John means arche in a political sense, the verse may be translated "the ruler of God's creation" (NIV).

What in fact does John mean when he says Jesus is the arche (beginning) of the creation of (by) God?  In order to translate and interpret a verse correctly, there are four general rules that can be helpful.

A) Consider the various meanings of a word.  We have already done this and observed that the word for "beginning" could have any of several meanings.

B) Consider the verse and see if any particular meaning fits best.  The NWT renders this verse in such a manner that Jesus was the first thing created "by God."  However, the preposition hypo (by) does not appear in the Greek text.
7  Therefore, this verse does not help us.

C) Consider the context. Unfortunately, "the beginning of the creation of (by) God" is a title given to Jesus by John and is not explained by the context surrounding Revelation 3:14.

D) Consider other Scriptures that would support a view. You can support taking "beginning" in the active sense with John 1:3, "All things…came into existence through him" and Colossians 1:16"because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth".
8  Both verses support Jesus as Creator and would justify understanding Revelation 3:14's description of Jesus as the originating source of creation.  "Ruler" is also justified since arche is frequently used in the political sense and agrees with other New Testament verses which say the same thing (see Rev. 1:5; 19:16). Unless the JW's can produce other verses that legitimately indicate God created Jesus, they are not justified in translating arche in a passive sense.

Bottom Line: The Greek word for "beginning," arche, is used in several ways. In John 1:1 it means the "beginning of time." In Colossians 1:16 it means a "ruler." In Revelation 3:14 arche can be used in a passive sense (he was created), or in an active sense (he was creating).

The context provides no clue to what he means. So we look at other Scriptures. John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 clearly speak of Jesus as Creator and justify taking arche in the active sense. Unless the JW's can give you any scriptures that clearly speak of Jesus being created, they cannot use this verse as proof that he was.

2. Proverbs 8:22: "Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago."

JW Interpretation: Verse 12 identifies "wisdom" as the one speaking in this passage. "Wisdom" is Jesus who says he was "produced" by God and became his "master worker" (vs. 30). He was involved in the creation process, after he himself was created since he was "the earliest of his achievements."

First, point out that neither Jesus nor any of the writers of the New Testament apply Proverbs 8 to Jesus. Next, point the JW to verse one in the same chapter where wisdom is also talking.

"Does not wisdom keep calling out, and discernment keep giving forth its voice?"

Ask: If "wisdom" is an actual person (Jesus) in this text, then who is "discernment" in verse 1? And who is "shrewdness" in verse 12 with whom "wisdom" is said to reside?

"I, wisdom, I have resided with shrewdness . . ."

At this point, the JW usually does not have an answer except to ask how you understand these verses. Solomon is using a figure of speech called "personification."
9  He attributes the qualities of being a person to character qualities in order to make the reading more enjoyable and to have a greater impact. This is obvious throughout Proverbs.10  Consider Chapter 7:4-5.

"Say to wisdom: 'You are my sister;' and may you call understanding itself 'Kinswoman,' to guard you against the woman stranger, against the foreigner who has made her own sayings smooth."

Solomon teaches that if we are intimately acquainted with wisdom and understanding in our lives, we will not be ensnared by the enticements of the adulteress described in verses 6 and following.
Finally, point out that the purpose to which Solomon wrote Proverbs was:

". . . for one to know wisdom and discipline, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive the discipline that gives insight, righteousness and judgment and uprightness, to give to the inexperienced ones shrewdness, to a young man knowledge and thinking ability." (Proverbs 1:2-4)

We would expect Solomon, therefore, to talk about these qualities. A history of Jesus would be out of place, totally unrelated to the rest of Proverbs.
12  Moreover, just a few verses after Solomon states his purpose behind writing Proverbs (1:1-6), he personifies wisdom (1:20ff). That wisdom is personified as a figure of speech is apparent in Proverbs 9 where folly is likewise personified alongside of wisdom.

In another of his books, Solomon tells his readers that he has used literary tools throughout his writings:

And besides the fact that the congregator had become wise, he also taught the people knowledge continually, and he pondered and made a thorough search, that he might arrange many proverbs in order. The congregator sought to find the delightful words and the writing of correct words of truth. (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10)

In Proverbs 8, Solomon is telling his readers that if God used the quality of wisdom to create the universe, think of how it can be used in your own life for avoiding pitfalls and being successful at your endeavors. Wisdom, therefore, is not referring to Jesus. So we still have no Scriptures that indicate Jesus was created.

Bottom Line:  The New Testament writers never employ Proverbs 8 in reference to Jesus.  If "Wisdom" in Proverbs 8 is in fact "Jesus," who is "Shrewdness" in verse 1 and "Discernment" in verse 12?  Finally, referring to Jesus in this passage is both out of place and goes against what Solomon is trying to teach. Solomon is not referring to Jesus in Proverbs 8, but is simply using a figure of speech called personification, as he does throughout Proverbs in order to be creative.

3. John 3:16: "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son."

JW Interpretation: "Only-begotten" means Jesus was begat or given birth by God. So he had a beginning.

Ask the JW to define "only begotten." His answer is usually that God brought him into existence; he created him and no other son. Then ask the JW to read Hebrews 11:17.  "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, as good as offered up Isaac, and the man that had gladly received the promises attempted to offer up [his] only-begotten [son]."

Was Isaac Abraham's only begotten son in the sense that he brought him and no other son into existence? No. Remember Ishmael? Ishmael was Abraham's son through Hagar.
13  Ishmael was born to Abraham prior to Isaac. So when the author of Hebrews calls Isaac, Abraham's "only begotten son," he must mean something other than Abraham's only son. Isaac was unique to Abraham. He would be the son through whom God's covenant would be fulfilled.14  "Only begotten," therefore, means "unique," "chosen," "special," or "exalted" in some sense.15  The Greek word for "only begotten" in Hebrews 11:17 is the same word used in John 3:16. The JW may respond, "But, 'begotten' signifies a beginning to existence." Ask if it does in Hebrews 11:17. So we still have no Scripture that indicates Jesus was created.

Bottom Line: In John 3:16, "only begotten" does not mean "only born," but special in some sense as indicated by Issac being called Abraham's "only begotten" son in Hebrews 11:17 in spite of Ishmael being Abraham's son as well.

4. Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."

JW Interpretation: Jesus was the first thing created by God.

Does the word "firstborn" indicate Jesus was created? The Greek word for "firstborn" is prototokos. It appears throughout both the Old Testament (Septuagint) and the New Testament with different shades of meaning.

A. Chronological: Emphasis is on the order of birth (Genesis 10:15; 19:30-31; Exodus 13:15).

B. Positional: Emphasis is on the position of being the firstborn, with all of the honor and favor that is due to one being born first. For example, look at the following: "Also, I myself shall place him as firstborn, The most high of the kings of the earth." (Psalm 89:27)

This Psalm refers to King David.16  Yet David was not the first king appointed by God. Saul was.17  And it is clear that God chose Saul to be king.18  David was firstborn in the positional sense; he was God's chosen and favored king, although he was not the first.

In Colossians 1:15, when Paul calls Jesus "the firstborn of all creation," is he using "firstborn" in a chronological or a positional sense? Paul is helpful in the verses that follow by explaining what he means when he says "firstborn."

Verse 16: "because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth . . . All [other] things have been created through him and for him."

"Other" is in brackets indicating it does not appear in the Greek text. The NWT translators have inserted it, because they assume the chronological sense of "firstborn."19  However, if Paul had meant the chronological sense, he would have probably used a different preposition. Instead of saying, "in him" or "by means of him,"20 he could have said, "after him,"21 i.e., "after him all things were created." But Paul says "by means of him all things were created" and establishes Jesus as Creator of the universe—a position.

Verse 17: "Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist."

The Greek word for "made to exist" means "to place or hold together, to frame, to cause to exist."22  In other words, Paul says the universe exists because of Jesus who put it together. Verse 17, therefore, reinforces verse 16 by stating Jesus is the creator and sustainer of the universe—a position.

Verse 18: "and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things."

Jesus is the head of the Church—a position. He is also the firstborn from the dead. This second use of prototokos could be either the chronological or positional sense. Jesus was either the first risen from the dead with an immortal body or stands in a position over all those who will be resurrected. Why is this important? The final statement provides the answer, "that he might become the one who is first in all things." The Greek word for "the one who is first" means "to hold the highest rank or dignity, to be chief."23  He is firstborn from the dead so He might now be chief of everything. As Christ holds rank over all creation and the Church, He especially does so as risen Lord.24  Once again, Paul points to position. In fact, there is nothing in this passage that lends support to a chronological interpretation of "firstborn" in verse 15.

So what are these verses saying? Paul defines Jesus as "firstborn" by saying He is the Creator of the universe, the sustainer of the universe, the head of the church, and the risen Lord, so that He can be chief over all things. This entire passage points only to the position definition! Then lest there be any doubt in the reader's minds that Jesus, the image of God and chief of everything, possesses the very essence of God, Paul makes that very clear in verse 19 when he says all the fullness of God dwells in Christ. He states the same even more clearly in 2:9, "Because it is in him that all the fullness of divine quality dwells bodily." This verse is discussed in depth in the next chapter. Since Jesus is "firstborn" in a positional sense, this verse may not be used as a text in support of the view that Jesus was created. If anything, it points to the deity of Christ. Therefore, we still have no Scriptures that indicate Jesus was created.

Bottom Line: The word "firstborn" can be used in a chronological sense (first to be born or first created) or in a positional sense (one who has the honor and rights of a firstborn son [Ps. 89:27; Jer. 31:9]). We are fortunate that Paul explains what he means by "firstborn" in the verses that follow. If Paul had meant "firstborn" in a chronological sense (order of creation), he would have said "after him all things were created." Instead, Paul says Jesus is the creator of the universe, sustainer of the universe, head of the Church, risen Lord and, therefore, chief of all things. This points only to the positional sense, not the chronological.

5. John 14:28: ". . . the Father is greater than I am."

JW Interpretation: "How can Jesus be God when He says, "the Father is greater than I am?" Jesus may be referring to his incarnate position, not his essence.

A husband and wife are one in essence (one flesh),25 yet two distinct persons. Likewise, God is one in essence, yet three distinct persons. In theology, this is referred to as the "Godhead." The biblical standard is that the husband is positionally greater than the wife in the home,26 yet both he and his wife are equal in essence—one flesh. As the wife voluntarily submits herself to her husband, the Son voluntarily submits Himself to the Father.

Perhaps another analogy may be helpful. Consider the New York Yankees. There are many members on the team: players, coaches, the manager, and the owner. The members are, in essence, one team. Positionally, there is an authority structure. The owner is the final authority (as many Yankee managers have found)! The manager has authority over the players. The team is one, in essence, but is made up of many members that have different levels of authority. Likewise, all three members of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) make up the Godhead. The Godhead is one in essence, but the Son submits to the authority of the Father. There are Scriptures that say Jesus and the Father share the same essence of God (see the next chapter). Since the JW's still cannot provide biblical reasons to support their view of Christ (i.e., that He was created), their particular interpretation of John 14:28 should not be preferred. So we still do not have any Scriptures that teach Jesus was created.

Bottom Line: When Jesus said the Father was greater than Himself, He was referring to the Father's position, not His essence.

6. Passages where the Father is called the God of Jesus (Mk 15:34; Jn 20:17; Eph. 1:3,17) or where God is referred to being distinct from Jesus. (Jn 17:3)

JW Interpretation:
Both the New Testament writers and Jesus Himself called the Father, the God of Jesus on several occasions. If Jesus was God, why would He call the Father His God?

Of all the reasons provided by the Watchtower to support their view of Jesus, this is the most difficult to answer. The prominent New Testament scholar Raymond Brown says although the question, "Did New Testament Christians call Jesus God?" must be answered in the affirmative, there are nevertheless "Passages that seem to imply that the title 'God' was not used for Jesus."27  What are we to make of these passages?

A. The New Testament writers, particularly John and Paul, clearly say Jesus is God and refer to the Father as the God of Jesus. So there was a sense in which they understood these two beliefs to be compatible. See John's writings (John 1:1; 20:17,28; Revelation 22:13) and Paul's writings (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:9).

B. The Earliest church fathers, particularly Ignatius and Polycarp, clearly call Jesus "God," and also refer to the Father as the God of Jesus.28  Just like the New Testament writers, they did not appear to see a tension between the two. Ignatius was the Bishop of Antioch and wrote seven letters to the churches while en route to his execution in Rome around the year AD 110. In Ignatius' letter to the Ephesians 18:2 he states: "For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God's plan."

In 19:3 he states: "Consequently all magic and every kind of spell were dissolved, the ignorance so characteristic of wickedness vanished, and the ancient kingdom was abolished, when God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life."

And in 1:1: "Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you."

In his letter to the Smyrnaeans 1:1 he states: "I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise."

Polycarp also testifies to the teachings of the early church regarding Jesus' deity. The early church fathers, Irenaeus (circa AD 120-190) and Eusebius (AD ?-342) write that Polycarp was "instructed" and "appointed" by the apostles, "conversed with many who had seen Christ," and "having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles."29  So his view of Jesus is very important. In The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, he mentions "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" and "our Lord and God Jesus Christ."30

"Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High Priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity, and may he give to you a share and a place among his saints, and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead."

Thus, Polycarp agrees with the teachings of the apostles, which we will study in the next chapter, that Jesus is God. The JW's may point out that some church leaders before the 4th century did not believe in the deity of Christ. However, these are much later than Ignatius and Polycarp (80 to 200 years). The historian is more interested in knowing what the earliest church leaders believed than later ones, realizing that heretical teachings form over time. However, what one finds when you read the very church fathers cited by the Watchtower in support of the inferiority of Jesus, is that every one of them actually supports the deity of Jesus!31

C. The Father may be God to Jesus in the sense that He is the final authority to Jesus. Verses such as John 1:1 and Colossians 2:9 clearly speak of Jesus having the same essence of deity that the Father has (See Chapter 9). Nevertheless, Jesus submits to the Father who is His final authority. The "one flesh" analogy is again helpful. The parents, mom and dad, are the final authority to their children. Mom and dad share the same essence as persons and are "one flesh." However, there is a divinely ordained authority structure within the marriage; the husband is head. Therefore, mom can accurately tell her children, "Your dad is my final authority and yours." By doing this she acknowledges her husband's position as final authority and gives up nothing of her own position and essence as parent and final authority to her children.

Bottom Line:  Jesus referred to the Father as His God. This does not mean Jesus Himself was not God, for the apostles and the earliest church fathers all recognized Him as God while at the same time recognizing that the Father was Jesus' God with no apparent tension. Furthermore, the Father may be God to Jesus in the sense that He is His final authority before whom unswerving and unquestioned love and devotion are given above all others.


Here are some other arguments Jehovah's Witnesses use:

1. "The word 'Trinity' is not found in the Bible." Neither are the terms "Jehovah's Witnesses" and "theology." Trinity is the term we use to describe the Godhead, one in essence but three persons. The question is not what we call it, but if the concept is taught in Scripture.

2. "The concept of the 'Trinity' has pagan origins before Jesus." The story of a catastrophic flood is also found in pagan religions. Does this indicate that it has pagan origins as well? Even if the concept of a Trinity preceded Christianity, it would not prove Christianity copied it from other religions. The question is, "Does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?" As we shall see in the next chapter, the answer is clearly, "yes."

3. "If Jesus is God, then He prayed to Himself in John 17." Jesus did not pray to Himself. He prayed to the Father, another person of the Godhead, to whom He submits. If we view the Godhead (Trinity) as some sort of team (see #5 above), then there is no contradiction. Remember, the difference is in position, not essence.



Chapter 3: Biblical Texts for the Deity of Christ

In this chapter, we will examine five (5) biblical texts that strongly support the doctrine that Jesus is God. Third century theologians saw such biblical teachings and formally called God a Trinity: the belief that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, yet there are not three Gods, but rather three persons in one God.31  While the Trinity may not be easy to understand, I think that the baseball team analogy in the previous chapter may be of help. However, one does not need to be able to understand the essence of God in order to believe that he is a Trinity. There are perhaps many things that we cannot understand about a God who is infinite in every respect. Our lack of full comprehension, however, does not negate an attribute of God. So the question is not, "Can I understand the Trinity?" Rather, the question is, "Does the Bible teach the Trinity?" In the following, the biblical verse will be provided (usually from the New American Standard Bible), followed by the reason why the verse points to the deity of Christ, usually followed by the JW response, followed by how to answer their response.

1. Isaiah 9:6: "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

Most Christians understand this verse to be a prophecy about the coming Messiah. You may remember it from Handel's Messiah. Jesus is here referred to as "Mighty God." The JW expects you to bring up this verse and will respond that comparative language is used here: Jesus is a "mighty god," but Jehovah is described as "Almighty God" elsewhere and, therefore, is more powerful (i.e., Jesus is mighty, while God is almighty). They may further note that Jesus is never referred to as "Almighty God." However, the Watchtower interpretation of Isaiah 9:6 is incorrect.

While in English, the words may be taken in a comparative manner, the original Hebrew is not at all comparative.

A) Almighty God is the Hebrew El Shaddai. The exact meaning of this word is uncertain. Most often it is linked to mountains and therefore can mean "God of the mountain."32  "The idea behind the root in Akkadian and in Hebrew seems to be that of impelling force, hence, the sovereign, 'Almighty God.'"33  The translation, "Almighty God," is from the Septuagint.

B) Mighty God is the Hebrew El Gibbor, and can be translated "God, the hero or champion among the army."34  It means a God who is mighty or superior, strong, brave, valiant, a hero.

These Hebrew words have different, unrelated meanings. "Mighty God" does
not stand inferior to "Almighty God" as the term, "strong," stands inferior to "strongest." They are unrelated terms, as in "brilliant" and "strong." More problematic to the Watchtower interpretation of the words "almighty" versus "mighty" is the fact that God is called El Gibbor (Mighty God) just one chapter later in Isaiah 10:20-21. Also in Jeremiah 32:17-18 and Deuteronomy 10:17, the Father is referred to as the "Mighty God" (El Gibbor). Therefore, Isaiah 9:6 clearly refers to Jesus as God.

Bottom Line: Isaiah calls Jesus, "God." The Watchtower's attempts to explain this by claiming "mighty God" is less than "almighty God" reveals a lack of knowledge of the Hebrew language because the words "mighty" and "almighty" are not comparative in meaning, and Isaiah calls the Father "mighty God" one chapter later.

2. John 20:28: "Thomas answered and said to him: 'My Lord and my God!'"

After his resurrection Jesus appears to doubting Thomas who calls him, "God." This is a difficult verse for the JW because it is so clear. The JW will respond that either Thomas said, "My Lord" to Jesus, then looked heavenward and said, "My God!" or Thomas was saying it out of exclamation, much like someone today might say, "Oh, my God!" when astonished. However, there are four (4) reasons why the Watchtower response is inadequate:

A) The text says, "Thomas answered and said
to him: 'My Lord and my God!' " Thomas was addressing Jesus.

B) In Psalm 35:23 (Septuagint), the same Greek grammatical structure is used as in John 20:28. The Psalmist David says, "Awake, O Lord, and attend to my judgment, even to my cause,
my God and my Lord."

     Psalm 35:23:
ho theos mou kai ho kurios mou.
                               My God and my Lord.

     John 20:28:
ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou.
                               My Lord and my God.

David was addressing one person. His God and his Lord were one and the same. Since the Greek grammatical structure in John 20:28 is the same, Thomas is most likely referring to Jesus as God.

C) Jesus never rebuked Thomas for calling Him "God."

D) It is unlikely that Thomas, a pious Jew who was accustomed to carefully guarding his lips, would take the Lord's name in vain, especially when he saw the risen Jesus.

Bottom Line:
Thomas addresses Jesus as his God. Attempts by the Watchtower to explain this by claiming Thomas was looking heavenward when he said "my God" or that he just uttered the statement as an expression of surprise fails to carefully observe Thomas' statement "to him," the similar Greek grammatical structure in Psalm 35:23, that Jesus never rebuked Thomas for calling him God, and the fact that the pious Jew, Thomas, would be unlikely to take the Lord's name in vain.

3. Colossians 2:9: "for in him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form."
The New World Translation renders "divine quality" instead of "deity." What does the word mean? The Greek word is theotetos. There are two words in the Greek language Paul had to choose from.

theiotetos: divinity or has the quality of the divine; that which shows God to be God, and gives Him the right to worship.36  The emphasis is on his attributes.

theotetos: one who occupies the divine office and possesses all divine power.37  The emphasis is on his nature.

Both words are almost identical in spelling and meaning. Both acknowledge the deity of Christ. But the latter,
theotetos, is stronger and is the word Paul uses. All the fulness (nothing excepted) of God's essence dwells in Christ in bodily form. Thus, Colossians 2:9 clearly refers to Jesus as God.

A few years ago, I met an engineer from Greece who was visiting the United States. After a brief conversation, I asked if he could read Koine Greek, the language in which the New Testament was originally written. He said that in Greece it was a requirement in school to become familiar with the ancient forms of the language. I wrote Colossians 2:9 in Greek for him and substituted the original
theotetos with theiotetos. I asked him to translate it for me. He read it and said, "This says, 'God's qualities are in Christ's body.' But it doesn't make much sense." I scratched out the substituted word and wrote the original word, theotetos, where it belonged. I then asked him to translate it for me. He looked at it and said with confidence, "Oh, this says that God came down and put on a body!"

Bottom Line: The Greek word Paul uses for "deity" means Jesus is in essence God.

4. God and Jesus are both referred to as the: a) Alpha and Omega, b) First and Last, c) Beginning and End.

A) God: Rev. 21:6 (Alpha and Omega; Beginning and End); Is. 44:6 (First and Last)

B) Jesus: Rev. 1:8 (Alpha and Omega), 17-18 (First and Last); 2:8 (First and Last); 22:13 (Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End)

Bottom Line:
Since John addresses Jesus and God interchangeably throughout these passages, it is clear he viewed Jesus as God. This is strengthened further by our fifth text, which is also from John.

5. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 tells us that "the Word" is Jesus. Therefore, when John states in the third clause of verse 1 that "the Word was God," he claims that Jesus is God in the plainest of terms. JW's, however, will not allow you to cite this verse without opposition. They claim that the final clause should be translated "the Word was a god" (NWT). In a Watchtower tract they are likely to leave with you titled, "Should You Believe in the Trinity,"39 reasons are provided why they believe the clause should be translated, "the Word was a god."40

The first reason provided in the tract is that "someone who is 'with' another person cannot be the same as that other person." This is correct and is brought up because of the verse's second clause, "the Word was with God." However, Christians do not believe that Jesus is the same person as the Father. Rather, from the early church to the present, Christians believe that God is one, in three persons. Therefore, the Watchtower's objection is without any strength.

The tract then cites an article from the
Journal of Biblical Literature.41  Apparently they did not believe anyone would actually check the article and read it. Otherwise they would have never cited it. We will look at this article in-depth in a moment.

The tract continues by listing nine (9) translations which render the third clause as the Word (Jesus) is "a god," "godlike," or "divine." The average reader will not recognize any of these translations. The most recognized and certainly the majority of translations all render the verse, "the Word was God."
42  However, the issue is not how many scholars believe something, but why they believe it.

The Watchtower returns to the
Journal article and states that "expressions 'with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning.' As the Journal notes, this indicates that the logos can be likened to a god. It also says of John 1:1: 'The qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun [theos] cannot be regarded as definite.'" These are heavy statements for the non-Greek student. Let's try to simplify them somewhat with a few definitions.

Logos is the Greek term for "word" and is referring to Jesus in the context of John 1 (see verse 14). Theos is the Greek word for "God." A predicate is a word(s) that describes the subject of the sentence. For example, in the sentence, "the girl is smart," "girl" is the subject and "smart" is the predicate, since it is describing the girl. Articles are either definite or indefinite. When an article is definite (e.g., the), it is identifying something. For example, suppose I was in a public debate with a JW and someone asked, "Which of the two is Mike?" The answer, "Mike is the tall guy," identifies me from the other. Now let us suppose that later on someone else heard about the debate and asks, "What is Mike like?" The answer, "Mike is a tall guy" employs an indefinite article (e.g., a, an) and points to a quality or trait (i.e., tallness). There is no attempt to distinguish or identify the noun from others when the indefinite article is used. In Greek, there are no indefinite articles. However, the absence of the definite article in Greek usually has the same effect as the English indefinite article and places stress on the quality or trait of the noun. With this in mind, let us now look at the Journal article cited by the Watchtower and what the Watchtower claims regarding it.

In order to determine what John meant when he wrote, "the Word was God," the
Journal article's author, Philip Harner, lists five ways in which John could have said it in Greek. We will refer to these as Clauses A through E as Harner does.43  The clauses have been translated below in English for the reader. The word "the" indicates that the Greek definite article appears before the word.

A. The Word was the God.

B. God was the Word. (This is what John wrote.)

C. The Word God was.

D. The Word was God.

E. The Word was divine. (A different word,
theios, is used.)

Harner states that if the word
theos [God] had the article [as in Clause A above], then Clause A "would contradict the preceding clause of 1:1, in which John writes that the Word was with God [translated from Greek]." This is because the two (i.e., logos, theos) would be equivalent to the point that there would be no differentiation between the two as persons and John's statement that "the Word was with God" certainly indicates that two persons are involved. So the Watchtower tract is correct when it says that "if the latter part of John 1:1 were interpreted to mean 'the' God, this 'would then contradict the preceding clause,' which says that the Word was with God."

Harner continues, "Clause D, with the verb preceding an anarthrous [without the article] predicate, would probably mean that the l
ogos was 'a god' or a divine being of some kind [as the Watchtower translates it]. Clause E would be an attenuated form of D [i.e., carrying a lesser force than D]. John evidently wished to say something about the logos that was other than A and more than D and E."44  In other words, Harner says that John wanted to say something other than that God and Jesus were the same person and that the proper way to say that the Word was "a god" or "divine" would be to use Clause D or E. However, John wanted to say something stronger about the Word, since he uses Clause B.

Harner's very next statement is cited by the Watchtower tract—yet not in its entirety and its commentary is deliberately misleading. According to the tract, "
The Journal of Biblical Literature says that expressions 'with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning.' As the Journal notes, this indicates that the logos can be likened to a god. It also says of John 1:1: 'The qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun [theos] cannot be regarded as definite.'"

Now here is what Harner actually said in the
Journal. After stating that John wished to say something other than A and more than D and E, he continues, "Clauses B and C, with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos [italics mine]."45  In other words, clauses B and C stress theos as the quality or character of the Word and indicate that the Word and God share the same nature. And this statement is omitted from the Watchtower tract, although it comes immediately after the statement they quote. Moreover, contrary to the tract, the Journal does not note that the Word "can be likened to a god." Harner has clearly said in the statement immediately preceding that John wished to say something more than that. This is deception on the part of the Watchtower. They are deliberately misleading its followers and every reader of their tract.

He continues that if
theos in Clauses B and C was taken as definite instead of qualitative, then B and C would be the same as A and would be problematic as well given the context. Therefore, theos must be referring to the quality of the logos [Word].46  But what is the quality John is wishing to emphasize?

The Watchtower tract says, "So John 1:1 highlights the quality of the Word, that He was 'divine,' 'godlike,' 'a god,'
47 but not Almighty God." Remember that the very article they cite states that John did not mean to say that, but more; that the Word has the nature of God. So what does Harner claim is the quality John wished to emphasize? At the end of the article, he states, "These examples [i.e., Clauses A through E] illustrate the difficulty of translating the clause accurately into English. This does not mean that the translators were not aware of the issue involved. Perhaps the clause could be translated, 'the Word had the same nature as God.' This would be one way of representing John's thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos [the Word], no less than ho theos [the God], had the nature of theos [God]."48  The Word, no less than God, has the nature of deity. Deity is the quality John wishes to ascribe to the Word.

So to sum up the article, Harner states that if John had wished to say that the Word was "a god" or "divine," he had two ways, even a different word, by which he could have done so. But it is evident that he wished to say something even stronger about Jesus. He did not wish to say that Jesus and God are the same person, since he has already stated that they are two persons and there was a way in Greek for him to have done so if he had wished. What John does say is that Jesus and God share the same nature; that Jesus, no less than God, has the nature of deity. This is an extremely strong statement, since it rules out any interpretation that Jesus was merely acting in God's place, but was not God Himself. Rather, Jesus was God in his very nature and essence. John's words echo Paul's in Colossians 2:9 discussed above when he says that in Jesus, "all the fulness [nothing excepted] of deity dwells."

So we observe that the Watchtower has taken a few statements out of context to justify their translation, "
the Word was a god," from an article, which states that their translation is wrong, and that Jesus possesses the nature of God. It is also interesting to note that the tract states that "[t]here are many other Bible verses in which almost all translators in other languages consistently insert the article 'a' when translating Greek sentences with the same structure." What they do not say is that such does not take into account a simple Greek rule found in just about any Greek grammar: proper names, places, and certain words such as "God," "Lord," and "Holy Spirit" appear numerous times throughout the New Testament with and without the article with no apparent change of meaning and are, therefore, exempt from the very general rule of when to insert the indefinite article 'a' when translating Greek.49  Such a gross lack of scholarship is not a reflection on the JW's who come to your door with a sincere heart and are good students of Watchtower interpretations. However, it reflects a dangerously deceptive and intellectually naïve leadership at the Watchtower that should neither be followed nor trusted.

Now let's observe how consistent the Watchtower is with this rule concerning "an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb" throughout its own translation, the
New World Translation. In the New Testament there are exactly four (4) occurrences where theos (God) appears as a singular predicate noun, without the article, before the verb (see Luke 20:38; John 1:1; 8:54; Philippians 2:13). Remember the Watchtower said that this grammatical structure merited the translation, "a god." Yet, in every instance, the New World Translation has rendered theos as "God," contrary to the committee's rule, except one, John 1:1. In other words, they made a rule then broke it every time, except one occurrence when convenient. (See Appendix 1 in this book for a detailed look at each of these four verses.)

Therefore, the Watchtower has not only deliberately deceived its trusting followers, but has demonstrated a lack of knowledge of basic rules of Greek and is grossly inconsistent in applying its own rule. This is pseudo-scholarship at its finest.

On the other hand, Harner has shown why the translation, "the Word was God" is an accurate rendering of the Greek which is even more precise by saying that the Word possesses the very nature of deity, no less than God Himself. Indeed, the majority of translators render the clause "the Word was God."

But one other point can be made here. It is interesting to note how the earliest church fathers who commented on John 1:1 interpreted it. This is especially noteworthy, since the earliest church fathers wrote in Greek. Therefore, their views on how it should be translated may reflect not only what the early Church thought of Jesus, but how the original readers of John understood his statement in the original Greek.

Irenaeus wrote around AD 185 and mentions John 1:1 five times.
51  In one reference he comments, "'and the Word was God,' of course, for that which is begotten of God is God."52  Irenaeus understood Jesus as more than "a god" or a divine being of a sort. He referred to Jesus as God.

Origen is another church father who wrote in Greek around AD 200. In a reference regarding John 1:1 he comments, "John, however, with more sublimity and propriety, says in the beginning of his gospel, when defining God by a special definition to be the Word, 'And God was the Word, and this was in the beginning with God.' Let him, then, who assigns a beginning to the Word or Wisdom of God, take care that he be not guilty of impiety against the unbegotten Father Himself, seeing he denies that He had always been a Father, and had generated the Word."
53  Origen understood John to be saying that the Word was God and without a beginning. Elsewhere he refers to Jesus as "God the Word" a total of 18 times.54

Clement of Alexandria wrote in Greek around AD 200 as well. He alludes to John 1:1 and Jesus as God when he says, "For since Scripture calls the infant children lambs, it has also called Him, God the Word, who became man for our sakes and who wished in all points to be made like to us, "the Lamb of God," Him, namely, that is the Son of God, the child of the Father."55  Thus, Clement also interprets John as referring to Jesus as God in John 1:1.

Therefore, all of the earliest church fathers who comment on John 1:1 interpret John as claiming that the Word was God. Moreover, not a single church father, early or otherwise, interprets John as saying that "the Word was a god" or the "Word was divine."

In summary, we have seen that there are no good reasons for translating John 1:1 as "the Word was a god" as the NWT does. We have seen good reasons to translate it "the word was God" with the understanding that John is claiming that Jesus, no less than God, possesses deity. And finally, we have seen that all of the early Church Fathers who commented on John 1:1 and who also wrote in Greek clearly interpreted John 1:1 to be saying "the Word was God" and that there were no church fathers who understood it otherwise. For these reasons, the normal rendering, "The Word was God," is correct. Therefore, John 1:1 clearly refers to Jesus as God. I know this section on John 1:1 has been quite technical. Carefully read through it a few times and it will serve you well when discussing this verse with JW's.

Bottom Line: The very article in the biblical journal appealed to by the New World Translation committee to justify their translation of John 1:1 actually advises that it should not be translated "the Word was a god" as the NWT translates it, but rather "the Word was God" as with most translators. Furthermore, the Watchtower is inconsistent in applying its own rule because the Greek grammatical structure referred to by the committee appears with the word theos a total of four (4) times in the New Testament. In every instance, the NWT has translated it "God," except one John 1:1. The Greek John used in this verse indicates that he believed Jesus, no less than God Himself, possesses the very nature of deity. Finally, every church father who comments on this verse translates it, "the Word was God."

Some final thoughts on the deity of Christ:

Multiple biblical figures all viewed Jesus as God: Isaiah, John, Thomas, and Paul. We have seen that the doctrine of Christ's deity carried from the biblical writers to their successors, the apostolic fathers such as Polycarp who knew the apostles and Ignatius who probably did. The doctrine did not stop there, but continued through the church fathers who succeeded them such as Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and Hippolytus.56

Although Jesus is never recorded as coming right out and saying, "I am God," his actions and claims spoke very loud. He accepted worship (see Matthew 14:25-33; 28:8-10; John 9:35-38). Yet he knew worship was for God alone (see Matthew 4:8-10 [quoting Deuteronomy 6:13]). His disciples also recognized worship was for God alone (see Luke 4:7-8; Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 19:10). Yet they worshipped him (see Matthew 14:25-33; 28:8-10; Hebrews 1:6). In addition, he claimed to have authority over the Sabbath day that God had instituted (see Matthew 12:1-8), something it would seem was reserved for God alone. Finally, he taught with an authority that none of the prophets claimed. The prophets would say, "Thus says the Lord . . ." Jesus, on the other hand, said, "Truly, truly, I say to you." It will not do to say that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, since he granted this right to his disciples (see John 21:21-23).

A fair question is "If Jesus thought of Himself as God, why didn't He just come out and say it clearly?" This is to import Twenty-first century Western thought back into the First century Middle East. It appears that the culture in which Jesus lived expected actions rather than words. Consider the question posed by John the Baptist to Jesus in Matthew 11:2-5. When in prison, John sent some of his disciples to Jesus and asked him, "Are you the expected one (i.e., Messiah) or are we to expect someone else?" We pick up at verse 4: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.'" Jesus answered their question by pointing to his works. John presents a similar thought in 10:24-25. The Jews asked Jesus "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, 'I told you and you do not believe; the works that I do in my Father's name, these testify of me.'"

The question we need to ask then is "Did Jesus do anything that would indicate that He thought of Himself as God?" When we consider that He accepted worship that He knew was only for God, claimed to have authority over God's Law, and spoke using His own authority, it seems clear that Jesus did think of Himself as God.


Chapter 4: Conclusion & Application

Jehovah's Witnesses are very sincere about their beliefs and well versed in them. When they come to your door, invite them in. Be cordial and patient. Remember Peter's instruction "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1 Peter 3:15). Unfortunately, most of the Christians JW's encounter are unprepared and become extremely defensive and unpleasant with them. This just encourages the JW's to believe they are on the correct path. Why would they change unless someone soundly shows them their error? That someone may be you. Dare to be different by having a response, which is both biblically sound and loving.

It is easy to become upset with someone who disagrees with you on so important a subject. A few years ago, I blew it with a JW who knocked on my door. She was going around the neighborhood with her teenage daughter and I invited them in. We discussed the deity of Christ. It turned into a heated discussion and I eventually asked her to leave. Although she initially became quite unpleasant when I let her know that I disagreed with her on the issue, my attitude was bad to begin with. I was more excited about "winning an argument" than compassionately sharing the truth and patiently attempting to reveal Watchtower error. I thank my wife, Debbie, who pointed out my attitude problem to me. Do we listen with an open mind when someone angrily or arrogantly tells us that we are wrong? We shut off our minds to whatever that person tells us. JW's are people too. If your attitude is bad, they will shut off their minds as well. You will get nowhere and mistakenly blame their unreceptiveness on their disinterest in truth. Remember that it is the Watchtower that has led its followers down the wrong path. Lead them to the right path. These are sincere and committed people, just the kind you want in your church!

When you begin talking with them, limit your conversation to the question, "Who is Jesus?" This is the most important difference between their beliefs and historical Christianity. You may say something like this, "I admire you for being so diligent about your beliefs. However, we disagree on a major point, the deity of Christ, and I would like to discuss this with you." They will agree without hesitation.

Tell them you would like to hear their reasons for believing Jesus is a creation of God; then you would like their responses to your reasons for believing He is God. Then dialogue with them. When everything has been said and done, you can tell them that they have not provided any good reasons for believing Jesus was created and that you have provided five reasons why He is God, one which even exposes some inconsistencies in their own translation of the Bible.

Watch out for detours. JW's may try to answer arguments for the deity that you never raised. This can create an illusion that you stand corrected on the deity issue. For example, when asking them for Scriptures which in their opinion indicated that Jesus was created they will cite Colossians 1:15. Show them that the word "firstborn" could not possibly mean "first created" in this passage. They will respond that earlier in the same verse it says that Jesus is "the image of God," and since the Bible also says that we have been created in God's image we could not interpret the statement that Jesus is "the image of God" to indicate that he is God. However, we're not saying this verse calls Jesus, God, only that it does not say that he was created.

When JW's perceive the conversation is not going their way, they may try to detour you into other issues such as the earthly kingdom of Christ. Insist that you stay on the issue of who Jesus is, because its importance is far greater than whether eternity is spent in heaven or on a heavenly earth ruled by Christ. Belief in these other issues are incidental to the main issue concerning the deity of Jesus. Where one stands on who Jesus is will determine whether we go to heaven or not.

Your efforts can prove to be fruitful. You may be surprised at how God may work. Several years ago while visiting my wife's family in Nebraska, I was asked by one of her aunts to talk with her daughter who was a JW. I agreed and scheduled a time to go over to her home. My wife and I had a cordial conversation with her and her husband. We left and did not hear anything else. Four years later when my wife went out to visit her family she talked with her aunt who told her that her daughter had left the JW's as a result of our conversation four years prior and both she and her husband are now committed Christians.

Another time two JW's came to my home on a Saturday morning. I usually invite them in. But this particular time I couldn't because my son was just getting over a stomach virus he had endured the day before. I explained he was fine now but didn't want to possibly expose them to getting the virus. I suggested we drive up to the Hardee's a few blocks away and talk there over a cup of coffee. They agreed.

We sat down at a table and began to talk. I told them that I admired them for zealously proclaiming their beliefs to anyone who would listen and that I wished more people at my church were like that. They were appreciative of the comment. I then said, "I find that we disagree on several issues, particularly one which is very important to both of us, the deity of Christ. You believe God created Jesus. I believe that He is God. So I would like to discuss this issue with you." They agreed. I continued, "Now I must admit, I don't know all the answers and I suppose I am wrong on some things. Certainly no one is 100 percent correct. We do our best. So why not show me why you believe Jesus was created and I'll respond to that. Then I'll show you why I believe Jesus is God and I'd like to hear your responses." Nothing opens a cordial dialogue better than admitting you could be wrong. This will encourage open-mindedness on their part as well. This is far different from the grumpy response of many Christians who gruffly say, "I am not interested!" and then slam the door on them. Remember Peter's admonition to defend the faith "with gentleness and reverence." Another great reference which was cited earlier is 2 Timothy 2:24-26, NASB

"The Lord's bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."

Our conversation went well. I listened with great interest and patience as they presented their case. Their Bible texts were virtually a mirror reflection of those presented in Chapter 8. One by one, as I answered their arguments, they would simply go on to their next text, "Well, what about this one?" Our discussion continued to be cordial. I began my case for the deity of Christ. They had no answers at all to a few of the texts. The others elicited the anticipated responses discussed in the previous chapter. I answered them as well.

The remarkable thing about this conversation was that about thirty minutes into it a stranger walked up to us, politely apologized for interrupting and said, "I've been overhearing your conversation. Would you mind if I sat in and listened?" We invited him to join us. He listened attentively for a good 45 minutes, injecting a comment here and there. Approximately 15 minutes after he had joined us, I noticed two others trying their best to listen in without appearing obvious. One was an employee on break. When he saw that I noticed them listening, he looked somewhat embarrassed and said, "Can we listen too?" We now had three strangers listening. After about another 15 minutes, the employee stood up and said, "My break is over. Thanks for allowing me to sit in. I learned a lot!" Then he looked right at me and asked, "Would you pray for me?" I said I'd be happy to. Then he walked away. Shortly after, our first stranger thanked us and left.

The JW's and I continued to talk a little longer. In summing up, I said, "We've talked a while (3 hours and 15 minutes!) and here's how I see our conversation. You haven't provided a single good reason from Scripture why I should believe Jesus was created. On the other hand, I have provided several texts that strongly indicate Jesus is God. You have been unable to provide a plausible alternate explanation for these texts.

"I appreciate your zeal and recognize your sincerity about your beliefs. I hope you appreciate mine as well. It's unfortunate that one of us is wrong. The apostle Paul and Nicodemus were very sincere about their Jewish beliefs. When they were faced with the truth, however, they inquired further and changed, even though it cost them their fortunes, their status, and in Paul's case, his life. The deity issue is worth an independent investigation on your part, isn't it?" They nodded in agreement. "I encourage you to consult scholarly works outside of the Watchtower. Think through this on your own. If you come to see the Scriptures teach that Jesus is part of the Godhead, it will cost you as well because your Kingdom Hall will not tolerate it. I pray you will have the courage of Paul and Nicodemus and make that change."

Your knowledge may overwhelm some JW's, because some of the information you now have is technical. I once had a JW tell me that there was no way for her to get into the languages as I could, so she could never know if what I said was correct. She also said that God is not the author of confusion and that we should be able to read our English translations and understand his Word. These are valid points. Maybe some readers are feeling as she did. So let's spend a moment with each of her points.

1. "I don't know the languages, so I can't know what's right."

You may not desire to invest the time to learn Greek and Hebrew. However, you do have the same sources available to you for word studies that scholars use. Although your local library probably will not carry these books on their shelves, you can obtain them by using inter-library loan. Your local library will borrow the book(s) from another library. You may have to pay a small fee for the service (usually less than $10). If there is a seminary or Bible college nearby, you will probably be able to locate them there. Your local bookstore will also be happy to sell them to you. (They are a worthwhile investment if you enjoy in-depth Bible study.) For New Testament Greek words, a few good sources are Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 volumes). This is the most exhaustive source available. Colin Brown's The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (4 volumes), is also a great source and is much more friendly to the non-Greek reader. The fourth volume is an index which keys the Greek words to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (a book most Bible students have). Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich's A Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature is a good source, but not at all friendly to the non-Greek reader. If you want to see how a Greek word is used throughout the New Testament, Wigram and Winter have a Word Study Concordance. They will list the Greek word and then every verse where it appears. For Old Testament Hebrew words, a great source is Willem VanGemeren's New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (5 volumes). Like its New Testament sister, the fifth volume is an index which keys the Hebrew words to Strong's in order to make it easy for the non-Hebrew reader to find. Harris, Archer, Waltke have produced the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (2 volumes). This is an excellent source and is friendly to the non-Hebrew reader since it is likewise keyed to Strong's.

Finally, when you study the Bible in-depth, a simple system will be of great help.

  • Study the word. First look up the definition in one of the references listed above to see how it is used throughout the ancient world.
  • Study the verse. Now that you know the meaning(s) of the word, what is the verse saying?
  • Study the chapter. Now that you have a good idea of what the verse is saying, how does it fit in the overall chapter or context? Sometimes a verse may have a few different possible meanings. Many times the context will allow you to determine its correct meaning.
  • Study the Bible. As we saw in Revelation 3:14, sometimes the chapter does not tell you what the author is saying about a particular verse or word. In times like this, look to see if the same author touches on the subject in other parts of his writings. For example, the author of Revelation, John, has much to say about the deity of Christ (see John. 1:1; 20:28; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 22:6, 16; Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End passages). John's writings indicate he believed Jesus was God. In light of these teachings, an interpretation of Rev. 3:14 saying God created Jesus is unwarranted.

2. "God is not the author of confusion. We should be able to read our English Bible and understand it."

I agree. God is not the author of confusion, man and Satan are. What do you do when confusion exists between opposing views? You can retreat by saying, "My pastor (church leaders, denomination) believes it, so it must be true." This is fine if your pastor is right. But what if he isn't?

It may be helpful to bring them back to your least technical points such as Watchtower misinterpretations of certain verses outlined in Chapter 8. For example, ask them: "What do you think of the Watchtower's interpretation of Proverbs 8:22 now?" Many times they will say, "I'm not sure." Take them through the context, chapter, and book again. Then ask, "Given Solomon's purpose in writing Proverbs, his style of writing, and what he is saying in Chapters 7-9, what do you personally think he means by wisdom and why?" Make them think. Put yourself in their place. What would you be thinking if someone showed you something that seriously challenged your beliefs? Invite them to go home and look at the issue with an open mind and come back next week to discuss it again.

Finally, remember that your only responsibility is to plant the seed. It is the Holy Spirit who works the change (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-7). The purpose of your discussions with the JW should be to reveal the truth with love, patience, and compassion. That is the role, which God has given every Christian (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 1 Peter 3:15-16). The person who does not care about the truth will not change. The person who does care about it will think about what you have to say and engage in further study. But ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who brings a person to the truth.

We have come to the end of our study on how to answer Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. If you are a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, I pray you will prayerfully consider what has been discussed. Run the information by the leaders of your Ward or Kingdom Hall. Get their response and think through it. Ask yourself, "Did they
really answer my questions?" It is your own soul and no one else's. Do not let someone else's error cost them their soul and yours. Eternity is a long time to feel regret. Have the courage of Paul and Nicodemus. Remember, you never have to be afraid of the truth.

If you are
not a Jehovah's Witness, I hope this book has been helpful. Master the information, make sure your attitude is pure, and go for it. I am proud of you for choosing this book and I wish you God's best!


Appendix 1
More on John 1:1

There are a total of four (4) occurences in the New Testament where the singular predicate, theos, precedes the verb and does not have the article.58  Let us look at each of these verses to see how the New World Translation has translated them.

1. Luke 20:38. "He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living" (

theos de ouk estin nekron

a God—not he is of the dead


He is not a God of the dead.

In this verse, we have theos appearing as a singular predicate before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "He" is implied and is the subject. "A God" is the predicate because it describes the subject. "He [subject] is [verb] a God [predicate]." Although indefinite [i.e., without the Greek article], the NWT rightly translates theos as "a God" with a big "G," meaning Jehovah.

2. John 8:54. "It is my Father that glorifies me, he who you say is your God." (

theos hemon estin

God of you he is


He is your God.

Theos again is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "He [subject] is [verb] your [pronoun] God [predicate]." Yet, the NWT again correctly translates "God" with a big "G."

3. Philippians 2:13. "For God is the one that, for the sake of [his] good pleasure, is acting within you." (

theos gar estin ho energon  en hymin

God  for  is  the one working in you


For God is the one working in you.

Theos is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "The one working" has the article (ho) and is considered to be the subject. The predicate, "God," further describes who the subject is, "The one working [subject] in you [prepositional phrase] is [verb] God [predicate]." "God" appears first in the sentence for emphasis. Again, the NWT correctly renders "God" with a big "G."

4. John 1:1. "the Word was a god." (

theos en ho logos

God was the Word.

Theos is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "was," and is not preceded by the article. "The Word [subject] was [verb] God [predicate]." The inconsistency of the New World Translation here is clear. Of the four occurrences in the New Testament where the Greek theos is a predicate occurring before the verb and is not preceded by the article, this is the only time the NWT has not translated it "God" with a capital "G." John uses the term, "God," to describe the Word. Deity is the certain character or quality described of the subject.59

In conclusion, when we conduct a study of the reason provided by the Watchtower Translation Committee of the
New World Translation why John 1:1 should be translated, "the Word was a god," we find a gross inconsistency. We saw that there is a total of four (4) instances in the New Testament where predicate theos precedes the verb and does not have the article. In three of the four instances, the NWT has translated it "God" in conflict with their own rule.


Appendix 2
Should You Let Them In?

Should You Let Them In?

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds" (2 John 1:10-11,

Do these verses prohibit you from inviting Jehovah's Witnesses into your home? At first look, it would seem so. However, an understanding of the social setting in which John wrote is very beneficial.

During the first century, when Christianity was getting off the ground, it was customary for traveling teachers of Christianity to receive hospitality in the form of room and board at someone's home. A first century Christian document named The Didache (meaning The Teaching [of the Twelve Disciples]), and written prior to 2 John, spells out how the church was to receive and support these traveling teachers (Chapters 11-13).

The majority of
New Testament scholars agree that John is saying one of two things in 2 John 10.  When John said, "do not receive him into your house," he may have meant that false teachers were not to be given the typical hospitalities of room and board extended to traveling teachers. The term "greeting" would mean to greet him as a brother in the Lord. A second possible interpretation is based on a more literal translation, "do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting."60  "[T]he house" may be understood as the house where Christians met and worshipped. During the first century, there were no church buildings as we have today. Christians met in a person's home. A false teacher should not be received by "the house church" and given the opportunity to spread false doctrine. The term "greeting" would mean to welcome the false teacher into the congregation and encourage him.

Therefore, the command not to receive the false teacher into your home means one of two things:

1) Do not extend the hospitalities of room and board, as was customary to do for traveling Christian teachers, to a false teacher. (or)

2) Do not welcome the false teacher into a house church congregation and allow him to teach.

The "greeting" John refers to is more of a welcome and encouragement than the mere cordiality that it is today. As the late New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce says: "The injunction not to receive any one who does not bring 'the teaching of Christ' means that no such person must be accepted as a Christian teacher or as one entitled to the fellowship of the church. It does not mean that (say) one of Jehovah's Witnesses should not be invited into the house for a cup of tea in order to be shown the way of God more perfectly in the sitting room than would be convenient on the doorstep."


Appendix 3
Dr. Mantey's Letter to the Watchtower Society

July 11, 1974

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
117 Adams St., Brooklyn,
New York 11201

Dear Sirs,

I have a copy of your letter addressed to Caris in Santa Ana, California, and I am writing to express my disagreement with statements made in that letter, as well as in quotations you have made from the Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar.  Your statement: "their work allows for the rendering found in the Kingdom Inter-linear Translation of the Greek Scriptures at John 1: 1.''  There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply that "a god" was a permissible translation in John 1:1.

A. We had no "rule" to argue in support of the Trinity.

B. Neither did we state that we did have such intention.  We were simply delineating the facts inherent in Biblical language.

Your quotation from page 148 (3) was in a paragraph under the heading: "With the Subject in a Copulative Sentence."  Two examples occur there to illustrate that "the article points out the subject in these examples.''  But we made no statement in this paragraph about the predicate except that, "as it stands the other persons of the Trinity may be implied in theos."  And isn't that the opposite of what your translation "a god" infers?  You quoted me out of context.  On pages 139 and 140 (VI) in our grammar we stated: "without the article theos signifies divine essence. . . 'theos on ho logos' emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature.''

Our interpretation is in agreement with that in NEB and the TEV: "What God was, the Word was": and with that of Barclay: "The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God,'' which you quoted in your letter to Caris.

(2) Since Colwell's and Harner's articles in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1: 1 "The Word was a god."  Word order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering.

(3) Your quotation of Colwell 's rule is inadequate because it quotes only a part of his findings.  You did not quote this strong assertion: "A predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or a 'qualitative' noun solely because of the absence of the article. ''

(4) Prof. Harner, Vol. 92.1 (1973) in JBL, has gone beyond Colwell's research and has discovered that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb function primarily to express the nature of character of the subject.  He found this true in 53 passages in the Gospel of John and 8 in the Gospel of Mark.  Both scholars wrote that when indefiniteness was intended, the Gospel writers regularly placed the predicate noun after the verb, and both Colwell and Harner have stated that theos in John l: 1 is not indefinite and should not be translated "a god."

Watchtower writers appear to be the only ones advocating such a translation now.  The evidence appears to be 99% against them.

(5) Your statement in your letter that the sacred text itself should guide one and "not just someone's rule book."  We agree with you.  But our study proves that Jehovah's Witnesses do the opposite of that whenever the "sacred text" differs with their heretical beliefs.  For example, the translation of kolasis as cutting off when punishment is the only meaning cited in the Lexicons for it.  The mistranslation of ego eim as "I have been" in John 8:58.  The addition of "for all time" in Hebrews 9:27 when nothing in the Greek New Testament supports it.  The attempt to belittle Christ by mistranslating arche tes ktisoos "beginning of the creation" when he is magnified as "the creator of all things" (John 1:2), and as "equal with God" (Phil. 2:6) before he humbled himself and lived in a human body here on earth.  Your quotation of "The Father is greater than I am" (John 14:28) to prove that Jesus was not equal to God overlooks the fact stated in Phil: 12: 6-8, when Jesus said that he was still in his voluntary state of humiliation.  That state ended when he ascended to heaven.

Why the attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after "today" in Luke 23:43 when in the Greek, Latin, German and all English translations except yours, in the Greek in even your KIT, the comma occurs after lego (I say)? -- "Today you will be with me, in Paradise."  2 Cor. 5:8, "to be out of the body and at home with the lord.''  These passages teach that the redeemed go immediately to heaven after death, which does not agree with your teachings that death ends all life until the resurrection (Ps. 23:6 and Heb. 1: 10).

The above are only a few examples of Watchtower mistranslations and perversions of God's Word.  In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context I herewith request you not to quote the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years.  Also, that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on.  Also, that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance to the absence of the article before theos in John 1: 1.  And please write to Caris and state that you misused and misquoted my "rule."

On the page before the Preface in the grammar are these words: "All rights reserved no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher."  If you have such permission, please send me a photocopy of it. If you do not heed these requests, you will suffer the consequences.

Regretfully yours,
Julius R. Mantey





End Notes

1 The terms "divinity" and "deity" can be confusing.  In most cases the terms have identical meanings.  However, some have used "divine" to refer to an angel, since it came from God.  However, an angel would not be a deity, since it is not by its nature God.

2 This book will only be concerned with the deity of Jesus.

3 JW's may on occasion say that Jesus is a "god."  However, they do not believe that he is "God" in the fullest sense of deity.  In their opinion, he is still a created being, unequal to God in his essence.

4 New Testament scholar, Raymond Brown, explains multiple ways of understanding Titus 2:13, "the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."  Is Paul referring to our
great God and Savior Jesus Christ as two persons?  Or is he saying Jesus Christ is our great God-and-Savior?  Naturally, one can see how it can be understood both ways.  Brown notes that several careful scholars have understood the first option to be the more correct, while the latter is virtually the unanimous view held by grammarians and lexicographers. Raymond E. Brown. An Introduction to New Testament Christology (Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1994), pp. 181-182.

5 The Septuagint is the Greek Translation of the Old Testament.  This was the common translation in Jesus' day and used by the New Testament writers the majority of the time when quoting the Old Testament.  Genesis 1:1 in the Septuagint reads: "In the
arche (beginning), God created the heavens and the earth."

6 The Apostle Paul was particularly fond of using
arche in this sense.  Of the twelve (12) times he used it in his writings, nine (9) are in the political sense: Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15; Titus 3:1.

7 The translation "by God" is possible, but it is not required.

8 Notice that the word "other" is in brackets.  This means the word is not found in the Greek text but was inserted by the translators of the
NWT to clarify their interpretation.  Their Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures provides their rationale in the footnote to verse 16, "All [other], as in Luke 11:41, 42" (p. 880).  But these are not even good texts to support the NWT's interpretation, because "other" might be inserted in order to smooth the translation, but it is not required.  Hebrews 2:10 has a Greek construction closer to Colossians 1:16, and yet "other" is not inserted in the NWT.  Therefore, the NWT's insertion of "other" in Colossians 1:16 is clearly based on the Watchtower's assumption that Jesus was created and not because the Greek requires it.

9 For other examples see Genesis 4:10 and Psalm 85:10.  Also see E. W. Bullinger,
Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible: Explained and Illustrated (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1968).

10 See also 1:20-21; 3:13-16; 4:5-9; 9:1-6.  Also see Psalm 85:10. 

11 One may also ask if "Wisdom" is Jesus, why refer to Him in the feminine gender.

12 This becomes especially clear when Proverbs 8 is taken in context with Proverbs 7 and 9. Verses 22-30 would seem completely misplaced if they referred to Jesus.  However, they fit right in if "wisdom" is taken as a character quality which Solomon personifies.

13 Genesis 16.

14 Genesis 17:20-21.

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2, p. 725 states that the word "is used to mark out Jesus uniquely above all earthly and heavenly beings; in its use the present soteriological [salvific] meaning is more strongly stressed than that of origin."

16 Verses 3, 20, 35, 49.

17 1 Samuel 8.

18 1 Samuel 9:15-17; 10:1.

19 No other major translation renders it as such.

en auto.

meta auton.

synesteken.  See Kittel and Friedrich, eds. Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament, Volume VII (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), p. 897.

proteuon. Ibid., Volume VI, pp. 881-882.

24 Ibid., pp. 877-878.

25 Matthew 19:4-5.

26 Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:18.

27 Brown.
An Introduction to New Testament Christology, pp. 174, 189.

28 For the writings of Ignatius and other early Church Fathers see J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and transl.,
The Apostolic Fathers, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992).

29 Irenaeus,
Against Heresies, 3:3:4.  In this passage, Irenaeus also claims to have spoken with Polycarp when he (i.e., Irenaeus) was young.  Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4:14.  In the latter, Eusebius quotes Irenaeus.

30 Polycarp.
Philippians 12:2.

31 The topic of how the early Church Fathers viewed Jesus is beyond the scope of this book.  However, you may find an article on the subject by this author on his web site at www.risenjesus.com.  Go to the "Articles" section and select "
The Early Church Fathers on Jesus."

32 Harris, Archer, Waltke, eds.
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Volume 2 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 907.

33 Richard Patterson, "Joel," in
The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein and Richard P. Polycyn, eds. Volume 7 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985), p. 243.

34 Harris, Archer, Waltke, eds.
TWOT, Vol. 1, p. 149.

35 Dr. Ron Sauer, Professor of New Testament at Moody Bible Institute, kindly pointed this out to me.  Dr. Sauer was the last student of the late F. F. Bruce.  When I studied under him at Liberty University, he devoted 8-14 hours daily to his personal study in the Greek New Testament and instilled a passion in this student and many others to learn the Greek language of the New Testament.

36 NIDNTT, Vol. 2, p. 86. TDNT, Vol. III, p. 123.  See Romans 1:20 for its only use in the New Testament.  Interestinly, the NST has rendered the word "Godship."

37 NIDNTT, Vol. 2, p. 86. TDNT, Vol. III, p. 119.  Also, see Fritz Rienecker. 
A Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament.  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1980), p. 573.

38 Revelation 22 is somewhat difficult to follow because John changes from one speaker to another without warning, as he seems to do in verses 7, 12, and probably 17.  The
KJV (Red Letter editions) and the NIV seem to present the conversation most clearly.  The NASB seems confused on where to place the quotation marks.  It has Jesus speaking in verses 6 and 7.  But that is awkward because it would force the Father to send the angel in verse 6 and then Jesus to send the same angel for the same purpose in verse 16.  The NWT is likewise confused, identifying Jesus as the angel in verse 6 and also as the one who sends the same angel (quite a task to send yourself) in verse 16.

Should You Believe in the Trinity? New York: Watchtower Bible And Tract Society of New York, Inc., 1989, pp. 26-28.

40 The same is also found in
The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible And Tract Society Of New York, Inc., 1985), pp. 11-39-1140.

41 The article is specifically identified in Appendix 2A of
The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, pp. 1140 as Philip B. Harner, "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1," in Journal of Biblical Literature, ed. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Vol. 92, 1973, pp. 75-87.

King James Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New American Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, New English Bible, Revised English Bible ("what God was, the Word was"), Amplified Bible ("the Word was God Himself"), Today's English Version ("he was the same as God"), New Living Translation ("he was God.")

43 Harner, p. 84.

44 Harner, p. 85.

45 Harner, p. 85.  New Testament scholar, Murray Harris agrees.  See his excellent book,
Jesus As God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 70.  The late New Testament scholar, Raymond Brown agrees in An Introduction to New Testament Christology, pp. 187-188.

46 Harner, p. 85.

47 "god" verses "God," much like "mighty god" verses "Almighty God."

48 Harner, p. 87.

49 e.g., John 4:20; 5:15; 20:31. A. T. Robertson.
A Grammar Of The New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), pp. 759-761, 795 and H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey. A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1955), pp. 139-140, 148-149.

50 As mentioned earlier, you may find an article on the subject of the early Church Fathers on Jesus by this author on his web site at www.risenjesus.com.  Go to the "Articles" section and select "The Early Church Fathers on Jesus."

51 Irenaeus.
Against Heresies, Book 1, Ch 8; Book 3, Ch 11 (3 x's); Book 5, Ch 18.

52 Ibid., Book 1, Ch 8.

53 Origin. De Principiis, Book 1, Ch 2, Section 3.

54 Origin. Contra Celsus, Book 1, Ch 66 [1:66]; 3:62; 4:99; 5:22; 6:48, 61, 68; 69 (2 x's), 71; 7:17 (3 x's), 42; 8:15, 22, 39, 75.

55 Clement of Alexandria. The Instructor, Book 1, Ch 5.

56 For details, the reader may refer to the article by this author titled, "The Early Church Fathers on Jesus," located at www.risenjesus.com.  Click on the "Articles" tab.

57 When cornered, JWs may likewise reply that they are not interested in debate.  You may reply "I'm not either.  But when it comes to something as important as the eternal destiny of our soul, important questions must be asked and answered."

58 There are actually 2 others but these are not readily apparent: Romans 8:33 reads theos ho dikaion ("God is the one who justifies") and John 10:34 that reads theoi este ("gods you are" or "You are gods."

59 In Greek the subject is often contained in the verb as in this phrase.).  The Greek Grammarians Dana and Mantey say that this statement "emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature" (
A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 140).  " . . . and the word was deity.  The article points out the subject in these examples . . . nor was the word all of God, as it would mean if the article were also used with theos.  As it stands, the other persons of the Trinity may be implied in theos" (Ibid., pp. 148-149).

60 As the
New Revised Standard Version translates it.

61 F.F. Bruce.
The Epistles Of John (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970), p. 142.