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Jehovah`s Witness/Allow me to shed some light- Rev. Murphy


QUESTION: Greetings Mr. Hepburn. I was reading through the questions and responses and came across the response to a questioner concerning a conversation between me and Derrick Holland.

I was responding to a lot of conversations with what I posted but all was centered on one theme...Christ. As I understand your response to the reader, being a scholar, there are several issues I would like to challenge you to take a look at.

In response to John 8:56 you responded with what is presumed as an explanation from Insight Into the Scriptures or another article from the WTBS. Although a beautiful, true and well written description of Abraham and his faith, it does not address the statement in John 8:56 and is more a theological in nature. Here are the problems that stance presents:

"Abraham with  figurative eyes of faith had looked forward to the fulfilment of the promise God gave him  of the time when his offspring (seed) would be a cause for blessing to all mankind.  Before he had any children God had promised him  And I will make you very, very fruitful and will make you become nations, and kings will come out of you.  

It is true God made Abraham a promise, but lets look at the words of Jesus:

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

1: Jesus said Abraham rejoiced to see "My day" and further states "he saw it".

In your response it would be the fulfillment of a promise to "Abraham" that wouldn't have been Jesus' day, but the day of rejoicing for Abraham.

2. By your response, it would imply that Jesus is God, for it says Abraham looked forward to the fulfillment of promise that God gave him. Remember it was Jesus' day he saw and rejoiced in.

You: "1. Who does the scriptures say should be received? The answer to that it Jesus. An important question arises for me and that is  Who are the ones that receive Jesus?   It is those who responded to Jesus message about Gods Kingdom and exercised faith in that good news were highly blessed by being in a position to be adopted as children of God"

Now this is a boiler plate WTBS answer. Please do not take that statement in a negative way, however, it confuses hope with faith. Our faith is to be in Christ, our hope is to enter into the Kingdom. Our faith is not directed towards the message, but the messenger. I will not address the "adoption" because that would get into the theology and formed doctrine of the 144,000.

You: 2. According to scripture, who's name should we exercise faith in?   Again the answer is Jesus.  I find it interesting that Mr Murphy uses the NWT wording of exercising faith.  In other place on that information he quotes from the KJV.  In the KJV John 1:12 reads But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:,  There is seems to the general reader that all one has to do is believe in Jesus.  The Greek word here rendered as believe in the KJV or exercising faith as per the NWT is pisteuousin  This is the a form of the Greek word pisteuo which means faith.  But in this situation pisteuo as represented by pisteuousin is in the present tense in the active mood meaning it is something that is happening now and is active  [as in the boy is throwing the ball]

It should be of no surprise that I used the NWT wording. It was done because we were talking about Witnesses and that would be the wording and version that would be used by a JW in response. I will inform that I do also use the NWT in my studies for certain passages that are without error in translation.

As you give the definition to the Greek word for faith and address its mood, tense etc., being a Hebrew/Greek scholar I agree. Faith without works is dead! Because of Faith in Christ, we act upon it,doing all that he has commanded. The promise of the Kingdom is our hope and reward.

So even from the KJV rendering, there would be no assumption that all one has to do is believe in Christ.

For 3 and 4 of your response we are in agreement. However I would like to address two comments:

1. "All mankind [those who responded to Jesus message about Gods Kingdom and exercised faith in that good news ]   will again be children of God Just as he intended when the earth was established

It should be clear that it is not the message that faith is put in, it is the messenger. The hope is in the message. I would challenge you to present a scripture that tells anyone to place faith in a message. Messages are for the encouragement and assurance of the hope that can be only realized by having Faith in Christ and the ONE who sent Him!

2. You:" We need to take in  accurate knowledge of both Jehovah and his son Jesus.  That means recognising the roll that Jesus plays  not as part of a trinity  but as Gods appointed messiah, someone who is insubordinate to the Father  and the roll he play as the appointed  king of Gods Kingdom."

First I will say the argument of Trinity or No Trinity has no place in my writing nor is it relevant to this discussion. You are very correct in saying that we need to take in accurate knowledge of both Father and Son. This is the main point in my discussion with Mr. Holland. Because of the Theological stances taken by Trinitarians and Non Trinitarians alike....there is a central point that scriptures reveal that is missed by most. In taking in the knowledge of Christ, you will find more than just the role he plays...You will find out who he is, was and will be. your example of John 1:1 you are correct in saying all things were made "through Christ". Christ is the means by which all things were created in heaven and on earth. An Architect designs, the builder builds. So it was by Christ that all things exist. It is in "Him", "Christ", that is the "Life".

You gave the definition  of the word "dia" used at John..which translated has the meaning in its use of "by means of". Now lets look at Colossians 1:16 first from the KJV:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

In this passage of scripture, the word "by" comes from the greek word "en". Here it has the meaning "in, by, with etc". It can be rightfully said that "In Christ" "By Christ" "With Christ" all things were made.

NWT renders:  16  because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible,+ whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him+ and for him. 17  Also, he is before all other things,+ and by means of him all other things were made to exist,

Without writing this out in Greek please allow me to show the confusion of this passage:

1. What other things?

According to scripture, ALL things were created "Through" and "BY" him. so what other things is this passage referring too?

2. He is the First in creation, so what "other things" is He before?

There is a mistranslation of the word "Pas" that is creating this tangled web. It is viewed in the community of scholars that this rendering is theologically and doctrinally biased towards the JW belief that Jesus was created. I will not address that issue, but will say there is no support in the Greek for such a translation, nor does it harmonize with scripture.

Finally, let me clear up the last point:

You: You also ask Is Jehovah just a title?  The answer is No.  In the example that Mr Murphy produced of Isa 44:6, he is asserting, I believe,  that the words Jehovah of armies is a title.  That expression appears over 250 times in the Old Testament and is used to designate something special about Jehovah.  It no different than if I was referred to as Brenton of Australia.  That tells people name, an an important fact, where I am from.  Jehovah of armies tells us Gods name and an important fact, that he has at his disposal armies.  These include the stars of heaven (Isaiah 40:25,26 ) the army of spirit heavenly creatures (2 Kings 6:17;  Matthew 26:53 ) and being the leader [at times] of the armies of  the Israelites (Joshua 5:13 )

You are incorrect sir. Jehovah is definitely used in "Title" throughout the Bible. I will however agree that Jehovah is a proper noun. To understand its use in Title form, you would have to understand properly the language and context of the passage where used. Example:

Gen 22: 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

In this you see both name and title....Jehovah is the name; Jireh is the title. Being use in reference to the mount, it is title..used from meaning of words..Jehovah sees, provides, has seen.

Jehovah Sabaoth is a means LORD or KING of the armies. If you look at it from word study , then you will find "Existing One of or over the Armies" "Lord of Hosts(armies)" Adonai Sabaoth.

Now, the questions in the conversation with Mr. Holland was more to challenge the reader and the JWS to properly identify Christ according to scripture without organizational theology and doctrine.

It was to engage them in the study of the question that has long been asked: Is Jesus the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Because of different teachings, we have all fallen to doctrines and theology of particular organizations. However, when they are compared to scripture, they usually fall short. Now I would invite you to investigate 2 names or titles which ever you prefer to call them: Ancient of Days, and Existing one.

Until one has accurate knowledge of the Son, he will never have accurate knowledge of the Father. That is why the Bible directs us to Christ and these words are recorded:

John 5:39-40
King James Version (KJV)
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

It is not enough to know a name and present scriptures boasting to magnify the name the way it is said Christ did, but then not recognize your testimony is in Christ. Witnesses "Testify". It is good to be able to "Testify" of what the scriptures say....even the Pharasees and Sadducees did that...but what can you "Personally Testify" about? This is not a question just to JWS but to all.

I will leave you with something from the NWT:

Mark 1 NWT
The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God: 2  Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: (Look! I am sending my messenger ahead of you,* who will prepare your way.)+ 3  A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of Jehovah!* Make his roads straight. (ISA 40:3)

Mark 1:2-4
King James Version (KJV)
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Mr. Hepburn, is Jesus Jehovah? Is this a mistranslation? The scriptures here and after are talking about Christ:

7  And he was preaching: Someone stronger than I am is coming after me, the lace of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.+ 8  I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with holy spirit.+

Isa 40:3 is actually making 2 statements. I have seen where another expert explained the passage by saying sometimes Jesus is referred too as Jehovah. If that be the case, it would have to be only in title. Can you provide clarity to this?

I really enjoyed reading your answers and I hope you dont take this as adversarial.

Look forward to hearing from you:

Rev. Darryl Murphy

ANSWER: Greetings Daryl

Thank you for the response.  It has been some time since we have conversed. First, No, I do not take your response as adversarial. It is not presented in a confrontational way.  

There is a lot of material in your comments to respond so I will not try to cover all of them here, and get bogged with too many details and not really cover anything, but I would like an ongoing conversation to cover all the points if that is agreeable to you.  Please bear with me as I try to express my thoughts.

I am sure you would appreciate that there is just so much detail in coming to accurate knowledge that in a forum such as this it is not reasonable to give ALL details to a discussion.  When providing answers we have to decide just how much detail to give (sometimes I go overboard with my answers as some people have complained about how much detail I give)  Finding a balance as to what to present is not always easy.  So when ever you or I give answers we have to decide what words to use to best get our point across without swamping a person but leaving room for follow up questions if the askers does not follow what we have written Sometimes I do not express myself clearly, just as I did not get the what point  you were making with some of your comments to Derrick.

The first part of my response in regard to John 8:56 was not a quote from any WTS publication. They were my own words. But, influenced by what I have learnt from being a JW for many years. No doubt the words I chose to use can be found in WT publications in some form.  I try to be mindful of when I k]make quotes from WTS material to say so.  Very rarely do I quote any of their material.  If you read other questions that I have answered I use a lot of commentaries from other people.

Daryl I am sorry, but I am missing something as I  do not quite  understand what you are trying to say here.  Can you please shed more light on it for me. Perhaps I cover it  in the discussion to follow I am not sure.


It is true God made Abraham a promise, but lets look at the words of Jesus:

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 

1: Jesus said Abraham rejoiced to see "My day" and further states "he saw it".

In your response it would be the fulfillment of a promise to "Abraham" that wouldn't have been Jesus' day, but the day of rejoicing for Abraham.

End quote

I apologise if my response gave the impression that Jesus is God. To me I thought I showed just the opposite so it appears I need to re word matters better.  Can you please explain how you saw my words as giving that impression, so that I can  set matters straight.

Again the paragraph that discusses Who does the scriptures say should be received? are my words, based on my understand of Greek words for “exercising faith” and the meaning of faith as to Hebrew 11:1 “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” 1984 NWT. The revised 2013 NWT says “Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen”

One of my electronic version of the JKV says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  The program gives me  footnotes and I get this one {substance: or, ground, or, confidence }

Now as you are aware Hebrews is all about many of the faithful ones in the past eg Abel, Enoch, Noah and family, Abraham, Sarah,  Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua etc.  (Hebrews 12:1 calls ALL such faithful ones  a great “cloud of witnesses” KJV). Regarding these ones,  in Heb. 11:13 we read  (using the KJV and showing the footnote) “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {in faith: Gr. according to faith }”

So that is why I discussed the figurative eyes of faith  that Abraham had - “ but having seen them afar off ” - was able to visualise in his mind the outcome of the promise just as the other ones could see the promise that God had made.  They did not understand just how those promises would work out.  We though have the privilege of all of Gods promises now recorded for us.  Some we have seen fulfilled and some yet to come.

So hope and faith go hand in hand. We are to developed faith in all the promises of God.  The most important promise was God purpose to open a way for mankind to be reconciled back to him through the “corresponding ransom” of his son Jesus. The laying down of the life of Jesus  to exactly correspond to the life of Adam.

Our responsibility is not just to believe, but to “exercise faith” in that provision by our every day life course.

Yes I did not go into the adoption as sons of God in great detail because that can be a complex discussion on its own depending on prior knowledge of the audience

I will assume that you have come across many people who use the KJV (and others Bibles) that will understand the words of John 1:12 to mean that all one has to do to be saved is it believe.  That is why I feel the JKV here misleads readers by not being clear.

Now just to finish of this response,  in  regard the next portion I want to mention yes I made a slight mistake in not explaining my self clearly  I said …. "All mankind [those who responded to Jesus message about Gods Kingdom and exercised faith in that good news ]will again be children of God Just as he intended when the earth was established..”  

You correctly picked me up on that mistake. I did not clearly expand on the term.. “ exercised faith in that good news..” For me , the good news  refers to what Jesus preached – the Kingdom-  and that message  covers ALL the promises of God not just the death of Jesus which is the basses of hope

Mark 1:15 15  “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”  KJV

“and saying: “The appointed time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Be repentant, YOU people, and have faith in the good news.” NWT

You will be aware that the words I put in bold are from the same Greek verb for faith I talked about for John  1:12 “ pisteuo” .  In this case it is in the imperative mood, present tense and active voice “pisteuete” Being in the imperative mood it is a command. What are we command to do    As the NWT says we should “have faith in the good news.”   The good news faith in we are to have is  of Gods Kingdom, with Jesus as the appointed king and all that it has done, and will do.

I will leave it at that for now

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Mr. Hepburn, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I would love to discuss things further.

I would first like to say that I saw your answer to another questioner about Is 40 and enjoyed your thorough answer. Another expert on this site, a JW, stated that sometimes Jesus was referred to as Jehovah in explanation of the passage in Mark. I wanted your view and as usual you did not disappoint.

Because this may get lengthy, please allow me to address our fist  topic in a follow up writing that I will entitle...Is Jesus the Jehovah of the Bible.

I hope the questioner is viewing.

Rev. Darryl Murphy

Hello Mr Murphy,

Hope you are well

I look forward to have a discution with you  I was preparing a question to send you on your form,  about some  things you had said to Derrick  but that can wait now.

You may notice that I  have had a question about your response and I have just now sent another answer to the same person in regard to your response that will show up tomorrow I suppose.

You said


Another expert on this site, a JW, stated that sometimes Jesus was referred to as Jehovah in explanation of the passage in Mark. I wanted your view and as usual you did not disappoint.

end quote

I am not aware of what the other JW has sad.  Is it at all possible  for you to give me a link to that response (if you re mender where it is) so that I can see the context and exactly what was said.

I look forward to your discution "Is Jesus the Jehovah of the Bible."  

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Brenton Hepburn


I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .


I have been a publisher since 1964. When I first went on the internet I found a lot of negative information dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses covering prophecy, mind control and what many said was a very bad translation of the Bible known as the NWT. It shook my faith. After may hours researching these topics I could see why some felt that way, but, I was also able to explain why there were these misleading views. I can now set matters straight for anyone that has negative information about Jehovah’s Witness to show them that such information is at best misleading and at worst dangerous lies.

I have been a student of the Bible for many years, am trying to teach myself Biblical Greek. Was a public tax accountant for many years untill SEP 2009 when I gave it up due to health problems.

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