Jehovah`s Witness/Jehovahs Memory; Trinity; Jesus as Michael-A few questions
Hello Brother Grunbaum; I have been following the discussion on "Jehovah's Memory" and must say that both present good argument# However, as with many things, when one stands to defense and the other offense, truth rarely presents itself# It becomes a battle of who is right and who is wrong, rather than what is right and what is wrong#
Now I do not wish to enter into this discussion or take part in debate# However I will if allowed, as a reader, make certain statements, clarifications and pose question to both you and the questioner for consideration on this subject matter#
1# New World Translation
It is true that the NWT is ranked among the "best" translations# However, this is due to ease of reading and use of modern language# Most scholars that have reviewed the translation agree that it is accurate in some cases, bias too JW Doctrine and Theology in some cases, and inaccurate in rendering in others#
An example of inacurrate rending:
Gen 3:1 NWT
1Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made# So it began to say to the woman: “Is it really so that God said YOU must not eat from every tree of the garden?”
Attention is drawn to the word "cautious"# The use of this word changes the context of the passage to denote or imply that the serpent was "reserved"#, "timid" "showing great concern"
In the above passage, the word Hebrew word translated in the NWT "cautious" is "aruwm" which means "crafty" 'shrewd" "sly"
So the literal translation would be that the serpent was more crafty, intelligent, sensible and slick than the other creatures, not that he was more reserved, timid or cautious#
The JWS have been charged with being decietful in quoting scholars because they generally only quote the scholars area of agreement with the NWT and never give the complete quotation or opinion of the scholar# In most cases, where the scholar himself is not a JW, the general opinion of the NWT is that it is a theologically biased as any other translation especially concerning the 'deity" or divine nature of christ#
King James Version:
It is also true, that the King James Version ranks low among the translations# This is because of the use of archaic words and its poetic structure# It is difficult for someone without knowledge of Hebrew and Greek to understand the full context of what the scriptures are really stating in this version#
The King James Version, as well as others, also come into critism for retaining the added doxologies to certain passages the do not appear in the original texts# Example of this would be the "Lords Prayer" found at Mattew 6:9-13:
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy na#e#
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven#
11 Give us this day our daily bread#
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors#
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever# Amen#
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever# Amen#" Is an addition to the scripture and does not appear in the original text# It is a doxology placed by the translators in praise of God# The NWT as well as other versions such as the ASV exclude the doxologies and state only what is found in the original texts#
So whereas the NWT is easy to read etc#, it is not without flaw and bias#
Identity crisis of concerning Jesus:
No other subject in the history of religion is more controversial than this# It has been a confusion to those who are more prone to follow the theology and doctrine of men rather than what the Bible plainly states#
No matter how it is twisted, explained or formulated, there is no scriptural support for Jesus being God, or for him being Michael the Arch Angel#
The belief that Jesus is Arch Angel Michael, is primarily taught in the JW religion and the Seventh Day Adventist religion from which Russell borrowed or more better adopted such belief and explanation#
The Trinitarian Formula was developed centuries after Christs life here on earth and was primarily an explanation given by Greek Philosophers concerning the nature of God# Tertullian first coined the word Trinity # Trinitas# around 200 A#D in his writings concerning the nature of Christ#
In 325 A#D this matter was debated in depth against the theology of one called Arius who taught that Jesus was the first creation of God# It was at this time that the Trinitarian doctrine was declared the official belief of the "Church" by Emperor Constantine and was made the central part of what is now called the Nicean Creed#
The issue of Trinity or nature of Christ became more unscriptural by the writings of Augustine# What was thought to be a scriptural explaination of the relationship between father and son, is no more than a philosophical non biblically supported theology developed by men who refused to follow the scriptures#
Both Trinity and Archangel arguments present an identity crisis#
A few simple Questions:
1# In what passage or passages of scripture do we find prophecy that the Arch Angel Michael would be transformed into flesh, preach, or proclaim if you prefer, be crucified for all mankind, return to the right hand as the lamb of God?
2# In what passage or passages of scripture do we find prophecy that God Himself would be transformed into flesh, preach, or proclaim if you prefer, be crucified for all mankind, return to the right hand of himself as the lamb of God and seperate divison of himself?
Now as you contemplate or ignore the questions presented, remember, the question was asked what scripture, not theology or doctrine#
Now as the JWS reject a notion of Trinity and also Modalism,in the argument that Jesus is Michael, they fall prey to the very thing they say they dont believe# It can be considered either modalism or a form of Trinity concerning Jesus himself# Example:
Jesus = Son of God in the flesh
Jesus= Michael the Archangel
The above are all beliefs of the JWS# So now the question becomes, are these the three modes in which Jesus operates#modalism#, or are these 3 distinct "persons" for lack of better wording, in one Christ#trinity##
So the JWS find themselves tangled in contradiction of belief# For what the reject about one, the accept about the other# Problem is, it is not what the Bible teaches, it is what the theology of others teach#
The Bible plainly states the following:
Jesus = Word of God
Jesus = Wisdom of God
Jeus = Son of God
Jesus = Lamb of God
There was no mystery when Jesus asked the question to his disciples:
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Notice the answer of Peter and the response of Jesus. All through the New Testament or Greek Scriptures as some would prefer, the identification of the Anointed One#Christ#, is SON OF GOD. Anything other is simply theories of men, not of the scripture. There is no crisis in identifying Jesus in scripture, he is clearly revealed in Old Testamanent or Hebrew Scripture and understanding of his being made even more clear in the New Testament or Greek Scriptures. The failure is that we choose to identify with the explanations of men, not God through scripture.
As for Jehovahs Memory..Yes without a doubt we will remain in Jehovahs memory..the scriptures plainly tell us how this will be.
So all in all, the arguments sound good, have good points, even would make sense to those who choose to apply earthly logic to something that is foolishness to men, but the truth of the matter is, non of the arguments are actually what the Bible says...just what men say.
So going forward, can this be a reasoning of scripture not theology or doctrine? Can we stick to what the Bible really says?
Hope this is not one of those things that gets rejected. Grunbaum as always, I enjoy discussing with you, and to the scholar pretending not to be a scholar, it has been enjoyable seeing your responses as well.
Rev. Darryl Murphy
JW NWT is the best because it accurate renderings not just ease of reading other translations fall into that category.
As a reader of scripture we should want to know as close as possible what was said not
You mentioned the translators of out NWT were inaccurate in the text,I disagree.The translators were in harmony with the facts as well as in harmony with Jesus’ statement on this subject matter namely a serpent,at Matthew 10:16 he advises his disciples to be not only innocent as doves but also cautious as serpents ,Our rendering:
(Matthew 10:16) . . .Look! I am sending YOU forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents . . .
Teacher used GK "phrónimos"
As a reader of scripture what is the thought process of the peculiarity of serpents.When Adam observed these what characteristic did he note that they were more wise as Christendom renders this text or in fact cautious.
Anyone, himself, can observe this when he encounters a serpent and every description of serpents verifies this.
As soon as the serpent perceives the step of an approaching man he glides away. The serpent is cautious not crafty,wise ,prudent ,shrewd,, a person understands the instruction of Jesus. The disciples must work like sheep among wolves. In addition to that they use the artlessness of doves, but also the caution and watchfulness of serpents
Jesus’ instruction to his disciples, the description of the serpent or snake in your text renders the appropriate Hebrew words at Genesis 3:1 as cautious to agree with Jesus.
Certainly as scholars of GK and Heb the text was not referring to the Devil, who is indeed subtle and crafty intelligent,sensible and slick, It was referring to the literal snake on the ground, which was merely the creature instrumentality used by the invisible Satan the Devil to deceive Eve.
The serpent’s shyness and cautiousness led Eve to believe that the animal would be careful about making a mistake or running into trouble. So if the serpent said that the forbidden fruit was good to eat, without penalties attached, Eve felt that she could well believe the creature. The creature’s carefulness, cautiousness, shyness, helped to make an impression upon Eve and make her imagine that the Serpent was right.
In the context of both texts ,Christ was instructing his disciples to exercise a proper trait in the carrying on of the Christian ministry. He was not instructing them to act in a subtle manner like Satan the Devil to cover up their tracks and intentions and stratagems for the purpose of working injury irreparably to an innocent victim,to be slick and crafty.
As a Heb scholar you are correct in the word a·rum in the text as translations say cunning ,clever,crafty.
At Proverbs 12:23 we render the same HEB "shrewd"
(Proverbs 12:23) . . .A shrewd man is covering knowledge, but the heart of the stupid ones is one that calls out foolishness.
King James Version (KJV)
23 A prudent man
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
A shrewd person conceals knowledge,
That is as you know one basic meaning of the word when applied to humans. But as is the case with so many words, a·rum has various shades of meaning.
If you refresh in your studies of Benjamin Davidson "The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon."
He defines a·rum´ as follows:
“crafty, cunning, subtle.—II. prudent, cautious"
So we had the right analytically in our analysis or analytics of the text select the secondary meaning of cautious and frankly as a HEB scholar I'm wondering why you said this word changes the context of the passage when you know full well it has "cautious" in the Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon.
I hope it was just an oversite and perhaps in a follow up you will explain to the readers what exactly your motive behind this.
I suspect it was just an oversite because you already knew its sendary meaning but it was not for your textual liking because of your leaning and thats understandable.
Please comment on this.
Perhaps you forgot I'm into Heb and a scholar as well.
The translators of the NWT looked at of course the meanings and there was no attempt in as you surprisingly said inaccuracy but looked at the totality of scripture,thats why we scored 64 out of 64 and ranked the best NT in the world.
To call the serpent clever here, right before it is described as seducing Eve into sin, will lead readers to conclude that the Bible depicts a mere snake as working out this scheme by dint of its own unusual cleverness. Such an interpretation would reduce the account to the status of myth and a dumb and silly myth at that.
The Jehovah's Witness NWT is free of myths as well as tampering,for example at John 8:1-11 about an adulterous woman about to be stoned, and that reports Jesus as saying, ‘Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.
As a GK scholar how many bible readers in the Churches of Christendom the world over know like we know this verse was not in any early manuscript,yet they read this as textual accurate.
See the problem is not the authorized version is as you said the use of archaic words its outright deceptive.
How many Church people are aware of the Footnotes on this text:
a.John 8:11 The most ancient authorities omit 7.53–8.11;
Yes you and I know it was added and not in the early manuscript because we are scholars,the average bible believer and Church person is what I'm talking about who look to a pastor for truth in scripture and they are lied to.Another example I have mentioned on this forum is
1 Timothy 3:16 most translations in Christendom render it:
King James Version (KJV)
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh
Even Young's Literal Translation says:
God was manifested in flesh
To the church going man it clearly says Jesus is God no other conclusion can you come away with.
Now comes a JW Prophet saying that this is tampering with Gods word to support a false teaching,who will they believe ,their lying eyes or a Prophet at his door.
Then people wonder why I have been spat on at a bible believers door,I dont take it personal if it were me and I was dumb like they are if a witness told me my bible is trash I would spit in his face too,people are willing to die for their beliefs.
Yet the facts are clear:
Holman Christian Standard
He[a] was manifested in the flesh
a.1 Timothy 3:16 Other mss read God
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He[a] was manifested
a.1 Timothy 3:16 Greek Who; some manuscripts God
As you and I as GK scholars know older manuscripts the words for “God” and “who” masculine were similar but again my point is the church person is fed these lies and he is willing to die for his beliefs.
"In what passage or passages of scripture do we find prophecy that the Arch Angel Michael would be transformed into flesh, preach, or proclaim if you prefer, be crucified for all mankind, return to the right hand as the lamb of God"
Since you have been following this thing I'm not going into why Jesus is Michael.Ill just say this,the son of God if he is just that a son created and not Jehovah then as a son he would have a name,his name could very well be Michael before he came to be born on earth and was given the name Jesus.
Michael itself means who is like God.
# In what passage or passages of scripture do we find prophecy that God Himself would be transformed into flesh, preach, or proclaim if you prefer, be crucified for all mankind, return to the right hand of himself as the lamb of God and seperate divison of himself?
I just provided 1 Timothy 3:16 where Christendoms translaters tampered with the text and changed GK to God.
1 John 5:7 was tampered to read
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Supporting a trinty dogma
Holman Christian Standard
a.1 John 5:7 Other mss (Vg and a few late Gk mss) read testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One. 8 And there are three who bear witness on earth:
1 John 5:7
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
7 For there are three that testify:[a
Good News Translation (GNT)
7 There are three witnesses
(1 John 5:7-8) . . .For there are three witness bearers, 8 the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement.
American Standard Version (ASV)
7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
a.1 John 5:7 The italicized section is found only in late manuscripts.
1 John 5:7
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
7 There are three witnesses
Sothe phrase: “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,” was added. Not only were the words not in the Sinaiticus, but they could not be found in any Greek manuscript before the 16th century.
The evidence indicates that a manuscript now found at Trinity College, Dublin, was purposely written about 1520 to insert that spurious verse, Basically, all modern versions have omitted this glaring tampering.
I'm not going to reject it,let the readers choose for themselves whose side they are on,my side will always win,the JW New World Translation is indeed the best ,we have GK and HEB scholars in Judaism,Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity , Catholic Priests,Noted Bible Translaters,Ministers in Unitarianism,Textual critics,Endorced by the Journal of Biblical Literature,Hebrew University of Jerusalem,Newton Theological Seminary all give JW NWT high marks for textual accuracy.