Jehovah`s Witness/Jesus as the "creator"?

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Question
Hello again Brent


Colossians 1:16 says: "For BY<b/> him(Jesus) were all things created, that are in <b>heaven , and that are in <b>earth,<b/>"




I remember your previous answer to me that if there's nothing to be added a word "OTHER" in that passage, then it's going to be understood that Jesus created the FATHER and the HOLY SPIRIT also. I just don't get your point why you've said that since I do believed that the word "heaven" there speaks of its elements like the sun, moon, stars and etc. etc. since it speaks also in relation to the "earth". Unless, if you're able to present me just a quote from a respected scholar that it also points to heavenly spiritual being!!! Well, let's Assume that since Jesus is an angel(to JW's), then how could he created himself since angels are also created? Only God can do that at the same time(But angels can't be God). So I think Jesus being an angel and at the same time the CREATOR doesn't makes any sense!!! would it not??




Looking forward as it is sir since you're a very brilliant student of the Bible.



Thanks in Adv.

Answer
Hello ^_^

Thank you for asking for clarification on a previous topic.

For the benefit of readers, I will give some details that lead up to this.

Those that believe the trinity say that Colossians 1 teaches Jesus to be the creator, and they tie that in with Isaiah 44:24 “... I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” (KJV).

Their reasoning’s say since the “LORD” said he stretched out the heavens by himself and that he was alone in doing so than Jesus must be the “LORD”. The word “LORD” in all capitals has replaced the divine name Jehovah.

The way we understand Isaiah is in the context of the chapter.  The Israelites had turned to worshiping idol gods.  When we read through that chapter we see that they had carved gods out of  gold, stone and wood.  In contrast to these worthless idol gods Jehovah is showing he alone is deserving of their worship.  None of <those idol gods</b> that they had turned to were with Jehovah when he caused the creation of the heavens and earth.  None of <those idol gods</b> had ever been their salvation.


He alone was able to repurchase them   “.And who is there like me? Let him call out, that he may tell it and present it to me. From when I appointed the people of long ago, both the things coming and the things that will enter in let them tell on their part. 8 Do not be in dread, YOU people, and do not become stupefied. Have I not from that time on caused you individually to hear and told [it] out? And YOU are my witnesses. Does there exist a God besides me? No, there is no Rock. I have recognized none.’”(Isaiah 44:7,8 [NWT])

So in the context of Isaiah when Jehovah said “I, ... am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me Isaiah 44:24 (NWT) he was referring to the idol gods. None of them was with him

Now, to why I said that, if the word “other”, was not inserted in Colossians 1:16 , that would mean Jesus created the father.

You may understand -  “that the word "heaven" there speaks of its elements like the sun, moon, stars and etc. etc. since it speaks also in relation to the "earth" “,  but that is not the argument by trinitarians or JWs.  Notice what the verses 16 says “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible ” (KJV), Trinitarians  assert that Jesus made everything that was created, including the angels. (discussed further down the page) Of this verse Barnes Commentary says

Quote
“Verse 16. For by him were all things created. This is one of the reasons why he is called "the image of God," and the "firstborn." He makes God known to us by his creative power, and by the same power in creation shows that he is exalted over all things as the Son of God. The phrase which is here used by the apostle is universal. He does not declare that he created all things in the spiritual kingdom of God, or that he arranged the events of the gospel dispensation, as Socinians suppose, (see Crellius;) but that everything was created by him .” (Bold mine)
end quote

Calvin's commentary says
quote
16. Visible and invisible. Both of these kinds were included in the foregoing distinction of heavenly and earthly things; but as Paul meant chiefly to make that affirmation in reference to Angels , he now makes mention of things invisible. Not only, therefore, have those heavenly creatures which are visible to our eyes, but spiritual creatures also, been created by the Son of God.
End quote

If they insist that it includes the angels than the other two distinct and separate persons of the trinity are included in those spiritual things (UNLESS--- we insert the word other)

Those that believe in the trinity will insist on the general reading “For by him were all things created ” as opposed the the NWT that reads “because by means of him all [other] things were created.”

For the benefit of readers that have not seen this before the NWT puts the word other in [ ]o show it is added to complete the sense of the sentence.

One prominent “trinity” web site says this - The Jehovah's Witness organization has altered the biblical text to suit to its theological presupposition that Jesus is a created thing.” This s echoed by another well known critic of the NWT - “adding "other" substantially changes the meaning “ On the other hand   we say, that by adding the word [other] it clarifies the text.

What meaning is supposedly “substantially” changed ?

The emphasis is in the word “all” .  In that ALL THINGS . When most people read that word what do they understand by it?  Would you agree that “all” has the meaning of - universal – everything – nothing left out- fully accomplished -. SO ,  when the Bible says ALL THINGS  it is assumed that if Jesus created everything, nothing is left out from “things”  .   If that is the case, then Colosians 1:16 causes a problem for those that believe the trinity. Now the trinity teaches that there are 3 separate and distinct individuals in the trinity.   Think about this. - If Jesus created universally everything there is with nothing left out as is understood by the English word “all”, that mean that the other two persons of the trinity are included in the “all things” . The wording “all things”

First lets see how the Greek actually reads.  This is from the software called “ISA”. It is an interlinear rendering of the Bible in both Hebrew and Greek.

“that IN Him IS-CREATED THE ALL THE IN THE heavens AND THE ON THE LAND” (capitals original)

Now the Greek word rendered as “all” in English does not always mean  - universal – everything – nothing left out- fully accomplished -  Strongs Greek Lexicon says of this word “apparently a primary word; all,
any
, every, the whole: —  all (manner of , means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way) as many as , + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.” (bold mine)
The Online Bible Lexicon gives some more details  “1) individually  1a) each, every, any , all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything - 2) collectively  2a) some of all types ” (bold mine)

Greek sometimes takes it for granted that the word 'other' is implied. This phenomenon is not unique to Greek; it is sometimes encountered in English, which may occasionally omit the word 'other' when there is little chance of misunderstanding. An examination of the New Testament indicates that this type of structure is encountered in koine Greek.

Consider, for example, the following phrases from the book of Acts. First I have the literal rendering of the Greek - (capitals original) ,  followed by the King James Version -(bold mine, italics original) and then the 1976 Good News Bible (bold mine) and for good measure the NIV (bold mine)

Acts 4:6 “AND ANNAS THE chief-priest AND  CAIAPHAS AND JOHN AND ALEXANDER AND as-many-as WERE OUT of-race chief-priestly”

“and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the high priestly family;”

“they met with the High Priest Annas and with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the others who belonged to the High Priest’s family.”

“Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family”

COMMENT – The insertion of “other” clarifies for the reader that the extra people were of the family of the high priest

Acts 5:29 “answerING YET THE Peter AND THE apostles said”

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said,

Peter and the other apostles replied, "

Peter and the other apostles replied

COMMENT – The insertion of the word “other” clarifies for the reader that Peter was part of the group known as “apostles”. Without the word other it <u>could be taken</b> that Peter was Not one of the apostles

Acts 16:25 “acording-to YET THE MIDNIGHT PAUL AND SILAS prayING HYMNED THE GOD ON-LISTENED YET OF- then THE BOND-ones”

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them

COMMENT – The insertion of the word “other” clarifies for the reader that Paul and Silas were also prisoners.

Here is an example of the Greek word “panta” meaning “all manner of ;  any ; some of all types ;

“And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” Mark 1:5 KJV.  Now did everyone (all) from the land of Judah come down to John and did  everyone (all) from the land of Judah get baptised.  No they did not but all that believed John to be a prophet did from all over the land of Judah.  We naturally understand from the context that it “all” is not - universal – everything – nothing left out- that is meant.

The context of Colossians 1 shows several important things that point the the adding of the word [other] is necessary to  stop confusion of the meaning. Jesus is called “the image” of God and  the  “firstborn of every creature:”  Col 1:15  For readers who may want to see the original question and answer on this here is the link http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jehovah-s-Witness-1617/2013/3/jesus-creator-4.htm

To your last thought

“Well, let's Assume that since Jesus is an angel(to JW's), then how could he created himself since angels are also created? Only God can do that at the same time(But angels can't be God). So I think Jesus being an angel and at the same time the CREATOR doesn't makes any sense!!! would it not??”  - That is why the word "other" is so important in clarifying the context -

Yes you are correct that JWs understand that Jesus is an angel, not just any angel but the first born of all angelic creatures. Remember, the English word angel is rendered from the Greek “aggelos” which basically means “a messenger”  Was Jesus a messenger from God?

How was Jesus involved in creation?  He was the agent by which God used to create the heavens and earth. Proverbs 8:30  says he was Gods “master workman” (RSV).  Colossians 1:16 “For by him were..”   Other Bibles read “For through him God created..”  The highlighted word there is the Greek word “en”  Using Strongs reference this is word number 1722 and Strongs says  a “primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest” (bold mine).  Jesus was the instrument used by God in the creative works – in all things except Jesus.   Jesus was Gods only direct act of creation.  John 1:3 brings that out “All things were made by him; and without [ apart from] him was not any thing made that was made.

First the word “by ” in that text is the Greek word “dia” meaning “a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through” . So Jesus was the agency or channel that God used through which creation took place.  The text goes on “and without [ apart from] him was not any thing made that was made.”   The Greek word that that is rendered in the JKV as without means  “apart from”.  This is Strongs word number 5565 with the meaning “ choris; adverb from 5561; at a space, i.e. separately or apart from (often as preposition): —  beside, by itself, without.”    In this case it works as an adverb  not a preposition so the correct rendering is apart from.

So even thou Jesus is a messenger (angel) of the highest rank we are told he was used in creation as Gods agent.

I hope I have been able to clarify matters for you.  I apologize for not making it simple and for getting carried away with explanations, that is just the way my brain organizes matters.  

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Brenton Hepburn

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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 . . . . .

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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.

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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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