Jehovah`s Witness/Follow up


Derrick wrote at 2013-09-22 00:39:52

It is MUCH better if you start a new post each time rather than doing a follow-up, because the way that Allexperts is now set up, we don't know there has been a follow-up question unless we happen to think to go back and check the original posted answer.  It USED to be, that even a follow-up, was posted separately, and it was easily noticed.  It is no longer that way now.

If you do each question as a new thread, it will post separately, and get noticed by more people.  And I, for one, really enjoy reading your comments.  I think you are doing a nice job of giving Eddie some things to think about, that he obviously is having great difficulty answering.

David wrote at 2013-09-23 02:30:57
Rob, I would like to add a response to some of the questions you asked here.  

1.   Why did God allow Christianity to go on for 19 centuries believing in a flawed/false Bible?

Scholars agree that there were numerous scribal errors that are found in the extant copies of the NT.  However, in general, the Bible was not “flawed” as you say.  It was kept basically intact.  Psuedo-Christians or false Christians did not accept what the Bible taught, but that did not make the extant copies of the Bible flawed.  Errors of the copies were easily seen later on and corrected.  For instance, most modern Bible do not include the Johann Comma text of 1 John 5:7,8, where it is clear that the words “father, son, and holy ghost and these three are one”, were added later in order to teach and promote the demonic doctrine fo the Trinity.  It is fact not found in ANY manuscript dated prior to the 3rd century.  But the main biblical truths of the Bible remained intact, including the clear teaching that Jesus is really the Son of God, and not God Almighty.  The NT apostles wrote and taught that Jesus was the Son of God, and that he was sent by God to be the Savior of the world, and that Jesus was seen by human eyes, but God was never seen by humans. (John 1:14, 18; John 3:16, 36; Matt. 16:16; 1 John 4:8-14).  So that fundamental doctrine was held by early Christians; it was not until after the apostles death that false doctrines starting to creep in, in line with the prophecy of Jesus in Matt. Chapter 13.  In fact, the doctrine of the trinity was not officially taught at the 3rd century, 300 years after the death of Jesus and the apostles.  Christians that denied the Trinity and accept Jesus as the Son of God and the One God sent to be Savior of the world were savagely persecuted and force underground.  Many of the true Christians were murdered.  And that is just basic history of the beginning of Christianity—false Christians took over, persecuting and killing by the thousands the true Christians.  

2. Why did God wait 19 centuries before raising up your church's "scholars" to get His Word right? Why didn't he raise up a scholar in the 3rd century? The 6th? The 8th? The 10th? The 13th? The 17th?

Origen taught that John 1:1 teaches not that Jesus is THE God, but that Jesus is another god, meaning a mighty being who was like God his Father.  He wrote that in the late first century.  Arius taught that Jesus was literally the Son of God, and that there was a time he was not.  This was a view held by various scholars from the 1st to the 3rd century.  The fact is evidence clearly shows that there were always a group of Christians that held to what the apostles originally taught, as revealed in the NT.  

2a. Why did God wait until the 1960's, deep into what many Christians (including me) believe are the very end times, to correct His Word?   I’m not quite sure what you mean.  The Bible was always basically correct.  The basic Bible truths such as Jesus is the Son of God, the soul dies, that Jehovah is the name of God, that the earth will become a paradise, that hell is translated from the Hebrew word Sheol and Greek Hades, and refers to the common grave, and that Hellfire was not the word Jesus used but that the original word was Gehenna, alluding to the eternal destruction and death of the wicked, etc, etc…those were perceived long before the 1960’s.  As I said earlier, even Origen understood John 1:1 and understood the difference in the grammatical construction of the sentence between the word Ho Theos and just Theos.  So the truth was out for all centuries.  The Hebrew Bible always had the name YHWH for God’s name.  The earliest LXX versions , Greek translations of the OT, also included YHWH, including the ones available during the 1st century and prior to that.  So Jesus and his apostles must have used a LXX that contained the divine name.  Jesus said that not one word from God’s Word will be removed…So he must have used the name, and well as his apostles.  “Let your name be sanctified” (Matt.6:9)… “I have made your name known” (referring to His Father’s name  - John 17:6, 26).  Jesus name is in Hebrew Yehoshau , meaning “Jehovah saves or the Salvation of Jehovah”, so surely his disciples knew the name of his Father and used.  Rev. 19:1-16 says that the true worshipers of God, the genuine Christians, are praisers and worshipers of the God of Jesus, so they shout out Hallelujah, which means Praise Yah, Yahowah, Jehovah.   The point I am making is that the TRUTH was always in the Bible, if one only was led by God’s spirit to see the clear truths taught.  It was only the wolves, the false teachers, that hid the truths, even forbidding for centuries the reading of the Bible!!

3. Where were the Jehovah Witnesses of the 1st century to correct the authors of the New Testament?  The NT was written in Greek.  The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses did not correct them.  If you referring to the way the NWT translates certain texts such as John 1:1, Romans 9:5, Acts 20:28, Phil. 2:6,7; etc, please note that many other Bible translations and NT scholars agree with our rendering of most of those texts.  Even in John 1:1, some scholars, all Trinitarian believers, have admitted that grammatically John 1:1 can be translated as “the Word was a god”.  An ancient Coptic version agrees with the NWT rendition of John 1:1.  And that version is an important manuscript evidence, since the language was closest to Greek and most importantly , it show how the ancient understood John 1:1.  They agreed with what Origen himself taught.  With regard to Jehovah, most scholars will admit that the OT should include the name Jehovah or Yahweh, but instead prefer to substitute with a word not find in the original Hebrew Scriptures nor in the oldest and best versions of the LXX.  They change to read LORD, a completely different word from what is in the original Hebrew Scriptures.  But isn’t the NWT doing the same thing by changing Kyrios to Jehovah in cases where it applies to God the Father and when it is quoting from the OT?  Evidence shows that the name was removed , possibly by Gentile Christians, and was replaced by the substitution KY, etc., not the full name Kurios.  KY was always used as a substitute for the divine name in later copies of the OT LXX.  A Sem Tobit Hebrew copy of the book of Matthew contains a notation meaning “The Name” in places where it quotes from the OT, such in Matt. 4:10, and allusion to the OT God, such as the Angel of THE NAME, Angel of Jehovah.  Some scholars deduce from the evidence of the LXX, the Hebrew Book of Matthew, and other internal biblical NT evidence, that the name of God was in the original autographs of the NT, but later removed and replaced with KY or Kurious, causing confusion between the Lord Jehovah and the Lord Messiah Jesus.  In view of the teachings of Jesus found in the Bible, which include sanctifying God’s name, and making God’s name known, and that Jesus said that not even a letter of God’s Word would be missing, and the fact the true Christians would say Hallelujah or praise Jehovah (YAHOWAH), and that the Christian Congregation would be a people for God’s name ( see Acts 15:14-17 which quotes from Amos 9:11-13 which uses the Divine Name), I agree with those scholars’ premise.  Both Jerome and Origin alluded to God’s name in the LXX, and Jerome alluded to a book of Matthew in Hebrew.

David wrote at 2013-09-23 02:33:57
Part 2 of my response:

In addition, I would like to give a response to some of the text you  cited:

Isa 7:14 - Therefore Jehovah himself will give YOU men a sign: Look! The maiden herself will actually become pregnant, and she is giving birth to a son, and she will certainly call his name Im¡Eman¡¬u¡Eel.

Isa 9:6 - For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, MIGHTY GOD, ETERNAL FATHER, Prince of Peace

Compare with:

Mt 1:23 - Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Im¡Eman¡¬u¡Eel,¡¨ which means, when translated, ¡§WITH US IS GOD.¡¨ (not "A" god)

Should Jesus really be considered to be God because he was called Immanuel (Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23) which means ¡§God is with us¡¨? No more so than Gabriel was calling himself God when he visited Mary and declared: ¡§The Lord is with thee¡¨ - Luke 1:28. Nor did Zacharias mean that John the Baptizer (his new son) was actually God when he was asked, ¡§I wonder what this child [John] will turn out to be?¡¨, and he answered, ¡§Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to visit his people and has redeemed them.¡¨ - Luke 1:66-68, LB.

Gabriel and Zacharias (Zechariah) meant exactly what Israelites have meant throughout thousands of years when saying ¡§God is with us¡¨ and similar statements. They meant ¡§God has favored us¡¨ or ¡§God is helping us¡¨! - Joshua 1:17; 1 Samuel 10:7; 2 Chron. 15:2-4, 9 (cf., Jer. 1:8; Haggai 1:13).[3] But if we insist on trinitarian-type ¡§proof,¡¨ then Gabriel must have meant that he (Gabriel) is God! And Zacharias (whose own name means ¡¥Jehovah is renowned¡¦ - p. 678, TDOTB) must have meant that John the Baptizer is God! ¡V Also see 1 Sam. 17:37; 2 Sam. 14:17; 1 Ki. 8:57; 1 Chron. 17:2; 22:18; 2 Chron. 1:1; 35:21; 36:23; Ezra 1:3; Is. 8:8, 10; Is. 41:10; Amos 5:14; Zech 8:23.  See also ¡§Immanuel¡¨ in the Insight On theScriptues )

There are many Hebrew biblicaly based names such as  ¡§Elijah¡¨ (¡§God Jehovah¡¨), ¡§Abijah¡¨ (¡§Father Jehovah¡¨), ¡§Eliathah¡¨ (¡§God is Come¡¨ - Young¡¦s), ¡§Jehu¡¨[1] (¡§Jehovah is He¡¨ - Today¡¦s Dictionary of the Bible; Strong¡¦s Concordance; Young¡¦s Concordance; and Gesenius), and yet no concludes from that the individuals bearing those names are Jehovah or God Himself!  Luke 1:32,35, in announcing the birth of Jesus clearly states that he will not be God himself, but will be ¡§Son of the Most High.¡¨

Instead of "Mighty God," Dr. James Moffatt translated this part of Is. 9:6 as "a divine hero;" Byington has "Divine Champion;" The New English Bible has "In Battle Godlike;" The Catholic New American Bible (1970 and 1991 revision) renders it "God-Hero;" and the REB says "Mighty Hero."  Even that most-respected of Biblical Hebrew language experts, Gesenius, translated it "mighty hero" - p. 45, Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon.  This is in agreement with how the Hebrew word Elohim was used in the OT.  It can have a secondary meaning, alluding to one who represent God Almighty such as the Hebrew judges, or even ¡§mighty beings¡¨, such as the angels.  Moses was called ¡§a God¡¨ to the pharaoh in Exo. 7:1, meaning not that he was God, himself, but that he represented the Almighty God Jehovah.  The angels are called ¡§gods ¡V Heb. Elohim) in Ps. 8:5,6, and Ps. 97:7, etc, meaning they are mighty spirit beings, higher than humans.  And human judges, representing God¡¦s law, are called ¡§gods¡¨ in Ps. 82:1-6, a text that Jesus himself quoted in John 10:31-36.  So even Jesus acknowledge that humans can be called gods.  (Compare footnotes in various bible translations, especially in Ps. 8:5,6, where some notes will says gods, mighty beings, heavenly beings.  In the book of Hebrews that text is quotes and says Jesus was made lower than the angels when he came to earth, indicating that angels are ¡§gods¡¨, in the sense of being mighty spirit beings.  It is in that sense that Jesus is a ¡§Mighty God¡¨, he is a powerful spirit being, now that he is in heaven, but he is not the Almighty God, the One who is intrinsically God, inherently God.  Only Jehovah God is called Almighty and ¡§God of gods¡¨ in the Bible.  (Exo. 6:2,3; Deut. 10:17).  The fact that Elohim has a secondary meaning explains why some Bible versions translate Isa. 9:6, as ¡§divine hero¡¨ or ¡§Divine Champion¡¨ or ¡§mighty hero¡¨, all in line with a secondary meaning of Elohim.  And Jesus is indeed a Mighty Hero, but not the Almighty God, nor part of a Trinity.


Ex 20:8-10 - ¡§Remembering the sabbath day to hold it sacred,9you are to render service and you must do all your work six days.10But the seventh day is a sabbath to Jehovah your God. You must not do any work, you nor your son nor your daughter, your slave man nor your slave girl nor your domestic animal nor your alien resident who is inside your gates.

Compare with:

Mk 2:28 - hence the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.

Response: The Sabbath is the rest of  God, and alludes to the Millennial reign that will, I believe, start shortly.   Since Jesus is the appointed King of that Millennial Reign, the One ruling to next God in His Kingdom, that One who will make that rest possible, come true, the Amen, then he is the Lord of the Sabbath.  (compare 1 Cor. 15:26-29).


Hos 13:4 - ¡§But I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt, and there was no God except me that you used to know; AND THERE WAS NO SAVIOR BUT I."

Compare with:

Lk 2:11 - because there was born to YOU today a Savior, who is Christ [the] Lord, in David¡¦s city.

Jn 4:42 - and they began to say to the woman: ¡§We do not believe any longer on account of your talk; for we have heard for ourselves and we know that this man is for a certainty the savior of the world.¡¨

Jn 20:27-29 - Next he said to Thomas: ¡§Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop being unbelieving but become believing.¡¨28In answer Thomas said to him: ¡§MY LORD AND MY GOD!"

Response ¡V Isa. 43:10-12 also says that Jehovah is the ¡§only Savior¡¨.  However, that does not mean that Jehovah has NOT SENT others to act as saviors or deliverers. For instance,   at Judges 6:14 where Jehovah commands Gideon to save Israel.  But later, the saviour, Gideon, says it is Jehovah who is saving Israel (Judges 6:37).  At Judges 3:9 Othniel is called a ¡§savior¡¨ or ¡§deliverer¡¨ in some translations.  The Hebrew word used in that text is Mokshia, which is the same used in Hos. 13 and Isa. 43:11.  Obviously, Othniel is not Jehovah, gut he was sent to save the Israelites by God.  Jesus was sent by God to the our Savior and that is the clear testimony of the NT in Bible texts such as John 3:16, 1 John 4:8-14, Jude 25, etc.   

"To the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ [compare John 3:17]" - RSV.  Also see The Jerusalem Bible and William Barclay's Version.

It is clear that, as other who were called ¡§saviors¡¨ in the OT, such as  Ehud, Othniel, and Gideon ¡V they were saviors because Jehovah was providing salvation through them, so Jesus, in a much larger sense, is also savior because Jehovah ("the only God") has provided salvation through him! - Compare 1 Thess. 5:9; 1 Peter 2:2 (modern translations); Rev. 7:10.  

David wrote at 2013-09-23 02:35:25
Part 3 of my response:

John 20:28 - “My God” (taken from the ExaminingTheTrinity blogspot)

John 20:19 - “On the evening of that day [when the resurrected Jesus was first seen], the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’

(:20) - “When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. THEN [upon seeing this] the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

(:21) - “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’

(:22) - “And when he had said this he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.

(:23) - “‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

(:24) - “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.

(:25) - “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails [as the other disciples had already seen], and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

(:26) - “Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’

(:27) - “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and SEE my hands; and put your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.’

(:28) - “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

(:29) - “Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have SEEN me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

(:30) - “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

(:31) - “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” - John 20:19-31, RSV.

John 20:28 (“Thomas answered, ‘My Lord and my God [o kurioV mou kai o qeoV mou - {when this is put in SYMBOL font it will show the Greek characters}]’”) is one of the favorite trinitarian “proofs” of the trinity doctrine. In fact, Dr. Walter Martin, the famous Trinity-defender and “cult-buster,” calls this scripture “the greatest single testimony recorded in the Scriptures” of the “Deity of Christ.” - KOTC, p. 95.

To examine it properly we should (1) discuss the context, (2) discuss the implications if “my God” was not meant to apply directly to Jesus, (3) discuss the implications if those words were meant to be applied directly to Jesus, and (4) discuss the use of the definite article with theos (“God”) in this verse.

(1) Thomas had said (verse :25) that unless something happened he would “not believe.” What was it that Thomas refused to believe? Was it that he refused to believe that Jesus was equally God with the Father? There is certainly no hint of this before or after Thomas’ statement at John 20:28.

If the disciples had learned, upon seeing the resurrected Jesus, that he was God, certainly they would have indicated this! But notice, neither before nor after receiving Holy Spirit (:22) did they kneel or do any act of worship such as one would certainly do upon coming aware of being in the presence of God!

Notice that the disciples who had seen Jesus earlier did not tell Thomas that Jesus was God (:25)! This is an incredible oversight if they had really believed they had seen God! Certainly, if they had discovered that Jesus was really God when they saw him resurrected, they would have talked of nothing else!

If, on the other hand, they had already known that Jesus was God even before seeing his resurrected form, then Thomas, too, would have already known about it and certainly would not have meant: “Unless I see ... the print of nails [etc.] ... I will not believe [Jesus is God].”

No, the context of John 20:24, 25, and 29 shows that Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. (See footnote for John 20:8 in The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985: “John did not say what [the disciple who saw the empty tomb of Jesus] believed, but it must have been that Jesus was resurrected.” - Also see Barclay’s The Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of John, Revised Edition, Vol. 2, p. 267, and pp. 275, 276.)

Certainly, being resurrected from the dead does not make you God. Other persons in the Scriptures had been resurrected from the dead before (and after) Jesus, and no one, for a moment, ever suspected them of being God! In fact, being resurrected from the dead would have been used as evidence that a person was not God, since God has always been immortal and cannot die in the first place!

Furthermore, Jesus’ statements before and after Thomas’ exclamation (“my Lord and my God!”) show not only that Jesus wanted Thomas to believe that he had been resurrected to life but that he could not possibly be God!!

Jesus’ command to Thomas to literally touch his wounds and actually see his hands proves that he meant, “See, I am the same person you saw die, but now I am alive ... be believing that I have been resurrected to life” (not, “see, these wounds prove I am God ... be believing that I am God”).

Notice that the reason given for Thomas to “be believing” is that he can see Jesus’ hands and their wounds. Likewise, after Thomas says “My Lord and my God,” Jesus reaffirms that Thomas now believes (as did the other disciples after seeing - Jn.20:20) that Jesus has been resurrected (not that he is God) “because you have seen me” (:29).

Certainly Jesus wouldn’t mean, “you believe I am God because you can see me.” Instead, this is proof that Jesus, Thomas, John, and the other disciples did not believe Jesus was equally God with the Father! How? Because John himself has made it manifestly clear that “no one [no human] has ever seen God” - 1 John 4:12, RSV. (See the SF study; also OMN 3-5.)

“For the NT God is utterly invisible (Jn. 6:46; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; Col. 1:15). ‘God does not become visible; He is revealed,’ ... yet the resurrection narratives especially stress that the risen Christ is visible.” - The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, p. 518, Vol. 3, Zondervan, 1986.

Therefore, since no man has ever directly seen God (who is the Father only - John 5:37, 6:46; 17:1, 3) but men have only indirectly “seen” God through representations such as visions, dreams, etc., Jesus is saying: “Believe I have been resurrected and that I am obviously not God because you see me directly (and even touch me so you can be sure I’m not a vision or an indirect representation).”

What about the rest of the context? (1) As noted before, Thomas did not bow down, worship, etc. upon learning that it was really Jesus and saying 'my lord and my god.' He could not have just discovered that he was in the presence of God and acted the way he did! (2) It’s also obvious that Jesus did not understand Thomas to be calling him equally God with the Father in heaven. But did John, in spite of the incredible contradiction of a previous statement (like 1 John 4:12 above) at John 1:18 that “no man hath seen God at any time,” somehow think that Thomas understood Jesus to be God?

Well, no other disciple of Jesus ever made a statement to him which could honestly be construed as meaning Jesus is God! So, (3) if John had, somehow, understood Thomas’ statement that way, he certainly would have provided some follow-up clarification and emphasis in his own comments.

Surely John would have shown Thomas prostrating himself before “God” and worshiping him (but he doesn’t!). So how does John summarize this incident? - “But these were written that you may believe [Believe what? That Jesus is God? Here, then, is where it should have been written if John really believed such a thing:] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” - John 20:31, RSV. (Be sure to compare 1 John 5:5.)

Or, as the trinitarian The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985, states in a footnote for this scripture:

“This whole Gospel is written to show the truth of Jesus’ Messiahship and to present him as the Son of God, so that the readers may believe in him.”

Obviously, neither Jesus’ response, nor Thomas’ responses (before and after his statement at John 20:28), nor John’s summation of the event at 20:31 recognizes Thomas’ statement to mean that Jesus is the only true God!

So it is clear from context alone that neither Jesus, nor John, (nor Thomas) considered the statement at John 20:28 to mean that Jesus is equally God with the Father. (Remember this is the same Gospel account that also records Jesus’ last prayer to the Father at John 17:1, 3: “Father,.... This is eternal life: to know thee who alone art truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” - NEB. It is obvious from this scripture alone that Jesus and the writer of the Gospel of John do not believe Jesus is equally God with the Father!)

This may be, then, one of those places where the idioms of an ancient language are not completely understood by modern translators.

As the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., vol. 13, p. 25, puts it:

"And it is not certain that even the words Thomas addressed to Jesus (Jn. 20:28) meant what they suggest in the English Version." - (Britannica article by Rev. Charles Anderson Scott, M.A., D.D. Dunn Professor of New Testament, Theological College of the Presbyterian Church of England, Cambridge.)

And John M. Creed, as Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, wrote:

“‘my Lord and my God’ (Joh.xx.28) is still not quite the same as an address to Christ as being without qualification God, and it must be balanced by the words of the risen Christ himself ... (v.17): ... ‘I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.’” - The Divinity of Jesus Christ, J. M. Creed, p. 123.

Yes, think about that very carefully: After Jesus was resurrected, he continued to call the Father in heaven “my God”! (Even after he was fully restored to heaven and seated at the right hand of God - Rev. 3:2; 3:12.) So if we must insist, as many trinitarians do, that the single instance of Thomas’ saying “MY God” in Jesus’ presence, with all its uncertainties, means that Jesus is superior in every way to Thomas (in essence, eternity, authority, etc.), what do Jesus’ even clearer statements that the Father is his God actually mean? -

“He who conquers, ... I will write on him the name of MY God, and the name of the city of MY God, ... and my own name.” - Rev. 3:12, RSV (Compare Rev. 14:1).

You can’t have it both ways. If Thomas’ statement (“my God”) can only mean that Jesus is ultimately superior to Thomas in all respects, then Jesus’ repeated and even clearer statements that the Father is his God can only mean that the Father is ultimately superior to Jesus in all respects. If Thomas really understood that Jesus was equally God with the Father, it is certainly blasphemous for John and other inspired Bible writers to turn around and call the Father the God of the Christ! - Micah 5:4; 1 Cor. 11:3; 2 Cor. 11:31; Eph. 1:3, 17; 1 Peter 1:3.

(2) To understand what may have really been intended by Thomas, let’s first examine it as if the words were not directly applied to Jesus. Notice the parallel between 1 Samuel 20:12 (where Jonathan’s words appear to be directed to David: “... Jonathan saith unto David, ‘Jehovah, God of Israel - when I search my father, about this time tomorrow ....’” - Young’s Literal Translation, cf. KJV) and John 20:28 (where Thomas’ words appear to be directed to Jesus: “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”).

The significant point here is that, although the scripture shows Jonathan speaking to David, it apparently literally calls him (David) “O LORD God”!! (For a straightforward literal translation see 1 Samuel 20:12 in the King James Version.) You can bet that, if modern Bible translators wanted to find “evidence” that made King David also appear to be equally God (Quadrinarians?), they would continue to translate this scripture addressed to David just as literally as they do John 20:28 to “prove” that Jesus is equally God!

Instead, we see many modern translations adding words to bring out what they believe may have been originally intended. There is absolutely no reason for this addition except the translators believe from the testimony of the rest of the Bible that David is not Jehovah God. So something else must have been intended here.

Translators from about 200 B.C. (Septuagint) until now have been guessing (and disagreeing) at exactly what was intended here. It was probably some common idiom of the time such as: “I promise you in the sight of the LORD the God of Israel” - NEB, or, as found in the ancient Septuagint: “Jonathan said unto David, ‘The Lord God of Israel knows that....’”

Robert Young, the translator of Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, the translators of the KJV, and the translators of The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society of America (JPS), 1917, decided that it was better not to even guess and left it more literally as: “And Jonathan said unto David, ‘O LORD, God of Israel - when I have sounded....’”

A significant interpretation by the NIV is, “By the LORD God of Israel” which is an oath by Jonathan meaning, probably, “I swear by the LORD God....” (cf. Tanakh translation by JPS, 1985). Perhaps the most-used interpretation is: “Jehovah, the God of Israel, (be witness)....” - ASV (cf. NASB, RSV, AT, NKJV). The very trinitarian ETRV renders it: “Jonathan said to David, ‘I make this promise before the Lord [Jehovah], the God of Israel….’”[See end note 1]

Since the context of John 20 (indeed, the context and testimony of the entire Bible) does not confirm the trinitarian belief that the Messiah is equally God, John 20:28 could just as honestly be translated with some addition comparable to that of 1 Sam. 20:12.

So, keeping in mind the interpretations for 1 Sam. 20:12 and the context of John 20:28 (where Jesus tells Thomas to believe, Thomas answers, and his answer convinces Jesus that Thomas finally, completely believes that Jesus has actually returned from the dead), let’s use an interpretation similar to that of 1 Samuel.

(27:) “Then Jesus said to Thomas .... ‘Believe!’

(28:) “Thomas answered, ‘My Lord and my God (be witness) [that I do believe now]!’. {Or,

following the NIV example above, ‘(I swear by) my Lord and God [that I do believe]!’}.”

(29:) “Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me.’” - Based on the Living

Bible translation of John 20:27-29

Another interpretation is that Thomas’ words might be a doxology, or praise, such as “My Lord and my God be praised.” In that sense the words would still be aimed directly at the only true God (the Father alone). This may be similar to the abbreviated doxology at Ro. 9:5 which some trinitarians also take advantage of (see the AO study). That doxology is also without a critical verb and is abruptly joined to a description of Jesus. Literally, in Greek it reads: “the being over all god blessed into the ages amen.” Even some trinitarian translators add the necessary words and punctuation to make this a clearly separated doxology to the Father: “[Jesus was born a Jew]. May God, who rules over all, be praised for ever” - GNB.

Again, some scholars have interpreted John 20:28 as merely “an exclamation of astonishment” by Thomas. And, although a few modern trinitarians would like us to believe that such exclamations as this are really only modern idioms and were not used in ancient times, that is simply untrue. For example, Theodore, Bishop of Mopsuestia (350-428 A.D.) was “an early Christian theologian, the most eminent representative of the so-called school of Antioch. .... he was held in great respect, and took part in several synods, with a reputation for orthodoxy that was never questioned.”

This respected Bishop of Mopsuestia was a very early trinitarian and a friend of John Chrysostom and of Cyril of Alexandria. - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 22, p. 58. This highly-respected, very early trinitarian wrote, 1600 years ago, that Thomas’ statement at John 20:28 was “an exclamation of astonishment directed to God.” - p. 535, Vol. 3, Meyer’s Commentary on the New Testament (John), 1983, Hendrickson Publ. [2]

As we know from the examples of angels, prophets, and kings, persons who represent God are sometimes addressed as God Himself. Or as the preface in Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible states: “What a SERVANT says or does is ascribed to the MASTER.” In that sense, also, the words, “My Lord and my God” could be addressed to the only true God through his servant, Jesus Christ. - “God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first ...” - Acts 3:26, RSV.

An example of this is illustrated by the footnote for Gen. 16:7 in the trinitarian NIVSB:

“... as the Lord’s personal messenger who represented him and bore his credentials, the angel could speak on behalf of (and so be identified with) the One who sent him.”

The Watchtower Society points to Judges 13:20-22 as an example of an explanation of this type. Here Manoah knowingly calls an angel “God”! - Compare Gen. 16:7, 13; Gen. 32:24, 30; Hosea 12:4; Judges 6:11-15, 20; and Ex. 3:2, 4-6, 16 with Acts 7:35. The Watchtower Society suggests that Thomas might have been using “God” in a similar sense at John 20:28. - See September 1, 1984 WT, p. 28. Also see pp. 919-920, Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971 ed.

We might well interpret Matt.16:23 similarly: Jesus “said unto Peter, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan [Satana – vocative, noun of address].’” Here Jesus, in a complete statement, clearly addresses Peter as “Satan”![3] But we know full well that Satan is someone else entirely. Therefore it would be reasonable to conclude that Jesus considered Peter to be (at this particular moment only) Satan’s servant (unwittingly, of course) and addressed that “servant” as though actually speaking to his “master”! We certainly would need much clearer (and many repeated) instances of Peter being shown as Satan himself before we could even begin to suspect that Peter was somehow a member of some mysterious Satanic Trinity in which he was absolutely equal to Satan in power, longevity of existence, authority, etc.!

It is certainly possible, then, that Thomas, upon discovering that this really was the resurrected Jesus, also realized that this, then, must be a direct representative of God. As we have seen in the “WORSHIP” study (WOR-3), the Angel of Jehovah was sometimes addressed as “God” or “Jehovah” because at that moment he was perfectly speaking and performing God’s will (e.g. Judges 13:21, 22). Some trinitarians even believe that Jesus was, at least at times, that Angel of Jehovah - pp. 39, 624, Today’s Dictionary of the Bible. Realizing this, it would not be surprising to hear Thomas address God through this perfect representative of God: “My Lord and my God!”[4]

I personally think, however, that this is a less likely explanation simply because I do not believe this expression by Thomas is an address to anyone. If Thomas had said, “You are my Lord and my God,” we might have reason for such a representational interpretation. Or if he had addressed Jesus with the intent of saying something further (e.g. “My Lord and my God, how have you returned to us?”), it could also be indicative of the above representational interpretation. But there is no indication of any intent by Thomas to follow up an “address” with anything further as is normally required of nouns of address. (cf. Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34; Acts 1:6; 22:8; Rev. 7:14.)

The very fact that the words of Thomas are not a complete statement show that it is probably the abbreviated form of a common expression or doxology (#2 above) and not a statement of identification such as “you are my lord and my god.” Whereas doxologies and other common expressions are frequently abbreviated to the point of not being complete statements (cf. Dana & Mantey, p. 149), statements of identification appear to be complete statements (certainly in the writings of John, at least), e.g., Jn 1:49, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” - NASB. Cf. Jn. 6:14, 69; 7:40, 41; 9:17; 11:27; 21:7. Furthermore, when using the term “Lord” (at least) in address to another person, a different form of the NT Greek word is used than the form found at John 20:28 (ho kurios mou).

“The vocative is the case used in addressing a person .... kurie [kurie] (O Lord), qee (O God) ... are almost the only forms found in the N.T.” - pp. 14, 15, The New Testament Greek Primer, Rev. Alfred Marshall, Zondervan, 1978 printing.

This is especially true of “Lord” and “my Lord” in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. Kurie (Kurie), not kurios (kurioV), is the form used when addressing someone as “Lord” or “My Lord.” (“God,” qee, however, is not so certain.)

We can see a good example of this vocative form, which is used in addressing a person as “Lord,” at 3 Kings 1:20, 21 (1 Kings 1:20, 21 in modern English Bibles) in the ancient Greek of the Septuagint: “And you, my Lord [kurie mou], O King ...” - 3 Kings 1:20, Septuagint. Then at 3 Kings 1:21 we see the same person (King David) being spoken about (but not addressed) in the same terms as Jn 20:28: “And it shall come to pass, when my Lord [o kurioV mou] the king shall sleep with his fathers .... - 3 Kings 1:21, Septuagint.

We also find Thomas himself, at Jn 14:5, addressing Jesus as “Lord” by using kurie (kurie.) And, when addressing the angel at Rev. 7:14, John himself says kurie mou (“My Lord”)![5] There are 33 uses of kurie in the Gospel of John alone. Here are a few of them: John 9:38; 11:3, 12, 21, 27, 32, 34, 39; 12:38 (from OT quote-'Jehovah' as kurie); 13:6, 9, 25, 36, 37; 14:5. (Compare these with an actual identification of the lord: “it is the lord [kurios],” John 21:7 – Also, for Colwell’s Rule fans, note the use of the article and the word order of the clause in the two clauses identifying the Lord here.)

Therefore, it is probably safe to say that when John wrote down the incident with Thomas at Jn 20:28 and used the nominative form for “My Lord” [Kurios] he was not saying that Thomas was addressing Jesus as “My Lord and my God”![6]

(3) What if the words “My Lord and my God” were meant to be applied directly to Jesus? Then, since context clearly shows that Thomas (and John) did not mean that Jesus is equally God with the Father, the word theos (“God,” “god,” or “mighty one” in NT Greek) must have been meant in its accepted secondary sense of “god” or “mighty one” - see BOWGOD study.

In the preface to Young’s Analytical Concordance (in the section entitled “Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation”) trinitarian Young states:

“65. God - is used of any one (professedly) mighty, whether truly so or not, and is applied not only to the true God, but to ... magistrates, judges, angels, prophets, etc., e.g. Exod. 7:1 ... John 1:1; 10:33, 34, 35; 20:28 ... 2 Thess. 2:4...” – Eerdmans Publ., 1978 reprint.

Notice how this famous trinitarian has listed John 20:28 as an example of “God” (or “god”) being applied to someone other than the true God (as in the case of “judges, angels, prophets, etc.”).

Another example of this (also listed above by Dr. Young) is Exodus 7:1 where various trinitarian translators have made differing translations. Literally, the Hebrew says: “see, I made you Moses God [or ‘a god’] to Pharaoh” - NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, Zondervan, 1985. (The ancient Greek Septuagint reads essentially the same but, of course, uses the Greek word theos instead of the Hebrew elohim for “God” or “a god” at Ex. 7:1.)

Here, then, is how Ex. 7:1 has been translated:

1. “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh” – KJV, AT, Moffat, Lamsa. (This is a literal translation of the Bible text.)

2. “I make you AS God to Pharaoh” – RSV, NAB, ASV, and NASB. (“As” is not in the original manuscripts.)

3. “I have made you AS a god ….” – JB, NJB. (“As” has been added by the translators.)

4. “I have made you LIKE a god….” – NEB, REB. (“Like” is not in the original manuscripts.)

5. “I have made you LIKE God….” – NRSV, NIV. (“Like” has been added by translators.)

6. “I have made thee a god” - Septuagint, Bagster translation, Zondervan.

So, in spite of the confusion concerning the precise meaning of Ex. 7:1, it is clear that God is applying the title elohim (or theos in the Greek Septuagint) to Moses in a proper subordinate or secondary sense of a “mighty person.”

This is precisely the type of “proof” that trinitarians must often use to “prove” that Jesus is God! Isn’t it obvious how a sect of Jews or “Christians” who wanted to make Moses “equally God” would use this scripture? (Think how that good servant of God would feel if he knew his name were being used in such a blasphemous mannner!)


Rom 8:9 ("God" and "Jesus" used interchangeably) - However, YOU are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in YOU. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this one does not belong to him.

Response – God sent his Spirit to Jesus and then Jesus forwards that spirit, given to him by God, to us.  It does not prove they are the same being.  God gives and spirit to Jesus and Jesus then shares and has authority to give to Christians:

Isaiah 11:1-3 "1. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2. The Spirit of the Jehovah will rest on him (Jesus)-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of

counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah (Jesus fearing his GOD)--

3. and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or

decide by what he hears with his ears;"

Matthew 12:18 "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him (Jesus), and he will proclaim justice to the nations."

Jn 10:20 - "I and the Father are one."  You mean John 10:30.  In John 17:3, Jesus calls his Father, “only true God”,  only his Father is the “only true God.”  In that same chapter of John, verses 20-23, He prays to God and says that his disciples should be one just as the he and Father are one.  So Jesus is just alluding to that fact that works in harmony, in agreement with His God and Father, and his disciples should one, just like God and his Son, always in agreement and not divided.  

Mk 2:5-7 - And when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic: “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now there were some of the scribes there, sitting and reasoning in their hearts:7“Why is this man talking in this manner? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins except one, God?

Response - if we note the context, the ones who are saying this are the Jewish leaders; these are the same Jewish leaders described as lying and deceiving, offspring of vipers, etc. (Mark 2:7), and they are saying this because of envy, as an excuse to charge Jesus with blasphemy, in an effort to find some reason to justify — before the eyes of the people — killing him. — Matthew 27:8; 21:37,38; Luke 20:19; 22:2.

Matthew 9:8 reveals that Jesus, as a man amongst men, received this authority from his God and Father. Peter, in speaking to the Jews, described Jesus as “a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by [Greek intrumental "en", Strong's #1722] him in the midst of you.” (Acts 2:22) The “God” that Peter refers is evidently not Jesus whom “God” approved, so Peter must be referring to the God and Father of Jesus (1 Peter 1:3), and in doing this he is presenting “God” as unipersonal, one person, that is the Father. At the same time, the unipersonal God that Peter is referring to is “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob” (Acts 3:13), the God who spoke to Moses. (Exodus 3:15) It was this same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who spoke of sending a prophet like Moses, which prophet was to speak the words of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and come in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. — Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

There is nothing in the fact that the only true God who sent Jesus (John 17:3) gave to Jesus authority on earth (Matthew 9:8) to forgive sins that means that Jesus is the only true God who sent him and who gave Jesus this authority.  

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