Jehovah`s Witness/you asked


Hi Brenton,

Thank you for your reply.

Thank you also for acknowledging that you did not directly answer my question.

What I was trying to do, which you should recognize, was show that persons can and are associated metaphorically with impersonal things which do not counteract that they are persons.

I know what you were trying to get at by your use of 1 John 5:6-8, and what I was trying to show was that because the Holy Spirit is here seen in association with impersonal things that does not negate that the Holy Spirit is person or vice versa. I know you disagree.

And when we read on in 1 John 5:9 we see that God also is associated in the witness about Jesus. It is therefore very presumptuous to claim that in these verses the Holy Spirit is not a person simply by association; or vice versa.

It is a knee jerk reaction when Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to Himself (e.g., I will go/He will come; I have things to say/He will speak) and in the personal action of the Holy Spirit with the disciples, to jumps to 1 John 5:6-8 to explain these away.

The Holy Spirit is shown in Scripture to do many things that only a person can do, and IS shown to be a separate and identifiable person in relation to other persons. There are more than nine times as many references that the Holy Spirit is a person then those that show that the Devil is a person.

You go on in your response and say that claiming in one part of Scripture that το πνεύμα is “God himself” and in another that το πνεύμα is a thing by association, that that is not being inconsistent. What you fail to recognize is that in the Scriptures there is a distinction, this distinction is being blurred (to you that is) when you claim that το πνεύμα is “God himself” (even though you use ‘it’).

You JWs will sometimes regard the Holy Spirit as an attribute of God emanating from Him; and at others times, resolve the passages in which He is spoken of into a roundabout way, or indirect way for God Himself or, to express both in one, into a figure of speech.

Remember how you said at one stage that “there is a close relationship” between the Holy Spirit and God’s “power, BUT they are NOT the same” (emphasis yours), do you remember, and you even quoted from a Watchtower article to this effect, but which, as shown, was contradicted by another Watchtower article, remember?

To me these types of contradictive opinions show how JW’s have no real idea, but will say anything except the obvious.

You end by saying,
About your complaint about me not letting questions go to the board.  If you have a complaint against  me pleased do so with a private question.  I have learnt from experience, that, the following advice is the best advice   “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother" Matthew 18:15

I was just commenting that what you said to me was not the same reason you gave in your post. And if you remember I did everything you had asked of me, but that still was not enough for you to answer my full post. And do you remember also how I would send you all my posts in private but it was you who wanted them to go public. Thus I am put in a position which you have manipulated to where I’m somehow at fault.  

Still...I wonder whether you would response now to my original post which you had refused to answer. <><

Hi Cos

Yes I know what you were trying to show, but you have not been able to do so. It is true that in 1 John 5:9, God is also a witness about Jesus.  He gives witness that Jesus is his son.  This is the most powerful witness because it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).  When God says Jesus is his son, then we can and must believe that Jesus IS the son of God.  

No it is not presumptuous to say that the spirit in verse 6-8 is not a person.   However, it is presumptuous to say otherwise.  First,  it goes against your argument that the spirit must be a person because it bears witness.  Here it is united with water and blood, two impersonal things, in bearing witness.  So impersonal things can and do bear witness.  Bearing witness is not limited to people as was your argument.

The spirit is also used in connection with fire.  No doubt you remember the words of John the baptiser as recorded at Matthew 3:11”I, for my part, baptize YOU with water because of YOUR repentance; but the one coming after me is stronger than I am, whose sandals I am not fit to take off. That one will baptize YOU people with holy spirit and with fire”   We know that water is an “impersonal thing”.  We understand what it means to baptised in water.   John told his audience that in a figurative way that they would need to be baptised  with holy spirit  (wind/breath) and fire.  We also understand that fire is an “impersonal thing”.  Again we have the spirit (wind/breath) closely linked with two other “impersonal things”.   The only way a person reading those words could conclude that the holy spirit was a person is if they have been conditioned by Bibles that have wrongly used the masculine pronoun “he” in referring to the spirit.  

A problem is, that people become conditioned to the idea that the spirit is a person because so many Bibles wrongly use the masculine pronoun “he”.  If they were to read neuter pronouns instead, they would start to see the truth.

Just as a reminder of things mentioned before...

People  also forget that the meaning of “pneuma” is “wind/ breath or blast. The wind or breath is an unseen force that keeps us alive, blows leaves around the ground, topples mighty trees, moves sailing vessels through the water. If wind, breast or blast  were used in stead of spirit, people would start to get the feel of what is being spoken of. That is, a force.  They would then start to see that this force belongs to, and is controlled, by God.  God always uses his force for good.

Yes God is “a spirit”. What does that mean? It means that he is the ultimate unseen force for good.  His angels are spirits. They are also unseen forces for good.  The devil and his angels are unseen forces for evil or bad.   These spirits do have personality.  They are spoken of in quite different terms than “the spirit”.  

The argument that the holy spirit can do many things that a person can do would hold water if the holy spirit was the only “impersonal thing” that the Bible speaks of as doing such things.  The problem for your argument is, that in the Bible, there are other “impersonal things” that are said to do things that people can do.

Both sin and death, we are told, have done the job of a ruling  Rom 5:21, “...So that just as sin ruled as king with death...” 6:12 “..., do not let sin continue to rule as king in your mortal bodies...” (NWT)

In Luke 7:35 we are told the wisdom has children  “...But wisdom is justified of all her children...”  (KJV)

The mountains Tabor and Hermon sing out to God with joy  Psalms 89:12  “...Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you for joy...” (GNB)

Wisdom  has a loud voice and is said to cry out at Proverbs 1:20 “Wisdom is crying out in the street; her voice is loud in the open places;”  (BBE)

In  Psalms 98: 8 we find rivers clapping their hands and mountains crying out joyfully  “Let the rivers clap their hands;  let the hills sing for joy together” (ESV)

In  Habakkuk 2:11  we read of a “conversation” between a wall stone and a rafter  “For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond..”  (RSV)

How about the day giving birth “Do not make your boast about the next day, for you do not know what a day will give birth to” Proverbs 27:1 (NWT)

A lot of “impersonal things” in the Bible are personified. Of the examples above, none of them would be explained as a person doing those things.  Remember the basic meaning of pneuma is breath or wind denoting an invisible force.  Would you consider our breath or the wind as “impersonal things” or as people?

How can the spirit come?  In just the same way the wind can come.  We get weather reports of coming storms, or of a cool breeze.  Just because the wind, can come does that make the wind a person?

How does the spirit speak?  Matthew 10:20 tells us “for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (NIV).   

Remember how you said at one stage that “there is a close relationship” between the Holy Spirit and God’s “power, BUT they are NOT the same” (emphasis yours), do you remember, and you even quoted from a Watchtower article to this effect, but which, as shown, was contradicted by another Watchtower article, remember?

Yes, Gods spirit is closely linked with power, but they are not the same.   I could find no Watchtower contradictions being mentioned in any of our discussions about that.  However I did find where I quoted from a Catholic Dictionary that said --“The Spirit of God—On the whole , the New Testament, like the Old, speaks of the spirit as a divine energy or power (1) particularity in the heart of man. (2) The Spirit rests on Christ and is a power within Him distinct from Himself ...”

Bellow is the quote I gave you from Insight on the Scriptures volume 2 under Spirit.  Note the words I put in bold and under line. (italics original)

Distinguished from “power.” Ruʹach and pneuʹma , therefore, when used with reference to God’s holy spirit, refer to God’s invisible active force by which he accomplishes his divine purpose and will. It is “holy” because it is from Him, not of an earthly source, and is free from all corruption as “the spirit of holiness.” (Ro 1:4) It is not Jehovah’s “power,” for this English word more correctly translates other terms in the original languages (Heb., koʹach ; Gr., dyʹna·mis ). Ruʹach and pneuʹma are used in close association or even in parallel with these terms signifying “power,” which shows that there is an inherent connection between them and yet a definite distinction . (Mic 3:8; Zec 4:6; Lu 1:17, 35; Ac 10:38) “Power” is basically the ability or capacity to act or do things and it can be latent, dormant, or inactively resident in someone or something. “Force ,” on the other hand, more specifically describes energy projected and exerted on persons or things , and may be defined as “an influence that produces or tends to produce motion , or change of motion.” “Power” might be likened to the energy stored in a battery, while “force” could be compared to the electric current flowing from such battery. “Force,” then, more accurately represents the sense of the Hebrew and Greek terms as relating to God’s spirit, and this is borne out by a consideration of the Scriptures.”

This is from a 2011 Watchtower  (Italics original)

*** w11 1/15 p. 22 par. 3 Empowered to Fight Temptation and Cope With Discouragement ***
Jesus promised his disciples that ‘they would receive power when the holy spirit arrived upon them.’ The terms “power” and “spirit” are distinct in their meaning . God’s spirit, his active force , describes energy that is projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish God’s will . Power , however, can be defined as the “ability to act or produce an effect .” It can lie dormant in someone or something until it is needed to produce a given result. Thus, holy spirit might be likened to the electric current that energizes a rechargeable battery, whereas power is more like the latent energy that is then stored in the battery. The power that Jehovah grants to his servants by means of holy spirit gives each one of us the ability to fulfill our Christian dedication and, when necessary, to resist negative forces that are exerted upon us. (see Micah 3:8; Colossians 1:29.)

So, Cos can you see the relationship between Gods spirit and his power?  The spirit belongs to and emanates from God,  he has used it in a variety of ways to accomplish his will. The spirit can give power but is not of itself power.

You go on in your response and say that claiming in one part of Scripture that το πνεύμα is “God himself” and in another that το πνεύμα is a thing by association, that that is not being inconsistent. What you fail to recognize is that in the Scriptures there is a distinction, this distinction is being blurred (to you that is) when you claim that το πνεύμα is “God himself” (even though you use ‘it’).

What about my last explanation on that do you not understand?   Of course the pneuma is an “impersonal thing” just as you would say that the wind is an impersonal thing.  There is no real distinction here that is being blurred by JWs.  It becomes blurred and distorted to people who believe the spirit is a 'person' because many Bibles mistakenly use the masculine pronoun “he” in referring to it.   The holy spirit belongs to God.  He uses it in a variety of ways.  If as a thing it is bearing witness just as water and blood are.  

Let me try to illustrate it this way.... You go fishing and catch a nice size fish for a meal.  Is it correct to say that you caught it? Yes I would have no hesitation is saying that.  Or, can it truly be said that the hook at the end of the line actually caught the fish. Someone might say I am being to pedantic on that.  Of course Cos caught the fish, he put all the work into it.  Yep.  Cos gets the rod and line ready puts the bait on the hook and uses his knowledge of fish to get his catch.  But now, the rod and the line and especially the hook could do nothing unless Cos used them.  The rod etc are being active because Cos is using them for their given purpose.

Gods holy spirit is something he uses to accomplish a given purpose.  Just as that hook is there to accomplish the end result and the item that actually catches hold of the fish, Gods holy spirit is what is producing the end result.  The hook is directly linked to Cos, so it was also Cos himself that caught the fish.  By holding the rod, Cos and the rod, line and hook become one in unity to accomplish a purpose.  The rod etc never becomes a person.  The spirit is directly linked to God so, when the spirit accomplishes something, it is as if God himself has done it because he is the one using his spirit in the correct manner. The spirit never becomes a person.

The impersonal thing called “the complete fish rod” will always be just that, even though it owned by, can be directly linked with,  and used by Cos to catch fish.   The impersonal holy spirit is always in the Bible an “impersonal thing”, it will always be God's active force.  It belongs to and emanates from God for him to use it in the way he sees fit.

To me these types of contradictive opinions show how JW’s have no real idea, but will say anything except the obvious.

I have not given any contradictory opinions and I do not know of any JWs that would either in regard to the holy spirit.

When translators put their theological bias aside and translate from the original languages correctly, and stop using the inappropriate pronoun “he” in referring to the holy spirit, the identity of what he holy spirit is becomes obvious.  

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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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