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Hi Brenton,

I don’t want to be rude but your response is quite lengthy and you still did not even answer my simple question.

Maybe it was too hard, I don’t know; maybe you did answer but it got “lost” in the length of the post...?

The only part I could find is where you go on about how when Jesus is associated with impersonal things that it is different to when the Holy Spirit is associated with impersonal things...I guess that was your answer...?

Let’s look at some other places where Jesus is associated with impersonal things. Jesus is a rock (1 Cor. 10:4) a stone (1 Peter 2:4-8). These don’t have the phrase “I am the...” which is how your argument goes to explain away the examples given, I guess you must have missed the “etc” of my reply.

Now Brenton, do you remember how you claimed that at Romans 8:16  το πνεύμα is “God himself”?

God is a person...right? I’m assuming your answer “yes” here.

But then we come to yet another inconsistency, in one part of Scripture you claim το πνεύμα is “God himself” a person, in another part of Scripture, 1 John 5, το πνεύμα, you claim, is a “thing” because of the association with other impersonal things.

I know you don’t like when I point out these inconsistencies of yours, but the facts must be shown. You like to have it both ways when it comes to the Holy Spirit.

Scripture shows that persons can, and are, associated with impersonal things which do not argue against their personality.

Another example of this is where the Devil, which you have shown is a person, is associated with an impersonal thing; in fact the Devil is called its ‘father’ (John 8:44).

Those that claim that the Devil is not a person, will use the last part of this verse (just as you use 1 John 5:6-8) to argue their case. Their argument is, because a lie is not a person, then the Devil is not a person by association.

We both know that this is faulty reasoning, right? Yet you appeal to a similar argument when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Add to this your repeated inconsistencies regarding the Holy Spirit which show that you (and every other JW - this is directed at you Reg!) will say everything except the obvious.

Let me make my question broader: Is it legitimate to say that a person is not a person because they are associated with impersonal things?

I have kept this short, much shorter than your post, for one of the excuses you gave for send back my posts unanswered, was because you blamed me that it takes you many hours to respond. Now it seems the reason you did this was because my questions, you claim, “were not in line with the “spirit” of this board”.

One must wonder why, as you say “I actually did answer his questions” yet you did not let them post? The ‘spirit” of the board must be to not answer questions. <><

Answer
Hello Cos,

You may have asked a simple question, but, in the context of what we were discussing the answer was not simple. It required a detailed response

Your simple question was

“Is it legitimate to say that Jesus is not a person because HE is often associated in Scripture with impersonal things such as a vine, a door, bread?”

Perhaps I should have first said something like this -

Because Jesus ...“is often associated in Scripture with impersonal things such as a vine, a door, bread” does not discount him being a person.

- and then gone on to the rest of the post that shows that there is a big difference between Jesus being associated “with impersonal things” and the text at 1 John 5:6-8.

So I apologise for not going straight to the point and making the answer simple and absolutely clear to suit your question. In the context of our discussion, I had a line of thought that was to counter your reasoning that the spirit must be a person because it would “bear witness” about Jesus.  I let that override giving a simple clear response to your question.

Now, to be absolutely clear with no misunderstanding (I hope) I will answer your other straight forward question.

COS
Let me make my question broader: Is it legitimate to say that a person is not a person because they are associated with impersonal things?

Remark
A person being spoken of in association with an impersonal thing does not disqualify a person from being a person.

OK, lets reword your question. Is it legitimate to say that an “impersonal thing” is not an “impersonal thing” because it is associated with a person?

Of course a brief answer to that is an impersonal thing will always be an impersonal thing.

You see it goes both ways.   The spirit is never spoken of as being a person even when it is associated with a person.  It is always referred to as a “thing” or an  “it”.  

Now you go on to bring up  1 Peter 2:4-8 and  1 Cor. 10:4.  Here again the context is quite different to 1 John 5.  1 Peter and 1 Corinthians are similar to the door,  bread and vine.  Pictorial language  or word pictures describing an aspect about Jesus, something about his roll in Gods purposes.

Looking at the context by reading 1 Corinthians 10, we see a reminder to the miraculous provision of water from a rock-mass  that the Israelite's drank from in the wilderness  to preserve their livers on two different locations (Ex 17:5-7; Nu 20:1-11) Those who are to follow Jesus and want to preserve their lives must figuratively drink from the water that Jesus imparts.

John 4:13, 14 “13 In answer Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. 14 Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”


John 7:38 “Whoever puts faith in me, just as the scripture has said: ‘From deep within him streams of living water will flow”

Revelation 22:17 “ . . .Come!” and let anyone thirsting come; let anyone who wishes take life’s water free.”
 

Again they are very different to the point I was making about 1 John 5.  The water, the blood and the spirit are all “bearing witness ”.   I provided proof that neither the spirit (literally the wind/breath) or the helper can be considered as a “he”, proving that the correct way to refer to the spirit is with the pronoun  “it”.  The spirit is an “impersonal thing”

In 1 Peter not only Jesus but his anointed followers were also depicted as being stones. The reason, they were to be a spiritual temple, with Jesus as the corner stone and his spirit anointed followers the rest of the temple. It is a word picture describing a spiritual temple.

COS
Now Brenton, do you remember how you claimed that at Romans 8:16  το πνεύμα is “God himself”?

God is a person...right? I’m assuming your answer “yes” here.

But then we come to yet another inconsistency, in one part of Scripture you claim το πνεύμα is “God himself” a person, in another part of Scripture, 1 John 5, το πνεύμα, you claim, is a “thing” because of the association with other impersonal things.


Remark
Now Cos, why do you not put that in context.  You make it seem that I was saying that the words “ το πνεύμα“  were, in actual fact, the equivalent of God. And then accuse me of being inconsistent by saying the “πνεύμα” was a thing making God a thing.   Lets just look at what I accentual said. This can be found at http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jehovah-s-Witness-1617/2016/2/continuation-discussion.  This time I will emphasis some points and add a few words in [ ].  I previously said....

“When “The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit” or “testifying together” or “testifies with our spirit” the spirit here is not a separate intelligent individual, but God himself, with his own spirit   [these words show that the spirit is not the person of God, but belongs to him ] that bears / testifies.  Even though the spirit emanates from God [again those words show that the spirit is something that belongs to God and not his actual person ] it is still an “IT”.  [now notice the explanation I gave ] To be “politically correct” that verse can be rewritten as “God's spirit itself [If I used “himself” I would have been saying  that the spirit was the person of God but I use “itself ] bears witness with our spirit that we are his children”. The people that Paul wrote to knew that the spirit being spoken of was not a separate individual, but belonged to God , because that is what the Bible teaches  from the beginning.”

I am not being inconsistent at all.   That passage makes it quite clear that I was saying that the spirit belongs to God. In the context of that paragraph, the words "but God himself"  I am saying that, because the spirit belongs to, and emanates from God, what the spirit does is at Gods direction.  Being at Gods direction what ever is done, is as if God did it personally himself.

In my original post, I made a point of saying that the spirit was an “IT”, and I put it in quotes and capitalised it.   As for 1 Peter 5, I did not claim the spirit was a thing because “of the association with other impersonal things.”   I was showing it is a “thing” because the three of them are all at one (unity) in “bearing witness”.  That was in response to your reasoning that the spirit was a person because it could bear witness.  You agreed that water and blood were not people, and, yet, here they are acting as one with the spirit bearing witness. If bearing witness was an indication of personality of the spirit then it would stand to reason that it would also   indicate personality of blood and water.   My argument was  also to  show that in the Greek, the spirit is always referred to as an “it” and never as a “he”. It is either theological bias, or not being extremely careful, that Bibles use the pronoun “he” in referring to the spirit in the context of that scripture.   When an English reader see the word “he” our cognitive process tells us the text is discussing a male person. That puts the reader at a disadvantage to understanding the meaning of a text. They will come to the wrong idea.


COS
Another example of this is where the Devil, which you have shown is a person, is associated with an impersonal thing; in fact the Devil is called its ‘father’ (John 8:44).


Remark
In John 8:44 the Devil is spoken of being the father of an “it”.  The “it” is referring to the “lie”.  Again the context and discussion is very different to 1 John 5.  Being the father of the lie simple means he was the first one to tell (propagate) a lie.  Again this is another word illustration being used to highlight a point.  In 1 John 5 we do not have a word illustration. We are told that the water, blood and spirit are in agreement to the bearing witness of Jesus. In my last reply you will find a brief explanation of the context of 1 John 5 and just how the water, the blood and spirit bear witness.

In the examples you gave all of the individuals that are “associations with impersonal things' are  being likened to something else.  In 1 Peter 5 the context is not  telling us that the water and the blood and the spirit are like something else, but about what they are doing .  The Greek verb rendered as “bearing witness” is in the present tense active voice.  It is something they are doing not what they are .

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

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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 . . . . .

Experience

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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