Jehovah`s Witness/and then there is this...

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Hi Brenton,

While I was going though the entry for “Spirit” in the Watchtower publication “Insight on the scriptures” some things stood out that require mentioning.

The Watchtower publication states (and which you have echoed in you posts), that ruach and pneuma in their basic root meaning refer to an invisible force in motion like the wind.

In three sub-headings, “Spirit persons” “God’s Son” and “other spirit creatures” the Watchtower admits that the exact same words can also apply to God, the Son and other invisible spirit creatures (Insight page 1018).

Whether the Watchtower knows it or not they have again made contradictory statements.

On the one hand they say “Spirit” (ruach/pneuma) is simply a force but on the other hand they claim sentient beings can be rightly called “A Spirit”.  Here we see that the Watchtower views God as “A Spirit” while at the same time acknowledges “The Spirit of God” or “the Holy Spirit” as a different spirit viz. an active force which proceeds from God.

What you have here is not only a contradiction in terms, but a logical fallacy. Surely if “God is Spirit” and he sends forth HIS Spirit then the Spirit that comes from God must BE God not just a force?

Yet the Watchtower insists that the Holy Spirit must be categorised as a force rather than a person even though they use the same words ruach/pneuma to describe Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just shows, again, how they want to have it both ways! <><

Answer
Hi Cos,

Again I see that you are asking questions that have been answered before.  It has been some time so I suppose you may have forgotten.

You will find the following quote from about  Jan 2016 in http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jehovah-s-Witness-1617/2016/1/continued-29th-dec.htm

QUOTE
“Remember the earlier discussions we had about the word “pneuma”. The original meaning of that word was breath, breeze or wind. These are invisible forces, but we can see the effects of these in our lives. When used of personalities in the unseen world such as God, Jesus, angels and demons, it means an invisible unseen "personality". The question has been if the holy spirit is also a personality. The line of reason we take is that the holy spirit belongs to God, it emanates from him, just as our breath belongs to us and emanates from us, (Gods holy spirit is far superior to our breath). Also that the word “pneuma” is never used with the  personal pronoun “he”. Only neuter pronouns such as “it” are used for “pneuma”.
END QUOTE

In about March 16 2016  at http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jehovah-s-Witness-1617/2016/2/continuation-discussion  you will find this

QUOTE
“The  basic idea of the Greek word pneuma is,  that of a wind, breath and conveys the idea of an invisible force.  God and Jesus and the angels can have the nature of wind as they are invisible forces.  The holy spirit is something that belongs to, and, emanates from God.  It is not an independent living being.”
END QUITE

We are terrestrial, that is of the earth.  We are sold in construction.   Our nature is  literally fleshly.  We understand what is meant by breath, breeze, wind, tempest. They are invisible forces that we can not see but  we understand that they exist.  

God, Jesus the angels as well as  the hordes of fallen angels that  left their rightful place in heaven are invisible to us.  We can not see them except for the few times God has allowed some to take on human form.  By saying that they are spirits is to describe their nature as being like the wind.  Invisible to our eyes, in forms we do not understand, but from evidence around us we know that they exist.  

COS
Surely if “God is Spirit” and he sends forth HIS Spirit then the Spirit that comes from God must BE God not just a force?

REMARK
First, I have to mention your quote of  “God is Spirit”.   Not all Bibles render that text in that way

The Greek text does not have the word “a”, so to make sense in English translators have to supply it.  When  quality or character is stressed, the construction is anarthrous, that is the word “a” is added.  Especially when the  a singular, nominative count noun is involved.  John 4:24  starts of  Πνεῦμα   ὁ  Θεός  = “spirit the God”.      All three words are in the nominative case which is for the subject of the sentence.     Θεός (theos) [a masculine noun]  has the definite article [ὁ = the] precediing it and  Πνεῦμα  [a neuter noun – an it] does not. That makes  Πνεῦμα [an it] a quality of,  God.  The correct English translation is to add the word “a”.  Some Bibles capitalise the word spirit with a capital “S”.  Grammatical this is also not warranted and is a theological translation not a grammatical translation.   John 4:24 is teaching us that “God is a spirit”.

God, Jesus and angels along with demon devil and satan are also masculine words.  That is why we refer to them in that way.  The word spirit is never masculine, it describes something about them.

The bottom line is that God being A spirit (pneuma) just describes his invisible nature.  The word spirit has absolutely nothing to do with personality.  It just a way of explaining to us, in terms we have some idea about, what sort of “environment” God lives (exists) in. Just as terrestrial explains to us the environment we live  (exist) in.

Have you ever blown out a candle, or, if maybe blown on some hot food to cool it down, perhaps you have blown up a balloon.  In each case you are using a portion of your spirit  (pnuema – wind breath- life force) to accomplish those tasks.  Would you consider your “breath” (pneuma - that invisible force ) that emanates from you to be an intelligent individual?  

We can not get away from the fact that the basic meaning of pneuma is wind or breath and describes something that we can not see, but we can see its effects.  In the Bible  as well as in our own language, it is is used to describe unseen forces.  Remember how I illustrated how two different  rooms of people can display two different types of spirits. One room can be full of laughter and cheer, we would say that room had a happy spirit. Another room will have people that are quite and sullen. We may view that as a depress spirit. The word spirit as used here does not tell us that there is invisible person producing those effect. We know that there is no invisible person in those rooms.  It is the combined effect of the collective attitude (the invisible force) that those collective individuals have.

The word pneuma is always an it.

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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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