Jehovah`s Witness/What are your reasons? FU3

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QUESTION: Firstly, thank you for your response.

I wouldn’t take Micah 5:2, Isaiah 9:6, Hebrews 7:3, Rev 1:17, Colossians 1:16-17 or John 1:1-2 as examples of Jesus being eternal in the sense of him always existing. For starters none of the verses directly state Jesus has always been eternal but merely state that he has existed for a long time, is eternal (these verses should be viewed in the context of what sense Jesus is eternal), and was before all things along with other things which aren’t related to your point. As you alluded to, we must take context of scripture into account, thus Jesus, who “lives because of the father” and gives life to his followers “in the same way” as the Father gave life to Jesus, cannot also be said to always had life, as scripture makes it clear he was given it and lived because of someone else (John 6:57, 5:26). Followers of Christ can “become” eternal (see romans 6:23), thus it must be proven rather than assumed that Jesus has always been eternal rather than acquiring it.

In regards to what you said about Rev 3:14. From my understanding of what you wrote regarding arche and your interpretation of col 1:16,17, you understand Jesus to be the (the/a?) creator and thus understand Rev 3:14 to be saying that Jesus is the “beginner/source of creation/cause of the creation of God”.

Here lies my problem with this, scripture makes it clear that it was the Father who was the beginner of creation, Hebrews 1:1,2 with 1 Cor 8:6 allude to this.

(Hebrews 1:1,2) “..[God] in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe..”

(1 Cor 8:6) “..yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live..”  


Both of these scriptures say that all things came from the Father but through Jesus, thus any scriptures such as Rev 3:14 along with other verses such as Col 1:15 and John 1:3 which seem to show Jesus as the main character in creation should be taken in context of Hebrews 1:1,2 which shows who the actual originator/cause of creation is, the Father.

Furthermore, John the writer of Revelation never uses the Greek word arche to mean "that by which anything begins to be, the origin [or the] active cause" but always uses it to mean ‘beginning’ in the sense of “the first person or thing in a series”. Other bible writers use arche broadly but never John, thus we must be consistent and view the usage of arche in Rev 3:14 the same way John always uses it, wouldn’t you agree? Moreover, even if we were to take other bible writers usages of the word arche into consideration in reference to its meaning we come out with the same result. This is because in every instance where arche is followed by a genitive expression in the NT it always denotes a beginning or first part of something, Rev 3:14 is a prime example of this and thus again consistency must be applied (ask for the said example and I will show it).

In regards to Proverbs 8:22. You made a few points regarding this verse, you said:

“The NWT rendering of the word "qanah", as "produced", is unfortunate.  The KJB rendering is better, as it says "possessed". I make this point, because after showing that the entire passage is speaking specifically of "WISDOM", some JWs might try to say that "Jesus is the wisdom of God". But that is also problematic, because that would imply that there was a time when Jehovah was WITHOUT wisdom.”  

Firstly you state that a better translation in Prov 8:22 is that wisdom was possessed rather than produced, but do not give a reason based on grammar but on context. To say that Jesus is “wisdom is the wisdom of God” doesn’t imply God was without wisdom at some state, this is merely your assumption. The expression in Prov 8:22, if talking about Jesus as wisdom, is figurative, much like people uses symbolic language regarding their spouse and them being their “love”. If I were to say “I found love the day I met my wife” does that imply that I had no love prior to meeting my wife or would that simply be a false assumption? Likewise for Jehovah to produce/possess Jesus, with him being Gods wisdom personified, in no way contradicts the notion that God as always been wise. The statement is simply God making a symbolic personified reference to the day he created Jesus his son.

You mention that wisdom has feminine pronouns applied to it, this though should have no bearing on identify whatsoever, in 1 John 4:8 agape (love) has a feminine pronoun that is applied to the Father.

You stated in reference to your understand of who/what wisdom is in reference to “I think it should be plain to see, that this is simply a passage, 9 chapters to be exact, of giving human attributes to the quality of wisdom”, could you expand on what you mean by this?

What specifically do you think Pro 8:22 is expressing?

In regards to what you wrote about Colossians 1:15. Something I would like to point out is that yes firstborn can mean a few things, just as you said, it can mean firstborn in a temporal sense and firstborn in pre-eminence sense, however, for the purpose of any readers, a point not to forget is that firstborn will always mean firstborn, regardless if it’s in reference temporally or authoritatively.

You said “Sometimes the word ‘firstborn’ does mean ‘first one born’....such as, ‘Firstborn of Pharaoh’  In this example, the ‘firstborn of Pharaoh’, is Pharaoh's first son.  If you use the phrase ‘firstborn’ in this same exact parallel manner, it would be saying that Jesus was the "first son" or ‘offspring’ of creation.  But this is the exact opposite of what the entire passage is saying.  Creation didn't "parent" Christ.”  

Of course creation didn’t parent Jesus like Pharaoh and his firstborn, what you said above is your error. The error you made was comparing a person (singular) to a group (plural). A person is not a group, nor a group a person. Thus to compare the two on the merits of similarity of position is absurd. If however we were to take the example found in Exodus 11:5 –where you no doubt go your example- where it states “Every firstborn son in Egypt will die” and compare it to Jesus, it makes perfect sense and negates your reasoning that Jesus being the firstborn of creation in a temporal sense would mean creation parented Jesus. This is because we’re comparing a group, namely Egypt, to another group, namely creation. The statement “Every firstborn son in Egypt will die” doesn’t imply in any way, shape or form that every firstborn son in Egypt parent was Egypt itself, likewise Jesus being the firstborn of all creation doesn’t imply he was parented by creation.

What lots of people don’t realize is that Jesus being the “Firstborn of all creation” REGARDLESS of the sense, whether temporal or in pre-emenince, he is still “of” creation and thus a created being. By definition to be firstborn of a group/person you by default have to be in/from that group/person. Take Col 1:18 as an example of this, it reads “[Jesus is] the firstborn from among the dead”.

A question I typically pose is “if Jesus didn’t die could he be called firstborn from/of the dead as Col 1:18 states?”  , the typical answer is of course “No”  , since for Jesus to be labelled in the group of the dead he of course had to be dead or at some point been dead. Likewise for Jesus to be of creation he by default has to be in the group of creation he’s firstborn of, regardless if the word firstborn is regarding him in a temporal or authoritative sense. Thus if Jesus is part of creation he was created, there is no way around this.

Could you show me a single example in the bible where someone is the firstborn of a group and they’re not part of the group they’re firstborn in/of? Your example can be in reference to either meaning of firstborn, be it temporal or authoritative it has no effect on my question.

You stated regarding the NWT use of “other” in Col 1:15 “Unfortunately, this is one passage where the JW's NEW WORLD TRANSLATION , has overstepped its authority” and gave your reasons.”   I’m sure if I were to ask if Jesus created the Father, Holy Spirit or himself your answer would be no, and yet this is what the insertion of the word “other” is meant to prevent from being thought. Jesus, the Father and HS are “things”, thus if Jesus created “all things” then it would imply that he created the Father and HS and himself, inserting the word other prevents this. I don’t know of a widely used bible In use today that doesn’t add words for clarity, all bibles do it, lots without any indication when doing so.

Look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER: Hello again, Kay, and thank you for your extended patience in awaiting a reply from me in regards to your follow-up.  As I said, I was on vacation for the long holiday week-end, and then everything possible that could have happened when I got back, did.  So, my apologies for the wait.

I wish to note that your first question did not indicate whether or not you were a JW, or even agreed with their doctrine, so I answered it without any such assumptions.  It is obvious from your follow-up, that you are, and that you do, adhere to JW teaching.  So, this reply will concentrate on what I believe are some flaws in the JW reasoning and interpreting of these passages.  I am also not going to reply to every single line or point raised, because that would take me even longer than you have already had to wait, so I am merely going to touch on the highlights.  Its obvious that we have both studied this subject somewhat, and I doubt either will change the other's mind.  I came to believe in the deity of Jesus, from a previously non-Trinitarian perspective.  I also have no Organization's teachings to uphold, so I merely go by what I see in the Scripture itself.  I much prefer to let context, rather than "scholarly opinion", be my guiding principle.  However, in a discussion such as this, there is no way to not discuss what some "scholars" say about these verses.  

Let's begin...

YOU:  "I wouldn’t take Micah 5:2, Isaiah 9:6, Hebrews 7:3, Rev 1:17, Colossians 1:16-17 or John 1:1-2 as examples of Jesus being eternal in the sense of him always existing. For starters none of the verses directly state Jesus has always been eternal but merely state that he has existed for a long time, is eternal (these verses should be viewed in the context of what sense Jesus is eternal), and was before all things along with other things which aren’t related to your point."

That's the difference here...I would take those Scriptures to mean just that, because not only does the context demand it in some of the instances, but its consistent with the whole of Scripture.  In Micah 5:2, for instance, the word for "everlasting", is the same word used throughout the Old Testament, to describe the eternal nature of Almighty God.  Now, I understand the word can be used in other ways, as well, but if one wanted to convey the idea that Jesus is from everlasting, this is the way it would be stated.  And when compared with the weight of Scripture, this meaning has a solid foundation as the correct one.

I was trying to understand your point, in mentioning that Jesus and even His followers, can "become eternal".  As to our "becoming eternal" in the sense of having everlasting life, that is not a point that is under dispute, and is completely irrelevant to your question.  Micah 5:2 is not dealing with Christ becoming "everlasting" in the future...It is clearly referring to His "goings forth" being "from old"...past tense.

Interestingly, numerous quotes can be produced from the Church "fathers", in support of Christ's deity and His eternal nature. Even from some who were directly taught by the disciples themselves.  I find that interesting, since the WT tries to advance the notion that the Trinity and a belief in Jesus' full deity, did not come until centuries later.

I found this comment from you, rather interesting...

YOU:  "it must be proven rather than assumed that Jesus has always been eternal rather than acquiring it."

Actually, no.  If you are going to take a word or phrase and venture away from its common meaning, and use it in such a way that, although it may be POSSIBLE to render it that way, to try and make the argument that it is the INTENDED meaning, then the burden of proof is on you.  When I read that Jesus' goings forth are "from old, from everlasting", I have no problem understanding that.

Let me make a quick side note right here.  This is really about which perspective you are coming at this from.  Now, I read some of Brenton's comments in his response to my other reply to you.  I like Brenton.  I respect him...a lot.  But in all honesty, he approaches this from a completely different starting point than I do.  See, I actually believe that I have a Bible in my hand, that is the Word of God.  You probably saw this in his comments, as well, as he alluded to me.  Brenton, by his own statements, does not believe in any preserved Bible today.  This, in my honest opinion, creates a lot of confusion.  Because when a topic like this comes up, people who hold to that premise and are faced with verses like I gave in my reply, are immediately found to be trying to find another translation that words it in a more favorable way, to the doctrine which they wish to uphold.  They have a particular "bible" that they like, but sometimes, even that "bible" refuses to cooperate, and then a person is subjected to reading various renderings from dozens of different "bibles".  Does it ever occur to anyone, that when you have dozens of "bibles" that say different things (sometimes VERY different in meaning), then they can't all be correct?

"But, its always helpful to compare different versions to see how they read".  Okay, fine...do what you wish.  But then what?  Just pick the one you like best?  How does that work, exactly?

I approach this, with the belief that God has given us His Word in English, and whatever it says, that is what I believe.  And I make no apologies for that premise.  I will place the scholarship of my Bible, alongside the NWT, any day of the week.

But why would you make the statement that Jesus' eternal nature must be proven, rather than assumed?  Nothing should be "assumed", either as for Him being created, or uncreated.  I thought we were supposed to go to the Scriptures to answer that question.  Why not just read what they say, instead of trying to find another "bible" that says it differently?  Simple...a desire to uphold a particular teaching that one wishes to believe.

I would say to you, that conversely, the burden of proof is on YOU, to show one verse that Jesus is created.  Why should that be just assumed, and not proven?

You stated that no verse directly states that Jesus has always been eternal.  Could you show me the one that directly states He was created?  All I have seen so far, are attempts to explain away the verses that say otherwise.

In regards to my comments on Rev. 3:14, you said the following:

YOU:  "Here lies my problem with this, scripture makes it clear that it was the Father who was the beginner of creation, Hebrews 1:1,2 with 1 Cor 8:6 allude to this.

(Hebrews 1:1,2) “..[God] in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe..”

(1 Cor 8:6) “..yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live..”  

Both of these scriptures say that all things came from the Father but through Jesus, thus any scriptures such as Rev 3:14 along with other verses such as Col 1:15 and John 1:3 which seem to show Jesus as the main character in creation should be taken in context of Hebrews 1:1,2 which shows who the actual originator/cause of creation is, the Father.'

Now, let me describe my problems with your comments.

1.  Nobody disputes that the Father is the Creator.  That does not present a problem with Trinitarians.  We believe that the Father and the Son are both rightly called "Creator", simply because the Scripture describe them both this way, and because they both possess the full nature of God.  It does present a problem for you, in that you end up with 2 Creators....A Master Creator, and some sort of "junior partner".

2.  The notion of 2 creators, disregards the clear statement in Isaiah 44:24...

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;"

The phrases "alone" and "by myself", are relatively easy to understand.  In both verses 6 and 8 of this same chapter, He already told us there were no other "gods" with Him, and now He is telling us that He is the only Creator, and that He did these creative acts alone, and by Himself.  

Yet, we are also told clearly that Jesus created ALL things...not all "other" things.  More on that a little later.

John 1:3-  "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

We will come back to this verse, but I list it here, because the statement is quite simple...Jesus, the Word, made everything. Nothing was made that He did not make.  Again, simple to understand.  Right now, I am merely showing that the Bible shows Jesus to be the Creator.  The next one that has already been mentioned, is as follows....

Colossians 1:16-17-  "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."


That is the way the above passage is supposed to read.  I think you, and the WT, know the implications of leaving this verse exactly as it is written...it shows that Jesus created everything.

Now, I am going to deal with something else you said in this same context, even though it actually appeared at the end of your question.  But since we are talking about Colossians 1:15-17, I want to go ahead and address what I believe is a very disappointing, and not to be unkind, but also a very silly statement.


YOU:  "You stated regarding the NWT use of “other” in Col 1:15 <b> “Unfortunately, this is one passage where the JW's NEW WORLD TRANSLATION , has overstepped its authority” and gave your reasons.” I’m sure if I were to ask if Jesus created the Father, Holy Spirit or himself your answer would be no, and yet this is what the insertion of the word “other” is meant to prevent from being thought. Jesus, the Father and HS are “things”, thus if Jesus created “all things” then it would imply that he created the Father and HS and himself, inserting the word other prevents this."

You honestly have got to be kidding, to type something like that, and advance it as a serious argument.  Are you actually implying here, that inserting the word "other", completely without one shred of manuscript authority or warrant whatsoever for doing so, is necessary to keep people from thinking that Jesus created the Father?  And that they would otherwise conclude Jesus created Himself??  

Is this actually an epidemic problem with people?  Can you give me an example?  Which denomination in "Christendom" teaches that Jesus created the Father?  How many people have you met who have arrived at that silly notion, all because they did not have the benefit of the NWT, to add a word that clears it all up for us?  

No, you are kidding yourself, if you honestly think this is the reason the NWT "translators" inserted the word "other", and if you think I'm buying it.  The reason they added "other", is doctrinal bias, plain and simple....nothing more.  If we're going to do anything, then let's tell the truth.  In order to make "firstborn" in verse 15 mean "created", they had to tamper with the following verses (v. 16-17), which blow that notion right out of the water, by making Jesus the Creator of all things.

Simply put, if Jesus is the Creator of ALL things, then He Himself cannot be a creation.  You seem to think that we would come to the idea that He created Himself, without the word "other" added to the text.  No, actually just the opposite...We conclude that He isn't created at all.  Not that He created Himself.

Let me tell you another reason this comment cannot be taken seriously.  The NWT is basically alone, as far as other translations that are readily available, that insert the word "other" in verses 16-17.  If your comment were true, then that should mean that people who do not possess the NWT, should mostly believe Jesus created the Father (and Himself), due to our using Bibles that leave out this obviously necessary addition to the text.

But I did a little checking on something.  Now, its no secret that I'm a user of the King James Bible.  However, I know many fellow brothers and sisters do not share my viewpoint on that, so I took that into consideration.  I did a comparison of this same passage, with other commonly used translations that are widely used today by Christians...the NIV, the NASB, the NKJV, the NCV, the NLT, the RSV, the YLT, and the ESV.  

What I found was quite interesting.  NOT ONE of them inserted the word "other" in these 2 verses, to imply that Jesus was a creation Himself, and merely created everything else. Yet, these are the translations that are the most commonly used today.

Now, according to your argument, if what I just said is true (and it is), then there should be church goers by the millions, walking around with some silly idea that Jesus created the Father and Himself.  But interestingly, in 31 years of being a Christian, and meeting thousands of other believers, I am yet to meet one person who believes that.  Now, I've met some people with some very strange doctrines.  I have debated with Oneness Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, JWs, Church of Christ, Catholics, you name it...But I'm yet to meet the first Christian who thinks Jesus created Himself, or the Father.

Why? You said the word "other" was to guard against that very thing, but we seem to be doing just fine without the word added.

And I believe I have a good explanation, as to why that is...We already know that God Himself is not part of creation, and is therefore not being referred to.  The passage is referring to things that ARE created...not things that are not.  That's a given.

And again, let's compare this with John 1:3 one more time, and it clears right up.  Notice the wording...

John 1:3-  ""All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

Now, when this passage is compared with Col. 1:16-17, we see clearly, that it is not referring to the Father as being one of the things created by Jesus.  Jesus is the creator of things that "ARE MADE" . It was not necessary to add the word "other" here, and make it read "All other things were made by Him" .  Not at all.  It is explained that He made all things THAT ARE MADE".  If it wasn't "made", then its eternal.  Same with Colossians 1:16-17...it is referring to things created, not things uncreated.  

And of things created, Jesus created them all...without exception.  

And yes, that is plainly stated in the passage, if it is left untampered with.


YOU:  "I don’t know of a widely used bible In use today that doesn’t add words for clarity, all bibles do it, lots without any indication when doing so."

Its permissible to add words for clarity, provided the meaning remains intact.  It is not permissible to add words which change or alter the meaning, as adding the word "other" does, in Colossians 1:16-17.


As for the word "firstborn", there is no question it can be used to denote superiority or pre-eminence, and your comment that it must necessarily mean that the pre-eminent or superior one must be part of those He is superior over, is merely your opinion. Its not even logical.  Why couldn't Jesus be superior or pre-eminent over creation, without being created Himself?  In fact, that is precisely what I would expect....The Creator to be superior, over, and pre-eminent over His creation.  

David is called Jehovah's "firstborn", in Psalm 89:27...

Psalm 89:26-27-  "He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth."


Now, I find your point interesting, in that you actually asked that question..."Could you show me a single example in the bible where someone is the firstborn of a group and they’re not part of the group they’re firstborn in/of?"

And...

"By definition to be firstborn of a group/person you by default have to be in/from that group/person. Take Col 1:18 as an example of this, it reads “[Jesus is] the firstborn from among the dead”.

I think there is something very important that you missed here.  You are attempting to compare Jesus' example, with what is normally true of everyone else.  You simply cannot do that, because Jesus is unique, in that He is the only Person in history to come to earth with a heavenly pre-existence.  Now, it is true that Jesus' earthly existence did have a beginning, and that is the only way you could make an argument that He is "part of creation", or was "created".  But that is not even the point under discussion...We are talking about His eternal nature, prior to His human existence.  And on that point, you have no argument. You have no Scripture that indicates He was ever created at some point before coming to earth as a man.  You have no Scripture that argues against His eternal existence with the Father, "in the beginning" (John 1:1).  It doesn't say He came into existence in the beginning...It says He "WAS", in the beginning.

If you do, in fact, have such a Scripture...then produce it now.  That should effectively end this discussion.

It is a mistake on your part, to assume that what is true of humans with no prior existence, would necessarily be true of the only person to ever walk the earth, that had a heavenly existence prior to His birth.

You can give me absolutely no logical or Scriptural reason, why Jesus could not be "firstborn over all creation", without being a created being Himself. Jesus had 2 natures, a fully human and a fully divine, which makes Him unique to anyone else that you can compare Him with.

It is also worth noting, that Paul used the word "prototikto", for "firstborn".  Had Paul intended to convey the idea that Jesus was "first created", he had a word that was readily available to him, which would have conveyed this idea with no room for debate.  The word was "protoktizo".  Why didn't he simply use this term?  You want us to believe that inserting the word "other" is necessary to avoid some weird notion that Jesus created Himself and His Father (although nobody that I know of, believes that nonsense), yet Paul didn't even bother to use the correct word which was at his disposal, and would have kept us from having to have had this entire discussion?

As for Prov. 8:22, I am not going to say much about this one, because there is no point, and this is already getting longer than I intended.  I have consulted numerous resources on this one, and nearly all agree that Jesus is not being referred to in Proverbs 8:22.  You make the following point about "wisdom"...


YOU:  "The expression in Prov 8:22, if talking about Jesus as wisdom, is figurative, much like people uses symbolic language regarding their spouse and them being their “love”. If I were to say “I found love the day I met my wife” does that imply that I had no love prior to meeting my wife or would that simply be a false assumption?"

I like the word "if" here.  You assume this is talking about Jesus.  What is your evidence that it is, however?  That is what you need to show us.  Its odd to me that you accuse me of making assumptions which are not stated, yet I believe you are doing that very thing here.  What, in the entire context of Proverbs chapters 1-9, would indicate to you that "wisdom" is anything but a personification of a quality, and is in addition to that, a reference to a Divine Person?  

Or, what is your evidence from context, that the "wisdom" in chapters 1-7, and 9, are a different "wisdom" than the "wisdom" in chapter 8?

To answer your question..."If I were to say “I found love the day I met my wife” does that imply that I had no love prior to meeting my wife or would that simply be a false assumption?"

Actually, yes it does...Because the very question itself, is contextually, referring to romantic love, not the love you might have for a parent, a child, or a close friend.  That is understood from the context.  So, if you had ever had a prior spouse that you dearly loved in a romantic way, then you would not say regarding your 2nd spouse, that you "found love" the day you met that person.  You might love them as well, or you might say you "found love again", but you would not deny the love you had for the 1st spouse, who perhaps had died.  

So yes, if you say "I found love the day I met" that person, it would be understood that you first found romantic love at that moment.  At least, that's the way I would understand it...that no prior relationships had produced true love, and you had just realized what that really was all about, when you met that person.


YOU:  "The statement is simply God making a symbolic personified reference to the day he created Jesus his son."

I believe that is the part you need to prove, rather than merely assert as fact.  What do you see in this context, that would indicate to you that this is a reference to Jesus Christ?  Other than the fact that its a very convenient verse to use, because it would give JWs that much needed clear passage in the Bible, that Jesus was created.  Well, actually it wouldn't, because again...the verse doesn't teach that God created "wisdom".  

But the question remains...What is your best proof, that Jesus is what is referred to here, and that this "wisdom", is different from the "wisdom" found in the other 8 chapters?

YOU:  "You mention that wisdom has feminine pronouns applied to it, this though should have no bearing on identify whatsoever, in 1 John 4:8 agape (love) has a feminine pronoun that is applied to the Father."

Straw man argument.  Is the Father called "Her" or "She" , anywhere in 1 John 4:8?  Where are the feminine PRONOUNS attached to "love" here?  And its also odd that you jumped to a Greek word in the New Testament, to prove your point about a Hebrew word in the Old.  But that aside, can you show my one instance where God is a "She" or a "Her"?

I also would like to ask you to kindly be consistent with your own principles, if you will.  I am referring to where you asked me...

"Furthermore, John the writer of Revelation never uses the Greek word arche to mean "that by which anything begins to be, the origin [or the] active cause" but always uses it to mean ‘beginning’ in the sense of “the first person or thing in a series”. Other bible writers use arche broadly but never John, thus we must be consistent and view the usage of arche in Rev 3:14 the same way John always uses it, wouldn’t you agree?"

Actually no, I do not agree.  Your statement fails on 2 premises...It is illogical, and it is inaccurate.  Here is why...

I think your question is based on a false assumption...that a Bible writer must always use a word in the same way.  Why would that be?  You just said yourself, that the word "arche" does carry the meanings I gave, and that the word is used broadly.  But for some reason, you do not afford John that same privilege.  

Could you please explain logically, why it is that you think John is limited to only using the word one way?  Especially if, as you said, there ARE other correct usages of the word, as well?  Why is John not allowed to use those?

To me, that is about like using the word "bread".  If I write an email to my wife at work and use the word "bread" several times in the same manner, why would that limit my using it in another context?  Say I ask her once to "pick up bread" on the way home.  A few lines later, I tell her specifically to get "wheat bread".  Then, a few lines later, I ask her to get some "Italian bread", as well.  Then, I remember that I want her to go to the frozen section and get a box of "garlic bread".  Then, as a final reminder, I say..."Don't forget the bread".  

Does that mean I cannot also say in that same writing, that I am going to go ahead and start supper, and "bread" the chicken for frying?  Or, that I can't refer to some money I made on a sale, and say that I "made some bread" when I sold the lawn mower?

Please explain your reasons, as to why that would not be appropriate...

But there is another problem that I have with your statement.  Am I understanding you correctly, that you are saying that John always uses "arche" as "beginning", in the sense of the first person, or thing in a series?"  If so, then you are incorrect about that.  

I'm only aware of John using it in that sense, one time...John 2:11.  Perhaps there's another, but that's the one that comes to mind.  Elsewhere in his Gospel, or his epistles, it means "a beginning point in time".  Here are some examples where this is the case....

1.  John 1:1-2
2.  John 6:64
3.  John 8:25
4.  John 8:44
5.  John 15:27
6.  John 16:4
7.  1 John 1:1
8.  1 John 2:7
9.  1 John 2:13
10. 1 John 2:14
11. 1 John 2:24
12. 1 John 3:8
13. 1 John 3:11
14. 2 John 1:5
15. 2 John 5:6

Sounds to me like you got a hold of some bad information on that one.  Here are 15 times that John uses "arche", or "beginning", in the sense of "beginning of a point in time", and not "first person or thing in a series".

This is why its probably best not to rely on WT literature for your information, with all due respect.  They tend to not always get things like this correct.

Also, it not only shows that John RARELY used the word "beginning" in the way you claim he ALWAYS used it, but it also shows that John could, and did, use the word in at least 2 ways.  This would disprove your statement that he is only permitted to use it in 1 way, as well.

Again, I would not rely solely on WT publications as a source of information.  You just saw why that's a bad idea.

So basically, I think we have illustrated that the very idea that a Bible writer cannot use a word one time, in a manner different than the other ways he has used it, especially when the other manners are just as correct, is simply not true.  

And we have also seen that very premise for your statement, was factually incorrect, in that John actually used it MANY MORE times to mean a "point in time", than "first person or thing in a series".

So, its actually a moot point.

However, I want to comment further on this point, if I may.  Let me quote your statement once more, for the purpose of my next point....

YOU:  "Furthermore, John the writer of Revelation never uses the Greek word arche to mean "that by which anything begins to be, the origin [or the] active cause" but always uses it to mean ‘beginning’ in the sense of “the first person or thing in a series”. Other bible writers use arche broadly but never John, thus we must be consistent and view the usage of arche in Rev 3:14 the same way John always uses it, wouldn’t you agree?"

Now, this is why I asked you to be true to your own principles.  If you're going to place a limitation on my reading of a certain word or phrase in the Bible, according to the normal usage of that word by the particular Bible writer in question, then its only fair that you place yourself under the same limitation.  But if you do place that same limitation on yourself, then it will cause some monumental problems for you.

Back to Proverbs...There was a question about the meaning of the word "qanah", which the NWT translates as "produced".   

You said about me..."Firstly you state that a better translation in Prov 8:22 is that wisdom was possessed rather than produced, but do not give a reason based on grammar but on context."

Sure there's a reason based on grammar, and its the very reason you wanted me to submit to, in regards to John's usage of "arche".  

Do you know of a single instance in Proverbs, where the writer uses "qanah" in the sense of "produced", or "created"?  I'm using your own principle here.  

The usages I am aware of in Proverbs, are of "qanah" carrying the meaning of "get" or "buy".  I am not aware of any exceptions to this.  Are you?  Again, not that I hold to your premise as being valid...that a writer cannot, under any circumstances, use the same word in various ways, because I do not.  But if you are going to advance that principle and expect agreement with it, then it must apply across the board.

Also, this same line of reasoning that you espouse, presents a monumentally huge problem for you and JW doctrine, in the very Book you were referring to when you initially made your point...the Book of Revelation.

Your religion has a teaching, that the "anointed" 144,000 are the only ones who will be in Heaven, and that the group of "other sheep", known as the "great crowd", will not be in Heaven, but on earth.  Isn't that correct?

Yet, the great crowd is specifically said in Revelation 7:9, to be "before the throne".  The phrase here is "enopion thronos", which literally means "In the presence of, or in sight of, the throne".  

Now, I have discussed this very verse, with numerous JWs.  And they always try to interpret the phrase "before the throne", as somehow an earthly location...for obvious reasons.  They can't teach the great crowd doesn't go to Heaven, when the Scriptures show them in a Heavenly location.

However, this violates your own principle.  The identical phrase "before the throne", is found exactly 9 times in the Bible...all in Revelation.  Written by John, the guy who can only use words in the same manner each time, no less.  So, according to you, this phrase should mean the same thing in each instance.  Now, it is obvious that the other 8 instances, are ALL clearly a heavenly location...without exception.  And if that isn't enough, even the other two instances of the phrase "before the throne" found in the SAME chapter, chapter 7, verses 11 and 15, is obviously a heavenly location in both instances.  Yet, we are to understand that in this ONE instance, Revelation 7:9, it suddenly means an earthly location?

Now, how does that harmonize with what you said before, about John always using words the same way in each case?

Well, this has already gotten much longer than I had intended, so I'm going to stop for now, even though there are several other things worth mentioning.  

I want to thank you again for your patience in awaiting my reply.  I hope you have a wonderful evening.  Take care.

Derrick


 














  







---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for replying.

Please stop assuming I rely on WT publications and the NWT and other translations which rendering suit me in our discussions. Please don’t start writing out a response before reading what I’ve said at the bottom (trying to save you time).

YOU: In Micah 5:2, for instance, the word for "everlasting", is the same word used throughout the Old Testament, to describe the eternal nature of Almighty God.  Now, I understand the word can be used in other ways, as well, but if one wanted to convey the idea that Jesus is from everlasting, this is the way it would be stated… I was trying to understand your point, in mentioning that Jesus and even His followers, can "become eternal".  As to our "becoming eternal" in the sense of having everlasting life, that is not a point that is under dispute, and is completely irrelevant to your question.

Micah 5:2 uses the word Hebrew word “olam/owlam” (Strongs #5769) for everlasting/ancient days. Not once (there 208 usages of the word olam/owlam) is the Hebrew word used in reference to something “without a beginning” when the word is used by itself. If there’s no other verse containing this expression that would carry the thought of eternal past, then Micah 5:2  stands alone if one were to read eternal-past/everlasting into the expression used there. This is most probably why other translations have opted to uses the word “ancient times”, “distant past” and “long ago”, as it portrays that Jesus has simply been there “for a very long time” instead of “everlasting” which the word “olam/owlam” doesn’t ever demonstrate.

When I used the defence of Romans 6:23 it wasn’t aimed at any particular verse you used, but rather, what you were expressing overall, namely, that Jesus was eternal.

ME: "it must be proven rather than assumed that Jesus has always been eternal rather than acquiring it."  

YOU: Actually, no.  If you are going to take a word or phrase and venture away from its common meaning, and use it in such a way that, although it may be POSSIBLE to render it that way, to try and make the argument that it is the INTENDED meaning, then the burden of proof is on you.  When I read that Jesus' goings forth are "from old, from everlasting", I have no problem understanding that.  

I’m the one using the word/phrase the way it was intended. Like I’ve already stated “olam” has never been used in reference to anything that is eternal, thus to say Micah 5:2 is implying that Jesus is eternal by the word “olam” is circular. All Micah 5:2 is expressing is that Jesus has existed “for a very long time” or as many other bible translations put it from “ancient days” or “the distant past”. What you’re doing is taking the expressions “from everlasting” –which is a poor translation of the word as “olam/owlam” which never conveys eternity in scripture- over all other translations of the verse and then assuming “everlasting” means Jesus is without beginning OR end.  

I don’t subscribe to any particular Bible when studying or reasoning and hopefully as you can see from my reasoning so far, I don’t simply choose other translations simply because they fit what I say. As you can see above I’ve used phrases taken from the NIV, NET and GWB, as said, not because they fit what I’m claiming but rather because they fit the meaning of the language, which I somewhat demonstrated. The only thing I care about is using and understanding verses and not a bible as a whole, the way that language, context and grammar permits.

YOU: But why would you make the statement that Jesus' eternal nature must be proven, rather than assumed?  Nothing should be "assumed", either as for Him being created, or uncreated.  I thought we were supposed to go to the Scriptures to answer that question.  Why not just read what they say, instead of trying to find another "bible" that says it differently?  Simple...a desire to uphold a particular teaching that one wishes to believe.  

The reason why I said “it must be proven rather than assumed” is that it’s my belief that you assume Jesus has been forever eternal. I do not believe any assumptions should ever be made in scripture. As already stated, I don’t simply pick bible translations that fit my belief and use them. As I demonstrated in my last response –and hopefully this one- I use language, context and when need be, grammar, in my proof of scripture structure.

YOU: 1.  Nobody disputes that the Father is the Creator.  That does not present a problem with Trinitarians.  We believe that the Father and the Son are both rightly called "Creator", simply because the Scripture describe them both this way, and because they both possess the full nature of God.  It does present a problem for you, in that you end up with 2 Creators....A Master Creator, and some sort of "junior partner".  

No, the problem you have is assuming that since both played roles in creation that they must be part of a trinity and also who all worship should go to because of the creative acts. An illustration, If Bill Gates decided to build homes for all the homeless people on earth and hired the relevant builders to build them who would have all the media coverage and praise, Bill gates or the builders? Bill Gates, of course. Therefore does it present a problem for me regarding the Father and Jesus? No, as there is clearly one source of creation, the Father, and one by which creation was accomplished, Jesus. This is clearly shown in Hebrews 1:1-2 and 1 Cor 8:6,7.

YOU: 2.  The notion of 2 creators, disregards the clear statement in Isaiah 44:24...

The phrases "alone" and "by myself", are relatively easy to understand.  In both verses 6 and 8 of this same chapter, He already told us there were no other "gods" with Him, and now He is telling us that He is the only Creator, and that He did these creative acts alone, and by Himself.  


From your argument here I understand that you’re saying God was alone when creating things, there was no other “god(s)” with him and yet scripture states Jesus created all things, thus showing Jesus must be part of the trinity/God alluded to in Isaiah 44:24.

The problem here is that God being “alone” and ‘by himself’ can only be stretched as far as context permits. The context of that scripture is in regards to “false gods”, read from v6-v19 and you’ll see that God is referring to false gods whom the nations worship. Thus, when God is saying that he was “alone” and “by myself” he was stating that these false gods that were made of wood and metal, were not the ones who created the world and that he was by himself in reference to them. Therefore, God wasn’t limiting the creative acts to himself, but rather, limiting the creative acts to himself in regards to false gods.

In fact, whenever you read phrases where God is saying that he is alone in regards to creation and other things, such as worship, in the OT you’ll always see that the context is in regards to false gods, you will never find a single reference to him claiming to be alone and it not be in reference to false gods that the nations worship. Thus God wasn’t limiting Jesus as not being part of the creative act if he is in fact a created being.

In regards to what you said about the use of other in the NWT, Col 1:16-17, John 1:3 and where you said the statement of “Its permissible to add words for clarity, provided the meaning remains intact.  It is not permissible to add words which change or alter the meaning, as adding the word "other" does, in Colossians 1:16-17.”

Let me firstly say my reason for being here is not to defend the NWT, I also stated that the word “other” was inserted in Col 1:16 so that readers understood that Jesus wasn’t included in the “all things” mentioned in the verse. As you said “Its permissible to add words for clarity, provided the meaning remains intact”, if this is the case then it should be fine to add the word “other” in Col 1:15 as it doesn’t derive from the intended meaning, the way the first century Christian would have understood it. This is because when things are written in the bible as being absolute or having definite statements/phrases, they don’t always have to be viewed as literally being one hundred percent absolute and definite, it only goes as far as the context.

For example we have Hebrews 2:7-9 which states regarding Adam/Man and God, “...You made him a little lower than angels; you crowned him with glory and honour, and appointed him over the works of your hands. 8 All things you subjected under his feet.” By subjecting all things to him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him. 9 But we do see Jesus…”

In the above it states in a definitive sense that God subjected “all things” under Adams/Mans feet, so much so, that God left “nothing that is not subject to him”. Therefore if absolutely nothing was left not subject to Adam/man then logic demands that God too was subject to Adam, is this the case? No, why? Because it goes without saying that God -who the intended reader would already know- the one who subjected all things under Adam/man was not to be included in the statement even though he wasn’t excluded by the writer. The Angels too would technically be included in the statement found in Hebrews 2:7,8 as they would fall into the category of “all things” but yet again no one would argue that they are.

Hence, when looking at scriptures such as Colossians 1:16,17 which states that Jesus created “all things” it doesn’t have to be viewed with such a dogmatic mind-set. The expressions “all things” in Hebrews 2:7,8 didn’t literally include all things, since the Angels and God certainly weren’t subjected to Adam/Man. Likewise when it states that Jesus created “all things” or was “before all things” in v17, this isn’t to restrict Jesus as not being part of creation and being without existence in v17 just because it didn’t state that Jesus wasn’t included in the “all things”, as the statement should only understood as far as the bibles overall context permits.

More examples of this can be found in most scriptures which talks of Jesus being exalted by God:

(Matthew 28:18) “..Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth..”

(Ephesians 1:22) “..He also subjected all things under his [Jesus] feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation..”

(Hebrews 1:2) “..Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things..”

Notice that scripture repeatedly states that “all things” are subject to Jesus in various manners, nowhere does it exclude God –the father and HS here from your viewpoint- from being subject to Jesus in these verses. We have one verse, 1 Cor 15:27, which states “For God ‘subjected all things under his [Jesus] feet.’ But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him..”, notice what the writer says here “’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him” or in other words “it goes without saying that God isn’t included”. As already said, the writer says this because he knows the reader would know without It even being said that God wouldn’t be subject to the one whom he subjects all things too thus the lack of exclusions regarding it.

What’s even more interesting is the statement of Hebrews 1:2, that God appointed Jesus to be heir of “all things”, does this mean Jesus is to inherit your property and financial gains upon your death? They would certainly be included “all things” which Jesus is an heir to, Jesus would technically inherit all things since that’s what the scripture say, right?  Is Jesus to inherit all hereditary diseases since he inherits all things? No, “all things” is determined by context and is not meant to be literally absolute.

What’s the context of Colossians chapter 1:16-17? Col 1:15 would no doubt have some effect on the context wouldn’t it, that Jesus is the firstborn of creation, which is the matter in question at present. Therefore If Jesus can be proven to be part of creation by Col 1:15 then inserting the word “other” in v16,17 would not be wrong as it’s for clarity sake. Not inserting the word doesn’t contradict anything the same way Heb 2:7 doesn’t have any issue in regards to God being subject to man.

YOU: “As for the word "firstborn", there is no question it can be used to denote superiority or pre-eminence, and your comment that it must necessarily mean that the pre-eminent or superior one must be part of those He is superior over, is merely your opinion. It’s not even logical.  Why couldn't Jesus be superior or pre-eminent over creation, without being created Himself?  In fact, that is precisely what I would expect....The Creator to be superior, over, and pre-eminent over His creation.“  

Remember what I said in my last reply to you, “for the purpose of any readers, a point not to forget is that firstborn will always means firstborn, regardless if it’s in reference temporally or authoritatively“ . Do NOT forget firstborn always means firstborn, do not try and use the word prōtotokos in any other sense as It easily confuses the readers, yes, prōtotokos can mean preemeince, but the word is still firstborn, which is important in this matter.

You asked “Why couldn't Jesus be superior or pre-eminent over creation, without being created Himself”?  The reason why, quite simply, is because that’s not what the scripture says. The scripture states he is the “firstborn”. As previously said not a SINGLE time in scripture is firstborn of  something/someone OR person/thing not part of the group they’re firstborn of (regardless of the sense of the word). For any writer to use the word firstborn is extremely special because it expresses a whole lot without saying much.

You state “is merely [my] opinion”  and “It’s not even logical”  . What!? It’s not logical that to be firstborn of something that you’re part of the group you’re firstborn of!? I could use ANY example in relation to the word firstborn, be it biblical or worldly, to be firstborn of something means you are part of the group by default, show me a single example which proves otherwise, biblically or worldly….actually show me. You stated that because Jesus “is the only Person in history to come to earth with a heavenly pre-existence”   it somehow excuses Jesus from this rule. No! This is you begging the question, there is nothing to exempt Jesus from this universal rule other than your pre-conceived ideas, I even showed you Col 1:18 where Jesus is firstborn from the dead, he HAD to be part of that group to be called firstborn of the dead, if Jesus never died then he couldn’t of had that title. Col 1:15 is no different, you simply want it to be different.  

Regarding what I said about Prov 8:22. YOU: I like the word "if" here. You assume this is talking about Jesus.  What is your evidence that it is, however?  That is what you need to show us.  It’s odd to me that you accuse me of making assumptions which are not stated, yet I believe you are doing that very thing here.  What, in the entire context of Proverbs chapters 1-9, would indicate to you that "wisdom" is anything but a personification of a quality, and is in addition to that, a reference to a Divine Person?  

I used the word “if” here for argument sake. An assumption is believing something without proof, I understand prov 8:22 to be in regards to Jesus based the language used and 1 Cor 1:24. When have you heard me say that wisdom is in regards to something else in the surrounding passages?

In regarding to my statement of  “love of my life”. YOU: Actually, yes it does...Because the very question itself, is contextually, referring to romantic love, not the love you might have for a parent, a child, or a close friend.  
Well then it should be clear that Prov 8:22 fits exactly what you just said and what I expressed initially. That if Jesus is the wisdom of God in Proverbs 8:22 then it does not mean God is without Wisdom. We know this because God and his attributes are eternal, therefore “wisdom” in Prov 8:22 CANNOT refer to Gods personal attribute regardless if it’s in reference to Jesus or not, since Gods wisdom never began was possessed or produced but always has been. Thus we must ask who wisdom is in reference to? The immediate context along with 1 Cor 1:24 and Hebrews 1:1,2 fits Jesus position perfectly.

YOU: Straw man argument.  Is the Father called "Her" or "She" , anywhere in 1 John 4:8?  Where are the feminine PRONOUNS attached to "love" here?  And its also odd that you jumped to a Greek word in the New Testament, to prove your point about a Hebrew word in the Old.  But that aside, can you show my one instance where God is a "She" or a "Her"?  

Why is me jumping from Greek to Hebrew odd? Why does it change the argument that feminine gender words can be applied to God/beings without it having an effect on gender? It doesn’t. I made a mistake in saying pronouns, I meant feminine word. So as I said, having feminine words and pronouns in reference to certain beings doesn’t change a thing regarding identity.

YOU: I think your question is based on a false assumption...that a Bible writer must always use a word in the same way.  Why would that be? Could you please explain logically, why it is that you think John is limited to only using the word one way?  Especially if, as you said, there ARE other correct usages of the word, as well?  Why is John not allowed to use those? Sounds to me like you got a hold of some bad information on that one.  Here are 15 times that John uses "arche", or "beginning", in the sense of "beginning of a point in time", and not "first person or thing in a series". This is why its probably best not to rely on WT literature for your information, with all due respect.  

Let me firstly say I’m well aware that in what manner John uses arche, I’m glad you said what you did and referenced the scriptures as I noticed my error after submitting my question but could not adjust what was written. My reason in bringing John’s uses of the word arche up was to show that he always uses the word arche to mean beginning, never anything else. To answer your question, no, John is NOT limited to using arche to mean beginning, but that’s the point, he ALWAYS does. John uses the word 22+ times and it always means beginning, don’t you think it’s weird the ONLY place that people claim it doesn’t mean beginning is where it contradicts that Jesus is God.

No other translation of the word “arche” other than “beginning” fits in place in Rev 3:14. Not arche in the sense of originator/source or arche in the sense of ruler or arche in its other sense of beginning.

YOU: Do you know of a single instance in Proverbs, where the writer uses "qanah" in the sense of "produced", or "created"?  I'm using your own principle here.  The usages I am aware of in Proverbs, are of "qanah" carrying the meaning of "get" or "buy".  I am not aware of any exceptions to this.  Are you?  Again, not that I hold to your premise as being valid...that a writer cannot, under any circumstances, use the same word in various ways, because I do not.  But if you are going to advance that principle and expect agreement with it, then it must apply across the board.  

The reason why I argue John’s usages of arche in Rev 3:14 should be “beginning” is because of his large usage of the word “arche”, which gives us an ability to gauge its most likely meaning. When a bible writer only uses a word a few times then how is it reasonable to claim that one should be consistent? It’s simply not. If John only used the word arche two or three times do you really think people, such as me, would use the same argument with John’s use of acrhe in Rev 3:14? Simply, No.

The word Quanah in Prov 8:22 can be translated and understood as meaning created/produced; much like Eve meant what she stated in Genesis 4:1, Eve didn’t believe she “acquired” or “bought” or “possessed” Cain, but rather, that she “produced”, “begat” or “created” him. Moreover v24 of Proverbs state that the “wisdom” was “brought forth”. The Hebrew word translated “brought forth” means “to be brought forth, to be born.” this helps us understand the context and meaning of this chapter and especially what “possessed” means in verse 22
To any readers, Derrick in his reply to me bolded and put in quotations marks the following, "But, it’s always helpful to compare different versions to see how they read"  , from the way it was set out in the response it may have appeared to some readers that I said this, and Derrick quoted it. Let me say I did not say it and don’t know where Derrick got it from.

YOU: You stated that no verse directly states that Jesus has always been eternal. Could you show me the one that directly states He was created?  
How can you ask me for a verse which states Jesus was created when we are currently debating those very scriptures?

As we’ve have both written a lot, and It seems you’re red herring by bringing in the subject 144,000 which isn’t related to the current topic, please answer the following points which are repeats of the above so that we can remain on topic. You can either choose answer the things above or simply respond to the points below which are based on the things written above.

Based on Hebrews 1:1,2 who is the originator of creation, the Father or Jesus? (Hebrews 1:2) “..God has spoken to us by means of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe..”

Is the word “beginning”, with the sense of “first in a series”, the most credible translation of the word “acrhe” in Revelation 3:14? If it isn’t, could you explain how either “beginning” with the meaning "a beginning point in time” or “source/originator” are better translations without contradicting Hebrews 1:1,2 and 1 Cor 8:6,7 when doing so.

Could you give me a single example of anything –and I mean anything- being the firstborn of a group (regardless of the sense) where they’re not actually part of the group that they’re firstborn of? You can use a biblical or worldly example and If your incapable of finding me an example can you please state you unable to.

How does Jesus having a pre-existance in heaven negate that if he’s firstborn of a group that it doesn’t mean he’s part of it, please show your reasoning.
Jesus was the firstborn of the dead according to Col 1:18, if Jesus didn’t die and become part of the group “the dead”, could he still be called the firstborn of/from the dead?

What do you believe the “wisdom” in Proverbs 8:22 is referring to?
Were God and the Angels subject to Adam/Man according to Hebrews 2:7-8?

Answer
Hello, Kay.  Let me just be up front with you.

I am not sure what gave you the impression that I am interested in, or even have the time, for a lengthy back-and-forth discussion on this.  I am not.  Although I have allowed myself to get into many lengthy debates here in the past, I found it was consuming nearly all of my free time.  Then, when things on the board calmed down a bit, I decided my purpose here was to help people who sincerely are seeking answers.  If something needs responding to, I'll respond to it.  But the simple fact is, I do not have the time required to go over every point you have raised, only to have you sit down and write an even longer one next time.  The last reply took my over 4 hours to type a response to, and this one would take me 8.  And to be truthful, I have only read the first few paragraphs of this one, and have not even sat down and read the entire thing.  

Perhaps when I get back, I will read it and respond to some of it.  But I am going to the mountains with my wife this weekend for my birthday, and I simply do not have, nor am I going to make the time to devote to this.

The fact is, your initial question gave no indication that you were wanting a long-term discussion.  Nor did it indicate what side of the fence you are on.  You asked "What Are Your Reasons?", and I gave you the reasons.  You are under no obligation to agree with those reasons, and I certainly do not agree with yours, as they have already been shown to be faulty on several accounts.  But I answered your question, just as you asked it.  I gave you my reasons, which are solid, sound, and Scriptural.  

Have a great day.

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Derrick Holland

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I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.

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29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

Organizations
I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for certain...in a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

Education/Credentials
High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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