Christ's Divinity Proved by the JW Bible
One of the foundational beliefs of all historical and mainline Christian religions is that Jesus, while being fully human, is also fully divine: He is true God in the flesh.
This doctrine is rejected by the Jehovah's Witnesses. They instead claim that Jesus is the first and most exalted of Jehovah God's creatures and a "mighty god," but not Jehovah the "Almighty God." By rejecting the divinity of Jesus, they preach a gospel different from the true gospel.
Here are numerous Scripture passages, all taken from the Watch Tower's New World Translation, which demonstrate that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the true God. Let Witnesses see for themselves, after reading these passages, that the Watch Tower Society is guilty of teaching an erroneous doctrine about the person of Jesus Christ. Also, let the Witness consider the reality that no one in all of creation, no matter how exalted, could possibly have so much in common with Jehovah without actually being Jehovah.
1. Jesus possesses the qualities and attributes of Jehovah.
a. Jesus has total and absolute knowledge of Jehovah: "All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him" (Matt. 11:27).
"Jesus answered: 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifies me, he who you say is your God; and yet you have not known him. But I know him. And if I said I do not know him I should be like you, a liar. But I do know him and am observing his word' " (John 8:54-55).
b. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible Jehovah: "He is the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). "God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the system of things. He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being" (Heb. 1:1-3).
c. Jesus acts in complete accord with Jehovah: "Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them: 'Most truly I say to you. The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner' " (John 5:19).
d. Jesus is the power and wisdom of Jehovah: ". . . but we preach Christ impaled, to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness; however, to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Cor. 1:23-24).
e. Jesus is unchanging as Jehovah is unchanging: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8; cf. Mal. 3:6).
f. Jesus is to receive the very same honor as Jehovah: "For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father" (John 5:22-23).
"And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: 'To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.' And the four living creatures went saying: 'Amen!' and the elders fell down and worshiped" (Rev. 5:14; emphasis added).
g. Jesus possesses the same glory as Jehovah: "So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was" (John 17:5).
h. Jesus himself said he was equal to Jehovah: "On this account, indeed, the Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God" (John 5:18). "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).
i. Jesus and Jehovah have identical possessions: "All the things that the Father has are mine" (John 16:15). "I make request concerning them; I make request, not concerning the world, but concerning those you have given me; because they are yours, and all my things are yours and yours are mine, and I have been glorified among them" (John 17:9-10).
j. Jesus is everlasting as Jehovah is everlasting: "That which was from [the] beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have viewed attentively and our hands felt, concerning the word of life, (yes, the life was made manifest, and we have seen and are bearing witness and reporting to you the everlasting life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us)" (I John 1:1-2).
k. Jesus is inseparable from the Father: "The Father is in union with me and I am in union with the Father" (John 10:37-38). "He that receives me, receives [also] him that sent me" (John 13:20). "'If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.' Philip said to him: 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him: 'Have I been with you men so long a time, and yet, Philip, you have not come to know me? He that has seen me has seen the Father [also]. How is it you say, "Show us the Father?" Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me?' " (John 14:7-10). "He that hates me hates also my Father" (John 15:23). "Look! The hour is coming, indeed, it has come, when you will be scattered each one to his own house and you will leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me" (John 16:32).
"Everyone that denies the Son does not have the Father either. He that confesses the Son has the Father also" (I John 2:22).
l. Jesus commands the forces of nature as Jehovah does: "In the course of one of the days he and his disciples got into a boat, and he said to them: 'Let us cross to the other side of the lake.' So they set sail. But as they were sailing he fell asleep. Now a violent windstorm descended upon the lake, and they began to fill up with [water] and to be in danger. Finally they went to him and roused him, saying: Instructor, Instructor, we are about to perish!' Rousing himself, he rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they subsided, and a calm set in" (Luke 8:22-24).
m. Jesus is Lord of all as Jehovah is Lord of all: "He sent out the word to the sons of Israel to declare to them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ: this One is Lord of all [others]" (Acts 10:36).
2. Jesus is called God in Scripture.
a. "For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).
b. "All this actually came about for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through the prophet, saying: 'Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Immanuel,' which means, when translated, 'With Us Is God.'" (Matt. 1:22-23).
c. "No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him" (John 1:18).
d. "In answer Thomas said to him: 'My Lord and My God!' Jesus said to him: 'Because you have seen me have you believed? Happy are those who do not see and yet believe.' " (John 20:28-29).
e. "Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own [Son]" (Acts 20:28).
f. "Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God" (Phil. 2:5-6).
g. "Perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily" (Col. 2:9).
h. " . . . while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of [the] Savior of us, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).
i. "Simon Peter . . . to those who have obtained a faith, held in equal privilege with ours, by the righteousness of our God and [the] Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:1).
j. "But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us intellectual capacity that we may gain the knowledge of the true one. And we are in union with the true one, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting." (I John 5:20).
3. Jesus asserts for himself that which, in the Old Testament, is asserted by Jehovah.
a. Like Jehovah, Jesus establishes a covenant with humanity: "Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: 'This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.' " (Luke 22:20).
b. Like Jehovah, Jesus sends forth prophets and teachers: "For this reason, here I am sending forth to you prophets and wise men and public instructors. Some of them you will kill and impale, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city" (Matt. 23:34).
c. Like Jehovah, Jesus assures these prophets and teachers that they will have his help: "Therefore settle it in your hearts not to rehearse beforehand how to make your defense, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute" (Luke 21:15 cf. Exodus 4:15).
d. Like Jehovah, Jesus tells us to have faith in him: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God, exercise faith in me" (John 14:1).
e. Like Jehovah, Jesus can forgive sins: " 'Which is easier to say, "your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But in order for you to know that the Son of man has authority on the earth to forgive sins,' he said to the paralyzed man: I say to you, Get up and pick up your little bed and be on your way home.' " (Luke 5:20-25).
f. Like Jehovah, Jesus is Lord of the Old Testament Law, and he therefore exercises his authority over it: " 'You heard that it was said to those of ancient times, "you must not murder; but whoever commits a murder will be accountable to the court of justice." However, I say to you that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice'" (Matt. 5:21-22). "'You heard that it was said, "Eye for eye and tooth for tooth." However, I say to you: "Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him." ' " (Matt. 5:38-39) " 'You heard that it was said, "You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy." However, I say to you: "Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you" ' " (Matt. 5:43-44).
g. Like Jehovah, Jesus exercises a divine authority as Judge of the world: "Then Jesus said to his disciples . . . 'For the Son of man is destined to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will recompense each one according to his behavior.' " (Matt. 16:24, 27; cf. Ps. 50:6).
h. Like Jehovah, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath: "So he went on to say to them: 'The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the sabbath; hence the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath.' " (Mark 2:27).
i. Like Jehovah's, Jesus' words are eternal: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away" (Matt. 24:35; cf. Isa. 40:8).
j. Like Jehovah, Jesus is omnipresent: "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst" (Matt. 18:20).
4. Jesus and Jehovah have the same designations and titles.
a. Both are called the Alpha and the Omega: '"I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says Jehovah God, 'the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty' " (Rev. 1:8); "Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to render to each one as his work is. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:13).
b. Both are called bridegroom: "For just as a young man takes ownership of a virgin as his wife, your sons will take ownership of you as a wife. And with the exultation of a bridegroom over a bride, your God will exult even over you" (Isa. 62:5); "So they came and said to him: 'Why is it the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees practice fasting, but your disciples do not practice fasting?' And Jesus said to them: 'While the bridegroom is with them the friends of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast' "(Mark 2:18-19).
c. Both are called the first and the last: "This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel and the Repurchaser of him, Jehovah of armies, I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God' " (Isa. 44:6); "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:13).
d. Both are called Holy One: "I, too, I shall laud you on an instrument of a stringed sort. As regards your trueness, O my God, I will make melody to you on the harp, O Holy One of Israel" (Ps. 71:22); "The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom you, for your part, delivered up and disowned before Pilate's face, when he had decided to release him. Yes, you disowned that holy and righteous one, and you asked for a man, a murderer, to be freely granted to you, whereas you killed the Chief Agent of life" (Acts 3:13-15).
e. Both are called our hope: "For you are my hope, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, my confidence from my youth" (Psalm 71:5); "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus under command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus, our hope, to Timothy, a genuine child in the faith" (I Tim. 1:1-2).
f. Both are called light: "Jehovah is my light and my salvation" (Psalms 27:1); "Therefore Jesus spoke again to them, saying: I am the light of the world' " (John 8:12).
g. Both are called Lord of lords: "For Jehovah your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty and fear-inspiring" (Deut. 10:17); "These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them" (Rev. 17:14).
h. Both are called Mighty God: "Those remaining of Israel and those who have escaped of the house of Jacob will never again support themselves upon the one striking them, and they will certainly support themselves upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in trueness. A mere remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God" (Isa. 10:20-21); "For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).
i. Both are called Righteous One: "That is why in the region of light they must glorify Jehovah, in the islands of the sea the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel. From the extremity of the land there are melodies that we have heard: 'Decoration to the Righteous One!' " (Isa. 24:14-16); "The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom you, for your part, delivered up and disowned before Pilate's face, when he had decided to release him. Yes, you disowned that holy and righteous one, and you asked for a man, a murderer, to be freely granted to you, whereas you killed the Chief Agent of life" (Acts 3:13-15).
j. Both are called rock: "Jehovah of armies he is the One whom you should treat as holy . . . And he must become as a sacred place; but as a stone to strike against and as a rock over which to stumble to both the houses of Israel" (Isa. 8:14); "It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers; but to those not believing, 'the identical stone that the builders rejected has become [the] head of [the] corner,' and 'a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense' " (I Pet. 2:7-8).
k. Both are called our salvation: "Do make haste to my assistance, O Jehovah my salvation" (Ps. 38:22); "Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved" (Acts 4:12).
l. Both are called Savior: "For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior. I have given Egypt as a ransom for you, Ethiopia and Seba in place of you." (Isa. 43:3); "May there be undeserved kindness and peace from God [the] Father and Christ Jesus our Savior" (Titus 1:4).
m. Both are called Shepherd: "Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing" (Ps. 23:1); "Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus, equip you with every good thing to do his will" (Heb. 13:20-21).
5. People fall down in the presence of both Jesus and Jehovah.
a. "And when they went into the house they saw the young child with Mary its mother, and, falling down, they did obeisance to it" (Matt. 2:11). "Therefore Judas took the soldier band and officers of the chief priests and of the Pharisees and came there with torches and lamps and weapons. Jesus, therefore, knowing all the things coming upon him, went forth and said to them: 'Whom are you looking for?' They answered him: 'Jesus the Nazarene.' He said to them: I am [he].' Now Judas, his betrayer, was also standing with them. However, when he said to them: I am [he],' they drew back and fell to the ground" (John 18:3-6).
b. "And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: 'To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.' And the four living creatures went saying: 'Amen!' and the elders fell down and worshiped" (Rev. 5:13-14). "And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell upon their faces before the throne and worshiped God" (Rev. 7:11).
6. In Scripture people understood Jesus to be calling himself God
a. "But Jesus kept silent. So the high priest said to him: 'By the living God I put you under oath to tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God!' Jesus said to him: 'you yourself said [it]. Yet I say to you men. From henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest ripped his outer garments, saying: 'He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses?' " (Matt. 26:63-65).
b. "On this account, indeed, the Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God" (John 5:18).
c. " 'We are stoning you, not for a fine work, but for blasphemy, even because you, although being a man, make yourself a god.' " (John 10:31-33).
d. "Pilate said to them: 'Take him yourselves and impale him, for I do not find any fault in him.' The Jews answered him: 'We have a law, and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself God's son.' " (John 19:6-7).
7. New Testament verses spoken of Jesus are quotations of Old Testament verses spoken of Jehovah.
a. Compare: "But with reference to the Son.. . 'you are [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself are to remain continually; and just like an outer garment they will all grow old, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as an outer garment; and they will be changed, but you are the same, and your years will never run out' " (Heb. 1:8,10-12). With: " 'Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself will keep standing; and just like a garment they will all of them wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will finish their turn. But you are the same, and your own years will not be completed' " (Ps. 102:24-27).
b. Compare: "It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers; but to those not believing, 'the identical stone that the builders rejected has become [the] head of [the] corner,' and 'a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense' " (I Pet. 2:7-8). With: "Jehovah of armies he is the One whom you should treat as holy... And he must become as a sacred place; but as a stone to strike against and as a rock over which to stumble to both the houses of Israel" (Isa. 8:14).
c. Compare: "Jesus spoke these things and went off and hid from them. But although he had performed so many signs before them, they were not putting faith in him, so that the word of Isaiah the prophet was fulfilled which he said: 'Jehovah, who has put faith in the thing heard by us? And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed?' The reason why they were not able to believe is that again Isaiah said: 'He has blinded their eyes and he has made their hearts hard, that they should not see with their eyes and get the thought with their hearts and turn around and I should heal them.' Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him" (John 12:36-41) With: "And [Jehovah] went on to say: 'Go, and you must say to this people, "Hear again and again, O men, but do not understand; and see again and again, but do not get any knowledge" ' " (Isa. 6:9). And: "Who has put faith in the thing heard by us? And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed?" (Isa. 53:1).
d. Compare: "In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying: 'Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.' This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in these words: 'Listen! Someone is crying out in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of Jehovah, you people! Make his roads straight" ' " (Matt. 3:1-3) With: "Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: 'Clear up the way of Jehovah, you people! Make the highway for our God through the desert plain straight.' " (Isa. 40:3).
8. Scripture shows Jesus, like Jehovah, is to be worshiped.
"But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: 'And let all God's angels worship him' " (Heb. 1:6, editions of 1953, 1960, 1961, 1970); "And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: 'To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.' And the four living creatures went saying: 'Amen!' and the elders fell down and worshiped" (Rev. 5:14).
Even the Watch Tower Society's own publication says that Jesus should be worshiped:
"Question: The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Answer: Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so" (Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1898, 216).
"Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah's Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy" (The Watchtower, October 15, 1945, 313).
9. Jehovah is called the source of creation in the Old Testament, Jesus the source of creation in the New.
a. "This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven" (Gen. 2:4). "For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth" (Exod. 20:11). "Our help is in the name of Jehovah, The Maker of heaven and earth" (Ps. 124:8). "For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, he the [true] God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, he the One who firmly established it" (Isa. 45:18).
b. "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in [the] beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence" (John 1:1-3). "By means of him all things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all things and by means of him all things were made to exist" (Col. 1:15-17). "And to the angel of the congregation of Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God" (Rev. 3:14).
10. Jesus works miracles that only Jehovah himself is capable of.
a. Jesus miraculously feeds thousands of people: "Now when he came forth he saw a great crowd; and he felt pity for them, and he cured their sick ones. But when evening fell his disciples came to him and said: 'The place is lonely and the hour is already far advanced; send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves things to eat.' However, Jesus said to them: 'They do not have to leave: you give them something to eat.' They said to him: 'We have nothing here but five loaves and two fishes.' He said: 'Bring them here to me.' Next he commanded the crowds to recline on the grass and took the five loaves and two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he said a blessing and, after breaking the loaves, he distributed them to the disciples, the disciples in turn to the crowds. So all ate and were satisfied, and they took up the surplus of fragments, twelve baskets full. Yet those eating were about five thousand men, besides women and young children" (Matt. 14:14-21; see also Mark 8:1-9).
b. Jesus walks on water: "And when he saw them being hard put to it in their rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night he came toward them, walking on the sea; but he was inclined to pass them by. At catching sight of him walking on the sea they thought: It is an apparition!' and they cried aloud. For they all saw him and were troubled. But immediately he spoke with them, and he said to them: 'Take courage, it is I; have no fear' " (Mark 6:48-50).
c. Jesus turns water into wine: "Now on the third day a marriage feast took place in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the marriage feast. When the wine ran short the mother of Jesus said to him: 'They have no wine.' But Jesus said to her: 'What have I to do with you, woman? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to those ministering: 'Whatever he tells you, do.' As it was, there were six stone water jars sitting there as required by the purification rules of the Jews, each able to hold two or three liquid measures. Jesus said to them: 'Fill the water jars with water.' And they filled them to the brim. And he said to them: 'Draw some out now and take it to the director of the feast.' So they took it. When, now, the director of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine" (John 2:1-9).
d. Jesus calms a raging storm: "In the course of one of the days he and his disciples got into a boat, and he said to them: 'Let us cross to the other side of the lake.' So they set sail. But as they were sailing he fell asleep. Now a violent windstorm descended upon the lake, and they began to fill up with [water] and to be in danger. Finally they went to him and roused him, saying: Instructor, Instructor, we are about to perish!' Rousing himself, he rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they subsided, and a calm set in" (Luke 8:22-24; cf. Ps. 89:10).
e. Jesus raises himself from the dead: "In answer Jesus said to them: 'Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Therefore the Jews said: 'This temple was built in forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?' But he was talking about the temple of his body" (John 2:19-20). "This is why the Father loves me, because I surrender my soul in order that I may receive it again. No man has taken it away from me, but I surrender it of my own initiative. I have authority to surrender it, and I have authority to receive it again" (John 10:17-18).
f. Jesus raises others from the dead: "While he was telling them these things, look! a certain ruler who had approached began to do obeisance to him, saying: 'By now my daughter must be dead; but come and lay your hand upon her and she will come to life.' Then Jesus, getting up, began to follow him; also his disciples did . . . When now, he came into the ruler's house and caught sight of the flute players and the crowd in noisy confusion, Jesus began to say: 'Leave the place, for the little girl did not die, but she is sleeping.' At this they began to laugh at him scornfully. As soon as the crowd had been sent outside he went in and took hold of her hand, and the little girl got up. Of course, the talk about this spread out into all that region" (Matt. 9:18-19,23-26).
"As he got near the gate of the city, why, look! there was a dead man being carried out, the only-begotten son of his mother. Besides, she was a widow. A considerable crowd from the city was also with her. And when the Lord caught sight of her, he was moved with pity for her, and he said to her: 'Stop weeping.' With that he approached and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said: 'young man, I say to you, Get up!' And the dead man sat up and started to speak, and he gave him to his mother" (Luke 7:12-15). "Jesus said to her: 'Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?' Therefore they took the stone away. Now Jesus raised his eyes heavenward and said: 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me. True, I knew that you always hear me; but on account of the crowd standing around I spoke, in order that they might believe that you sent me forth.' And when he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice: 'Lazarus, come on out!' The [man] that had been dead came out with his feet and hands bound with wrappings, and his countenance was bound with a cloth. Jesus said to them: 'Loose him and let him go' " (John 11:40-44).
Scripture does record two instances where an apostle raised someone from the dead (cf. Acts 9:36-40 and 20:9-12). Keep in mind, however, that these miracles were performed by the authority and power that Jesus bestowed on his apostles (cf. Luke 9:1, 10:19). The apostles had no power in and of themselves to perform God-like miracles. In addition, there are numerous instances in which Jesus heals people of diseases. Jesus did so because of his own divine power and ability to work miracles.
After Jesus' Resurrection, we see the apostles performing similar healings and miracles, but Scripture never indicates that they were performed by the apostles' own power; rather, they were always performed because of and by the power of Jesus' name and authority. It is Jesus alone who possesses in his very being the divine power to work miracles and perform healings.
If Jesus were merely a created and therefore finite being, how could we be sure that his sacrificial death would completely suffice for sins committed against an eternal and infinite God? Is it not reasonable to say that only God himself could perfectly and sufficiently atone for sins committed against him? Is it not reasonable, then, to conclude that Jesus is Jehovah God?
Just as humans only have children with a human nature and animals only have offspring with an animal nature, does it not logically follow that God would only beget a Son with a divine nature?
If Jesus were a "mighty God" who is separate from and second to Jehovah God, that would mean that there are two Gods. Does this not directly contradict the Bible, which states unequivocally that there is only one God? (cf. Isaiah 43:10, 44:6-8, and 45:5).
How can Jesus be a creature himself when the Bible clearly states in John 1:3 that, "All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence"? (emphasis added).
The opening verses of John's Gospel state that Jesus, the Word, was "in the beginning" and that all of creation was made through him. Since Jesus existed before creation, and since time began with the creation of the universe, does it not logically and indisputably follow that Jesus is, like Jehovah, timeless and eternal? The Witness would no doubt agree that Jehovah God alone is a glorious and radiant being, and the Bible is clear that Jehovah does not share his glory with anyone else (cf. Isa. 42:8). Jesus, however, showed at the Transfiguration that he, too, is glorious and radiant (cf. Luke 9:28-31). If Jehovah does not share his glory with anyone, yet Jesus manifested this glory while on earth, does it not follow that the only possible explanation is that Jesus must be Jehovah?
1. Jesus' statement cannot mean simply that he and Jehovah are one "in agreement, purpose, and organization," since the Jews would therefore not have attempted to stone Jesus (see verse 31). By law, the Jews could stone someone to death for blasphemy (see Leviticus 24:16). If Jesus were merely claiming "agreement" with the Father, to stone him would have been illegal according to the Jews' own laws. It is very clear that the Jews here understood Jesus' words to be blasphemous (i.e., he was claiming divinity see verse 33).
2. The NWT reading "in union with" is an erroneous and biased translation. The Greek word en actually translates "in" (see the Kingdom Interlinear). This passage should read: " . . . that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
3. The bracketed word "also" does not appear in the original Greek.
4. The bracketed word "also" does not appear in the original Greek. Additionally, as with the above passage (John 10:37-38), the words here translated "in union with" are an incorrect rendering of the Greek, which actually reads "in." Once again, this passage should read: " . . . that I am in the Father and the Father is in me."
5. The bracketed word "others" does not appear in the original Greek (see the Kingdom Interlinear). It has been inserted by the New World Translation Committee in an attempt to obscure the meaning of this passage, that Jesus is "Lord of all."
6. The Bible teaches that there are only two categories concerning divinity: Either someone is true God by nature (Jehovah), and this is designated by the use of a capital "G" or someone is not true God by nature (a false god) and is designated by the use of a lower case "g." There are a few instances in Scripture where created beings are referred to as "gods," as in the case of the judges of Israel; however, this use never denotes their being true God by nature, but rather that they performed a godlike function.
7. The bracketed word "position" does not appear in the original Greek.
8. The Witnesses have been told that when Thomas says "My Lord" he is speaking to Jesus, and when he says "My God" he is simply making a statement of praise to Jehovah, but the manner in which the text reads renders such an interpretation impossible. The text clearly states that Thomas said these words to him, that is, Jesus.
9. The bracketed word "Son" does not appear in the original Greek (see the Kingdom Interlinear). It has been inserted here by the New World Translation committee to fit its erroneous belief that Jesus is not God, thereby making this passage seem to say other than what it does, namely that the congregation has been purchased by "God's own blood." Since this blood can only refer to Jesus' sacrificial death, the passage is clearly calling him God.
10. The focus of this passage is that Jesus emptied himself of his divinity and took on "a slave's form" (see verse 7). It is in line with this emptying of self and taking on a human nature that he did not deem his equality with God something to be grasped at or "seized." The passage clearly states that even though he was "existing in God's form" (i.e., he was divine by nature), he voluntarily divested himself of his divinity to take on a humble status (see verse 8).
From the point of view of his human nature, Jesus did not try to "seize" (the Greek has the sense of "taking by force") equality with God because to do such would be impossible. Speaking from the point of view of his divine nature, however, Jesus did not need to "seize" equality with God because he already possessed it inherently.
11. The Greek word here translated "divine quality" in actuality means "divinity" (i.e., the fullness of the Godhead). Even the Kingdom Interlinear shows that the word should be translated as "divinity."
12. The bracketed word "the" does not appear in the original Greek. It has been inserted by the New World Translation Committee in an attempt to make this passage appear to be talking about two different people, namely God and Jesus. However, this attempt fails to take into account an important grammatical rule formulated by the Greek scholar, Grandville Sharp. His rule states that when two nouns are joined by a conjunction (such as "and"), and an article precedes the first noun but not the second, the two nouns refer to the same thing or person. This passage should therefore read, " . . . of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."
13. As with the above passage (Titus 2; 13), the bracketed word "the" does not appear in the original Greek. It has been inserted by the New World Translation Committee to make this passage appear to be talking about two different people, rather than just about Christ. The passage here (consult the Kingdom Interlinear for the literal Greek) clearly calls Jesus "God and Savior" Grandville Sharp's rule applies here also.
14. The Greek word houtos is here translated simply "this" ("This is the true God. . . "), but it has the more emphatic meaning of "this person here" In the context of this passage, where Jesus is clearly the subject and focus and where "Jesus" is the grammatical antecedent of houtos, he is undeniably called the "true God."
15. Jesus is the speaker here, and he clearly does not put any limitations on his presence. The spiritual reality indicated here is that wherever or whenever believers are gathered in his name, he is present among them.
16. The passage from Peter's letter is quoting the above-mentioned passage from Isaiah. In Isaiah it refers to Jehovah, while in I Peter it refers to Christ.
17. This passage is particularly significant in that Jesus' words "I am" are the same Greek words (ego eimi) used by Jehovah in Exodus 3:14, Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 43:10 and Isaiah 46:4 as found in the Septuagint. (The bracketed word "he" has been added. The passage literally reads "I am."). Here John shows unequivocally that Jesus is true God, as evidenced by his use of the sacred "I am" and the fact that those within earshot of Jesus fall down upon hearing it.
18. There are many instances in Scripture where Jesus' hearers misunderstand his words, but we always see Jesus responding to such misunderstandings by clarifying what he meant. We see no such reaction by Jesus here, so the Jews obviously understood him correctly.
19. The NWT makes a marginal reference to Leviticus 24:16 at the word "law." This passage in Leviticus says that the Jews may stone someone to death for blasphemy. It is obvious) then, that the Jews here believed Jesus to be guilty of blasphemy: in the Jewish mind, to say you were God's son was to say that you were equal to God.
20. Matthew shows us that the Isaiah passage is fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus (cf. Mark 1:1-6 and Luke 1:76-78). Jesus, then, is clearly called Jehovah. See also Malachi 3:1, where the person speaking is Jehovah's messenger, and compare it with Matthew 11:7-10, where the person speaking is Jesus' messenger.
21. The bracketed word "true" does not appear in the original Greek.
22. The bracketed word "also," which occurs four times in the NWT text, does not appear in the original Greek. It has been intentionally inserted by the New World Translation Committee to make this passage read more in line with Watch Tower theology, namely that Jesus is the first product of Jehovah's creative activity.
23. The preposition tou, here translated "by" ("the creation by God"), is actually the Greek word for "of (see the Kingdom Interlinear). If the author actually wanted to say "by God," he would have used the Greek word hupo, but this word does not appear in the Greek text. If the Jehovah's Witness objects to the above passages on the basis that creation was made by God but through the Son, please note that the Bible also says in Romans 11:36 that creation was made through Jehovah.
Joel S. Peters, who holds a master's degree from Immaculate Conception Seminary, freelances from Mahwah, New Jersey.
© This Rock, Catholic Answers, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177, (619) 541-1131.
© This Rock, Catholic Answers, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177, (619) 541-1131.
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