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  Winstein--8

  Stances on verses

  Omission of pertinent evidence and quotes used out of context
    to create a different conclusion
  Detective work made easy

  JWs leaders' literature on the Trinity
  Early JWs leaders' literature on the Trinity

  "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" Watchtower brochure, 1989 onward
  The word "Trinity" is not in the Bible
  Monotheism
  Firstborn
  Beginning
  Prov.8:22-31
  The Devil tempted/tested Jesus three times
  Ransom
  The company cuts back on beneficiaries
  Only-begotten
  The Son of God
  No one has ever seen God
  Mediator
  Mighty God/Almighty God

  Is God Always Superior to Jesus?
  Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
  Jesus submissive
  This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased
  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  Crucifixion
  What miracles were meant to convey
  The time of the second coming
  Jesus learned obedience
  Jesus at God's right hand
  All in all
  The Father is greater than I

  Holy spirit personal or active force
  God omnipresent or in a location

  Proof verses
  The threefold formula
  I and the father are one
  John 5:18
  Philippians 2:6
  I am
  John 1:1
  My Lord and my God!

  Archangel Michael
  Prayer and worship
  Prayer to Jesus
  Stephen
  Prayer and worship for Jesus
  Latreuo
  Jesus forgave sins
  Criticism for JWs leaders and patience for followers


  Stances on verses

  Various issues are covered, the most notable being that Jesus was prayed to
and worshipped and referred to as the Lord of the Shema, even with "My God and
my Lord" (three of the notable ways 1st century Jews indicated belief in God
were prayer, worship, and the "one God one Lord" Shema, and all three were ap-
plied to Jesus in the NT), the bad case for Jesus = Michael, etc.

  Omission of pertinent evidence and quotes used out of context

  The JWs leaders lost me with their claim of being from a literal 144,000 of
the most righteous of the saved (Rev.14:1-8) (p.1a).  For a sign of God as an
indication of it, I wasn't surprised to find a long history of arbitrary calcu-
lations with enough scriptural meanings hijacked and attached to them to act
like prophets without predicting anything miraculous, and some unscriptural ways
to cover up about it (p.1a), or that such methods would need be used to make
similarly distinctive rulings for salvation about such common old material seem
like they were the most reasonable by the best evidence.

  Besides forced points, the JWs leaders literature sometimes resort to the
omission of pertinent evidence and quotes used out of context to mischaracterize
an author or an issue to refute alternatives and promote the JWs leaders' case
(pp.1a,1c,5,6b,9, and 14).  I need to know what the alternative views are and
deliberate on it, but the JWs leaders' methods makes it take longer.  I have to
weed out the forced points, see what the most reasonable alternative views actu-
ally are, see the difference made in seeing the quotes in context, and see what
the related history actually is.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context

  It also adds to the understanding to have about the JWs leaders making a spe-
cial point of ruling that their followers shouldn't read things that are criti-
cal of them (p.3).

  Most importantly for this article, it shows they not only don't have any Bib-
lical authority to guarantee their distinctive rules about the medical use of
blood, but how cynical it is to claim such authority using such methods aware of
the deaths of followers and their children that have resulted and can still re-
sult.

****


  Detective work made easy

  The use of the phrase "proof text" has been used so often by people taking a
phrase out of context from the Bible to "prove" practically anything they wanted
to might prepare you to feel ready to groan the second your hear someone claim
to have one in trying to prove something new and very exclusive.  For the sort
of conservative interpretation of the Bible the JWs leaders claim to be exclu-
sively good at, some issues require a study of a lot of verses taken with re-
lated history to understand the scriptural and cultural context of them before
you can feel confident about what was most likely originally meant.

  Forced points don't force a case into being stronger, they force it into being
weaker.  Hearing "a rectangle is always a square" wouldn't make me confident I
had a good geometry teacher.

  The thing about forced points that fools some people is that they're partly
true--a rectangle can be a square.  What's deceptive is to know better but say
it has to be one.

  Omission of pertinent evidences and quotes used out of context, used inten-
tionally to create a deception of support, are, by common ethics, forms of lying
and don't indicate a sincere belief in the possible.  The JWs leaders have shown
this in trying to create an impression of support for their unlikely modern ex-
clusive stances.


  I recommend you do your detective work regarding the validity of this point as
brought to bear on JWs leaders' literature that teaches the JWs leaders' dis-
tinctive doctrines they require for salvation.  It's pretty easy:

  - If they quote from a book, look for the book.  I've found obvious examples
of JWs leaders' literature deception to affect exclusiveness as easily as look-
ing into a book the JWs leaders' literature quotes from and seeing the context
of the quote (see "Complaints from reference sources" on pp.1d,4,9, and 14).

  - If they say what others say, see what the most reasonable things are that
others actually say.  Many verses the JWs leaders' literature said were only im-
aginable their way I've found easy to imagine a more reasonable way without ask-
ing anyone (such as the "144,000" verses themselves).

  - if you want to know the related history to know what people of the time
thought a word meant or an idea was, you'll need to look it up yourself.  The
JWs leaders' distinctive stances aren't indicated by early Christian history.
 

  After using all the methods given above, I typically found a stronger case for
a mainstream way being the originally intended view of a conservative interpre-
tation of the Bible (pp.1a,10,12-42). 

  The rest is just the clerical work of collating it.  The hardest part about it
is that they've had so long to publish such things I could have used a newspaper
staff for this.


  Basically, I look to see if it's better indicated that the original view was
Jesus as God's own wisdom personified or archangel Michael, if the holy spirit
was considered personal or not, and leave later Trinity or Arian specifications
to later squabbles of history (p.9).

  Trying to figure out the comparison from JWs leaders' literature alone, though
it makes the pretension of comparing the two views, would not only be the
mistake of trying to render judgment after only hearing one side of the trial,
but of listening to one side that misrepresents the case of the other side.

  Though a non-trinitarian view is only a minority view and not a JWs leaders'
exclusive, the JWs leaders, as when they try to prove any of the distinctive
stances that are meant to set themselves off as the only top spokesmen of a
literal 144,000, misrepresent the comparison.  While making a pretension of com-
paring their views with the mainstream views, the JWs leaders make research
books seem supportive that aren't, misrepresent what the more reasonable main-
stream interpretations of verses are, and leave out related history that's bad
for their case.


  As mentioned on p.1, non-trinitarianism is a minority view but isn't that ex-
clusive, so the JWs leaders have all narrowed the field by requiring their Jesus
be archangel Michael and, since 1954, not be worshipped.  Their literature des-
cribing it as the only reasonable interpretation based on the best evidence
makes it a good source of evidence of the methods described above.

  If I were really going to thoroughly represent both the mainstream and JWs
leaders' views, just covering what each view says about all the verses you have
to consider would take a book all by itself.  Whatever, if anything, you end up
believing about Jesus and the holy spirit, you should be able to see the JWs
leaders' style of guaranteeing things beyond or in contradiction with what the
evidence would normally allow, playing prophet badly to create a 144,000 (p.1a)
exclusiveness, with a few pages of examples.

****


  JWs leaders' literature on the Trinity

  A good example is the JWs leaders' brochure "Should You Believe in the Trini-
ty?"  (Fistfights will be held outside at 6 with some lovely refreshments.)  As
I write this in 2007, it's been used for nearly a generation, since 1989, to
make the JWs leaders' case that an archangel Michael Jesus god who isn't to be
worshipped, and an impersonal holy spirit, are what a conservative view of the
Bible intends, that this is reaffirmed by non-JWs scholars, and that it's indi-
cated as the originally intended view of the Bible scriptures by early related history.  The brochure is at the next four links:
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Watch_Tower_Society_publications

  The JWs leaders' brochure largely makes the case that it is:

  - comparing the JWs leaders' interpretations of some of the pertinent Bible
verses about Jesus ("a god" in a figurative sense about created archangel Mi-
chael as representative of God) and the holy spirit (not personal) with those of
the historical mainstream views of Jesus (a person of God) and the holy spirit
(a person of God) with the intent of showing that the mainstream historical ones
can't have been intended by the writers of the Bible--the JWs leaders' ones
were.

  - showing what recent non-JWs authors say about the historical mainstream
views with the intent of showing that non-JWs authors, too, typically think that
the mainstream historical views of the Bible (not the Bible itself) had to be
corruptions that came from philosophy and other religions and not intended by
the Bible (that there was a great apostasy early on),

  - and that it's presenting the important facts about what history, in the sev-
eral centuries that started with the New Testament times, shows people taught
and believed about Jesus and the holy spirit then with the intent of showing
that they originally had the JWs leaders' views and not the mainstream histori-
cal views (that the JWs leaders restore the original Christian organization).


  The JWs leaders' NWT uses the translations that work better for their doc-
trines, even substituting a lot of words, most notably on these issues, so you
should use another Bible, like the NASB, along with the NWT, for the comparison
(p.6b).  The mainstream historical translations, as in the case of the interpre-
tations, are rejected by the JWs leaders' presentation as unimaginable (see pp.
6b-10).

  Most of the verses used to decide if Jesus is meant as created god archangel
Michael or God, each taken alone and considering translation and interpretation
possibilities (literal or figurative angel, literal or figurative God, personal
spirit or poetic personification about the spirit, etc.) can be imagined as
working for either view pretty easily.  You end up taking a lot of God and per-
sonal traits figuratively, though (point 1 of p.10).

  One way the brochure handles that is to make a number of scriptures out to be
JWs leaders' proof verses.  It forces the JWs leaders' point about a lot of them
likewise (claiming the Bible never calls Jesus God or the holy spirit personal
and such), using forced points about incomprehensibility (bottom of p.7) or the
Prov.8:22-31 phrasing issues (given below), and only letting on a relatively in-
effectual degree of the interpretations for the mainstream historical Jesus and
holy spirit views, or misrepresenting or omitting them.

  It sometimes suggests a challenge to the mainstream view in the form of a
question it doesn't answer as if there isn't known to be any except "it's a mys-
tery."  Actually, that response has a place in regard to either idea of God's
Son and the holy spirit as described at the bottom of p.7, but both views of Je-
sus and the holy spirit have something to say about all the pertinent verses.
The mainstream ones are prevalent and easy to imagine or research (or I couldn't
have done it so easily).  Compare some of the representations in the JWs lead-
ers' brochure, at a link given a few paragraphs below, of the historical main-
steam views with some of the examples given at the next links.

  Trinitarian
  https://books.google.com/books?id=_W142FABnCsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=bowman+putting+jesus+in+his+place&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfo4LY6ovLAhVCWT4KHcrSD-sQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=bowman%20putting%20jesus%20in%20his%20place&f=false

  Binatarian (good for the Jesus aspect of Trinitarianism)
  https://books.google.com/books?id=k32wZRMxltUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=larry+hurtado+how+in+the+world+jesus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3t4Px6YvLAhWKcT4KHYsfAe0Q6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=larry%20hurtado%20how%20in%20the%20world%20jesus&f=false

  The easiest thing to notice about that is that there's such a difference be-
tween what much of the JWs leaders' literature says the mainstream historical
interpretations of verses are and what the most reasonable ones actually are,
and between the JWs leaders' level of research and them feigning that they don't
know what the mainstream view or related history is, that the JWs leaders show
signs of "not God."

****


  Early JWs leaders' literature on the Trinity

  Thanks to the Cult Awareness and Information Centre for most of the quotes in
the next segment.
  http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1151&Itemid=19

  Thanks to the heraldmag.org and ctrussell.us web sites for a lot of the lit-
erature of Charles Taze Russell:
  http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/bsllinks/Russell.htm
  http://www.ctrussell.us/ctrussell/ctrussell.nsf

  Thanks to the strictlygenteel.co.uk web site for a lot of the literature by
Joseph F. Rutherford:
  http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/index2.html

  Thanks to watchtowerdocuments.org and /wtarchive.svhelden.info for copies of
"The Golden Age."
  http://watchtowerdocuments.org/documents/1920-1949.html
  http://wtarchive.svhelden.info/english/the-golden-age/

  Thanks to the Catholic-forum.com web site for a big list of Watchtower publi-
cations.
  http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/jwhistory.html

  Thanks to the Freeminds web site for a lot of the prediction (and other odd)
attempts by Russell and subsequent Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses lead-
ers.  It offers a lot of JWs leaders' literature quotes from the book "Spiritual
Food at the Proper Time" by an elder of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
  http://www.freeminds.org/history/part1.htm

  Thanks to jwfacts.com, wtarchive.svhelden.info, and wiki.jw-archive.org, too:
  http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/historical-publications.php
  http://wtarchive.svhelden.info/english/books-and-tracts/
  http://wiki.jw-archive.org/List+of+Watch+Tower+Publications+by+Year+Published


  Charles Taze Russell

  1898  "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 wor-
shiped, and properly so. … It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in
view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the
creation of all things, including man” (Zion’s Watch Tower," July 15, 1898, p.
216)
  http://jehovah.net.au/worshipjesus.html

  1906  "Moreover, the very words 'Father' and 'Son' imply a difference, and
contradict the thoughts of the Trinity and oneness of person...."

  "How strange that any should attempt to misuse and pervert these our Lord's
words, to make them support the unreasonable and unscriptural doctrine of a
Trinity,--three Gods in ONE PERSON." ("The Atonement Between God and Man--Stud-
ies in the Scriptures, Vol.5," 1906, pp.60,75)

  Charles Russell's story has it he left the Presbyterian church of his par-
ents.  We don't know if it was by his own force....  My point here doesn't have
to be which of the two views of Jesus, etc., you have--God's sole channel should
know what the two views are and tell the truth.  I'm not compromising on that
point.

  A couple of the teachings by Charles Russell, shown in "Studies in the Scrip-
tures," Vol.5, "The At-One-Ment Between God and Man," 1899, are different than
the current JWs leaders' teachings.
  http://wtarchive.svhelden.info/archive/en/publications/1899_CR_SS5_The_Atonement_(1910).pdf

  "(2) At that time, as well as subsequently, he was properly known as "a
god"--a mighty one.  As chief of the angels and next to the Father, he was
known as the Archangel (highest angel or messenger), whose name, Michael, sig-
nifies, 'Who as God,' or God's representative."

  That's still the stance of the JWs leaders.

  "(3) As he was the highest of all Jehovah's creation, so also he was the
first, the direct creation of God, the 'Only Begotten,' and then he, as Jeho-
vah's representative, and in the exercise of Jehovah's power, and in his name,
created all things--angels, principalities and powers, as well as the earthly
creation."

  Charles taught that Michael was imbued with God's power and exercised it him-
self.  The JWs leaders teach that God created Michael then all other things
through Michael, like God healing someone through an apostle.  God alone has the
creative ability and sends it through the apostle to indicate to others that God
sent the apostle as a messenger.  For the apostle or prophet to take credit for
more than that would be a sin, as shown in Moses being punished for striking
the rock twice, etc. (Ex.17:5,6; Num.20:6-12).

  "(6) His resurrection not only restored to him a spirit nature, but in addi-
tion conferred upon him a still higher honor, and, as the Father's reward for
his faithfulness, made him partaker of the divine nature--the very highest of
the spirit natures, possessed of immortality."

  Charles taught that Jesus recieved divine nature after the resurrection.

  1898  "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 wor-
shiped, and properly so. … It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in
view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the
creation of all things, including man” (Zion’s Watch Tower," July 15, 1898, p.
216)
  http://jehovah.net.au/worshipjesus.html

  Charles taught that Jesus was created yet was to be worshipped.  Since 1954,
the JWs leaders have required that Jesus not be worshipped (p.1a).


  Joseph Rutherford

  "Which God gave unto Him.--'The declaration that 'the Son can do nothing of
Himself,' if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from
the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common
thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father.'" ("The Finished Mystery--
Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 7," 1917, p.11).

  Rutherford used obfuscation for misdirection, practiced legitimately by pro-
fessional magicians for entertainment but illegitimately by fake psychics and
false prophets who use trickery but pretend what they did required something su-
pernatural or divine revelation.

  1937  In Rutherford's tract "Uncovered," he gave his side of a debate which
didn't take place between him and Catholic leaders, so he gave his stances un-
contestedly as though decisive.  (It's also quoted from on p.6.)

  On pp.48-53 of "Uncovered," Rutherford gave his stances of opposition to the
Trinity.  His use of select quotes from research material and stances for cer-
tain scriptures (that the mainstream idea isn't as understandable as his and
arose from non-scriptural tradition, "the beginning of God's creation," "My
Father is greater than I," asking "If Jehovah and Jesus are one in person, why
should he pray to himself?," saying that the holy spirit is just God's power,
that Rutherford's ransom idea was needed for salvation, etc.) were the same, if
given briefly, as the ones in the "Should You..." tract published in 1989, so
I'll cover those below and on the pages that section refers to.
  http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/booklets/uncovered.html

  1939  "Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus
is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Of-
ficer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah’s purpose (Heb.:3–6)." ("The Watch-
tower, Nov.15, 1939, p.339)
  http://jehovah.net.au/worshipjesus.html

  Joseph Rutherford, like Russell, taught that Jesus was created yet was to be
worshipped.
 

  Nathan Knorr

  1945  “Now, at Christ’s coming to reign as king in Jehovah’s capital organiza-
tion Zion, to bring in a righteous new world, Jehovah makes him infinitely high-
er than the godly angels or messengers and accordingly commands them to worship
him."  "Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organiza-
tion 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," Oct.15, 1945, p.313)
  http://jehovah.net.au/worshipjesus.html

  Nathan Knorr taught Jesus was created yet was to be worshipped.  Since 1954,
the JWs leaders have required followers not to worship Jesus.

  In "Theocratic Aid To Kingdom Publishers," 1945, p.74, shown at the next link,
  http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/theocraticaid/lesson74.html

  allegedly giving the history of early Christian worship, the JWs leaders
claimed that the earliest post-apostle Christians had the JWs leaders' distinc-
tive views of worship (no evidence exists in related history so none was given)
but were quickly replaced by "fusion Christians"--ones who fused Christianity
with the polytheism of the Roman Empire and paganism, which the JWs leaders al-
lege is the origin of Christendom worship.

  (That isn't the mainstream monotheistic view the early Christians professed or
reason they gave for it, and they continued to be persecuted for only worship-
ping the one God of scriptures--see p.9 of "...GTJ Brooklyn.")

  Then the JWs leaders omitted pertinent evidence by skipping over the testimon-
ies of a couple of centuries of Christians who believed in the mainstream view
of worship, and picked up the story with the JWs leaders' version of Constan-
tine as ending the persecution for not worshipping in polytheism if Christians
accepted this fusion, allegedly the mainstream view, as a compromise.

  (This makes no sense since the mainstream view of worship of the one God of
scriptures was what Christians were persecuted for and remained.  It wasn't Ro-
man polytheism before and didn't become that with Constantine, who reinforced
the mainstream monotheistic view of the Son against the controversial recent
Arian view of Jesus as a separate god.  The JWs leaders' taught two incorrect
origins of the mainstream view, and the reasons alleged for them contradict each
other: how could the Christians have had a polytheistic view despite persecution
to change to a polytheistic view, then agreed to compromise and have the poly-
theistic view if the persecution would end and they already had the polytheistic
view since the early post-apostolic age?)

  The JWs leaders alleged that Constantine was the first Pope.  (A more balanced
view of the early Christian view of the church in Rome is at the next link.)
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope


  1969  "Aid to Bible Understanding," a Watchtower book, was written in 1969 and
revised in 1971.  It was written during Nathan Knorr's presidency and Fred
Franz' vice presidency; Fred's nephew Raymond Franz, then a researcher and writ-
er at Bethel headquarters, helped write it.  (A special thanks to Randy Watters
for a copy of the "Aid...." book.)
  http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/jwhistory.html
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQWovb-PFxE
  http://www.freeminds.org/
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_publications#Aid_to_Bible_Understanding

  It and "Insight on the Scriptures," 1988, a two volume set issued during Fred
Franz' presidency, use the stances given in the tract "Should You Believe in the
Trinity?" 1989.  That tract is currently (2008) on the Internet and easier for
people to check out, so I'll cover those stances in the next section.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_publications#Literature_for_members

  In "Aid....," see "Christian," pp.316,317, "Creation," pp.390.391, "First-
born, Firstling," pp.583,584, "God," p.666, "Jehovah," pp.882-894, "Jesus
Christ," pp.917-933, "Michael," p.1152, "Only-Begotten," pp.1254, "Prayer," pp.
1329-1331, "Ransom, pp.1371-1374, "Spirit," pp.1541-1548, "Word, the," pp.1667-
1670, "Worship," pp.1674,1675, etc.

  Other than a list on p.7 of Bibles used beyond the NWT, credits for the refer-
ence books used are not always given, the material in them isn't always used
representatively, and the "Aid...." author's names aren't given at all.  Refer-
ence books and credits are handled the same way with the "Insight...." books and
the "Should You...." tract, too.


  1970  "Ask the student, 'How many Jehovahs are there?'  Let him answer.  The
answer is obvious that there is only one Jehovah.  When he discerns this, you
have caused him to register an important fact in his mind that he might other-
wise have missed.  Help him to appreciate further what this means to him.  Rea-
son with him, perhaps in this way: 'If he is one Jehovah, then could he be three
gods, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, as the Trinitarians
teach?'"  "You have also exposed a basic false doctrine--the doctrine of the
Trinity." ("The Watchtower," April 1, 1970, p.210)

  Again, the JWs leaders claim to be God's sole channel of information on
Earth....  I'm starting to understand how some JWs ran into mainstream histor-
ical Christians who said, "It's a mystery," though.

****


  Fred Franz, Milton Henschel, and Don Adams

  1989 to present  The Watchtower brochure "Should You Believe in the Trinity?"
was written during Fred Franz' presidency and is still is use.
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Watch_Tower_Society_publications

  This brochure starts out with a summary of the Trinity similar to how it was
defined, to distinguish the mainstream views from the recent views of a created
Jesus and impersonal holy spirit, at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Constantinople

  "Various Trinitarian concepts exist. But generally the Trinity teaching is
that in the Godhead there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet,
together they are but one God.  The doctrine says that the three are coequal,
almighty, and uncreated, having existed eternally in the Godhead."

  The brochure then tries to make a case to persuade the reader to commit to the
JWs leaders' view--basically, the Macedonian one the decree defined the main-
stream view to not be, except adding the stipulation that Jesus is archangel Mi-
chael and not to be worshipped.  The reader is asked to believe that the JWs
leaders are comparing their explanations to what the mainstream historical ones
are regarding the scriptures and early Christian history.

  Like most other non-trinitarian Bible-based religions, their view is a recent
minority view meant to be established by modern prophets (p.1a), but it's not
the only such non-trinitarian religion (p.1).  I guess the exclusiveness is
meant to be established by requiring Jesus to be identified as archangel Mi-
chael and not be worshipped, and the collection of reasons and versions of his-
tory the JWs leaders give, since you probably won't find all of those used by
other non-trinitarians.


  For the representation of non-JWs meant to show general scholarly support of
the JWs leaders' views on the subject, and the representation of the early
church fathers, made by the brochure, see p.9.

  For Hellenism (the influence of Greek culture) and Middle Platonism, see p.9.

  For some of the NWT translation distinctions ("a god," etc.), see p.6b.

  For what I call "the understandability issue," which comes up or is implied
now and then, see p.7.

  There are forced points about only being able to imagine the JWs leaders' out-
looks for a variety of verses about the Father, Son, and holy spirit in a pre-
tense of comparing the JWs leaders' views with the mainstream historical ones.
Therefore, practically every page claims to show you the comparison but the com-
parison doesn't happen.

  (In my GTA walk-throughs, I refer to Skimmer weenies.  The JW leaders probably
made a false impression about the comparative views of the Trinity on various
points to mislead and persuade potential JWs leaders' literature customers to
their view, but they sound like theological Skimmer weenies.  You can't compare
the two views till you know what they are, and it's not hard to do.  But Skimmer
weenies may influence the game developers to schmutz up subsequent editions of
the game...to use the theological term "schmutz.")

****


  The word "Trinity" is not in the Bible
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  Neither the word "Trinity" nor "Arianism" (p.9) appear in the Bible.  Arianism
is the first known view partly like the JWs leaders' view in having a created
Jesus, "Arianism" being a word arrived at a little later than "Trinity."  "Mac-
edonian" (p.9) doesn't appear in the Bible, either.  The Macedonian view was
more like the JWs leaders' view in having a created holy spirit, "Macedonian"
being a word which showed up even later.

  If the JWs leaders ever get around to giving the JWs leaders' version, with
Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah "god" who appeared invisibly to all since
1914 (p.1a) and was called "Lord" too much (p.6b) and not "Michael" at all, a
name, that's when a name for that will show up.

  The important thing is that the name and its explanation should describe the
Bible topic accurately.  For the JWs leaders' view, it would include disputed
things like that there is only one archangel and archangels are higher quality
beings than angels, what Jews were doing in the first century AD with the old
Canaanite "gods" idea (p.6b) and describing their god, who's partial to identify-
ing himself with "ego eimi," as part of the Shema with prayer and worship as a
way to indicate an angel none of them will directly name even under threat of
stoning, how nobody at the time was familiar with the idea of God's own wisdom
personified in wisdom literature, and that the word for "spirit" simply meant
"power."
 
****

  The next batch is from p.6 of the online version of the JWs leaders' brochure.
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  Monotheism

  The JWs leaders continue:

  "THE Bible teaching that God is one is called monotheism.  And L. L. Paine,
professor of ecclesiastical history, indicates that monotheism in its purest
form does not allow for a Trinity: 'The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic.
God is a single personal being.  The idea that a trinity is to be found there...
is utterly without foundation."

  "Was there any change from monotheism after Jesus came to the earth?  Paine
answers: 'On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New.
The monotheistic tradition is continued.  Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish
parents in the Old Testament scriptures.  His teaching was Jewish to the core;
a new gospel indeed, but not a new theology....  And he accepted as his own be-
lief the great text of Jewish monotheism: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is
one God.'"

  "Those words are found at Deuteronomy 6:4.  The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible
(NJB) here reads: 'Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh.'*
In the grammar of that verse, the word 'one' has no plural modifiers to suggest
that it means anything but one individual."


  The JWs leaders criticize the mainstream historical view as though it was a
violation of how the OT defines monotheism, which is belief in one God.

  See p.7: the mainstream Christian view is monotheism and is not only recon-
ciled with scriptures on the topic but requires that monotheism be the required
view as a part of understanding it properly.

  The distinction the JWs leaders describe is an argument about what's possible
with one God, which they occasionally ironically couch in the terms of an argu-
ment that there's one and not more gods.  There have been a variety of Jewish
and mainstream Christians ideas about what's possible with that one God, but the
JWs leaders force the point that their definition is made clear by the OT (as
they do with any of their specialties, like what year Jesus invisibly appeared,
that their ideas of prayer and worship through Michael were held by 1st century
Jewish monotheism vs. beliefs in gods, etc., regarding either testament).
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_simplicity
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism#Christianity
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_principles_of_faith
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monad_%28philosophy%29

  The JWs stance on the point isn't defined as a requirement by scriptures about
one God who can understand everyone's thoughts and hearts.  The OT verses don't
analyze and define that aspect of God much one way or another for a subsequent
view to be beholding to.

  But, to put one of the ideas on the bottom of p.7 real simply, if God can do a
billions thing like that, He can do a three thing.  If He can't do the three
thing, how can He do the billions thing?  (I don't mean to fly over people's
heads and try to gain points with sheer intellectual philosophical profundity.)
If not the three thing, then how the billions?  If He can't do either, then to
pray to Him we're going to have to get in line and take turns, and I don't think
that's right.

  See the bottom of p.7 regarding the word "one," which the JWs leaders are try-
ing to get a little too much mileage from.

  Part of the understanding of the Trinity or the JWs leaders' view involves OT
verses to be reconciled with, such as prophesy about Jesus, understanding that
the OT Canaanite idea of gods was brought up to be judged against by God (p.6b),
the Prov.8:22-31 "God and Wisdom" phrasing possible about God's own wisdom (John
1:1, etc.), and that the Shema, belief in one God and one Lord, remained one of
the few most important ways to distinguish belief in one God in first century
Jewish monotheism, important to remember since various NT verses incorporate Je-
sus into a Christian version of the Shema (1 Cor.8:6, others).  The mainstream
view regularly sees a combination of the "God and Wisdom" and "one God and one
Lord" phrasing with "one God and one Lord Jesus"-type verses.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism#Judaism
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shema_Yisrael

  See p.6b and below: the JWs leaders' view is monolatrism or soft polytheism/
inclusive monotheism--belief in God and a god or gods the followers honor, no-
table in this case because the "god" is prayed to and worshipped/treated with
obeisance (John 1:1 in the NWT; Heb.1:6; Ex.34:14; Acts 7:59; Col.2:18, Acts 7:
59,60; Matt.28:17, others), and referred to as a part of "one God and one Lord"
Shema-type phrasing (John 20:28; 1 Cor.8:6, others).  That outlook of the JWs
leaders' view creates problems with scriptures.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monolatrism
  http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/monotheism/
  http://atheism.about.com/od/religioncomparativestudy/a/Indifferentism-Religion-Tolerance.htm
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henotheism

****


  Firstborn
  http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm

  The brochure asks if Jesus was part of the Godhead in his pre-human existence
and answers itself ("Don't interrupt, I'm having a rhetorical conversation"--
"The Producers," 1968): "No, for the Bible plainly states that in his prehuman
existence, Jesus was a created spirit being, just as angels were spirit beings
created by God.  Neither the angels nor Jesus had existed before their crea-
tion."  "Jesus, in his prehuman existence, was "the first-born of all creation."
(Colossians 1:15, NJB)
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Producers_%281968_film%29

  Prototokos: Firstborn (Col.1:15) means the "most important first offspring" or
just figuratively "most important."  Joseph called Ephraim his firstborn, etc.
(Gen.41:51,52), though Ephriam wasn't his first son (also see Jer.31:9; Col.1:
15-18; Rom.8:29; Heb.12:23; Rev.1:5).  Thanks to Vine's Expository Dictionary of
New Testament Words.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001056
  http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/CONGRK441.htm#S4416

  Another example of firstborn meaning most important, not the numerical first
one of a sequence, is regarding King David, who wasn't Jesse’s first child or
the first king of Israel but God called him his "firstborn" of the kings of the
Earth at Psalms 89:27: "I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the
kings of the earth."  He would be the heir to the status of "most important" of
a firstborn.

  The idea of a firstborn son being the first of importance led to a figurative
use in which a firstborn was just the most important--that they had importance
as if they came before the other one(s).  (Also see John 1:3: Jesus is before
all things.)

  At Job 18:13, the "firstborn of death" isn't the first disease created but the
most important in its effects.

  The context of Col.1:15 says a lot without me editorializing:

  Firstborn: "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all
creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--
all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and
in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church; he is
the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-
eminent.  For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through
him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making
peace by the blood of his cross." (Col.1:15-20, NASB)

  According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Jesus being
the "image" of the invisible God (see the section below on "holy spirit" regard-
ing the definition of "spirit" as the invisible being of someone) indicates Je-
sus is an exact representation of God's invisible spirit--the mainstream idea of
Jesus, not merely someone with a resemblance to God in some regards as with a
creation such as an alleged god, which could only perfectly abide by what he was
told to do.  This is connected to the coverage of John 1:1 below.

  "All things were created through him and for him" attributes to Jesus what God
claims about creating all things for Himself at Is.48:11-14:

  "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
  For how can My name be profaned?
  And My glory I will not give to another.
  Deliverance Promised
  Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
  I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
  Surely My hand founded the earth,
  And My right hand spread out the heavens."

  Both views of Jesus have him born to Mary but don't see "firstborn" as refer-
ring to that.  Both views see Jesus as existing before that, and both take
"firstborn" figuratively.  The mainstream view emphasizes that a being born of
another is the same quality being (God) and the JWs leaders' view emphasizes
that it's a separate being (archangel Michael).

  The JWs leaders' brochure takes "born" figuratively to mean "created."  If it
were intended to express that clearly, "first created" would be "proto-tiktos."
The rest of the Colossians passage has Jesus before all things which were
created through him, too, which makes it a bad choice for an attempt at a JWs
leaders' proof verse: "for in him all things were created, in heaven and on
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or
authorities--all things were created through him and for him."  That's not how
to identify Jesus as archangel Michael.

  The JWs leaders' NWT adds "other" (p.6b) with the forced point that context
requires it (the JWs leaders' concerns of p.7, or described in the section be-
low on Prov.8:22-31, applied to translation), and the JWs leaders' interpreta-
tion of it, to create a JWs leaders' impression that all "other" things were
created through a created Jesus.

  Considering the mainstream view that ensued, the JWs leaders' stance is weak
in having God leave such an important distinction up to people imagining an ex-
tra word, and the JWs leaders' required interpretation of it, when they didn't,
there's no reason, JWs leaders' forced points cleared from the deliberation,
they had to, and God could have had it written to make sure they did (pp.9,10).

  What was written to make the distinction clear is at John 1:3: "All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."  Making
the JWs leaders' stance clear would be easy: having it written that all things
"except for archangel Michael" were created through him, archangel Michael, and
that without him "only one thing was created: him."  Various lines in Isaiah
would would have said that "just one god" instead of "no god" was with God in
creation, too.  They were written the mainstream way, though.  

  If you imagine God to have meant the JWs leaders' view to be clear, He would
have phrased it differently in more ways than by adding "other" because God
could be said to have created everything "other" than Himself.  A simple consis-
tent reference to archangel Michael without aka Jesus, or "Jesus is archangel
Michael" and leaving out all the God and God-like things, would do it but it
wasn't written that way.

****


  Beginning
  http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm

  Rev.3:14  Jesus is the beginning--arkhe (or "arche")--of God's creation.  The
JWs leaders' brochure says "arkhe" couldn't mean "beginner."

  According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, "The root
arch primarily indicated what was of worth.  Hence the verb archo meant 'to be
first,' and archon denoted 'a ruler.'  So also arose the idea of 'a beginning,'
the origin, the active cause, whether a person or thing, e.g., Col. 1:18. In
Heb. 2:3 the phrase 'having at the first been spoken' is, lit., 'having re-
ceived a beginning to be spoken.'  In 2 Thess. 2:13 ('God chose you from the
beginning'), there is a well supported alternative reading, 'chose you as
first-fruits' (i.e., aparchen, instead of ap' arches).  In Heb. 6:1, where the
word is rendered 'first principles,' the original has 'let us leave the word of
the beginning of Christ,' i.e., the doctrine of the elementary principles re-
lating to Christ."
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000249
  http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/STRGRK7.htm#S746

  God is called "arkhe" at Rev.21:5-7.

  "Beginning" can be thought to refer to the beginning (first thing created) of
creation (Jesus as archangel Michael in the JWs leaders' view of Wisdom in Prov.
8:22-31).

  "Beginning" can be thought to be the first and only thing used for creation,
the active cause of it, God's own Wisdom, Jesus, who has priority over creation
(Jesus as God's Wisdom in the mainstream view of Prov.8:22-31).

****


  Prov.8:22-31
  http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm

  This is a pretty important section to understand.  A big percentage of the
reasons the JWs leaders use to tell the reader to see verses their way are real-
ly just one reason: the JWs leaders feign that they don't understand the main-
stream way to interpret Prov.8:22-31 and related imaginable phrasing for identi-
fication.

  Jesus is called wisdom at 1 Corinthians 1:24: "Christ the power of God and the
wisdom of God."

  The JWs leaders interpret Prov.8:22-31 to mean archangel Michael, later to ap-
pear as Jesus, is Wisdom, was created, and was an agent God used to create ev-
erything else.

  In both views, only God can create something from only His own power.

  In the JWs leaders' view, God would have sent this power through archangel Mi-
chael as in healing through an apostle--to indicate to others that the apostle
was a messenger sent by God.

  Verse 22 in the JWs leaders' NWT:

  "Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his
achievements of long ago."


  The JWs leaders' view isn't the view people had for the passage up to and into
the apostolic age.  They thought it was about wisdom symbolically personified as
a woman in chapters 1, 7, 8, and 9 (in the NT, wisdom is personified that way at
Matt. 11:19, Luke 7:35, and 11:49), with wisdom at 8:22-31 continuing the sym-
bolism of God's own wisdom as it was used in creation, and no one was literally
with Him.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0003361
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000608
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_literature

  At Prov.8:22, where the NWT has "produced," the Septuagint has "ektise," from
"ktizo," sometimes translated "created."
  http://www.christsaginaw.com/webdocs/Proverbs%208%20Wisdom%20and%20Christ.pdf
  http://www.equip.org/article/who-is-wisdom-in-proverbs-8/
  http://thriceholy.net/christ.html
  http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6078

  The word that would have been used to make the JWs leaders' view clear in He-
brew, the usual Hebrew word for "create," bara', isn't used there.  Bara' is
used at Gen.1:1 (creation of heaven and Earth), 1:21 (creation of sea and land
animals; plants aren't considered living things the same way in Genesis), and 1:
27 (creation of man), to refer to creating something new.

  The Hebrew word that's used in Prov.8:22 is qanah, which appears 84 times in
the Old Testament and nearly always means "to get, acquire."  It means "pos-
sessed" at Gen.39:1; Ex.21:2; Prov.4:5,7; 23:23; Eccl.2:7; Isa.1:3 ["owner"].
  http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/qanah.html
  http://answering-islam.org/BibleCom/prov8-22-31.html

  "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
         Before His works of old." (NASB)

  The NASB has "fathered" as an alternative, with "created" for the Septuagint,
in a footnote.

  Qanah is also translated "gotten" (Gen.4:1), "purchased" (Gen. 25:10; 33:19,
47:20, 50:13), and "possessor" (Gen.14:19).

  The Septuagint sometimes uses "ktizo" to translate "bara."  It can also mean
"found, ordain, or establish" (Liddell and Scott, Intermediate Greek-English
Lexicon.)  The related word "ktisis" means "ordinance" at 1 Pet.2:13.

  If the mainstream view considers the "created" possibility, it can combine
"possessed" and "created" regarding God using His own wisdom similar to a wise
person, someone possessing wisdom, having a thought to do something wise being a
case of them creating wisdom, not a separate external thing he produced or indi-
cating it's the first wise thought he ever had.  Otherwise, it would take the
metaphor about the eternally wise God, the sole creator, the wrong way.

  The Septuagint version is that God ordained Wisdom as the beginning ("arche,"
see the section on "Beginning," which can mean the creative cause) of creation.
This would likewise mean that at the time of creation, God made wisdom the cause
of creation.

  The early church fathers knew Greek and had the mainstream view of Jesus (p.9)
and saw Prov.8:22-31 as referring to Jesus, so also had such an interpretation
of the Septuagint at Prov.8:22-31; it's certain they didn't have the JWs lead-
ers' version in mind.  Irenaeus, for example, explained his mainstream view of
both the Son, called "wisdom" at 1 Cor.1:24, and the holy spirit, also called
"wisdom" at Eph.1:17, with Prov.3:19,20 and 8:22-31 (p.9).
  http://thriceholy.net/christ.html

  The Bible doesn't call Jesus or Wisdom "archangel Michael" anywhere to give
the reader a reason to make the JWs leaders' case about Prov.8:22-31, though.
It gives God as the sole creator who had no one with Him in creation (see p.6b
and below in this segment) as a reason not to make the JWs leaders' case.


  Likewise, in "The Wisdom of Ben Sira" (or "The Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach"
or just "Sirach"), also called "Ecclesiasticus," 180–175 BC, God's own wisdom is
personified, given as with Him (similar to God with Logos at John 1:1), praised,
and it's praised in people as originating with God, not a separate being.

  http://st-takla.org/pub_Deuterocanon/Deuterocanon-Apocrypha_El-Asfar_El-Kanoneya_El-Tanya__5-Wisdon-of-Joshua-Son-of-Sirach.html
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Sira

  1:1-5  "All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is
before all time.  Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain,
and the days of the world?  Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the
breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?  Who hath searched out the
wisdom of God that goeth before all things?  Wisdom hath been created before all
things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.  The word of God on
high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments."

  15:10  "For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of
God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth, and the sovereign Lord will give
praise unto it."

   24:5-10  "I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all
creatures: I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never fail-
eth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth: I dwelt in the highest places, and
my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.  I alone have compassed the circuit of
heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the
waves of the sea, And have stood in all the earth: and in every people, And in
every nation I have had the chief rule."

 (Compare Job 28:20-24.  For "firstborn," see the segment on it and Col.2:15
above.)

  42:18:22  "He hath searched out the deep, and the heart of men: and considered
their crafty devices.  For the Lord knoweth all knowledge, and hath beheld the
signs of the world, he declareth the things that are past, and the things that
are to come, and revealeth the traces of hidden things.  No thought escapeth
him, and no word can hide itself from him.  He hath beautified the glorious
works of his wisdom: and he Is from eternity to eternity, and to him nothing may
be added, Nor can he be diminished, and he hath no need of any counsellor."


  In the "Book of the Wisdom" (or "Wisdom" or "Book of the Wisdom of Solomon"),
1st or 2nd century BC, at 9:9-11, God's own wisdom is personified and said to be
with him (similar to Logos at John 1:1) and sent to people:
  http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

  "With thee is wisdom, who knows thy works and was present when thou didst make
the world, and who understand what is pleasing in thy sight and what is right
according to thy commandments.  Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from
the throne of thy glory send her, that she may be with me and toil, and that I
may learn what is pleasing to thee.  For she knows and understands all things,
and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me with her glory."


  As mentioned above, the JWs leaders' view sees Jesus as the first created be-
ing, archangel Michael, God created all other things through to indicate that
archangel Michael was a messenger/angel sent by God (or the most important one
sent by Him or such).

  This would be like God healing through an apostle to indicate to others that
the apostle was sent by God.  By both the mainstream and JWs leaders' views,
only God has the ability to create something from nothing but His own power.
The apostle used for a healing has no ability to create like that of his own.
God would create a healing through the apostle as a sign to others that God sent
the apostle as a messenger of God.


  The weakness of the JWs leaders' stance in applying this to archangel Michael
as Wisdom at Prov.8:22-31 is that God repeatedly denied the existence of anyone
being with him in creation, which is to deny that the JWs leaders' method was
used.

  Isaiah 40:28

  "Do you not know? Have you not heard?
  The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
  Does not become weary or tired
  His understanding is inscrutable." (NASB)

  At Isaiah 44:6-8,24, God says no one was with Him while he created the world.
This isn't how God would create through Michael to have others know God sent him
as His messenger.

  Isaiah 44:24 

  "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,
  'I, the LORD, am the maker of all things,
  Stretching out the heavens by Myself
  And spreading out the earth all alone.'" (NASB)

  (NWT: "I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself,
laying out the earth.  Who was with me?")

  At Job 9:8,9, God is the one

  "Who alone stretches out the heavens
  And tramples down the waves of the sea;
  Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades,
  And the chambers of the south." (NASB)

   The same idea, of it being important to first century Jewish and Christian
monotheism to give God alone credit for creation, is found at Deut.32:39; 2
Kings 17:35; Psalms 33:6-9; Is.44:6,24; and Rom.4:17.


  The mainstream historical view sees God as alone before creating everything
then creating everything on His own.  It's important for monotheism to distin-
guish God as the sole being with this ability and get sole credit for how every-
thing came to exist, which is one of the main reasons God was worshipped and
main ways the worship of Jewish monotheism in the first century AD was distinct
from surrounding religions.

  At Prov.8:22-31, the mainstream view, that God possessed wisdom and was alone
in creation, is better indicated.  The Bible indicates the way Jesus was a part
of the creation process:

  The mainstream historical view notes that Psalms 102:25-27, about God creating
heaven and Earth and being immutable...

  "In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are
the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear
out like a garment.  Like clothing you will change them and they will be dis-
carded.  But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

  ...is simply applied to Jesus as well at Heb.1:8-12 (applied without the qual-
ifying explanation that would have been used if the JWs leaders' view of Jesus
was intended):

   "But of the Son he says, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the right-
eous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness and
hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of
gladness beyond thy comrades.'

  "And, 'Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are
the work of thy hands; they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow
old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be
changed.  But thou art the same, and thy years will never end.'"

  (For "Thy throne, O God" the NWT has "God is thy throne."  See the section on
"God is thy throne" on p.6b.)

  If what was meant was the JWs leaders' view of Michael as a passive partici-
pant in creation God created through just to indicate Michael was a messenger He
sent, only God possessing the ability to speak something into being with nothing
more than His own ability, using the same phrase used to describe God as the
eternal creator and applying it to Jesus isn't how you'd do it.  But if what was
meant was the mainstream view, it would be.


  Col.1:15-17  "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--
all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together."

  An important honor, glory, to see here is the honor for the one who created
heaven and Earth.

  Heb.3:1-4  "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consid-
er Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him
who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.  For He has been counted
worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has
more honor than the house.  For every house is built by someone, but the builder
of all things is God."

  John 17:1,5   "Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He
said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify
You."  "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I
had with You before the world was."

  Isaiah 42:5-8

  "Thus says God the LORD,
  Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
  Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
  Who gives breath to the people on it
  And spirit to those who walk in it,
  'I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness,
  I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
  And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
  As a light to the nations,
  To open blind eyes,
  To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
  And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
  I am the LORD, that is My name;
  I will not give My glory to another,
  Nor My praise to graven images." (NASB)

  Isaiah 48:11-13

  "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
  For how can My name be profaned?
  And My glory I will not give to another.
  Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
  I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
  Surely My hand founded the earth,
  And My right hand spread out the heavens;
  When I call to them, they stand together." (NASB)


  Prov.8:22-31 and God and Jesus verses

  This is also noteworthy in this comparison of Jesus views in establishing a
precedent for seeing the people of the time as being able to imagine God's own
wisdom personified and referred to in "God and Wisdom"-type phrases and related
pronoun possibilities, which become a concern regarding the mainstream histori-
cal view of "God and Jesus"-type verses, including God and Logos at John 1:1.

  By the mainstream view of Jesus, Jesus could be given his own designation,
Wisdom, Logos, or Jesus, and refer to the rest of God as God.

  The original view is the one used by the mainstream view.  The JWs leaders'
view is imaginable but it calls for an identification of Wisdom as archangel Mi-
chael that wasn't stated in the Bible (see the section below on "Archangel Mi-
chael") or known in early Christian history (p.9).

  This matter of the mainstream view using Prov.8:22-31 God and Wisdom phrasing
comes up in the matter of related philosophy, too, because God and Wisdom is
similar to the Platonism idea of the Demiurge and Logos.  Usually, though, the
idea is that John probably saw middle Platonism was popular in Greek culture,
saw the God and Wisdom/Demiurge and Logos similarity, and used their word Logos
to define it his own way to express his Jesus idea.  Despite JWs leaders' mis-
use of research material (p.9) to create the impression that the mainstream view
originated in non-scriptural philosophy, the notable imaginable connection is in
John using the word Logos, which is bad for the JWs leaders' case because it
would further indicate John had the mainstream view in mind, not archangel Mi-
chael, for Jesus at John 1:1.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

  Similarly, the holy spirit is called wisdom at Eph.1:17, and the mainstream
view sees him as carrying the "God and Wisdom" pronoun possibilities, etc.

  As shown in many of the subsequent examples on this page, the mainstream view
sees the "God and Jesus" verses using the various ways of phrasing imaginable
for the Prov.8: 22-31 "God and Wisdom" idea of the Jews and Christians.  As you
can often find in the JWs leaders' brochure, the con often used by the JWs writ-
ers, who teach that Wisdom is Michael, is to pretend to fault the mainstream
view use of that phrasing by feigning that they don't know where it came from
after over a century of thinking about it.

  That's not the MO of an especially righteous 144,000 (p.1a).  An especially
exclusively righteous person has to know what the two views are and tell the
truth about them if they're going to compare them.  The only thing the JWs lead-
ers' method is good for is pretending to be exclusive in a way neither you nor I
would do.

****


  The Devil tempted/tested Jesus three times
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  Matt.4:1-10  Regarding the Devil tempting or testing Jesus, the JWs leaders'
brochure argues that the mainstream historical Jesus isn't indicated because God
couldn't rebel against himself so the Devil wouldn't try to tempt Him to do it
(James 1:13).

  "AT MATTHEW 4:1, Jesus is spoken of as being 'tempted by the Devil.'  After
showing Jesus 'all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,' Satan said: 'All
these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.'
(Matthew 4:8, 9) Satan was trying to cause Jesus to be disloyal to God.

  "But what test of loyalty would that be if Jesus were God? Could God rebel
against himself? No, but angels and humans could rebel against God and did. The
temptation of Jesus would make sense only if he was, not God, but a separate in-
dividual who had his own free will, one who could have been disloyal had he
chosen to be, such as an angel or a human.

  "On the other hand, it is unimaginable that God could sin and be disloyal to
himself. 'Perfect is his activity...A God of faithfulness,...righteous and up-
right is he.' (Deuteronomy 32:4) So if Jesus had been God, he could not have
been tempted.—James 1:13.

  "Not being God, Jesus could have been disloyal. But he remained faithful, say-
ing: 'Go away, Satan! For it is written, "It is Jehovah your God you must wor-
ship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service."'—Matthew 4:10."

  (Charles Russell used the same argument intending to show the Trinity to be
untrue: "Such should conclude, too, that since we read that God cannot be
tempted of any, it was only a farce when Jesus was tempted of Satan."  "Watch-
tower Reprints," Aug.15, 1915, p.5749)

  The JWs leaders here try to get some persuasive mileage out of their forced
point described in the previous section by applying it to a passage it doesn't
even apply to.  For the JWs leaders to claim this passage as a decisive factor
in their favor isn't a forced point--a rectangle has to be a square, it's a non-
sequitor--a rectangle has to be a circle.

  By either view of Jesus, Jesus wouldn't give in inwardly to sin and the Devil
wouldn't have to know everything about Jesus' identity.  This passage isn't much
use to decide between the two Jesus ideas with, but the JWs leaders have been
feigning that it does for about a century.

  This occurs at the start of Jesus' ministry, and the least the Devil needs to
know about Jesus for this scene to happen are some of the basics of Jesus' mis-
sion--not everything about his identity.  As a fallen angel, the Devil wouldn't
be in God's inside circle to know everything God planned.  Even Jesus' apostles
took several years, till near the end of Jesus' ministry on Earth, to figure
that out.  Part of the Devil testing Jesus is meant as a way of determining who
he is and what he could get him to do: "If you are the Son of God...." (Matt.4:
3,6; Luke 4:3,9)
 
  The JWs leaders are ironic here regarding their own terms.  After they make
so many forced points that the scriptures don't indicate the Trinity, it
shouldn't be hard for them to imagine that the mainstream view is that the Devil
didn't know Jesus was God.

  James 1:13 refers to God not being tempted in not wanting to go against His
own word--it doesn't mean it in the sense that nobody could attempt to tempt
Him.  The Devil could try, especially if he wasn't sure who Jesus was and was
trying to draw him out to figure it out.

  Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words has a good coverage of it
at the next link.  Jesus suffered being tempted, but didn't inwardly give in to
wanting to sin (1 Cor.5:21), which in itself would be sin.  
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002932

  Heb.4:15  "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without
sin." (NASB)

  By either view of Jesus, the Devil tempted him.  Jesus suffered such ordeals
but didn't succumb to the urge to sin.  That archangel Michael could have is a
distinction but not one that's required to make sense of any of the scriptures.

  God has let the Devil have his way as a symbol or champion of disbelief about
God and of the unethical selfishness of the world, the (false) god of it (2 Cor.
4:4), but the world was never primarily the Devil's to offer.  God allows it
with his prerogative.  Likewise, God will choose when to use any miraculous
ability (change rocks to bread or catch someone who falls) of His and not be
told when by the Devil.  With either idea of Jesus, Jesus would brush off the
Devil's pretension of being in a position to bargain, with either the world or
God's choice to intervene in it, give the Devil God's word in response each
time, and rebuke the Devil as egotistical regarding God's rulership.

  Jesus refers to the Devil as the ruler of the world at John 14:30: "I will not
speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has noth-
ing in Me." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' version of Jesus would be indicated if Jesus clearly ex-
plained (even once) that he was archangel Michael in human form--in this case,
that he didn't want to be demoted to be the fallen angel that replaces the Devil
in having temporary "rulership" of those who are against God, which wouldn't be
much of a bargain for archangel Michael.

  ****


  Ransom
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The JWs leaders use their unique Jesus stance for a unique stance on ransom
and the meaning of the crucifixion.

  "ONE of the main reasons why Jesus came to earth also has a direct bearing on
the Trinity.  The Bible states: 'There is one God, and one mediator between God
and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.'—
1 Timothy 2:5, 6.

  "Jesus, no more and no less than a perfect human, became a ransom that compen-
sated exactly for what Adam lost—the right to perfect human life on earth.  So
Jesus could rightly be called 'the last Adam' by the apostle Paul, who said in
the same context: 'Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will
be made alive.' (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45) The perfect human life of Jesus was
the 'corresponding ransom' required by divine justice—no more, no less. A basic
principle even of human justice is that the price paid should fit the wrong com-
mitted."


  Part of the JWs leaders' criticism of the mainstream view involves the JWs
leaders' forced points about the phrasing of some of the verses.  The mainstream
view sees "God and mediator" as another of the phrases it sees the way it sees
"God and wisdom" phrases as described above in the section on Prov.8:22-31.

  Otherwise, the JWs leaders' view takes the position that a sinless man (Mi-
chael as Jesus) is the equal substitute for a sinless man (Adam as he was orig-
inally)--God in human form would be more than needed.

  Actually, less than needed would be a problem in paying a debt but more than
needed wouldn't be.  Not that the mainsteam view sees the debt as paid with more
than needed, and a sinless man is involved in the solution for a problem that
involved a sinless man, but it sees more in another important way the JWs lead-
ers' neglect.

  In trying to establish that the mainstream historical Son sacrifice would be
more than needed to pay the ransom, the JWs leaders' restrict the sacrifice...

  - as made for Adam's sin, which Adam paid for by death and wouldn't benefit
from the sacrifice for (Eve was fooled but Adam sinned intentionally--they both
had to die, though, and Eve got birth pains and menstrual cramps as well though
she was less culpable, but this was before Eve could get a lawyer), yet has
someone else make up for it for him,

  - and leaves out that God made it so that all the offspring of the first two
sinners would be of inherent sin and die with no way of their own to get out of
the deal, something Adam and Eve weren't told beforehand could result so can't
be held responsible for.  God wasn't required to do it, but used His prerogative
to handle it that way.

  Gen.3:16-19

  "To the woman He said,
  'I will greatly multiply
  Your pain in childbirth,
  In pain you will bring forth children;
  Yet your desire will be for your husband,
  And he will rule over you.' 

  Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not
eat from it";
  Cursed is the ground because of you;
  In toil you will eat of it
  All the days of your life.
  "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
  And you will eat the plants of the field;
  By the sweat of your face
  You will eat bread,
  Till you return to the ground,
  Because from it you were taken;
  For you are dust,
  And to dust you shall return.'" (NASB)

  In Mosaic law, followers asked for forgiveness by sacrificing the lives of the
animals they owned to say they were sorry to God for their sins.  For causing
human death in a way God didn't allow or require, animal sacrifice couldn't be
used for forgiveness, though--the one who caused the death got the death penal-
ty.  Acts 13:38,39 indicates the Mosaic law system was a way of forgiveness that
wouldn't work as the crucifixion was meant to, which was God's prerogative, too.

  "Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness
of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him every one that believes is freed from
everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38,
39; also 1 Tim.1:1,15) (NASB)

  See the next link for "Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words" on
the Greek word "lutron"--"ransom":
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002299

  As explained in Vines, the mainstream view is that God, who punished Adam and
Eve in a way that had us all be of inherent sin and die, provided Jesus' cruci-
fixion as a ransom to take on the sin of all who have faith in the meaning of
the crucifixion.

  According to Rom.5:15-17:

  "But the free gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression
of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the
grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

  "The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the
one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation,
but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in
justification.

  For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much
more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness
will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." (NASB)

  Eph 2:1,3b:  "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins" " and were by
nature children of wrath, even as the rest." (NASB)

  Eph.2:8-10

  "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God;

  "not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

  "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders stance works for the aspect of it shown in a verse like Rom.5:
12:
 
  “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (NASB)

  But there's more to it than just sinless man for sinless man.  God reacted to
what Adam did by condemning mankind.

  Rom.5:14,18,19

  "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not
sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to
come.

  "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men,
even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to
all men.

  "For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so
through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." (NASB)

  Matt.20:28  "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many." (NASB)

  The mainstream view is that Adam and Eve already died for their sins--Jesus
died to take on the sin of the world that resulted since God condemned Adam and
Eve the way He did to cause subsequent generations to be of inherent sin, as a
ransom, not for Adam, but to benefit those of faith in God and the meaning of
the sacrifice.

  The JWs leaders' view--sinless man for sinless man (and woman who doesn't
count; she was fooled into it) makes the JWs leaders' version an equal substi-
tution as far as it goes, but is criticized in every other regard.  Adam ruined
his sinless man standing by sinning, so, as God warned him, already got the
death penalty for that.  (The same goes for Eve.)  God's justice was already
served if we stop there.  The death of another sinless man would have been just
that.

  As a way to make a point with a fictional example, imagine God didn't punish
Adam and Eve by making all their offspring be of inherent sin and die.  What
would the sacrifice be for?  Adam and Eve would have already been executed for
what they did, and we'd already be living forever and sinless to God.

  Even if the offspring could get a sinless man to use for a sacrifice for what
Adam did and, for some reason, wanted to make one about it, and even if they
could sacrifice him without it being murder, why would it be their place to take
responsibility for something they had no hand in?  Instead, Adam and Eve's off-
spring were of inherent sin and died for a situation they didn't create and with
no way out of the deal, but that was God's prerogative.


  There's obviously something more that went on than the JWs leaders' version
explains--notably, that it was God's prerogative to make the offspring of Adam
and Eve people of inherent sin who would die, which wasn't expressed in the
original bargain to Adam and Eve to hold them or their offspring to account for.

  The JWs leaders' stance is criticized for only attempting to create an extra
compensation for Adam, who was already brought to justice with death, with Mi-
chael, who was a stranger to Adam and not involved in Adam's predicament, done
with a sacrifice of him by God, who's (somehow) relinqished of any responsibili-
ty in making the human race of inherent sin--He did what He had to do (for some
reason).  It's not random archangelicide, though--God needed to have Michael
sacrificed and that would wrap it all up justly.  If I were Michael, I'd ques-
tion this plan.

  The JWs leaders' stance is unique in having God be required, by the circum-
stances Adam created, to not just punish the two that sinned but make all of
Adam's offspring people of inherent sin who'd die, but the JWs leaders don't es-
tablish what this necessity was.  Justice would only call for punishment for the
two that sinned.  Displeased with not just a man but mankind, it was God's
choice to leave mankind in a fallen condition.  Mankind fell from God's graces.
This was God's option, though.

  The theology of either view might add that God left mankind in a fallen condi-
tion to show that people, left to go their selfish ways and with much lesser
ability, wouldn't be able to recreate the sort of sinless relationship with God
that God originally intended, and that God is the only one with the ability to
recreate it.  God used His prerogative and this reason to handle it the way He
did, but it doesn't explain the JWs leaders' stance of it being something jus-
tice required as the only way to do it.


  The mainstream historical view has God make up with people and atone for ev-
eryone's sins by reconciling them to Himself with the crucifixion of the main-
stream Son (2 Cor.5:19), but the JWs leaders' view has archangel Michael cruci-
fied.  By either view, if you look to the original mess for someone to make up
for it with, Adam and Eve were already punished and dead so they're out, and we
came along a lot later and had nothing to do with it (and if you need a sinless
sacrifice, God caused none of us to be sinless or have the right to take a human
life except as God permits or requires, so we couldn't do it).

  By the JWs leaders' view, Michael was a creation God used somehow as an agent
for the rest of creation (then went through a long period of denial about it).
But the JWs leaders' Michael wasn't responsible for how people were punished to
pass along inherent sin.  Talk about passing the buck.  God's responsible for
some of the thing then sends Michael down to get stuck on the sticks.  This is
the unsatisfactory justice of having someone else take responsibility for the
one responsible.  It sounds like the JWs leaders' God still has denial issues to
work out.


  The mainsteam historical view is that, of anyone available of the original
mess who could do anything about it, that leaves God, not Michael, who had us
end up fallen this way.  The one responsible for some of the thing, God, made up
for it for us as the only one with the ability and prerogative and role in the
thing to do it, the ransom is for the responsibility of sin of whoever believes
in it and who could use it, not Adam, which makes a more satisfying sense.

  God reconciled fallen mankind to Himself through the crucifixion of Jesus.

  2 Cor.5:14-21

  "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for
all, therefore all died;

  "and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for them-
selves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

 "Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though
we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no
longer.

 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed
away; behold, new things have come.

 "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,

 "namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting
their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconcil-
iation.

 "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal
through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him." (NASB)

  (P.S.: an option of the mainstream view is to see Adam and Eve passage symbol-
ically for theological teaching.  Taking it literally or figuratively, either
way you end up with God having judged people to be in a fallen condition and
reconciling them to Himself with the crucifixion.)

  
  The company cuts back on beneficiaries

  The JWs leaders' minority stance on the crucifixion comes with an even more
exclusive stance on the beneficiaries of it: those who agree that all of their
minority stances are required for salvation, only a literal 144,000 JWs go to
heaven, can eat at the Lord's Supper ceremony, are born again, that Jesus is a
mediator for, and who will rule the world with Jesus, and only the JWs leaders
among them have special guidance from God so as to determine the rules, and the
rest have to prove themselves over 1,000 years in Paradise on Earth, etc. (p.1a)
The credibility of this claim is ahown in the way they affect this exclusive-
ness, which is demonstrated throughout this article.

  The mainstream view sees "144,000" (Rev.7:1-8; 14:1-5) as referring symboli-
cally to all the saved Christians.

  The JWs leaders claim that Jesus will judge the JWs beyond the 144,000 later
and decide which ones can live to prove themselves worthy and be perfected
through a millenium and, if their works have been good enough by the end of it,
will live forever in Paradise on Earth.

  According to the JWs leaders' "United In Worship of the Only True God," 1983,
pp.103-109, the less righteous JWs types who will live forever in Paradise on
Earth are the "Great Multitude" or "Great Crowd" of Rev.7:9-17, and the "other
sheep" of John 10:16.

  JWs who will live on Earth are allegedly the "sheep" that will be separated
from the "goats" of Matthew 25:31-46:

  "Nothing indicates that at that time, or for that matter since, Jesus sat to
judge the people of all the nations finally as sheep and goats."  ("The Watch-
tower," Oct.15, 1995, pp.18-28)

  "Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jeho-
vah God and all mankind.  He is the mediator between his heavenly Father, Jeho-
vah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000
members." ("Worldwide Security Under the Prince of Peace," 1986, p.10)

  "When we consider what has actually occurred, it seems evident that the heav-
enly calling in general was completed by about the year 1935 C.E., when the
earthly hope of the "great crowd" was clearly discerned.  Since then there have
been brought into association with the comparatively few thousand remaining ones
of the heavenly class millions of worshipers of Jehovah who are earnestly hoping
to live forever right here on earth." ("United In Worship of the Only True God,
1983, p.112)

  Don't look for 1935 in the Bible.  See the listing for 1935 on p.1a.  1935 is
one of the times that a JWs leader bumped up the deadline to join the 144,000.
When Rutherford bumped the date up to 1935, he made speeches and sold a book
with his proclamation that millions then living would never die, etc.  The dead-
line to join the 144,000 was dropped in 2007 (so JWs leaders can allegedly still
be picked from them).

  Contradictorily, going beyond what's reasonably given as intended by the Bible
and requiring agreement to such personal opinion to be saved by faith in the
crucifixion is to play prophet, yet the JWs leaders lately claim only to be pro-
phets in the sense of evangelists (p.1), teachers of the Bible, which is bad for
the case of their being good evangelists.  About all it's good for would be a
claim of being false prophets.

  The mainstream view is that the other sheep in John 10:15 are Gentiles that
will be included among the Christians, not Christians who will live forever on
Earth instead of heaven.

  1 Tim.2:5 gives Jesus as the only intermediary between God and men, not
144,000 JWs for the other JWs. ("The Watchtower," Nov.15, 1979, pp.24-27)


  Considering the central role that the meaning of the crucifixion has in why
Jesus appeared, it's significant that the JWs leaders' version of atonement, in-
volving a JWs leaders' idea of God sacrificing archangel Michael as Jesus to
make up for something that was purely Adam's fault, with a literal 144,000 JWs
(which the JWs leaders claim to be a part of) going to heaven and the rest of
the JWs to Paradise on Earth, isn't in early Christian history at all (pp.1a,9,
and section 4 on p.10).

****


  Only-begotten
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The JWs leaders continue:

  "THE Bible calls Jesus the "only-begotten Son" of God. (John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1
John 4:9) Trinitarians say that since God is eternal, so the Son of God is eter-
nal.  But how can a person be a son and at the same time be as old as his fa-
ther?

  "Trinitarians claim that in the case of Jesus, 'only-begotten' is not the same
as the dictionary definition of 'begetting,' which is 'to procreate as the fa-
ther.' (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)  They say that in Jesus' case
it means 'the sense of unoriginated relationship,' a sort of only son relation-
ship without the begetting. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testa-
ment Words) Does that sound logical to you? Can a man father a son without be-
getting him?

  "Jesus said that he had a prehuman existence, having been created by God as
the beginning of God's invisible creations.
 
  "Furthermore, why does the Bible use the very same Greek word for 'only-begot-
ten' (as Vine admits without any explanation) to describe the relationship of
Isaac to Abraham? Hebrews 11:17 speaks of Isaac as Abraham's 'only-begotten
son.' There can be no question that in Isaac's case, he was only-begotten in the
normal sense, not equal in time or position to his father.

  "The basic Greek word for 'only-begotten' used for Jesus and Isaac is moˇnoˇ
geˇnes', from mo'nos, meaning 'only,' and gi'noˇmai, a root word meaning 'to
generate,' 'to become (come into being),' states Strong's Exhaustive Concor-
dance. Hence, moˇnoˇgeˇnes' is defined as: 'Only born, only begotten, i.e. an
only child.'—A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, by E. Robinson.

  "The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel,
says: '[Moˇnoˇgeˇnes'] means "of sole descent," i.e., without brothers or sis-
ters.' This book also states that at John 1:18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9, 'the
relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father.
It is the relation of the only-begotten to the Father.

  "So Jesus, the only-begotten Son, had a beginning to his life. And Almighty
God can rightly be called his Begetter, or Father, in the same sense that an
earthly father, like Abraham, begets a son. (Hebrews 11:17) Hence, when the Bi-
ble speaks of God as the 'Father' of Jesus, it means what it says—that they are
two separate individuals. God is the senior. Jesus is the junior—in time, posi-
tion, power, and knowledge.

  "When one considers that Jesus was not the only spirit son of God created in
heaven, it becomes evident why the term 'only-begotten Son' was used in his
case. Countless other created spirit beings, angels, are also called 'sons of
God,' in the same sense that Adam was, because their life-force originated with
Jehovah God, the Fountain, or Source, of life. (Job 38:7; Psalm 36:9; Luke 3:
38) But these were all created through the 'only-begotten Son,' who was the only
one directly begotten by God.—Colossians 1:15-17"


  Monogenes, "only begotten," is used at John 1:14; 3:16,18; 1 John 4:9.

  All those grammer books and explanations about how the Son had to have been
begotten normally.  Any biology books in there?  A spirit Father and a spirit
Son--no mother?  What did the Son do--come out of the Father's anthropomorphical
....?  (Sorry.  But come on.  Some of these things make me feel like Jed Clam-
pett: "One of these days I've got to have a long talk with that boy."  Remem-
ber--the JWs leaders claim to be God's sole channel....)

  Part of the mainstream response was explained already for "firstborn"-- that
both views can take "born, and, in this case, "begotten," figuratively in regard
to Jesus' pre-human existence.  The mainstream view emphasises that a begotten
child is typically an equal quality being to the parent and the JWs leaders'
view emphasises that a begotten child is typically a separate being from the
parent.

  The word "Son" can be seen by each of the two views like the word "begotten"
can--an equal quality being for the mainstream view and a separate being for the
JWs leaders' view.

  Both views see the Son as subservient to the Father (more on that below) and
the titles "Father" and "Son" reflect that.  In the case of the mainstream view,
they refer to how things are organized to get things done--the Son is eternal
and not a lesser quality created being (Heb.1:3).

  The JWs leaders' criticism of the mainstream view is that Jesus was called
"only begotten" and, overlooking somehow that "monogenes," not just "mono," can
mean "only," the JWs leaders claim it supports their view against the mainstream
view and shows Jesus was "created" and had a beginning.  Actually, "only" if you
edit the definition.

  According to "Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words":

  Monogenes Son: "only begotten" or "only" Son (John 3:16), "unique" Son.  A
monogenes son is unique, as in Abraham having two sons but calling Isaac "mono-
genes" (Heb.11:17), a one of a kind Son.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001985
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001986
  http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/CONGRK343.htm#S3439

  This could be added to examples of JWs leaders misusing reference material as
well.  The JWs leaders' brochure says that Vine's doesn't explain why it gives
"monogenes" as able to refer to "unique" without referance to appearance in
time.  But Vines' gives the example of Abraham referring to Isaac as his "mono-
genes" son though he wasn't Abraham's only son (Heb.11:17) and says that it has
been used like "yachid" to refer to something as a unique "only one."

  Regarding the JWs leaders' claim that no one called Jesus "God," See "'A
god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah god who was called 'Lord too much
and not called 'Michael' at all" and onward on p.6b, and on this page see the
sections on "Prov.8:22-31," "I am," "John 1:1,"  My Lord and my God!," "Prayer
and worship," and others.

  See the section below on "Archangel Michael"--no one calls Jesus that in the
Bible. 

  The mainstream historical view is stronger--that kind of Son would be the only
one called Son who was like that.  The JWs leaders' view has an archangel Mi-
chael Son, but the angels are called sons of God, "arch" means "chief," and Mi-
chael is given as one of the chief princes (p.6b and below), so it isn't very
unique on those terms.

  The JWs leaders' case for a unique Son otherwise rests on an idea of Jesus
being the first created being "god" that all "other" things were created
through.  Psalms 8:22-31, taken alone, can be arbitrarilly imagined for it, but
that isn't the interpretation of it indicated by God in Isaiah requiring it to
be understood that God created everything by Himself, with no one--with specif-
ic reference to there having been no "god"--with him (p.6b and above).

****


  The Son of God
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The JWs leaders continue:

  "WHILE Jesus is often called the Son of God in the Bible, nobody in the first
century ever thought of him as being God the Son. Even the demons, who 'believe
there is one God,' knew from their experience in the spirit realm that Jesus was
not God. So, correctly, they addressed Jesus as the separate 'Son of God.'
(James 2:19; Matthew 8:29) And when Jesus died, the pagan Roman soldiers stand-
ing by knew enough to say that what they had heard from his followers must be
right, not that Jesus was God, but that 'certainly this was God's Son.'—Matthew
27:54."

  As described above, the JWs leaders teach that Jesus being called the Son of
God indicates by phrasing that he's a separate being from God.  As described
above in the section on Prov.8:22-31, the mainstream view uses the God and Wis-
dom phrasing possibilities for God and Son.  As described in the section just
above this one, the word "Son" by itself doesn't decide between the two views--
it can be taken to refer to an equal quality being by the mainstream view and a
separate being by the JWs leaders' view.

  The created Jesus view, JWs leaders' version, sees Jesus as archangel Michael,
a figurative true "god."  Since angels are called sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:
7; Ps.29:1; 82:6; 89:7; and Dan. 3:25), archangel Michael would be the "only"
Son of God, "the" Son of God, in being the only archangel, and in being the only
being directly created by God--all other created beings and the rest of the cos-
mos were created through him.

  See the section above on Prov.8:22-31 for the problem with the JWs leaders'
stance of God creating everything through Jesus at Prov.8:22-31.

  See "'A god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah god who was called 'Lord'
too much and not called 'Michael' at all" on p.6b for more coverage about "sons
of God," angels, and the obsolete Canaanite idea of "gods."

  The mainstream view has a stronger case for a unique example of someone called
"Son"--"the" Son of God (Matt.16:16; John 1:14)--see the coverage of "only be-
gotten" above.

  After repeated discussions and conflicts, including threats to stone Jesus to
death for blasphemy, Jesus still didn't identify himself as archangel Michael
and the Jews who criticized Jesus still understood Jesus to mean the mainstream
idea of "the Son of God" at John 19:7: "The Jews answered him, 'We have a law,
and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of
God." (NASB)

  See the section below on "Archangel Michael"--no one calls Jesus that in the
Bible.

****


  No one has ever seen God
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The JWs leaders continue:

  "Hence, the phrase 'Son of God' refers to Jesus as a separate created being,
not as part of a Trinity. As the Son of God, he could not be God himself, for
John 1:18 says: 'No one has ever seen God.'—RS, Catholic edition."

  By either version of Jesus, God has been seen but not his comprehensive invis-
ible spirit.  At Ex.24 and 33, God appeared to Moses with some human features--
feet, a back, and a face He covered with his hand, at Ezek.1:26-28 God appeared
in a vision, at Daniel 7:9,10 He appeared in a dream, and at Acts 7:56 He ap-
peared in a vision.

  The mainstream historical view of "no one has ever seen God" at John 1:18 is
that people haven't seen God's comprehensive invisible transcendent spirit,
which remains true though people saw the human form of Jesus.

****


  Mediator

  The JWs leaders teach that 1 Tim.2:5, with Jesus called the one mediator be-
tween God and men, indicates the mainstream view of Jesus is wrong--Jesus
couldn't be a person of God and a mediator between God and men.

  The mainstream view uses the idea of references to God and Jesus such as with
God and Wisdom, and the related use of pronouns, described above in the sec-
tion on Prov.8:22-31.  This is a variation of the same thing with Jesus called
the one mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5).  The mainstream Son of God in
human form serves as a go-between between God and man to make God known to man
and reconcile mankind to God.

  As mentioned above, the JWs leaders teach that the 144,000 will have Jesus as
their mediator and the other JWs will have the 144,000 as their mediator. ("The
Watchtower," Nov.15, 1979, pp.24-27)

  The mediator problem is with the JWs leaders' view.  1 Tim.2:5 gives Jesus as
the only intermediary between God and men, not with 144,000 JWs, all abidant to
the prophet-playing specialties of the small percentage of JWs leaders/Governing
Body members among them, as the mediators for the other JWs (let alone only
JWs). (See pp.1,1a)

**** 


  Mighty God/Almighty God
 
  The JWs leaders teach that no one in the first century thought Jesus was God.
It's another example of the JW leaders' bending whatever out of shape to con-
form to the JWs leaders' Jesus idea, instead of letting the scripture inform the
idea, as shown by the books of Isaiah and John.

  Both the mainstream and JWs leaders' views see that Jesus would be called
"Mighty God" when he appeared as the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6, as God is called at
10:21; also see Is.7:14).  But the JWs leaders deny that it's possible to call
Jesus God at John 1:1 (see the section on John 1:1 below).

  The JWs leaders' say that "Mighty God" doesn't mean "God"--that if he was to
be called "God," Isaiah 9:6 would have used the phrase "Almighty God" ("Awake!"
April 22, 2005).  That's actually what they say.

  But promising a guy can called "Mighty God" as a way to make sure no one
thinks they can call him "God" isn't how you'd do it.  God would have to have
popped an anthropomorphical membrane.

  To explain the obvious for the sake of thoroughness, their stipulation isn't
genuinely scripturally established.  A promise that you can call someone "God"
is enough to warrant that you can call them "God" regardless of the adjectives,
if any.  The JWs leaders stance can only indicate how the JWs leaders want
"Mighty God" at Is.9:6 to be interpreted, but even that allows the use of "God"
for Logos at John 1:1.  It would be bad for the JWs leaders' stance regarding
point four on p.10, all things considered, though.

  Isaiah is notable in identifying what John meant about Jesus in a couple of
ways.

  - It's a book notable in the history of Jewish monotheism, coming out of a
period when King Hezekiah was called "Mighty God" and a Canaanite belief in
gods, for establishing God to emphasize in reaction that there wasn't, isn't,
and won't be any other actual "god" like you'd pray to or worship (other OT ver-
ses bring up the concept of gods to have God condemn them; see "A god"--Jesus as
archangel Michael the Messiah god who was called 'Lord' too much and not called
'Michael' at all" and subsequent sections of p.6b).  Isaiah also looked forward
to a special day of the Messiah and people living by the Lord (Is.24-34), and as
Christians interpret Is.9:6, the Messiah would be called "God."
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism#Abrahamic_religions
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah

  - It's a book that emphasizes "ego eimi," "I am," as a phrase of God's self-
identification (see the section on "I am" below and "Human judges as gods part
one: John 10; Psalms 82:1-8" on p.6b).  John reveals Jesus to identify himself
with the use of "ego eimi," "I am," notably when in contexts in which this pos-
sibility of Jesus' identity was a special consideration, including being ques-
tioned by disbelievers with rocks.

  It's easy for the mainstream historical view to see how John, in first century
Jewish monotheism, would feel it was important to make it clear both that

  - there is no god, and

  - that Jesus was God and said "I am," notably while some wondered if he called
himself God by calling himself God's Son (see the sections on Only Begotten and
Prov.8:22-31 above and on John 10:34 below).


  The JWs leaders teach that "Jehovah God alone is Almighty."
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The JWs leaders' case for Jesus not being called "Almighty" is to force that
Jesus isn't meant as the one who's coming at Rev.1:8 (as the JWs leaders have
forced what "all eyes will see" means in v.7--see the sections on 1914 on p.1a
and the section on "presence" on p.6b).

  Rev.1:8  "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who
was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'" (NASB)

  Rev.1:17  Jesus says he's the First and Last, which is what Alpha and Omega
means.

  Rev.22:12,13  "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to ren-
der to every man according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (NASB)

  "Render to every man according to what he has done" refers to Jesus making all
judgment (John 5:22).


  But the words "Mighty" or "Almighty" don't decide between the two views of Je-
sus, what to make of Jesus called "God" if there is no "god" does.

  Either view might look at the possibility of Is.9:6 additionally referring
to king Hezekiah being called "Mighty God" in a figurative way.  But at the out-
set of getting rid of the Canaanite idea of "gods" (see "'A god'--Jesus as arch-
angel Michael the Messiah god who was called 'Lord' too much and not called 'Mi-
chael' at all," etc., on p.6b), God is given as saying there is no such thing as
an actual other god.  In first century Jewish monotheism, a god to pray to and
worship would be a violation of monotheism.  Both the mainstream and JWs lead-
ers' views see Isaiah 9:6 as used as a Messianic prophecy about Jesus.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah

  Isaiah showed he intended the names of Is.9:6 as names for God.  "Wonderful
Counselor" (Pele Yo’etz), "Mighty God" (El Gibbor), "Everlasting Father" (Abi
Ad), and "Prince of Peace" (Sar Shalom),” Is.9:6, describe God at

  "Mighty God" (El Gibbor), Is.10:21; "wonderful" and "councils," Is.25:1, "won-
derful in counsel and excellent in wisdom,” Is.28:29, "I make peace" (shalom),
Is.45:7, "inhabits eternity" (ad), Is.57:15, and “Father" (ab), Is.63:16.
  http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_mighty_god.htm

  Many Christians interpret Is.24-34 as about the Messiah Jesus.

  A notable application for Jesus called "God" is John 1:1 (see the section on
John 1:1 below).  The idea is to see it as calling Logos "a god" if context re-
quires an exception to calling Logos "God," and Is.9:6 doesn't leave any need
for an exception.  See the other concerns of pp.6b-10 for other reasons the
JWs leaders' claim indicate the exception would be required.

  The JWs leaders could likewise then see Thomas at John 20:28 saying "My Lord
and my God" "to" Jesus as indicated but interpret it figuratively, instead of
their current stance of Thomas exclaiming it for the Father to hear, but with
the same problem with point four on page 10.  The common sense for a God who
can express Himself better than one of us, if He meant the JWs leaders' Jesus,
would be to have the Son just called "archangel Michael," or have "Jesus is
archangel Michael" written, instead of forced points, etc., for the possibili-
ties of turns of phrase that would suit something not indicated (see the section
on archangel Michael below).

****


  Is God Always Superior to Jesus?

  The next batch is from p.7 of the online version of the JWs leaders' brochure.
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  "TIME and again, Jesus showed that he was a creature separate from God and
that he, Jesus, had a God above him, a God whom he worshiped, a God whom he
called "Father." In prayer to God, that is, the Father, Jesus said, "You, the
only true God." (John 17:3) At John 20:17 he said to Mary Magdalene: "I am as-
cending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (RS, Catholic
edition) At 2 Corinthians 1:3 the apostle Paul confirms this relationship:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Since Jesus had a God,
his Father, he could not at the same time be that God."


  See the section on worship below.

  John 17:1-5  "Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He
said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify
You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have
given Him, He may give eternal life.  This is eternal life, that they may know
You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I glorified You on
the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.  Now, Fa-
ther, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You be-
fore the world was." (NASB)

  This is another example of the mainstream view using the Prov.8:22-31 and wis-
dom literature idea of God and Wisdom phrasing, God's wisdom personified and
God sending Wisdom to people, etc., in how it sees God and Jesus (See the sec-
tion above on Prov.8:22-31).  The Father and Son are both God, so the Son can
call the Father that.  Whether ot not the Son is God or archangel Michael is de-
termined by the things covered in pp.7-10.

  Jesus has been reduced to human form to be sent, (Is.42:8; John 17:5; Philip-
pians 2:7; Rev.3:21; 5:12-14; 22:3), that nobody had seen God in full glorified
form (John 1:18) and humans pray to communicate to God.  For "God," Jesus says,
"the only true God," prayer and "only true" being among the main ways to indi-
cate belief in the one God of first century Judaism (see p.6b and the section on
"Prayer and worship" below).  The mainstream Jesus alsos wanted to make clear he
was a monotheist wasn't claiming to be a second God with his emphasis in this
verse.

  The mainstream view sees God and Jesus like God and Wisdom for phrasing, and
also sees the Father as often given as the "God" of the "one God and one Lord"
Shema with Jesus as the Lord of it, with the Father sending the Son Jesus to
people, with John 17:1-5 bringing the batch into play.

  Heb.1:10-12 indicates an identical phrasing concern that comes with the main-
stream view and shows a precedent for for how to see it with this one.  The Fa-
ther can call Jesus Lord and yet be Lord himself--in that case, using the same
phrase about God creating the heavens and Earth of Psalms 102:25-27 and applying
it to Jesus, which is the way to indicate the mainstream Jesus' involvement in
creation.  In the mainstream view, Jesus can likewise call the Father God and
yet be God himself.

  By both views of Jesus, the Father sent the Son.  The difference is that the
JWs leaders' stance gives the Son as a separate created being God created every-
thing else with.  But God denies anyone was with Him when He created everything
(p.6b and the section above on Prov.8:22-31).  It suits the mainstream view for
Jesus, reduced to less glorified human form, to reaffirm this in saying he
shared the Father's glory (basically the honor, in God's case to the uniquely
highest degree) with the Father before the world was, and that they glorify
each other, since God says He won't share His glory (His degree of glory) with
another at Isaiah.48:11-13:
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=¯t0001201
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=¯t0001200
         
          "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
          For how can My name be profaned?
          And My glory I will not give to another.
          Deliverance Promised
          Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
          I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
          Surely My hand founded the earth,
          And My right hand spread out the heavens;
          When I call to them, they stand together." (NASB)

  Also see John 17:24 and Heb.1:3.

  John 20:17,18

  "Jesus said to her, 'Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the
Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I ascend to My Father and your
Father, and My God and your God."'

  "Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and
that He had said these things to her." (NASB)

  This is a variation of the last example regarding the mainstream view phrasing
ideas, with the mainstream view adding that Jesus distinguishes a difference be-
tween how he and the followers relate to God and to the Father compared to Jesus
simply saying "our" God and "our" Father.  Then Mary refers to Jesus as "the
Lord."  A little later, Thomas says to Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:
28)--the full Shema treatment.  This is not a good way to indicate Jesus is
archangel Michael in lieu of anyone calling him that.

  The Father is God by either view.  Also Heb.1:10 indicates the Father can call
Jesus Lord and yet be Lord himself--in the mainstream view, Jesus can likewise
call the Father God and yet be God himself.  "We have one God, the Father...and
one Lord, Jesus...." (1 Cor.8:5,6) shows this with "Lord" by either view, since
both views see the Father as Lord, too.  The mainstream view adheres to the
Shema of one God called Lord and no other called Lord better.

  The Father could declare "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved"
(Matthew 3:16, 17) for others to know by either idea of Jesus.

  2 Corinthians 1:3  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(NASB)  This is similar with the added problem for the JWs leaders' stance that
apostle Paul is including Jesus as the Lord in a Christian version of the one
God and one Lord Shema.  This identification is better for the mainstream view
and isn't how to imply that Jesus is archangel Michael in the absence of it be-
ing directly stated anywhere.  No one thought the Shema referred to archangel
Michael or had thought secondary gods were acceptable for centuries, especially
if called the Shema (John 20:28), prayed to, and worshipped (see the section on
"Prayer and worship" below).


  The next two examples the JWs leaders refer to are similar:

  1 Timothy 5:21  "the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen an-
gels" (NASB) is more "God and Wisdom"/"God and Jesus" stuff for the mainstream
view.  The difficulty is with the JWs leaders' stance regarding the second and
third things listed since "chosen" (NASB) or "elect" (NIV) "angels" refers to
archangels as in addition to Jesus instead of calling Jesus the one named Mi-
chael, which doesn't appear here or anywhere else.

  1 Corinthians 8:6  "for us there is but one God, the Father...and one Lord,
Jesus Christ" (NASB) is like 2 Cor.1:3 (see above).  It's another example that's
bad for the JWs stance and good for the mainstream view in identifying Jesus as
the one Lord of the Shema.


  The JWs leaders refer to John 8:17,18 as indicating two entities, but both
views do that.  It refers to the Father and Son:

  John 8:17,18  "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two
men is true.  I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me
testifies about Me." (NASB)

  The mainstream view uses the idea of references to God and Jesus such as with
God and Wisdom described above in the section on Prov.8:22-31.  This is a varia-
tion of the same thing, with the Father and Son as two persons, and Jesus reas-
suring the Pharisees that he's not leading anyone astray from the Father--the
Father approves of anything the Son says.  (For John 8:58, where Jesus uses
another of the John/Isaiah "I am"s, see "Human judges as gods part one: John 10;
Psalms 82:1-8" on p.6b.)

  The bigger quote shows that what he and the Father are both witnesses to is
that Jesus is the Light of the world:

  John 8:12-18

  "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, 'I am the Light of the world; he who
follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'
 
  "So the Pharisees said to Him, 'You are testifying about Yourself; Your testi-
mony is not true.'

  "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Even if I testify about Myself, My testi-
mony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not
know where I come from or where I am going.

  "You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.

  "But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I
and the Father who sent Me.

  "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.

  "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies
about Me.'" (NASB)

  Also John 3:19,20  "This is the judgment, that (the Light has come into the
world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were
evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the
Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." (NASB)

  God is the Light at I John 1:5-7:

  "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is
Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

  "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we
lie and do not practice the truth;

  "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
(NASB)

  This comes up in how various ante-Nicene fathers describe God and Jesus with
"light from light"-type phrases which are based on the above verses and Rev.21:
23: "And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb" and 22:5 "And there
will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp
nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will
reign forever and ever." (NASB) (p.9).

  Both the Father and Son can be called "the" various God things.  (It also
brings up, taken with the Father and Son both called the Shepherd--see "The
Threefold Formula" section below--and the Son called the Lamb, that Jesus was
both the Shepherd and the Lamb, which I think shows that with Jesus you get the
most for your Shepherd and Lamb dollar.)

****


  Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone.
 
  Mark 10:18  The JWs leaders claim that what Jesus says at Mark 10:18 amounts
to a denial of being God:

  "Jesus further showed that he was a separate being from God by saying: "Why do
you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (Mark 10:18, JB) So Jesus was
saying that no one is as good as God is, not even Jesus himself. God is good in
a way that separates him from Jesus."

  Jesus asked a question meant to provoke thought about his identity, he didn't
provide the answer.  He gets the listener to wonder why they call him good, says
only God is good, but either view could imagine how he'd identify himself.  The
JWs leaders' view imagines their version ("not me") for the answer that Jesus
doesn't say, but the mainstream historical view sees their version ("I am") that
way.

  As with the passage about the Devil tempting/testing Jesus three times (see
above), the JWs leaders try to con their readers that a passage can be used to
identify their version of Jesus that can't be used for a decisive factor.  (The
con of a forced point, "a rectangle is always a square," is that a rectangle is
sometimes a square, so it's reasonable to that degree, and the scam is to get
the victim to think that because they have a rectangle they must have a square.)

****


  Jesus submissive

  God's Submissive Servant
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  John 5:19  "the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees
the Father doing." (NASB)

  Jesus does what he sees the Father doing, which includes giving life and judg-
ing (5:19-30).

  John 6:38  "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the
will of Him who sent Me." (NASB)

  John 7:16  "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me." (NASB)

  By both views, Jesus tells his followers that he never departs from what the
Father would say or want with anything contradictory, but that he's submissive
to the Father and his actions and statements make the Father known.  It brings
up the Prov.8:22-31 phrasing possibilities again (see the section above about
Prov.8:22-31 if you haven't memorized it already) and doesn't distinguish the
JWs leaders' stance.

  Likewise, the mainstream view is that the holy spirit is sent to followers
from Pentacost (Acts 2) on:

  John 16:12-15

  "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

  "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the
truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He
will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

  "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

  "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of
Mine and will disclose it to you." (NASB)


  Jesus manifested God's glory (John 2:11), the Father, living in him, does His
works (14:10), his works are done from the Father (10:32) and in the Father's
name (10:25, 37), revealing that Jesus is in the Father and the Father in him
(10:38; cf. 10:30).  John regularly focuses on the special way that Jesus is the
Son of God and the relationship of the Father and Son.

****

  This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased

  Matt.3:16,17

  "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold,
the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and
lighting on Him,

  "and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom
I am well-pleased." (NASB)

  Luke 4:18,19

  "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
  BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
  HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
  AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
  TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
  TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." (NASB)

  By either view of Jesus, the Son could go through a ritual indicating he was
immersed in the religion, the Father could make His love and approval of the
Son known to others, and the Son could say so.

  Similarly, at Matt.17:5: "While he was still speaking, a bright cloud over-
shadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My beloved
Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!'" (NASB)

  Again, the point of the JWs leaders' is to show their stance must be the one
indicated and the mainstream view can't have been meant, and it's deceptive for
people pretending to be of a 144,000 most knowledgable, honest, and righteous to
use such examples when I claim no such ridiculously arrogant stance and it's
easy for me to see that they don't have an honest case.  The mainstream view has
a better case for a unique Son (see "Only-begotten" and "The Son of God").

****

  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

  Mark 15:34; Matt.27:46  "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud
voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'—which means, 'My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me?'"

  Jesus here quoted the beginning of Psalm 22, in the custom of the day of using
an opening verse to imply the whole passage.  Psalm 22 ends as a victory of com-
mitment to the Lord over adversity.  Either view can have Jesus say that, and
the mainstream view can use the Prov.8:22-31-type ideas for phrasing again (see
above).

****

  Crucifixion
 
  According to the JWS leaders:

  "After Jesus died, he was in the tomb for parts of three days. If he were God,
then Habakkuk 1:12 is wrong when it says: 'O my God, my Holy One, you do not
die.'  But the Bible says that Jesus did die and was unconscious in the tomb.
And who resurrected Jesus from the dead?  If he was truly dead, he could not
have resurrected himself.  On the other hand, if he was not really dead, his
pretended death would not have paid the ransom price for Adam's sin.  But he did
pay that price in full by his genuine death.  So it was 'God [who] resurrected
[Jesus] by loosing the pangs of death.' (Acts 2:24)  The superior, God Almighty,
raised the lesser, his servant Jesus, from the dead."


  The Bible doesn't say Jesus was altogether unconscious--death being uncon-
sciousness for more than the body is another JWs leaders' stance (see "You don't
know hell till you've read Russell" on p.1a).

  The mainstream view is that at John 5:25, Jesus promised "Truly, truly, I say
to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the
Son of God, and those who hear will live." (NASB)

  The idea that Jesus went to Paradise--a part of hell--then heaven:

  When Jesus was crucified, his body died, his spirit was put in his Father's
hands (Luke 23:46); his body went into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:
50-53); his soul went to Hades/Sheol for three days (Acts 2:27)--the Hell/Gehen-
na part for the unrighteous to pay for people's sins (Isaiah 63:10-12; Rev.1:18;
1 Pet.3:18-20), then Paradise for the righteous (Luke 16:22-26; Abraham's bosom
was in Paradise; Luke 23:42,43).  His body was raised by the Father, Son, and
holy spirit (1 Thes.1:9,10; John 2:19,21; Rom.8:11) but he had't yet acended to
the Father (John 20:17).  Jesus and those of Paradise are now in heaven (1 Cor.
12:1-4; Eph.4:7-10).
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=¯t0002051
  http://www.barr-family.com/godsword/clarification-heaven-paradise.htm
  http://www.letusreason.org/Doct19.htm
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_Hades
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosom_of_Abraham
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehenna#New_Testament

  This is related to another NWT translation distinction.  At Luke 23:43, Jesus
told the man crucified near him ""Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me
in Paradise" by the NASB and other standard translations.  The JWs leaders' NWT
has "Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise" to suit the JWs
leaders' exclusive combination of stances about it: that when Jesus was cruci-
fied he was just dead, body and soul, for three days--Jesus wouldn't be in Para-
dise that day, that "Paradise" in Jesus' day didn't refer to a place for the
righteous who died until their resurrection, and that most JWs will not be a
part of the 144,000 that live "with" Jesus in heaven but will live on Earth.
  http://web.archive.org/web/20071120012921/mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/newworldtranslation/luke23.43.htm
  http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0055a.html

****


  What miracles were meant to convey

  "Does Jesus' ability to perform miracles, such as resurrecting people, indi-
cate that he was God?  Well, the apostles and the prophets Elijah and Elisha had
that power too, but that did not make them more than men. God gave the power to
perform miracles to the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles to show that He was
backing them.  But it did not make any of them part of a plural Godhead."
("Should You Believe in the Trinity?")

  The JWs leaders teach that God performed miracles through Jesus during Jesus'
several year ministry on Earth as through an apostle, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, or
Elisha, which agrees with their created Jesus stance (see Prov.22:31 above).  It
doesn't do anything to establish it, though--Jesus didn't say they were done be-
cause God needed them to know he was archangel Michael.  They indicated he was
sent by the Father (John 5:36) so they would believe he was the Son of God (John
1:14; 20:30,31; Matt.16:16) to whom Thomas said, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:
28,29), and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30,31).
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracles_of_Jesus

  John 20:28-31

  "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'

  "Jesus said to him, 'Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are
they who did not see, and yet believed.'

  "Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the dis-
ciples, which are not written in this book;

  "but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." (NASB)

****


  The time of the second coming

  Jesus Had Limited Knowledge
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  Mark 13:32; Matt.24:36 Of the time of Jesus coming to judge Jerusalem, "no
one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

  The JWs leaders teach "Had Jesus been the equal Son part of a Godhead, he
would have known what the Father knows.  But Jesus did not know, for he was not
equal to God."  ("Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses"
by Ron Rhodes, 2009)
  https://books.google.com/books?id=DmB-P5KU_YUC&pg=PA154&lpg=PA154&dq=%22would+have+known+what+the+Father+knows.+But+Jesus+did+not+know,+for+he+was+not%22&source=bl&ots=hxA5odgKrA&sig=yfrF-QFyPbuo0jo8czvxc50V6aM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZvNG3wY7LAhVFFj4KHY2nCugQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22would%20have%20known%20what%20the%20Father%20knows.%20But%20Jesus%20did%20not%20know%2C%20for%20he%20was%20not%22&f=false

  By either view, Jesus would be reduced to human form and not show any extra-
human (archangelic or glorified Godly) ability, aside from being sinless, except
as the Father willed it.  (The Father sent the Son, and the Father and Son
would send the holy spirit at Pentacost, John 14:16,17; 16:5-15; Acts 2.)  Ei-
ther view has Jesus show foreknowledge of some things as willed by the Father
to have it (Mark 8:31; 10:33-34; 11:2-6; 14:27-30).

  It doesn't require that the Holy Spirit is impersonal and doesn't know.  In
some verses, "Father" doesn't refer to the Father of Father, Son, Holy Spirit
but is a synonym for "God."  At 1 Cor.2:10, the Holy Spirit knows all things.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001006

  But Jesus in human form, during his several year ministry on Earth, would look
to the Father to know the time of the second coming, and the Father hadn't
wanted Jesus to know and tell the followers:

  Acts 1:6,7  "So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying,
'Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?'  He said to
them, 'It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by
His own authority.'" (NASB)

  Some of the verses around Mark 13:32, Mark 13:21-23, in which Jesus warns his
followers about false prophets who'd say Jesus returned when he didn't, apply to
the JWs leaders regarding various predictions of Jesus' (and Abraham's, etc.)
return or claims that Jesus had invisibly returned or such (p.1a).

  Since both views hold that the Father sent the Son, who's in human form, and
the Father and Son will send the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit not referred to as
who Jesus would know from also finds scriptural precedent in one saying the oth-
er doesn't know in the sense of not declaring for the one to know about, or God
not knowing something people know in that they hadn't conferred with Him about
it or such:

  - Paul at 1 Cor.2:2: "For I determined not to know anything among you, save
Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (NASB)

  - God at Gen.3:9--"But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him,
'Where are you?'" and Hosea 8:4--"They set up princes, but without my know-
ledge." (RSV)

  Likewise, "no one" is a matter of emphasis at Matt.11:25-27 (also Luke 10:21-
22):

  "At that time Jesus said, 'I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have re-
vealed them to infants.

  "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

  "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the
Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and any-
one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.'" (NASB)

  "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except
the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" doesn't require an
impersonal Holy Spirit view but is another matter of emphasis.

  It doesn't mean no one else knows anything about the Father or Son at all
aside from the Father and Son.  The focus is that the Son is sent by the Father
and looks to the Father to know him completely and for guidance, and no one of
people on Earth knows the Father or Son as well as the Father and Son know each
other, so those who learn about the Father through the Son will have the best
understanding of the Father.

  All that needs to be seen is an emphasis of the Son in human form being de-
pendant upon the Father as the way God organized this to get it done, and the
Holy Spirit wouldn't have to be impersonal for that as in the JWs leaders'
stance.

  Verses where Jesus is subordinate to the Father work for the mainstream view
or the created Jesus view.  Both views also see Jesus as subordinate to the
Father while in human form on Earth and after ascending to heaven (except the
mainstream view Jesus wouldn't be playing a subordinate by the time of the "all
in all" section described below).  The JWs leaders' brochure asks if it's a de-
cisive factor against the mainstream view, but leaves out how the mainstream
view answers that it isn't.


  A variety of verses on "know"ing depend on the interpreter's emphasis of in-
terpretation in comparing the two views of Jesus.

  At John 21:17, Jesus is said to know all things.  Yet Jesus is said to have
grown in learning at Luke 2:52.  The Son has been reduced to human form during
his mission in the flesh on Earth (Phil.2:5-8; Heb.2:9).  So the mainsteam idea
can see references like John 21:17 (and Mark 5:39;) as referring to the God as-
pect and ones like Luke 2:52 (and Luke 1:43; John 19:28; 1 Cor.15:3) as refer-
ring to the human aspect.

  One way to explain that is that whatever Jesus knew (which would grow as for
any human), he knew correctly and sinlessly (as for God).

   John 5:19 (also John 8:28)

  "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is
something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things
the Son also does in like manner." (NASB)

  Acts 1:6,7

  "So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, 'Lord, is it at
this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?'  He said to them, 'It is not
for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authori-
ty.'" (NASB)

  In the revelation that progresses through the Bible, the personality of the
Holy Spirit is emphasized in the New Testament along with a closer relationship
with the Holy Spirit from Pentacost, Acts 2, onward.  The followers didn't know
the Holy Spirit at Mark 13:32; Matt.24:36 (see above) in the Matt.11:27; Luke
10:22 sense.  Jesus and the Father hadn't revealed the Holy Spirit by sending
him to them yet.

  Jesus at Mark 13:32; Matt.24:36 can then have meant those whom the created
people on Earth, some of whom he addressed, knew of by "no one knows."

  This "no one" would be like the one at John 1:18--"No one has ever seen God;
the only" (or "only begotten") "Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has
made him known."  It only needs to mean that no one of people on Earth had seen
the comprehensive invisible God; in the mainstream view, the closest thing to it
is that they saw the human form of Jesus who made God known.  It doesn't need to
mean Jesus wasn't the mainstream version.

****


  Jesus learned obedience

  "Similarly, we read at Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus 'learned obedience from the
things he suffered.'  Can we imagine that God had to learn anything?  No, but
Jesus did, for he did not know everything that God knew.  And he had to learn
something that God never needs to learn—obedience.  God never has to obey any-
one."

  The JWs leaders are comparing Michael to the mainstream Son if the mainstream
Son wasn't reduced to human form.  It's an ironic thing to deny since both views
of Jesus have to see that Jesus was reduced to human form (Phil.2:5-8; Heb.2:9).
In that circumstance, the JWs leaders' Jesus couldn't do some extra-human things
an archangel could do, either.

  Jesus would have to have been obedient to the Father for all his existence by
either version since he'd have been sinless the whole time.  Either way, having
learned it would refer to having gone through the human experience of suffering
for it, notably with the crucifixion.

****


  Jesus at God's right hand

  Jesus continues subordinate
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  "Speaking of the resurrection of Jesus, Peter and those with him told the
Jewish Sanhedrin: 'God exalted this one [Jesus]...to his right hand.' (Acts 5:
31)  Paul said: 'God exalted him to a superior position.' (Philippians 2:9)  If
Jesus had been God, how could Jesus have been exalted, that is, raised to a
higher position than he had previously enjoyed?  He would already have been an
exalted part of the Trinity.  If, before his exaltation, Jesus had been equal to
God, exalting him any further would have made him superior to God."

  "Paul also said that Christ entered 'heaven itself, so that he could appear in
the actual presence of God on our behalf.' (Hebrews 9:24, JB)  If you appear in
someone else's presence, how can you be that person?  You cannot.  You must be
different and separate."


  This is just a rehash of the identification matters regarding Prov.8:22-31,
Jesus having been reduced to human form then ascending, and Jesus being a media-
tor between God and men (see above).


  "Similarly, just before being stoned to death, the martyr Stephen 'gazed into
heaven and caught sight of God's glory and of Jesus standing at God's right
hand.' (Acts 7:55)  Clearly, he saw two separate individuals—but no holy spirit,
no Trinity Godhead."

  "In the account at Revelation 4:8 to 5:7, God is shown seated on his heavenly
throne, but Jesus is not.  He has to approach God to take a scroll from God's
right hand.  This shows that in heaven Jesus is not God but is separate from
him."


  Acts 7:59, Stephen was killed for his faith--he said he saw a vision of heaven
in which the Son of man was standing at the right hand of God, so the listeners
stoned him to death.  Stephen prayed to Jesus to recieve his spirit (see the
section below on "Prayer and worship").

  Both views interpret Stephen's vision as symbolic (at John 1:18, no one has
ever seen God--see above, with the emphasis that people like Stephen hadn't
seen God comprehensively) of Jesus being in God's favor.  Jesus being "in the
bosom of the Father" at John 1:18 is taken likewise.  "At the right hand"
might be taken for a metaphor of the time for someone being in favor with anoth-
er, not to locate them, but there's more to it than that in this circumstance
(see below in this section regarding Matt.26:63-66).

  In the mainstream view, the Father isn't of a location with a physical body.
The JWs leaders' stance holds that the Father is of a spirit body in a location,
but also sees it as a symbolic vision and not a case of Stephen literally seeing
God.

  In the mainstream view, followers hadn't seen the comprehensive invisible God,
but they'd seen the human body of Jesus who made God known to them.

  In the mainstream view, the holy spirit isn't the point of the vision Stephen
is shown--the relationship of Jesus to the Father is.  The holy spirit is in
Stephen and giving him the vision.

  Both views see that Jewish culture didn't have a rule to stone someone to
death for having a mistaken vision of an angel or a Messiah they didn't think
was the Messiah (Luke 22:66-71).  The motive of those who punished Stephen was
that they judged that the mainstream view of Jesus was blasphemy.  If Stephen
had an "I believe Jesus was archangel Michael" or "I just meant what I said as
something God ought to tell archangel Michael" explanation to give during a
lengthy effort to implore his listeners to understand what he believed and not
execute him, he didn't give it to save his life.  Instead, he prayed to Jesus,
which sealed his fate in the minds of his accusers.

  Some people try to decide this with "firstborn" and "only-begotten," and you
can't.  I say take a look at Stephen, oft neglected but highly significant in
Christological importance.  What's he doing there if Jesus was Michael?  If you
were Stephen, you'd have said "I meant Michael" in two seconds so they'd put
down the rocks and you know it.  Charles Russell and his tall tales.  And he
didn't like pup dogs (p.1a), and pup dogs are good.


  Just going on the information above, though, wouldn't explain why Jesus' use
of a similar phrase, in a claim that he'd be seen at the right hand of power,
brought on a charge of blasphemy--a disbelief in the mainstream view of Jesus,
at Matt.26:63-66:

  "But Jesus kept silent And the high priest said to Him, 'I adjure You by the
living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.'  Jesus
said to him, 'You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter 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 tore his robes and said, 'He has blas-
phemed!  What further need do we have of witnesses?  Behold, you have now heard
the blasphemy; what do you think?' They answered, 'He deserves death!'"


  The following section, from an article by J. P. Holding at the Tektonics web
site, offers an explanation.
  http://www.tektonics.org/jesusclaims/sonofman.html


  "A considerable factor in Jesus' words is his comment that the Son of Man will
be seated at the right hand of God.  This is far more significant than our
phrase, 'right-hand man' would suggest.  In a study of the matter in Blashpemy
and Exaltation in Judaism [203ff], Darrell Bock discusses parallels in Jewish
texts and offers these conclusions:

  "In the literature of Judiasm of the period, 'a proximate seating next to God'
i.e., in His presence) 'might be considered for a privileged few, either a few
universally acknowledged greats" (Moses, Adam, etc.) 'of the past or the future
eschatological figure of judgment' (the Son of Man of Daniel 7).  But such honor
'would never be comtemplated by the leadership for a humble, rural Galilean,
preacher like Jesus.'  Being seated in God's presence (like being seated during
the National Anthem) by itself was audacious, though not necessarily a claim to
divinity, until we add:
 
  "The right hand reference, which means in this culture that Jesus is claiming
to be seated by God 'in a way that shares the highest honor with him.'  In other
texts, the 'right hand of God' is the place where the splendor and majesty of
God comes from (Testament of Job), and the righteous are honored by being al-
lowed to stand (not sit!) at the right hand of God.

  "In short, Jesus thereby claims the prerogatives of God with the combination
honor of being seated at the right hand of God, and therefore asserts his divine
identity.

  "As an added note for fans of eschatology, it is a good idea to check passages
in the NT which refer to Jesus at God's right hand. By our eschatological view,
Jesus' 'seating' corresponded with events of 70 AD (see more here). In this
light it is noteworthy that Jesus in Acts 7 is still standing at God's right
hand (not yet seated). (Other passages [like Eph. 1:20 and Heb. 12:2] speak of
Jesus being set at God's right hand, though whether seated, or standing in
place, is not specified.)"
  http://www.tektonics.org/jesusclaims/sonofman.html


  The matter the JWs leaders' make of Jesus approaching the throne of God in
the Revelation verses is a rehash of the Prov.8:22-31 and mediator verses gone
over above.  See the section below on "Latreuo," which involves Jesus sitting on
the throne of God.

  Stephen not only didn't put off his execution through his whole ordeal by say-
ing he meant Jesus is archangel Michael, he said he saw Jesus at God's right
hand and prayed to Jesus.  This one goes to the mainstream view--the JWs lead-
ers' Stephen is a nut. 

****


  All in all

  "In the everlasting future in heaven, Jesus will continue to be a separate,
subordinate servant of God.  The Bible expresses it this way: 'After that will
come the end, when he [Jesus in heaven] will hand over the kingdom to God the
Father....  Then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected
everything to him, so that God may be all in all.'—1 Corinthians 15:24,28,NJB."


  See the Prov.8:22-31 and subordinate Son ideas gone over above.  Note that the
JWs leaders don't have much of a case when they rely so much on the Prov.8:22-31
matters (see above) that don't establish their case.  This is monotonous.

  Col.3:11  "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, bar-
barian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." (NASB)

  The Son's rule is to be forever, without end, eternal (Dan.7:13-14; Is.9:6,7;
Heb.1:8,9; 2 Pet.1:11; Eph.1:19-23; Rev.22:1-5).

  The mainstream view sees 1 Cor.15:24,28 as meaning that after Jesus' work des-
cribed is done, the Father, Son, and holy spirit will altogether equally rule
over all else.

****


  The Father is greater than I

  "THE Bible's position is clear. Not only is Almighty God, Jehovah, a personal-
ity separate from Jesus but He is at all times his superior.  Jesus is always
presented as separate and lesser, a humble servant of God.  That is why the Bi-
ble plainly says that 'the head of the Christ is God' in the same way that 'the
head of every man is the Christ.' (1 Corinthians 11:3)  And this is why Jesus
himself said: 'The Father is greater than I.'—John 14:28, RS, Catholic edition.

  "Mighty" and "Almighty" God are handled above.

  The mainstream Son is subserviant to the Father but not a lesser quality be-
ing.  A rough comparison to prove the point that Jesus wouldn't have to be a
lesser quality being is that a man can do the will of another man without being
a lesser quality being than a man--the arrangement doesn't require Jesus to be
archangel Michael.

  The comparison of God as the head of Christ and Christ as the head of man in-
dicates a chain of subservient agreement that works for either Jesus view.  The
JWs leaders force the point about it indicating their view, as with the passage
about the Devil tempting/testing Jesus three times, Jesus asking, "Why do you
call me good?" etc. (see above).

  Jesus called the Father greater (John 14:28) during his several year ministry
on Earth.  Greater, meizon, doesn't require the idea of a higher quality being
(as if Jesus needed to be archangel Michael and not the mainstream Jesus to say
it).  "Greater" is used by Jesus at John 14:12 to refer to followers doing
greater works, more works, than those he'd done during his ministry up to that
point, not that they had to do any higher quality works (let alone had to be
higher quality beings).  The mainstream Jesus can refer to the Father being
greater by being in glorified form while the Son was reduced to human form.

  "...the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).  Jesus can call the Father
"greater" because he was reduced to human form (Phil.2:5-8; Heb.2:9) at the
time, which works for either view.

  The same word, meizon/greater, is used in other verses comparing people, which
are equal quality beings, to people they are subordinate to, and not a reference
to a higher quality of being required to organize things that way to get things
done (Matt.11:11).  "Better" would be "kreitton"--Jesus is better in nature to
angels at Hebrews 1:4.  And archangels are angels.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001246
  http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/CONGRK318.htm#S3185
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000277

****


  Holy spirit personal or active force

  The next batch is from p.8 of the online version of the JWs leaders' brochure.
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  The Holy Spirit--God's Active Force

  "In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word most frequently used for 'spirit' is ru'
ach, meaning 'breath; wind; spirit.'  In the Greek Scriptures, the word is pneu'
ma, having a similar meaning.  Do these words indicate that the holy spirit is
part of a Trinity?

  "By his spirit, God carries out his judgments on men and nations. (Isaiah 30:
27, 28; 59:18, 19)  And God's spirit can reach everywhere, acting for people or
against them.—Psalms 139:7-12.

  "In the Scriptures it is not unusual for something to be personified.  Wisdom
is said to have children. (Luke 7:35)  Sin and death are called kings. (Romans
5:14, 21)  At Genesis 4:7 The New English Bible (NE) says: 'Sin is a demon
crouching at the door,' personifying sin as a wicked spirit crouching at Cain's
door.  But, of course, sin is not a spirit person; nor does personifying the
holy spirit make it a spirit person.

  "In harmony with this is the Bible's general usage of 'holy spirit' in an im-
personal way, such as paralleling it with water and fire. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:
8)  People are urged to become filled with holy spirit instead of with wine.
(Ephesians 5:18)  They are spoken of as being filled with holy spirit in the
same way they are filled with such qualities as wisdom, faith, and joy. (Acts 6:
3; 11:24; 13:52)  And at 2 Corinthians 6:6 holy spirit is included among a num-
ber of qualities.  Such expressions would not be so common if the holy spirit
were actually a person.

  "Then, too, while some Bible texts say that the spirit speaks, other texts
show that this was actually done through humans or angels. (Matthew 10:19, 20;
Acts 4:24, 25; 28:25; Hebrews 2:2)  The action of the spirit in such instances
is like that of radio waves transmitting messages from one person to another far
away.

  "At Matthew 28:19 reference is made to 'the name...of the holy spirit.'  But
the word 'name' does not always mean a personal name, either in Greek or in En-
glish. When we say 'in the name of the law,' we are not referring to a person.
We mean that which the law stands for, its authority. Robertson's Word Pictures
in the New Testament says: 'The use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the
Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority.'  So baptism 'in the name of
the holy spirit' recognizes the authority of the spirit, that it is from God and
functions by divine will.

  "The action of the spirit in such instances is like that of radio waves trans-
mitting messages from one person to another far away.

  "The 'Helper'

  "JESUS spoke of the holy spirit as a 'helper,' and he said it would teach,
guide, and speak. (John 14:16, 26; 16:13)  The Greek word he used for helper
(paˇra'kleˇtos) is in the masculine gender.  So when Jesus referred to what the
helper would do, he used masculine personal pronouns. (John 16:7, 8)  On the
other hand, when the neuter Greek word for spirit (pneu'ma) is used, the neuter
pronoun 'it' is properly employed.

  "Most Trinitarian translators hide this fact, as the Catholic New American Bi-
ble admits regarding John 14:17: 'The Greek word for "Spirit" is neuter, and
while we use personal pronouns in English ("he," "his," '"him"), most Greek MSS
[manuscripts] employ "it."'

  "So when the Bible uses masculine personal pronouns in connection with paˇra'
kleˇtos at John 16:7, 8, it is conforming to rules of grammar, not expressing a
doctrine."

  The next part quotes research books; see "Complaints about the JWs leaders'
use of reference material: the issue of early Christian history and related re-
search material" on p.9.

  "Hence, neither the Jews nor the early Christians viewed the holy spirit as
part of a Trinity.  That teaching came centuries later.  As A Catholic Diction-
ary notes: 'The third Person was asserted at a Council of Alexandria in 362...
and finally by the Council of Constantinople of 381'—some three and a half cen-
turies after holy spirit filled the disciples at Pentecost!"


  The JWs tract quotes above include that "In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word
most frequently used for 'spirit' is ru'ach, meaning 'breath; wind; spirit.'
In the Greek Scriptures, the word is pneu'ma, having a similar meaning."  It
makes a case that the holy spirit is God's impersonal power, that references to
the holy spirit having personality are poetic personification, and "The action
of the spirit in such instances is like that of radio waves transmitting mes-
sages from one person to another far away."  It implies that Christians didn't
think the holy spirit was personal till the late 300's AD (when something like
the JWs leaders' stance, except without stipulating that Jesus was archangel Mi-
chael, the Macedonian view, became a debated view, ironically--see p.9).
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatomachi

  The coverage of "spirit" and "holy spirit" in "Vine's Expository Dictionary of
New Testament Words," shown at the next link, indicates the JWs leaders took the
beginning of the definition that suited their doctrine and left the rest out
(similar to their coverage of stauros, stake or cross--see "Jesus was nailed to
a tree" on p.1a).

  Vine's says it also means "the immaterial, invisible part of man" and "the
sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires."
It explains a bit about John using the pronoun "he" for the holy spirit in some
verses though a neutral one would be strictly correct grammar.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002735
  http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/CONGRK415.htm#S4151

  The Hebrew word that would have been used if clarifying the JWs leaders' view
of the holy spirit was the intention would be "koah" or "koach" (ko'-akh,
Strong's Number: 3581), power, instead of "ruah" or "ruwach" (roo'-akh, Strong's
number: 7307), spirit.
  http://hebrew-word.com/1/power
  http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/3581.htm
  http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=03581
  http://hebrew-word.com/s/spirit
  http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/7307.htm
  http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/search.cgi?word=spirit

  Greek has masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns, unlike English, which has
personal and impersonal nouns which take pronouns which reflect that (he, she,
or it).  Basically, you look to context to see whether what the Greek word re-
fers to is masculine, feminine, or neuter to decide what pronoun to use for it
in English.  For example, "truth" in Greek is feminine but an English transla-
tion uses the pronoun "it" for it.

  If the holy spirit was meant to be understood as impersonal, the common sense
of how to make that clear in simple language would also be to call the holy
spirit "power"/"koah" instead, not describe it in personal terms, and even call
it "not personal," but that isn't how the Bible was written.

  The NT scriptures about the holy spirit reaffirm that the reader is to see the
holy spirit as the invisible sentient element of a personal being by using a lot
of phrases that attribute personality to the holy spirit.
  http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/spiritgod.php

  An example in the OT is:

  Isaiah 63:10

  "But they rebelled
  And grieved His Holy Spirit;
  Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy,
  He fought against them." (NASB)

  See the section below on "The development of the understanding about the holy
spirit in the intertestament period."

  With the development of these ideas in the NT, a lot of personal traits are
assigned to the holy spirit.  The holy spirit was sent by Jesus from Pentacost
(Acts 2) on to live in followers and help them understand the Father and Son.

  A few articles about the holy spirit's activities in the NT:
  http://www.truthnet.org/Holy-Spirit/1HolySpirit-work/Index.htm
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus%27_Name_doctrine
  http://www.gci.org/disc/13-spirit

  John 7:37-39

  "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out,
saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

  "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will
flow rivers of living water.'

  "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to re-
ceive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."
(NASB)

  John 14:15-17

  "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

  "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be
with you forever;
 
  "that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does
not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be
in you." (NASB)

  2 Cor.13:14  "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." (NASB)

  It's another verse that gives Jesus as the Lord of the Shema and gives the
holy spirit as personal.

  Rom.8:26,27 "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not
know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with
groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the
mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the
will of God." (NASB)


  Things or beings can be described metaphorically as things to describe them as
having the properties of those things, so such descriptions aren't a decisive
factor in this.

  Things or beings can be described in personal terms, too.  In the case of
things, it's poetic personification.

  Poetic personification is intended when something known to be impersonal is
given human attributes ("Let the floods clap their hands, let the hills sing for
joy together," Ps.98:8).  But the JWs leaders' case fails to establish that the
holy spirit must be impersonal because it's not scripturally called power/koah
or "not personal."   The JWs leaders' view is only imaginable on the terms that
poetic personification is imaginable for the phrases of personal traits, but it
not only doesn't meet all the criteria for establishing the use of poetic per-
sonification, it runs into the opposite of it.

  Forcing points about the aspects that don't decide things not only undermines
the credibility of the JWs leaders' 144,000 claim, it creates an effort that
wouldn't get a good grade based on a curve in a high school English class of
students that aren't that clever.   It's just something else they force points
of interpretation about for their 144,000 exclusiveness to insist on agreement
to their distinctive stance on the holy spirit for salvation.


  Matt.11:27; Luke 10:22--"no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one
knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal
him" is similar to Mark 13:32 (see above).  It's a matter of emphasis, since
people on Earth knew about the Father and now the Son. but they didn't know
them as thoroughly as they knew each other.  The holy spirit knows the Father
(1 Cor.2:10).  But while the Son was reduced to human form and sent by the Fa-
ther, and before the Father and Son sent the holy spirit to the followers at
Pentacost (Acts 2), the emphasis was on the Father and Son at Matt.11:27; Luke
10:22, and that the Father sent the Son for the crucifixion and salvation, etc.
The Son would help the followers learn more about the Father.  The holy spirit
wasn't to help the followers know the Father and Son till Jesus left and sent
the holy spirit to the followers at Pentacost (Acts 2).


  Another JWs leaders' stance against the holy spirit being personal I've heard
is that the holy spirit isn't mentioned in 1 Cor.8:6,7a:

  "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. But not everyone knows this." (NASB)

  That's one of the verses that the mainstream view sees as giving Jesus as the
Lord in a Christian version of the Shema.

  But the Father (Matt.11:25), Son (Rom.15:6), and holy spirit (2 Cor.3:17,18)
are all called Lord.

  The mainstream view can see it as there being a Father, Son, and holy spirit
who are each God and there being one God, except with "Lord"s.


  The JWs leaders' holy spirit is all pervasive, which is the part of it similar
to the mainstream historical version of omnipresent God except the JWs leaders'
holy spirit is impersonal.  But God is spirit (John 4:24), and "spirit" carries
the meanings of invisible personal being given in Vine's (see above).  The JWs
leaders' holy spirit stance is likely why the JWs leaders' stance on the Father
has him in a spirit body in a location of the heavens (The Watchtower, Feb.15,
1981, pp.5-7).  See "God omnipresent or in a location" below.

  By the JWs leaders' view, God is spirit but the holy spirit is impersonal.
What's the difference--it's the "holy" spirit?  It's not one of those strong
distinctions.  Besides, if God is everywhere, the holy spirit might as well be
personal.

  Where the early Christian writers indicated one way or the other about this,
they indicated the holy spirit was personal (various scriptures and p.9).

  Even the Arian controversy, about a created Jesus outlook founded by Lucian of
Antioch, started with the Arian view having a personal holy spirit (p.9).
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian_of_Antioch

****


  The development of the understanding about the holy spirit in the intertesta-
ment period

  These are some segments of an Internet article by Langdon Gilkey at the fol-
lowing link.
  http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/holyspir.htm

  "Within intertestamental Judaism several significant developments shaped the
idea of 'Holy Spirit' as it was understood in NT times.  After the OT prophets
had proclaimed the coming of the Spirit in the messianic age of salvation,
Judaism had developed the idea that the spirit of prophecy had ceased within
Israel with the last of the biblical prophets (Syriac Bar. 85:3; 1 Macc. 4:46;
14:41; etc.; cf. Ps. 74:9).  Consequently, there arose from time to time a hope
of the dawning of the new age, especially within the apocalyptic movement, which
generally pointed to a supposed messiah and/or prophetic reawakening of some
kind (cf. Acts 5:34ff).

  "The Qumran community is illustrative of this, since it understood itself to
be involved in the fulfillment of Israel's messianic hope as the 'preparers of
the way of the Lord' (Isa. 40:3; cf. 1QS 8. 14-16). The Qumran literature also
shows increased identification of the spirit of prophecy with 'God's Holy Spir-
it' (1QS 8. 16; Zadokite Documents II. 12).

  The historical mainstream view sees God as spirit in heaven, meaning tran-
scendent of the material world, and omnipresent, as is the holy spirit and the
God aspect of Jesus.  God is in a location only as he needs to be to communi-
cate to someone in a location, or as represented symbolically--the Earth is
God's footstool, etc.  For the Son to be "in the bosom of the Father" (John
1:18, NASB) would be meant to be in God's loving favor since the Father doesn't
have a physical body.  It's like the modern expression that someone is another's
"right hand man" having nothing to do with the person being at the other's lit-
eral right hand.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendence_%28religion%29

  "The phrase, 'the Holy Spirit,' occasionally occurs in Judaism (IV Ezra 14:22;
Ascension of Isa. 5:14; etc.), but, as in the rabbis, it generally meant 'God's
spirit of prophecy.'  Thus, the messaianic expectation of Judaism, which in-
cluded the eschatological outpouring of God's spirit (e.g., 1 Enoch 49:3, citing
Isa. 11:2; cf. Sybilline Oracle III, 582, based on Joel 2:28ff.), was bound up
with the conviction that the Spirit had ceased in Israel with the last of the
prophets; the Holy Spirit was understood as God's spirit of prophecy, which
would be given again in the new age to a purified Israel in conjunction with the
advent of a messiah.


  "The concept of the Holy Spirit was broadened through the Wisdom Literature,
especially in the personification of wisdom as that idea came into contact with
the idea of Spirit. As early as Prov. 8:22ff. and Job 28:25ff. wisdom is pre-
sented as a more or less independent aspect of God's power (here as agent in
creation), and wisdom is credited with functions and characteristics that are
attributed to the Holy Spirit in the NT.

  "Wisdom proceeded from the mouth of God and covered the earth as a mist at
creation (Sir. 24:3); she is the breath of the power of God (Wisd. Solomon 7:
25); and by means of his wisdom God formed man (Wisd. Sol. 9:2). The Lord poured
out wisdom upon all his works, and she dwells with all flesh (Sir. 1:9-10).
Moreover, wisdom is full of spirit, and indeed is identified with the Spirit
(Wisd. Sol. 7:22; 9:1; cf. 1:5). Thus the Jews of NT times were familiar with
the background of these ideas as they are variously expressed in the NT, ideas
which use these background concepts but move beyond them to some unexpected con-
clusions.

  "Indeed, Jesus taught that his messiahship and the corresponding outpouring of
the Spirit were firmly rooted in OT understanding (Luke 4:18ff., citing Isa. 61:
1-2), and, similar to intertestamental Judaism, understood the messianic Spirit
of the Lord to be the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:32), the spirit which had foretold
through the prophets that the coming Messiah would inaugurate the age of salva-
tion with the pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh.

  "Jesus developed the idea of the Holy Spirit as a personality (e.g., John 15:
26;26: But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father,
even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to
me 16:7ff.), specifically as God working in the church.

  "Jesus understood the Holy Spirit as a personality.  This comes out especially
in John's Gospel, where the Spirit is called the 'Paraclete,' i.e., the Comfort-
er (Counselor, Advocate).  Jesus himself was the first Counselor (Paraclete,
John 14:16), and he will send the disciples another Counselor after he is gone,
i.e., the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit (14:26; 15:26; 16:5).  The Holy Spir-
it will dwell in the believers (John 7:38; cf. 14:17), and will guide the disci-
ples into all truth (16:13), teaching them 'all things' and bringing them 'to
rememberance of all that [Jesus] said' to them (14:26).  The Holy Spirit will
testify about Jesus, as the disciples must also testify (John 15:26-27)."

****


  God omnipresent or in a location

  "Awake," March 8, 2005, "Is God Everywhere?"
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102005167

  Watchtower Investigated regarding "Awake" May, 2013
  http://watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk/2013/05/04/awake-magazine-may-2013/


  The historical mainstream view sees God as spirit in heaven, meaning tran-
scendent of the material world, and omnipresent, as is the holy spirit and the
God aspect of Jesus.  God is in a location only as he needs to be to communi-
cate to someone in a location, or as represented symbolically--the Earth is
God's footstool, etc.  For the Son to be "at the right hand of God" would be
meant to be in God's favor since the Father doesn't have hands, etc.  It's like
the modern expression that someone is another's "right hand man" having nothing
to do with the person being at the other's literal right hand.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendence_%28religion%29

  The JWs leaders' view sees God as having a spirit body in a location of heav-
en, transcendent of the material world, with the holy spirit an impersonal force
that pervades everything.  God is literally in a location like one of the things
He created.  Some of what the mainstream view sees as symbolism (the Earth is
God's footstool) is seen that way by the JWs leaders' view, too, and some of it
isn't (in the bosom of the Father, John 1:18, NASB).


  Some verses indicate God is in heaven, transcendent over all things he created
of heaven and Earth, yet everywhere.  Verses about him being in, going to, or
coming from a location, on Earth or in heaven, would then be references to lo-
calized presentations or figurative.
  2 Chron.2:6; Ps.139:7-13; Prov.15:3; Jer.7:12-14; 16:17; 23:24; Col.1:17

  1 Kings 8:27  "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the
highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have
built!" (NASB)

  1 Kings 20:28  "And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel,
'Thus says the LORD, "Because the Syrians have said, 'The LORD is a god of the
hills but he is not a god of the valleys,' therefore I will give all this great
multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD."'" (NASB)

  2 Chron.2:6  "But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and
the highest heavens cannot contain Him?  So who am I, that I should build a
house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?" (NASB)

  Psalms 139:7-10

  "Where can I go from Your Spirit?
  "Or where can I flee from Your presence?
  "If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
  "If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
  "If I take the wings of the dawn,
  "If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
  "Even there Your hand will lead me,
  "And Your right hand will lay hold of me." (NASB)

  Isaiah 66:1

  "Thus says the LORD,
  "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool
  "Where then is a house you could build for Me?
  "And where is a place that I may rest?" (NASB)

  Jer.23:23,24

  "'Am I a God who is near,' declares the LORD,
  "And not a God far off?
  "Can a man hide himself in hiding places
  "So I do not see him?' declares the LORD
  "'Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' declares the LORD." (NASB)

  Acts 17:27-28  "that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him
and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and
move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His
children.'" (NASB)

  Also Acts 17:24-28; Eph. 1:23, 4:10.


  Both views figure God resides in heaven--transcendent of the material world
and heaven.

  God created heaven (Gen.1:1; Job 38:7; Is.44:24).

  Some verses about God that have him in a location are anthropomorphisms--giv-
ing him human characteristics as a way to describe him (Is.66:1--the Earth is
his footstool), or appearing in a location to communicate with another being
who is in a location (Jon.1:3--Jonah flees from the presence of the Lord).

  The deliberation is to wonder if the New Testament intends the:

  Mainstream historical view: God is everywhere.  Some verses that indicate God
is in a location are anthropomorphisms, and some are matters of God presenting
himself to someone in a location but not existing only in that location.

  or

  JWs leaders' view:  God has a spirit body in a location and the holy spirit,
His impersonal force, is all-pervasive.

  See the section on holy spirit above.


  Some related history

  Apostle Paul describes Jesus' omnipresence at Colossians 1:17 and 18 in a way
similar to how "the Wisdom of Solomon" (see the section on Prov.8:22-31 above)
describes the Lord as filling the world and holding all things together at 1:7:

  "Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all
things together knows what is said."
  http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=DIV1&byte=3905445

  It's also phrased like the Indian Vedas' description of omnipresence (except
Paul doesn't mean pantheism--God is all), the way Krishna taught about the Su-
preme being Vishnu in the Bhagavad Gita:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishnu#In_the_Bhagavad_Gita
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita

  "I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge,
and the most dear friend.  I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of
everything, the resting place and the eternal seed." (Bhaktivedanta VedaBase:
Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.18)
  http://www.vedabase.com/en/bg/9/18
 
  "But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge?  With a sin-
gle fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe." (Bhaktive-
danta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.42)
  http://www.vedabase.com/en/bg/10/42

  Colossians 1:15-20

  "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

  "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things
have been created through Him and for Him.

  "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

  "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-
born from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in every-
thing.

  "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,

  "and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through
the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things
in heaven." (NASB)

  I knew George Martin helped with "Within You and Without You" but I didn't
know Paul did.  Cool.

  God didn't just create all things, He pervades and sustains all things.
"Creation and annihilation" sounds like "Alpha and Omega" and "beginning and
end," too (Rev.1:8;22:13).  This isn't how you say "archangel Michael."

  Similarly, "the Wisdom of Solomon" (see the section on Prov.8:22-31 above)
decribes the Lord as filling the world and holding all things together at 1:7:
"Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all
things together knows what is said."

  Writings by the early church fathers
  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08130b.htm
  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/irenaeus.html

  175-185 AD Irenaeus
  God is intelligent spirit without a body or parts, above all, and through all,
and in all.

  "Far removed is the Father of all from those things which operate among men,
the affections and passions. He is simple, not composed of parts, without struc-
ture, altogether like and equal to himself alone. He is all mind, all spirit,
all thought, all intelligent, all reason...." (Against Heresies 2:13:3)

  "And thus one God the Father is declared, who is above all, and through all,
and in all. The Father is indeed above all, and He is the Head of Christ; but
the Word is through all things, and is Himself the Head of the Church; while the
Spirit is in us all, and He is the living water, which the Lord grants to those
who rightly believe in Him, and love Him, and who know that 'there is one Fa-
ther, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.'  And to these things
does John also, the disciple of the Lord, bear witness, when he speaks thus in
the Gospel: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.  This was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him,
and without Him was nothing made.'" (Against Heresies, book V, chap.xviii.2)
  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book5.html

  180-185 AD Theophilus of Antioch
  God everywhere, not in a place

  "The form of God is ineffable...in glory He is uncontainable...it belongs to
God, the highest and almighty and the truly God, not only to be everywhere, but
also to overlook all things and to hear all things, and yet, nevertheless, not
to be contained in space...." (To Autolycus 1:3 and 2:3)

  182-202 AD Clement of Alexandria
  God everywhere without a body

  "Being is in God.  God is divine being, eternal and without beginning, incor-
poreal and illimitable, and the cause of what exists." (On Providence (extant
fragment))
  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/clement-fragments.html

  As mentioned above in the section on holy spirit, even the Arian controversy
started with the Arian view having a personal holy spirit (p.9).  Since the holy
spirit is all-pervasive, that would indicate an omnipresent God, too.

****


  Proof verses

  The next batch is from p.9 of the online version of the JWs leaders' brochure.
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  This next section of the JWs leaders' brochure has the heading "What About
Trinity 'Proof Texts'?"

  For all the verses that don't decide anything (the Devil tempting/testing Je-
sus three times, etc.) or are even better for the mainstream view (Paul giving
Jesus as the one Lord of the Shema, etc.) that the JWs leaders give as proving
their stances, it's ironic that they'd claim an exclusively good overview of
what constitutes what is or isn't a "proof verse" or even a forthright presenta-
tion of a better indication.  Their concern to put on a pretense of justifying
their 144,000 exclusiveness (p.1a) keeps getting in the road of it.  It leads
them to make empty boasts that you hit a proof verse for their stances in any
direction you spit.

  I would recommend you figure out what both sides say for all the important
verses, and see what the related history actully is, before hazarding an opin-
ion.  But it's not looking good for the JWs leaders case for this (or the
144,000 exclusive righteousness).


  The threefold formula

  "In those verses the three 'persons' are listed as follows in The New Jerusa-
lem Bible.  Second Corinthians 13:13 (14) puts the three together in this way:
'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the
Holy Spirit be with you all.'  First Corinthians 12:4-6 says: 'There are many
different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; there are many different ways
of serving, but it is always the same Lord.  There are many different forms of
activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all.'  And
Matthew 28:19 reads: 'Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.'"

  "Do those verses say that God, Christ, and the holy spirit constitute a Trini-
tarian Godhead, that the three are equal in substance, power, and eternity?  No,
they do not, no more than listing three people, such as Tom, Dick, and Harry,
means that they are three in one." ("Should You Believe in the Trinity?")


  The threefold formula

  The threefold formula is shown in the divine commision to baptize in the name
of the Father, Son, and holy spirit.

  In the mainstream view, it means to baptize in the name of God (the Father,
Son, and holy spirit).

  In the JWs leaders' view, it means to baptize in the name of God, the only
archangel, and God's impersonal power ("radio station").

  See pp.7-10 for which is better indicated by a conservative interpretation of
the Bible.

  I'll just add that it's not true that just one verse describes each of the
three the same or gives them as doing the same thing.  There are a number of
other verses which, in combination, do the same thing.

  In other words:

  - the Father (Matt.11:25), Son (Rom.15:6), and holy spirit (2 Cor.3:17,18) are
called Lord,

  - God's work has been directed by the Father (Matt.5:44,45), Son (Matt.28:18-
20), and holy spirit (Acts 13:2),

  - Jesus was resurrected by the Father (1 Thes.1:9,10), Son (John 2:19-21), and
holy spirit (Rom.8:11)--by God (Rom.10:9),

  - the Father (John 5:21; 6:32), Son (John 5:21; 6:33-35; 10:28), and holy
spirit (Gal.6:8) give eternal life,

  - the Father (John 5:37; 8:18), Son (John 8:18), and holy spirit (John 15:26)
testify about Christ,

  - Christians fellowship with the Father (John 14:23; 1 John 1:3), Son (1 Cor.
1:9; 1 John 1:3), and holy spirit (2 Cor.13:14; Philippians 2:1),

  - are loved by the Father (John 14:21), Son (John 14:21; Eph.5:25), and holy
spirit (Rom.5:5; possibly 1 John 4:12,13 and Rom.15:30),

  - and the Father and Son (John 14:23) by way of the holy spirit (1 Cor.3:16)
dwell in them.


  You could make a pretty mainstream-sounding sermon out of the bunch.  You
might root around in the next couple of web pages and find some more: 

  holy spirit:
  http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/spiritgod.html

  Jesus:
  http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/jesustitles.htm

  In early Christian history, Aristides, Athenagoras, Justin Martyr, and Iren-
aeus (p.9) are a few notable examples of early Christians who didn't just clari-
fy their mainstream view about the Son but wrote in a mainstream way about the
three.


  There are a number of pairs, too.

  God (Isaiah 45:5) and Jesus (John 1:1; 20:28; Acts 10:36; Rom.9:5; 2 Peter 1:
1) are called "Lord" and "God."  (See the section on John 1:1 below.)

  God (Deut.10:17) and Jesus (Rev.17:14) are called "the Lord of Lords."

  Isaiah 6:1-5  Isaiah saw Jehovah, the train of his robe filling the temple,
the whole Earth filled with His glory, "the King, the LORD of hosts."  At John
12:41, John says Isaiah saw Jesus.

  At Isaiah 10:20, God is "the LORD, the Holy One of Israel."  At Acts 3:13. Je-
sus is "the Holy and Righteous One."

  God (Is.43:11; God says "there is no other savior"; Jude 1:25, others) and Je-
sus (John 4:42 "the savior of the world"; Titus 1:4; others) are called the
"savior."  God (Ex.15:2; Psa.118:14,21) and Jesus (Heb.5:9) have become follow-
ers' salvation.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002481


  Since God says there's just one savior, Him, and Jesus is called savior (Isai-
ah 43:11; Titus 3:6), the JWs leaders make a case for there being saviors other
than God to detract from the mainstream view of it.  But those examples only
serve to show that only God can claim to be the savior to the unique degree and
in the way that God can--the only savior to provide a way to be saved from sin
and death, so something Jesus can be called.  The examples used by the JWs lead-
ers are OT examples of saviors who save people in a lesser regard.

  Judges 3:9 refers to Othniel as a savior, but he just delivers people from
subjection to a king.  Cyrus of Persia, referred to as a messiah or anointed
(Isaiah 45:1), frees the Israelites from Babylonian captivity.

  A study of various verses with "savior":
  http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/great_god_savior_chart.html

  Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 are often translated to call Jesus "our God and
Savior" similar to Thomas calling Jesus "My God and my Lord!" at John 20:28.  A
JWs explanation of the JWs leaders' requirement to avoid that translation is
likewise similar to the JWs leaders' requirement to avoid the usual interpreta-
tion of John 20:28 and can be found at the next link.  See the section on "My
God and my Lord!" below.)
  http://web.archive.org/web/20071120013051/mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/newworldtranslation/trinitydoctrine.htm


  Joel 2:32  "And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD" (aka YHWH) "will
be saved." (NASB)

  Acts 4:12  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name
under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."  (At Acts
4:10, the name is "Jesus.")

  Jesus, 1 Cor.1:24, and the holy spirit, Eph.1:17, are called "wisdom."

  God, Ex.17:5-7; Num.20:7-13; Deut.32:4,15,18,30,31; Is.44:8, and Jesus, 1 Cor.
10:4, are called "Rock" (God claims there is no other Rock).

  God (Psalms 23:1: "The LORD is my shepherd,I shall not want"; Is.40:11) and
Jesus (John 10:10-14: "I am the good shepherd"; Hebrews 13:20) are called
"shepherd."

  God, Is.41:4; 44:6; 48:12, and Jesus, Rev.1:17; 2:8; 22:12,13, are called "the
First and the Last."

  God, Rev.1:8, and Jesus, Rev.22:12,13, are called "the Alpha and Omega."  (I
think "the Alpha and Omega" and "the first and the last" are meant like the more
contemporary "the be-all and the end-all.")

****


  The JWs leaders' brochure says that "Other 'proof texts' deal only with the
relationship between two—-the Father and Jesus.  Let us consider some of them."
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  I and the father are one

  "THAT text, at John 10:30, is often cited to support the Trinity, even though
no third person is mentioned there.  But Jesus himself showed what he meant by
his being 'one' with the Father.  At John 17:21, 22, he prayed to God that his
disciples 'may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in
union with you, that they also may be in union with us,...that they may be one
just as we are one.'  Was Jesus praying that all his disciples would become a
single entity?  No, obviously Jesus was praying that they would be united in
thought and purpose, as he and God were.—See also 1 Corinthians 1:10."

  "Jesus prayed to God that his disciples might 'all be one,' just as he and his
Father 'are one.'"

  "At 1 Corinthians 3:6, 8, Paul says: 'I planted, Apollos watered...He that
plants and he that waters are one.'  Paul did not mean that he and Apollos were
two persons in one; he meant that they were unified in purpose.  The Greek word
that Paul used here for 'one' (hen) is neuter, literally 'one (thing),' indi-
cating oneness in cooperation."


  John 10:30, "I and the Father are one," is explained at the Wikipedia article
at the next link:

  "A group of Jews in the Temple in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication, or
Hanukkah, asks him if he is Messiah, the anointed one of God.  Jesus concludes
his response with the words 'I and my Father are one' (KJV).  This is an allu-
sion to the Shema, which the Jews immediately recognize and pick up stones to
stone him."
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shema_Yisrael#In_Christianity

  Jesus gave the Shema (Shema Yisrael) as one of the two greatest commandments:
"The Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 12:29).  The Shema is also alluded to by
apostle Paul describing Jesus at 1 Cor.8:6: "...yet for us there is one God, the
Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus
Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shema_Yisrael

  John 10:30 should be seen along with the ones covered in the "I am" section
below in which Jesus in the book of John and God in the book of Isaiah make the
same special "I am" self-identification.  Some people got the connection Jesus
intended but didn't believe him and considered it blasphemy, a sin for which the
penalty was to be stoned to death.

  The JWs leaders' archangel Michael Jesus would feel a strong obligation to
avoid repeatedly creating what for him would be sinful impressions, and a nat-
ural dislike of getting creamed with rocks, and could do it easily by just say-
ing, "Hold it, Pharisees and Pharisettes--I'm archangel Michael," but never
does.  No one calls him that, either--doesn't anyone like him enough to stop the
rock assaults?  The JWs leaders just make him out an airhead who doesn't realize
the consequences or implications of the things he says in these situations, an
absent-minded professor of Judaism who's unfamiliar with the book of Isaiah and
the Shema, who has to keep running away dodging rocks after screwing things up
again.  I think it's odd.

  The JWs leaders' kamikazi Stephen in Acts 6-8:3 isn't so lucky and is stoned
to death without calling Jesus archangel Michael to save his life anytime during
a trial before the Sanhedren, a long harassment all the way out of town, and a
big speech about his beliefs leading up to it.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Stephen
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin


  The section after John 10:30 ("I said, "You are gods'" etc.) is covered in
"Human judges as gods part one: John 10; Psalms 82:1-8" on  p.6b.

  By the mainstream view, Jesus claiming to be "one" wth the Father carries
more meaning than just the ability of an archangel to do what the Father wants
him to do and indicates a unity of will and being for the Father and Son.  By
the mainstream view of an omnipresent God, the matter of followers living "in"
Jesus similarly carries more meaning than the ability of followers to do what
Jesus would want.

****


  John 5:18

  The next section of the JWs leaders' brochure is headed "'Making Himself Equal
to God'?"
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  "'The ancients made a wrong use of [John 10:30] to prove that Christ is...of
the same essence with the Father.'" —Commentary on the Gospel According to John,
by John Calvin.
 
  "ANOTHER scripture offered as support for the Trinity is John 5:18.  It says
that the Jews (as at John 10:31-36) wanted to kill Jesus because 'he was also
calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.'"

  "But who said that Jesus was making himself equal to God?  Not Jesus.  He de-
fended himself against this false charge in the very next verse (19): 'To this
accusation Jesus replied:..."the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only
what he sees the Father doing."'—JB."

  "By this, Jesus showed the Jews that he was not equal to God and therefore
could not act on his own initiative.  Can we imagine someone equal to Almighty
God saying that he could 'do nothing by himself'? (Compare Daniel 4:34, 35.)
Interestingly, the context of both John 5:18 and 10:30 shows that Jesus defended
himself against false charges from Jews who, like the Trinitarians, were drawing
wrong conclusions!"


  John 10:30 is covered in "Human judges as gods part one: John 10; Psalms 82:
1-8" on  p.6b.

  At John 5:18, certain Jews wanted to kill Jesus because "he was also calling
God his own Father, making himself equal to God" (as at John 10:31-36--p.6b).
Note that John describes Jesus this way and doesn't clarify that he's just at-
tributing the idea to them.  It offended their sense of monotheism for Jesus to
call the Father "his own" (idios) intending not only a sense not true of others'
relationship to the Father but in the sense of equality.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002035

  There are a few recurring problems with the JWs leaders' stance:

  - if the first century Jewish culture understood and accepted "God's Son"/"the
Son of God" and "a god" as acceptable for an angel or human, why were the Phari-
sees, the most popular group of Judaism, offended and going for death for blas-
phemy and not just discussing whether or not that was meant with Jesus and his
followers till it was made clear?  We know the Pharisees believed in angels.
The discussion could have gone from there without rocks.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees

  - If we imagine the JWs leaders' Jesus as part of a minority sect that held
the outlook that calling an angel "god" in a figurative sense was acceptable,
but the view wasn't common knowledge, why doesn't Jesus or anyone else explain
that, either?

  - if the mainstream Jesus could let on the mainstream identification with an
"I am" at this point, why couldn't the JWs leaders' Jesus say he's archangel Mi-
chael and a god only in a figurative sense?  The easy remedy if that created a
problem would be to say, "Ease up--I'm archangel Michael."  They'd put down the
stones and ask for an autograph.  But not only does Jesus never say it to avoid
rocks, he doesn't say it to clarify to Thomas what his belief should be (John
20:28).  Stephen doesn't say it to save his life (Acts 7).  Nobody ever said it
despite all they went through.


  Jesus said--"the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees
the Father doing."  The brochure asks "Can we imagine someone equal to Almighty
God saying that he could 'do nothing by himself'?"  By the mainstream historical
view, Jesus couldn't act in independant contradiction to the Father--actually,
if he did, it would be a problem for the view, not that he couldn't.  Jesus was
sinless, and to sin is to go against God's word.

  The rest of Jesus' quote at John 5:19 is: "for whatever the Father does, these
things the Son also does in like manner."  The JWs leaders' Jesus could do what-
ever the Father tells him to do, but the mainstream Jesus would use the quote
given in John 5:19.


  The brochure doesn't bring up John 5:23, but I know what the JWs leaders do
with it, so I'll add that one:

  At John 5:23, Jesus tells his followers "so that all will honor the Son even
as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son does not honor the
Father who sent Him." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' view is that the Son isn't to be worshipped, just the Father.
Followers are to honor their mothers and fathers but that doesn't mean worship
them.  "Even as" (or "just as") doesn't have to mean to the exact same degree,
which is shown at 1 John 2:6, where followers are to walk just as Jesus did but
it's a generalization because followers wouldn't be expected to be perfectly
sinless.

  Mainstream response:

  At 1 John 2:6, followers are to act just as the Son in following God's word
to be sinless.  The difference is in the words to the followers having different
expectations due to imperfect followers not being able to be sinless except as
forgiven and counted as sinless due to faith in their mediator Jesus (1 John 2:
1,2,5).

  At John 5:23, followers weren't told to honor their mothers and fathers just
as they honor the Father, they're told to honor the Son just as they honor the
Father.  The notable ways to honor the Father are prayer and worship, which the
followers did for the Son.  See the section on "Prayer and worship" below.

****


  Philippians 2:6

  "Equal With God"?

  Philippians 2:6  "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality
with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very na-
ture of a servant, being made in human likeness." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders quote "The Expositor's Greek Testament": "Thus it is not per-
missible to glide from the true sense 'grasp at' into one which is totally dif-
ferent, 'hold fast.'"
 
  "AT PHILIPPIANS 2:6 the Catholic Douay Version (Dy) of 1609 says of Jesus:
'Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.' The
King James Version (KJ) of 1611 reads much the same."

  "From the foregoing it is apparent that the translators of versions such as
the Douay and the King James are bending the rules to support Trinitarian ends.
Far from saying that Jesus thought it was appropriate to be equal to God, the
Greek of Philippians 2:6, when read objectively, shows just the opposite, that
Jesus did not think it was appropriate."

  "The context of the surrounding verses (3-5, 7, 8, Dy) makes it clear how
verse 6 is to be understood.  The Philippians were urged: 'In humility, let each
esteem others better than themselves.'  Then Paul uses Christ as the outstanding
example of this attitude: 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Je-
sus.'  What 'mind'?  To 'think it not robbery to be equal with God'?  No, that
would be just the opposite of the point being made!  Rather, Jesus, who 'es-
teemed God as better than himself,' would never 'grasp for equality with God,'
but instead he 'humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death.'"

  A JWs defense of the JWs leaders' view is at the next link.
  http://web.archive.org/web/20060701174850/mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/newworldtranslation/philippians2.6.htm


  According to "Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words" regarding
the Greek word "morphe"--"form" or "very nature": "morphe is therefore properly
the nature or essence, not in the abstract, but as actually subsisting in the
individual, and retained as long as the individual itself exists."  "Thus in the
passage before us morphe Theou is the Divine nature actually and inseparably
subsisting in the Person of Christ."  "The true meaning of morphe in the expres-
sion 'form of God' is confirmed by its recurrence in the corresponding phrase,
'form of a servant.'  It is universally admitted that the two phrases are di-
rectly antithetical, and that 'form' must therefore have the same sense in
both."
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001114

  The Greek word "harpagmos," the act of grasping, is from "harpazo," which
means "grasp for."
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000420
  http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/726.htm

  The mainstream view response is Jesus wouldn't grasp at being God either in
being of equal quality to God or to get out of suffering while he humbled him-
self to reduce to human form and suffer the crucifixion, and those are the two
most obvious things it could apply to.

  (A third possibility, at the next link, suggests that Jesus as the subservient
Son didn't consider grasping at equality with the Father's role.  In a main-
stream variation of the Prov.8:22-31 God and Wisdom phrasing possibilities for
God and Jesus, it sees God here referring to the Father as at verse 11.)
  http://bible.org/article/meaning-harpagmos-philippians-26-overlooked-datum-functional-inequality-within-godhead

  The way I usually imagine it for the mainstream view is that Jesus didn't con-
sider grasping at equality with God to get out of suffering while reduced to hu-
man form and suffering during the crucifixion.

  (Even if the paraphrase "hold onto" was used instead, Jesus, before he reduced
to human form, wouldn't "hold onto" equality with God, he'd be humble and reduce
to human form, etc.  It's not importantly different than imagining the same
thing except Jesus not "grasping" at equality with God.)

  I'm no big language expert, but the JWs leaders' stance needs something more
than a mainstream-sounding verse about Jesus and a suggestion for a JWs leaders'
possible way to imagine "grasp."  A much more important problem for the JWs
leaders' stance is that common sense indicates that the way God could have made
the JWs leaders' stance clear would have been to say Jesus was in "archangel"
form, or to call Jesus "archangel Michael"...anywhere.  I don't have any arro-
gance about my ability with language, but there's a problem with the interpre-
tation if God needs our help to pass the language portion of a Civil Service
test.

  Translaters see enough possible for the mainstream view interpretation there
to say it's difficult to insist on one of the imaginable choices.  But with no-
body calling Jesus Michael, what's the difference in there being a multiple
choice of possibilities for the mainstream view that would make for a refutation
of the mainstream view in favor of the JWs leaders' view, which is supposed to
be the point of the JWs leaders' brochure?

  The humility in either view of Jesus would be in the reduction to human form
to suffer the crucifixion to help others, which doesn't bank on which Jesus he
thought he was before it.  The only grasping the JWs leaders' claim of a deci-
sive factor in their favor calls to mind is that a literal 144,000 can't be dumb
in claiming to be rarifiedly good teachers and hold onto the job, just grasp at
it.

  A variety of words of the context of Philippians 2:6-11 are bad for the JWs
leaders' 144,000 elitist stance about Jesus against the mainstream view, espec-
ially in light of nobody calling Jesus "archangel Michael":

  "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God
a thing to be grasped,

  "but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the
likeness of men.

  "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death, even death on a cross.

  "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name,

  "so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven
and on earth and under the earth,

  "and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father." (NASB)

  - he existed in the form of God,

  - for helping people with the crucifixion Jesus has a name above every name,
which is a quote about God: "the name that is above every name" is from Isaiah
45:23,

  - people will worship him (the JWs leaders have people do obeisance to him, a
god, which is still no good--Ex.34:14, Luke 4:8),

  - they'll confess the Christian version of the Shema (Deut.6:4-5; Luke 4:8)
with Jesus as the Lord to express the relationship of the Father and Son.


  A similar verse is Heb.2:9: "But we do see Him who was made for a little while
lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned
with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for ever-
yone." (NASB)

****


  "I Am"

  The JWs leaders continue:
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  "AT JOHN 8:58 a number of translations, for instance The Jerusalem Bible, have
Jesus saying: 'Before Abraham ever was, I Am.'  Was Jesus there teaching, as
Trinitarians assert, that he was known by the title 'I Am'?  And, as they claim,
does this mean that he was Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures, since the King
James Version at Exodus 3:14 states: 'God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM'?

  "The expression at John 8:58 is quite different from the one used at Exodus 3:
14.  Jesus did not use it as a name or a title but as a means of explaining his
prehuman existence.  Hence, note how some other Bible versions render John 8:
58.
 
  "Thus, the real thought of the Greek used here is that God's created 'first-
born,' Jesus, had existed long before Abraham was born.—Colossians 1:15; Pro-
verbs 8:22, 23, 30; Revelation 3:14.

  "Again, the context shows this to be the correct understanding.  This time the
Jews wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to 'have seen Abraham' although, as they
said, he was not yet 50 years old. (Verse 57)  Jesus' natural response was to
tell the truth about his age.  So he naturally told them that he 'was alive be-
fore Abraham was born!'—The Simple English Bible."

  John 8:58 "Jesus said to them: 'Most truly I say to YOU, Before Abraham came
into existence, I have been.'" (NWT)


  John 8:58 "Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was
born, I am." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' NWT translates "ego eimi," usually translated "I am," at John
8:58 to give Jesus as saying "Before Abraham was, I have been."  In the JWs
leaders' version, those around Jesus picked up stones to throw at him because
Jesus said he was very old, they asked him how he was very old, so Jesus told
them he was...very old.  (Cynics about the Bible claim the Jews had bands of
marauders who liked to belt redundant old people with rocks--no, no, no.)  The
JWs leaders do so to direct attention away from the issues that are typically
looked at there.

  The five things in Mosaic law that called for stoning someone to death were:
spiritism (Lev.20:27), blasphemy (Lev.24:10-23), false prophecy (Deut.13:5-10),
stubborn son (Deut.21:18-21), and adultery or rape (Deut.22:21-24; Lev.20:10).

  The "ego eimi"/"I am" verse is a part of the batch of verses given below.

  Other "ego eimi"--"I am" verses:

  God: Ex.3:14--"ego eimi ho on" in Greek ("ho on" means "he is"; "ego eimi" be-
came known as the more distinctive part; Heb.1:3; Rev.4:8; Deut.32:39; Is.41:4;
43:10-13,25; 46:4; 48:12; Zeph.2:13-15;

  Jesus: John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24,28,58; 9:5,9; 13:19; 18:5,6,8.

  More extensive looks at the special use of "ego eimi"/"I am" sayings in the
book of John are at the next few links:
  http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trinity/articles/egoeimi.html
  http://vintage.aomin.org/EGO.html
  http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-john8-58.htm

  A couple of other grammatical points should be made about "ego eimi" in John.
It appears a couple dozen times and, in most cases, it's followed by a predicate
("I am the light," John 8:12).

  In ten cases, it isn't followed by a predicate (the ten examples are from the
NASB):

  John 4:26  "Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He.'"

  John 6:20  "But He said to them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.'"

  John 8:24  "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless
you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

  John 8:28  "So Jesus said, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will
know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these
things as the Father taught Me."

  John 8:58  "Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham
was born, I am."

  John 9:9  "Others were saying, 'This is he,' still others were saying, 'No,
but he is like him.'  He kept saying, 'I am the one.'"

  John 13:19  "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that
when it does occur, you may believe that I am He."

  John 18:5  "They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarene.'  He said to them, 'I am
He.'  And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them."

  John 18:6  "So when He said to them, 'I am He,' they drew back and fell to the
ground."

  John 18:8  "Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let
these go their way.'" (NASB)


  The one case in which it isn't followed by a predicate and there's an unusual
pairing of verbs referring to time is at John 8:58.  A normal indication of be-
ing born before another was born would be to use the same verb: "I was born be-
fore Abraham was born."  Such a more ordinary choice of words would have also
been the way the JWs leaders' archangel Michael Jesus would have explained how
he was older than Abraham.  It wouldn't have merely reaffirmed that he was older
than Abraham but also clarified that he was someone that came into being like an
angel.  They might have believed him or thought he was a nut, but Jesus' answer
couldn't be charged with blasphemy so they wouldn't have picked up rocks to
throw.

  The point about that to see in Jesus' choice of phrasing is that the differ-
ence between the Greek "ego eimi," "I am," and the word for Abraham, "genes-
thai," which carries a meaning of coming into being, like a creature, that "ego
eimi" doesn't.  This difference is represented more clearly in English when "ego
eimi" is translated as it more typically is: "I am." ("Gospel of John (PNTC),"
Carson, John 8:58)  Jesus and his listeners realized this was the distinctive
way Jesus claimed to be older than Abraham, probably getting the Isaiah refer-
ence, too--the mainstream Jesus way, which answered their question about that
but could be considered blasphemy if they didn't believe him.  They didn't be-
lieve him so they tried to stone him to death.

  The mostly Isaiah/John word study above indicates it was understood as a pres-
ent tense phrase that had a special use by God as a claim of unique self-identi-
fication and eternal existence, and was notably used as self-identification by
Jesus when the unique aspect of his identity was the consideration or brought
into question.
  http://www.forananswer.org/John/John%20858.pdf

  At Ex.3:14, the "ego eimi" of "ego eimi ho on" isn't necessarily a title or
name of God but a reference to His timeless existence, without giving Him a time
of being created, which is probably why it ended up used that way so often by
God in Isaiah and Jesus in John.

  "The words ego eimi in John 8:58 do not function as a title of Christ, but are
a statement of his eternality (and, implicitly, his deity)." ("JWs, Jesus
Christ, and the Gospel of John," Robert Bowman, p.124)

  Some of the mainstream view use the option of seeing it as a name or title
(although that would be "I am what I am," which could be Popeye...sorry, old
joke).  But the basic mainstream explanation explains God's special use of it
and the significance of Jesus using it in immediate context whereas the JWs
leaders only force a point about a pointless grammatical idea.

  Even if the JWs leaders' point is imagined--that the phrase itself could just
refer to Jesus' prehuman existence by just referring to past events continuing
in the present--an angel or the mainstream Jesus (overlooking fallen angels,
etc., as described below) could claim that much about existing before Abraham.
If that all there was to the import the words carried, Jesus would have known it
wouldn't clarify what the rock hurlers wanted Jesus to clarify, or even add any-
thing to what he already said to decide between the two possibilities with.

  It's also pointless in that the reader still has an "ego eimi" to learn the
rest of the important issues about from a forthright teacher.

  The collective reaction to the JWs leaders' pretension of comparing transla-
tions and explanations for John 8:58: "OOOHhh...."

  At John 4:26, Jesus identified himself as the Messiah with "ego eimi."

  At John 5:18, the Jews who wanted to kill Jesus wanted to kill him for claim-
ing to be equal to God by calling himself God's Son.

  At John 8:58, Jesus said "ego eimi" again when his extraordinary identifica-
tion was being discussed which prompted disbelievers to attempt to stone him.


  The JWs leaders' Jesus wasn't any good at being discreet if he hoped to be
evasive and avoid the question.  He already said he was the Messiah at John 4:
26, made some of the "ego eimi" statements given above, said he had the right to
make all judgment, etc.

  A claim to have been alive in Abraham's day leaves God and angels--that's it
for an extraordinary son of God/god.  ("The Son of God" was sinless, John 8:46,
so it couldn't be a fallen angel or any previous human who could have died and
been resurrected.  A 2nd God is ruled out because Jesus was a monotheist; John
5:44.)  Either would be very old, so just claiming to be very old wouldn't make
the clarification between the two possibilties the accusers were looking for--
the mainstream or JWs leaders' Jesus.  With no third choice suggested, Jesus
would be stuck with a direct question about which of the two he was.

   He'd either be the mainstream Prov.8:22-31 Wisdom-type Son (eternal) or an
angelic Son (one that came into existence).  If he were Michael, he'd be very
clear to make sure no one got the first impression and that he meant the second.

  There's no rule about angels not being able to tell anyone their name.  If
he was archangel Michael, his behavior in not making the archangel Michael self-
identification clear is as weird as the JWs leaders' Stephen not making it clear
he meant Jesus was archangel Michael through all he went through in Acts 6 and
7.

  This Jesus made with the "ego eimi"s.

  Jesus' accusers thought that he offended their monotheism by making himself
God.  Jesus knew that saying "I am" would indicate he was telling them they were
right about his claim of self-identification but explained that they were wrong
for thinking he was blasphemous in saying it.  The mainstream Jesus would just
have been telling the truth but unfortunately ran into some who didn't believe
him.

  Archangel Michael would avoid leaving the mainstream Jesus impression, eter-
nality, which would be blasphemous for him, and be clear that his identification
involved an angel's creation.  Knowing what his accusers thought he meant about
his self-identification at John 8:58, he went on to leave a further mainstream
Jesus self-identification with them in John 10 (see "Human judges as gods part
one: John 10; Psalms 82:1-8" on p.6b) instead of just telling them that he's
archangel Michael.  Jesus is supposed to honestly offer himself as a sacrifice,
not leave false impressions to court suicide without fulfilling prophecy.

  For all the effort by the JWs leaders to persuade their readers to see a large
number of cases of Jesus called "God" or said to be or do things only God was
called, figuratively, and explain prayer or worship and Shema-type phrases of
Jesus some other way, that would suit an idea of Jesus being archangel Michael,
the word "archangel" only appears a handful of times in the Bible, with none of
them calling Jesus archangel Michael.  That's the thing, between "My Lord and my
God!" (John 20:28) and "archangel Michael," that there's no evidence of anyone
calling Jesus.  (See the section below on archangel Michael.)

  (At John 10, Jesus responds to some Pharisees, who didn't accept Jesus' claims
of identity and accused him of making too much of himself, by saying "Ego--
eimi?  Ego?  You talkin' eimi?  You talkin' eimi?  Well, who the hell elso are
you talkin'...You talkin' to me?  Well, I'm the only one here.  Who the fornica-
tion do you think you're talking to?  Oh, yeah?  Eh?  'kay"  A little seminary
funny there.  The seminarians don't get a lot of funnies, they love it if some-
one does a funny for them.  Sorry.)
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QWL-FwX4t4
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi_Driver


  A possible related concern is that the Jews didn't say "YHWH" because they
thought it meant something like "I am," so would regard it as something only God
could say to identify Himself (see "Yahweh, not your way or his way or their
way" on p.6b).  When speaking a passage with "YHWH," they substituted names like
"Adonai" ("Lord," "Kyrios" in Greek and used for Jesus a lot), "Shaddai" ("Al-
mighty"), and "Hashem" ("the Name").

  It could also be why Philip.2:9-11 and Hebrews 1:4 use such phrases about Je-
sus, but even more indicative of that than "Lord," like "gave him the name that
is above every name" and "the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."

****


  John 1:1

  The JWs leaders continue:

  "The Word Was God"
  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200275293
  http://avoidjw.org/booklets-brochures-tracts/
  http://www.scribd.com/doc/299915150/Watchtower-Should-You-Believe-in-the-Trinity-1989#scribd
  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201308/trinity/

  AT JOHN 1:1 the King James Version reads: 'In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'  Trinitarians claim that this
means that 'the Word' (Greek, ho lo'gos) who came to earth as Jesus Christ was
Almighty God himself.

  "Someone who is 'with' another person cannot also be that other person.

  "Note, however, that here again the context lays the groundwork for accurate
understanding. Even the King James Version says, 'The Word was with God.'  (I-
talics ours.)  Someone who is 'with" another person cannot be the same as that
other person.  In agreement with this, the Journal of Biblical Literature, ed-
ited by Jesuit Joseph A. Fitzmyer, notes that if the latter part of John 1:1
were interpreted to mean 'the' God, this 'would then contradict the preceding
clause,' which says that the Word was with God.

  "At John 1:1 there are two occurrences of the Greek noun theˇos' (god). The
first occurrence refers to Almighty God, with whom the Word was ('and the Word
[lo'gos] was with God [a form of theˇos']'). This first theˇos' is preceded by
the word ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article that points to a dis-
tinct identity, in this case Almighty God ('and the Word was with [the] God').

  "On the other hand, there is no article before the second theˇos' at John 1:1.
So a literal translation would read, 'and god was the Word.'  Yet we have seen
that many translations render this second theˇos' (a predicate noun) as 'di-
vine,' 'godlike,' or 'a god.'  On what authority do they do this?

  "The Koine Greek language had a definite article ('the'), but it did not have
an indefinite article ('a' or 'an').  So when a predicate noun is not preceded
by the definite article, it may be indefinite, depending on the context.

  "The Journal of Biblical Literature says that expressions 'with an anarthrous [no
article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning.'
As the Journal notes, this indicates that the lo'gos can be likened to a god.
It also says of John 1:1: 'The qualitative force of the predicate is so promin-
ent that the noun [theˇos'] cannot be regarded as definite.'"


  The normal translation of John 1:1:

  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God." (NASB)

  See "'A god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah god who was called 'Lord'
too much and not called 'Michael' at all" and the rest of p.6b for a lot of per-
tinent information related to their choice of "a god" here that's left out of
the JWs leaders' coverage about it (the JWs leaders' claim that the "angels" of
a couple of verses from Psalms in the Septuagint are defined by the Masoretic
text as "gods," etc.).

  Again, the mainstream view uses the Prov.8:22-31 (see above) God and Wisdom
phrasing ideas for God and Jesus, called Wisdom, and God and Logos (Jesus).  A
significant case of this is at John 1:1.

  See the section above for "firstborn" regarding the explanation given in
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words about Jesus being the
"image" of the invisible God.

  The JWs leaders' forced points are shown at the bottom of p.7 and this page,
and teach that context requires "a god" for the last phrase of John 1:1, which
they teach refers to archangel Michael.


  Apostle John's monotheistic Jewish culture already had an idea of God's word
as the reason and creative force behind all creation (Gen.1:3; Is.55:11) and
God's own wisdom personified (see Prov.8:22-31 above).  Jesus was referred to as
the Lord in a Christian version of the "one God and one Lord" Shema (1 Cor.8:
6).

  The mainstream view also holds that Apostle John, writing in Greek to a large-
ly Greek-speaking audience, used the word "logos" (Greek for "word") for Jesus
at John 1:1 for an audience that knew the word to have a meaning of the ulti-
mate reasoning in control of all creation.  Seeing the similarity to the Jewish
God and Wisdom idea, John possibly also meant to modify an understanding the
Greeks already had (one difference is that Greek philosophy would have a prob-
lem with Logos becoming flesh, for example--see the coverage about Arius on p.
9) to say God's reasoning or wisdom was with him, was God, and became flesh,
etc.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos_%28Christianity%29
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos
  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09328a.htm

  According to Merriam-Webster Online, Logos is:

  "1. the divine wisdom manifest in the creation, government, and redemption of
the world and often identified with the second person of the Trinity.

  "2. reason that in ancient Greek philosophy is the controlling principle in
the universe."

  The second definition is the idea the Stoics had for it.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism#Physics_and_cosmology

  The closest I know to people then thinking Logos referred to archangel Mi-
chael is the figurative use of "archangel" Philo used as one of the words for
Logos in his loosely scriptural synthesis of Jewish tradition and Platonism.
Philo's Logos was God's own wisdom but had a beginning (?) but was eternally
generated/begotten, impersonal but spoken of with personification, including as
the first-born and the eldest and chief of the angels.  He also called Logos
"the name of God."  According to Wikipedia, Philo's literal concept "treated
God's divine powers by treating them as a single independent being, which he
designates 'Logos.'"
  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09328a.htm
  http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/philo.htm
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo%27s_view_of_God#The_Logos
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatology
 

  "Mighty" and "Almighty" are handled above.


  Basically, the rule is to have big "G" "God,' not little "g" "a god," unless
context requires it.

  The book of John frequently emphasizes a focus on the book of Isaiah, with Je-
sus and God making similar "I am" sayings (see above), the emphasis in Isaiah of
monotheism (no other god--see "'A god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah
god who was called 'Lord' too much and not called 'Michael' at all" and the rest
of p.6b), and Isaiah writing that the Messiah will be called "Mighty God" (Is.9:
6), which Christians take to refer to Jesus appearing long after the Canaanite
idea of acceptable lesser gods you could worship or pray to had been forbiddden
(see the section on "Prayer and worship" below).  There's no possibility for the
JWs leaders' case that nobody in the 1st century called Jesus "God" is any more
honest than the way they teach their other "144,000"-exclusive stances.

  The JWs leaders could try to make a case for it being figurative and not lit-
eral, though that had become forbidden for a god that was worshipped/ given
obeisance and prayed to and Jesus was, and that was called the Lord of the Shema
as Jesus was, but Is.9:6 doesn't leave the JWs leaders' claim that nobody could
have thought to call the mainstream Jesus "God" as a possibility.

  See some excerpts from the article "What Do We Mean by 'First-Century Jewish
Monotheism'?" by Larry W. Hurtado on p.6b.
  http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Hurtado_Monotheism.htm

  According to it:

  "Surely the most wide-ranging analysis of second-Temple Jewish monotheistic
rhetoric, however, is in the recent  dissertation by Paul Rainbow.<42>  Working
from a database of 200 passages where he finds monotheistic expressions (includ-
ing about twenty-five passages from the NT), Rainbow offers some sophisticated
linguistic analysis of the "ten forms of explicit monotheistic speech" charac-
teristic of Greco-Roman Jewish texts.<43>   These are:
  (1) phrases linking a divine title with adjectives such as "one," "only,"
sole, alone, etc.;
  (2) God pictured as monarch over all;
  (3) a divine title linked with "living" and/or "true";
  (4) positive confessional formula, "Yahweh is God" etc.;
  (5) explicit denials of other gods;
  (6) the glory of God not transferable;
  (7) God described as without rival;
  (8) God referred to as incomparable;
  (9) scriptural passages used as expressions of monotheism, e.g., the Shema;
  (10) restrictions of worship to the one God.

  "God was distinguished from other beings most clearly in this: It is required
to offer God worship; it is inappropriate to offer worship to any other.

  "Also, as the evidence of Jewish prayer and cultic practice surveyed above
shows, Jews characteristically expected, indeed felt obliged, to address their
high God directly in prayer and worship.

  "Jewish-Christian reverence of the exalted Jesus in terms and actions charac-
teristically reserved for God, as described in One God, One Lord,<75> though it
was initially a 'mutation' within Jewish monotheistic tradition, was a suffici-
ently distinctive variant form to have been seen by many non-Christian Jews as
compromising the uniqueness of God in the important sphere of cultic action."
  http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Hurtado_Monotheism.htm


  A summary of some ideas from his book "How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?":

  Some indications that worship of Jesus provoked other Jewish people, likely
over an imagined offense to their sense of monothesism, in a way another rever-
ence for an angelic hero or version of Wisdom literature wouldn't have, and long
before whatever outside influences of later centuries to the style of Christian
worship:

  Paul, not long after the ascension of Jesus in the early 30's AD, was a Phari-
see, Saul of Tarsus, who was motivated to put Christians to death (Gal.1:13,14).
This was long before he could have been offended by Christian Jews mingling with
Gentiles (Acts).  What prompted Paul's conversion was a strong revelation of Je-
sus as being God's exalted unique Son (Gal.1:15).

  Philip.2:6-11 is now thought to preserve the earliest hymn to Jesus.  Refer-
ence is made to such hymns being part of Christian worship at 1 Cor.14:26, Col.
3:16, and Eph.5:28,29.

  At the next link, click "Preview this book >" and click the "Contents" button
to make a drop-down box appear, then click chapter "VI."
  http://books.google.com/books?id=Xi5xIxgnNgcC&pg=PP1&ots=h7tskyLfkH&dq=%22How+on+Earth+Did+Jesus+Become+a+God%3F%22:&sig=frOLN78fF9v7o2E8p837YFwyAcI
  http://books.google.com/books?id=Xi5xIxgnNgcC&pg=PA132&lpg=PA132&dq=rainbow+%22jewish+monotheism+as+the+matrix%22&source=web&ots=h7srqzHfiL&sig=zbJnJwWOgWPfNuv7vOo6jmvURjo#v=onepage&q&f=false

  The book of John records a number of other instances of Pharisees having their
sense of monotheism offended by Jesus to the point of wanting to execute him.

****

  The JWs leaders continue about John 1:1:

  Colwell's rule

  "SOME claim, however, that such renderings violate a rule of Koine Greek gram-
mar published by Greek scholar E. C. Colwell back in 1933. He asserted that in
Greek a predicate noun 'has the [definite] article when it follows the verb; it
 does not have the [definite] article when it precedes the verb.'  By this he
meant that a predicate noun preceding the verb should be understood as though it
did have the definite article ('the') in front of it.  At John 1:1 the second
noun (theˇos'), the predicate, precedes the verb—'and [theˇos'] was the Word.'
So, Colwell claimed, John 1:1 should read 'and [the] God was the Word.'

  "Colwell had to acknowledge this regarding the predicate noun, for he said:
'It is indefinite ['a' or 'an'] in this position only when the context demands
it.'  So even he admits that when the context requires it, translators may in-
sert an indefinite article in front of the noun in this type of sentence struc-
ture.

  "Does the context require an indefinite article at John 1:1?  Yes, for the
testimony of the entire Bible is that Jesus is not Almighty God.  Thus, not Col-
well's questionable rule of grammar, but context should guide the translator in
such cases.  And it is apparent from the many translations that insert the in-
definite article 'a' at John 1:1 and in other places that many scholars disa-
gree with such an artificial rule, and so does God's Word."


  Basically, the application of the rule to John 1:1 is to see the third phrase
of John 1:1, which calls Logos "theos," as typically meant to indicate Logos is
"God" in the sense of the personal being "God" (definate), the God, or of the
nature of God (qualitative) understood as "deity" defined as the nature or state
or essence only God possesses.  Context would have to require otherwise to
translate it "a god," a seperate second god (indefinate) called Logos.

  Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words calls deity "Godhead"--the
definitions are at the next links.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000788
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000789

  The typical understanding for God and Wisdom/Logos, or Demiurge and Logos,
was either of the first two translations, each taking a different explanation
for calling Logos "God" but based on the same idea.  That Wisdom/Logos idea was
also the typical idea about Jesus.

  Col.2:9  "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form."
(NASB)  One of the distinctions found in how God was referred to in 1st century
Jewish monotheism was to call God the "living" God.  Deity didn't live elsewhere
as the Gnostics believed, for example.

  The JWs leaders' stance is that context indicates otherwise: that Logos is
archangel Michael--"a god."  See "'A god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Mes-
siah god who was called 'Lord' too much and not called 'Michael' at all" and the
rest of p.6b, the section on archangel Michael below, and p.9--nobody in the Bi-
ble or early history made the identification of Jesus as archangel Michael.  The
idea of Jesus as archangel Michael and "a god"  who isn't to be worshipped or
prayed to comes from the same place that the JWs leaders' other exclusive
stances, and deceptive teaching methods meant to establish them, come from (pp.
1a,4,7-10).  All it's good for is a teacher's claim of exclusiveness.

  As explained in the section above on Prov.8:22-31, the mainstream view sees
God with his wisdom, His Wisdom personified and used to create, and JWs leaders'
stance has it that God created Michael then everything else through Michael,
which is a method God denies using in Isaiah--no one was with Him.  Why bother a
language expert to explain how to imagine exceptions, etc., when there's no need
to imagine an exceptional kind of "with" a separate god (John 1:1) that isn't
"with" a separate god or anyone else (Isaiah verses), or that makes the JWs
leaders' Stephen in Acts 6,7 not say he meant "archangel Michael" to save his
life?  Not only could John 1:1 have been phrased differently to clearly indi-
cate "a god," but it could have said God was with "archangel Michael" if that
was meant instead of the mainstream idea.  Instead, a "God with Logos" phrasing,
like the mainstream "God with Wisdom" idea, was used preceded by God repeatedly
saying you shouldn't make an exception about it.

  The JWs leaders' case, their forced points and misuse of research material,
etc., aside, for context relevant to this passage is weak, though (see pp.6b to
10).  It's good for the JWs leaders' concern to have exclusive rules, but the
deceptive methods used to make them seem to be guarantees takes away any credi-
bility for the claim of being of an especially righteous 144,000 with the au-
thority to establish new rules (pp.1a and 12-42), or even credibility by gener-
al ethics.

  Long (longer than this article) coverages of it are at the next links.
  https://larryhurtado.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/christology-nidb.pdf
  http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/john1_1_eb.htm
  http://www.forananswer.org/John/Jn1_1.htm

****

  The JWs leaders continue about John 1:1:

  No Conflict

  "DOES saying that Jesus Christ is 'a god' conflict with the Bible's teaching
that there is only one God? No, for at times the Bible employs that term to re-
fer to mighty creatures.  Psalms 8:5 reads: 'You also proceeded to make him [man]
a little less than godlike ones [Hebrew, ´eloˇhim'],' that is, angels.  In Je-
sus' defense against the charge of the Jews, that he claimed to be God, he noted
that 'the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was ad-
dressed,' that is, human judges. (John 10:34, 35, JB; Psalms 82:1-6)  Even Satan
is called 'the god of this system of things' at 2 Corinthians 4:4."


  The coverage of the Canaanite use of "gods," brought up in early Mosaic law to
condemn it, and which Jesus brought up to imply those judging against him were
likewise acting superior but getting things wrong and were condemned, is on p.
6b.  This passage is described in "Human judges as gods part one: John 10;
Psalms 82:1-8."

  Satan is a false god, considered the one that those without faith are left to.
The JWs leaders idea about it is just space filler because it does nothing to
establish that it was acceptable to the God of first century Jewish monotheism
to believe in a secondary god, let alone one you could pray to and worship/do
obeisance to.

  Neither example goes against Isaiah giving God as insisting there are no
gods--no real and valid ones, and that his hope for a Messiah would be one
called Mighty God (see above and p.6b).


  The JWs leaders continue:

  "Jesus has a position far higher than angels, imperfect men, or Satan.  Since
these are referred to as 'gods,' mighty ones, surely Jesus can be and is 'a
god.'  Because of his unique position in relation to Jehovah, Jesus is a 'Mighty
God.'—John 1:1; Isaiah 9:6."

  "But does not 'Mighty God' with its capital letters indicate that Jesus is in
some way equal to Jehovah God?  Not at all. Isaiah merely prophesied this to be
one of four names that Jesus would be called, and in the English language such
names are capitalized.  Still, even though Jesus was called 'Mighty,' there can
be only one who is 'Almighty.'  To call Jehovah God 'Almighty' would have little
significance unless there existed others who were also called gods but who occu-
pied a lesser or inferior position."


   See "'A god'--Jesus as archangel Michael the Messiah god who was called
'Lord' too much and not called 'Michael' at all" on p.6b.

  The use of "Mighty God" and "Almighty God" is handled above.

****

 

  My Lord and my God!

  "But what about the apostle Thomas' saying, 'My Lord and my God!' to Jesus at
John 20:28?  To Thomas, Jesus was like 'a god,' especially in the miraculous
circumstances that prompted his exclamation.  Some scholars suggest that Thomas
may simply have made an emotional exclamation of astonishment, spoken to Jesus
but directed to God.  In either case, Thomas did not think that Jesus was Al-
mighty God, for he and all the other apostles knew that Jesus never claimed to
be God but taught that Jehovah alone is 'the only true God.'—John 17:3."


  One part of this is easy.  The reason Thomas didn't call him "Archangel Mi-
chael!" is that absolutely nothing better to decide with that's led up to this
gives any indication that that's who Jesus was.  At this time, even Doubting
Thomas finally got the full idea of who Jesus was, and his idea of Jesus is
identified to us as the mainstream Jesus and not archangel Michael.  If the JWs
leaders' view has anything going for it, what's Michael supposed to be--a secret
agent archangel?

  On this momentous occasion, Thomas addressed the Shema (Deut.6:4-5; Luke 4:8)
to Jesus to tell Jesus that's who he was to him.  It wasn't anybody's idea of a
way to say "archangel Michael," not even the JWs leaders, who have Thomas use
the Shema as an exclamation about God "to" Jesus.  As with the "other"s injected
into the NWT (p.6b), the JWs leaders' version isn't unimaginable but would have
God teach an important concept with omitted words left up to the reader's imag-
ination when people didn't assume them and context doesn't require them.

  Several events leading up to this involved the question of Jesus' identity re-
garding the Shema and his use of "ego eimi"s, including when Jesus was threat-
ened with being killed for blasphemy due to disbelief in the mainstream Jesus
idea.  Thomas said the Shema to Jesus, whose response is "Because you have seen
me, you have believed."  Nobody called Jesus archangel Michael as a need to
imagine the JWs leaders' version, including when Jesus was threatened with being
killed for blasphemy, a disbelief in the mainstream Jesus idea, and it would
have been both important to spread the right idea about it and the defense to
use.

****


  Archangel Michael

  The JWs leaders' teach that Jesus is a created being--the only archangel,
archangel Michael.  Their stance includes that an archangel is a higher quality
being than an angel and isn't referred to by the word "angel," and that he's a
god whose name is the only name you need to call on for salvation but you
shouldn't pray to him, and you should to do obeisance to him but not worship him
(so you don't break the rule to not do either to a god as badly?  Ex.34:14;
Matt.4:20).  These views are required by the JWs leaders for membership in the
JWs and salvation.

   Thanks to a post by blondie at the Jehovah's Witness Discussion forum web
site for the following information from the JWs leaders' "Bible Teach Book,"
2005, p.218-219, "Who Is Michael the Archangel?"):

  "THE spirit creature called Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible.  How-
ever, when he is referred to, he is in action.  In the book of Daniel, Michael
is battling wicked angels; in the letter of Jude, he is disputing with Satan;
and in Revelation, he is waging war with the Devil and his demons.  By defending
Jehovah’s rulership and fighting God’s enemies, Michael lives up to the meaning
of his name—-"Who Is Like God?" But who is Michael?

  "At times, individuals are known by more than one name.  For example, the pa-
triarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon. (Gene-
sis 49:1, 2; Matthew 10:2)  Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is anoth-
er name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth.  Let us consider
Scriptural reasons for drawing that conclusion.

  "Archangel. God’s Word refers to Michael "the archangel." (Jude 9)  This term
means "chief angel."  Notice that Michael is called the archangel.  This sug-
gests that there is only one such angel.  In fact, the term "archangel" occurs
in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural.  Moreover, Jesus is
linked with the office of archangel. Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus
Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states: "The Lord himself will descend from heaven
with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice."  Thus the voice of Jesus is
described as being that of an archangel.  This scripture therefore suggests that
Jesus himself is the archangel Michael.

  "ArmyLeader.  The Bible states that "Michael and his angels battled with the
dragon . . . and its angels." (Revelation 12:7) Thus, Michael is the Leader of
an army of faithful angels.  Revelation also describes Jesus as the Leader of an
army of faithful angels. (Revelation 19:14-16)  And the apostle Paul specifical-
ly mentions "the Lord Jesus" and "his powerful angels." (2 Thessalonians 1:7;
Matthew 16:27; 24:31; 1 Peter 3:22)  So the Bible speaks of both Michael and
"his angels" and Jesus and "his angels." (Matthew 13:41)  Since God’s Word no-
where indicates that there are two armies of faithful angels in heaven—one
headed by Michael and one headed by Jesus—-it is logical to conclude that Mi-
chael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role.

 

  At Gen.3:15, the seed of Eve will crush the devil's head with his heel.  Jesus
conquered the devil's hold on death with the crucifixion (Heb.2:14,15).  Paul
predicts Jesus will finish the devil off at Rom.16:20.  John's prophecy has Mi-
chael lead an army of angels to battle against the dragon and his angels at Rev.
12:7-9, but Jesus win the war at Rev.20:1-15, and the one isn't identified as
the other.

  In Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1, Michael is one of the chief princes who helps Ga-
briel in a fight with the angel of Persia, and who is a great prince who stands
up for the children of Israel.

  "Arch" refers to Dan.10:13; 12:1 and means "chief."  "Angel" means "messen-
ger."  Archangel means chief messenger.  "Angels" include "archangels" like the
"police" include "chiefs of police."  "Chiefs of police" and "police" are equal
quality beings--people.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archangel

  The same area of research (see the Wikipedia article on archangel Michael) in-
dicates that Michael is given as one of the chief princes in Daniel because Jew-
ish culture believed in a number of archangels.  In the inter-testament period
and onward, there were three archangels considered the chief ones: Michael,
Raphael, and Gabriel.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archangel

  Gabriel shows up in Dan.8:15-27 and Luke 1:8-19,26-38.  Luke reaffirms the un-
derstanding that an archangel was an angel, too.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel

  The Book of Enoch, referred to by the book of Jude, seems to have been well
known in the first century, for example, and gives several archangels (see be-
low in this section).  In it, the Son of Man and archangel Michael are two sep-
erate characters.

  The JWs leaders' stance is that Michael was the only archangel, but they only
use related history to make the facts fit the theory (bolstering their stances
about early Christian history--p.9, stake instead of cross, up till lately dis-
agreeing with science about the age of the world--p.1a, etc.), in this case to
force that Jesus is Michael, the only-begotten archangel.

  Michael being one of the chief princes/archangels is bad for the JWs leaders'
stance that archangel Michael is Jesus.  Jesus is given as the only-begotten/
unique/monogenes Son (see above).  The mainstream view has Jesus as a unique
example of someone called Son, whereas the angels are called sons of god so an
angel isn't a unique son of god, and there's more than one archangel so an arch-
angel isn't unique.

  That's no doubt why the JWs leaders made up that an archangel is a higher
quality being than an angel and not just a chief of angels, and that Michael is
the only chief angel and not just one of the chief angels as indicated.

  At Daniel 12:1,2:

  "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of
your people, will arise And there will be a time of distress such as never oc-
curred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people,
everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

  "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to ever-
lasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt." (NASB)

  The reader could connect Dan.9:27, "abomination that causes desolation," with
Rev.12:7-9, where archangel Michael and his angels fight the dragon and his an-
gels and the dragon is thrown from heaven (see below).


  At Joshua 5:13-15:

  "Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and
looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his
hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, 'Are you for us or for our adver-
saries?

  "He said, 'No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.'
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him,
'What has my lord to say to his servant?'

  "The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, 'Remove your sandals from your
feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so." (NASB)

  The man with the sword, captain of the host of the Lord, is not named. Joshua
calls him "Lord" and worships/does obeisance to him.  The man says the ground is
holy.

  Since the man isn't named, either the mainstream historical view or the JWs
leaders' view can imagine the man was Jesus.  The JWs leaders' view would have
the problem (as at Heb.1:6) of Michael/Jesus recieving worship/obeisance though
that's not to be done in monotheism to a "god" (NWT John 1:1) (Ex.34:14; Luke 4:
8).


  Theophanies--the speaker talked to an angel then realized they were talking
to God (see "Sons of a God" on p.6b).  There are examples with Hagar, Abraham,
and Moses in the Wikipedia article at the next link.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophany

  Either God spoke through an angel using the angel for the appearance and mech-
anism to do it with or it was done with an appearance of the mainstream Jesus,
which would be a case of God talking--archangel Michael wasn't known to talk
that way.


  One of the distinctions of 1st century Jewish monotheism was that only God
was to be worshipped. Jesus recieves worship (NWT: obeisance) in the NT (Matt.
2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9,16,17; John 9:38; Luke 24:52; Heb.1:6; Rev.5:11-14; for Rev.
22:3, see the section on worship below).  Anyone else it's offered to tells the
one offering it not to do it (Acts 10:25,26; Rev.19:10; 22:8,9) except at Matt.
18:26, where Jesus tells of a slave who did it desperately begging his lord not
to sell him.  The mainstream view is stronger in not having any worship/obei-
sance done to what the JWs leaders allege is a god.

  For Rev.22:3: at 1 Corinthians 1:24, Jesus is called wisdom: "Christ the pow-
er of God and the wisdom of God."  Wisdom at Prov.8:22-31 was thought to be
God's Wisdom (like the Greek's logos) symbolized as a person.  The God and Wis-
dom verses set a scriptural precedent for the God and Logos or God and Jesus
verses to be seen the mainstream way.  At Rev.22:3, the mainstream view can use
worship "him" (God, which includes Jesus).  For Michael, the word should have
been avoided.  See the part about "Latreuo" in the section below on worship.
The JWs leaders' view also has a problem with Jesus sitting on God's throne;
with no direct identification of Jesus as archangel Michael, it doesn't help as
a way to distinguish the JWs leaders' Jesus from the mainstream view of Jesus.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos_%28Christianity%29


  John 5:28,29
 
  "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the
tombs will hear His voice,

  "and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (NASB)

  There are two judgements with resurrections.  Christians will be resurrected
to join the living Christians who meet with Jesus and an army of angels at the
Second Coming (1 Thess.4:13-18; 1 Cor.15:20-23; Matt.16:27; Rev.19:11-21; 20:1-
6; 22:12), which involves a first resurrection (Rev.20:4-6).  A thousand years
after that, the rest of the dead arise to join the living for a second resurrec-
tion that takes place at the "white throne" judgement (Rev.20:11-15).

  John 5:28,29 refers to the "white throne" judgement, where those called for
judgement by Jesus will hear his voice.  No archangel's voice is given as heard
then.

  At 1 Thess.4:16, referring to the Second Coming, Jesus appears again by the
word "archangel": "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in
Christ will rise first." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' claim that it's Jesus' voice. The verse doesn't clarify
whether it's Jesus' voice or an accompanying voice, or, if imagined to be Je-
sus' voice, is meant literally.  There would need to be an identity connection
made elsewhere and there isn't one.  Instead, at Rev.19:16,17, while the King
of Kings descends--the Second Coming, apostle John "also saw an angel standing
in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice." (NASB)


  Apostle Paul told the Galations they recieved him as if he was an angel of
God--as if he were Jesus.  In the OT, an angel of God is a theophany (see "Sons
of a God" on p.6b).  A person talked to an angel then realized they were talking
to God.  The mainstream view might imagine it as either God using an angel as a
mechanism to communicate with people through or an early appearance by the main-
stream Jesus, which would be case of God talking.  Archangel Michael isn't known
to have talked that way.

  Paul meant he was surprised at the great honor they recieved him with.  It's
not established that he meant a theophany was an appearance of Jesus--either
would create great honor from a believer.  If Paul is imagined to have meant the
connection, as Justin Martyr did with the mainstream view (p.9), it would work
for the mainstream view without establishing that Jesus is archangel Michael.

  Gal.4:12-14  "I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become
as you are. You have done me no wrong; but you know that it was because of a
bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which
was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you
received me as an angel of God, as christ Jesus Himself." (NASB)


  At Jude 1:9, "But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and
argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing
judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" (NASB)

  In the Bible, except for the early case of Noah cursing Canaan after Noah woke
up from a drunk at Gen.9:20-27, cursing sin is for God alone to do.  Others are
to defer to the Lord to judge about that.

  Archangel Michael couldn't rebuke the devil with strong language in an argu-
ment not long after Moses died but deferred to the Lord to do it.

  The mainstream view is that Jesus was always the Son of God and had the prer-
ogative of the Lord to rebuke sin, if people on Earth first became aware of Je-
sus as a Savior and Lord at his birth (Luke 2:11).  The JWs leaders' view is
that Jesus was created as the Son of God and wasn't the Lord till baptized by
John the Baptist and began his ministry (Luke 3:21,22; John 1:28-34) and
couldn't rebuke the Devil (Matt.4:10) till then.

  John 5:22: "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judg-
ment to the Son." (NASB)

  But even after the crucifixion, 2 Pet 2:10b,11, referring to people who re-
vile angels, makes a distinction between angels and the Lord:

  "Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judg-
ment against them before the Lord." (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' stance is that Jesus is the only archangel, which is a higher
quality being than an angel and not referred to by the word "angels," and that
the Lord Jesus isn't an angel--the Lord who judges in that verse is Jesus, but
an archangel isn't an angel.

  By the mainstream view, angels, which includes archangels, defer to Jesus to
curse and judge against sin.  It sees the JWs leaders' stance as having the
problem that angels are to defer to the Lord to curse sin, but the JWs leaders
have an angel as the Lord.

  The JWs leaders' stance doesn't establish over the evidence given above that
there's just one archangel, or that an archangel is a higher quality being than
an angel by being a chief of angels.

  The Prov.8:22-31 God and Wisdom phrasing idea described above, used in the
mainstream view for "God and Jesus" phrases, works better for phrasing that in-
dicates one Lord in the "one God and one Lord" monotheistic culture than Michael
as a second Lord does, such as in verses that use a Christian rephrasing of the
Shema.


  Jude 1:14,15 refers to the book of Enoch (or 1 Enoch).  At Enoch 71:3,14 the
Son of Man and archangel Michael are two different characters.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Enoch
  http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe074.htm
  http://www.heaven.net.nz/writings/thebookofenoch.htm


  The JWs leaders' Jesus bears some resemblance to Metatron, although the Bible
doesn't refer to Metatron.  There has even been speculation about identifying
Metatron as archangel Michael, but it isn't clear.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatron


  Heb.1:3-8,13; 2:5 God didn't tell an angel "you are my Son," (as in "the Son
of God" compared to angels called "Sons of God"; the mainstream view has someone
more unique called "Son" than an angel or even archangel). God calls Jesus God
(or tells him God is his throne--Jesus can sit on God like he's Santa, I guess
symbolic of Jesus having his seat of authority on God's lap, although I don't
remember that symbolism used anywhere else), and God didn't subject the world to
angels.

  Hebrews 1:6 "And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
'AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.'" (NASB; NWT: "do obeisance to")  The JWs leaders' view is that Jesus is a "god" at John 1:1, but at Ex.34:14 one
of the definitions of Jewish monotheism is that followers aren't to worship/do
obeisance to a "god."

  Angels aren't to be worshipped, and an archangel is a chief angel.

  Col.2:18 "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-
abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has
seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind." (NASB)

  Rev.19:10 (attempted worship of an angel): "Then I fell at his feet to worship
him. But he said to me, 'Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and
your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony
of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'" (NASB)  Also see Rev.22:9.


  At Rev.12:7-9, archangel Michael and his angels fight the dragon and his an-
gels.

  The dragon thrown from heaven connects with "abomination that causes desola-
tion" at Dan.9:27.  The reader could connect Dan.12:1,2 (see above) with this.

  The JWs leaders' view connects archangel Michael leading the angels to cast
Satan to Earth in Rev.12 with Jesus' return to lead the heavenly host at Arma-
geddon in Rev.19, but the verses don't identify one as the other.

  In subsequent verses, Christ, the Lamb, and Jesus are mentioned without iden-
tifying Michael as Jesus by name, common action, or guaranteed implication.  In
Revelation, Jesus returns to lead the heavenly host at Armageddon in Rev.19, but
it's not given as the fight by archangel Michael who leads the angels to cast
Satan to Earth in Rev.12:7-9.

  Jesus is called Jesus, Christ, the Lamb, Alpha and Omega, etc., in other sec-
tions--a multiple choice of things Michael isn't called. If the author wanted
to express that Michael became Jesus, he'd just write "Michael is Jesus," which
doesn't appear anywhere, not use "Michael" as for an alternate person, which
John did as the mainstream view would.  (Having Jesus on God's throne is a bad
way to distinguish the JWs leaders' Jesus from the mainstream one, too.)


  The clearest way for the writers to have the Son known as Michael would be to
not call him Jesus--just archangel Michael, but it wasn't done. Some Bible
figures have more than one name (Saul/Paul, etc.). If the Bible meant aka Je-
sus, the clearest way for the writers to identify Jesus as archangel Michael
would be to write "Jesus is archangel Michael," but that doesn't show up any-
where, either.

  No one in the Bible says to Jesus, "archangel Michael," but at John 20:28
Thomas says, "My Lord and my God" to Jesus.  In first century monotheism this
isn't a good way to indicate Michael and not the mainstream Jesus anymore than
anyone thought Logos or Wisdom would be a way to do it.

  You usually think of things written by John or Paul in comparing ther main-
stream and JWs leaders' versions of Jesus, but I'd like to add Luke, figured to
have written Acts.  If the JWs leaders' version of Jesus is considered, what's
the deal with Stephen in Acts 6 and 7?  He must have been accused of the main-
stream Jesus view because he was sentenced to death by stoning for blasphemy.
He goes through a trial of the Sanhedrin, is harassed across town, makes a big
production of a speech of his beliefs, then is stoned to death, and all he had
to say to call it off was he just meant Jesus is archangel Michael and didn't do
it.

  If they were going to make puree out of any of us, we'd say it in two seconds.
What's Stephen do at Acts 7:59?  Prays to Jesus.  In first century Jewish mono-
theism, something you were only to do to God.  What was he if he had the JWs
leaders' view--tired of living?
 

  The idea of Jesus as Michael is imaginable in some ways but with problems
(the Bible never calls one the other, connecting the two isn't needed to make
sense of anything) that would preclude it being assumed to be a Biblically
guaranteed connection.  The JWs leaders play prophet in their stance of 144,000
exclusiveness, which is meant to be established by requiring a JW to connect the
identification of Michael and Jesus for salvation.

****


  Prayer and worship

  An article giving the JWs leaders' stance that Christians should only pray to
the Father through Jesus (as in the 1st century practice of non-Jews to pray to
God though lesser gods) is at the next link.
  http://jehovah.to/exe/general/pray.htm

  It's generally thought that 1st cent. Jews only directed the one God/one Lord
Shema, prayer, and worship to one God.
  http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Hurtado_Monotheism.htm
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shema_Yisrael#In_Christianity

  The JWs leaders' stance seems to be that a distinguishing feature of 1st cent.
Jews is that they beat people to death with rocks if they thought they saw an
angel:

  "To whom should prayers be addressed?

  "The Bible book of Hebrews speaks of a person that 'approaches God.' (Hebrews
11:6) Who is this God? There is but one almighty God, though there are many man-
made and false gods. (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6) The almighty God of the Bible is
named Jehovah. (Psalm 83:18) He is the Creator of all things, and for this
reason prayer should be directed only to him. ("The Watchtower," March 15, 1988,
p.6)
  http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/188532/who-jesus-jws?page=1&size=20

  "But what about the apostle Thomas' saying, 'My Lord and my God!' to Jesus at
John 20:28?  To Thomas, Jesus was like 'a god,' especially in the miraculous
circumstances that prompted his exclamation.  Some scholars suggest that Thomas
may simply have made an emotional exclamation of astonishment, spoken to Jesus
but directed to God." ("Should You Believe in the Trinity?" 1989)

  The NWT (Fred Franz, editor) has "Lord" re-written as "Jehovah" at Acts 2:21,
Rom.1:13, etc., notably to prevent the thought of prayer to Jesus (See p.6b).
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_William_Franz

  "And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: 'Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit.'  Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong
voice: 'Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.'  And after saying this
he fell asleep [in death]." (Acts 7:59,60, NWT)


  This is a good section to use to deliberate on the meaning of "so that all
will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent Him" (John 5:23) with.  The JWs leaders'
stance is that it doesn't have to mean the Son was to be honored to the same de-
gree as the Father was, just basically that both should be honored.  In lieu of
an argument against the mainstream view that holds up (see above), or Jesus be-
ing called "Michael" anywhere, prayer and worship (and Jesus being used in a
Christian version of the Shema) are among the most important ways to see what
honor for the Son was meant.


  I recommend "Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity,"
2003, and "How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?: Historical Questions about
Earliest Devotion to Jesus," 2005, by Larry W. Hurtado, professor of New Testa-
ment language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scot-
land, as a good book about worship of Jesus in the apostolic age and just after-
ward.
  http://books.google.com/books?id=_MH-_ZQuZrgC&pg=PA113&lpg=PA113&dq=larry+w+hurtado+lord+jesus+christ+devotion+to+jesus+in&source=web&ots=51zZQ77SgX&sig=Q4In1qGCk9C6d3FSz7SFKg1psl8#PPP1,M1
  http://books.google.com/books?id=Xi5xIxgnNgcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22How+on+Earth+Did+Jesus+Become+a+Good?:+Historical+Questions+about&hl=en&ei=W1rxTeXWPJK-tgfu-MHpAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

  (GTW note: at the webs version of this article, the two links above lead you
to a number of pages from the book.  For some reason, tha same links at the tri-
pod version just lead you to a Google Books page that shows the credits for the
book.  There, click "Preview this book >"  The link to the webs page is given
below.)
  http://glenster1.webs.com/gtjbrooklyn8.htm

 For some of the basics about worship of Jesus, see the listings for "prayer"
and "worship" from "Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words" at the
next links, and "Honoring a god by falling forward in obesity" on p.6b.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002181
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0003398


  The entry for "call" (as in "call on the name of the Lord") from Vine's Expos-
itory Dictionary of New Testament Words" is at the next link.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000398

  Joel 2:32a  "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered." (NASB)

  Joel 2:32 is referenced in the next two passages.

  Acts 2:21,38  "'AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE
LORD WILL BE SAVED.'" (NASB)

 "Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit.'"

  Rom.10:8-13

  "But what does it say? 'THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR
HEART'--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,

  "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the
mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

  "For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.'

  "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord
of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

  "for 'WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'" (NASB)

  The JWs leaders' NWT has "Jehovah" instead of "Lord" for the last several
verses about calling on the Lord (see p.6b).

  Acts 4:12  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name
under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (NASB)
(At Acts 4:10, the name is "Jesus.")


  If you use the JWs leaders' NWT, remember it replaces a lot of "Lord"s with
"Jehovah"s in the NT--see "Yahweh, not your way or his way or their way" on p.
6b.  Basically, just remember to imagine "Lord" wherever it says "Jehovah" in
the NT.


  That prayer was only to be directed to God was one of the main ways 1st cen-
tury Jewish monotheism distinguished itself from surrounding beliefs about God.

  The other main way was that only the one true God was to be worshipped--be-
lieved to be the one true God, and committed to and honored for it.

  A pagan religion might have a high god with lesser gods who were considered
worthy of prayer and worship at temples.

  In Judaism, angels weren't worthy of worship and couldn't hear everyone's
prayers--only God can know everyone's thoughts and hearts and hear everyone's
prayers.

  An important idea about it was that the Shema expressed the belief that we
have one God and one Lord (Deut.6:4-9; 11:13-21; Num.15:37-41; Mark 12:29).
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shema_Yisrael


  The following excerpts are from "What Do We Mean by "First-Century Jewish
Monotheism?" by L. W. Hurtado, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Cana-
da.
  http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Hurtado_Monotheism.htm

  "Surely the most wide-ranging analysis of second-Temple Jewish monotheistic
rhetoric, however, is in the recent dissertation by Paul Rainbow.<42> Working
from a database of 200 passages where he finds monotheistic expressions (includ-
ing about twenty-five passages from the NT), Rainbow offers some sophisticated
linguistic analysis of the "ten forms of explicit monotheistic speech" charac-
teristic of Greco-Roman Jewish texts.<43> These are:

  (1) phrases linking a divine title with adjectives such as "one," "only,"
sole, alone, etc.;
  (2) God pictured as monarch over all;
  (3) a divine title linked with "living" and/or "true";
  (4) positive confessional formula, "Yahweh is God" etc.;
  (5) explicit denials of other gods;
  (6) the glory of God not transferrable;
  (7) God described as without rival;
  (8) God referred to as incomparable;
  (9) scriptural passages used as expressions of monotheism, e.g., the Shema;
  (10) restrictions of worship to the one God.

  "First, there is a concern to assert God's universal sovereignty. This is re-
flected with particular frequency in statements insisting that the one God
created everything and rules over all, even nations that do not acknowledge this
God.  Even where spiritual powers of evil are pictured as opposing God, as is
often the case in apocalyptic writings, their opposition is characteristically
described as temporary, ultimately futile.  Satan/Beliel/Mastema figures are
rebellious servants of God, whose attempts to thwart God's will only serve it by
exposing the wicked (who cooperate with evil) and by testing and proving the
righteous (who oppose evil and remain true to God).

  "Second, there is a concern to assert God's uniqueness, which is characteris-
tically expressed by contrasting God with the other deities familiar to ancient
Jews in the larger religious environment.  The classic ridicule of other gods
and of the practice of worshipping images in Deutero-Isaiah (e.g., 40:18-20; 41:
21-24; 45:20-21; 46:5-7) is echoed in texts of the Hellenistic and Roman periods
(e.g., Wis., 13-15).  We may take Philo's comment in his discussion of the first
commandment as representative of conscientious Jews of his time: Let us, then,
engrave deep in our hearts this as the first and most sacred of commandments; to
acknowledge and honour one God who is above all, and let the idea that gods are
many never even reach the ears of the man whose rule of life is to seek for
truth in purity and guilelessness.<45>

  "It is important to note that this concern for God's uniqueness also comes to
expression in a contrast or distinction between God and his loyal heavenly ret-
inue, the angels.<46>  For example, angels can be distinguished as created be-
ings from God who is uncreated.  In general, God is distinguished from the an-
gels rhetorically by emphasizing that he is superior to them and is their mas-
ter. Even when we have a principal angel such as Yahoel who bears the divine
name within him and in some sense may be taken thereby as 'divine,' as special
vehicle of God's attributes (Apoc.Abr. 10:3-4, 8-17), the angel acts at the
pleasure of God, and is finally a minister of God, an extension of the sover-
eignty of the one God.

  "The point I wish to emphasize is that all these data show how important cul-
tic/liturgical practice was as an expression of monotheistic scruples.  Jews
were quite willing to imagine beings who bear the divine name within them and
can be referred to by one or more of God's titles (e.g., Yahoel or Melchizedek
as elohim or, later, Metatron as yahweh ha-katon), beings so endowed with divine
attributes as to make it difficult to distinguish them descriptively from God,
beings who are very direct personal extensions of God's powers and sovereignty.
About this, there is clear evidence.  This clothing of servants of God with
God's attributes and even his name will seem 'theologically very confusing' if
we go looking for a 'strict monotheism' of relatively modern distinctions of
'ontological status' between God and these figures, and expect such distinctions
to be expressed in terms of 'attributes and functions.'  By such definitions of
the term, Greco-Roman Jews seem to have been quite ready to accommodate various
divine beings.<69>

  "The evidence we have surveyed here shows that it is in fact in the area of
worship that we find 'the decisive criterion' by which Jews maintained the
uniqueness of God over against both idols and God's own deputies.  I may also
add that the characteristic willingness of Greco-Roman Jews to endure the oppro-
brium of non-Jews over their refusal to worship the other deities, even to the
point of martyrdom, seems to me to constitute a fairly 'strict monotheism.'<70>
Their strictness, however, was expressed more in cultic scruples rather than in
a theological monism or the kind verbal and of conceptual distinctions modern
scholars might more readily appreciate.

  "To summarize this point, God's sovereignty was imagined as including many
figures, some of them in quite prominent roles.  There was a plurality in the
operation of the divine as characteristically described by ancient Jews.  God
was distinguished from other beings most clearly in this: It is required to of-
fer God worship; it is inappropriate to offer worship to any other.

  "Moreover, in pagan versions, beliefs about a high god were not characteris-
tically taken as demanding or justifying a cultic neglect of the other divine
beings. In Jewish religious practice, worship characteristically is restricted
to the high God alone. This is not simply a religious preference; it is taken as
an obligation, and failure to observe this obligation is idolatry.  Philo, for
example, urges his readers to avoid confusing the 'satraps' with 'the Great
King' (Decal. 61-65), when it comes to worship.

  "God's sovereignty was expressed and protected by portraying all spheres of
creation and all the heavenly beings, even those temporarily 'disobedient' (Sa-
tan/Beliel, demons, fallen angels) as inferior and subservient to God, ultimate-
ly within God's power.  God's uniqueness was characteristically manifested and
protected in religious practice, by directing prayer (especially in the cultic/
liturgical setting) and worship to God alone, withholding such devotion from any
other heavenly being, including God's closest ministers and agents."

 

  John 4:21-26  Jesus says "we worship" the Father.  To "worship" God means to
give Him the most exclusive honor, which both the mainstream and JWs leaders'
Jesus would give to the Father.  It doesn't help the JWs leaders' view that
these verses end with Jesus identifying himself as the Messiah with an ego eimi/
I am.


  Prayer to Jesus

  Christians are to pray to Jesus: John 14:14; James 1:1-7; 1 Cor.1:2; Eph.5:19,
20, 1 John 5:11-15, Heb.7:25.
 
  Apostles prayed to Jesus: Rev.22:20, 2 Cor.12:7-9, Acts 7:54-60; Acts 8:24.

  The earliest writings in the NT are by apostle Paul (about 50 AD).  The earli-
est indication of prayer to Jesus as God is that Saul's (later named Paul, in
the early to mid-30's AD) belief in monotheism was offended, causing him to use
the punishishment of stoning to death for blasphemy, shortly after the resurrec-
tion (30-33 AD) by Christians calling on the name of the Lord Jesus, praying to
Jesus, to be saved (Acts 9:13-17).  Several passages that give the account are
shown below.

  Acts 9:10-15

  "Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him
in a vision, 'Ananias.'  And he said, 'Here I am, Lord.'

  And the Lord said to him, 'Get up and go to the street called Straight, and
inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is pray-
ing,

  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on
him, so that he might regain his sight.

  "But Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much
harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;

  "and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your
name.

  "But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear
My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.'" (NASB)


  When Saul converted and became known as Paul, he was praying to Jesus (Acts
22:16.

  Gal.1:13,14  "For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I
used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

  "and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my
countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions." (NASB)

  Acts 22:3-5

  "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated
under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for
God just as you all are today.

  "I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women
into prisons,

  "as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify From
them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in
order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be pun-
ished." (NASB)

  Paul changed his mind in believing in the Christian view of Jesus as the Son
of God:

  Gal.1:15-17

  "But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me
through His grace, was pleased

  "to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did
not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

  "nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went
away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus." (NASB)

  After Paul saw Jesus in a vision and prayed to him (Acts 22:6-10), Saul con-
verted and prayed to Jesus.

  Acts 22:16-18

  "'Now why do you delay?  Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins,
calling on His name.'

  "It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that
I fell into a trance,

  "and I saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly,
because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'" (NASB)

  2 Cor.12:8-10

  "Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

  "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is per-
fected in weakness.'  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weak-
nesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

  "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses,
with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak,
then I am strong." (NASB)


  1 Timothy 1:12-15

  "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He consid-
ered me faithful, putting me into service,

  "even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent ag-
gressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

  "and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love
which are found in Christ Jesus.

  "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all." (NASB)

  Paul gave Jesus as the Lord commonly prayed to by Christians:

  1 Cor.1:2,3

  "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified
in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (NASB)

  The only name a Christian needs to call on for salvation is the Lord Jesus
(Acts 4:10-12; 1 Cor.1:2; Rom.10:13; Philippians 2:10).

  Acts 4:12  "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name un-
der heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (NASB)

  If the JWs leaders' idea of Jesus were intended, followers would have been
told the only name to call on was Jehovah, the Father, or God, to ask him to
have Jesus help them, or have the Father help them Himself, because both views
see that only God can hear everyone's prayers.


  In the OT there are men who do obeisance to show great honor to other men (1
Sam.24:8; 2 Sam.1:2).

  At Ex.20:3-6; 34:14 and Deut.6:13-16, followers aren't to worship/do obeisance
to/go after any god--only to worship/do obeisance to/go for the one true God.

  In the NT times, proskuneo was rightfully done by a follower for God alone
(Acts 10:25,26; Rev.19:9-10; 22:8,9).

  In the NT, aside from verses that everyone agrees are about worship of God and
except for the example Jesus gives of a slave desperately begging his owner not
to sell him (Matt.18:26), anyone who worships/does obeisance to (proskuneo) any-
one but Jesus (Matt.2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9,16,17; John 9:38; Luke 24:52; Philip.2:
10; Heb.1:6; Rev.5:11-14; for Rev.22:3, see the section on "Latreuo" below) is
told not to do it to anyone but God (Acts 10:25,26; Rev.19:10; 22:8,9).

  After Jesus walked on the water:

  Matt.14:33  (After Jesus walked on the water): "And those who were in the boat
worshiped Him, saying, 'You are certainly God's Son!'" (NASB)

  Doubting Thomas after the resurrection:

  John 20:28 "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'  Jesus said
to him, 'Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are they who did
not see, and yet believed.'" (NASB)

  Before the Ascension:

  Matt.28:16,17a

  "But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus
had designated.

  "When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful." (NASB)

 

  Stephen

  Acts 7:59,60  Stephen is killed for his faith--he said he saw a vision of
heaven in which the Son of man was standing at the right hand of God, so the
listeners stoned him to death.  Stephen prayed to Jesus to recieve his spirit.

  "They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, 'Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit!'

  Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold
this sin against them!'  Having said this, he fell asleep." (NASB)

  Acts 7:60 has one of the cases where the JWs leaders' NWT uses "Jehovah" to
replace "Lord" (p.6b).

  The author of Luke wrote Acts.  The parallel verses about prayer during Jesus'
crucifixion in Luke are:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_Luke-Acts

  Luke 23:34  "But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them; for they do not know
what they are doing.'  And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among them-
selves." (NASB)

  Luke 23:46  "And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, INTO YOUR
HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.'  Having said this, He breathed His last." (NASB)


  Both views interpret Stephen's vision as symbolic (at John 1:18, no one has
ever seen God--see above) of Jesus being in God's favor.  "At the right hand" is
a metaphor of the time for someone being in favor with another, not to locate
them.  Jesus being "in the bosom of the Father" at John 1:18 is taken likewise.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism

  In the mainstream view, the Father isn't of a location with a physical body.
The JWs leaders' stance holds that the Father is of a spirit body in a location,
but also sees it as a symbolic vision and not a case of Stephen literally seeing
God.

  See "Jesus at God's right hand" above for how Jesus claimed divinity by saying
he'd be seated at God's right hand.


  Both views see that Jewish culture didn't have a rule to stone someone to
death for having a mistaken vision of an angel or a Messiah they didn't think
was the Messiah (Luke 22:66-71).  The motive of those who punished Stephen was
that they judged that the mainstream view of Jesus was blasphemy.  If Stephen
had an "I believe Jesus was archangel Michael" or "I just meant what I said as
something God ought to tell archangel Michael" explanation to give during a
lengthy effort to implore his listeners to understand what he believed and not
execute him, he didn't give it to save his life through a trail of the Sanhe-
drin, harassment across town, a speech Stephen makes about about his beliefs,
and being stoned to death.

  The JWs leaders replace "Lord" with "Jehovah" at Acts 7:60.  See "Yahweh, not
your way or his way or their way" on p.6b.  The easy remedy is to see the word
"Lord" there instead as in any known early manuscript (see "Yahweh, not your way
or his way or their way" on p.6b).


  Prayer and worship for Jesus

  Phil.2:9-11

  "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name,

  "so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven
and on earth and under the earth,

  "and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father." (NASB)

  Isaiah 45:23

  "I have sworn by Myself,
  "The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
  "And will not turn back,
  "That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance." (NASB)

  "Highly exalted" is from the same Greek verb used in Psalm 96:9 of the Septua-
gint, (97:9 in the Masoretic text) about God being far above all "gods": "For
you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all
gods." (NASB)

  Psalm 110:1

  "The LORD says to my Lord:
  "'Sit at my right hand
  "until I make your enemies
  "a footstool for your feet.'" (NASB)

  This passage is covered above.  First century monotheism wouldn't allow a
secondary god Jesus as the Lord of the Shema in worship of God.


  Hebrews 1:6  All of the angels are instructed by God to worship (do obeisance
to--NWT) Jesus.

  Heb.1:6 quotes the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls (also see the Septua-
gint) about worship of God at Deut.32:43 after "people": "and let all the angels
worship him."

  The JWs leaders' view is Jesus is not God but a god, and the angels aren't
told to worship him but do obeisance to him.  But you're not supposed to worship
or do obeisance to a god (Ex.34:14; Luke 4:8; Col.2).  Jesus was worshipped and prayed
to as Lord, which was only appropriate to do to God.


  I put this in the third category on p.10.  If God wanted the JWs leaders' view
to be understood by all the followers, and He didn't want Jesus to be worshipped
and prayed to, He would have phrased these things and Isaiah 9:6 (Jesus will be
called Mighty God) and John 1:1 (a good place to figure he was called it), etc.,
differently.

  You've probably already noticed that the JWs leaders try to get a lot of mile-
age out of questioning the mainstream view use of Prov.8:22-31 God and Wisdom
phrasing without supplying the answer, sometimes with "Who is he talking to?"
questions they don't answer.

  A better question would be why there would be Christians calling on the name
of the Lord Jesus if he were archangel Michael, Michael couldn't hear them, and
people were taught that you only pray to God so Christians would be sending
prayers to a mainstream Jesus idea instead of Michael.  Mainstream Christians
would be praying to the wrong guy and JWs would be sending prayers to someone
that couldn't hear them.  This is no way to run a phone company.  I think God
has to be given credit for better organizational skills.

  Just calling the Son "archangel Michael" and not aka Jesus, or saying "Arch-
angel Michael is Jesus" and not calling him God in whatever way would have been
the way to make the JWs leaders' version of the Son's identity clear.  Especial-
ly since that wasn't done, God/god, "I am"s, and attributes and titles of God
wouldn't have been used let alone used often for identification if the JWs lead-
ers' identity of Jesus was intended.  Prayer and worship/obeisance would just be
directed to the Father.

****


  Due to the JWs leaders' stance that Jesus is archangel Michael so can't hear
everyone's prayers as God can, the JWs leaders' NWT leaves the word "me" out of
the phrase "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it" at John 14:13,14:

   "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glor-
ified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (NASB)

  "Also, whatever it is that YOU ask in my name, I will do this, in order that
the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son.  If YOU ask anything in
my name, I will do it." (NWT)

  Thanks to an article by Sam Shamoun at the Christian Researh and Evangelism
web site for the information in the following section:
  http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/biblical_monotheism/pt10.html

  "It is interesting to note that the JWs fail to translate a key Greek phrase
that is included in the Greek text used in their The Kingdom Interlinear Trans-
lation of the Greek Scriptures. The phrase, ean ti aitesete me en to onomati
mou touto poieso, literally reads: "if ever anything you should ask ME in the
name of me this I shall do."

  "Jesus is telling believers to ask him anything directly and he will do it.
The JWs have left out "me" from their text as to prevent their followers from
addressing Jesus directly in prayer.  In fact, it is not only the Westcott/Hort
Greek text used by JWs that have the phrase "me", since this reading is sup-
ported by the best and most ancient Greek MSS of the New Testament.  Noted Text-
ual critic, Bruce M. Metzger, comments on the possible reasons why some MSS
dropped the phrase me from the text, despite it being the most probable reading:

  "Either the unusual collocation, ‘ask me in my name.’ or a desire to avoid
contradiction with 16.23 seems to have prompted (a) the omission of me in a
variety of witnesses... or (b) its replacement with ton patera... The word me is
adequately supported... and seems to be appropriate in view of its correlation
with ego later in the verse." (Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New
Testament [United Bible Societies, USA 1971first edition; Deutsche Bibelgesell
schaft, D-Stuttgart, second edition 1994, second printing 1998], p. 208)

****


  Latreuo

  Thanks to an article by Sam Shamoun at the forananswer.org web site for most
of the following information.
  http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Jesus_Latreuo.htm

  Latreuo is a form of worshipful sacred service.
  http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002548

  It's to be rendered only to God. (Deut.10:12; Matt.4:10)

  At Rev.22:1-5, it's rendered to Jesus.

  "Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from
the throne of God and of the Lamb,
 
  "in the middle of its street On either side of the river was the tree of life,
bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of
the tree were for the healing of the nations.

  "There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will
be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;

  "they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.

  "And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the
light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine
them; and they will reign forever and ever.

  "And he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true'; and the Lord, the God
of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the
things which must soon take place." (NASB)

  The mainstream view can see "him" of "they will serve him" at Rev.22:3 as re-
ferring to Jesus, or, as described above in the section on Prov.8:22-31, use the
God and Wisdom possibilities for identification, pronouns etc., for "him" to re-
fer to God, which includes Jesus.

  To see "him" as referring to Jesus:

  Jesus is sitting on the throne of God.  At Rev.20:11-15, the one on the throne
will judge the dead, and Jesus has been given all such judgement (Matt.25:31-46;
John 5:22-23,27; Acts 10:42, 17:30-31; Rom.2:16; 1 Cor.1:7-8; 4:5; 2 Cor.5:10; 1
Thess.3:13; 2 Thess.1:5-10; Heb.9:28)

  Jesus' followers serve him. (Rev.2:18-20)

  Jesus' face would be seen:

  John 1:18  "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in
the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (NASB)

  Rom.8:29  "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed
to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren."
(NASB)

  2 Cor.4:4-6

  "in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving
so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who
is the image of God.

  "For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as
your bond-servants for Jesus' sake.

  "For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has
shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Christ." (NASB)

  Col.1:15  "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all crea-
tion." (NASB)

  His name will be on his servants' foreheads, the servants being the first-
fruits of the Father and the Son:

  Rev.3:12b  "and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the
city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God,
and My new name." (NASB)

  Rev.14:1  "Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and
with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of
His Father written on their foreheads." (NASB)

  Rev.14:4b  "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.  These
have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb."
(NASB)

  Jesus has firstfruits and priests serve him:

  Rev.20:6  "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrec-
tion; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God
and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." (NASB)

  Rom.15:15,16  "I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind
you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ
Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God,
so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by
the Holy Spirit."

  The kingdom belongs to God and Christ:

  Rev.11:15

  "But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you
again, because of the grace that was given me from God,

  "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the
gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanc-
tified by the Holy Spirit." (NASB)

  The Septuagint of Daniel shows latreuo to be given to the Son of Man:

  Dan.7:13-14

  "I kept looking in the night visions,
  "And behold, with the clouds of heaven
  "One like a Son of Man was coming,
  "And He came up to the Ancient of Days
  "And was presented before Him.
  "And to Him was given dominion,
  "Glory and a kingdom,
  "That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
  "Might serve Him
  "His dominion is an everlasting dominion
  "Which will not pass away;
  "And His kingdom is one
  "Which will not be destroyed." (NASB)

  The Son of Man will sit on God's throne:

  Matt.25:31  "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels
with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne." (NASB)

  Mark 14:61,62  "But He kept silent and did not answer.  Again the high priest
was questioning Him, and saying to Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the
Blessed One?

  "And Jesus said, 'I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT
HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." (NASB)

  Rev.1:12,13  "Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me.  And
having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;

  "and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in
a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash."
(NASB)


  Another interpretation possibility for the mainstream view is the use of pro-
nouns imaginable for Prov.8:22-31, with God and Jesus as with God and Wisdom,
in this case being able to see "him" as referring to God, which includes the
Son:

  - The Father's name and the Lamb's name will be placed on the foreheads of be-
lievers, and Rev.22:4 says "his" name will be on their foreheads. (Rev.3:12; 14:
1)

  - The Father and the Son sit on one throne. (Rev.3:21; 22:1-3)

  - The Father and the Son are the one Temple or Sanctuary, and one light, of
believers:

  Rev.21:22-24

  "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its
temple.

  "And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

  "The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring
their glory into it." (NASB)

  The glory of God shines from Jesus.

  Jesus isn't a created being, and he receives worship:

  Rev.5:13,14

  "And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the
earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits
on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion
forever and ever."

  "And the four living creatures kept saying, 'Amen' And the elders fell down
and worshiped." (NASB)

  Rev.22:8.9

  "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things And when I heard and saw,
I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

  "But he said to me, "Do not do that I am a fellow servant of yours and of your
brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book.  Worship
God.'" (NASB)

  Rev.22:6,16

  "And he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true'; and the Lord, the God
of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the
things which must soon take place."

  "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches
I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (NASB)

  That God and the lamb sit on one throne and form one temple, and that the
Christian variation on the Shema has it that Christians have one Lord, which in-
cludes Jesus, set precedents for being able to see "him" at Rev.22:3 as refer-
ring to God, which includes Jesus.

****


  Jesus forgave sins

  The JWs leaders' stance is that Jesus can forgive sins as a "god" who's repre-
sentative of God.  Other have added that it wouldn't have to be blasphemous for
someone in Jesus' culture to tell another their sin was forgiven.

  But Jesus forgave sins not committed against him in a way some thought was re-
markable and even blasphemous.  What may be meant is that Jesus did in a way in-
dicating he knew other's thoughts and hearts as God would (p.7), as implied by
his knowledge of the unspoken faith of some and doubt of others nearby in the
example with the paralytic, that he knew more than context makes clear from the
circumstances about the sinfulness of the woman who cried at his feet or genuine
faith of the criminal on a nearby cross, and the ability after ascending to
heaven to judge the living and dead and forgive sins in reaction to prayer to
him and confession of sin.

  Mark 2:1-12 Jesus told the paralytic his sins were forgiven.

  Luke 7:44-50  Jesus told the woman who cried and kissed his feet that her many
sins were forgiven.

  Luke 23:39-43 Jesus told the criminal on a nearby cross he'd be with Jesus in
Paradise.

  Acts 10:40-43  God said Jesus judges the living and dead--all who believe in
Jesus have forgiveness of sins.

  Acts 22:16 "'Now why do you delay?  Get up and be baptized, and wash away your
sins, calling on His name." (NASB)

  1 John 1:7-9

  "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

  "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is
not in us.

  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (NASB)

****


  Criticism for JWs leaders and patience for followers

  The JWs leaders must have learned the common interpretations in the common Bi-
ble commentaries, etc.  The JWs leaders' literature, such as this brochure,
shows the JWs leaders to want the reader to recognize they're familiar with the
common literature yet agree with the JWs leaders' forced points meant to criti-
cize it that could only be honest if they were unaware of it.  (The JWs lead-
ers' effort to use the section about the Devil testing Jesus three ways to de-
cide for their case for a century is an obvious example.)

  To be fair, some of the mainstream historical Christian writers do something
similar disputing the JWs leaders' interpretations, if it's more easily imagined
that the non-JWs writer wouldn't be familiar with all the relevant JWs leaders'
literature for it so could be mistaken in forcing a point about the JWs leaders'
interpretation of a verse.  The JWs leaders' literature is more common to JWs'
private collections and Kingdom Halls than public libraries, and the set of JWs
leaders' literature comparisons of the views (let alone the JWs leaders' falsi-
fied version of related history and research material; pp.1d, 4,9,14) are dis-
tinctive, so the non-JWs writer could be turned off from taking it seriously to
study it, and could be mistaken in forcing a point critical of a JWs leaders'
interpretation.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revisionism
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudohistory

  Some people get used to the internal logic that comes with their own inter-
pretation of these matters so much that it becomes like their language.  If an
American gets impatient and tells a foreigner they're dumb because they don't
know how to speak English, they just come off like the ugly American.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_American_%28pejorative%29

  Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd): "Good evening.  As a duly designated rep-
resentative of the city, county and state of New York, I order you to cease any
and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or
the nearest convenient parallel dimension."

  Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray): "That ought to do it.  Thanks very much,
Ray."
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostbusters

  Some non-JWs at least need to be more patient about JW followers, considering
the JWs leaders' brochure is representative of how the followers were taught and
the pressure to conform.  As is obvious, I'd recommend that criticism focuses on
the JWs leaders' teaching methods for their distinctive rules, which are used to
make their claim of being God's sole channel of an exclusive 144,000 seem like a
guarantee, instead.

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