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A message exchange regarding the New World Trans..

Written by: White, James    Posted on: 04/24/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN


Message 4882                                  DATE/TIME: 03/20/89 18:13 From  : JAMES WHITE To    : BC BLAD Subject: (R) new file continued conversation Folder : B, "Bible Folder"

Once again, Brian, why hide this stuff in uploaded files?  I have sent to you a large number of posts - went back and forwarded a bunch of stuff that had been sent to another JW who didn't come back - but if we are going to discuss this, why not discuss it out in the open?  Some people don't have time for downloading, unarcing (some can't even do that) etc.  Let's deal with the Watchtower right out in the open - where everyone can judge for themselves.  If the WT is the "faithful and discreet slave" then let's let everyone in on it!  If not...

James>>>                   ----------------------------------------

Message 4902                                  DATE/TIME: 03/20/89 22:46 From  : JAMES WHITE                        -- RECEIVED -- To    : BC BLAD Subject: Review of .arc file Folder : B, "Bible Folder"


Below  I am providing for everyone the contents of "JAMES2.ARC"  by BC  BLAD.  As you will note, the entire file *could* have fit  into one  single  post - why Brian insists on archiving a file  that  is only  5.1K I do not know.  But, be that as it may, I give  you  his post below.  I will also provide rebuttal to the post, and will set off my remarks with asterisks.

  James,                                          09 march 89   to  continue with our discussion on the trinity please note  what was said in "JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE" vol.92 1973 printed in Philadelphia page 85 article by Philip B. Harner and I quote  "with an  anarthrous  predicate  preceding  the  verb,are  primarily qualitative in meaning.They indicate that the logos has the  nature of  theos.There  is no basis for regarding the predicate  theos  as definite."  on  page 87 of his article he concluded"In John  1:1  I think  that the qualitative force of the predicate is so  prominent that the noun cannot be regarded as definite." ******************************************************************* REPLY:     It is extremely frustrating, Brian, when the person with  whom you are trying to speak does not even read the material you post to him.  Your comments prove beyond question that you have  not  even begun  to seriously deal with the material I have provided to  you.  I am well acquainted with Harner's work - I have the article should you  wish  to read all of it - and in fact I addressed  the  common misunderstanding by Jehovah's Witnesses of his comments in my  work on  John 1:1 which I forwarded to you two weeks ago.  Here are  the specific comments I made:

    The  third clause of this verse has occasioned  great  debate  and controversy,  mainly  due to the fact that the Greek  word  for  God, theos,  does not have the definite article ("the") before  it.  Some  pseudo-Christian  or Arian groups have said that  this  means that  the Word  was  a  "god"  or a god-like being  like  an  angel  (Jehovah's  Witnesses).  But is this the  case?  Other  Christian scholars  have put great  weight into the idea that the term  theos is being used  as  an adjective to describe the Logos, and that  is why John did not put the article there.     Actually,  the  answer  to the  whole  question  seems  fairly obvious, even  to  a first-year Greek student.  The third clause of 1.1  is  a copulative  sentence  - that is, it follows  the  form "The    (noun)    is  (predicate  nominative)".  In  Greek,  one distinguishes the subject  of a  copulative sentence by which  noun has  an article in front  of  it.  For  example, in 1 John  4:8  we have the last clause reading  "God  is love."  Now, in Greek  this is  ho  theos agape estin.  There  are  two nominative  nouns  in this  sentence  - God (theos) and  love  (agape).  However,  the  first  noun, God, has the article ho before  it.    This  indicates that  "God"  is  the  subject of the sentence,  and  love  is  the predicate  nominative.  It would be wrong, then, to  translate  1  John 4:8  as  "Love  is  God."  The  only  way  to  make  the  two  nouns  interchangeable  is  to either put the  article  with  both nouns, or  to not put the article there at all.  As long as one has the article and the  other does not, one is definitely the  subject and  the other  the predicate.  Hence, 1 John 4:8 does  not  teach that all love  is  God, nor  that God and love are  interchangeable things.  Rather, the  term "love"  tells  us  something about God - it  functions  almost  as  an adjective, describing the noun  (God) that it modifies.     We  have  the same situation in 1.1c.  The  Greek  reads,  kai  theos  en ho logos.  Notice that the term Logos has the article  ho while  the term theos does not.  This tells us that the subject  of the clause is the Logos.  Hence, we could not translate the  phrase "and  God  was the Word"  for that would make the  wrong  term  the subject  of the  clause.  Hence,  the term "God" is  the  predicate nominative,  and it  functions just  as "love" did in 1 John 4:8  - it  tells us something  about  the Logos  - and that is,  that  the nature  of the Logos is the  nature  of God, just as the nature  of God in 1 John 4:8 was that of love.  Now, John does emphasize  the term "God" by placing it first in the  clause - this is not just  a "divine nature" as in something like the  angels have  - rather, it is  truly  the  nature of Deity that is in view  here  (hence  my  translation as "Deity").  Dr. Kenneth  Wuest,  long  time professor of  Greek  at Moody Bible Institute rendered the phrase,  "And  the Word  was as to His essence absolute Deity."        Before  summing up the verse, then, let the reader  note  that when  groups  such  as Jehovah's Witnesses quote from  Dr.  Philip  Harner's article on the nature of anarthrous (=without the article)  predicate  nominatives,  they  don't  understand  what  they  are  talking  about.  Harner    accurately  pointed  out  that  the  anarthrous  predicate nominative  functions  as a descriptive term rather  than  a  specific  term.    Problem  is,  the  Jehovah's Witnesses  make  "God"  in  John  1.1  just  as  definite  as  the translations they attack!  The point  Harner is  making is that it is  not  the  definite  "God" that is in view,  far  less  the  JW translation of "a god" (both are definite) but rather the nature of the Logos that is important.     Hence,  1.1 tells us some immensely important things.  First,  we see  that  the Logos is eternal, uncreated.  Secondly,  we  see  that  there  are two Divine Persons in view in John's  mind  -  the Father  and the Logos.  Thirdly, there is eternal communication and  relationship  between  the  Father and the Logos.  Finally, we  see that  the  Logos shares the nature of God.  These items  will  be important  for a proper understanding  of  many of  the  statements made by our  Lord  in  this book.  It seems to me that John felt it was vitally important that we understand  the majesty of the Person of Jesus Christ right from  the start.  We will see these  concepts played out through the rest of the book.

    Now, as anyone can see, I spent a good deal of space  pointing out the proper greek structure and how this is to be understood.  I pointed  out  what Harner said, and explained  that  the  Witnesses misunderstand Harner - just as you did.  Translating it as "a  god" is *just* as "definite" as translating it "God", Brian!  The  point Harner  is making is that "theos" is not *identifying*  the  Logos, but  it *describing* the Logos.  The preceding clauses of John  1:1 had  already asserted that the Logos was eternal in being, and  had eternally been in communication with the Father - the final  clause just  simply describes the nature of the Logos - He has the  nature of  God  (which  is  what Philippians 2:6  says).  I  would  truly appreciate it, Brian, if you would *read* what others say - I  have no  intention in trying to engage you on Biblical grounds when  you won't listen to what anyone else says. ******************************************************************* Brian Continued:

please note the following list in which various translators of Mark and  John have translated the singular anarthrous  predicate  nouns occurring before the verb with an indefinite article to denote  the indefinitive and qualitative status of the subject nouns:

The translations involved are: 1> NWT 2> KJV 3> NIV 4> RSV

They  will be referred to by theses numerical designations to  save space.

MARK 6:49  1.an apparition 2.a spirit 3. a ghost 4. a ghost 11:32 1.a prophet 2.a prophet 3.a prophet 4. a real prophet

JOHN 4:19  1. a prophet 2.a prophet 3.a prophet 4. a prophet 6:70  1. a slanderer 2.a devil 3. a devil 4. a devil 8:44  1. a manslayer 2.a devil 3.a devil 4. a devil 8:44  1. a liar 2. a liar 3.a liar 4.a liar 8:48  1. a Samaritan 2. a Samaritan 3. a Samaritan 4.a Samaritan 9:17  1.a prophet 2.a prophet 3.a prophet 4.a prophet 10:1  1.a thief  2. a thief  .3.a thief 4.a thief 10:13  1.a hired man 2. an hireling 3.a hired hand 4.a hireling 10:33  1.a man  2.a man 3.a mere man 4.a man 12:6  1.a thief 2.a thief 3.a thief 4.a thief 18:37  1.a king 2.a king 3.a king 4.a king 18:37  1.a king 2.a king 3.a king 4.a king

I  include this because i gather that you are  knowledgeable  about Greek  so  this way you can look at your source docs. and  see  how John 1:1 was not point to the divinity of Christ. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     Brian, I have most of the modern Watchtower publications, so I have this listing (plus more) in the appendix to the 1984 Reference edition.  Again, each of these instances assumes that there is more than one thief, more than one man, more than one king, etc.  There is  not  more than one God.  It is interesting to me that  the  NWT violates  its own rule in this regard 94% of the time - only 6%  of the  time,  when  translating an anarthrous "theos"  does  the  NWT render it "a god."  For example, I point out Philippians 2:13.  In Greek it reads:

theos gar estin ho energon... God  for  is  the one working...

Now, in this text, the term "theos" is anarthrous, just as it is in John  1.1c  -  that is, it does not have the article.  This  is  a copulative  sentence just as John 1.1c - that is, the verb eimi  is used here (in its third person singular form, estin).  The  subject is arthrous - the participle  ho energon.  But, does the NWT follow its  own  rule here?  Does it translate the phrase "for  a  god  is working..."?  No, the NWT reads, "...for God is the one that,  for the sake of [his] good pleasure, is acting within you..."  If  what the WT says about John 1.1 is true, then they should translate this passage as "a god", too.     Another example is found in 2 Corinthians 5:19 - here theos is anarthrous, it precedes the verb (which here happens to be the same form of eimi found in John 1.1c) and how does the NWT translate it?  "namely,  that God was by means of Christ reconciling..."  Why  not "a god" Brian?     You  said you gave me this information (which I have read  and replied  to literally years ago) because I am "knowledgeable  about Greek..."  Yes, I am.  In fact, let's do a little comparison  here.  The committee that translated the NWT was headed up by Fred  Franz.  He was the only person on the committee who had any training  what- soever in a Biblical language - and that only in Greek.  He had two years  of study in the subject on the undergraduate level.  So,  we have -

    Translators of NWT ----  2 years undergraduate training

I  have  a Bachelors degree in Bible, including a  minor  in  koine Greek.  That  requires three years of  undergraduate  training  in Greek.  I am also only 12 weeks away from graduating with a Masters degree in Theology, which includes three years of training in koine Greek on the graduate level.  Now, a year at the graduate level  is considered  to be the same as two years undergraduate.  That  means the comparison would be like this:

    Translators of NWT ----  2 years of training total     James              ----  9 years of training total

or,  if we wanted to do the comparison on graduate level, it  would be  one  year for NWT verses 4.5 for myself.  I do not  include  in these  figures my training in Hebrew, of which the NWT  translation committee had *none.*     Why tell you this?  Simple - the WT tells you that the NWT  is a  "scholarly" translation.  It is not.  I would not sit  down  and attempt  to translate the entire Bible and then put  the  resulting work forward as being a "scholarly" translation.  And yet, you,  as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, believe what you are told to believe by the  WT, including the lie that the NWT is an accurate  translation of God's Word. ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

please also look up for yourself the following scriptures  although i have written them out for you.

  1:  1  Cor.  8:6 revised standard version "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 from whom we all exist."   now  for some history john 1:1 the word in medieval times and  in some countries today the king never spoke directly to his  subjects he  had  a mouthpiece or lieutenant if you  will,Christ  being  the first  thing (person) created by God was his spokesman or word  and all  things  were created through him as all  decrees  were  issued through  the mouthpiece. the exist part is exist as  Christians  if you care to read the surrounding verses and gain the context of the passage. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     I'm  not sure why you cite 1 Cor. 8:6, as it contradicts  what you then go on to say.  This passage, in describing the Lord  Jesus Christ,  says that it is through Him that all things are - not  all "other" things, as your NWT tries to render Colossians 1:16ff,  but *ALL*  things.  Jesus is the Creator.  Not only this, but Jesus  is the Sustainer of the universe He created, for the next clause says, "and  from  whom we all exist."  Brian, I owe my  existence  to  my Creator  -  Jesus Christ - not to Michael the Archangel,  which  is what you would have us believe!     Yes,  Jesus functions as the Logos of God.  It is in  the  Son that  the Father has revealed Himself.  This has always been  true.  When Yahweh walked with Abraham by the oaks of Mamre in Genesis 18, that  was  none  other than the Lord Jesus  Christ,  there  clearly identified as Yahweh God!  When Isaiah saw Yahweh sitting upon  His throne in Isaiah 6, John 12:41 tells us that was Jesus Christ!  The Father is the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) who is made known  by the  "unique  God", the Son, Jesus Christ (John  1:18)!  How  this denies His deity is certainly unclear. ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  2:from  the  authorized  version of the  King  James..John  20:17 "Jesus  saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended  to my  Father: but go to my bretheren and say unto them,I ascend  unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." ******************************************************************* REPLY:     One  of the normal difficulties in talking with  Witnesses  is that they do not take the time to learn what others believe -  they don't *listen.*  Christians believe what the Bible says:

Have the same way of thinking which was in Christ Jesus, who, although eternally existing in the very form of God, did not regard that equality with God as something to be held     tightly; rather, He made Himself of no reputation by taking the form of a     slave, being made in the likeness of men; and, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross! Because of this, God highly exalted Him, and gave to Him freely the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow - those in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue will confess, saying, "Jesus Christ is Lord" to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, personal translation)

This passage teaches us that Jesus Christ, who eternally existed in the  very  form of God, did not regard that equality which  He  had with  God something to be held on to tightly, but, for the sake  of us,  made  Himself of no reputation.  Note He was not  *made*  that way,  as  if  by  an  outside force,  but  rather  His  action  was completely  voluntary.  He was perfect man - the second  Adam.  He did not cease to be what He was before - the Word became flesh, but did not cease to be the eternal Word.  As the perfect man He  would do all that the perfect man would be expected to do.  He prayed  to the  Father  regularly.  He worshiped the Father.  He  called  the Father  His God.  As the perfect man this is only proper.  So  why, because of His great love for us in humbling Himself and becoming a man,  do  you deny His deity?  This very passage  quotes  from  the prophet Isaiah, where, in 45:23, we hear Yahweh say,

"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."

Here,  Paul  applies  this passage from  Isaiah  to  Jesus  Christ!  Brian,  do  you  seriously believe that the Apostle  would  take  a passage  that is specifically about Yahweh, and apply it to a  mere created being?  Never!  Yahweh alone is God!  There is none  beside Him!  So  what  must  we conclude?  That  Jesus  Christ  is  here identified as Yahweh God, surely.     So  back  to  John  20:17.  Is  there  anything  here  that contradicts  the  Christian  teaching  of  the  Deity  of  Christ?  Certainly  not.  The resurrected Jesus Christ informs Mary that  He is ascending to His Father, to His God.  This is no different  than His words to the disciples in John 14:28.  And do remember,  Brian, that  in only a few verses we shall hear the confession of  Thomas, "My Lord and my God!" ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  3: also from the authorized version  1 Peter 1:3 "Blessed be  the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." acknowledging that Christ is not co-eternal he had a beginning. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     How  does  this common greeting prove that Jesus  is  not  co- eternal?  How does it say that He had a beginning?  It says nothing of  that  at all.  What are you getting that?  Remember  that  the same  author  began  his second epistle with  these  words,  "Simon Peter,  a  bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to  those  who have  received  a  faith  of  the  same  kind  as  ours,  by  the righteousness  of  our  God and  Savior,  Jesus  Christ..."  Peter identifies Jesus as our "God and Savior."  Do you? ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  4:  also  from authorized..Mark 15:34  "At the ninth  hour  Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Elo'i, Elo'i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ******************************************************************* REPLY:     So?  Seems you are misrepresenting the Trinity again,  Brian.  The  Son  is  not the Father.  The Father is not  the  Son.  Three persons,  one  being that is God.  Here the Son cries  out  to  the Father in the words of Psalm 22:1.  What does that have to do  with denying the Deity of Christ? ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  5: from the revised standard  John 17:1,3  "When Jesus had spoken these  words,he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said,'Father,  the hour  has come; glorify thy SON that the SON mat  glorify  thee.And this  is eternal life, that they know thee THE ONLY TRUE  GOD,  and Jesus  Christ whom thou has sent.'"( caps added) Jesus here  called his Father the"only true God," excluding himself from a godhead. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     Reading this entire passage, however, renders your conclusions inadequate.  First, verse 2 says that to Christ has been given  all authority - can a finite, created being have all authority,  Brian?  Then,  eternal life is defined as knowing *both* the  Father  *and* the Son.  The Father *is* the only true God - but the Father is not the  only one who can be so described - Jesus is called  our  "only Lord  and Master" in Jude 4 - that hardly means that the Father  is not  our  only Lord and Master as well.  Verse 5  tells  of  Jesus' request  to be glorified with the glory He shared with  the  Father before  the  world was created.  Since Isaiah 48:11 tells  us  that Yahweh does not share His glory with any others, this surely  tells us  that the Father and Son both share the Name, and the glory  of, Yahweh. ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  6:  revised  standard  John 1:34 " I have seen  and  have  borne witness that this is the Son of God." I being John the Baptist  and notice he bore witness..not by sitting and waiting ,but by actively preaching the good news. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     So?  I'm leading an entire group of Christians in sharing  the Gospel  with  the  70,000 or so who will be  attending  the  Mormon Easter  Pageant in Mesa this week.  The Witnesses are not the  only ones  who  go out with their message - major difference  being,  we preach Jesus Christ, you preach the Watchtower. ******************************************************************* Brian Continues:

  7:also  off  the subject a little,but regarding faith  and  works  James 2:14-26 just a little food for thought. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     Have  studied  James 2 intensely - and, since it  is  off  the point, I'll let it stay right where it is. ******************************************************************* Brian Concludes:

Here  are some others that I will leave you to look up (if you  are willing to do so):

JOHN 10:36        JOHN 14:28 JOHN 5:37          JOHN 13:16; 8:42 JOHN 8:17,18      JOHN 5:19 JOHN 14:1,6,9 PLEASE COMPARE JOHN 1:14,18 WITH THIS LUKE 22:41,42      1 COR.11:3 MATT  20:23        PHIL. 2:5-7 REVISED STANDARD IS CLEAREST ON POINT BEING MADE. REV. 1:1  3:14 COL 1:15,16 JOHN 1:18 ACTS 2:2-4,16,17  ACTS 1:5  ACTS 7:55,56 DAN. 7:9,13 MATT 28:19 DOES MENTION THREE TOGETHER,BUT NOT THAT THEY ARE EQUAL,COETERNAL,OR ONE GOD.

This  should  provide enough material to  thoroughly  disprove  the trinity so I think we should move on to some other topic don't  you agree? I'll even let you pick this time as I chose first. Again let me  emphasize  that  this  is  meant  conversationally    not controversially. ******************************************************************* REPLY:     You really can't believe that listing some verses (a number of which  directly  contradict your own beliefs, such  as  John  1:18, Revelation  3:14, Colossians 1:15-16, and Matthew 28:19)  ends  the discussion, do you?  Well, for a Witness, it might.  I have to  ask you - are you really concerned with truth, Brian, or just winning a battle?  Are  you  more dedicated to the WT than you  are  to  the Bible?  I believe you are.     I  have  forwarded to you at least 120K of material,  and  you have  replied  with just under 10K of writing that  had  little  or nothing  to do with the topic at hand.  I forwarded to you a  study of John 1:1-18 - you ignored it.  I forwarded to you a paper on the Bible's  identification  of Jesus as Yahweh.  You  ignored  it.  I forwarded  to  you  an entire booklet answering  just  about  every Witness excuse about the 144,000 - no reply.

    You  asked me to pick the topic - OK, let's see if you  are  a Bible student or not.  Here's the topic:


I will not accept copied pablum from WT books.  Open your Bible  to the book of Colossians - get out your Kingdom Interlinear, too.  We will  start with the first chapter.  I give you first shot.  Stick with the topic, please.

    As I mentioned above, I will be leading volunteers from  Alpha and Omega Ministries in witness to the Mormons attending the Easter Pageant in Mesa each night this week.  This will severely limit  my BBSing time, but I will do my best to stay current.

"For  it  is in Him that all the fulness of Deity  is  dwelling  in bodily form..."  Colossians 2:9


Message 5017                                  DATE/TIME: 03/26/

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