OK, it’s Saturday morning and you are drinking some coffee while reading your newspaper, when you hear a knock at your front door. When you open the door, there stands a couple of Jehovah Witnesses with a Bible in their hands. They want to ask you a few questions and then would like to share their faith with you. What would you do? As a Catholic, what should you know about their particular faith in order to help guide you in your discussion? Well, the most important thing to note about a Jehovah Witness is that they do not believe Jesus is God.
So, what should the first approach be when responding to questions posed by these two Jehovah Witnesses. Well, you need to ask a few questions of your own. You need to bring the discussion to the divinity of Christ. When you listen to them talk about Jesus, they will give you all kinds of important sounding titles. They will say he is the Son of God, that he is the first born of creation, that he was the first thing God created, but they will not say he is what Catholics profess when we recite the Nicene creed. In the creed we say; “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.” In fact, the reason why this statement is in the creed is because of a heresy taught by a man named Arius in the 4th century called Arianism. Arius taught that Christ was a creature made by God. Arianism was condemned in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea, which defined the divinity of Christ.
Once they are confronted with the question of Jesus’ divinity, they might try and shift the conversation and say, “Let’s just agree that Jesus is God’s only Son (John 3:16), or that Jesus is the son of God (Matt 8:29).” The problem when they say that, is what they mean, that Jesus is merely a creature. That he is not the second person of the trinity and he does not have a divine nature. They do not believe He is God. In fact, they do not believe in the Trinity. They insist that the Trinity is unbiblical and false. It is also their belief that the Holy Spirit is not God, but is God’s impersonal active force that helps believers do His will.
So, what if we show them the first verse of the Gospel of John where it states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).” This verse of scripture tells us that Jesus is the Word and therefore He is God. But, the Jehovah Witness will then hand you his “New World Translation” bible that says something else. You see, in order to get around this verse, the JW’s came up with their own translation which says “…and the Word was a God.” But, if we look to a passage such as Deuteronomy 32:29, which says, “I alone, am God and there are no gods together with me,” it becomes a contradiction. Other clear verses of contradiction are found in Exodus 20:3 and Isaiah 43:10.
So, where should we turn in their own “NWT” bible to point out that Jesus is in fact God? Well, a good place to start is in John 20:28. It is here where Thomas says to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” In the original Greek it literally reads, “The Lord of me and the God of me.”
We could then turn to (Isaiah 44:24) where it states that God alone created the universe and also from Hebrews “…”he that constructed all things is God (Heb. 3:4).” From there, we can show them the verse from Hebrews that says Jesus created the heavens and the earth, “And, In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands (Heb 1:10).” This passage itself proves that Jesus is God.
Another way to show that Jesus is God is to point out that in (Exodus 3:15-18), God uses the title “I AM” to refer to Himself. Then, we can turn to John 8:58, where Jesus takes the name “I AM.” In Jesus’ time, if someone other than God uses this title, then that person would be blaspheming and would be stoned. The people in Jesus’ audience took His words seriously, and because of that, they picked up stones to kill Him (John 8:59). Again, Jesus is saying He is God.
The followers of this Christian sect would have you believe that Jehovah and Jesus are different beings, even though the Bible clearly states a different story throughout. So, the question we might have to ask the two Jehovah Witnesses at our doorstep is, “If you think Jesus is just a creature, then how could I as a Christian , trust anything you say about God and His Word?”
Until next time, God bless.