If you’re familiar with the New World Translation (the translation used by the Kingdom Hall of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”) at all, you’re probably most familiar with their translation of John 1:1 which reads, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)
In case you’ve never noticed that particular rendition, it’s a big difference from any other commonly referred to translation which gives a capital “G” to the final Greek word “theos” in the sentence.
It is a most pitiful translation because it changes one’s theology dramatically in a detrimental way. And the theological position that it happens to change is a key doctrine to the Kingdom Hall creed.
But did you know that the NWT translators missed a verse in John’s gospel that stands firm as a witness to the true identity of Jesus’ deity? It’s found in Continue reading
I had the opportunity to do a great impromptu Bible study yesterday in the waiting room of a car dealership with a nice young married couple.
After playing a couple of games on my phone I decided to work on my sermon, from John 7, for this coming up Sunday so I got out my Bible and went to making notes when the man noticed what I was doing and decided to come sit next to me to start a conversation.
To make a long story short, the man and his wife ended up being members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (which explained their very friendly yet bold approach of a stranger) and we had a really good conversation for about 45 minutes or so. Studying from John’s gospel ended up being a blessing in disguise because much of the conversation, along with the duration of hell and what exactly it was that died in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned, revolved around the deity of Jesus and that’s something to which John’s gospel is adamant about.
They gave me some things to consider and I likewise gave them a few; one of which was that Jesus is God and not god as the New World Translation presents him to be in John 1:1 by showing them that Jesus never refused worship given to him and he never corrected anyone for doing so which plainly shows, after comparing the situations to Peter in Acts 10 and the angel in Revelation 19 and 21, that Jesus was truly God in the flesh. We also talked about the I AM statements of John’s gospel and how they undeniably pointed back to God’s interactions with Israel thus equating Jesus with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, including all his children; but the big point revolved around the clear distinction between Jesus’ reaction when worshipped and the reaction of others who rejected the obeisance that was offered to them.
After the conversation was over they asked for a way to get back in contact with me after they had studied out the proposition that I gave them concerning Jesus and the worship that was offered to him. According to them it was a new proposition for them to consider, so hopefully they will study diligently and with an open heart; something to which the man and his wife both agreed are essential to understanding the word of God – now if they will only kept that principle in mind when it comes to studying the Word of God as well.
Be ready always (1 Peter 3:15), and while you’re at it please say a prayer for this young couple, because you never know what may permanently come out of an impromptu Bible study (think Acts 8:26-40).
Concerning John 5:16-18, I found the following quote thought-provoking:
Yeshua’s Judean opposition immediately perceived that by saying God was his own Father he was claiming equality with God. Some Jews would like to reclaim Yeshua for the Jewish people by regarding him as a great teacher, which he was, but only human, not divine. Yeshua’s claim here makes that option impossible. A merely human “great teacher” who teaches that he is equal with God would be, as C. S. Lewis put it, either
“a lunatic — on a level with a man who says he’s a poached egg — or else He would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse.” (Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1958, p. 41)
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)