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According to Jehovah's witnesses what evidences are there in the Bible that Jehovah is not Jesus Christ? What passages separate them, or declare them as different?

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  • Related: this and this
    – user19845
    Jul 9, 2022 at 4:24

3 Answers 3

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I think the Jehovahs Witnesses make the matter pretty clear on their website.

TL;DR - Jehovah used to appear to the ancient prophets as "God Almighty", Jesus Christ never identified as "God Almighty".


Does God Have a Name?

The Bible’s answer

Humans all have personal names. Wouldn’t it be reasonable for God to have a name? Having and using personal names is a vital part of human friendships. Should it be different when it comes to our friendship with God?

In the Bible, God says: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isaiah 42:8) Although he also has many titles, such as “God Almighty,” “Sovereign Lord,” and “Creator,” he honors his worshippers by inviting them to address him by his personal name.—Genesis 17:1; Acts 4:24; 1 Peter 4:19.

Many translations of the Bible contain God’s personal name at Exodus 6:3. That passage says: “I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.”

Jehovah is a rendering of God’s name in English that has been used for centuries. While many scholars prefer the spelling “Yahweh,” Jehovah is the form of the name that is most widely recognized. The first part of the Bible was written not in English but in Hebrew, a language that is read from right to left. In that language, the divine name appears as four consonants, יהוה. Those four Hebrew characters—transliterated YHWH—are known as the Tetragrammaton.


Is God’s Name Jesus?

The Bible’s answer

Jesus referred to himself as “God’s Son” or “the Son of God.” (John 10:36; 11:4) Jesus never identified himself as Almighty God.

Moreover, Jesus prayed to God. (Matthew 26:39) And while teaching his followers how to pray, Jesus said: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.”—Matthew 6:9.

Jesus revealed God’s name when he quoted an ancient passage of Scripture and said: “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.”—Mark 12:29; Deuteronomy 6:4.


Is Jesus Almighty God?

The Bible’s answer

Jesus’ opposers accused him of making himself equal to God. (John 5:18; 10:30-33) However, Jesus never claimed to be on the same level as Almighty God. He said: “The Father is greater than I am.”—John 14:28.

Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.” Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.


www.JW.org, Jehovah's Witnesses Bible Questions Answered - God, Jesus.

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  • I'm surprised they don't include that an argument to that effect can be made based on the constant New Testament refrain of "God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ" (particularly in the Pauline epistles) if you reject the rather contrived Sharpe's rule. Dec 2, 2014 at 16:55
  • How does John 10:30 fit in with all of this?
    – Zenon
    Dec 2, 2014 at 20:46
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    @Zenon - Because it adds context to why the Jews are ready to stone him, which is because they think he's making himself equal to God by saying, " I and the Father are one."
    – ShemSeger
    Dec 2, 2014 at 21:03
  • @ShemSeger I don't understand Phil 2:9 as an argument considering what follows in 2:11. Jan 26, 2016 at 14:40
  • @JontheArchitect I can only guess as to what you didn't understand, but 2:11 says that glory should go to God because God was the one who did the exalting. Jesus has such a high position due to the magnitude of God's glory.
    – user32540
    Jun 13, 2017 at 0:26
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As a JW myself, I would first say, that I can't find any verse in the Bible that would directly hint at Jesus being equal to Jehovah. That is not to say, that Jesus doesn't have some of the same attributes that Jehovah (the Father) has.

My understanding of the Trinity dogma is that it claims Jesus to be fully God and fully Human simultaneously, and that you can't separate the two natures. His Godly essence is shared with the Father and Holy Spirit, which are separate persons of the one Trinity God/Devine being.

I understand that quite a few Bible verses can be regarded in a way to support this view, but when I look at the context and closely look at the chosen words and grammar, I don't find the arguments very compelling.

For instance: the argument that Jesus is "eternally begotten" has no scriptural foundation. The term "eternal" is nowhere to be found in relation to "begotten" in the whole bible. "Eternally begotten" and "not made" are imposing meaning not found in the biblical text. It is implied by (IMHO) false logic used for bible verses like John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-16. I've discussed these Bible verses in my answer here, to show why I don't think that they convey a state of eternal existence of Jesus as the tool of creation.

Being God Almighty‘s only begotten Son, means that Jesus is the only person brought forth, born, or made by God Almighty alone. „Begotten“ conveys the meaning of „reproduction“, such as is made clearly evident in Matthew 1:2-16 (KJV) where „begat“ is used multiple times in the sense of „human reproduction“.

Now God Almighty did not have a partner to mix genes, which could be interpreted that he produced a "copy" of Himself resulting in Jesus. This is a biblically acceptable interpretation as Jesus is called „the perfect image“ of God, the „perfect representation of [God‘s] being“. When a perfect Almighty God reproduces Himself, wouldn‘t you expect an exact and perfect copy/representation as a result?

Wouldn’t you expect „all the fullness of deity“ to dwell in that perfect representation? So these verses do not contradict but support my views, despite them often being used to prove the trinity.

My favorite prooftext to show that Jesus and Jehovah (and the Holy Spirit) are different entities

The prooftext I like the most to show that Jesus cannot be Jehovah (the Father) happens to be what is known to be the Comma Johanneum - 1. John 5:7

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 1. John 5:7 NKJV

I guess it's ironic that this is my favorite proof text to reject the Trinity teaching. My argument is not that I think that this bible verse was added later to the manuscripts. My argument is that the statement can be (and should be as I will show) understood differently than was probably intended by the copywriter. I don’t deny the words to be compatible with Scripture.

John's first epistle is about Love, Antichrists, and the declaration of faith or bearing of witness regarding the Son of God.

1.John 5:7 has a context or parallel, shown in the following verse:

And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. 1. John 5:8 NKJV

It might be noted, that 1. John 5:8 follows the same sentence structure as 1. John 5:7, and both differ only very marginally from a grammatical point of view. I would argue that they don't differ enough to attribute a different meaning.

Hence it could be said that "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit" "agree as one". In what do they agree or are they „one“? In their "bear[ing of] witness".

Considering what or who do they „bear witness“? That "Jesus is the Son of God" (1. John 5:5) - The witness is about Jesus' identity.

How did water, blood, and spirit bear witness to the fact that “Jesus is the Son of God”? Water was a witness bearer because when Jesus was baptized in water, the Father Jehovah himself expressed His approval of him as His Son. (Matthew 3:17) Jesus’ blood, or life, given as “a ransom for all,” also showed that Jesus is God’s Son. (1 Tim. 2:5, 6) And the holy spirit testified that Jesus is the Son of God when it descended upon him at his baptism, enabling him to go “about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil.” ​(John 1:29-34; Acts 10:38)

Note that we are talking about 3 separate and different Witnesses/testimonies, that are in accord. They did not happen at exactly the same time, nor are they in and of themselves describing the same proof. So we don't have a trinity of proof here. All three only agree in them pointing to the same fact: Jesus is the Son of God.

What about "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit" being "one" in their witness? Already from the explanation about the 3 earthly witnesses, it can be said that they most likely parallel the meaning of 1. John 5:8, in that they all bear their witness as separate and different entities in heaven. In fact that MUST be the case for their proof to be legally acceptable.

Jesus himself confirms this when he says:

If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is true. ‘You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. ‘I have testimony weightier than that of John. For **the works that the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I am doingtestify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. (John 5:31-37)

So Jesus spoke for himself as the Son of God, but said "if I testify about myself [my identity], my testimony is not true". It means that his word alone would not suffice for the testimony to be established as proof legally. He repeated similar words again in John 8:17, 18

In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me. (John 8:17-18)

Jesus says "in your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. He clearly follows that Law as well in John 5:31-37 in regards to the legality of his witness.

What Law is Jesus referring to? He most probably refers to the mosaic law as found in Deuteronomy 17:6 or 19:15, where it states": "on the testimony of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed" (Deuteronomy 19:15).

Who is the originator of the Law? Almighty God YHWH himself! (Deuteronomy 4:8)

So when Jesus said "your" (the Jews') law, he meant also His Law, because if He is identical with YHWH, Jesus is the originator of the Law.

The NT re-affirms this Law to be valid for Christians - it's a universal Law for Humans to establish proof in a judicial setting. The same principle is occasionally even applied in a non-judicial setting. E.g. Two men sent to Peter to notify him about Tabitha's death (Acts 9:38) - on which Pulpit's commentary says, that the reason besides mutual protection was:

It was also a security against fraud. Pulpit's commentary on Acts 9:38

"Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Jesus himself re-affirms this in Matthew 18:16.

Coming back to 1 John 5:7; what does it say? If it should convey the meaning that "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit… are one" in essence and being, then the "witness" they are bearing is meaningless before human judges, as it is legally unacceptable by the Judaic Law that God himself established!

You may say: well aren't God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit distinct persons of the God-Head?

Are the persons of the God-Head distinct enough, to give an independent separate witness?

According to the Athanasian Creed, the Trinity is “one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;” and that you can’t “confound the persons nor divide the substance.”

Albeit being 3 separate persons, they are consubstantial and “coequal” for “Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit”

The persons are all almighty, “and yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.... they are not three Gods, but one God.”

It goes as far as to say that it is “forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.” The three persons of the Trinity are inseparable and ONE being.

The Doctrine of Circuminsession (perichoresis) says:

The subsistences [divine persons] then we say are perfect, that we may not conceive of the divine nature as compound. For compoundness is the beginning of separation. And again we speak of the three subsistences as being in each other , that we may not introduce a crowd and multitude of Gods. Owing to the three subsistences, there is no compoundness or confusion: while, owing to their having the same essence and dwelling in one another, and being the same in will, and energy, and power, and authority, and movement, so to speak, we recognise the indivisibility and the unity of God. For verily there is one God, and His word and Spirit.

According to the theologian studies on the Lutheran Trinity Doctrine, Reiner Jansen said the following:

The"works of the Trinity cannot be lined up alongside one another in such a way that they stand as three isolated and disparate events. The work of any given person is always seen in relation to the work of the other two persons. And so the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit are not considered in and of themselves, but are seen entirely in the light of the Trinitarian faith" (Jansen, 84)

Dr. Charles P. Arand adds to this:

for there exists an intimate interdependence, one might even say a mutual dependence among their works.

James E. Dolezal states:

“The doctrine of divine simplicity teaches that (1) God is identical with his existence and his essence and (2) that each of his attributes is ontologically identical with his existence and with every other one of his attributes.”

― James E. Dolezal, God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God's Absoluteness


Conclusion

If the trinitarian dogma is true, that "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit… are one" (1. John 5:7 - KJV) "ontologically identical" in essence, being, and personality then the "witness" they are bearing about each other is legally unacceptable by the Judaic Law that God himself established!

Even if you say that God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are distinct persons of the God-Head, it would still be legally unacceptable due to the very nature of God's subsistence according to the Trinity dogma: The three persons are one and the same being: GOD.

Legally speaking you cannot separate the witness from the being giving the witness. If the three persons of the Trinity are ONE in essence, nature, power, action, and will, and thus cannot say, act, and will differently from each other, then we cannot get three separate, distinct or independent testimonies from it, but only one. For there is no variation in point of view or dependence, that would warrant it to be accepted as a separate independent witness. Jesus' own words would apply that "if I testify about myself [my identity], my testimony is not true".

It would mean that if any person of the God-Head, testifies about any other person of the God-Head or about the God-Head itself, according to the judicial Law established by God/YHWH himself, this testimony alone would not be acceptable to human judges abiding to that Law.

You may say: "The Judaic Law is for Humans, and not for God - he's not bound to those rules!" Remember that the Jews accused Jesus of lying about his identity. Jesus needed to present judicially acceptable evidence in front of human judges, who were considered appointed and authorized by God and who were bound by God's law to only accept a testimony as proof or evidence if it came from two independent witnesses.

Trinitarians are agreeing that the Jews understood Jesus to claim equality with God (John 10:33). That begs the question: If Jesus claimed equality with God the Father, how could he present Himself and the Father as two independent witnesses to the Jewish judges? (John 8:17,18)

What other choice, by abiding to the letter of the Jewish law, did the Jewish judges have under these circumstances, but not to accept Jesus' evidence?

The human Jesus was also bound to the Jewish Law, as one of the reasons for Jesus to become human was to fulfill the law perfectly! (Matthew 5:17) Presenting the Father as a separate witness while claiming co-equality with the Father would mean that Jesus violated His own divine law given to His people (the Jews)! This is unthinkable!

Does God go behind His word?

God is not a man, that he should lie; Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19 - KJV)

Hence, Jesus proved the Trinity wrong. His Father and Himself are ontologically distinct beings, persons and personalities - fully united yes, but independent in their thinking, acting and will.

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  • Hi Js. Actually I'm at the VA clinic waiting for blood work. What do you think John 10;30 is teaching? "I and the Father We are one." It's already a given that the Father and the Son are one in purpose. So what did Jesus mean? And why did the Jews want to stone Him for what He said? Do you really believe they wanted to kill Him for being one in purpose? Or was there another reason?
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 8 at 21:00
  • @Mr.Bond It was again about “bearing witness” (John 10:25). Jesus defended himself, indicating that the Jews clearly misinterpreted his words (John 10:32-37) Verse 38 clarifies what Jesus says to them - he uses the same words there than in John 17:21.
    – Js Witness
    Apr 9 at 4:40
  • Your not following the context after vs25. Vs27, The sheep hear His voice. Vs28, and I give them eternal life and no one is able to snatch them out of MY hand. Vs29, No one is able to snatch them out of My Fathers hand. John 10:30, I AND MY FATHER, WE ARE ONE." The power of the Son is equal to that of the Father and they are one in nature/essence as well as in attributes, design, will and work. Jesus distinguishes the "I" from the Father and uses the plural verb "are" denoting "WE ARE." Meaning their essence or nature as identical. Vs31, The Jews took up stones AGAIN to stone Him. Why? cont.
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 9 at 14:00
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    @Mr.Bond Look at the original greek text of John 10:33 - there is no definite article in front of theou(god) - you know what that means, as you hammered it home in our discussion about the AOTL. If God Almighty calls even corrupt judges „gods“ because they have authority granted by God, why do you judge me - because I said I am God‘s son? You‘re presenting a poor argument. Paul can maybe help you - 1 Corinthians 8:5, 6 - There is only one God: the Father.
    – Js Witness
    Apr 9 at 15:43
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    @Mr.Bond - John 10:27,28 - Jesus’ sheep will not be snatched out of Jesus’ hand due to the power given to Jesus’ (to give everlasting life) by God. Verse 28 says that the sheep are safe with God after their death - that no sheep of Jesus could be snatched out of God’s hand. The sheep are God’s and he has given/entrusted them to Jesus (John 6:37; John 18:9; 1 Peter 1:4, 5). Jesus has not lost a single on of them, and they are saved by God’s power in the resurrection.
    – Js Witness
    Apr 9 at 20:47
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As an ex-JW, I do not recall a single lecture of the form "Today, we're going to prove that Jesus is not equal to God".

Instead, it was things like:

  • Jesus = Michael the archangel [Mainstream Christianity views this as heretical since mainstream Christianity views Jesus as God.]

  • Angels are below God

  • Therefore, Jesus is not equal to God [Thus, a heretical conclusion]

As an aside, this creates all sorts of problems:

  • Satan was initially thrown down for wanting to be above God.

  • If Jesus = archangel

  • If JW believers are to be above angels (in particular, to judge angels)

  • Then, JW believers have the authority to judge Jesus/be above Jesus -- which is heretical from a mainstream Christian view.

  • This is basically similar to Satan's original sin -- to be above God.

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    Less of your opinion (which wasn't asked for) and more of theirs (which was) would make this a more focussed answer to the question.
    – TRiG
    Dec 2, 2014 at 18:41
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    I upvoted because in my experience as well the logic that C.T. Russell gave was just about that. Jesus is Michael the Archangel. Angels are below God. Jesus is not God. The SDA are similar to JW's in this respect, but they are still Trinitarian. See: What are the main differences between 7th Day Adventists and Catholic/Protestant churches? and What is the origin of the idea that Michael is Jesus?
    – user3961
    Dec 3, 2014 at 9:04
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    "This is the step which I view as heretical" - nobody cares what you think. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but in this SE we stick to verifiable facts, not personal opinions. Dec 3, 2014 at 16:04
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    JWs don't believe they're above Jesus. The 144,000 are to be kings and priests over God's Kingdom, ruling alongside Jesus. Humans cannot choose to be members of the 144,000. They are chosen by Christ.
    – user32540
    Jun 13, 2017 at 0:17
  • @Js Witness. You said in your edit, "Remember the Jews accused Jesus of lying about His identity. Jesus needed to present judicially acceptable evidence in front of human judges etc. Can you please show me where this account is? Thank You!
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 27 at 22:36

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