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The Protestant Trinitarian view of Jesus Christ is that he is the only-begotten Son of God – begotten, not made. He is of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made. He is the Word of God who was with God in the beginning and who is God (John 1:1). He came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He is both fully human and fully divine. He was bodily resurrected from the dead and has ascended into heaven, from whence he came, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. As he ascended into heaven, so shall he return, in great power and glory, and accompanied by all the heavenly hosts, to judge and to rule.

Please note that Protestant Trinitarians believe there is only the One Being of God and that Jesus, the Son, is not the same person as God the Father.

This is NOT about trying to establish who might be theologically right and who is wrong, nor is it a question seeking to establish any particular version of “truth”. I’m on a fact-finding mission, and not trying to start a theological war. Please give a biblical basis in support of beliefs held.

My question is how does the Jehovah’s Witness view of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, differ from the view held by Protestant Trinitarians of the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Edit for clarification: I'm looking for JW beliefs about the person of Jesus Christ. I have given a simple overview of the Protestant view of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and want to know if JW’s would disagree, and, if so, what it is they believe about the person of Jesus Christ. Was he created? Is he part of the One Being of God? When he came to earth was he God incarnate? Was he resurrected as a spirit creature or did he ascend into heaven with a physical body? I don't want to get bogged down in theological terminology, just an overview of JW beliefs about the origins of Jesus, who he is and what their biblical basis is.

  • Could you elaborate on the difference between begotten and created? – Kris Dec 14 '18 at 3:11
  • The expression “only begotten Son” (John 3:16) is translated from the Greek word ‘monogenes’. It can be translated as "only," "one and only," and "only begotten." In John 3:16 it means "pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind." Jesus is uniquely God's Son—sharing the same divine nature as God—as opposed to believers who are God's sons and daughters by adoption (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus is God’s “one and only” Son. Trinitarians do not take it to mean the pre-mortal Jesus was created, that there was a point in time when he did not exist. – Lesley Dec 14 '18 at 8:44
  • @ethos I deleted a few comments (they're supposed to be rather transient, not permanent) as comments here are just for improving the question. – Peter Turner Dec 17 '18 at 15:37
  • @Lesley Perhaps a better question might of been, 'How does the Jehovah’s Witness teaching on who Jesus Christ is differ from Protestant Trinitarian Christology? That is a much wider question from my point of view and from me requires a more bible text based answer? Christology deals more with origins than texts from the Bible from my point of view. Why is this it is because we do not except the so-called 'orthodox' teaching on the rendering of the hebrew or greek texts put forward as right by Christendom's Churches, so we go into a whole new ball game as they can be shown to be in error. – user43190 Dec 17 '18 at 15:42
  • @ethos - if you believe your question would show "Christendom's Churches" to be in error, then you should ask it. But be very careful how you word such a question so as to avoid showing bias. – Lesley Dec 23 '18 at 10:19
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The Protestant Trinitarian view of Jesus Christ is that he is the only-begotten Son of God – begotten, not made.

JWs believe that there is no distinction between "begotten" and "made". Therefore, "begotten, not made" is meaningless for them.

He is of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.

The word "of one substance" (homoousios) is not found in the Bible and therefore not accepted by JWs. JWs believe that Jesus is "in the form of God" (Phil. 2:6) since he is a spirit being like the Father (John 4:24).

He is the Word of God who was with God in the beginning and who is God (John 1:1).

As you know, JWs believe the the meaning of this verse is more accurately conveyed by the translation "the Word was a god", or "the Word was divine". (compare with John 1:18 - "no one has seen God at any time")

He came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He is both fully human and fully divine.

JWs believe that Jesus was fully human ("born of a woman", Gal. 4:4) when he was on earth, not "fully divine". There is no scripture that says "fully human and fully divine"; to the contrary, Phil. 2:7 says "he emptied himself, by taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men." ("became human", NWT 2013). He became "like his brothers in all respects, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God." (Heb. 2:17)

He was bodily resurrected from the dead

JWs believe he was resurrected with a heavenly spirit body, not his human flesh. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit God's Kingdom" (1 Cor. 15:50) Paul addresses the question of "with what sort of body" are the dead raised up at 1 Cor. 15:35-41.

Note that at John 20:26, "Jesus came, although the doors were locked", which would be impossible for a physical human body.

and has ascended into heaven, from whence he came, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. As he ascended into heaven, so shall he return, in great power and glory, and accompanied by all the heavenly hosts, to judge and to rule.

JWs agree with this.

JW answers to further questions:

  • Was he created? Yes.

  • Is he part of the One Being of God? No. (I do not believe that "part of" is even the traditional Trinitarian expression.)

  • When he came to earth was he God incarnate? No, for reasons given above.

  • Was he resurrected as a spirit creature or did he ascend into heaven with a physical body? He was resurrected as a spirit creature. Note that Jesus appeared with several different bodies after his resurrection:

    • Mary did not recognize him, thinking he was the gardener, until he said her name with his familiar inflection (John 20:15-16)

    • Jesus spent a whole day with two of the apostles, but "their eyes were kept from recognizing him" until he broke the bread and blessed it. Obviously, this body had no recognizable wounds on it. Then "he disappeared from them", which would not be possible for a normal physical body. (Luke 24:15-31)

    • At John 20:27, Jesus appears in a locked room, and now he has wounds in his hands, feet and side, specifically for Thomas' benefit (see v. 25).

  • How might a JW respond to the suggestion that he did have marks on his body but “their eyes were kept from recognizing him"? – Andrew Dec 15 '18 at 7:28
  • A JW might respond that the text does not say that "he did have marks on his body" and that therefore it's safe to assume he didn't, since that would be a dead giveaway. He might also say that this comment is an example of adding words to the scriptural text to make it conform to a previously accepted belief, instead of the other way around. What about 1 Cor. 15:50? – Philip Metz Dec 15 '18 at 11:35
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    It may be good to clarify that JWs do believe Jesus is divine, but in the sense that he has God's blessing (a quality), not in the sense of deity (a personality). More information here: Insight, Vol 1. "Divine" – 4castle Dec 15 '18 at 14:01

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