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Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, and that it was Jesus who created all other things:

Since all created things had a beginning, there was a time when God was alone. Countless ages ago, however, God became a Creator. Who was his first creation? The last book of the Bible identifies Jesus as “the beginning of the creation by God.” (Revelation 3:14) Jesus is “the firstborn of all creation.” That is so “because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible.” (Colossians 1:15, 16) Yes, Jesus was the only one directly created by God himself. (Who Is Jesus Christ? on wol.jw.org)

We see this most clearly in the Jehovah's Witnesses translation of Colossians 1:15-16:

Colossians 1:15-16 (NWT) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him.

But Isaiah 44:24 says that it was Jehovah who created all things by himself: note the last line of Isaiah 44:24 which says that no one else was with Jehovah, probably speaking primarily about humans, but also angels and other spiritual beings, which would seem to preclude God co-creating with Jesus.

Isaiah 44:24 (NWT): This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser,
Who formed you since you were in the womb:
I am Jehovah, who made everything.
I stretched out the heavens by myself,
And I spread out the earth.
Who was with me?

How do the Jehovah's Witnesses reconcile Isaiah 44:24 with their belief that Jesus is the only direct creation of God and it was Jesus who created all other things?

Question based on various revisions of this now deleted question by Mr. Bond.

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  • A point of order. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not actually teach that Jesus created all other things but that Jehovah created all other things by means of Jesus. Jesus is not a co creator but the agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah the Creator worked.
    – Kris
    Jan 29, 2020 at 3:06
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    @Kris Sure, that's the kind of explanation I'd be looking for in answers.
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 29, 2020 at 3:08
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    @Kris. Well your sense is wrong. I'm a full blooded American. Served in Vietnam in 1968, been a Christian now for 57 years, been married 51 years and have 3 daughters. Been in apologetics for 56 years. One of my main mentors was Dr. Walter Martin. I'm conversant about the cults and occult. Have had formal and informal debates with people in the cults including the Witnesses, Mormons, Unitarians, etc. Been on the radio in Los Angels (KKLA) years ago discussing the Word of Faith religious movement, i.e. Kenneth Hagin, Copeland and others. Lastly, I do frequent other sites and I like this one.
    – Mr. Bond
    Jan 29, 2020 at 4:14
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    @curiousdannii Well thank you! And none of this has anything to do with what Kris said, "disrespect." It was more of a matter of "frustration." You have and others have edited my post and I did not complain. So let's put this one behind us until you "frustrate" me again. Lol.
    – Mr. Bond
    Jan 29, 2020 at 4:34
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    I don't see why Isaiah would contradict the Witnesses more than he would contradict either David or Solomon, both of which speak of wisdom as an instrument participating in the act of creation (Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 8:22-31).
    – user46876
    Feb 3, 2020 at 2:15

2 Answers 2

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First, the Jehovah's Witness teaching that there was a time when Jehovah God was utterly alone, before he created - as the first and only direct creation he ever made - the Word of God, also known as the Son of God - goes back long before they produced their New World Translation of the Bible. This is subtly significant, as will be shown later.

The very earliest record of that teaching may be long before these old ones I am aware of. This is from a book I have in front of me, published in 1956, before their New World Translation came out. The quote is from Thomas James Sullivan, Director and Superintendent of [JW] Ministers and Evangelists, based at the then HQ in New York. He had already been serving for more than 12 years as a director of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. Those are his credentials, and what he says on this topic is in agreement with JW answers here:

"Psalm 90:2 states that God Almighty, the Father, Jehovah, is from everlasting to everlasting - without beginning. Jesus, in Revelation 3:14, identifies himself as the beginning of God's creative works. Hence Jesus could not be co-eternal with his own Father." Jehovah's Witnesses, p.161, Marley Cole, George Allen & Unwin, 1956

"God is the source of all life outside of himself, Psalm 36:9... The prophet Moses recognized that the living God had no beginning, even as he will have no end (Psalm 90:1,2)... The ever-living God was before even such heavenly creation, and at that time he was all alone. What did he create first? ...he started with the highest form of creature life, a heavenly one. He made it the best living creation in all existence... This first creation of God came to be called 'his only-begotten Son.' John 3:16... He was the beginning (not, beginner) of God's creation, so that God's creating of creatures began with this Son. Jehovah stands out as the One Creator and all other things are what he created... Proverbs 8:30 quoted Wisdom personified as saying, 'I came to be beside him as a master worker.' So the wise 'only-begotten Son' of God became a master worker beside the great Creator Jehovah God. His heavenly Father did not leave him idle but used him in the producing of all other things living and lifeless." Things in which it is Impossible for God to Lie, pp. 119, 120, 122, 126., published 1965

The Jehovah's Witness stance on Isaiah 44:24 is stated in their book Isaiah's Prophecy, under the heading 'The Climax of the Test of Godship'. It starts this section by saying verses 24 to 28

"brings Jehovah's legal argument to a powerful climax. He is about to present his own answer to the severest test of Godship - the ability to foretell the future accurately... the one and only Creator, the sole Revealer of the future and Israel's hope of deliverance. The passage rises in a dramatic crescendo to the announcement by name of the man who would liberate the nation from Babylon." Isaiah's Prophecy, Vol. II, pp. 70-74, published 2001

There is not a word of explanation about verse 24 in those 5 pages. But it does clearly stick to the long-held belief that there is only one God, who alone created everything, so that fits in with Jehovah's Witness insistence that they agree with Isaiah 44:24.

The crux of the matter then becomes their view of Colossians 1:15-16, and this is where their NWT is vital to make them say those verses are not problematic. The NWT came out just before 1960 and says of Christ in their Interlinear of 1969:

"...by means of him all [other] things were created... All [other] things have been created through him... he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist... to reconcile again to himself all [other] things..." The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, p. 896, 1969 edition [square brackets theirs]

Square brackets denote a word added to the text that was not in the original source. No other translations add the word 'other' to those verses, not even once, let alone five times. The reason for those additions in the NWT is that it gives the impression that Christ is not before one other - namely, Jehovah. He is before all things other than Jehovah. This makes it easy to then claim that Colossians 1:15-16 is not a problem when viewed alongside Isaiah 44:24. Yes, Jehovah alone created everything, they agree, because the Son was but an 'agency', or 'channel' through whom God created everything else.

This needs to be included in any reasoning Jehovah's Witnesses make regarding Isaiah 44:24. Because of their NWT rendition of Colossians 1:15-17, they actually don't see any difficulty holding the two texts together. They continue to elevate Jehovah as supreme, above his Son, and the Son in a secondary position because this Son had a starting point in time (unlike Jehovah) and no praise is to go to Jesus regarding creation. However, if those five added words were kept out of those verses, they might see that the problem remains as stated in the question. As it is, they don't even credit Jesus with being a co-creator.

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    Up-voted for addressing the question regarding the NWT adding the word "other" five times in Colossians 1:15-16. Their Kingdom Interlinear clearly shows "other" was not in the original manuscripts.
    – Lesley
    Aug 23, 2023 at 16:34
  • Are they right about God creating Jesus? Aug 29, 2023 at 4:36
  • @DongLi There are many Qs and As on this on Stack. Mainstream Christianity maintains that they are wrong on this as they are a modern variation on the ancient heresy of Arius, who also said Christ was created. Here is a link to a related Q, asking about their translation of Jn1:3 and Col.1:15-16. This should help you weigh up the matter. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/96801/…
    – Anne
    Aug 29, 2023 at 7:52
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Jehovah’s Witnesses DON’T believe that Jesus created all other things. Jehovah alone was the creator. We DO believe that.

Colossians 1:15-16 (NWT) ............ All other things have been created through him and for him.

Notice through him not by him. Take a look at Insight Vol 2

If the estimates of modern-day scientists as to the age of the physical universe are anywhere near correct, Jesus’ existence as a spirit creature began thousands of millions of years prior to the creation of the first human. (Compare Mic 5:2.) This firstborn spirit Son was used by his Father in the creation of all other things. (Joh 1:3; Col 1:16, 17) This would include the millions of other spirit sons of Jehovah God’s heavenly family (Da 7:9, 10; Re 5:11), as well as the physical universe and the creatures originally produced within it. Logically, it was to this firstborn Son that Jehovah said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” (Ge 1:26) All these other created things were not only created “through him” but also “for him,” as God’s Firstborn and the “heir of all things.” —Col 1:16; Heb 1:2. Not a co-Creator. The Son’s share in the creative works, however, did not make him a co-Creator with his Father. The power for creation came from God through his holy spirit, or active force. (Ge 1:2; Ps 33:6) And since Jehovah is the Source of all life, all animate creation, visible and invisible, owes its life to him. (Ps 36:9) Rather than a co-Creator, then, the Son was the agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah, the Creator, worked. Jesus himself credited God with the creation, as do all the Scriptures. —Mt 19:4-6

The fact that Jesus played a role Under the direction of the ultimate creator does not take away from the fact that Jehovah alone is the creator.

The context of Isaiah 44 is not dealing with the subject of how Jehovah accomplished creation. It is establishing him as the Almighty Creator.

So the answer is,there is not a textual discrepancy between saying all other things were created through Jesus, and Jehovah saying in Isaiah “I alone created the heavens.” The source of dynamic energy responsible for every creation is Jehovah the eternally existing Almighty God. The methodology and instrumentality used in creation need not be mentioned by Jehovah when he declares he created the heavens.

That’s the basics of JWs answer.

A very detailed answer to this question was written about 7 years ago on Yahoo Answers it was reposted on this site which is easier to access.

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    Still, how can Jesus being the agent or instrument of Jehovah's creative acts when Isaiah says that he made everything "by himself" and asks rhetorically "Who was with me?" I can't see how Jesus being an agent is compatible with Jehovah saying he was by himself. Do the JWs have a specific interpretation of that?
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 30, 2020 at 3:49
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    @curiousdannii reading the 44th chapter provides the context. Jehovah was saying that none of the false gods who men formed idols of had any power at all “There is no God but me”. If there were why was I all alone when I created the heavens. The statement at 44:24 is establishing only one true God not detailing who else was in the heavens when he created the heavens and earth. Job 38:7 tells us the angels were present for this and certainly Jesus was as well.
    – Kris
    Jan 30, 2020 at 4:32
  • Kris, it is impossible to see anything on the Yahoo Religion & Spirituality web page unless you give Verison carte blanche to do anything they like with your data. That's why I stopped using that site. Can you find an alternative 'comprehensive answer'?
    – Lesley
    Jan 30, 2020 at 15:33
  • Thanks Lesley I will edit that to a more friendly site
    – Kris
    Jan 30, 2020 at 15:42
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    @Lee As was stated, JWs believe Jehovah alone was the one actively creating, and Jesus was the instrumentality. It's similar to how a painter uses a paintbrush to create. The paintbrush doesn't get credit for the creative work, though it played a role in making the painting.
    – user32540
    Jul 5, 2020 at 19:03

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