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If there is only one God, how can Jesus be another "god" as taught by the Jehovah's Witnesses? Isaiah quotes Jehovah in Isaiah 43:10-11 the very verse from which the Jehovah's Witnesses derive their name, that there has never been "formed," either before him or after him, any other "god" of any kind.

Isaiah 43:10-11, (NWT): You are my witnesses, even my servant whom I have chosen in order that you man know and faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I--I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.

Thus, Jesus cannot be a created god, and must be the God that Matthew and Isaiah said would come to be "with us." Matthew 1:23, "Behold, the virgin shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means "God with us."

So if, the NWT and Jehovah's Witnesses claim, the Word was "a god," then that means that Yahweh was wrong when He said "Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me," because the Word would be a created/formed god. How do Jehovah's Witnesses resolve this issue?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Ken Graham Nov 9 '20 at 23:08
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    I think it is relevant to the question that a related question has subsequently been asked on BH regarding Isaiah 43:10. What does Isaiah 43:10 mean by 'no other gods' etc. – Nigel J Nov 10 '20 at 10:42
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    Don't they claim that Jehovah's only direct creation was a mighty spirit creature who was known in heaven before and after he was born of the Virgin Mary as Michael the Archangel? In John 1:1 the New World Translation says that the Logos, or Word, was "a god" - and Jesus (before he was born of the Virgin Mary), is the Logos, or Word. – Lesley Nov 11 '20 at 17:20
  • The Isaiah passage doesn't exactly refer to a virgin and the son born then wasn't God. It was a prophecy fulfilled in that day, but with tentative overtones of what was to come. Being called Immanuel doesn't make one God, anymore than Stephen means being a crown! So, Jesus being 'titled' Immanuel doesn't make him God either by any logic. Although in his case, God was certainly with him (as he said) and was with us - so God was with us in the man Jesus. – user47952 Nov 13 '20 at 4:54
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You have unintentionally, I suggest, created a straw man argument by overlooking the usage of the word before, as found in the passage you cite from Isaiah 43.

Jehovahs Witnesses do not believe Jesus was a god who was created before Jehovah existed. They believe Jesus was created after Jehovah God already existed. In other words, Jesus Christ was the first of Jehovah's created beings.

The Isaiah passage is therefore not an issue with Jehovahs Witnesses. To them, there were no gods in existence before Jehovah because only Jehovah is eternal. No god can be in existence (or can be "formed," the word used in Isaiah 43) before an eternal being. In fact, Isaiah's use of the word formed implies that gods are products of human craftsmen that are meant to be representations of beings/gods who have no existence. (See Jeremiah 10:8-10.)

In conclusion, to the best of my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses do not see a contradiction in Isaiah 43:11, which reads, "Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me." I also assume that Jehovah's Witnesses, along with other bible-believing denominations, would define a biblical "god" or "gods" as non-existent beings whom idolaters worship in defiant ignorance.

ADDENDUM

And yes, the word god is used in at least one other way in Scripture, and that is as a name for God's nemesis, Satan. In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul refers to him as "the god of this world," though the argument could be made that the god of this world can be summed up in the words "Man is the measure of all things" (Protagoras of Abdera, l.c. 485-415 BCE). In other words, the god of this world involves self worship, and the engines of this worship are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (see 1 John 2:16 NIV).

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  • Nice catch, I see your point. I edited my statement and if you can edit it better, please do. Thanks! – Mr. Bond Nov 12 '20 at 18:45
  • wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2005681#h=6. Might you use this reference as an official source instead of Wikipedia? – Kris Nov 12 '20 at 21:53
  • The term god need not always refer to non existent beings. John 10:34-36. for example. – Kris Nov 12 '20 at 23:28
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    but your answer contradicts the other half of the verse: "*no god will be formed after me." and you said that Christ was a god formed after Jehovah already existed. – Radz Brown Nov 14 '20 at 23:47
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    @RadzMatthewC.Brown: I'm not sure how you are reading my answer, but in no way did I mean to say or imply that Christ is a god who was formed after Jehovah already existed. That belief coincides with JW theology, since the JWs translate John 1:1 ". . . and the word was A god" (my upper-case A). – rhetorician Nov 15 '20 at 4:21
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Jesus is not a created god anymore than the men who were called gods in psalm 82:6 by Jehovah were created gods.

The context of Isaiah 43:10 is important in understanding what is being said by God here.

The following is a summary of what Albert Barns says on the subject.

In the previous chapter he had severely rebuked the Jews, as being deaf, and blind, and had showed them that it was on account of their sins that these calamities had come upon them. Yet he now turns and says, that they are the people whom he had redeemed, and whom it was his purpose to deliver, and repeats the solemn assurance that they would be rescued Isaiah 43:1-7. This assurance consists of many items, or considerations, showing that they would be recovered, however far they were driven from their own land. 1 God had formed and redeemed them Isaiah 43:1. It followed from this that a God of covenant faithfulness would be with them in their trials Isaiah 43:2. 2 They had been so precious to him and valuable, that he had given entire nations for their ransom Isaiah 43:3. It followed from this, that he would continue to give more, if necessary, for their ransom Isaiah 43:4. 3 It was rite fixed purpose of God to gather them again, wherever they might be scattered, and they had, therefore, nothing to fear Isaiah 43:5-7. II. God asserts his superiority to all idol-gods. He makes a solemn appeal, as he had done in Isaiah 41, to show that the idols had no power; and refers to all that he had predicted and to its fulfillment in proof that he was the only true God, and had been faithful to his people Isaiah 43:8-13. In doing this, he says: 1 That none of the idols had been able to predict future events Isaiah 43:8-9. 2 That the Jewish people were his witnesses that he was the true God, and the only Saviour Isaiah 43:10-12. 3 That he had existed forever, and that none could thwart his designs Isaiah 43:13. Isaiah 43:10, the first part is explained. Ye are my witnesses - They were his witnesses, because, first, he had given in them predictions of future events which had been literally fulfilled: secondly, by his power of delivering them so often manifested, he had shown that he was a God able to save. Neither of these had been done by the idol-gods (compare Isaiah 44:8). Isaiah 44:8, "Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My Witnesses, Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none."

Clearly Jehovah God established that no idol-gods had any power and worshipping them was pointless and ignorant.

Speaking with the authority of the Only True God who created everything in heaven and on earth He states that there is no God but Him. He alone is eternally existing.

Eternal existence is what real deity is all about. Since Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that God’s Son is created and thus had a beginning he cannot be deity.

So when the “Word”(Jesus) is called a god in John 1:1 it is not proclaiming him deity. It is saying that the Word was Devine or godlike.

It is the same as when the word god is used in connection with other created beings in the Bible to whom the title god or gods was attached.

A good explanation of this is found here where a key paragraph says

The Scriptures do at times refer to actual persons as gods. However, a careful examination clearly reveals that the term “god” in these instances is not intended to designate these individuals as deities. Rather, in the original languages in which the Bible was written, the term “god” was also used to describe a mighty person or an individual who is divine or closely associated with the Almighty God.

Certainly it is appropriate for the highest ranking created being to be called a mighty one, a god and Devine given his intimate association with the One True God Jehovah.

This does not mean he is equal to the one who created him. Nor does it mean he is an exception to the statement by Jehovah in

Isaiah 43:10

You are my witnesses,” declares, Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One. Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.

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  • @Kris...I don't know how you can deduce that. Even in your own doctrinally manufactured bible translation (ie translated to fit pre existing doctrine rather than doctrine based on the original) Isaiah 9.6 says (prophesying about the coming messiah Jesus)..."Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." There is simply no way of getting around this text! – Adam Mar 3 at 17:47
  • @Adam So the Messiah is the Father? – One God the Father Mar 3 at 17:54
  • @Adam How can the words of Isaiah 9:6 apply to Jesus if he is not God? This is a good read on that topic – Kris May 20 at 13:02

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