Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#16

Post by Victory444 » Sun May 29, 2011 5:41 pm

I have always shown the JWs that their Bible says the Word was A god, and ours says He IS God. I have had some young ones tell me that I have made some good points. It has surprised me how long they will listen to the TRUTH. ...just planting seeds!
Now here is what the Lord instructed me to do... I ask them if they would mind if we pray together, and none have turned me down. In my prayer I include, "Lord, we ask You to correct which of us who is in error". They think He will correct me, and I know He will correct them. By them agreeing to that prayer, He has had me lead them in asking Him to lead them to the TRUTH! ;)

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

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Post by B. W. » Sun May 29, 2011 9:49 pm

Victory444 wrote:I have always shown the JWs that their Bible says the Word was A god, and ours says He IS God. I have had some young ones tell me that I have made some good points. It has surprised me how long they will listen to the TRUTH. ...just planting seeds!
Now here is what the Lord instructed me to do... I ask them if they would mind if we pray together, and none have turned me down. In my prayer I include, "Lord, we ask You to correct which of us who is in error". They think He will correct me, and I know He will correct them. By them agreeing to that prayer, He has had me lead them in asking Him to lead them to the TRUTH! ;)
That sound like a good point to use - how do you usually proceed from there?
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

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Post by 1harpazo » Mon May 30, 2011 5:51 am

Have the JW read from his NWT John 2:18-22 and have them explain what Jesus meant.

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#19

Post by Canuckster1127 » Mon May 30, 2011 6:57 am

JWs usually always come in pairs. The one doing the talking is a senior member. The quiet one is usually a new recruit and trainee. I always focus on speaking to the trainee and ask them the questions as they're not as deeply indoctrinated and they're the most receptive to being shown truth from the Bible. I don't particularly make it confrontive in the sense that I aim it specifically against JWs but I make sure it shows the contrast of where JW doctrine is clearly refuted.

I usually only get one chance. When I've moved into a new house and get the next wave of JWs the last 20 years whenever I've engaged and invited them into my home, after they leave, future teams skip my home. They won't visit me anymore.
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#20

Post by Murray » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:47 pm

Breif history of Jehovah's witness

Jesus Will come this day!
(later)-No wait he will come this day!
(even later)Actaully its this date)
(more late) O wait, i misunderstood it was actually this date!
(later again) Wait, actually he did come the 2nd time I predicted it but nobody could see him.
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#21

Post by Christiansen » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:38 am

HI maybe a little light on the issue from a non jw but I do agree with alot of their indepth views. First there are many scriptures that show God raised our Lord such as Acts13:30. Second Jesus got through physically cleasnsing the temple. We as Christians are part of that new (spiritual) temple, it being In us all as follwers of Christ. When Jesus died and rose on the third day he became the chief cornerstone of that spiritual temple. His body is his church and he is the head.Hence " destroy this temple( his physical body) and In three days (which is when our God ressurects our lord)I will raise it(I being the Chief Cornerstone beginning construction of his new spiritual temple which we become stones as Christians and become part of).Verse 22 also affirms that "he was raised from the dead" not he raised himself.Hopefully short and to the point but of course we will all never agree because thats when we allow orselfs to look and look and never satisfy ourselfs and become as Paul would say " tossing about in the waves to and fro". God Bless!

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#22

Post by secretfire6 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:10 am

hey all, I grew up in the jahova's witnesses, got out when i was about 8 or so. i am now talking with one of my old friends who is still with them. it's been 20 years. I haven't gotten him to directly tell me why they believe what they believe just yet, but we do have a mutual respect which is vital for any religious discussion. there are a few things i'd like to say here based on what i've seen from other comments...

I do not care much for the watchtower society. I believe they are responsible for poisoning the view of the witnesses. Most religions have this "governing body" that tells you HOW you're supposed to read the scriptures along with a plethera of other rules, regulations and guidlines. Our authourity should be God and the Bible ONLY.

The NWT Bible isnt a bad Bible at all. I've found it to be incredible accurate in it's translation. It is in their interpretation of their own Bible where they fail, again mostly due to the watchtower society. In my study i primarily use the NWT and NKJV and ive been able to dispute the witnesses' doctrines with the NWT. for example they have some unique and odd views of the afterlife and revelation's scripture. I can show where they are in error using that Bible. in fact, I can prove or disprove any denomination's views with that Bible. One thing about it though is it's constant use of that name "Jehova". when i asked my friend why they do that when it isnt an accurate transliteration of the hebrew name, he told me that its just the americanized version of the name just like Jesus is the english version of Yahoshua.

The KJV is not as pure and great as most people would like to believe. Understanding it's origins is important. Again though, if you know how to interpret it right, it's a fine Bible and i use it hand in hand with NWT when I study. The KJV, like the old latin, is a compromise Bible. When James came to power his kingdom was on the edge of a religious civil war between the Catholics and the Protestant reformation of England. So King James made a council of half Protestant and half Catholic and said "we are going to make a new Bible that will please both sides" when it was done he declared it the official religion of England..therefore it was his VERSION of the Bible. This doesn't mean its a BAD Bible, you just have to be able to interpret and weed out the arcahaic mistranslations/beliefs ( ex: God placed a firmament between the waters and the waters in creation??? Firmament= something solid...correct word is "expanse") no joke, i've had people tell me there was a metal/glass dome over the early earth and God had to open a window to let the rain in. it was his little "greenhouse".

what makes the JW's a cult is that they don't recognize Jesus as divine and part of the Trinity. They see him as a created being...greater than the angels, but lesser than God. I do not see where the NWT exactly supports that, but like i said in the beginning, i havent gotten to the point where i've been given scriptures to look at.

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#23

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:33 am

The NWT is not a particularly accurate translation. What's telling in this regard is that the names and credentials of those doing the translation as well as the Greek texts used from which the translation was made, have never been made public. If I'm wrong on that, feel free to point me to a source where that information is given officially by the Publishers or JW's.

The key example of this, of course, is the textual difference present in John 1:1 where what is almost universally translated as "The Word was God" in every other translation is translated "The Word was a god" in the NWT. That is more than just a little variance. It's a completely incompetent translation and calls into question the fitness of those making such a translation and with the information as to translators and sources (and what other passages were translated in part or whole by those same "translators") it calls into question the entire work and even if it represents a translation or just a paraphrase based upon other translation with key passages engineered backwards to align with JW doctrine.

I say that not to defend the KJV. I appreciate the KJV and it impact on History and the English language. It's not however necessarily the best english translation. The NKJV does a good job of correcting some of those areas where better manscripts have been found and also areas where transitions in language and culture render the translation from 1611 in need of an update.

Apart from whatever criticisms I have of the NWT because of it's association with the JW's (which is by no means an invalid argument) it simply doesn't academically or intellectually measure up with any credibility for use because it doesn't provide the most basic information as to its translators or the manuscripts used in the translation.
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#24

Post by secretfire6 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:40 am

hey canukster, how's it goin? :) The very front of my NWT has the information about what was used to do the translations and when it was done. Apparently it took about 6 years to complete or something close. It's in my truck at the moment so i can't quote it exactly. It may also have the credentials of the translation team, but I'm pretty sure names are omitted. Also in the back they have explainations, in depth, for all the differences(of which there aren't that many) you will find in the NWT from other Bible translations that root from KJV or latin vulgate and others. I will post some quotes from it tomorrow if you'd like, cuz i will be leaving for work soon today.

When it comes to John 1:1 I do remember a bit about what they said. the reason it was translated that way is because the true grammar of the greek texts make the point that the Word, where as being God, was a seperate entity from the God mentioned earlier. I'm sure you have noticed in many other later english translations that the first God is written with a capital G and the God that is connected to the Word is lower case g. This was done for the same purpose..to let the reader know that God the father and Jesus the living Word were 2 different entities or persons. all of us who understand the trinity can see this either way it is written..either "A God" or "god". Since the watchtower society does not recognize the trinity, they tell their people that this is "proof" that Jesus was a lesser created being below Jehova the father. I greatly disagree with this idea. My macArthur KJV doesnt make this distinction in the scriptural text, but he does in his footnotes and i know from a Bible study 2 weeks ago that other KJV and the NIV use the lower case g for the entity that is the Word. I don't believe this is as much a bad translation as it is a bad interpretation. it's another example of a group of peoples who read the Bible, but don't read the Word of God.

To further that point I have also been studying the Apostolic church, since one of my new friends has been in it since birth. They also do not recognize the trinity, but believe the opposite of the JW's. Apostolics believe that God the father transformed into Jesus and then Jesus transformed into the Holy Spirit. They say they don't exist simultaneously and they use the KJV exclusively to support that. So i think it's not so much what Bible you use, but how you use that Bible. The main Reason I say NWT is very accurate is because whenever i compare it with other Bibles and then research the appropriate ancient language/grammar/usage, the NWT gets it right much more often. However it is still not perfect and does have its misses. Thats my experience with it so far. basically things that can confuse me in KJV are clearer in NWT and like i said, if i have doubts and look up things, the NWT usually is the more correct.

I have wondered why they wouldn't release the names of the translators and am wondering if some of them were not associated with the JW's or the watchtower society and they didnt want their own people screaming about how the Bible they are using was translated by a "heathen" or somebody "not in the truth"

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

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Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:24 am

I read Greek and I can assure you that no credible translator, translates John 1:1 as does the NWT. Plus I can guarantee you that the names and credentials of the translators are not in the NWT itself.

There are lists deduced from other sources based on speculation. The best of those list have denominational officials with only one credible greek scholar and not a very deep one at that.

I believe in the Trinity, strongly. I understand though, that different groups approach it differently and sometimes use different words to express similar concepts. I worked with an Apostolic church member in the past when I was a pastor and marrying him to a member in my church at that time.

I assure you, there are no lists in the NWT or from the JW organization for the translators of the NWT. At best it's a shoddy translation in several places and at worst it's just an attempt by JW officials to reverse engineer the Scriptures to support JW teaching.

That's as generous as I can be with it.
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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#26

Post by secretfire6 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:28 am

I got my Bible and you are right, there are no names and no credentials. It says the work was done by a New World Bible Translation Commitee out of New York and that it was a ten year process beginning in 1950 to translate it. they do give a list of sources, 41 of them including Sinaitic MS, greek translations by Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Dead sea scroll of Isiah, Old latin, Latin Vulgate, Greek septuagint, Masoretic Hebrew text, Chester Beatty papyrus, the targums and so on. The one I have was printed in 1971. I'm sure my parents recieved it when they joined not too long after they were married. i was born into it in '83 but to this day none of my family is still involved in it.

so here is their defense of john 1:1 . They begin by giving a list of other Bibles and scholars who translate it as "In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine." They go on to say "Every honest person will have to admit that John's saying that the word "was divine" is not saying he was the God with whom he was. It merely tells of a certain quality about the Word, but it does not identify him as one and the same as God" This is what I touched on earlier, that God and the Word are seperate entities, but what they did fail to see is that if the word is DIVINE and christianity has always only been monotheistic, then that divinty makes him also part of God. They continue... " The reason they rendered the Greek word "divine" and not "God" is that it is the Greek noun theos is without the definite article, hence an anarthorous theos." They say since it is not "ho theos" (the God) it is a description rather than a title...."Careful translators recognize that the articular construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas an anarthrous construction points to a quality about someone" Then they use a paralell Greek sentence 'and the place was a market' and say its the same case as John 1:1 'and the word was deity' it says "neither was the place the only market nor was the Word all of God" I understand the concept and their statement is true, the Word isn't ALL of God, but a part. Then they make that obvious argument that anyone who doesn't get the trinity will make about this verse. "How can the Word be the God that he is said to be with? This is unreasonable; for how can the Word be with the God and at the same time be that same God?" they then acknowledge the argument that the definite article can be omitted from the predicate and still be understood such as in a sentance like "thy word is truth", but then they say that this idea is rejected as it implys that the Word was the entire Godhead, which coincidently is a root of Modalism. Then there are several paragraphs with various language articles from various times confirming their stand that the definate article was left out of predicate to show it to be different from the subject, then gives tons of other verses in John that contain the article and more in John and the rest of the Bible that do not. They finally end by showing that this rendering of the verse is not exclusive to the JW's. The Archbishop Newcome's New Translation: London, 1808 says "The word was in the beginning, and the word was with God, and the Word was a god." Then they show that Acts 28:6 in the KJV, an American Translation, Moffatt's translation, the Revised Standard Version, the Westminster Version (both 1948 and 1946 Roman Catholic) Bibles are all rendered as "he was a god"
As I read through this all I see alot of support for the existence of the trinity. Nowhere do I find support for the idea that God created the word and that the Word is a lesser being than God, only that the Word is different from God. No one can claim I'm a brainwashed Trinitarian, because not only did Ilive my first 8-10 years with the witnesses, but I STILL read their Bible and don't see support for their unique teachings.

I think my main point here, Canuckster, is that we probably have a nearly identical view of scripture even though we read a variety of different Bibles with different renderings and such. so what is it that brings us to similar conclusions? A good grasp on language? interpretations with the aid of the spirit? both? One thing I've prayed for is for God to show me truth, no matter what the specific words are. we should be able to read John 1:1 in either of the translations and get the same information from it as long as none of it has been devioulsy and purposely changed.

How would you talk to someone who has been Apostolic their whole 34 year life?? Did the person you talked to understand and believe that Jesus and the father are still around?

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#27

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:16 am

The main translator was Fredrick Franz, who later became president of the WT and one of the founding members of the Governing Body.
He was the "best" qualified and he was the head of the translation group.
The issue of John 1:1 is not so simple as an indefinite article.
The " a god" is, gramatically, correct BUT it is not theologically correct nor in line with the writings in the GOJ of 1John ( both viewed to have been written by the same person).
Outside of Jason Debhune you won't find many people advocating that translation of John 1:1.
Perhaps more correct, in meaning, would be "what God was, the Word was.
But a literal translation should read God and not "a god".

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

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Post by secretfire6 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:19 pm

hey Paul. thanks for the info and yeah its kinda what i was trying to say..don't know if it came across right though. I have not yet found the NWT to be purposely tweaked or changed to fit a doctrine as I have found other Bibles to be and i have found that their explainations for the translations they picked are justified and not incorrect. It is the ideas that the Watchtower and Tract Society get from these translations that are a bit shady or just plain wrong at times. Isn't that where 95% of people interpreting scripture go wrong though? They forget language changes over time, take things out of context, don't compare to the rest of scripture or to reality, etc.. If I were ever tasked with translating John 1:1 for someone I would probably do it like this: "In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God and the Word was [part of] God"
thats the best way I could convey the information that the Word was God, but wasn't the same entity as THE God A.K.A. the Father.

Still haven't heard back from my friend in the witnesses. I think we need a better way to communicate than facebook.

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

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Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:16 am

secretfire6 wrote:hey Paul. thanks for the info and yeah its kinda what i was trying to say..don't know if it came across right though. I have not yet found the NWT to be purposely tweaked or changed to fit a doctrine as I have found other Bibles to be and i have found that their explainations for the translations they picked are justified and not incorrect. It is the ideas that the Watchtower and Tract Society get from these translations that are a bit shady or just plain wrong at times. Isn't that where 95% of people interpreting scripture go wrong though? They forget language changes over time, take things out of context, don't compare to the rest of scripture or to reality, etc.. If I were ever tasked with translating John 1:1 for someone I would probably do it like this: "In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God and the Word was [part of] God"
thats the best way I could convey the information that the Word was God, but wasn't the same entity as THE God A.K.A. the Father.

Still haven't heard back from my friend in the witnesses. I think we need a better way to communicate than facebook.
I have no issues with people believing in the Trinity Doctrine, even though I am not a "trinitarian" per say.
Yes I believe Chirst to be God in Nature, in Essence and all and Yes I know that the trinity doesn't state that Christ is God, the Father as many anti-trinitarians seem to think.
The trinity doctrine is a perfect example of Man trying to explain the nature of God in man's fallen and imperfect state ( in the case language).
The Trinity doctrine HAD to exist to deal with the likes of Arian and such, but I am sure that if it was to be formuated TODAY, the wording would be less "confusing".
That said, I do believe that God has revealed Himself to Us through His Son and The HS which united them since there was a "them".
The HS is God and is also the Son, it has all the attributes of God and here is another place where the JW"s get it wrong for they believe the HS to simply be God's IMPERSONAL "force", nothing more.

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Re: Talking to a Jehovah's Witness

#30

Post by secretfire6 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:49 am

right, agreed and understanding that they all exist simultaneuosly is the last piece. I just read some more from the parent website of this forum and its just continuing to open my eyes to how badly our english Bibles are iterpreted and translated. I praise God for bringing people like those who made this site and those on this forum as they bring to light the truth and expose the errors and lies.

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