Can I pick your brain?

by nerofiddle 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nerofiddle

    I’m looking for your help with an issue. Although I’m agnostic and not a bible believer, I’m currently having regular visits/discussions with a couple of JW elders. I’m fully aware of the JW doctrine that Christ is a created being and I’m familiar with scriptural texts and the reasoning they use in support of that claim.

    In fact I know there’s an almost endless supply of arguments pro and con. That’s why I’d like to limit this discussion to this one particular scripture that appears to be a solid rebuttal to the notion that Christ is a creation of God or for that matter a created being.

    The subject of John 1: 1-5 is the Word or Christ and it says he made all things. The real focus of my interest is John 1:3. Here are several different translations:

    KJV: “ All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.

    NIV: “ Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

    NWT: “ All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.

    The obvious point here is, if all things were made by ( or made through if you prefer) Christ and nothing came into existence without him- not even one thing, how could Christ possibly be made or created? The obvious answer to that is Christ wasn’t made or created. Isn’t it?

    Having said that, I was hoping for your help/opinion. I’m looking for some idea of how these elders (or any JW) might respond or argue this scripture. What do you think? Is my argument a solid one? Remember, as far as they’re concerned I’m just a guy they’re witnessing to.

  • Shazard

    See you are good example of normal human bible nonbeliever who understands Bible as it is written. That different cults and sects change meaning of words and even whole sentences using ANY argument they can find or even invent. They use "logic" to proove you spiritual things. Ok... now to John 1:3 this word "by" is greek "dia", which I believe stands for english "by". English is only my 2nd foreign language, so I can't say for sure. In my language there is no such word as "by" with the same meaning as in english. I believe that the word "by" may be used somehow different in Kings James times or whatever. But I guess correct rendering should be "by". But there are scriptures where the same construction is applied clearly to God... Heb 2:10, Rom 11:36. But also the same claims which are sayed in John 1:3 are sayed in Colossians 1:16. Funny is that Collosians 1:15 they use ase proove text of Christs being created beeing applying meaning of "firsborn" as "firstcreated" (as if to born is to create) ignoring context, which demands that this "firstborn" should be rendered in sense of superiority, the one who is over all!

  • jwfacts

    The elders will point you to

    (Colossians 1:16) . . .All [other] things have been created through him and for him.

    Notice the shameless addition of the word [other] as justification of their belief. JWs interpret the bible around their beliefs, rather than use the bible to form beliefs. Due to cult indoctrination nothing you say can make a difference to what they think, so you are probably wasting your time with them. The only way to get anywhere is to first undermine the authority of the Governing Body.

  • BluesBrother

    I regret that I am not a scholarly expert. But as to how they might respond?

    Well, any J W would trust the N W T as the correct translation of the verse and blame the other alternative wordings on 'trinitarian bias' . No doubt the WTS would come up with an argument in support of their rendition . The appendix to the large volume edition of the NWT has several texts commented on - I do not recall whether that was one of them.

    I can only suggest that a dilligent search of bible websites might come up with some further comment. It does sound to me to be an argument with two firmly entrenched sides, though. Good luck

  • SPAZnik

    if a powerful and influential man is standing in a room he made, full of stuff he made, and someone says or writes that
    "not. one. thing. here. was not made by (or through) him"
    "everything here was made by him"
    "he made absolutely everything in this room"
    or any number of variants on that sentiment...

    i think it's safe to assume they don't mean he made himself.

    unless maybe they meant figuratively, like "self-made" man
    in which case I would have to argue that no man (or woman)
    is entirely "self-made". There are alwayz other contributors
    whether or not they get their due credit. ;)

    of course,
    because it's jesus that must be different hm?
    heaven forbid the bible might actually be in line with
    plain old common sense
    i mean
    then what would all of humanity have to fight about
    and kill each other over.

    *sigh* it just doesn't seem to matter really. does it?

    i figure that when/if i want to be crystal clear
    i am
    and since i'm supposed ta be "made in gawds image"
    when/if he wants to be crystal clear
    he will

    i suddenly see why some people actually believe gawd is a woman.
    cuz s/he is so flippin hard to understand.


  • SPAZnik

    roun' an' roun' it goes

  • Clam

    Hello Nero

    The JWs use a translation which is simply erroneous. There are plenty of comments about this on the web, eg

    How can you trust what "Bible Students" say when they have tampered with a book which contains a warning not to tamper with it !?

    Well done for coming to this forum, and if you reach a point where you need to get rid of them just tell them you've been talking to people on this forum LOL.

  • PoppyR

    Can I hijack this thread a little.. and also ask..

    How do you trinitarians on the board explain the 'let not my will but yours take place' and also.. take this cup away from me, when jesus was dying, and god speaking to jesus when he was on the earth, ie this is my son the beloved...

    I am genuinely interested, and also open minded, I'm not defending the JWs mistranslation of the bible, but other texts in the bible just point out the separate identity of Jesus and God.

    Poppy x

  • Narkissos

    A few quick remarks on John 1:3:

    1. The referent of the third person pronoun is not exactly "Jesus" but the logos -- "Word," "mind," "reason," at any rate a personified abstraction.

    2. The verb doesn't mean "make" or "create," in the passive voice, but "being, becoming, coming to be".

    3. The preposition dia doesn't introduce the agent of a passive verb (as in "everything was made by him" = "he made everything") but, very loosely, a means, instrument, etc.

    4. The sentence most probably stops before the end of the verse.

    See the NRSV of 3-4 which I think is better on all the above points :

    All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
    What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

  • Confession

    Nerofiddle, it's very possible you will be directed to this scripture by the JW...

    (1 Cor. 15:27)

    27 For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him.

    The JW will thus defend the use of the bracketed "other" as a previous poster shows. They will attempt to show you all the reasons why they believe the Trinity is false. The argument then becomes..."Since Jehovah and Jesus cannot be one in the same, it is obvious that when the Bible says "all things," it means "all [other] things." The understanding is that Christ didn't create himself; Jehovah did. Jesus acted as a "Master Worker" with God in heaven in his prehuman existence. Then we read the above scripture, which seems to support such a theory too.

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