Great job AuldSoul; amazing work! I think you and megadude could pretty much leave any witness quivering like jello, slumped into a corner, and muttering to themselves "hovah god, hovah god, hovah god...", given 15 minutes of tag-team conversation. In fact, we should all get together and go out witnessing someday, I'll film the conversations. :)
Street Witnessing in Conyers, GA (rather long, but IMO cool experience)
Auldsoul, It is unfortunate that you make a false argument. When God is identified as "the only true God" the Greek word translated as "true" is ALQHINOS. This does not mean true in contrast to false, so it does not make Jesus a false god. The word that would be necessary for that is ALHQHS, which is not present. Bad argument based upon a misunderstanding of the Bible and New Testament Greek. I would encourage you not to repeat this argument if you are an honest person. Mondo
V, It is not polytheism. You may wish to investigate your -theisms. At most one could say it is henotheism, but I would even dispute that. It is not Satan and Jesus that are called gods alone, but we also find that the angels are (Psa. 8:5, compare LXX), the judges of Israel (Psa. 82:6), Moses (Ex. 7:1 LXX), etc. The Bible is very clear in that others are properly called gods. Mondo
At your invitation:
Main Entry: poly-the-ism
Etymology: French polytheisme, from Late Greek polytheos polytheistic, from Greek, of many gods, from poly- + theos god
belief in or worship of more than one god
Henotheism (belief in one god without denying the existance of other gods) also applies. But polytheism is more accurate because JWs ascribe special significance to the godship of Jesus, calling him "mighty god" and King among other titles.
I hope that clears up your confusion.
The poor old lady was just not prepared for battle. Precious few of them are; I know if I knocked on someone's door and was challenged on any belief, I would not be able to back it up one bit.
I like how you rejected her initial attempt to change it into "Are we in the last days?" kind of conversation. It's the backup plan that fits any situation, that and "What hope do you have for the future?" It's a convenient way for them to ignore anything they don't like.
All due respect, but you should be very careful when making accusation that you have your facts in order. You assumed that I referred to the Greek usage. I do not know whether you are or ever have been a JW, but I am taken aback by your introductory post on this forum. I am unaware of having done anything to merit your reply, or your accusation that my "argument" was false.
I was referring to the MANY occasions in the Hebrew Scriptures where the NWT inserts "[true]" as a predecessor to "God" where ha Elohim appears without any actual textual warrant, simply on the basis of the opinion of Zorell regarding the meaning. This despite the fact that in 8 places where the same expression refers to other Gods, they do not translate it identically. I was engaged in informal conversation without a single reference work at my disposal.
For your edification, here are all eight exceptions: Exodus 18:11; 22:20; Deuteronomy 10:17; Judges 10:14; 2 Chronicles 2:5; Psalm 86:8; 136:2; Jeremiah 11:12
A noteworthy instance where this practice draws a distinct comparison between a true and false God is found in 1 Samuel 5:1-5. 1 Kings 18:21-40 shows a test of EXACTLY what I said Jehovah's Witnesses teach, that Jehovah is the ONLY "true" God, as opposed to all false gods. And your counterargument against my point cannot stand when considering that John 5:44 refers to "the only God", as does 1 Timothy 1:17 and Jude 25.
For your OT reference, you might consider Isaiah 45:20-21, where it is stated (ostensibly by YHWH speaking through Isaiah), "Is it not I, [YHWH], besides whom there is no other God...there being none excepting me?" There is no way to confuse the context of that passage. There is no other true god save YHWH, according to YHWH.
I do not arrive at my opinions lightly. I never inferred to the woman that I was speaking about the Greek usage (which only occurs in John 17:3, as far as I know) and I am insulted by your insinuation that I was careless in my research or that my "argument" has no merit. If you truly believe that to be the case, now that you know the actual basis for my argument (rather than the one you conjectured that I was using) I invite you to discuss the merits on the actual grounds rather than the presumptive grounds you imagined me to have.
The only error I made in my speaking to the woman on that point was not one of failing to correctly discern the dogma of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding Jehovah being the only true god and all other Gods as false, but in my use of "[only true]" as opposed to "[true]" in my comment to her. However, Appendix 1F of the NWT Reference Bible plainly shows that "[only true]" is an honest representation of the intent of their translation of the Hebrew ha Elohim; as seen from the fact that they quote Zorell writing "'Jahve is the [one true] God'" in defense of their insertion..."only" and "one" are 100% synonymous in that usage. It is certain that the translators of the NWT chose the form "the [true] God" as a direct means of distinguishing the true from the false. I was NOT being unfaithful to the intent, even in the slightest degree, and I personally resent your meritless accusation.
If you are a person of integrity, I will expect you to admit that you assumed my basis incorrectly and leapt to a number of conlusions as a result of your incorrect assumption.
Further, me elohim does not necessitate a translation of "gods" or "God" in Psalm 8:5. Many translators rendered that construct as "angels" or "heavenly beings". The context of Exodus 7:1 plainly shows that God was speaking metaphorically. Moses was not God to Pharoah, nor was Aaron Pharoah's priest, so either God lied or you misinterpreted God's point as a statement of literal fact. As a friendly caution, keep in mind that Psalm 82 might refer to a heavenly assembly of judges who judge matters on earth. You didn't specify that the "gods" referred to there were earthly, I am just cautioning that you not do so, since there is another possibility that cannot be excluded based on the text. Either way, once again the use of metaphor is implicit. They are not gods in the sense of deserving worship, which was the specific context of my discussion with the elderly lady.
The Bible does not show that those who are not true gods are properly called Gods. It shows, quite explicitly, the opposite. Shall I tell you which Scriptures state that, or do you already know them?
You might have noted that I kept putting "argument" in quotes. This is because I never chose a pro or con stance in the discussion with the woman regarding the deity of Jesus. I invited her to support her dogma Scripturally. I kept plying her for a statement of fact (which is the beginning of an argument). If you are calling a "false argument" my statement that Jehovah's Witnesses TEACH that Jehovah is the only true God and all others are false gods, then I will have some quotes ready for you for our next round. She consistently chose not to make a statement of fact regarding my question, therefore I could not be said to have made an argument, per se. Technically.
I am only being pedantic with you because you seem to like it that way. I promise I am up to the challenge. I await your considered reply. Oh, and, welcome to the forum.
mkr32208, no worries, mate, I figured you were just playing.
V, Excellent breakdown. I got a few points from your analysis I will use in future. Thanks.
johnnycip, I was very polite. I imagined she was thinking, "This is going to be on a Circuit Assembly part one day." It may yet, if they get desperate enough for street witnessing experiences! But you are right. It was kind of sad to watch the proof that all those hours and hours in the meetings hadn't amounted to any comprehension.
(((bebu))), it WAS exhilarating!
BizzyBee, 100% agreement. The religion is emotion driven. I saw little beyond conditioned response reactions. I could have predicted the progression of the entire discussion with very few branches on the decision tree her brain would go through.
Six? You feeling okay? Was that a compliment? From you? WOW!
It's a convenient way for them to ignore anything they don't like.
I agree. Distracting to another topic ENTIRELY, and usually one they view as a "deal-breaker" is the customary go-to defense of the JWs with whom I've talked.
Mondo1, You really are welcome here. I just don't understand why your first post would be so harshly critical of something so...obvious...when viewed in context with JW dogma.
V, lastly, I return to you in support of labeling the WTS doctrine as polytheistic. JW dogma contains the specific recognition of and belief in more than one God, which is polytheism. I am not sure why Mondo1 took issue with that word, and our new poster didn't really bother to explain beyond encouraging you to do more research. I think you handily responded to the mistaken rebuff.
(Conyers, GA? Didn't the WTS just build a new assembly hall there...wasn't the dedication recently?)
That is rather inconsistent, for you are turning to the Greek word qeos. You would seem to want to be consistent. If you are going to refer to Christ in the Greek as "god" you should then relate how he is in Greek as "true." To argue based upon a bracketed addition of true in an English Bible does not justify your assertion and only shows that it is not a Scriptural distinction.
You may not realize it, but even in contrast to idols, they are not spoken of as "false gods" in the sense of Jehovah as the "true God." They are considered based upon him, where he is the model upon which they were created by their makers, for he is God of all. He is the archetype upon which they are designed and so even with the idols the comparison isn't entirely proper in any example that I have been able to find. In the NT and LXX it is always AHQINOS in every example that I can find.
As for Isaiah 45, you have removed that Scripture completely from context, for it refers clearly to the idols of the nation when in context, having no bearing on others. Would you just as well go into Exodus 20:8 and say we cannot have art by removing it from its context?
For Psalm 8:5, elohim does not mean angels. "Angels" is a rendering based upon the LXX and is by no means a *meaning* of Elohim. Please do not confuse application with meaning. Here it is applied to angels but the word itself does not mean it. Glosses will note the application to them, but Hebrew lexicons do not argue for that meaning.
In Exodus 7:1 you are right that Moses is not "God" but the LXX makes it very clear that he is "a god to Pharaoh." This not not merely metaphorical, but it describes a role that Moses held to him and a role that Aaron held.
And finally for Psa. 82:6, they indeed are not gods in the worship sense as idols are, but they are to be honored and respected, for they are gods because they have been given a position of authority by God. The sense varies, but it still does not change the fact that properly they are called gods.
So in contrast what you said, these ones are properly called gods. They are not false gods, but they are gods positively. Psa. 82:6 confirms this especially, for in parallel to being "gods" they are "sons of the most high," a positive expression.
I'm calling you out on this argument not because of what the Watchtower says, but because of what the Bible says, so if you're going to make an argument, a Watchtower quote is not going to phase me and it is not going to make your argument true or false. The fact is, the Biblical use of "true" with respects God in contrast to Jesus does not support the position that you are arguing for. One could argue *at most* that it is an implication, but in light of who it is applied to, that would be false.