Jason BeDuhn, supporter of the NWT.

by whereami 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • whereami

    This is an interesting back & forth between Jason BeDuhn and this other guy from this web site on the validity of the NWT that Mr. BeDuhn supports. I thought some of you scholars out there might find this interesting. Enjoy.


  • JCanon


    Thanks so much!! This is absolutely fascinating!!! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    But already I can see the limitations of this debate about John 1:1 on a strictly textual basis, touch on by Professor BeDuhn which was the "poetic" construct of this verse.

    What it amounts to, though, by practical application, is that the meaning and understanding of the verse will not lie in the actual words as much as HOW they were used, in this case in poetic way. The poetry of John 1:1 is basically saying that Jesus IS God in every way except for God himself, who has both the position of the deity as well as the title.

    It's like the title "judge" and the position/function of "judge." Or "doctor" for that matter. We give an actual doctor the title of doctor. Where though judge or doctor are unique to the titled "Judge" or "Doctor", John is showing The Word, Jesus is sharing that position of the one titled and defined by that position. Only he does it poetically by simply stating God Jesus was with God [the Father].

    Or you could say, John is trying to use the term "god" in its most extreme and superlative sense to also apply to Jesus, making him hold the same position of "god" as God, only he's not the only one. That is, the concept of "god" in its most superlative reference can be applied to Jesus in the same sense it is applied to the Father. When John said, "And the Word was god" it would ordinarily suggest that Jesus was God. The way John chooses to modify this superlative position is only by noting he is not the only one who has this position. Thus there are two who could share the superlative reference of the term god, which is Jehovah and Jesus.

    So basically, John is poetically achieving his goal of saying: Jesus, the Word was God and creator. Jesus was made with the powers of creation which is attributable to a god. Thus there is nothing lacking in the godship or "deity" of Christ. He is superior to all things, created all things, etc. If Jehovah wasn't there, he'd be considered God and have the title of God. But Jehovah IS there, which is the only modification to the concept of the deity level of Christ, the Word. God's are beings that can create things and clearly Jesus was given the power to create.

    What is interesting is the appreciation of the NOUN god versus the adjective god. JWs or antitrinitarians want god to be descriptive so insert "a god", which is not adequate for the translation. Christ was the noun "god" in relation to the universe he created. That's his position. That's what he is: god. Modified only by a second god, the Father.

    John is thus saying Jesus was god in every way bside his father who was also god in every way. Now that's a poetic construct. When I say "in every way" it is an absolute, is it not. But I can peoteically modify that by including someone else who is also a god "in every way."

    Now I could say that Jesus was "god in every way except for Jehovah" but that is less poetic and more diminishing if I contradict the absolute.

    It's sort of like that statement in the movie the Ten Commandments where Pharoah after failing to kill Moses tells Neferteri: "His god IS god."


    God was in existence for forever. He was having so much fun being God and the creator that he decided to create another being so they could see what it feels like to be god and creator. That should be unique, so he just created one being in that capacity. Jesus Christ. In the end, "every knee bends" to somone of such magnificence, such power and awesomeness. But he's not the ONLY one with this magnamity, Jehovah himself also has this magnamity.

    All the angels and every man has to actually worship Jesus as their "god." So basically, everyone will be polytheists, they will worship two gods: Jehovah and Jesus.


    Jehovah really has some other projects and he's going into semi-retirement with respect the earth and the physical universe and the heavens, so he has given the universe to Jesus as a Father's Day Gift (or Son's Day? gift) and he's elsewhere in some other dimension, so the new resident god is Jesus Christ. Jehovah made Jesus god (the noun) so everybody has to worship him now.


  • TD

    ...supporter of the NWT.

    ...with the notable exception of the NWT's insertion of 'Jehovah' in the NT. BeDuhn does not agree with that at all.

  • M.J.

    He's a supporter of the NWT with regard to selected verses traditionally used to point to Christ's deity. He makes his assessment on the NWT entirely on the basis of a handful of verses. He readily admits this fact in his book.

    The only issue he touches outside of this is the issue of "Jehovah" in the NT, which he obliterates.

  • whereami

    I'm sorry, i should have been more specific regarding what exactly he supports.

  • Narkissos

    Interesting, thanks for the links. We had several threads on this topic before, and I once e-mailed BeDuhn about it, but he never replied. I must still take the time to read it though.

  • slimboyfat

    Personally I enjoyed BeDuhn's exchange with Robert Bowman. It can be accessed in the history (or more neatly in a word document in the files section) of this website:


    You need to join to access the files I think, but it is worth it!

    I find BeDuhn's arguments very interesting. He certainly shows that many "Trinitarian" scriptures are more open to Witness interpretations than many scholars have been willing to allow. But it is a shame he does not discuss texts not related to Christology and the Trinity, because it is elsewhere that some of the clearest NWT excesses can be found.

  • aniron

    Comment by Lynn Lundquist on De Buhns book.


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