Reniaa, I appreciate the fact that you want to learn the truth about God and Jesus. I commend you for that.
I really do care about you, and I am passionate about knowing and helping others to know the Biblical truth about God and Jesus (as I'm sure you are as well), and there is nothing more important than knowing the true identity of God and Jesus Christ (See John 8:24).
Below, I am going to try to thoughtfully and carefully give a Bible-based answer to each and every question/thought you have posted in this thread. I just hope you will thoughtfully read and think over what I post here.
I realize you may not have a lot of time to read all of the things posted on here by different people right away, and please don't think I'm trying to pressure you into reading and responding to what I write to you. And please don't think I'm trying to push you into believing that Jesus is God without doing deep research and thinking and studying and prayer.
And I promise you I will not engage in "ad hominem" (personal attacks) against you, and will not attack the New World Translation (but there are certain verses where I do not believe the NWT is accurate on) and I will not even attack the Watchtower Society in my discussions with you. I will be respectful and kind and courteous toward you and toward your beliefs, no matter what. Does that sound fair? I hope so.
And, I agree with you 100% that it is always best to try to use the Bible translations that are the most accurate to what the originals said. And it is very important to check out Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries/Lexicons. We should never just automatically accept what the majority is saying without checking it out first. And we should not be primarily concerned about following human creeds (whether Trinitarian or Unitarian), but instead the most important thing to learn is what the Holy Scriptures have to say about it, since they are the Inspired Word of God.
I have been studying the Scriptures on my own (using about 20 translations, several dictionaries, commentaries, web pages, etc.) for 8 years now. Keep in mind, I do not claim to be inspired or infallible, and I may make some mistakes. I do not want you to accept what I say about the Bible without carefully examining the Scriptures. I highly encourage you to imitate the Noble-Minded Beroeans found at Acts 17:11.
First off, let me say that there are many different beliefs and opinions on certain parts of Scripture, such as whether or not Proverbs 8 is referring to Jesus or not. From my studies on this, I am not 100% decided. It does seem quite plausible to me that Proverbs 8 is referring to the Pre-Human Christ. But there are a few issues with that view as well. The early church fathers did believe Proverbs 8 was referring to Jesus. I will talk more about this later.
And, as you can see, there are some different versions of Trinitarian beliefs out there, but, if you have studied Unitarianism (or Arianism), you will see that there are many versions of it as well. So, that really doesn't prove anything one way or the other. For example, Arius himself taught a Unitarianism that is somewhat different from what the Watchtower Society teaches.
Also, as regards the word "Trinity" not being in the Bible, that has absolutely no bearing on whether the doctrine is true or not. If you prefer, I won't even call it the Trinity Doctrine. We can call it whatever you like. We can call it the "Father/Son/Spirit" Doctrine. There are many modern words we use that are not in the Bible. The word "Bible" is not in the Bible. The word "Theocratic" is not in the Bible. The word "pioneer" is not in the Bible. The word "Unitarianism" is not in the Bible. I could go on and on.
"I checked it in dictionaries there is no justifiation for thinking firstborn means pre-eminent or context to show firstborn of creation isn't actually firstborn of creation in fact the context would make it a literal firstborn there."
Psalm 89:27 (NWT): Also, I myself shall place him as firstborn, The most high of the kings of the earth.
In that Psalm, God promises to "place" or "appoint" the future "David" (the Messiah) into the position or rank of "Firstborn," which, in this context, means "The Most High of the kings of the earth."
So, if the Messiah was placed or appointed into the position of being the "Firstborn," then that is NOT teaching that He was the first creation. In Revelation 1:5,
John quotes that Psalm and applies it to Jesus. He says that Jesus is "The Firstborn from the dead," "The Ruler of the kings of the earth."
So, wouldn't it make sense that Paul was also referring back to Psalm 89:27 when he called Jesus "The Firstborn"? If he was, then he was not saying anything about Jesus being the first creation of God.
Let's look carefully at Colossians 1:15-18 in the NWT:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things;"
As I'm sure you already know, the [other] in brackets is not in the original Greek of Colossians.
Why does Paul specifically say that Jesus is The Firstborn BECAUSE all things were created by means of Him? Why is that word "BECAUSE" used right there by Paul?
If you want to say that "Firstborn" has to be taken totally, 100% literally, then we would have to say that Jesus had to have a Heavenly Mother who gave birth to Him after having sexual relations with The Father. (That idea is totally unbiblical.)
Also, human firstborn sons DO NOT create or make their younger siblings, but it clearly says that this Firstborn (Jesus) made all of creation, including the angels and humans.
So, how literal should we take the term "Firstborn" when used in reference to Jesus?
Next, notice that Paul says Jesus is "The Head ... The Firstborn from the dead, that He might become the One who is First in all things." So, Paul himself explains what he means by "Firstborn." It means Jesus is the One who is "First in all things," just as Psalm 89:27 says.
Firstborn from the dead would mean that Jesus is the greatest of all who will ever rise from the dead. Just as Firstborn of all creation means that He is the greatest One over all of creation because He made all things.
If the rest of the Bible taught that Jesus was created by God, then, yes, you could legitimately interpret Colossians 1:15 to say that Jesus was the first creation of God. But, you cannot prove it by using that one verse, especially if the rest of the Scriptures show that Jesus is not a creature.
Now, let's take a look at Proverbs 8:
Proverbs 8:22-25 (NWT): “Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth. When there were no watery deeps I was brought forth as with labor pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water. Before the mountains themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labor pains,"
Proverbs chapter 8 is obviously speaking about God's quality of wisdom being personified (and perhaps this is also referring to the Pre-Human Jesus as God's Wisdom).
Let me ask you a question? Was there ever a time in all of eternity when Jehovah did not possess wisdom? If not, then how can you say that God created wisdom at a certain point? Hasn't Jehovah also had wisdom? If He has, then Wisdom has always been with Jehovah, for all of eternity.
Jehovah "brought forth" His wisdom in the sense that He used His wisdom when making decisions and when creating the Universe, earth, and mankind, not in the sense that He did not have wisdom and somehow had to create wisdom.
The Hebrew word used in Proverbs 8:22 which is rendered "produced" in the NWT is "Qanah." That word had several different meanings, as the Brown-Driver-Briggs' Bible Dictionary points out:
1) to get, acquire, create, buy, possess
1a1) to get, acquire, obtain
1a1a) of God originating, creating, redeeming His people
1a1b) of Eve acquiring
1a1c) of acquiring knowledge, wisdom
1a2) to buy
1b) (Niphal) to be bought
1c) (Hiphil) to cause to possess
Look how different translations render this word:
Proverbs 8:22 (American Standard Version of 1901, published by the Watchtower Society): Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old.
Proverbs 8:22 (New American Standard Bible): "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old."
Proverbs 8:22 (English Standard Version): "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old."
Proverbs 8:22 (GOD'S WORD Translation): "The LORD already possessed me long ago, when his way began, before any of his works."
Proverbs 8:22 (King James Version): The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Proverbs 8:22 (The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible): Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of His way, from then, before His works.
Proverbs 8:22 (World English Bible): “Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his work, before his deeds of old."
Which rendering makes the most sense? That God had to "produce" His own wisdom, or that God has always "possessed" wisdom? I'm going with the "possessed" meaning. To me it definitely fits in the best with the context and everything we know about God.
So, Proverbs 8 may be a very beautiful description of the Pre-Human Lord Jesus, but it is not teaching that He was created by God.
1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (New International Version)
5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. that show that he accepts that there can be gods lesser to him and supposed gods but he is THE GOD
Exodus 7:1 (King James Version)
1And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (New International Version)
4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
"the bible allows for a lesser god in all the examples above and so with the correct grammer in John 1:1 is not a contradiction but a again recognition that you can be godlike and even called a god as moses was but that doesn't make you The God."
I agree on one point. Even though there is only One Almighty God by Nature, there are others who can be called "gods" in a lesser sense. These include representatives and spokesmen for the Almighty, such as holy angels, Moses, Israelite Judges, and Davidic Kings. These are called "gods" because they speak for the One True God in His Name as His representatives. (See Exodus 4:15-16; 7:1; Psalm 82; John 10:35-36; Psalm 45:6; Psalm 8:5; Psalm 86:8) There are also false gods, such as mythical gods, idols, Pagan human kings, rulers, Satan, and the demons. These false gods are called "gods" because people worship them and because they exercise power over others. (See 2nd Corinthians 4:4; Exodus 12:12; Deuteronomy 4:28; 32:17; Ezekiel 28:2; Isaiah 14:14)
However, the Apostle Paul taught that there was only One God by Nature, the Creator, and that NO creature could be God by Nature and NO creature should be worshiped as God. All other gods are just so-called "gods," not gods by nature. (See Romans 1:20, 25, Galatians 4:8, and 1 Corinthians 8:6) But Paul also declared that Jesus has all of the fullness of the Nature of God dwelling in Him bodily. (See Colossians 2:9) And John 1:1 declares that the Logos has the same Nature as God. Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the EXACT Copy of The Father's Nature.
According to what I have read about John 1:1, the best way to translate it is that "The Logos has the same Nature as God." (The Reasoning Book and Insight Book agree) If that is true, then how does that harmonize with Paul's teaching that there is only One True God by Nature?
I know of absolutely NO Greek scholars or experts who believe that the BEST way to translate John 1:1 is "a god." Do you know of any? Can you provide the names of any? So why should we believe that Jesus is only "a god" and not truly God by Nature?
Are you aware of "Colwell's Rule" and of Harner's comments on John 1:1?
Look what Jason BeDuhn said about John 1:1:
"So what does John mean by saying "the word was a god"? He is classifying Jesus in a specific category of beings. There are plants and animals and humans and gods, and so on. By calling the Word "a god," John wants to tell his readers that the Word (which becomes Jesus when it takes flesh) belongs to the divine class of things. Notice the word order: "a god was the word." We can't say it like this in English, but you can in Greek. The subject can be after the verb and the object before the verb, the opposite of how we do it in English (subject-verb-object). Research has shown that when ancient Greek writers put a object-noun first in a sentence like John 1:1 (a be-verb sentence: x is y), without the definite article, they are telling us that the subject belongs to the class represented by the object-noun: :"The car is a Volkswagen." In English we would accomplish the same thing by using what we call predicate adjectives. "John is a smart person" = "John is smart." So we would tend to say "The word was divine," rather than "The word was a god." That is how I would translate this phrase. "The word was a god" is more literal, and an improvement over "The word was God," but it raises more problems, since to a modern reader it implies polytheism."
Is Jesus a true God by Nature, or is Jesus only one of the so-called "gods"? At 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul clearly separates Jesus, and puts Him in a different class from all of the so-called "gods."
Why should we automatically assume that Jesus is just a "representative" god like Moses and not the true God by Nature? Do you have any Scriptures to show that Jesus is this type of god instead of True God by Nature? The Apostle Thomas said TO Jesus: "The God [ho theos] of me!" How many true Gods did Thomas serve? Why should we assume that Thomas was only calling Jesus "a god" when the Greek text has him saying "THE GOD OF ME"?
How many true Gods by Nature are there, One or Two?
Isaiah 43:10-11 (NWT): “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have 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.”
Jehovah explicitly says that there has never been another true God by Nature formed (or created). If that is true, then how does that harmonize with the New Testament teaching that Jesus has the Nature of God? (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9) Was Jehovah wrong in Isaiah?
And please look closely at Deauteronomy 32:39:
Deuteronomy 32:39 (NWT): SEE now that I—I am he And there are no gods together with me. I put to death, and I make alive.
Jehovah solemnly declared that there were absolutely NO gods together with Him. How does that harmonize with John 1:1 in the NWT, which says that "In the beginning... the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."
Which is correct, Deut. 32:39 or John 1:1? Was there another god with Jehovah or not?
"trinitarians try to split God into three natures but this isn't biblical"
No, that is incorrect. Trinitarians teach that there are Three Persons who have ONE Nature.
"the Jws made the mistake of letting him lead them down the 'legitimate path' but the bible doesn't make that distinction. there is Jehovah the One true Almighty
God and the other gods that are talked of as gods and a gods but not The God. Jesus in john 1:1 is said to be a god this is the correct translation and he is also said to be with God that scripture basically shows that he is in 'a god' section and that by being with God he cannot actually be God. the structure of it does not allow for that conclusion whether he is a legitimate god or not isn't the issues, Jehovah can call people and things gods but that doesn't make them The Almighty God."
At 1 Corinthians 8:6 Paul says that for Christians, there is Only One "leigitimate" God (Father) and Only One "legitimate" Lord (Son), and that all others are only so-called "gods" and so-called "lords". Paul clearly separates Jesus from the "so-called god" category. If Jesus is NOT one of the "so-called gods" and
He's NOT the True God, then what kind of "god" is He? Paul did not mention a 3rd category of "gods."
Also, if you claim that Jesus cannot be the True God because 1 Corinthians 8:6 says The Father is the True God, then by that same logic, you would have to say that only Jesus is the True Lord and NOT The Father, because 1 Corinthians 8:6 says Jesus is the Only Lord for Christians.
Trinitarians believe that John 1:1 is saying that The Logos [Jesus] was with God [The Father] and The Logos [Jesus] was God by Nature (or has the same Nature as God.) That is what we believe. We do NOT believe that the Logos was The Father. That is Modalism.
"the angel in the early books is often spoken of as being God but it is clearly an Angel representing God speaking on behalf of god"
I agree. But can you explain why that Special Angel accepted worship and prayer but the angel representing God and speaking on God's behalf in Revelation strictly FORBIDS John from bowing down to him?
What is the difference between those two angels, and why is it okay to worship one of them but not the other?
Now, about the Son not knowing "the day or the hour" of His own return, He did say this while He was on earth as a Man. Even the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus probably does have this knowledge in Heaven, but He didn't have it on earth.
Not only that, the Watchtower Society teaches that Jehovah chooses NOT to know certain things about the future so as to allow for human free will.
Therefore, why couldn't Jesus do the same thing, especially while on earth as a Man?
"Trinity doctrine is not a bible explanation for this problem but a man-made logical construct which has absolutely no scriptural scriptural back up. lets make one thing clear when trinitarians try and construct trinity they do it in parts because the bible shows no whole for them to use."
Trinitarians could say the same about Unitarianism. That kind of statement doesn't prove anything. We have to examine what the Scriptures actually teach using exegesis, not eisegesis.
I think the most important thing to do is figure out the truth about Jesus, whether He is True God by Nature or not, and then find out about the Holy Spirit later.
John 8:24 says we have to know Jesus true identity to be saved.
"but this is not how the bible works john 1:1 says there only 2 people involved God and the word they were there from beginning together where is the third person holy spirit mentioned? It isn't so here the scripture only allows two actual Persons involved and yet we know holy spirit God's power was used to create things so it must have been around surely? is this an error? was the third equal person just forgotten in this scripture? or is it that the holy spirit is legitimately god's power as the bible describes and therefore doesn't have to be mentioned as a person in this scripture because it literally isn't a person!"
The Three are mentioned together at Jesus' baptism and in the Great Commission. Plus Paul mentions the Three together repeatedly in his letters. Peter mentioned The Three together as well. Just because all Three are not mentioned together in every verse does not mean there are not Three. Some verses only speak about Jesus. Does this mean The Father does not exist? Some verses only mention The Father. Does this mean that The Son does not exist?
Even if John had mentioned The Spirit in John 1:1, Unitarians could have still claimed He was not a person, just like they do with all the other verses that speak of Him.
Let me ask this question:
Why do you believe that Satan is an actual person instead of an impersonal force? What happens with The Holy Spirit if you apply the same exact reasoning to determining whether The Spirit is a person or not?
"trinitarians have had the run for many centuries they suppressed the bible, they added to scriptures (aka 1 john 5:7 among others we are not talking translation issues here but a full sentence that did not belong in the bible). Throughout the whole of Bible history there have been believers in One almighty God Jehovah/YHWH not the three-headed Pagan influenced trinity God and I am honoured to be among their company!"
William Tyndale and Martin Luther were Trinitarians if I am not mistaken. Without them we might not even have Bible translations or the freedom to read them today.
"i was surprised you brought up the angel god point. do you think God is an angel? the bible shows many cases of angels working on behalf of God and like the geneses scripture above they can be refered to in the first perspective as talking in Gods words as from God himself even though sent by him."
I believe that The Special Angel in the Old Testament is Jesus, and yes, I believe He is God by Nature. But if you read that account, Jacob is the one who says that the God of Abraham is The Angel. That's what Jacob says!
Psalm 89:6 says that none of the heavenly beings can be compared to Jehovah at all. But Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is the "exact representation of His very Being." How do you harmonize those two verses?