I'm not going to quibble, but no, Paul is not explaining anything about God's nature at Romans 1:20. He is making the point that God's qualities, His "eternal power and Godship" being among them, are perceived by the things made.
Do you know what the word "Godship" means? Do you know what the Greek word means? How do you define the word "Godship"?
I will let the "Insight" Book explain for us what this word means:
"Insight" Book, Volume 1, Page 639 (Under the heading "Divine"):
At Romans 1:20 the apostle refers to the undeniable visible evidence of God’s "invisible qualities," particularly his "eternal power and Godship.... "divine nature, divinity." ... The apostle is discussing things that are discernible in the physical creation....
So then, "Godship" means "Divine Nature," "The quality of being a god," "the fact that the Creator truly is God and is worthy of our worship."
I only just told someone else in a thread I posted yesterday and I'm now telling you that "I do not require you or require anyone at all to post any of the articles that have appeared in any of the WTS publications. I have all of them...." If you wish to define a word, like "Godship," in order to ensure that I understand that by it you mean either "divine nature" or "divinity," that would be enough for me, but all of what you wrote wasn't at all necessary to make your point, @Undisfellowshipped. Had you just asked me the question, my answer as to whether I [knew] what the word "Godship" means would have been "yes."
However, I notice your inclusion here of "the quality of being a god" in your summation of how the Insight book defined "Godship," which may be how you read Insight's definition of "Godship," but this isn't how the word is actually defined in the Insight book as you are suggesting here. I'm going to ask that you please not do this, for, in a decision like this one, I'm paying strict attention to sleights of hand just like this one.
The following list gives the definition of words, terms, and phrases that I will use in this debate:
* "Godship": "Divine Nature" [from the "Insight" Book and Liddell & Scott]; "the state of being God" [Thayer], the Essence or Being of God.
* "Deity": Same as "Godship."
* "Divinity": Same as "Godship."
* "Godhead": Same as "Godship."
The Insight book doesn't use Thayer's definition of the word "Godhead," which you claim to be the same as "Godship," when Thayer defines "Godhead," and not "Godship," as "the state of being God," except in your previous post you stated that Thayer defined "Godship" as "the quality of being a god," and you are the one that has added "the Essence or Being of God," which I do not accept as a definition for "Godship."
* "Only-Begotten": "The Greek word mo·no·ge·nes´ is defined by lexicographers as "single of its kind, only," or "the only member of a kin or kind." (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1889, p. 417; Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford, 1968, p. 1144)" (That was a quote from the "Insight" Book, Volume 2, Page 556)
Just to be clear, Jesus is the "only-begotten" son of God, because Jehovah God is Jesus' Father, or "Begetter," in the sense that a human father begets a son or a daughter. That Jehovah and Jesus are two separate individuals is clear from what the apostle Paul states at 1 Timothy 2:5 about Jesus being the "one mediator between God and men."
A "mediator" is by definition a separate party that mediates, that is to say, reconciles, the differences that may exist between two other parties. A mediator is typically a neutral party. Jesus essentially became the "go-between" with his Father on one side and mankind on the other side, which demonstrates that Jesus and Jehovah are two separate individuals.
* "Firstborn": The one who holds the highest rank, the preeminence, the first place, the "most high" position. (See Psalm 89:27)
For you to quote only the two words, "most high" from Psalm 89:27 is to reach for straws since the rest of this stanza reads, "[The most high] of the kings of the earth." This portion of the stanza from which you quoted only the first two words is a reference by David to his seed, who would be given more kingly authority than anyone in the dynasty of Davidic kings. I am saying this just to make it clear that while, as you say, this is one of the phrases that you intend to use during this discussion, any attempt on your part to use this phrase improperly, to misuse it so as to make the reference to Jehovah as the "Most High" at Psalm 7:17, 47:2, 83:18 or 97:9 as being equal to this prophetic reference to Jesus Christ at Psalm 89:27, will lead to my withdrawal from this thread.
* "God" with a Capital "G": The One True God by Nature, the Supreme Being, the Creator, the Almighty.
I don't care whether you choose to use God or god in what you write, but I do not accept this designation of God as being "The One True God by Nature." You can use it, of course, as you wish, but I reject the addition of the words "by Nature" as being meaningless and making "The One True God" obscure.
* "god" with a lower-case "g": Anyone or thing that is called a god by people, or that is worshiped, or a representative of the True God who does not have the Divine Nature.
I don't care whether you choose to use God or god, when written to refer to a god other than the true God, Jehovah, but as there are no capital letters in Hebrew and the NWT is an English language Bible translation in which capital letters are used, then we might just read the context in order to ascertain what God or god used in a particular verse means. For example, at Exodus 4:16 as well as at Exodus 7:1, the NWT uses "God" instead of "god" since Moses is made to serve as and be God's representative, speaking on God's behalf (albeit through his brother, Aaron) to Pharaoh. Note, too, that while Moses, a man, doesn't possess the divine nature -- his composition being human, physical, earthly -- at no time is Moses worshipped by anyone either, so whether one should use God or god is based on the context in which the word is used as well.
You specifically mention "The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament," but this lexicon oftentimes leaves one in the proverbial lurch when searching for the meaning of words like the English word "spirit," for example, that is used at Luke 24:37, 39, which word really means "demon," even though many Bible translations, like the NWT, use the literal word "spirit." (I'm really don't know how many Jehovah's Witnesses are competent to explain its use in these two verses, for many would wrongly assume that Jesus is referring to his spirit (divine) nature.)
* "Angel" with a Capital "A": "The Angel of the Lord," The Special Divine Angel that has God's Name within Him, who is also Jehovah.
What are you talking about here? Are you referring to the angel that led the Israelites at Exodus 23:20, 21, who I believe to be Michael, because Exodus 23:21 says about this angel that 'God's name was within him'? This angel as not Jehovah, and so I cannot agree with this definition.
* "angel" with a lower-case "a": Any one of the millions of created spirit persons who serve God and do not have the Divine Nature.
I cannot agree with this definition either, for the 144,000 are going to be angels, but with a higher station than they, for, unlike the angels, these king-priests are destined to "become sharers in divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), meaning that they will becomes gods just as Jesus became a god after his resurrection to an immortal spirit. However, these angels not having the divine nature does in no way make them any less "gods" or "godlike ones" (Psalm 8:5), which psalm the apostle Paul quotes at Hebrews 2:7, substituting the word "angels" for "godlike ones."
No. I cannot agree with how you phrased point #4, and as to your point #6, Jehovah did make Moses God to Pharaoh, did He not? (Exodus 7:1) In fact, there are many gods mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, not the least of which were the judges of Israel (Psalm 82:1, 6, 7).
There is only One True God by Nature....
Nope. I do not and cannot agree with this "by Nature" qualifier that you add to "One True God" for theological reasons.
Regarding these so-called gods, the Apostle Paul wrote the following:
1 Corinthians 8:4-6: ...there is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called "gods," whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many "gods" and many "lords," there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.
Now, at first glance, this passage may appear to be saying that Jesus is not God, but I will comment on this in a bit.... Let us examine this passage closely, for it is a very important passage for correctly understanding all of the other Scriptures in the Bible.
Oh, really! All Scripture is important, but this particular passage you mention here seems especially important to you. I'm fine with that.
Paul starts off by saying "there is no God but one." Now, what does Paul mean here when he says there is no other God, except for the One that he is preaching?
You asked a question, but I note that you do not bother to answer it since you want to connect this "non-answer" to something else, which is fine.
Paul goes on to say that there are many who are CALLED "gods" and "lords" (some are in heaven and some on earth), but to Christians, there is only One True God, and only One True Lord.
Where in the passage you cite -- 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 -- does the apostle Paul say that there is only "One True God" and only "One True Lord"? Please don't make stuff up. Remember, I'm paying attention to everything you say here, and it seems to me that you could convince the unwary that this passage said exactly what you said it does. However, both you and I know that it really doesn't say this, does it?
So then, Paul is teaching that EVERY OTHER "god" besides The Father and Jesus, whether in heaven or on earth, are merely CALLED "gods" or "so-called gods."
No, he isn't; Paul is not at all saying at 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 anything that comes close to what you are saying here about Jehovah and Jesus both being Gods:
There is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called "gods," whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many "gods" and many "lords," there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.
In my opinion, it would be best that you not twist the apostle's words as you have done here.
But what does Paul mean here when he says there is only one "God"? By comparing Galatians 4:8 and Romans 1:20, 25, we can see clearly that Paul is saying that there is only ONE God who is God BY NATURE, only One who has the Divine Nature, and that all other "gods" are NOT Gods by Nature, even if they are "called gods."
The Bible speaks of those that are "Jews by nature" (Galatians 2:15) as well as those among the uncircumcised that are "such by nature" (Romans 2:27), and when I do a comparison, as you suggest here, of the thought expressed at Romans 1:20, first, I see that unlike what it means to be a Jew or to be a Gentile, what Paul is talking about at Romans 1:20 are the intrinsic qualities of God, and not a thing about God's "nature."
Also, with reference to the other verse you cite here -- Romans 1:25 -- I have no idea what your reason for using it may have been, so I suppose you'll let me know your thoughts on this in a future post. I'm just going to ignore this verse altogether as being totally irrelevant to our discussion. Jehovah is not the only one that has the "divine nature," for Jesus has it as well as the 144,000 underpriests will all have this "divine nature." (Please see my remarks on your definition for the word "Godship," in a previous post.)
So, from this, we can see that even though Moses, the judges of Israel, the Davidic Kings, and the angels were CALLED "gods" because they spoke for the One True God, they were actually NOT Gods by Nature--they did NOT possess the Divine Nature of God.
No, the fact that these Moses, the angels, etc., may have been God's representatives, this has nothing to do with whether they were in possession of the divine nature. After Jesus' resurrection, he was in possession of the divine nature, too, was he not? And yet Jesus wasn't the "One True God," was he? In fact, Jesus described himself at John 10:36 as being "God's Son," did he not?
However, did you notice that Paul EXCLUDES Jesus from "those called gods." Jesus is NOT one of the "so-called gods" that Paul spoke about there.
Yes, and ...?
If Jesus is not one of those who are called gods, then does that mean He possesses the Divine Nature, and is truly God by Nature? I will discuss this more in another post later.
No. Paul's having excluded Jesus from among those who are called "gods" has nothing at all to do with whether Jesus is in possession of the divine nature, or because Jesus is "truly God by Nature" as you put it. At Corinthians 8:4-6, Paul is there talking about how it is to Christians there is but "one God the Father" and "one Lord, Jesus Christ." Please don't bother trying to make this passage say something that it really doesn't say, ok?
At first glance, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 ["there is actually to us one God the Father"] does appear (to some people) that it is teaching that ONLY The Father is the True God for Christians, and this excludes Jesus from being the One True God.
However, if we apply that exact same logic to the entire passage, then we must also conclude that since it says "there is actually to us... one Lord, Jesus Christ," this would EXCLUDE The Father from being the True Lord. But, we know that is false from several Scriptures which clearly teach that The Father is Lord. (Luke 10:21; Revelation 11:15)
You have made an incredible leap in logic, for what you are saying here is not logical. It's pretty dumb actually since I happen to be one of those people that take away from reading Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 that Paul is saying that to us, that is to say, to Christians, there is but one God the Father.
I do not think it at all logical, and I'd doubt that you could find many other people unless they be trinitarians like yourself, to conclude that by Paul was saying that to us [Christians] ... there is one Lord, Jesus Christ and that Jesus could not also be called "Lord." Paul's point is that Christians render worship to the same God the Father ("out of whom all things are") through the Lord Jesus Christ ("through whom all things are"), who is also the very same "one God the Father" that the Lord Jesus Christ renders worship. Paul says not a thing at 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 about any "True Lord." I'm sure you have your reasons for adding this "True Lord" concept to this passage, and I don't mind waiting until you get around to telling me those reasons.
The best way to interpret this passage is to notice that Paul equates the so-called "gods" with the so-called "lords." Paul lumps them both together. He equates them. The "gods" are not a higher class of beings than the "lords."
No, he doesn't. You are the one here lumping "gods" with "lords," saying that "he equates" the two with each other, not Paul. You are here introducing the concept of two "classes" -- "gods" and "lords" -- being equal to one another, a concept that has no scriptural support whatsoever, and unless you are prepared to say to me with a straight face that Sarah, at Genesis 18:12, who refers to her husband, Abraham, as "my lord," could just as well have addressed him as "my god," you should really stop while you are ahead.
It is clear to me that you said all of this to give credence to your next statement, which is as follows:
In the same way, the True God is not a higher class of being or nature than the True Lord. Both the True God and the True Lord are SEPARATE from those who are merely called "gods."
While it is true that Jehovah, who you are calling "the True God," and Jesus, who you are calling "the True Lord," are separate from those who are called, not just "gods," but "lords," too, the fact that you say that the True God and the True Lord are and not "the True God and the True Lord is suggests to me that you are doing your best to make your explanation work, but the "are" is Freudian, isn't it?
You will notice that there IS a difference in their roles or functions (the work they perform). The Father is the Source of all things and all things came Through Jesus.
In addition, the Scriptures teach that you must never "venerate," "worship," or render "sacred service" to any creature, but only to the Creator. (Romans 1:25; Matthew 4:10)
Even if a creature is highly exalted and is in a God-given position of authority and is speaking for the One True God, the Scriptures still command us NEVER to "worship" or "do obeisance" (Greek word is "Proskyneo" or a variation) to creatures. The Bible even FORBIDS doing "obeisance" to the Apostle Peter who represented God on earth and spoke for Him (Acts 10:25-26), and it FORBIDS "worshiping" the holy angel who was God's spokesman in the Book of Revelation! (Revelation 19:9-10 and 22:8-9)
However, God the Father commands all people and angels to "worship," "do obeisance," "bow down," "serve," and "honor" Jesus. (Hebrews 1:6; Revelation chapter 5; John 5:23; Philippians 2:9-11)
Perhaps you wouldn't mind providing to me the scriptural citation -- just one would be sufficient -- upon which your statement that God commands "all people" to worship Jesus is based. I'd like to read it. Bending the knee to give honor to our king, Jesus Christ, isn't the same as worshipping Jesus, for Christians give honor to Jesus to the glory of God and worship God through Jesus. In fact, Christians honor the Father when they honor the Son. (John 5:22, 23) Similarly, belief in Jesus is in reality putting one's faith in God, the One that sent Jesus, and it is through Jesus and not to Jesus that Christians make their approach to God. (John 12:44; Hebrews 7:25) Also, it is through Jesus that "the 'Amen' [is said] to God for glory." (2 Corinthians 1:20)
So, from this we can determine that either Jesus is NOT a creature, but instead is the Divine Creator who deserves our worship and obeisance, OR the Bible contradicts itself and should not be trusted.
No, you can't, for the citations you provided here do not do that, they do not indicate that Jesus is "the Divine Creator who deserves our worship," and for you to be suggesting here that these citations prove Jesus to be "the Divine Creator" when the Bible teaches that (a) Jehovah is the Creator and that (b) Jesus is responsible for laying "the foundations of the earth" as well as the heavens, who was (c) begotten by God, thus becoming (d) God's firstborn, (e) a coworker with God, and, although being (f) a creature, the beginning of the creation of God, Jesus is now, just as Thomas stated after his resurrection, (g) a God in his own right, in view of the fact that (h) he alone was the first to be made a God, so that he became (i) the first to whom God gave immortality as well as (j) first in all things. (Isaiah 45:18; Hebrews 1:1, 2, 10; Psalm 102:25-27; John 1:14, 18; 20:28; Colossians 1:15, 18; Proverbs 8:30; Revelation 3:14; 1 Timothy 6:16)
I hope you don't mind, but I would like to reply to your earlier post you made regarding Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 before I return to our regular debate we have going.
No, I don't mind. <g>
When anyone reads the first two chapters of Hebrews without theological underpinnings, it is clear that the apostle Paul is not just speaking generally about the angels of God through whom God communicated to the Hebrew forefathers "long ago," but Paul is referring to one angel in particular through whom God spoke, who he calls "a Son ...through whom [God] made the systems of things," and who we learn, based on Paul's quoting Psalm 102:25-27 and applying this psalm to Jesus, to have been responsible for laying "the foundations of the earth" as well as the heavens, and which we also learn, based on Paul's quoting Nathan's prophecy at 2 Samuel 7:14 to Jesus, to be a very distinguished angel. (Colossians 1:15, 16)
You say that if anyone reads the first two chapters of Hebrews "without theological underpinnings" it is clear that Paul is referring to one angel, a very distinguished angel named Jesus. How do you arrive at the belief that Jesus is an angel? Can you show Scriptures which teach that Jesus is an angel?
I have appended to this post my response to this question, a response, mind you, that I had previously posted to another thread not so long ago, one that you, in fact, started. I don't mind telling you -- so I am telling you -- that I'm annoyed that you would be asking me the very same question that you had asked in another thread, a question that I had answered!
6:) Can you explain, using only the Bible, why we should believe that Jesus is the same person as Michael the Archangel?
At Daniel 12:1, the prophet Daniel foretold a time of distress on the earth that had never occurred before on the earth, and it was indicated in his prophecy that during this same time period, the great prince, Michael, would be ‘standing up’ for the Jewish people. This angelic prince, Michael, at Daniel 10:13, is also referred to as "one of the foremost princes." In the Bible, the phrase "stand up," or words to this effect, means that the one that is said to "stand up" commences his rulership as king, and so this prince, Michael, the prophet Daniel says, stands up as king on behalf of God’s people during this time of distress.
At Matthew 24:21, Jesus Christ also predicted that such a time of distress would be coming that "[had] not occurred since the world’s beginning, ... nor [would] occur again," referring to this event as a "great tribulation." Now when reading Matthew 24:21, one can easily conclude that this is just a coincidence and nothing more, but keep in mind that Michael is described as one of the "foremost" princes, which is not to diminish other "foremost" angelic princes, for Gabriel is the only other angelic prince mentioned by name in the Bible and certainly he might be described as "foremost"among God's angelic princes. However, we notice upon reading Jude 9 that Michael is described in this verse as "Michael the archangel," where "arch-" carries the meaning of "foremost-angel" or "chief-angel." Note, too, that Michael is not just described in Jude 9 as an "archangel," but as "the archangel," which would mean that of all of the foremost princes, Michael is the only angelic prince that is an archangel. BTW, I should note here that there is an angel described at Exodus 23:20, 21, as having God's name "within him" and that the name "Michael" does mean "Who is Like God?" At Judges 2:1, 2, note that it is Jehovah's angel there speaking to Joshua, Moses' successor, the words: "I proceeded to bring you up out of Egypt.... But you have not listened to my voice."
Although this angel is not Jehovah, notice that he speaks to Joshua as if he were Jehovah, which suggests something great about this particular angel's authority to speak for God, an authority, mind you, that no other angel seems to possess. Just compare how at Luke 1:13-19, the angel Gabriel speaks to Zechariah, John the Baptist's father, not "I am here to 'declare the good news' ... [about your barren wife Elizabeth's becoming mother to a son to you, whose name you are to call John] to you," but "I was sent forth to speak with you and declare the good news ... [about your barren wife Elizabeth's becoming mother to a son to you, whose name you are to call John] to you." Also, compare how at Luke 1:26-33, Gabriel says to Mary, not "I am with you," but "Jehovah is with you," not "you have found favor with me," but "you have found favor with God," not "I will give him the throne of David his father," but "Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father."
Note now that in Daniel's prophecy at Daniel 7:2-8, Daniel sees a succession of world powers and each "beast" in this prophecy represents a world power that "stands up" and reigns as king, one after the other (as explained in more detail in Daniel chapter 11), until we read at Daniel 7:13, 14, where "someone like a son of man" becomes a king after the reign of the "fourth" ten-horned beast, and this "son of man" is given rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him," and unlike the kingdom that preceded his kingdom, "his rulership is an indefinitely lasting [one], ... and his kingdom one that will not be brought to ruin."
So in Daniel's prophecy both this "son of man" (Daniel 7:13, 14) and this foremost angelic prince Michael (Daniel 12:1) become a king. But note that at Ezekiel 21:27, God had told King Zedekiah that after him, the kingdom would become no one else's until the time appointed by God, at which point God would then give theocratic rulership to the one with the legal right to rule from God's throne. In many places in the Bible, Jesus identifies himself as being this "Son of man," for example, while being the Lord of the sabbath, Jesus describes himself as being "the Son of man" at Matthew 12:8, and at Matthew 16:27, Jesus says that "the Son of man" is destined to come, not with God's angels, but "with his angels."
Keeping this in mind, it should jump right out at the reader of Revelation 12:7-10, that Michael is the Lord Jesus Christ, for we read there that "Michael and his angels" battled with the one called Devil and Satan, so that Satan was hurled down to the earth with his angels, at which time "the authority of God's Son, or Christ, came to pass. Is Michael not the Christ?
But while there are so many things in the Bible that point to Michael as being the alter-ego of the Lord Jesus Christ, one thing that stands out to many is the apostle Paul's description of Jesus as raising those of the first resurrection from the dead "with an archangel's voice." Is Jesus an archangel? Yes, even as Michael is one of the foremost, or chief, princes, and Jesus, the Son of man, and the one to whom rulership, dignity and kingdom is given by God, is the one that descends from heaven "with a commanding call, [and] with an archangel's voice," the only right conclusion that can be drawn is that Jesus is not only an archangel, but is THE archangel, and both he and Michael are, in fact, the same person.