What Name Does the New Testament Emphasize - Jehovah or Jesus?

by Vanderhoven7 263 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vanderhoven7
    "From a scriptural point of view it would indeed to wrong for anyone to worship Adam instead of God, but interestingly some of NT writers say that Jesus (whom Paul says is the second Adam) should be worshiped)."

    Really, I don't see that there is irony involved in what some NT writers affirm. The first Adam did not create all things, nor did he give up equality with God and humble himself by taking up human flesh and dwelling among us; nor did he walk the Via Dolorosa or endure the cross; nor does all power in earth and heaven belong to him, nor does he have a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    Actually, I don't see how people who do not worship Jesus can legitimately say they know him.

  • Wonderment

    We can belief in anything we want. However, when it comes to the subject of Jesus Christ, the most important thing should be, not what we believe, but what Jesus himself believed and taught.

    Jesus claimed to be only 'God's Son,' not God, after being accused of claiming he was God (or, a god): "do you say to me whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?" (Jn 10.36)

    Jesus directed others to worship, not him, but the Father, Mt 4.10: Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” At Jn 4.24, he taught: "the true worshippers will worship the Father [not me] with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him."

    The Jewish people during the 1st century were very familiar with the meaning of the word proskyneo (worship, obeisance) as used in the Septuagint. Three quarters (3/4) of its many uses in the LXX (179x) were connected to the worship of the One True God of Israel, and/or of the false gods of the nations. That means there is one quarter (1/4) left of uses where it was applied to others beside God/false gods, that is to humans, among these. That's a lot of instances (more than 40x) in LXX. Therefore, any modern exegesis related to this word from the NT must be done by starting from this historical perspective.

    Although it is stated in John & Colossians that 'everything was made through Christ,' both John & Paul cleared any potential misunderstanding of those words, by stating: "But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name. (Jn 20.31) Further, Jesus declared before others: Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will live because of me." --Jn 6.57. Would Almighty God ever say, "I live because of the Father"? God has no Father, but Jesus does. Even the book of Hebrews noted that Christ is depicted "at the right hand of God." (Heb 10.12)

    Yes, Jesus is a Creator, but not the Grand Creator. As I stated before in this thread, the words "all" and "everything" in the description of creation by John, Colossians & Hebrews must be logically understood in a relative manner, since Paul indicated: the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3.1) What's the point of Paul calling attention of the Colossians to the fact that Christ is seated at the right hand of God, if he was the Ultimate Creator, the Almighty God?

    Furthermore, the use of the words of "all" and "everything" in the description of creation by John, Colossians & Hebrews goes hand-in-hand with the way we moderns use these words in our everyday lives. Ex., "the Church leaders took all the children to the city park." Does "all" here indicate that all the children of the city (or of the whole country or the world) went to the city park? Or more likely, that children associated with this Church went to the park? Context is everything.

    Paul also noted that the resurrected exalted Christ was still under God in all matters: But I want you to know that... the head of the Christ is God. (1 Cor 11.3)

    Paul appears to make a summary of Christ's place in the Universe in relation to God at 1 Cor 15.28: But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.

    Again: "the true worshippers will worship the Father [not me, Jesus] with spirit and truth." There is no need to belittle Jesus Christ, since being the 'Greatest Being after the Father' is an honor. We all must 'bow down before Christ.' Our salvation depends on it.

    Thus, all Scriptures cited by other posters need to be harmonized with these facts in order to reach a sound conclusion.

  • Riley

    Yahweh/Jehovah/LORD = God and Jesus.

    Wonderment nothing you wrote means anything.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Wonderment,

    Thanks for sharing.

    BTW, spoken like a true WTS apologist.

    Do you agree with the WTS scholars who render "proskyneo" in the NT as "do obeisance" when applied to the Son but "worship" when applied to the Father?

    So I gather you do not worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the question is,

    Do you have a personal relationship with Michael aka Jesus? If yes; do you also have a personal relationship with the angel Gabriel?

    Can someone legitimately say they have a relationship with someone they have never communicated with?

    Can someone legitimately say they know (ginosko) someone they have never communicated with?

    If you claim that you have a relationship with Jesus would you describe your relationship?

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    It seems like some people on this forum are saying (granted with some scriptural support) that both God the Father and Jesus Christ are Yahweh, but that conflicts with Deuteronomy 6:4. That verse is the one which says "Listen, O Israel, YHWH (Yahweh) our God is one YHWH (Yahweh)." The Jews (of Judaism), in the form in which they substitute the word Adonai (Lord) call it the Shema ("The Lord our God is one Lord"). It is a key teaching of the religion and a big part of the reason they reject the Trinity doctrine, and believe in strict monotheism instead.

    There is also an OT verse which says that Yahweh says there was no God before him, nor any other God currently, and that there will be no God after him. Hypothetically speaking, if Yahweh God is for real, then that would have been an opportune time for his to say that he has a son who is also Yahweh and that together they are one God. It would have been an excellent time to proclaim the trinity doctrine, yet the OT doesn't do either. If it had, most likely far more Jews would have accepted Jesus as the son of God and as God. Right?

    Vanderhoven7, I agree with you that is understandable that many people would worship Jesus if they believe the following: he created (and/or made) all entities other than himself and God the Father; all power in earth and heaven belong to him; he has a name which is above every name; at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. But to me those teachings ascribe deity (or something very close to such) to him ( a human, if if every really existed), and is thus part of the strange (to me) worshipful mindset they have of Jesus, in contrast to what much of the OT (the OT is more than 3/4 of the Christian Bible) teaches!

    According to the Bible Elijah (I think) say if Baal if God then worship him, but that is Yahweh is God then worship him. I think he also (according to the Bible), but perhaps it was a different prophet, said don't go limping on two different opinions, worship only being/person as God - not two (or more). The Trinitarian Christians worship 3 as God (while also saying there is only one God, but nonetheless God consists of three persons).

    Regarding the nature of God (of the Bible) parts of the Bible are contradicting other parts of the Bible.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Correction: In prior post where I said "( a human, if if every really existed)" I meant to say "(a human, if he ever really existed)".

    Folks, please consider the following. I read in more than one book about the Bible, the Jews, and the Jewish religion, that the Jews concluded during their exile in Babylon that reason why Jerusalem was destroyed and why the Jews went into exile is because many of the Jews committed idolatry, by worshiping someone (a perceived God, such as Baal) or something (such as a graven image) as God. They concluded not repeat that mistake again and instead to worship only YHWH God alone, and not any human. A great many Jews were thus resistant to adopt any form of Christianity in which Jesus was proclaimed as God or a god. Furthermore, the Gospels says that the Jewish religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy due to his statements about himself, which sounded like (at least in the minds of the Jewish leaders) of claiming deity.

    A great many Greeks and Romans in contrast had no difficulty with the idea of a human also being a god/God and they had no difficulty with the idea of their being multiple gods/Gods. That is because there religions taught polytheism, including that at least one person was both a human and a god. Hercules was was consider a son of a virgin woman and the God Zeus - and at the time Zeus was elevated in status to being the father of the gods and chief god/God over humans, to being God the Father! Hercules was said to have amazing feats and to descended into Hades (the realm of the dead) and to have ascended out it. He is said to have gone into Hades and order to bring a dead human (who had become a spirit) out of Hades alive - to bring about a resurrection!

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    The article called " Hercules and Alcestis: Personal Excellence & Social Duty " says the following.

    "In the version popularized by Euripides in his play Alcestis (written c. 438 BCE), however, Hercules plays the pivotal role in bringing Alcestis back from the dead. ...

    Hercules is mortified by his behavior and so travels to the underworld where Thanatos is leading Alcestis' spirit toward Persephone's realm. He wrestles death and frees the queen, bringing her back up into the light of day. Hercules then leads her to where Admetus is just returning from her funeral. He tells the king that he must depart on other business and asks him to take care of this lady while he is gone. Admetus refuses because he promised Alcestis that he would never marry again, and it would be unseemly for this woman to reside at the court so soon after his wife's death. Hercules insists, however, and places Alcestis' hand in Admetus'. Admetus lifts the woman's veil and finds it is Alcestis returned from the dead. Hercules tells him that she will not be able to speak for three days, and will remain pale and shadow-like, until she is purified, after which time she will become as she always was."

    Notice that Alcestis is said to have had a spiritual resurrection (to have been raised as a spirit) and is said to later to have had physical body again. The scholar James Tabor says that the Christians first believed that Jesus was resurrected as a spirit, but that later Christians believed that the fleshy body of Jesus was also resurrected!

    Also notice (in the story at the above mentioned website) that "Alcestis epitomizes the loyal, loving wife who is so devoted to her husband that she would literally die for him." Similarly John 15:13 (NASB) says that Jesus said "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends."

  • Wonderment
    Vanderhoven7: Thanks for sharing. BTW, spoken like a true WTS apologist."

    Me a "WTS apologist"? I don't consider myself their apologist. When I think of a WTS apologist, names like Greg Stafford, Rolf Furuli, scholars who at one time defended the WTS fully, throughout, come to mind. Not me! I agree with the WTS on certain doctrines: the Trinity has pagan roots, the soul is not inmortal, there is no hellfire, and perhaps a few other things I can add to that.

    Notwithstanding, there are a lot of WT issues I cannot harmonize with the Bible, like: their application of "the faithful slave" of Mt 24.45, where it is used in a sneaky way to displace the role of both Christ and spirit. The way they apply their modern history with minute details to Bible precedents are nonsensical, for the most part. The overboard repetition of dates such as 1914, 1919, 1925, 1975, etc., and "the end is around the corner" dribble, are tiresome and fruitless. The Bible command to "abstain from blood" made mandatory for each individual in the blood transfusion matter, regardless of their personal conscience, is uncalled for. Their eagerness to sacrifice any individual in the altar of keeping their reputation holy by defending the WTS 'at whatever cost,' even to the point of lying, are some of the things hard to swallow for any Christian. The extreme disfellowshipping practice created to keep the flock scared of the mother organization has created a lot of pain in untold thousands, even death by suicide in some cases. Many families are thus broken with no existing communication among family members, including mine. Jotting down the preaching hours in a monthly report is just there to assuage people to more regular action, and keep them in line for income security. One cannot leave the WTS honorably by simply submitting a disassociation note, which leads to the worst inhumane treatment by others in the community and even by the family.

    The WTS misapplies Acts 20.20, to the point that they have demanded for decades that each individual in the borg preach "from house to house," or else such ones will be found lacking "spirituality." Preaching can be done in many ways - hello! The WTS has created a system that rivals the Pharisees with their religious extremes. Thus, the WT members are quick to judge and criticize anyone not up to their standards. The Society quickly grabs praise from people who think their leaders, and they alone, can speak truth, not realizing God, Christ & the Bible are foremost the source of truth. They rarely make public acknowledgement that they owe a lot to the scholarship efforts of hundreds of mainstream scholars. I could go on and on.

    My friend, the way I see this, one cannot simply side with one religious entity, and conclude that only they have the truth. We humans by norm have limited knowledge, we learn from others all the time, and everybody makes mistakes. We cannot just brush off the WTS as a total failure either. They may be right in some areas and wrong in many places. The same can be said of mainstream religions. They may be right in some doctrines and wrong in many others. I think it is better to stay humble, and be willing to analyze religious statements regardless of their source. It was Jerome (who the Catholics claim as one of their own) who translated the Bible into Latin, which served the needs for millions of Christians for more than a thousand years, until the modern European languages took over in translation. The Protestants too deserve their place in honorary lists by being at the forefront of Bible translation making. We are in debt to untold thousands of individuals who labored night and day, risking their lives to translate the Bible into modern languages -- Tyndale, Wycliffe, Servetus and many others who defended Bible truths.

    Although the WT people have been the laughing stock of the religious world for decades, they have some brownie points in their favor. They have championed religious freedom for decades worldwide by spending huge amounts of money before the courts, and all religious people should be grateful for that. Too bad the WTS now has a disdain for religious freedom among their members.

    When the NWT NT was first published in 1950, the religious folks scolded the WT effort to no end. However, some scholars took notice. One, if my memory doesn't fail me, was Paul Kahle, who was intrigued by the photos which appeared in the NWT Foreword. This led some to question the WT theory that the Divine Name was in the original NT. Most laughed at them. Nonetheless, as time passed by, more scholars have reached the same conclusion, as others in this forum have pointed out. This is no laughing matter. It is not wise to ignore this issue altogether.

    Also, John 1.1 was the number 2 issue that drove Evangelicals wild in particular, to accuse the WTS of inept Bible translation. They often said: No Greek scholar would ever translate this verse as the WT has done. Then, a strange thing happened. Due to the power of internet, many began to notice that dozens of other reputable translators have rendered John 1.1 in a similar manner. Haven't you noticed that the criticism surrounding the NWT and John 1.1 has abated somewhat. I remember the fiery accusations of ineptness leveled at the WT by hundreds of preachers and scholars alike after 1950. But hey, they found out they criticized too soon, exposing their state of being uninformed on the subject.

    And then the WTS has done the unthinkable, translate their own NWT into dozens and dozens of other languages, even into the rarely known languages of the globe. They came up with the first translation anywhere of the complete Bible into Sign language. You have to give merit where it is due. Just like I have called out the WTS failure for not acknowledging enough the efforts of scholars worldwide (Catholics, Protestants, & Jewish alike), for providing us with such valuable Bible material for many decades. They pick and choose quotes from these works, even ignoring the names of the authors, or where specifically in the books they take their quotes from. Not fair!

    Hence, the whole religious matter to me is not a simple black or white, day or night thing. There is a lot of gray area in between. We don't have all the answers, and may never will. We don't have to shut the doors to different opinions, even if they come from unexpected sources. The truth is important, even if it hurts.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    The article I mentioned in my prior post also says the following. "Alcestis' virtue in taking Admetus' place is admirable in that she not only sacrifices herself for the man she loves but also for the people who depended upon Admetus for their continued well-being. ... In all ways, Alcestis stands as a model for proper behavior."

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Wonderment.

    I'm going to have to reread your last post...too much to absorb let alone to respond to. I agree with so much of what you said...but I still wonder where you stand regarding faith in God and Christ.

    Of course you are free to answer or ignore my questions. But I'd like to know:

    1. Do you believe the Bible is God's word?

    2. Do you considered yourself a Christian?

    3. If yes to question 2, what do you belive makes a person right (justified) with God?

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