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

by Vanderhoven7 258 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Wonderment
    Wonderment
    Vanderhoven7: "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?"
    1. Do you believe the Bible is God's word?
    Yes, however, I believe there is some gray area here. I believe the Bible is a unique book, and very powerful at that. Nonetheless, the Bible as we have it today is not error free. There are hundreds of incongruencies found within its pages, whether textual or other. The Bible message has no real competition. It is the closest thing to the Word of God as we are going to get.
    2. Do you considered yourself a Christian?
    Yes.

    3. If yes to question 2, what do you belive makes a person right (justified) with God?"
    We can only be justified with God by accepting and having faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God's lifesaving provision to mankind. (Jn 3.36) There is no single human action or work in itself from our part that can accomplish such, however noble they may be. True Christian faith, however, will be made manifest in noble actions, some which may not be always obvious to others.
    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.
    The Greek word "proskyneo" has a broad meaning admitted by scholars abound. It can have the common meaning of 'full worship' rendered to God, or to another deity. But it can also have the basic meaning of "bowing down" in obeisance before a superior, whether human or divine.

    Do I worship Jesus Christ? Absolutely, but I do so with the comprehension of Jesus being the greatest Being on the universe, that is, after God. (Jn 14.28, 1 Cor 15.28, Rev 1.1) Also, I would have no issue of addressing Christ in supplication as Stephen did right before he died. (Act 7.54-60) Stephen appealed to Christ after seeing him "standing at the right hand of God."

    My guess is that the NWT went from "worship" at Heb 1.6 in early versions to "obeisance" later for clarity reasons, not theology.

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    Thanks for sharing your soteriological beliefs Wonderment.

    Do you see the Great Crowd as being New Covenant, heaven bound Christians?

  • Wonderment
    Wonderment
    Vanderhoven7: Do you see the Great Crowd as being New Covenant, heaven bound Christians?

    I'm not sure what to make of the destiny of the Great Crowd, or how to interpret references alluding to the Great Crowd. You are welcome to forward your thoughts on this subject!

    A couple of corrections:

    In a previous post I wrote: 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.

    Instead of "displace," I meant "diminish" so the sentence now goes like this: 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 diminish the role of both Christ and spirit. This is so because nowhere has the WTS ever stated officially they seek to replace Christ and spirit. They do, however, by their frequent actions of drawing self-prominence, push Christ and spirit aside, so to speak, so their followers can fully focus their attention on the mighty and always relevant WT organization, thus diminishing the role of both Christ and spirit in the lives of millions.

    I also stated that proskyne'o (worship) appeared 179x in the LXX. Actually, it is far more with 228 instances (A. Rahlfs Edition).

    Hence, the statement now reads like this: Three quarters (3/4) of its many uses in the LXX (228x) 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 approximately one quarter (1/4) left of cases where it was applied to others beside God/false gods, that is to humans, among these. That's a lot of instances (57x) in LXX. Therefore, any modern exegesis related to this word from the NT must begin from this historical perspective.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Regarding the discussion about Yahweh's holy spirit, I never had appreciation for that concept, at least not in the sense of it being a person, not even when I was a very active JW. For me the concept of holy spirit was purely an intellectual matter which I gave very little thought to. Usually when I thought about it it was only when evaluating whether the Bible teaches that the holy spirit is a person or not.

    That is because when I believed in Jehovah/YHWH I didn't think of him needing a holy spirit (as person) to accomplish tasks for him. The OT gives alleged examples of Jehovah having used angels to act as intermediaries for him, including delivering messages to humans, protecting humans, killing humans, etc. I thought that when Jehovah wanted to send an idea to humans he could do so directly without using a conscious holy spirit person to do so as an intermediary. As a result, the WT concept of the holy spirit simply being Jehovah's active force was consistent with that perception of mine regarding God and his dealings. As far as I can recall, other than as a term for God's mood or some other aspect of God's mind or God's intentions, or of God's power in action, the OT hardly uses any of the expressions of "holy spirit", God's spirit", "Jehovah's spirit", or the equivalent. In contrast, the NT speaks of the "holy spirit" a number of times - to such an extent that it is like it is a new biblical concept (relative to what the OT says).

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Wonderment, what you wrote about the word proskyne'o (worship) reminds me what is said in more than one of the translators' footnotes in the 1901 ASV Bible (and maybe in the 1881-1885 RV Bible also). What you said is consistent with those footnotes. The footnotes were in reference to a human performing an act of 'worship' to another human in a way which the scripture portrayed as acceptable to God.

  • Wonderment
    Wonderment
    Disillusioned JW: Wonderment, what you wrote about the word proskyne'o (worship) reminds me what is said in more than one of the translators' footnotes in the 1901 ASV Bible (and maybe in the 1881-1885 RV Bible also).

    Good observation!

    Traditionalists would probably crawl under the bed before welcoming this footnote which appeared in the American Standard Version of 1901 in John 9.38: First, a bit of explanation: The context deals with a man born blind being cured by Jesus, who then was moved to bow down before Christ in obeisance.

    The text says: And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped* him. (John 9:38 ASV 1901)

    The footnote of this version reads:

    * “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature (as here) or to the Creator (see ch. 4:20).”

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Wonderment, I notice also that the footnote refers to Jesus as "a creature". Did the translators consider Jesus to be a created being, or did they simply mean a fleshly being (in this specific case a human being)?

    Because of the connotation (or one of the meanings) of the word "creature" I think that atheistic naturalists probably should not refer to living fleshly beings as "creatures" (unless they mean that the universe created/made them), since doing so might give theists and creationists an incorrect impression of what the atheists meant. However we who are now atheists grew up using that word (without even thinking it meant in some cases created beings) and old habits are hard to break.

    Wonderment, shortly before you made your reply to me (about the footnote) I decided to look at the Gospel of John to see what it says about the holy spirit. But I decided to do so by flipping open a RV Bible to a random page of that Gospel and read what I see in a random group of verses there. Chapter 14:8 was the one I started reading. I then continued reading through verse 14. Those verses don't mention the holy spirit, but later I continued reading a few verses further and noticed that verses 16-17 refer to the "Comforter ... even the Spirit of Truth" whom I presume is the holy spirit.

    Please read John 14:8-12 in the RV or the ASV. Notice in verse 10-11 it says "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" and notice that verse 10 Jesus says "the Father abiding in me". For the moment please read those words literally and ask yourself what they mean in a literal sense. Then please ask yourself if according to the gospel account did Jesus intend that literal meaning. Also consider verse 20 which the account claims Jesus said that his apostles are "in" him and that he is "in" them. Please tell me your thoughts on these matters. We know how the NWT uses the phrase "in union with" in these verses (and note that the NWT also uses the word "remains" in verses 10 and 17) and the explanation that the WT gives of these verses, but is that understanding what the account was meant to convey?

    Note the use of the phrase "our abode with him" in verse 23 in the RV and ASV and note that in that verse the 1984 NWT does not resort to saying "in union with" or "remains in union with" or something very similar. Note instead that in that verse it has the exact wording of the RV and ASV in saying "our abode with him". Why did the 1984 NWT say "our abode" in that verse but not "abiding" in verse 10 and not "abides" in verse 17? Was it because the use of it in verse 23 did not (at least in the mind of the WT's writers) conflict with WT theology?

    Wonderment and other Christians what do you make of John 14:12-14 in regards to what the account says Jesus said the works his apostles will do (and that Christ will do whatever his apostles ask in his name)? Do you believe that the account is also speaking of what what Christ's disciples in general would do - even after the end of the first century CE? If so, where is evidence of Christians today doing works that the gospels says Christ did - and even greater than that which the gospels claim Jesus Christ did? If atheists were to witness such works wouldn't it convert many of them (especially those who used to be devout Christians) into being believers in God, Christ, and Christianity? I haven't seen such works, though some Christians have personally told me they have witnessed an amazing healing. Furthermore, what do you think of what verses 13-14 say about Christ saying he will do anything his apostles ask in his name? Do you think that today it also applies to Christians in general?

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    Hi Wonderment,

    I'm not sure what to make of the destiny of the Great Crowd, or how to interpret references alluding to the Great Crowd. You are welcome to forward your thoughts on this subject!

    If you have 10 minutes, check out The Real Deal on the 144,000

    https://youtu.be/D_JnephdlP8

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Folks, years ago (after I ceased nearly all JW congregational attendance [other than Memorial attendance], when I studied the Bible critically and within its immediate context, without using WT explanatory literature) I first got the idea that some of the content of the Gospel of John seems to be out of the proper sequence.

    For example, to me chapter 15 (and maybe chapter 16) seems like it belongs in between chapter 13 and 14, or near that point (such as in between 13:35 and 13:36). It seems to me that the narrative is less confusing and thus easier to comprehend, and would be in a much more logical sequence, if the chapters were located that way and that such might have been original placement (though not preserved in any of the known extant copies of the Greek manuscripts). A moment ago I looked up in two commentaries to see if either of them also says such. I noticed that The Abingdon Bible Commentary (copyright 1929) on page 1084 in the discussion of John 13:31-38 says in part the following (I also noticed I had made a note in the margin of that portion of the commentary).

    "Mofffat in his translation of the N.T. places chs. 15 and 16 after v. 31a, and it must be admitted that 13:31b-14:31 indicates that Jesus rose from the table, and that the prayer (ch. 17) was uttered as all stood, ready to go forth to Gethsemane; other indications, too minute to mention here, point to some such sequence. Other arrangements have been suggested: the only one which need be mentioned is that chs. 15 and 16 should follow 13:35. ... Peter's remonstrance against any separation leads to the warning of his betrayal. It is placed on the way to Gethsemane in Mk. 14:29, another indication that the present arrangement of the record is not the original and historical." I own a copy of Moffatt's Bible translation and I notice that in a number of places, including in the Gospel of John, that he has sections of scripture rearranged. I don't remember if I first got the idea that chapters 15 and 16 are displaced from reading that translation of the Bible, or entirely on my own. But I know that for many years (including while I was an active JW and for a number of years afterwards) that much of the Gospel of John was very difficult for me to understand. Furthermore, that Gospel was never one I had much appreciation for, for to me much of its content has always (at least in the long dialogues attributed to Jesus Christ) been very difficult to understand and very redundant to me, and thus very boring to me.

    I never had great interest in contemplating spiritual concepts (at least prior to me studying the Bible independently); I always preferred to spend most of my contemplative free time on naturalistic concepts. People have told me that the Gospel of John is the most spiritual of the gospels of the NT. Of the four gospels in the NT, the Gospel attributed to Matthew has always been my favorite. But maybe if I were to read the Gospel attributed to John now, it might would be more comprehensible to me than before (since I now know more about the Bible and since I now have greater reading comprehension of the Bible). If I were to read that entire gospel now perhaps it would give me a better impression than what I had before I became a convinced atheist.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    My current primary interest in studying the Bible (besides trying to find ways to influence Christians to cease believing in the Bible) might be in treating the Bible as a complex intellectual puzzle. Much of Bible does seem to be an intellectual puzzle to me. There is a fascination for me in solving puzzles of various kinds. Even as a young child I liked solving puzzles, such as jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, number puzzles, diagram puzzles, and also drawings of mazes (in which one tries find the path from the entrance of the maze to the exit of the maze).

Share this

Google+
Pinterest
Reddit