New Approach to Discussing Deity of Christ with JW's

by Sea Breeze 38 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    Of course early Christians thought Jesus was God, as evidenced by the dozens of quotes on this thread.

    Your own quote above from Polycarp is naming Jesus as "God" :

    may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ

    Your post PROVES that the earliest congregation leaders viewed Jesus as both Almighty God and man .... at the same time, and not just one or the other.

    And, as difficult as that may be to wrap your mind around, that is exactly what Christians believe today. I believe that your difficulty is rooted in materialism, which is the belief that there is no personhood attributed to anything other than the body of man - a leftover from Watchtower exposure.

    Once you adopt a biblical definition of how man is constructed... with spirit, soul and body - a Tri-Partite being; then you will no longer need to ignore or explain away data that shows Jesus was viewed and accepted as God.

    Read your last quote from Polycarp again, the whole thing. You'll see that Polycarp both acknowledged that Jesus had a God and was God. And, this is precisely the portrait that the scriptures present, regardless of how contradictory this may seem to someone with a partial materialist view.

    It matters not if you agree, understand or accept this fact. This is the consistent portrait of Jesus of Nazareth, and is foundational to the Christian faith.

    If you claim to be Christian, you have got to put faith in the right Jesus in order for the relationship to grow.

  • Earnest

    Sea Breeze, it should first be said that neither of the exerpts that you quote are referring to Acts 20:28. While Ignatius was familiar with some of the Pauline epistles and probably Matthew, he makes no reference to the book of Acts, so there is no basis to suppose Ignatius supports a particular reading simply because he uses the phrase "the blood of God".

    Secondly, I cannot find your quotation of Polycarp in any of his writings and think you have simply confused this with a different translation of Ignatius. If you could indicate where your quotation of Polycarp comes from then we could take it more seriously.

    Finally, the authenticity of Ignatius' letters has been in doubt since the sixteenth century. There are three recensions of his letters and while most scholars accept the middle recension as authentic, others argue that these are forgeries written in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The only surviving copy of the middle recension is from a codex of the eleventh century and the post-Nicene language in the Letter to the Ephesians, supposedly written ten years after the death of the apostles, makes me very doubtful that what we have from the eleventh century has not undergone considerable recension since it was written.

    I should also note that you do not address my point that the understanding that Acts 20:28 (and Ignatius' Letter to the Ephesians 1:1) refers to "the blood of God" is the heresy of patripassianism. Patripassianism teaches that God the Father had become directly incarnate in Christ and so the blood of Christ can be referred to as the blood of God. Is this your understanding?

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze, it should first be said that neither of the exerpts that you quote are referring to Acts 20:28.


    That is hand-waving away inconvenient date to your argument. You have no way of proving this statement, as if you can crawl in their heads.

    The fact is:

    Acts 20: 28 speaks of the "blood of God" and two prominent congregations leaders who were personally discipled by the apostle John use this exact same expression.

  • Earnest

    Sea Breeze : Acts 20: 28 speaks of the "blood of God" and two prominent congregations leaders who were personally discipled by the apostle John use this exact same expression.

    The expression used in Acts 20:28 is tou haimatos tou idiou literally meaning "the blood of the own". The expression used in Ignatius' Letter to the Ephesians 1:1 is en haemati theou literally meaning "in blood of god".

    The fact is these are not the same expressions. Furthermore, while neither you nor I can crawl into Ignatius' head it remains true that he makes no allusion to the book of Acts in any of his letters so there is no basis for suggesting he alludes to it here.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    "feed the church of God which he purchased with his own blood" in Acts 20: 28 is EXACTLY the belief used by two prominent congregations leaders who were personally discipled by the apostle John. You cannot change that fact.

    Would you at least concede that?

    he makes no allusion to the book of Acts in any of his letters so there is no basis for suggesting he alludes to it here.

    Of course they allude to it here. Acts was in circulation among Christians at the time. The belief statements are the same - God has blood. You would have us believe that these congregation leaders never read the book of Acts even though they were at the top of the orthodox Christian community and were personally taught by the apostle John and the book was in circulation?

    John himself wrote that Jesus was God in John 1: 1. He obviously believed God bled too.

  • GodBeliever

    You are the most handsome of men; fair speech has graced your lips, for God has blessed you forever. Your arrows are sharp; peoples will cower at your feet; the king’s enemies will lose heart. Your throne, O God, stands forever; your royal scepter is a scepter for justice. You love justice and hate wrongdoing; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.

    Psalms 45:3‭,

    Kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one: “Let us break their shackles and cast off their chains from us!” The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord derides them, Then he speaks to them in his anger, in his wrath he terrifies them: “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the decree of the Lord, he said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask it of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, and, as your possession, the ends of the earth.

    Psalms 2:2‭-‬8 NABRE

    No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

    John 1:18 KJV

    Jesus of course has the status of a God but the bible doesn't teach He is Almighty God. If we believe that Jesus existed in the form of man and we accept the Bible as true why don't we take His words for granted. He always stressed that He is the Son of Almighty God and not the God himself. What stopped Him say He was the Almighty God? Why all these nonsense interpretations!?

    Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”

    John 6:37‭-‬40 NABRE

    “I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

    John 5:30 NABRE

    the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.

    Revelation 1:18

    I charge [you] before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of Lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.

    1 Timothy 6:13‭-‬16

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

    1 Peter 1:3

  • GodBeliever

    For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures;

    1 Corinthians 15:3‭-‬4

    According to the bible Jesus was dead and he was resurrected by God in the third day. Whereas Almighty God cannot die (unless just a part of him died which does not make sense)

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

    John 3:16‭-‬17

    Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    1 Timothy 1:17

  • Earnest

    Sea Breeze, you continually refer to two prominent congregation leaders but do not seem to be able to show where Polycarp refers to "the blood of God". You also ignore everything I have written here about Acts 20:28.

    Whether or not Ignatius read the book of Acts is an interesting question. I don't know whether it was in circulation in Antioch in his time. I am just saying that unless you can show he alludes to it in any of his letters there is no reason to suppose he alludes to it here. It's unlikely he even alludes to John unless you can show otherwise.

  • slimboyfat

    I don’t believe any of the writings attributed to Ignatius go back to the second century. The theology and ecclesiology of the works attributed to Ignatius are not of that time. Some of the works once attributed to Ignatius are acknowledged as forgeries. Those that are still accepted as genuine have weak and late manuscript support. Basing claims about the early church on statements from Ignatius has a problematic history. I don’t think it’s safe to rest anything much on the basis of quotations from Ignatius. His references Jesus as God and to the “blood of God” are interesting oddities, but not a good basis for throwing out everything else from the period.

Share this