Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

Heresy Compels Orthodoxy

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Cannon, School papers, Truth

The canon of the New Testament has been a topic of struggle for the church and its members for many years. Critics of the Bible say that there were dozens of gospels that were not included in the New Testament, and should have been. Some professing Christians will even admit that they wonder if we have the right books included in our Bible, especially in the New Testament. Although the content of the Bible was widely recognized to have divine inspiration by the early church, influential heretic sects forced the early Church to canonize their scriptures. One thing should be acknowledged before the Bible is scrutinized; the Jews and the church always had a method of recognizing which books belonged in the pulpit and which books did not. When new sects arose (Gnostics) they started writing other gospels and letters that were contrary to scripture and replacing or altering (Marcions) books of the Bible. This forced the church to come out with a list of books that were divinely inspired, where as before they relied on other methods that will be discussed in further detail.

The Jew’s had a manner in which they recognized a text into their canon that was rather straightforward and immediate. Once the prophet gave the revelation and the secretary wrote it down, the Jew’s would add the scroll to their canon automatically. The historian Josephus wrote a letter in AD 90 confirming that this was the manner in which the Jew’s canonized their scripture. Josephus wrote that the Jew’s had a collection of books that agreed with each other unlike the Greeks that had many books that conflicted with one another. The Hebrew Bible or Old Testament came to a close around 400-350 BC when there was no voice of a prophet in the land. Although much later, writings dated around 550 AD from the Babylonian Talmud agree with Josephus. The Rabbinical literature says, “(the) Holy Spirit had departed from the land,” after the last prophets (Haggia, Zechariah and Malichai) entered their scrolls into the canon. Thus, the Old Testament was set in stone long before the birth of Christ.

The early Christian church had no issue utilizing the Hebrew Bible in their gatherings. There are several deductions that can be made to come to this conclusion. The early Christian’s were not seen as a new religion; they were seen as a new sect of Judaism. Only Jew’s were included at first, and they knew which books were in the Old Testament for reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph. An example of their willfulness to quote the Hebrew Bible comes immediately after the appearance of the Holy Spirit when Peter stands up and quotes several Old Testament passages. When Stephan gave his discourse before the Jew’s stoned him, he gave them a run down of the entire Old Testament. Also, Jesus quoted the Hebrew Bible many times in the New Testament, and that alone gives the Old Testament books authority. A new Christian would have, at first, been an old Jew who followed the law. He or she would have known that the Hebrew Bible was scripture, and surely a good Jew would never have been involved in a religious movement that did not recognize the Septuagint as divinely inspired.

New Testament writings were not immediately canonized for legitimate reasons. First, they did not think Christ would be gone long. In fact in Acts 1:5 the disciples say to Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” They thought He was going to come back almost immediately, so why would they bother canonizing their scriptures. Second, there was no universal church or bishop to exert authority, and make decisions referring to canonizing their Gospels and epistles. Third, the letters were immediately sent out to the churches, which were scattered all over the empire. An example of this is found in fragment 7Q5. Many papyrologists’ agree that fragment 7Q5 contains a portion of Mark’s Gospel. Papyrologist Jose O’Callaghan is among those who confirm 7Q5 to be Mark 6:52-53. This fragment was found in a cave that most scholars believe was sealed before the year 68 AD. If the death of Jesus took place around 30 AD (probably between 27-35 AD), and this fragment from Mark is dated around 68 AD, that is enough to say that the letters of the Apostles were written, copied, and immediately sent out to the other churches. No church had all of the originals manuscripts either, since the leaders were scattered all over and were writing the letters from where they were located in the empire. However, just because the writings were not canonized immediately, does not mean they were not widely accepted by the Christian churches immediately.

An early church Bishop named Irenaeus wrote a discourse titled Against Heresies, around the year 180 AD. In this book he quotes 22 of the New Testament books and refers to them as the Holy Scriptures. Irenaeus wrote, “There are only four gospels because there are four zones of the world, and four principle winds.” His logic, though flawed, does prove that the church was only using the same four gospels we have now. Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, and Polycarp was a disciple of John. He was only two generations removed from the original apostles, and he is referring to a collection of books as the Holy Scriptures. The testimony of Irenaeus confirms that the churches were using most of the same books that we have in our New Testament today in their congregation before the year 200 AD, with the exception of Philemon, Second and Third John, Second Peter, Jude, and possibly James. Irenaeus does not utilize those books, but that does not mean that he did not count them as Divine, he simply may not have needed to use them in his book. It was not until certain heretical groups arose to challenge the church, that the church decided to get together and make a list of books. Up until that point, they generally agreed that God inspired the writings of the apostles as just stated by the testimony of Irenaeus.

The Gnostics believe that Jesus was not the Son of God, that all matter is evil, that the God of the Old Testament was evil, that the God of the New Testament was good. They believed that Heaven is found through secret knowledge, hence the name Gnostic. This new religious sect referred to themselves as Christians, and had a rather large movement. The Gnostics began writing their own gospels like the gospel of Thomas, and the now famous gospel of Judas. In the gospel of Judas, Jesus is a shape shifter who comes to the 12 disciples as a small child. Also, in the gospel of Judas, Judas is made out to be a hero, and Jesus actually wanted Judas to turn Him in. The entire book is contrary to scripture and was wrote at least 100 years (probably 2-300 years) after the death of Judas. It was popular in those days to write a book in someone else’s name that had credibility. This is why in the Bible Paul began to write his signature on his letters, or even pick up the pen himself and begin writing. When the Gnostics needed a popular name to place on a book, they choose names like Thomas, Peter or Judas. The Gnostics needed to write their own scriptures, because the Bible did not make sense to a Gnostic. Proof of this is found in the Nag Hammadi Codex. Portions of the Nag Hammadi Codex are found in the newest publication of the gospel of Judas. These books include an apocalypse supposedly wrote by James, a letter from Peter to Philip and a book of James. This was just one group that influenced the early Orthodox Church to form the canon of the New Testament.

The Marcion church was a great threat to the early church, even greater than the Gnostic movement. Marcion (a second century heretic) began teaching that the material world was evil. He attracted a crowd, and started his own church. He believed that Yahweh was a different God than the God of Jesus Christ. Marcion taught that Yahweh was either evil, or incompetent or both, and that Yahweh created the world and placed man on it. Unlike the Gnostics, the Marcion’s began forming their own canon of scripture. Marcion began by taking books out of the Septuagint, and took most of the New Testament away except for the writings of Paul and portions of Luke. He did not use Luke and Paul’s writings entirely, he chopped them up to fit his own gospel. Marcion took the Old Testament out because he believed Yahweh was an evil God, and that the God of Jesus Christ would never punish His people. He had a completely different Jesus as well. Jesus could not have born of Mary, because then Jesus would have received the darkness that he believed all material had. Instead, Marcion taught that Jesus just appeared one day as a full-blown man. Because Marcion began creating his own canon, the early church was compelled to respond and become more orthodox in their ways.

Without a collection of books that was unable to be added to or taken away from, the authority of what we now consider scripture would always be open to interpretation by the local congregation. If the Marcion and Gnostic sects had their own scripture or canon of scripture, the new sects would be able to enter a local church and preach a false gospel rather easy. But, if the church had a completed list of books that alone had authority, then the false writings would be dismissed immediately. Such was the case, and the church decided to officially announce their canon of scripture, which nothing could be added to or taken away from. Of course there had to be rules on what kind of writings would be considered divinely inspired. The Orthodox church came to the conclusion that in order for a letter to be canonized, it must adhere to the following; the writing in question must have been wrote by an apostle, or an apostolic man. The author must have been alive during the life of Jesus, and have a certain type of connection with Jesus or an apostle. The letter must not contradict the testimony of the Septuagint, and it must be verified that the listed author was the one who wrote it. Once the Apostles and the apostolic men were no more, the scriptures were sealed, thus preventing any writings after the first century to creep into the canon. Of course before the canon of scripture was finally set around the close of the fourth century at the Council of Carthage, the Orthodox church was using the same books, or very close to the same books that we now see in our table of contents in the New Testament. The list of books from the Council of Carthage was not the first list of Christian books one can find when searching for the truth about the canon of scripture. The very first list was written around 150 AD and is now titled the Moratorian fragment. The Moratorian Canon contains a list of books that were accepted by the church, a list of books that were being debated about as to if they should belong, a list of books that did not belong (but could be read for personal use) and a list of books that were clearly heresy.

When looking back at the way that the New Testament canon was shaped, it should come to no surprise that the process took hundreds of years to unfold. One should now know that the early church had a collection of writings they considered to be inspired, and that the church was in no real hurry to make a formal list. It was not until religious sects like the Marcions came along, that the church realized they needed to become orthodox. The Jewish canon had long been sealed when Jesus came, and the New Testament gives an account that the apostles and Jesus held to the Septuagint as scripture. Men like Irenaeus leave a clear testimony to the fact that the Christian churches generally agreed upon what was divinely inspired, and what was not. The early Christians were not concerned with building a list of books; they expected the immediate return of Christ. Why would they waist time making a list of books when Jesus could come back any day? Furthermore, the Church did not have any reason to say exactly what was in and what was out, until the false religions rose up and began compiling their own lists. If it was not for groups like the Marcion’s and the Gnostic’s, one could suppose that a canon for the New Testament may have never been needed.

References

ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version.. ESV text ed. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

Evans, Craig A. “Understanding the Gospel of Judas.” Bulletin for Biblical Research, 20, Jan
2010, 561-574.

González, Justo L.. The story of Christianity. Rev. and updated, 2nd ed. New York: HarperOne,
2010.

Gundry, Robert H. “No NU in Line 2 of 7Q5 : A Final Disidentification of 7Q5 with Mark 6:52-
53.” Journal Of Biblical Literature, Vol 118, Dec 1999, p.698-707.

Irenaeus against heresies. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger Publishing, 2007.

Kloha, Jeffrey J. “Jesus and the Gnostic Gospels.” Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol 71,
Apr 2007, p.121-144.

Newman, Robert C. 1976. “Council of Jamnia and the Old Testament Canon.” Westminster
Theological Journal, Vol 38, Mar 1976, p.319-349.

Roth, Dieter T. “Marcion’s Gospel and Luke: the History of Research in Current Debate.”
Journal Of Biblical Literature, Vol 127, Sep 2008, p.513-527.

Sheeley, Steven M. “From “Scripture” to “Canon” : The Development of the New Testament
Canon.” Review & Expositor, Vol 95, Sep 1998, p513-522.

What will you do with Jesus?

Luke 6:6-10 NLT
On another Sabbath day, a man with a deformed right hand was in the synagogue while Jesus was teaching.
The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
 But Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” So the man came forward. Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.

Think about that, they What would they do with Jesus?…

Jesus is a lot of things to a lot of people.

To a Jew, Jesus was a false Messiah, someone who claimed to be divine, but was not.

To the Mormon’s, Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer. He had multiple wives and was created by God the Father. They also believe that Jesus failed His earthly mission and that Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism) picked it up and finished it… YIKES

To an agnostic, they cannot know if Jesus was God or not (for an agnostic believes Deity is not something we can grasp).

To an atheist, God does not exist, so Jesus couldn’t have been God, because there is no God to them.

To a Muslim, Jesus was a prophet, but not the son of God, and not even the last prophet (Muhammad was the last).

To a Hindu, Jesus shared a message of love and was in no way divine.

To a Jehovah’s Witness, Jesus is a god, but not almighty God… He is a spirit creature and is also, somehow Michael the Archangel… if you can work that one out.

To a Buddhist, Jesus was a great person, but not God.

Only to a Christian (a true Christian) is Jesus Christ the Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s.

And to the rest of the world, we are crazy to say that.

My first question to you is this: who is Jesus to you?

Not who is He to your parents, not who is he to your family, who is Jesus to you?

The second question is this, what will you do with Jesus?

While you think of your answer, keep in mind that for any theory (or concept) taken from a book, writing or idea to be legitimate, it has to make sense from the time we are taking it from.

You cannot just say that now you believe the Jews had several gods when through all of history, every document you can find (biblical or not) refers to only one God for the Jewish people.

If you find my book 2000 years from now, and the language is different for some reason, now everyone speaks in Klingon, and you say, “oh look. This fellow was referring to Jesus as a lesser god,” but the English text clearly says that Jesus was the one and only true God, it would not make sense.

I’ll give you another example.

The book of Mormon
Wrote by Joseph Smith from what he said was a revelation to him from an angel. This angel came to him and told him that Jesus failed his mission on earth, and that he had to pick up the torch and finish the job.

The book of Mormon was wrote from golden plates that were buried (supposedly) by the tribe of Native Americans around 325 AD. Smith said that the templates were the “reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics.”

The problem:
1. The book refers to horses in North America prior to the year 400 AD, which we now know that no horses were in North America at that time.
2. Recent DNA evidence has proved that the tribe that made the tablets were, in fact, not JEWISH
3. And the text has been altered at different times and different places over 4,000 times.

It does not make sense. It was not what the original authors wrote or intended to say.

Here’s another example:
Joseph Smith purchased a document (that he claimed) containing writings from Abraham.
This would have been a huge discovery, however it’s not true.
No one was able to translate the document when Smith found it, however now we can translate it with the finding of the Rosetta Stone, and the book has nothing to do with Abraham… its an Egyptian book of the dead referring to the afterlife of their dead pharos.

It does not make sense. It was not what the original authors wrote or intended to say.

I tell you this because we cannot pick up the Bible today and say whatever we want about it, if it was not what the original authors wrote, meant or intended to say. Putting a new age twist on something that never meant what we now claim it means is plain foolishness.

With that said, lets look at what Jesus said about Himself from a book that has been so well preserved, that the critics who say that man altered the text have absolutely no proof to found that claim; the Bible.

#1 Jesus claimed He was God

Some of you have heard otherwise… some of you are under the false assumption that Jesus never said He was God.

But He did say He was God not just a god.

John 14:7-11
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

Here’s Jesus, claiming to be God. He does this all through the Gospels.

Lets look at what made the Jew’s so mad that they crucified Him.

Jesus could have came and said he was any pagan god and the Jews would have cared less, but that’s not what happened, He said he was God almighty.

Some never translations of the Bible have perverted the Greek and Hebrew to say things like Jesus was a god, but you have to understand that once again, this would not make sense in the time Jesus lived.

Keep in mind that the people who persecuted Jesus were monotheists, meaning they had only one God.

They were not like the pagan nations who had several hundred gods; they had one according to the first commandment, “YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.”

Jesus could have came and said he was any pagan god and the Jews would have cared less, but that’s not what happened. What happened was Jesus came and said he was God, and it pissed off the Pharisees to the point where they were ready to stone Him and ultimately crucified him!

John 10:30-33
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God (Theos in Greek).”

Theos in the Greek in this verse is referring to the one and only true God.

That bring me to #2; other people called him God, and worshipped Him as God.

It’s one thing to say you are God, it’s another to accept worship as God, as it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ (Luke 4:8)

Matt 8:2 behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, Lord (Kyrios=God the Messiah), if You are willing, You can make me clean.

Why didn’t Jesus rebuke the leper for worshiping Him… because He is God.

An example of someone calling him God

John 20:28 Thomas said, “My Lord and My God (Theos).”

Thomas called him God, (Theos, the one and only true God) and Jesus did not rebuke him.
People worshipped Jesus, and He did not rebuke them

Notice Jesus never said to Thomas, “now, now… you mustn’t call me God…” He never said that…

Still more evidence that the disciples were convinced of who He was (and this is only scratching the surface).

10 of the 11 (faithful) disciples (with the exception of John, of course they tried to kill him he just would not die) died a martyr’s death. They were all killed for believing in Jesus and never recanted their testimony to death.

These Jewish monotheists were absolutely sure that Jesus was God.

It’s one thing to believe something, but to be willing to die for it, now that’s another story.

An example in the scriptures is when Peter and John were thrown in jail and while on trial they said to their persecutors, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:1-15)

That brings me to #3 Jesus said that he is the only way to heaven.

If we say there is another way to heaven, then Jesus is a liar.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus here once again is claiming to be God when we look at the Old Testament scriptures.

Isaiah 45:21, 43:11
There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.
I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.

So if you wrote on your card that you though Jesus was a moral teacher but not God, he could not possibly be moral. He is a gigantic liar if He’s not God.

The second question is what will you do with Jesus.

If He truly is Lord like he said, will you accept Him or reject Him?

Only you can make that choice

No one can make it for you.

And let me say this, that there are people who go to church that do not know Him.

You can spend a lot of time in a garage that does not make you a car. (I stole this from somewhere)

And someone will say at this time, “well I don’t believe in Hell or Heaven,” to which I would reply that just because you do not believe in something does not mean it’s not 100% true.

Let me go out here on Sewell’s Point (a local road) and drive 100 mph, and when I get pulled over I’ll tell the cop that I don’t believe there’s a speed limit… how do you think that would work for me?

Better yet I’ll do something illegal, say parking in an area I didn’t know I couldn’t park. When they tow my car, just because I go tell them I didn’t know about the law does not mean I will not have to pay the price.

Saying I do not know or I don’t believe doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the judgment we all have to face one day.

Jesus Christ is either your Lord, or someone else’s Lord.

We either accept Him as Savior or not.

Rom 6:23, 10:9
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord….
AND if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

You have to be the one to confess Christ.

Not your grandma, or your family… you.

What will you do with Jesus?

God Bless,

Dan Fogarty.

Jehovah Witnesses will tell you they are the one true faith, and that every other church in the world is part of “Babylon the Great”. This series will discuss some of their flaws and false doctrines. I pray you are encouraged and equipped for the next time you meet a Jehovah’s Witness, and you can use the tools I will give you to witness to them.

Jesus is an angel?

A Jehovah’s Witness (JW) will tell you that Jesus is, “none other that Michael the Archangel in his heavenly role.” (What Does The Bible Really Teach, p.218-219) It should be noted, that nowhere before, EVER, has any organization ever said that Jesus was Michael, to include the Arians who taught that Jesus was created, never went so far as to say who he was before he came to earth.

Honestly, in my opinion, no organization has ever been stupid enough to make this claim. It’s completely unbiblical and cannot be backed up with scripture. Anyways, lets look at this issue from a biblical perspective.

A JW will tell you that they believe Jesus Christ made all things, but is not God almighty. Once again, we look to Scripture.

IS 44:24
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
”I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,

On the authority of this scripture alone, they have no argument. However, we will look at a few more.

It should be noted, that an angel does not accept worship in the Bible. See Rev 19:10, 22:9.

Furthermore, Paul says very plainly, DO NOT WORHIP ANGELS.

Col 2:18a Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels

Looking at the life of Jesus we need to ask one fundamental question; did Jesus freely accept worship? Answer, YES.

Matt 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean

Matt 14:33 those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

If Jesus accepted worship, but he was just an angel, then is Paul a liar, or did he make a mistake, or is Jesus in the wrong for letting people worship Him? Did He sin when he let people worship Him?

I have brought these up in the past and it literally felt like they were sticking their fingers in their ears saying, “we cant hear you…”

Now I offer the most convincing argument against Michael as Jesus Christ.

I believe the only verse we have in the Bible where Michael speaks (I could be wrong) is Jude 9 where Michael is contending with the devil.***

Jude 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

The Greek for ‘Michael the archangel’ reads Michaēl archaggelos meaning Michael: who is like God, and archangel or chief of angels.

In plain English, Jude is referring to an angel, not Jesus, and there is no hint of majesty in the Greek.

Even more interesting that this is what the Greek word for Lord is when Michael said, “the Lord (kyrios) rebuke you.“

Kyrios means Lord: God the messiah.

Interestingly enough, in Jude 3,4, 17 and 21, Jude refers to Jesus Christ as our Lord using the exact same Greek word Kyrios.

So, if Jesus is Kyrios, and Michael said, “the Kyrios rebuke you,” he must either be talking in third person, or he is not God!!! The ladder is the only reasonable conclusion.

Why would anyone say, “the ME rebuke you?”

It makes no sense.

We have to look to the scriptures to find out who Jesus is, and we have to want to find the truth. Never let someone tell you that you cannot study your own Bible and learn on your own. That is how the JW cult got so big in the first place; they said they the believer would be in darkness without the organization.

Study to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15)

… study men (and women)

God Bless,

Dan Fogarty.

***(Note this scripture (Jude 9) is taken from the book of Enoch the 1st chapter. the book of Enoch is non-cannonised, meaning it could not be verified as wrote by him (Enoch), and may hold some doctrines that are not supported in the scriptures…the most common belief is that Enoch wrote the first chapter or so, and then someone else picked up the pen and started writing for him after he was taken (Gen 5:24), this would explain why Jude uses parts of the beginning of the book of Enoch, but nothing further. It was a common practice to write a famous persons name on a scroll or codex in those days)

Jehovah Witnesses will tell you they are the one true faith, and that every other church in the world is part of “Babylon the Great”. This series will discuss some of their flaws and false doctrines. I pray you are encouraged and equipped for the next time you meet a Jehovah’s Witness, and you can use the tools I will give you to witness to them.

What’s in a name?

Today I’m going to show you something cool you can do on your own. There’s a website called blue letter bible (http://www.blueletterbible.org/) that you can go to and look up Greek or Hebrew word. Just go to the verse you are looking at, and click the C next to it. This will take you to the Greek, Hebrew (or in some cases Aramiac) and then you can look up all of the meanings of the word. This can bring great clarity when reading a difficult passage.

Anyhow, back to the subject WHATS IN A NAME?

Is 9:6 ESV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty (GIBBOWR) God (‘EL), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When I first brought this scripture to a JW he told me that Jesus had many names, but Jehovah God only had one personal name.

They said that this scripture actually proved that Jesus was not God, but that is not the case. To show that this statement proves Jesus is God, we will look at the Hebrew words.

Mighty God in Hebrew reads “GIBBOWR ‘EL”

GIBBOWR means STRONG OR MIGHTY

‘EL means GOD, THE ONE TRUE GOD, JEHOVAH

So either Isaiah was confused and made a mistake when he wrote this prophecy, or Jesus is God… the same as the Father.

Even after you show this to a JW, they will say otherwise. They will say that that this is referring to Jesus as a lesser god, but that is not what the Hebrew text says.

A JW will tell you that they let scripture interpret scripture.

Here are three verses (I’m sure you could find more) where the same two Hebrew words are used in the OT referring to God.

Deut 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty (GIBBOWR), and the awesome God (‘EL ), who is not partial and takes no bribe.

Neh 9:32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty (GIBBOWR) , and the awesome God (‘EL ), who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day.

Jer 32:18 You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty (GIBBOWR) God (‘EL ), whose name is the Lord of hosts.

As you can see, this name is not only used for Jesus, but also for the God of the Old Testament, further proving that they are the same.

If we have a skewed view of the deity of Christ, we will have a faith based on a lie.

Jesus said He was God, the prophets said he was God, the Jews said He was God; therefore He is God.

Don’t let anyone twist scripture and tell you otherwise; Jesus is God.

God Bless,
Dan Fogarty.

Jehovah Witnesses will tell you they are the one true faith, and that every other church in the world is part of “Babylon the Great”. this series will discuss some of their flaws and false doctrines. I pray you are encouraged and equipped for the next time you meet a Jehovah’s Witness, and you can use the tools I will give you to witness to them.

Jesus Christ; a god, or God?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that Jesus is a spirit being whom Jehovah God created. They will tell you this based off of a few scripture verses they pervert (see my last two posts on this for more clarification). This may sound like a somewhat expectable debate, until you think about whom Jesus came to (the Jews) and what they (Jews) said about Him.

Jews were monotheists. They believed in one God and only one God

Ex 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me

A good Jew would not have given a rip if Jesus claimed to be (or presented Himself as) any other god… they would have paid Jesus no mind, because they followed the law. They were not like the pagan nations that had multiple gods… they had one God.

So why were the Jews seeking to kill Him?

Jesus claimed He was God, which is blasphemy to a Jew.

John 10:30-33 ESV
(Jesus said)“I and the Father are one.”
The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God (THEOS)

If your translation says “a god,” throw it out… NOW! Some translations do say a god, but why would a Jew care if Jesus claimed to be some other god? That would not be blasphemy to a Jew, and honestly they would have disregarded Jesus at that point.

The Greek word for God here is THEOS, which has multiple meanings, but in this context it means, “the one and only true God.” Because this is a word that is sometimes used for god not God, JW’s and other groups take it to mean god, small g.

However, lets look at another Jew’s testimony from the Bible to clarify things, and another Greek word.

Paul (formerly Saul) a Jew, recognized Jesus as God.

Acts 9:1-6
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord (KYRIOS)?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

The Greek word for Lord when Saul says, “who are you LORD,” is KYRIOS, meaning God the Messiah.

Saul, being a devout Jew and a monotheist, would never have used this word, unless he was sure that it was the Lord. Saul, changed his name to Paul, wrote half of the New Testament and died a martyr’s death, because he was sure that Jesus was the Christ, the one and only God.

The whole Jesus was a lesser god thing makes no sense when we look at His audience.

Lets recognize who Jesus really is, God almighty!

And in that, we rejoice.

Dan Fogarty.