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Friday, October 28, 2011

The Holy Spirit "Poured Out" (Ekxeo)

In Acts 2:17,18, God pours out [ekxeo, ekxew] from [apo] his Spirit upon all people. This alone should be clear enough that the Holy Spirit is a thing not a person.

However, let's look at all other uses of ekxeo used in the NT as listed in Young's Exhaustive Concordance.

(Mark 2:22 does not use ekxeo in the best manuscripts.)

John 2:15, "poured out [ekxeo] the coins of the money changers."
Acts 2:17, 18, God "pours out [ekxeo] from [apo] His Spirit upon all people."
Acts 2:33, "he has poured out [ekxeo] this (thing) [touto, neut.] which you see."
Acts 22:20, the blood of Stephen was poured out [ekxeo].
Rom. 3:15, Feet swift to shed ("pour out" - ekxeo) blood.
Titus 3:6, "Holy Spirit which he [God] poured out [ekxeo] upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (RSV). [This is also translated by noted trinitarian Beck as "He poured a rich MEASURE of this Spirit on us through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Beck NT)].
Rev. 16:1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17, pour out [ekxeo] (the contents of) the bowls of the wrath of God. In other words "wrath" was being poured out.
Rev. 16:16, they poured out [ekxeo] the blood of saints and prophets.

Certainly in all other cases ekxeo ("poured out") refers to things. It would be unreasonable to insist that this is not the case in Acts 2 (and Titus 3:6) also. We can see that if we pour out something from something, it can mean one of two things. If we said we poured out from our bowl, for instance, we actually mean we poured from a container which contained some substance (thing). We may have poured some of it or all of it. But if we said we poured out from our wine onto your roast beef, it can only mean that we poured a portion of our wine (out of some container, of course) onto the meat. We would not say we poured from our wine if we had poured it all out.
What was it that God poured out from his Spirit? Well, what did the people receive when God poured out from his Spirit? Acts 2:4, 33 tells us they received holy spirit! If, then, God poured Holy Spirit from his Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2:17, 18, it means he poured out a portion of his Holy Spirit, as rendered in the very trinitarian translations of the New American Bible (1970 and 1991 editions ), the New English Bible, and the Revised English Bible. (It is similar to our pouring out some wine from our wine.) So God poured out some of his spirit here, some of it there, but certainly he still kept an infinite supply.
Also see Numbers 11:17, 25. The literal "from the Spirit" here in the inspired Hebrew Bible language (see the trinitarian The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, Zondervan Publ.) also means "a portion" of God's Spirit was taken from one person and given to others. See these trinitarian translations of Num. 11:17, 25: RSV, NEB, GNB, AT, NAB, JB, NRSV, REB, NJB, Mo, and Byington. Spirit, then, is a thing that may be poured out in portions - you simply do not pour out persons in measured portions upon other persons!

For much more, see:

What Is THE HOLY SPIRIT? (g 7/06 pp. 14-15; Watchtower Online Library)

Holy Spirit - Links To Information (Search For Bible Truths)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Holy Spirit 'Proof-Texts' (Search For Bible Truths)

Trinity Index (Examining the Trinity)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween - Should You Celebrate It?

Most people view the celebrations of Halloween as nothing more than harmless fun—an excuse for children and adults to dress up and lose their inhibitions. Some might argue that the origin of Halloween celebrations is of little consequence despite the fact that these celebrations are undeniably pagan in origin. But how should Christians view Halloween if they truly wish to worship and please God as best they can? Would even limited participation in the celebration meet with God's disapproval? The following will assist in determining the answers to these questions.

Halloween's Pagan Origin

"Its name means hallowed or holy evening." - The World Book Encyclopedia, 1952, Vol. 8, pp. 3245-6.

To really understand this "holy evening" you must realize that Halloween, as we know it today, has grown from several different sources. The main source has been traced back to religious ceremonies of the ancient Babylonians. - The New Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer, edited by Dr. T. H. Gaster, p. 468, Mentor Book, 1964; and Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, 1949, p. 38.

From Babylon, this pagan religious celebration spread throughout much of the world.

The Druids of ancient Britain also borrowed this Babylonian festival and celebrated it to honor Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1. - Halloween Through the Centuries, Linton, p. 4. They believed this pagan god called together "certain wicked souls on Halloween" - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 11, p. 103.

In honoring this pagan god, his supplicators hoped to be protected from these "wicked souls." Therefore, many of the things done in celebrating this "holy evening" are in honor of the false gods of the Druids. For example, "When you light a candle inside the jeering pumpkin face, you are in a small way imitating the Celtic Druids" who lit "great bonfires on hilltops to honor the sun god" and thereby help keep away winter and the evil spirits. - The Book of Holidays, McSpadden, 1958 ed., pp. 149-153; and All About American Holidays, Krythe, 1962, pp. 214-215. Since the "Mother" Church (which was established in Rome about 200 years after the death of the last Apostle) embarked on a course of adopting and adapting pagan religious ceremonies into the Church, it is not surprising that elements of ancient Roman false worship were also added to the "Holy Evening" celebration. For example, "when you duck for apples ... you are doing as the Romans did - - honoring Pomona, the Roman goddess of orchards." - The Book of Holidays, pp. 149-153 and Collier's Encyclopedia, 1975, Vol. 2, p. 192.

Although Halloween poses as a Christian holiday, it is exposed as a pagan feast. One dictionary describes "pagan" as: "One of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion." "Polytheistic" means "the worship of or belief in more than one god." True Christians should consider these things as serious because God views these things very seriously. (Lev. 19:2) God Himself said: "You must not have any other gods against my face. Because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion." (Ex. 20:1-5) NWT

Yet some may wonder what harm could possibly come from letting children attend a costume party or simply participate in a superficial way. Yes, it is not Scripturally wrong for children to have a costume party or play games such as bobbing for apples. However, doing so as a part of Halloween would be celebrating that pagan religious feast. This would be compromising Christian principles. The Bible condemns the whole idea of putting a Christian mask on a pagan practice.

If pagan ceremonies, customs, god names, etc. are really mixed in with ceremonies, customs, etc. that we use today, they are not merely unacceptable - - - they are detestable to God. We must completely get away from these unclean things and not even "touch" them. (2 Cor. 6:17) Notice how exclusive the worship of God must be: "Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips." - Exodus 23:13, NIVSB. Also see: What Does the Bible Really Teach? - Take Your Stand for True Worship from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS).

Halloween and Witchcraft

The real religion celebrated by the "Holy Evening" of Halloween is still a living religion. What is sometimes called "witchcraft" has had its ups and downs but is still practiced as a religion in nearly every country of the world.

"It began in the shadowy darkness of man's early religion. It lived and flourished through the ages and it is by no means wiped out even yet. Witchcraft in the Middle Ages was the `art' of controlling natural forces by power obtained from the Devil. Witches were people who made agreements with the Evil One." - Britannica Jr., 1957 ed., Vol. 15, pp. 131-132.

Whether deluded or not, these "witches" were (and are) making a public declaration: a demonstration of their faith and a defiance of the God of the Bible. They continued to practice their religion (in many different, varying sects) in spite of great persecution. This religion of the Middle Ages actually grew out of the earlier pagan Druid religion.

"These rites did not die .... When a monk or knight swore that in a clearing of the woods he had seen witches dancing around the devil, he did not lie. What he saw was ... people worshiping with a priest of the heathen religion. The prayer meetings of the witches were called witches' Sabbaths. .... Two nights especially were set aside - October 31, called Halloween and the eve of May Day, called Walpurgis." - Britannica Jr., pp. 131-132.

"Though the Church was able to destroy the temples and outward forms of worship of these heathen religions, it could not completely eradicate the faith and beliefs of their priests and worshipers. These found an outlet during the Middle Ages in witchcraft which was devoted to the worship of Satan. This cult included periodic meetings, known as witches' sabbaths, which were given over to feasting and revelry. One of the most important sabbaths was held on Halloween." - Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956, Vol. 11, pp. 106-107.

"The witches' sabbat [sabbath], or Black Mass, was a mockery of the religious one. It began with the assembly of the witches' covens, always at night, in forests, open fields, at crossroads, and even secretly in churches.... The name `sabbats' for these meetings is believed to have come from the Old Hebrew Sabbath - the seventh day." - A Cauldron of Witches, Alderman, 1973, p. 9.

The Bible warns against the practice of spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The apostle Paul wrote: “I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:20-22, New International Version) He also asked: “What common interest can there be between goodness and evil? How can light and darkness share life together? How can there be harmony between Christ and the devil? What can a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Phillips)

While it is true that the vast majority of those who celebrate Halloween would claim to reject Satanic practices, we should, nevertheless, be aware that historically this holiday has close connections with the occult. Therefore, celebrating Halloween can serve as a door leading to spiritism, especially for impressionable youths. Pagan rites and traditions tainted by spiritism simply have no place in Christian worship; they are far from harmless. (Also see: Dabbling in the Occult—What's the Harm? and What You Should Know About Witchcraft from the WBTS.)

Halloween - Based on Unscriptural Beliefs

Finally, Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day are all based on the beliefs that the dead suffer or that they can somehow bring harm to the living. However, the Bible clearly shows that such beliefs are not true, saying: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) For that reason, the Bible counsels: “All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol [the common grave of mankind], the place to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) Since the dead are unconscious and thus incapable of harming others or suffering themselves, we have nothing to fear from them. At the same time, prayers to help them are of no use whatsoever. But this does not mean that there is no hope for our dead loved ones because the Bible assures us that “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) (Also see: The Bible's Viewpoint - What Happens at Death? from the WBTS.)

Should You Celebrate Halloween?

Clearly, God would not approve of any ceremonies or customs that have any pagan associations. The Bible also warns us about the practice of spiritism - of which Halloween historically has close connections with. And finally, Halloween is based on beliefs that run completely contrary to what the Bible teaches. So when it comes to celebrating Halloween - especially after considering what you have just read - what will you decide?  
(More information concerning Halloween can be found in the 10/8/01 issue of the Awake! magazine published by the WBTS.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Does Genesis 10:5 really suggest that various tongues (languages) already existed BEFORE the confusion of tongues at Babel (Genesis 11:1)?

Does Genesis 10:5 really suggest that various tongues (languages) already existed BEFORE the confusion of tongues at Babel (Genesis 11:1)?

"Speaking of Noah’s descendants through his grandson Javan, Genesis 10:5 says: “From these the population of the isles of the nations was spread . . . , each according to its tongue, according to their families, by their nations.”

"Genesis chapter 10 presents what is commonly known as the “Table of the Nations.” It lists 70 families or nations descending from Noah’s sons, giving some indication of where these eventually spread to and settled. Of course, Moses recorded this centuries after the Flood and the confusion of languages at Babel. So he was in position to bring together in what is now Genesis chapter 10 details of how things worked out over the centuries.

"After Genesis chapter 10 gives the details of the “Table of the Nations,” chapter 11 takes up the narrative or chronological history with Babel and shows how it was that many languages came about and why peoples spread over the globe.—Gen. 11:1-9.

"Thus the references in the 10th chapter to various languages are not to be understood as meaning that these developed prior to the confusion of languages at Babel. (Gen. 10:5, 20, 31, 32) But those tongues were later found among Noah’s descendants, whose lineage is provided in that chapter." - Questions from Readers, 7/15/78 Watchtower (Emphasis mine)

Related Articles:

When was Ba'bel built and what became of Nimrod after that? (Search For Bible Truths)

What Language did Adam and Eve Speak? (Search For Bible Truths)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Language did Adam and Eve Speak?

The Bible says that before the Flood, all mankind “continued to be of one language and of one set of words.” (Gen. 11:1) The Bible indicates that the language later called Hebrew was that original “one language.” (See below.) This does not mean that all other languages stemmed from and are related to Hebrew but that Hebrew preceded all other languages.

(The following is a brief excerpt from Insight on the Scriptures, pp.1068-1077, Hebrew, II):

Origin of the Hebrew Language

Secular history does not reveal the origin of the Hebrew language—or, for that matter, of any of the most ancient languages known, such as Sumerian, Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian), Aramaean, and Egyptian. This is because these tongues appear already fully developed in the earliest written records men have found. The various views advanced by scholars concerning the origin and development of Hebrew—such as those claiming that Hebrew derived from Aramaic or from some Canaanite dialect—are therefore conjectural. The same may be said for attempts at explaining the derivation of many words found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Scholars frequently assign an Akkadian or an Aramaic source for many of these words. However, as Dr. Edward Horowitz comments: “In the field of etymology [the study of word origins] there are wide differences of opinion among scholars, even among the very best of them.” He then cites examples of explanations by renowned scholars of the etymology of certain Hebrew words, in each case showing that other prominent scholars disagree, and then adds: “And so we have these never ending differences between equally highly respected authorities.”—How the Hebrew Language Grew, 1960, pp. xix, xx.

The Bible is the only historical source giving reliable evidence of the origin of the language that we know as Hebrew. It was, of course, spoken by the Israelite descendants of “Abram the Hebrew” (Ge 14:13), who, in turn, was descended from Noah’s son Shem. (Ge 11:10-26) In view of God’s prophetic blessing on Shem (Ge 9:26), it is reasonable to believe that Shem’s language was not affected when God confused the language of the disapproved people at Babel. (Ge 11:5-9) Shem’s language would remain the same as it had been previously, the “one language” that had existed from Adam onward. (Ge 11:1) This would mean that the language that eventually came to be called Hebrew was the one original tongue of mankind. As stated, secular history knows no other. - Insight on the Scriptures, pp.1068-1077, Hebrew, II

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Destruction of Jerusalem - 607 B.C.E?

(More information about this topic can be found at the bottom of this article.)

The Destruction of Jerusalem - 607 B.C.E?

Some who wish to accuse the Watchtower organization of being a "false prophet" claim that the 607 B.C. date chosen by the Society for the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon is proof. Christendom endorses and teaches the date of 587 B.C. (which is the opinion of secular historians today).

Most secular historians tell us that some captives were taken from Jerusalem in 598 B.C., but that the city was not harmed at that time. They also tell us that a later siege in 587 B.C. destroyed Jerusalem and that all but a handful of the inhabitants of all of Judah were deported from the land at that time.

"All archeologically studied towns of Judah (see Jer. 25:11, 17, 18) were DESTROYED at this time (587 B.C.)." - Encyclopedia Americana, 1957, v. 3, p. 9.

They also tell us that

"the edict of Cyrus in 538 B.C., substantially confirmed by modern archeological discoveries, permitted the Jews to return to their homeland." - Americana.

Now if we insist on perfection in the statements of God's inspired prophets of the Bible concerning time factors, then either the inspired prophets who warned of the desolation of Jerusalem by Babylon must have proclaimed a 49 (or 50) year desolation of Jerusalem - from 587 B.C. to 538 B.C. (or 537 B.C. if we properly allow for preparation and travel time after Cyrus' edict)! OR the secular historians of today are wrong about the 587 B.C. date which most of Christendom (and apostate ex-Jehovah's Witnesses) accepts.

Now Jehovah's Witnesses accept the 538 B.C. date for the edict of Cyrus since the evidence produced "by modern archeological discoveries" is probably better established for it, and it certainly correlates more properly with Bible chronology. And since the date 587 B.C. for the beginning of the desolation period is probably more doubtful than that of the "substantially confirmed" 538 B.C. date for the edict which led to the end of the desolation period and does not fit proper Bible chronology, Jehovah's Witnesses have decided that the date of the desolation of Jerusalem must have been 607 B.C. Why? Because Jehovah's Witnesses believe the inspired prophets Jeremiah and Daniel are more likely to be correct than secular historians! (Be sure to read pp. 186-189 in Let Your Kingdom Come, 1981 Watchtower publication.)

Daniel wrote that he was "reading the scriptures and reflecting on the SEVENTY years which, according to the word of the Lord [Jehovah] to the prophet Jeremiah, were to pass while Jerusalem lay in ruins." - Dan. 9:2, NEB. Also see Jer. 25:8-11, 17, 18.

Now isn't it interesting that Christendom (especially those most vocal dissident ex-Jehovah's Witnesses) condemns Jehovah's Witnesses as being false prophets for interpreting certain ancient dates (most notably the destruction of Jerusalem as 607 B.C.) based upon the clear statements of inspired Bible prophets which seem to contradict the conclusions of secular historians today?

Think about it. What's really happening when certain "Christians" insist that a figurative "prophet" be perfect in its interpretation of time and then turn around and say,

"Yes, Daniel was an inspired prophet (and so was Jeremiah), but, although he literally said Jerusalem would lie desolate for 70 years, HE REALLY MEANT 50 YEARS. We believe the authorities today who tell us it was really 50 years," these `Christians' say, "more than we believe the literal accuracy of the inspired prophet, Daniel (or Jeremiah)."?

In other words, it's o.k. to condemn those who have never claimed to be inspired prophets for an apparent error in the interpretation of a date and proclaim them false prophets, and, in so doing, indirectly (but necessarily) accuse the truly inspired Bible writers, who, they believe, made the very same kind of time "errors," of being false prophets .

Yes, those who insist on the secular historians' dates (which make a 50 year desolation) are, by necessity, insisting that the Bible prophets stated the wrong chronology (70 years of desolation). By their insistence on the 587 B.C. date they are saying the inspired prophets did not prophesy a literally accurate time!

The real difference is that Jehovah's Witnesses admit to being human, making nonessential errors at times, and not being an inspired "prophet." They truly believe the organization, as a whole, and over the long term, has the guidance of Holy Spirit, but this does not mean that every step, every thought, every utterance of every member will be perfect in this present system of things. The first Christians, who were obviously guided by Holy Spirit, admitted as much about themselves. And yet these Jehovah's Witnesses, imperfect as they may be, are courageous enough to say that Daniel and Jeremiah are inspired prophets of God and are certainly more likely to be correct than secular historians.

If Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong on this nonessential "time interpretation," does that make them false prophets because they have chosen the literal accuracy of God's inspired prophets over the statements of uninspired historians? I think not! I believe, instead, a strong statement of their obedience to proper authority (the Bible in this case) is being made in spite of the ridicule and dishonest accusations of many false Christians.

On the other hand, what if the actual inspired prophets (Daniel and Jeremiah) are literally correct? Where does that put those "Christians" who are, in actuality, saying that Daniel and Jeremiah were false prophets? It seems we have a real test of faith and proper heart condition here.

Related Articles:

When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One; Why It Matters; What the Evidence Shows (w11 10/1 pp. 26-31; Watchtower Online Library)

When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part Two; What the Clay Documents Really Show (w11 11/1 pp. 22-28; Watchtower Online Library)

Jerusalem 607 B.C.E. (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

The Destruction of Jerusalem - 607 B.C.E.? (Search For Bible Truths)

'False Prophet' Claim and Jerusalem 607 B.C.E. (Search For Bible Truths)

Jerusalem - 607 B.C.E. (Jerusalem - 607 B.C.E.)

Was 607 B.C.E. Actually the Year Jerusalem Fell? (From God's Word)

Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. (Pastor Russsel)

Seven Times - The Times of The Gentiles (Pastor Russsel)

1914—A Significant Year in Bible Prophecy (Pastor Russsel)

Appointed Times of the Nations (Pastor Russsel)

Links to more sources concerning 607 B.C.E. (Y/A)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Israel's Essential Knowledge of God - The God of Judaism and the First Christians WITHIN Judaism

(This study refers to those who were faithful to the Law of Moses up to the time of the death of Jesus and beyond. It is very clearly revealed in the rest of the O(ld) T(estament) scriptures itself that much (even most) of Israel was apostate in various periods before the time of Christ. This included kings, priests, and much of the populace itself. This correlates with the vast apostasy of much of Christendom during the past 1800 years.)

Certainly any worshiper must know his God. This is essential in any religion, but emphatically so in the religion of the God of the Bible. So exactly who is this God?

Israel and Judaism has always taught that God is one person only, Jehovah, the Father. Christendom began teaching in the 4th century A.D. that God is three persons who are all equally the one God.
(See: The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine)

God does not change (Malachi 3:6). He is the same now as he has always been. He revealed himself to many individuals as recorded in the Bible. So how did the first Bible writer, Moses, reveal God to His Chosen People, Israel? There can be no argument that the first 5 books of the Bible (the writings of Moses) revealed God (through God’s own direction and commandment) as a single person with the personal name of Jehovah.

Then, later, the Book of Joshua was written. Search through it as you may you will not find anything that clearly shows that God is anything other than a single person with the personal name of Jehovah!

These 6 books were the word of God for God’s chosen people for hundreds of years. In fact, if we carefully examine all the Old Testament, we find the same thing: There was never any indication that God was anything but Jehovah, the Father in heaven, the Creator of all.

(“That all the peoples of the earth may know that God; there is none else.” 1 Ki. 8:60, ASV. “You alone, Jehovah, are the God above all gods in supreme charge of all the earth.” Ps. 83:18, LB. “I am Jehovah and there is no one else. I alone am God.” Is. 45:6, LB.)

For thousands of years this has been the great distinction of the chosen people of the God of the Bible. They have always known that their God is one person only. Not only has the divine word itself (given to them alone) made this clear, but all the other writings, teachings, comments, etc. by their scholars, teachers, etc. throughout the ages have always confirmed this.

How can this be if the trinity doctrine that God is three persons is true? A people must know their God. The God of the Bible was very careful to inform his people of the things that would lead to eternal life and eternal destruction. He made his name known to them alone. God does not change. So how is it that for thousands of years God’s chosen people have always known that God is one person, Jehovah, the Father alone?

How is it that knowledge of God’s “plurality” was never noticed until hundreds of years after Jesus’ death (and many years after the Apostles’ deaths, of course) when Christendom was adopting the trinity doctrine? How come the “evidence” for the trinity in the OT are things that most respected OT Hebrew scholars view with scorn (even most trinitarian Hebrew scholars of Christendom refute their significance)? For example, the insistence by some trinitarians that the OT word for God, Elohim, is plural to indicate the plurality of persons within the “Godhead.” This is not merely ludicrous to respected Hebrew scholars, but an example of downright disgraceful “scholarship”! (See the ELOHIM study.)

The God of Judaism

“Judaism, rejecting alike the Trinity and the Incarnation, believes in a single universal God....” - Britannica, p. 166, Vol. 13, 14th ed.

“Jehovah was recognized by all the Jews as the Highest Master of their Fate, the only True God.” - The Story of Mankind, p. 29, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, 1940, Pocket Book Edition. Cf. Jeremiah 10:10 and Jn 17:1, 3, KJV, ASV, NASB, RSV; Ps. 83:18.

Jehovah was the Father only [never Son, Firstborn, Only-begotten, etc.] to the Jews. - Ex. 4:22; Deut. 32:6; Is. 63:16; 64:8, etc., ASV. Famed first century Jewish Historian Josephus tells us,

“[Moses] represented God as unbegotten [unlike the Son of God, 1 Jn 4:9, KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB], and immutable, through all eternity.” - Josephus, p. 630, Kriegel Publications, 1978.

And Philo, the famed early-first century Jewish philosopher,

“represents Jehovah as a single uncompounded Being .... the Father and Creator of the universe” - p. xx, The Works of Philo, Yonge, Hendrickson Publishers, 1993.

In Judaism

“God was worshipped as a single personal, universal benevolent force, a loving Father-God whose care was for the well-being of his children, the human race.” - p. 5, The Portable World Bible, The Viking Press.

It is absolutely unbelievable that Jesus and his Apostles taught the trinity or even suggested that Jesus was God Almighty! There is no certain or undisputed scriptural authority for such a belief in New or Old Testament. The writings of the Christians of the first two centuries did not teach such a thing but consistently taught that the Father, alone, was the Almighty God - (See pp. 109-111, A Short History of the Early Church, Boer, 1976, Eerdmans Publ.).

The belief that Jesus is God and that God is three equal persons had to be forced upon most of Christendom starting at 325 A. D. at the Council of Nicaea. But the Jews never changed their knowledge of God. No one but the Father (Jehovah alone) has ever been God for them. The introduction of any other knowledge of God is treated as the worst of blasphemies. And so it was that Jewish writers didn’t even begin attacking Christendom for such a terrible blasphemy until after Christendom began to adopt a God of three equal persons during the 4th century A.D.

First Christians Were Within Judaism

It is certain that the Chosen People with the unique One-Person God would not have tolerated for one second any man in their midst who claimed to be God. Nor would they have allowed anyone to live among them who taught that their one God was “three persons”! (Also see: Did Those Who Knew Jesus Think He was God?)

And yet Jesus taught among them as one of them for three and a half years. His Apostles taught among them for another 50-70 years![1, bottom of this article]

"The believers in Jesus as the Messiah first preached to fellow Jews, so that the first Christians were pious Jews within the synagogue.” - The Story of Israel, p. 28, Levin, Putnam Publ.

“Henceforth, the group [first century Christians] had to reassure itself of its new identity through weekly celebrations in remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection, even though its worship in the synagogues and the temple was already distinctive.” – p. 85, Christian Beginnings, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993.

“Except for the belief in Jesus as the Messiah, there was little that was radically contrary to Judaism in the teachings and practices of the Christ sectarians [a sect of Judaism].” - p. 87, The Jews: Biography of a People, Teller, Bantam Books, 1966.

“Consequently, the Early Church was primarily Jewish and existed within Judaism. The development of Christianity within Judaism and its progress to Antioch is described by Luke in the first twelve chapters of Acts.” - p. 59, Christianity Through the Centuries, Cairns (trinitarian), Zondervan, 1977.

“In its earliest phase, the Christian movement had its center in Jerusalem, where it took shape not as a new religion but as a sect or grouping within the parent body of Judaism. .... That they saw themselves simply as Jews, as a renewed Israel, is made clear by the fact that they were faithful both in attendance at the temple and in obedience to the Law; and this being the case, they lived in peace with the religious authorities in Jerusalem.” - p. 23, A History of the Christian Church, 4th ed., Williston Walker (trinitarian), 1985, Macmillan Publ.

“In this period [1st century A. D.] churches were still regarded as synagogues, whose members .... professed monotheism [belief in the one God] in the same terms as did the Jews. They used the Hebrew Scriptures [‘Old Testament’], and they took messianism, the eschatology (even angelology), and the ethics of Judaism for granted...” - pp. 121-122, The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend (trinitarian), Fortress Press, 1985.

“The roots of the Christian Church reach back deeply into the history of Israel. ‘Salvation,’ said Jesus, ‘is from the Jews’ (John 4:22). .... The earliest church was wholly Jewish, her Savior was a Jew, and the entire New Testament was probably written by Jews.”

“The baptisms recorded in Acts were all done in the name of Jesus only. It is this confession [only] that distinguished Christians from Jews. Belief in God was assumed [the God of the Jews, YHWH, the Father alone] and was not therefore a matter of special confession. As the gospel spread to the Gentiles, the name of God, especially as Creator, was added.” - pp. 3, 75, A Short History of the Early Church, Boer (trinitarian missionary and scholar), 1976, Eerdmans Publ.

“Jesus of Nazareth was well versed in the religion of his fathers and dedicated ... to worship of ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,’ Jehovah, who was now seen as the one God, omnipotent ruler of the universe and loving father of mankind.... Racially and religiously Christ was born, lived, and died a loyal Jew, He sought merely to ... widen his people’s understanding of the merciful, loving, Father-God whose Lordship was attested by the Jewish spiritual leaders who preceded him.” - The Portable World Bible, The Viking Press, pp. 228, 230.

If there had been any new knowledge of God being understood by this new Christian sect of Judaism, there would have been nothing else ever talked about by the Jews whenever they discussed the Christians. Even the claim that Jesus was the Messiah would have been completely overshadowed! Instead, the Christians remained a sect of Judaism for many years. The falling out between Christianity and Judaism occurred for several other reasons: (1) The claim that Jesus was the Messiah,[2, bottom of this article] (2) The strains caused by the Mosaic Law, (3) differences over “purity laws” and table fellowship, BUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT A DIFFERENT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! This simply could not be if there was even a rumor that Christians believed anyone but the Father alone (Jehovah) was God! This greatest of all blasphemies in the eyes of the Jews would not have taken second place to anything else!

“It is at this point [after Nicaea, 4th century A. D.] that the gulf between the Church and the Synagogue opens before us in all its depth and significance .... The teaching of the divinity of Jesus Christ is an unpardonable offence in the eyes of Judaism.” - The Jewish People and Jesus Christ, Jakob Jocz.

“Only gradually did the Christian understanding of Christ and the Spirit evolve to the point where it was incompatible with any Jewish understanding of monotheism, and this process was only finalized in the fourth century C.E.” - p. 104, Aspects of Monotheism, “Jewish Monotheism and Christian Theology,” by John J. Collins (Catholic professor of Hebrew Bible at Chicago Divinity School), 1997, Biblical Archaeology Society.

If the trinity or the divinity of Jesus had been taught or believed by the first Christians, the schism between the Jews (who considered such a teaching “an unpardonable offense”) and Christians would have been immediate, irrevocable, and incredibly intense. But that is not what caused problems between the first Christians and the Jews.

The Jewish belief that the parting of the ways came not at Stephen’s martyrdom but after Bar Kochba’s war against Hadrian [132-135 A. D.] is now gaining ground. Previously there had been no event sufficiently striking to sever the ties. Christians frequented the synagogues: they were still a Jewish sect. But Bar Kochba was hailed by Aqiba as the Messiah. This the Christians could not condone and they stood aside. .... The Jews regarded the Christians as renegades: the Christians would not fight for Aqiba’s Messiah. The die had fallen and there was no recalling the past. - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 167, Vol. 13, 14th ed. [See the 'Bar Kochba and the Christians' study.]

- - - - - - - - - - - -

It was the generation following the destruction of the Temple which brought about a final rupture between Jews and Christians .... In the third rebellion against Rome [132-135 A.D.], when the Christians were unable to accept Bar Kochba as their Messiah, they declared that their kingdom was of the other world, and withdrew themselves completely from Judaism and everything Jewish. The alienation process was completed. Judaism and Christianity became strangers to each other .... A wall of misunderstanding and hate was erected by the narrow zealotries of the two faiths. [pp. 152, 153, Jews, God and History, Max I. Dimont, A Signet Book, 1962.][3, bottom of this article]

Now examine this essential cornerstone teaching of the Jews since the time of Moses: the Shema of Deut. 6:4, 5 as rendered in the trinitarian Living Bible.

“O Israel, listen: Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone. You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might.”

Yes, Jehovah, the Father alone (Jn 8:54), was God. God’s chosen people were commanded to love and worship only him.

“I am Jehovah and there is no one else. I alone am God.” - Isa. 45:6, Living Bible.

Jesus and his Apostles believed and taught the very same truth (of course they would not contradict the Holy Scriptures): Jesus was asked,

“‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ Jesus replied, ‘The one that says, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord [Jehovah] our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.”’” - Mark 12:28-30, Living Bible.

After Jesus’ death the first writings available to Christians (certainly long before John’s Gospel was written), in addition to the Holy Scriptures (Old Testament) were the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Search them as carefully as you can. You will not find any new knowledge concerning the identity of God Almighty, the only true God. He is still the Father in heaven - -- alone. Can we really believe that thousands of God’s spirit-anointed Christian followers of the first century lived and died without being taught that God is “really” a three-persons-in-one God? In fact, the entire New Testament (including those writings that came much later than the very first Gospels - including the Gospel of John) still do not teach a trinity nor even that Jesus is the only true, almighty God. How can this most essential, cornerstone teaching of Christendom not be in the Holy Bible?

Some might say that just as the identity of the Christ was not revealed until the first century A. D. so the identity of God was not fully revealed until 325 A. D. (or 381 A. D. when the Holy Spirit was added to the creed). At that time a small minority of the Bishops present (but powerfully encouraged and supported by the pagan Roman Emperor with the backing of all his power and authority) decreed at the Council of Nicaea that Jesus was fully God with the Father. (See: The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine.)

Ah, but the knowledge of who the Messiah was simply wasn’t required for salvation until Jesus was on earth. At that time it was revealed with abundant clarity, emphasis, and repetition. (See Luke 2:11; 4:41; Mark 14:61, 62; Matt. 16:16; John 1:41, 42; 4:25, 26; 20:31 for a few of the many straightforward examples.) The knowledge of who God is, however, has always been essential to God’s people and has been known clearly and emphatically from the time of Moses at least (as shown in Deut. 6:4 among many others).

The God who wants no one to be destroyed has clearly and emphatically revealed who he is from the very beginning. Yes, the eternal God who does not change (Malachi 3:6) has been clearly known to his people for thousands of years as Jehovah, the Father! - -

“JEHOVAH .... This is my name forever.” - Ex. 3:15, NEB, ASV, MLB, NIV, RSV. “Jehovah, ... (This is my eternal name, to be used throughout all generations.)” - LB.

It should also be apparent to most people that the identification of the promised Messiah is in no way contradictory to the knowledge previously given to the Jews from the time of Moses up to the time of Jesus!

However, the “revelation” (finally “recognized” long after all scripture had been completed) of three persons being God is a direct contradiction of the knowledge revealed to and understood by the people of God for thousands of years.

If the trinity knowledge is true, God actually misled his people in an essential, life-saving area of knowledge for generation after generation for no reason whatsoever! How incredible that He would have chastised them so grievously for even relatively minor paganisms borrowed from their neighbors and completely ignored such a perversion of the basic, essential knowledge of God! Surely (if the trinity were true) His prophets would have been correcting the single Person “error” for thousands of years!

If Jesus or any of his followers were to have taught a three-in-one God or even that Jesus was God incarnate, the Jews would have driven them out immediately. They certainly would not have been tolerated as a sect of Judaism for so many years as they were. And, if, by some incredible miracle, they had been allowed to live among and teach other Jews, there would have been nothing that would have been talked about more than the incredible, new, most blasphemous conception of God that these people were trying to introduce.

The writings of the Jews of these times would have spoken of very little else in connection with this new sect. And the New Testament would have spent the major portion of its teaching on this “trinity” concept, especially when attempting to communicate with fellow Jews. But there is no such record among the Jews, among the Gentile historians and philosophers, nor in the record of the New Testament, nor in the writings of the Christians of the first two centuries![4, bottom of this article] - See the CREEDS study.

This makes the statement about the easy “acceptance” of the new trinitarian “revelation” by the very first Christians found in the highly-praised, highly trinitarian New Bible Dictionary absolutely ludicrous! If not so tragic, it would be laughable:

“What is amazing, however, is that this confession of God as One in Three took place without struggle and without controversy [even without comment] by a people indoctrinated for centuries in the faith of the one God, and that in entering the Christian church [the early first century Jews] were not conscious of any break with their ancient faith.” - p. 1222, second ed., 1984 printing, Tyndale House Publishers (trinitarian).

Yes, this would be more than just “amazing,” if these people really did understand and accept a new Three-in-One God! The complete lack of any struggle, the complete lack of Jewish attacks on this most blasphemous concept imaginable to them, the complete lack of any teaching or defense of this concept by those first Christians, and the complete lack of any contemporary comment on this incredible new teaching all combine to make the trinitarian idea that this concept was known and believed by the first Christians absolutely impossible!

No, the God of the Bible remained, as should be expected, completely unchanged from the time he revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush: “Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex. 3:15, ASV, NEB, LB, MLB). This is exactly the same God revealed by Jesus and his Apostles.

“Jesus replied [to the Jews], ‘Your trouble is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and don’t know the power of God.... have you never read in the book of Exodus about Moses and the burning bush? God said to Moses, “I am the God of Abraham, and I am the God of Isaac, and I am the God of Jacob.”’” - Mark 12:24, 26, LB.

Immediately after that statement by Jesus one of the scribes came up to Jesus and asked, “Of all the commandments which is the most important?” And, as we saw above, Jesus answered by quoting that all-important declaration of the identity of the true God that all Jews have held sacred for over 3000 years, Deut. 6:4:

“The one that says, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord [Jehovah] our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’” - Mark 12:28, 29, Living Bible.

This Jehovah is the Father, the only true God (Jn 17:1, 3 - “Father,.... This is eternal life: to know thee who alone art truly God.” - NEB). Jehovah is the God of Jesus (Micah 5:4; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:17; Rev. 3:12). Jesus is not Jehovah (Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:34-36; Micah 5:4; Is. 53:10; Ps. 2:2; Acts 4:24-29 - see footnote for Micah 5:4 in The NIV Study Bible). Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, but not God Himself.

The footnote for Mark 14:61 in the trinitarian NIVSB tells us that “Son of God” as applied to Jesus here

“would seem not to refer to deity but to royal Messiahship, since in popular Jewish belief [then and now] the Messiah was to be a man, not God.”

Therefore, God’s chosen people (even those many who became apostate) have never known their only true God to be a “multiple person God.” Since the faithful followers of God's word have always worshiped only a single person named Jehovah, their Father in heaven, it puts the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of trinitarians. Where is the overwhelming, crystal clear proof that somehow all of Israel (from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Moses to David to Isaiah to Malachi to Jesus) was always mortally wrong in their knowledge of the very God who revealed himself to them? [See 'Trinity Challenges' study]. The “proof” offered by trinitarians is always specious, vague, and/or ambiguous (see the DAVID, REDEF and TRIN-TYPE studies).

- “... the Lord Jesus shall be flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God....” - 2 Thess. 1:7, 8.

Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research and conclusions to provide evidence disproving the trinitarian ‘proof’ being examined in this paper. The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS. They truly believe it is false, even dishonest. Therefore some of the quotes in this paper, all of which helps disprove specific trinitarian “proofs,” may not completely reflect current WTS teachings in some specifics. Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. – RDB.


1.  Nowhere in the scriptures do the Jews ever accuse Christians of worshiping or teaching a false God. Even when the Jews deliberately made up false accusations in an attempt to have them killed, Jesus, Paul, and other Christians were still never accused of teaching a different God from that of the rest of the Jews! (Examine the Gospels and Acts.)

Examples of Christ and His followers Teaching in Synagogues (NASB)

Matt. 13:54 -

He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?
Mark 1:21 -

And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.

Mark 6:2 -

When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?Luke 4:16 -

And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

Luke 4:20-22

And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. …. And all were speaking well of Him….”

Luke 6:6 -

On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching;

John 6:59 -

These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Acts 13:14 - 44 -

But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them, saying, "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it." ….

Acts 14:1 -

In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.
Acts 17:1 -

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."

Acts 18:4 -

And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:8 -

And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading {them} about the kingdom of God.

Teaching in the Temple

Matt. 26:55 -

At that time Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as {you would} against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.

Mark 12:35 -

And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?

Luke 21:37, 38 -

Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.

Acts 5:42 -

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

2. This was obviously a severe problem for the first Christians as they taught among their fellow Jews in Israel. Acts 4 and 5 shows that the sole problem for the Jewish religious authorities was not any teaching about God but, instead, the teaching about Jesus as the Christ or Messiah! (esp. Acts 4:8-10, 18; 5:40-41; 9:17-23; 18:5-6, 28)
The final straw was added during the Jewish rebellion against Rome (135 A. D.) when the Christians refused to support the rebellion or acknowledge bar Kochba as the Messiah - p. 594, The History of Christianity (trinitarian), Lion Publishing, 1990; and pp. 152, 153, Jews, God, and History, Max I. Dimont, A Signet Book, 1962; and p. 167, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 18, 14th ed.

3. “Cochba [bar Kochba] ... tortured and killed the Christians who refused to aid him against the Roman army.” - p. 42, Greek Apologists of the Second Century, Robert M. Grant, The Westminster Press, 1988.

“Another Christian apologist, Justin [Martyr], tells how ... Bar Kochba, the leader of the insurrection, ordered Christians alone to be executed if they would not deny and curse Jesus the Messiah.” - Ibid.

After the war the Jerusalem church, once Jewish, consisted only of Gentiles.” - Ibid.

4. Some of these earliest Christian writers even wrote specifically to the Jews in an attempt to show the major differences between Christians and Jews and, of course, defend the Christian faith. None of them mention a difference in the knowledge of God!

Two of the earliest Christian writings addressed specifically to the Jews are Tertullian’s An Answer to the Jews written about 198 A.D. and Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew written about 160 A.D.

Tertullian’s An Answer to the Jews devotes three-fourths of its pages to examining the question of who is the Messiah. It also discusses the following points: the Law, Circumcision, the Sabbath, and Sacrifices. It does not discuss any different knowledge of God for Jews and Christians!

Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew also spends much time discussing who the Christ is and other differences between Christians and Jews. But, again, there is no major discussion of who the One True, Almighty God is! If Christians had really understood God as three different persons at this time, Justin (and Tertullian) would have spent most of his pages defending the Christian knowledge of a three-in-one God against that of the Jews’ one-person God. The fact that this doesn’t happen shows that such an understanding simply did not exist among the earliest Christians. They worshiped the very same God as the Jews: the Father alone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The word 'Man' in Hebrew - An Examination of the Hebrew Words 'Ish', 'Adám', 'Enósh' and 'Geber'

"HOW does God view man? His Word tells us: “Look! The nations are as a drop from a bucket; and as the film of dust on the scales they have been accounted. . . . There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers.”—Isa. 40:15, 22.

Truly, when we consider the matchless Personality, the glorious Person, the exalted position, the eternal existence and the sovereign authority of Jehovah God, the Creator, we must marvel as did the psalmist that He takes note of us.—Ps. 144:3.

Scriptural expressions such as these, showing how God views man, might be multiplied, but our interest at this time is in a certain unique way by which he also reveals this truth to us. And how is that? By the different words used in the Hebrew Scriptures in referring to man.

In the English language “man” simply means man. But in Hebrew a number of different words are used, each viewing man from a certain standpoint. Of these, the four main ones are ish, meaning simply man; adám, meaning human or earthling; enósh, meaning weak or mortal; and geber, meaning a physically strong or able-bodied man.

Many translators ignore the different shades of meaning that these words have, but when we once become aware of them we are struck with the care that the Hebrew Scripture writers time and again exercised in choosing just the right word when they wanted to make a point. For example, most translations render Psalm 8:4 quite like the Revised Standard Version does: “What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?” Now the Hebrew word most logically translated “man” is ish, but in writing this psalm David did not use ish in either instance. He was making a contrast between Jehovah God the Creator and his creature, mere man, and so he wrote: “What is enósh . . . and adám?” Or, as rendered by the New World Translation, one of the few English translations doing justice to these fine shades of meaning: “What is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man that you take care of him?” Yes, compared with the almighty, immortal, divine Spirit, what is this weak mortal creature made of earth, that He should take account of him?


Ish, together with its plural form anashím (which at times also serves as the plural of enósh), has primarily the thought of “man,” or a person, an individual. It has no such overtones as human, mortal or able-bodied, although inherent in it is the thought of strength as of a male. The word ish does not appear in the Scriptures until after the word for woman, ishsháh—a man with a womb—appears, for in the strictest sense of the word only then did an ish become apparent; before that he was called the human, adám. When in the Hebrew Scriptures man is mentioned in relation to woman or sexual intercourse, invariably ish is used, some seventy times in all, although the word for “male” is zakhár and occurs seventy-nine times from Genesis 1:27 onward. Typical is Leviticus, chapter 20, dealing with God’s law regarding sex relations.

Ish, with its emphasis on the person, the individual, is the choice of Bible writers when writing about a “man of God,” and a “man of discernment.” When Nathan confronted King David with his sin, Nathan used this word. Did he say, “You yourself are the”—mortal? human? able-bodied man? No, but, “You yourself are [the one] the man!”—Josh. 14:6; Prov. 10:23; 2 Sam. 12:7.

There are times when the other words for “man” simply would not be appropriate. Thus when the psalmist foretold that the names of those of the body of Christ who gain heavenly glory would be known he could use only ish. “‘Each and every one was born in her.’ . . . Jehovah himself will declare, when recording the peoples: ‘This is one who was born there.’” Also Moses, when exulting over Jehovah’s victory at the Red Sea, could not have referred to Jehovah as a weak mortal or a human earthling, and so had to use ish to convey his thought, even as rendered in the New World Translation: “Jehovah is a manly person of war.”—Ps. 87:5, 6; Ex. 15:3.


Adám, the human, the earthling, is the choice whenever Hebrew Scripture writers make reference to the creation of man: “I myself have made the earth and have created even man [the human] upon it.” Adám does not denote maleness any more than human does, and so we read that Adam, that is, the human, earthling man, called the first human pair, the ish and ishsháh, the man and the woman.—Isa. 45:12; Gen. 5:1, 2; 6:7; Deut. 4:32; Eccl. 7:29.

Adám, the human, is almost without exception also the word preferred when man is mentioned in the same breath with the lower animals or beasts. This coupling appears in the accounts of creation, the Deluge, the plagues of Egypt and the seventy-year desolation. The psalmist praises Jehovah God for preserving both adám (human) and beast. And it is the human that is shown to be like the beast by the Congregator: “For there is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind [adám] and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man [human, adám] over the beast, for everything is vanity.”—Gen. 1:26; 6:7; Ex. 8:17; Jer. 33:10; Ps. 36:6; Eccl. 3:19-21.

Fittingly, adám, the earthling, human, is also the choice when speaking of the general characteristics of humankind: “The inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up.” “There is no man that does not sin.” “Man, born of woman, is short-lived and glutted with agitation.” “Surely every earthling man . . . is nothing but an exhalation,” a breath. “There is no man having power over the spirit to restrain the spirit,” that is, to keep from dying. “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man [ish, to one] who is walking even to direct his step.”—Gen. 8:21; 1 Ki. 8:46; Job 14:1; Ps. 39:5; Eccl. 8:8; Jer. 10:23.

Even as adám sets man apart from the lower animals, so it also calls attention to man’s inferiority to the Creator, Jehovah God. Thus Moses was told that no human could see God and live. Samuel was reminded that a human can see only the outside, but God can see the heart. David prayed that he might not fall into human hands but into God’s hands, for having numbered the fighting men of his nation presumptuously. The temple of Solomon, David said, was to be built, not for humans, but for God. Jehoshaphat counseled the judges to remember that they were judging, not for humans, but for God. Elihu refused to give flattering titles to mere humans.—Ex. 33:20; 1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Chron. 21:13; 29:1; 2 Chron. 19:6; Job 32:21.

The psalmist twice asked why the great Creator should take note of mere humans; also, he said that, though certain ones were “gods,” they would die like earthling man. The fear of humans brings a snare, but he that trusts in Jehovah will be safe. Why go down to Egypt for help? The Egyptians are not spirits but mere humans, earthlings. And to highlight the seriousness of the selfishness of the priests in Malachi’s day, God asked: “Will earthling man rob God?”—Ps. 8:4; 144:3; 82:7; Prov. 29:25; Isa. 31:3; Mal. 3:8.


The thought behind enósh, weak or mortal, shows, for one thing, that the Hebrew Scripture writers had no illusions about man’s being immortal. How could they, since they received their “theology,” not from pagan sources, but from God himself, who made plain man’s mortal nature both by warning him of death in the event he sinned and by sentencing him, after he had sinned, to return to the dust from which man had been taken.—Gen. 2:17; 3:19.

Enósh always has an unfavorable connotation and, therefore, is never used in a complimentary sense. Fittingly, it is frequently coupled with adám, human, when man is contrasted with his immortal Maker, Jehovah God. Psalms 8:4 and Ps 144:3 are typical of this coupling of enósh with adám when contrasting man with God. Thus also Moses wrote: “You make mortal man [enósh] go back to crushed matter, and you say: ‘Go back, you sons of men [adám].’” Because of the wickedness of man God warned that he would make ‘enósh scarcer than refined gold and adám scarcer than the gold of Ophir.’ Putting both enósh and adám in their places are the words of Jehovah to Isaiah: “I myself am the One that is comforting you people. Who are you that you should be afraid of a mortal man [enósh] that will die, and of a son of mankind [adám] that will be rendered as mere green grass? And that you should forget Jehovah your Maker, the One stretching out the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth.”—Ps. 90:3; Isa. 13:12; 51:12, 13.

Particularly in the book of Job, which features God’s sovereignty in contrast to man’s puniness, is enósh a favorite term when making this point: “How can mortal man be in the right in a case with God?” “What is mortal man that you should rear him, and that you should set your heart upon him?” “Do you [Jehovah] have eyes of flesh, or is it as a mortal man sees that you see? Are your days like the days of mortal man, or your years just like the days of an able-bodied man?” “As one trifles with mortal man will you trifle with [God]? “ “God is much more than mortal man.”—Job 9:2; 7:17; 10:4, 5; 13:9; 33:12.

From his prayers we can see that David had a like keen appreciation: “Do arise, O Jehovah! Let not mortal man prove superior in strength.” “Judge the fatherless boy and the crushed one, that mortal man who is of the earth may no more cause trembling.” “As for mortal man, his days are like those of green grass.”—Ps. 9:19; 10:18; 103:15.


The term geber means one able-bodied, well-developed, physically strong, that is, a mighty one in the case of a man. While it has complimentary implications, the way it is used by the Hebrew Scripture writers keeps man cognizant of his inferior relationship to his Maker, Jehovah God. Thus we find that, when at last Jehovah God called patient Job to account because of his mistaken view of things, God twice addressed Job, not as a mere ish, a mere adám or a mere enósh, but he used the term geber: “Gird up your loins, please, like an able-bodied man, and let me question you, and you inform me,” since you were so sure of yourself as not to justify me! How fitting!—Job 38:3; 40:7.

Pharaoh, when beginning to yield under the impact of the plagues, at first only granted permission for the able-bodied men to go into the wilderness to worship. And when the Israelites finally left Egypt we read that 600,000 able-bodied men, above twenty years old and able to fight, left Egypt together with their little ones.—Ex. 10:11; 12:37.

Because an able-bodied man is inclined to be “self-assuming,” trusting in his own strength, he is repeatedly singled out for reminders of the folly of such a mental attitude: “Here is the able-bodied man that does not put God as his fortress.” “What able-bodied man is there alive who will not see death?” “An able-bodied man dies and lies vanquished.” Yes, “cursed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust,” not in Jehovah, but in what is, after all, a mere “earthling man [adám].”—Hab. 2:5; Ps. 52:7; 89:48; Job 14:10; Jer. 17:5.

Geber is frequently used to drive home a point by way of contrast. Thus the psalmist complains: “I have become like an able-bodied man without strength.” It would not have made much of a point had he said he became like a weak mortal, an enósh, because such a one does not have strength to begin with! Making the same point, Solomon observed that it is not good that “an able-bodied man should transgress over a mere piece of bread.” There might be an excuse for an enósh to do so, but certainly not a geber. The bad news he received caused Jeremiah’s bones to shake like “an able-bodied man whom wine has overcome,” hence a violent shaking. He also stressed the wretchedness of the men of Israel by employing this term: “Why is it that I have seen every able-bodied man with his hands upon his loins like a female that is giving birth, and all faces have turned pale?” Yes, this was serious when even able-bodied men, not mere enósh or weak mortals, were affected in this way!—Ps. 88:4; Prov. 28:21; Jer. 23:9; 30:6.

Logically we are told that “one wise in strength is,” not an adám, ish or enósh, but a geber, “an able-bodied man.” A wise geber trusts not in his own strength but in Jehovah: “Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah has become.”—Prov. 24:5; Jer. 17:7.

Truly, to note the way “man” is used in the Hebrew Scriptures strengthens our faith and helps us to get God’s view on man. It is wholesomely instructive to our maintaining our proper relationship with our Creator and gaining his approval and blessing." - The Watchtower, 1962, January 15th, pages 56-59