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Friday, September 30, 2011

According to Trinitarian or Jesus-is-God Reasoning, Shouldn't These Persons Also Be God?

"Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor... in the Old Testament." - The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1985, Micropedia, vol. 11, p. 928.

Trinitarians themselves admit that "The an INFERRED doctrine, gathered ECLECTICALLY from the entire Canon". - page 630 of the highly trinitarian publication, Today's Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publishers, 1982

Not only is the word 'trinity' not found in the Bible, but the doctrine itself is nowhere to be found. Couple this with the fact that it is also beyond logical reasoning for 1+1+1 to =1. It is beyond logical reasoning for three or even two persons to actually be the same person. It is beyond logical reasoning for a "father" and a "son" to be the same person. Scripture does not allow for such a view of God: "God is not a God of confusion." -1 Corinthians 14:33 (RSV)

Because of this, the “proof” offered by trinitarians is always specious, vague, and/or ambiguous. So Trinitarians are forced to rely on a certain type of 'reasoning'. Yes, by employing Trinitarian's exact same 'reasoning', with a little research and imagination, many others in the Bible can also be rationalized as being God! Below are but a few examples:

Moses is said to be god to Pharaoh and Aaron. (Ex. 4:16, Ex. 7:1)

Paul said "I am" twice. (1 Cor. 15:10)

How about picking any one of Jesus' believers since his believers are supposed to be one as Jesus and his Father are one? (John 17:11, 22)

How about the judges in Israel since Jesus used them being called gods in his defense when they thought he was saying that he was god? (John 10:34-36; Psalms 82:6)

How about Luke 9:26 (which actually says, "when [Jesus] comes in the glory [singular] of him [Jesus] and of the Father and of the holy angels")? Paraphrasing a trinitarian's case for Mt. 28:19, Luke 9:26 is also "first asserting the unity of the three by combining them all within the bounds of the single [glory], and then throwing into emphasis the distinctness of each by introducing them in turn with the repeated article." But, here, of course, the angels, too, make up the "trinity." We have, then, God the Father, God the Son, and God the holy angels!

How about Othniel or Ehud since God sent them as savior in the past? (Judges 3:9,15)

How about one of the apostles since they were authorized to forgive sins? (John 20:20-23)

How about one of Jesus followers as the King James shows that they will receive worship? (Rev 3:9; Luke 14:10)

How about the blind beggar? At John 9:9 the blind beggar that Jesus healed said "ego eimi", or I am.

(For many more ridiculous and comprehensive examples of this, look in the DAVID, REDEF and TRIN-TYPE study articles.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

1975 and Jehovah's Witnesses - The Opposers' Claims Vs. The Facts

The following will address in order:

1.) The basis for the original speculation of 1975.

2.) How even though there were articles printed that were speculative in nature, not one
ever stated that Armageddon would definitely come in 1975 and, in fact, the then President of the Watchtower Society even instructed his listeners against saying anything as such.

3.) The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's acknowledgement of "implied" statements concerning 1975 and the significance of this.

4.) The reason opposers focus on this issue.

5.) How Jehovah's Witnesses accusers employ two sets of rules.

Understanding the Speculation Concerning 1975

"The Witnesses had long shared the belief that the Thousand Year Reign of Christ would follow after 6,000 years of human history. But when would 6,000 years of human existence end? The book Life Everlasting - In Freedom of the Sons of God, released at a series of district conventions held in 1966, pointed to 1975. Right at the convention, as the brothers examined the contents, the new book triggered much discussion about 1975." - Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom; pg. 104, Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975)

Speculative Articles, But NO Definite Statement

While there was likely a lot of speculation surrounding 1975 by individuals, no publication ever provided a definitive statement saying that the end would come in 1975. Some articles seemed to say that it was highly possible, though they always qualified it.

For example, the 5/01/67 Watchtower says:

"...1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience.....Will it be the time when God executes the wicked?....It very well could be, but we will have to wait and see."

Other articles frequently used words such as "may", "could" and "possibly"," regarding this.

Even Frederick Franz (the then President of the WBTS) forcefully instructed:

"... don’t any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975."  - Rejoicing over “God’s Sons of Liberty” Spiritual Feast; Heading: the Year 1975; 10/15/66 Watchtower

Acknowledgement of "Implied" Statements

"In the years following 1966, many of Jehovah’s Witnesses acted in harmony with the spirit of that counsel (of Frederick Franz). However, other statements were published on this subject, and some were likely more definite than advisable. This was acknowledged in The Watchtower of March 15, 1980 (see quote below). But Jehovah’s Witnesses were also cautioned to concentrate mainly on doing Jehovah’s will and not to be swept up by dates and expectations of an early salvation." - Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, pg. 104, Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975)

"There were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year (1975) was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated." - Watchtower, 1980 March 15, p.17, par. 5

Rather than to be met with scepticism or scorn, these acknowledgements of "implied" statements concerning 1975 is an obvious willingness to attempt to learn from them. And this is a relatively unimportant, non-essential issue when contrasted to the fundamentals Jesus laid out for the knowledge necessary for eternal life! (John 17:3)

In comparison, most other religions will not change doctrines(!) such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and hell fire even though their own scholars admit that these beliefs are not taught in the Bible. Yet Jehovah's Witnesses have always been willing to change any belief in order to harmonize better with increased knowledge of Scriptural teaching.

The Reason Opposers Focus on 1975

The primary reason Jehovah's Witnesses opposers even bring up the topic of 1975 is to try and paint Jehovah's Witnesses as 'False Prophets'. By a definition of their choosing, Jehovah's Witnesses critics ignore what is meant by the word 'prophet' and what was intended by WBTS publications.

Though some may accuse the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of claiming otherwise, from the beginning, the Watchtower has never claimed to be "inspired and infallible and without mistakes":

"[the fact that some have Jehovah's spirit] does not mean those now serving as Jehovah's Witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine, The Watchtower, are inspired and infallible and without mistakes." - May 15, 1947, page 157.

Admittedly, earlier WBTS publications have occasionally published information that was speculative in nature and turned out to be mistaken. However, these publications also had provided accompanying statements cautioning it's readers that there was no certainty as to what would happen.

Two Sets of Rules?

Some critics focus solely on Jehovah's Witnesses concerning non-essential, mistaken expectations about the fulfillment of Bible prophecies. Yet at the same time, they ignore these high-profile religious figures who have made mistakes similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Protestant leader Martin Luther believed that the Turkish war in his day would be

"the final wrath of God, in which the world will come to an end and Christ will come to destroy Gog and Magog and set free His own"? [John T. Baldwin, "Luther's Eschatological Appraisal of the Turkish Threat in Eine Heerpredigt -wider den Tuerken - Army Sermon Against the Turks]," Andrews University Seminary Studies 33.2 (Autumn 1995), 196.

He also said that

"Christ has given a sign by which one can know when the Judgment Day is near. When the Turk will have an end, we can certainly predict that the Judgment must be at the door". - Ibid, p. 201.

And Methodist founder John Wesley wrote:

"1836 The end of the non-chronos, and of the many kings; the fulfilling of the word, and of the mystery of God; the repentance of the survivors in the great city; the end of the 'little time,' and of the three times and a half; the destruction of the east; the imprisonment of Satan. - Wesley's Notes of the Bible

In 1950, Billy Graham, the well-known US evangelist, told a rally in Los Angeles:

“I sincerely believe that the Lord draweth nigh. We may have another year, maybe two years, to work for Jesus Christ, and, Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe it is all going to be over ... two years and it’s all going to be over.” - McLoughlin, William G., 1978 Revivals, Awakenings and Reform. University of Chicago Press. Chicago. pp.185. See also “US News and World Report” (December 19, 1994)

Would opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses condemn Luther, Wesley or Graham as false prophets? Or would they correctly conclude that they had simply interpreted Bible prophecy? Likewise, the WBTS is not a false prophet simply because interpreting Bible prophecy is not the same as prophesying.

Also see:
The Problem with "False Prophecy" Polemics (Bible Translation and Study)

Dates (1914; 1975) (Search For Bible Truths)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is the authority for the use of the expression "magic-practicing priests" New World Translation of the books of Genesis, Exodus and Daniel? (hhartumim')

The Hebrew word translated "magic-practicing priest" in Genesis, Exodus and Daniel, as, for instance, in Genesis 41:8, is hhartumim'. This word is defined by the Lexicon in Old Testament Books by Koehler and Baumgartner, Volume I, page 333, column 1, as "epithet of magic practicing priests," and it shows the ancient derivation of the word. It also suggests rendering the word in translations as "soothsayer priests". This lexicon was published in completion in 1951.

This rendering of the New World Translation is therefore both literal and explicit, in keeping with its being a literal translation. - Taken from The Watchtower 1961 5/15 320

This Hebrew word occurs, always in the plural, at Gen. 41:8, 24; Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11(twice); Dan. 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27; 4:7, 9; 5:11. The New Revised Standard Version (1989) and the King James version (1611) translates it as "magicians."

The NIV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible states under this word: "Hartom; from harah...engraving tool. Magician. Always occurs in the plural form. Denotes Egyptian and Babylonian sages who practiced sorcery."- Old Testament Lexical Aids, p. 1517, AMG Publishers, 1996.

The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis: "soothsayer priest, possibly an Egyp[tian] loan word." Volume 2, page 273, Paternoster Press, UK, 1997.

Strongs Number: 2748

Goodrick/Kohlenberger: 3033

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Holy One of God (John 6:69)

The Holy One of God

A correspondent asked concerning the ‘Holy One of Israel’ (YHWH) and the ‘Holy One of God’ (Jesus):

"John 6:69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One [hagios] of God."

What say you? [implying that they must be the same person, God]

There are many ‘holy ones’ (hagios - Greek, Strong’s #40 and qadosh - Hebrew, Strong’s #6918) including all Jehovah’s angels. The ‘Holy One of Israel’ obviously means the one whom Israel worships as Holy (Jehovah God alone). The ‘Holy One of God’ means God’s Holy One (this includes those who are considered to be holy by God: angels, King David, Jesus, etc.

We would not consider God to be the ‘Holy One OF God’ any more than we would consider a ‘man OF God’ to be God, or the Prophet OF God, or the Angel OF God to BE God!

Here are some of the uses in the ASV:

Jude 1:14 And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones [Strong’s #40]

Deuteronomy 33:3 Yea, he loveth the people; All his saints [Strong’s #6918] are in thy hand: And they sat down at thy feet; [Every one] shall receive of thy words.

Psalms 34:9 Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints [Strong‘s #6918]; For there is no want to them that fear him.

Psalms 106:16 They envied Moses also in the camp, [And] Aaron the saint [Strong’s #6918] of Jehovah.

Daniel 8:13 Then I heard a holy one [Strong’s #6918] speaking; and another holy one [Strong’s #6918] said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision [concerning] the continual [burnt-offering], and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Didn't Adam and Eve Already Have to Know What Was Bad in Order to Eat From the Tree and Disobey God?

Some reason that Adam and Eve had to already have known what was good and bad before disobeying God and eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. After all, the reasoning goes, one would have to know that it was bad to disobey in the first place. So, is there something wrong with the Genesis account or rather is there a deeper meaning as to what sense it was that Man came to know "bad"?

How Adam and Eve came to know "bad"

Because God prohibited the eating of the fruit from the tree of "the knowledge of good and bad" from the first human pair, the tree became a symbol of God's right to determine or set the standards for humans as to what is "good" (approved by God) and what is "bad" (condemned by God).

So, for Adam and Eve, it became a test of their respect for God's position and authority. It became a test of whether or not they would choose to judge for themselves what was good and what was bad. A test that we all know our first human parents failed. Which resulted in all of us (their children) inheriting their imperfection and sin:

"That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned." (Rom. 5:12)

Below is a small excerpt from the Insight Book (Vol. 2, Section "Knowledge") by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society that explains this further:

"After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Ge 2:17; 3:5, 6), Jehovah (God) said to his associate in creative work (John 1:1-3):

'"Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad." (Gen. 3:22) This apparently did not mean merely having knowledge of what was good and what was bad for them, for the first man and woman had such knowledge by reason of God's commands to them. Furthermore, God's words at Genesis 3:22 could not pertain to their now knowing what was bad by experience, for Jehovah said that they had become like him and he has not learned what is bad by doing it. (Ps. 92:14, 15) Evidently, Adam and Eve got to know what was good and what was bad in the special sense of now judging for themselves what was good and what was bad. They were idolatrously placing their judgment above God's, disobediently becoming a law to themselves, as it were, instead of obeying Jehovah, who has both the right and the wisdom necessary to determine good and bad. So their independent knowledge, or standard, of good and bad was not like that of Jehovah. Rather, it was one that led them to misery. - Jer. 10:23." (Emphasis mine)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who is Satan the Devil?

The word “devil” means “slanderer” and “Satan” means “Resister,” or opposer.

Many people are surprised to learn that in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures, the word sa·tan´ appears without the definite article (the). Used in this way, it refers to individuals as resisters of other men. (1 Sam. 29:4; 2 Sam. 19:21, 22; 1 Kings 5:4; 11:14, 23, 25) But when it is used with the definite article (ha), it refers to Satan the Devil, the chief Adversary of God. (Job 1:6; 2:1-7; Zech. 3:1, 2) In the Greek Scriptures the word sa·ta·nas´ applies to Satan the Devil in nearly all of its occurrences and is usually accompanied by the definite article ho.

How He Became Satan The Devil

Deut. 32:4 mentions that God's ‘activity is perfect’ with no injustice or unrighteousness. Therefore, the one becoming Satan was, when created, a perfect, righteous creature of God. Jesus Christ showed that Satan was once in the truth, but abandoned it. Jesus Christ said of him: “That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him.” (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8)

So just as a formerly honest man makes himself a thief by stealing, one of the perfect spirit sons of God long ago acted upon an improper desire and made himself Satan the Devil. The Bible explains the process: “Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.” (James 1:14, 15)

When God created Adam and Eve, the angel who was about to rebel against God (Satan) saw that there was a possibility that he could gain honor and importance. He evidently wanted worship from humans...what rightly belongs only to the Creator. Instead of rejecting this improper desire, this spirit son of God nurtured it until it gave birth to a lie and then to rebellion. By means of a serpent, he then spoke to, lied and deceived Eve. (Genesis 3:1-5)

How He Got the Name 'Satan the Devil'

The Scriptures indicate that the creature known as Satan did not always have that name. Rather, this descriptive name was given to him because of his taking a course of opposition and resistance to God. As was previously mentioned, the word “devil” means “slanderer” and “Satan” means “Resister,” or opposer. So in order to determine between individuals as resisters of other men or Satan the Devil, the chief Adversary of God, depends on the presence or absence of the definite article (the).

By his challenge of God and his charging God’s servants with lack of integrity, Satan lived up to his title “Devil,” meaning “Slanderer,” which title he deserved for having slandered God in the garden of Eden. The name he had before this is not mentioned in the Scriptures.

(The name Lucifer occurs once (Isa. 14:12) in the Scriptures and only in some versions of the Bible. Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the Devil before being cast from heaven. But this description is given to a man and not to a spirit creature as is further seen by the statement: “Down to Sheol you will be brought.” Sheol is the common grave of mankind—not a place occupied by Satan the Devil. Additionally, those seeing Lucifer brought into this condition ask: “Is this the man that was agitating the earth?” Clearly, “Lucifer” refers to a human, not to a spirit creature. - Isaiah 14:4, 15, 16. Also see: "Is Satan Lucifer?" (Jimspace)

The Scriptures Portray Satan The Devil as a Real Person

The Devil is clearly a spirit person, for he appeared in heaven in the presence of God. (Job chaps 1, 2; Rev. 12:9) Because he is a spirit creature he therefore is invisible to humans for the same reason that God is invisible to human eyes. “God is a Spirit,” says the Bible. (John 4:24)

Some contend that Satan is simply the "personification of the evil." However, the Biblical evidence showing that Satan is a real person include the instances where Satan actually CONVERSED with others. (Genesis 3:1-5) God Himself talks to Satan at Job 2:1-7 and Jesus does too at Luke 4:3-12. Satan cannot be the "personification of the evil" since God and Jesus do not have any evil at all in them.

Another instance showing how Satan is a real person is the account at Rev. 12:7-9, where Michael and his angels actually waged war with Satan and had him "hurled down to the earth". This would make no sense if Satan was merely the "personification of the evil".

For much more, see the articles listed below:

SATAN - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

SATAN (Insight-2 pp. 866-870; Watchtower Online Library)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Who Is Satan? Is He Real? (JW.ORG)

THE BIBLE’S VIEWPOINT - Is Satan a real person? (JW.ORG)

Who is Satan the Devil? (Search For Bible Truths)

Is Satan a real person? (Search For Bible Truths)

How did one of God's spirit sons become Satan the Devil, and what was his motive? (Search For Bible Truths)

Why is Satan and his angels invisible to our eyes? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is Satan really the ruler of the world? (Search For Bible Truths)

What are scriptural indications that show that Satan is ruling the world? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Was Satan around at the time of Adam and Eve and was he responsible for the snake? (Search For Bible Truths)

Where in the Bible does it show that Satan is a spirit being? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Did Satan have more power than Michael according to the account at Jude 9? (Search For Bible Truths)

Is Satan the Devil able to read our minds? (Search For Bible Truths)

Do all of our desires and temptations come from Satan and his demons? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Luke 23:43 - Punctuation and the New World Translation; "Truly I tell you today,..."

On occasion, opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to attack the scholarship and honesty of the translators of the New World Translation Bible. One passage that is cited by them is Luke 23:43 and the issue concerns punctuation.

Addressing this issue, the late Dr. Julius Mantey, noted NT Greek scholar and strong trinitarian, allegedly wrote a powerful attack against the honesty and accuracy of the NWT. He complained of the NWT's "attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after `today' in Luke 23:43," when he knows better than anyone that none of the earliest manuscripts (up to the 9th century A.D.) originally had capitalization or punctuation! Later copyists have added punctuation wherever they felt it should be!

Just because a modern text writer decides where he wants the punctuation and capital-ization to be in his interpretation of the original text (as Westcott and Hort did for the text that is used by the NWT and Nestle did in the text used by the NASB, etc.) does not mean that is how the original Bible writer intended the meaning - as explained in the Kingdom Interlinear footnote for this verse.

For example, at John 8:58, most (if not all) text writers have left ego eimi uncapitalized. However, some respected trinitarian Bibles (such as NASB, TEV, and Phillips) have ignored the text writer's preference and used capitalization here in an attempt to make this verb appear to be a Name: "I AM."

Are these popular trinitarian Bibles also guilty of "deliberately deceiving," then, by miscapitalization?

Clearly, for Dr. Mantey to even hint that punctuation can be precisely determined at Luke 23:43 is totally dishonest. We see The Emphasized Bible by Joseph B. Rotherham also punctuating this scripture to produce the meaning found in the NWT:

"Verily I say unto thee this day: With me shalt thou be in Paradise."

And the footnote for Luke 23:43 in Lamsa's translation admits:

"Ancient texts were not punctuated. The comma could come before or after today."

The Concordant Literal New Testament renders it: "43 And Jesus said to him, 'Verily, to you am I saying today, with Me shall you be in paradise.'"

2001 Translation – An American English Bible: 43 And [Jesus] replied, `I tell you this today; you will be with me in Paradise.'

A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament by E.W. Bullinger, DD., page 811 says:
"'And Jesus said to him, Verily, to thee I say this day, with Me shalt thou be in the Paradise.' The words today being made solemn and emphatic. Thus, instead of a remembrance, when He shall come in...His kingdom, He promises a presence in association (meta, 'with') Himself. And this promise he makes on that very day when he was dying.... Thus we are saved (1) the trouble of explaining why Jesus did not answer the question on its own terms; and (2) the inconvenience of endorsing the punctuation of the [KJV] as inspired; and we also place this passage in harmony with numberless passages in the O.T., such as 'Verily I say unto you this day,' etc.; 'I testify unto you this day.' etc.; vii.1; x.13; xi.8;,13,23; xii.13; xix.9; xxvii.4; xxxi.2, etc., where the Septuagint corresponds to Luke xxii.43."

Yes, there is no reason to deny the rendering of Luke 23:43 as, "I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise."


A couple examples from the Hebrew Scriptures of the OT in modern Bibles:

(NKJV) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I announce to you today that you shall surely perish"

(NASB) Deuteronomy 30:18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish.

(RSV) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I declare to you this day, that you shall perish"

(God's Word) Deuteronomy 30:18 "If you do, I tell you today that you will certainly be destroyed"

(MKJV (Green)) Deuteronomy 30:18 "I declare to you today that you shall surely perish"


(NASB) Zechariah 9:12 "Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you."

(KJV) "even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;" (TEV) "Now I tell you that I will repay you twice over"

(RSV) "today I declare that I will restore to you double."

(JPS) "even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee"

(BBE) "today I say to you that I will give you back twice as much"

(God'sWord) "Today I tell you that I will return to you double blessings."

(CEV) "because today I will reward you with twice what you had."

(NJB) "This very day, I vow, I shall make it up to you twice over."

(NAB) "This very day, I will return you double for your exile."

[Also compare Deut. 5:1 and 6:6]

For much more, see:

LUKE 23:43-"Truly I tell you today,You will be with me in Paradise"(NWT)- Where should the comma be placed? (INDNWT)

Luke 23:43 and the New World Translation (SFBT)

The Coptic Version and Theological Questions (Luke 23:43) (Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses)

What About...Luke 23:43? (From God's Word)

Luke 23:43 (JWQ&A)

Jesus with the evildoer in Paradise (jwitness forum)
Luke 23:43 (Jehovah's Witnesses United; Scroll Down to Second Letter)  
Luke 23:43 - The Greek adverb which is rendered in English “today” in relation to its verb in Biblical Greek when found in Direct Discourse (Scriptural Truths)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Is It True That You Place Punctuation In Your NWT To Support Your Own Teachings? (Y/A)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why it is Highly Probable That the Hebrew Word 'Ehyeh' is Mistranslated as "I AM" at Exodus 3:14

The two main points to be made about Exodus 3:14 in the original Hebrew are: (1) the word sometimes translated "I AM" in English is not the name of God but merely an explanation of the meaning of his only personal name ("Jehovah" - English form; "Yahweh" - possible Hebrew form), and (2) translating that Hebrew word (ehyeh) as "I Am" is probably incorrect.

The high probability is that ehyeh is mistranslated as "I am". Consider how ehyeh is translated at Ex. 3:14 in the following Bibles: Moffatt's translation - "I WILL BE"; Byington's - "I WILL BE"; Rotherham's - "I WILL BECOME"; New World Translation - "I SHALL PROVE TO BE." In addition were the following alternate readings in footnotes: American Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; NIV Study Bible - "I WILL BE"; Revised Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; New Revised Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; New English Bible - "I WILL BE"; Revised English Bible - "I WILL BE"; Living Bible - "I WILL BE"; Good News Bible - "I WILL BE."

Notice how this respected Bible translates Ex, 3:14:

"And God said to Moses, `Ehyeh (hyh))-Asher-Ehyeh.' (a) He continues, `Thus shall you say to the Israelites, "Ehyeh (b) sent me to you."'" – Tanakh, JPS, 1985.

Tanakh Footnotes:

"(a) Meaning of Heb, uncertain; variously translated: "I Am That I Am; "I Am Who I AM; I Will Be What I Will Be; etc."

"(b) Others "I AM or "I Will Be."

And even one of the earliest English translations renders it:

14 God saide vnto Moses: I wyl be what I wyll be. And he sayde: Thus shalt thou saye vnto ye children of Israel: I wyl be hath sent me vnto you. - Miles Coverdale Bible (1535).

Notice too what the Encyclopedia Britannica had to say on this subject:

"The writer [of Exodus 3:14-15] ... explains it [the meaning of God's name] by the phrase EHYEH asher EHYEH (Ex. iii., 14); this can be translated `I am that I am' or more`exactly 'I am wont to be that which I am wont to be' or `I will be that which I will be .'" - p. 995, 14th ed., v. 12.

Although it takes some effort to further check out the meaning of ehyeh, it is worth it. With a good Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible you can prove to yourself that ehyeh should be translated "I will be" (or a similar rendering) at Ex. 3:14.

In contrast to the paucity of evidence for an "I am" interpretation of ehyeh you will find that all of the books of Moses (the Pentateuch), including Exodus, of course, and the book of Joshua always use ehyeh to mean "I will be." Check out the various translations of these scriptures where they occur. A Hebrew interlinear will back this up.

For much more concerning this see:

I AM (Part 3) (Examining the Trinity)

For more concerning Elohim, see the category:

Elohim (Search For Bible Truths)

For more concerning "I AM", see the Category:

I AM (John 8:58 / Ex. 3:14) (Search For Bible Truths)

Does God Take Children to Become Angels in Heaven?

In honest attempts to comfort the bereaved family, some people may say that God took their recently deceased child because God needed another angel in Heaven. However, this is not what the Bible teaches. Actually, the Bible's viewpoint on this is much more comforting.

Reasons Why God Does Not Take Children to Become Angels in Heaven

One reason that God would not take children from the earth to become angels in heaven is because that would run contrary to His original purpose for children. In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) Children are gifts from God and are essential to His original purpose of filling the earth.
See: What Is God's Purpose for the Earth? (JW.ORG)

Also, 1 John 4:8 tells us that "God is love" and Gen. 1:26 tells us that humans were made in God's image. So just as a loving human father would not take someone else's child away from its parents in order to make his own family bigger, the God of Love would never do anything similar. The Bible says that children are gifts from God - “an inheritance from Jehovah.” (Psalm 127:3; NWT) He would never take back this gift that he has given to parents.

A Child’s Untimely Death - The Bible's Promised Resurrection

So what hope do grieving parents have if their child has met an untimely death? John 5:28, 29 tells us that in the future, "all those in the memorial tombs will...come out" to a paradise right here on earth. Because it was God’s original intention for children to grow up and enjoy life here on the earth, this is why children who have passed away are not angels in heaven but are awaiting a future resurrection to a paradise earth.

Also see:

Does God Take Children to Become Angels in Heaven? (w09 3/1 p. 29; Watchtower Online Library)

Do Humans Become Angels When They Die? (g 8/06 pp. 28-29; Watchtower Online Library)

Real Hope for Your Loved Ones Who Have Died (JW.ORG)

What Happens After You Die? (Search For Bible Truths)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dinosaurs and the Bible

When reading the following excerpts "What Happened to the Dinosaurs?" and "When did God create dinosaurs, and when did they become extinct?", it is important to acknowledge that

1.) The rock layers containing human fossils consistently occur above those layers containing dinosaur fossils. Additionally, many mammal bones, including many long extinct species such as the wooly mammoth, are often found to be the actual bone (and sometimes other tissue) of the animal/person. In other words, the large mammal fossils haven't been buried long enough for complete mineralization to take effect. On the other hand, the 'bones' of dinosaurs have been buried so long that they have been completely replaced by minerals.

Because of this and much other reasonable evidence, scientists generally conclude that humans came on the earthly scene much later than dinosaurs. (See the 2/8/90 Awake! excerpt: "Discovering `The Great Reptiles' of the Past" pp.7-11; Heading: "When Did They Live?")

2.) Moses, when writing the book of Genesis, did not specifically report on dinosaurs, whose existence was deduced from fossils in the 19th century. Instead, Moses was inspired to use words that could be understood by people of his day—but words that were accurate in all they said about earth’s creation.

3.) The Bible account in the first chapter of Genesis simply states the general order of creation. It allows for possibly thousands of millions of years for the formation of the earth and many millenniums in six creative eras, or “days,” to prepare the earth for human habitation. Many creationists believe that the universe and the earth and all life on it were created in six 24-hour days some 10,000 years ago. This, however, is not what the Bible teaches. (See: The Bible’s Viewpoint - Does Science Contradict the Genesis Account? g 9/06 pp. 18-20; Watchtower Online Library)

What Happened to the Dinosaurs?

Some dinosaurs (and pterosaurs) may indeed have been created in the fifth era listed in Genesis, when the Bible says that God made “flying creatures” and “great sea monsters.” Perhaps other types of dinosaurs were created in the sixth epoch. The vast array of dinosaurs with their huge appetites would have been appropriate considering the abundant vegetation that evidently existed in their time.—Genesis 1:20-24.

When the dinosaurs had fulfilled their purpose, God ended their lives. But the Bible is silent on how He did that or when. We can be sure that dinosaurs were created by Jehovah for a purpose, even if we do not fully understand that purpose at this time. They were no mistake, no product of evolution. That they suddenly appear in the fossil record unconnected to any fossil ancestors, and also disappear without leaving connecting fossil links, is evidence against the view that such animals gradually evolved over millions of years of time. Thus, the fossil record does not support the evolution theory. Instead, it harmonizes with the Bible’s view of creative acts of God. (2/8/90 Awake!)

When did God create dinosaurs, and when did they become extinct?

The Bible does not provide specific answers to this question. According to the Genesis account, animals were created during the fifth and sixth creative periods or ‘days.’ If the Hebrew expression translated “great sea monsters” [Hebrew, tan·ni·nim´] includes dinosaurs, which often inhabited swampy, watery areas, this would mean that dinosaurs were created on the fifth “day.” (Gen. 1:21)


Dinosaurs were reptiles, and some kinds of dinosaurs bear strong resemblance structurally and otherwise to lizards (sauros is, in fact, the Greek word for “lizard”; saura in Leviticus 11:29, LXX). Not all types of dinosaurs were of such gigantic size.


Some of the older translations of the Bible at times use the word “dragons” to translate the Hebrew tan·ni·nim´ (“sea monsters,” NW). (Ps. 74:13; 148:7; Isa. 27:1, Authorized Version) The term “dragon” (Greek, dra´kon) is found in the Christian Greek Scriptures. It has been suggested as possible that, rather than having a purely mythical source, this expression may originally have been applied to enormous creatures such as the dinosaurs, taking on mythical tones only after these mammoth creatures had long since disappeared. Interestingly, many of the mythical depictions of the “dragon” strongly resemble certain types within the family of huge reptilian creatures that includes the dinosaur. (7/15/73 Watchtower, 'Questions from Readers')

For more, see:

Dinosaurs - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Dinosaurs - When Did They Live? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why was the New World Translation Bible Printed, and How Accurate is it?

Why was the New World Translation Bible Printed?

There were several reasons why the NWT was printed:

1) Most of the other translations used were made by those who were influenced by the pagan philosophies and unscriptural traditions that their religious systems had passed down from long ago as well as other influences,

2) Older and more reliable Bible manuscripts were becoming available,

3) As a result of archaeological discoveries, the Greek language of the first century was becoming more clearly understood, and

4) The languages into which translations are made undergo changes over the years. (For instance, who today really talks like this?: "And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?" - Gen. 32:17; KJV)

Jehovah's Witnesses wanted a translation that was of the latest scholarship, one that was without spot by creeds or traditions, a literal translation that faithfully presented what is in the original writings and a translation that would be clear and understandable to modern-day readers. (Read the New World Translation Bible online.)

How Accurate is The New World Translation?

Concerning it's accuracy, the New World Translation has been found to be "one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available" and is "the most accurate of the [8 major] translations compared." -Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament by Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona

The comments made by Professor Benjamin Kedar of Israel can be found by clicking on the link below:

Recommended Links to Information and Quotes Praising and Supporting the New World Translation: Scholarly Quotes on the New World Translation (From God's Word)
Advantages of the New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses United)
Advantages of the NWT (In Defense of the NWT)
The New World Translation (Pastor Russell)

Accusations Against The New World Translation Hypocritical 

Some have hypocritically accused the New World Translation Bible of inaccuracies, bias, and written by those with poor credentials. When, in reality, what kind of credentials do the writers of most every other modern Bible have? And yet these copyists allowed the insertion the title "LORD" instead of the divine name in most of the nearly SEVEN THOUSAND instances in their 'translation' of the Hebrew Scriptures. Not only is this inaccurate, but it is a purposeful, blatant misuse of God's Name! (Ex. 20:7) The NWT is accurate in that it uses God's Name in all instances found in Scripture. (Also see "Jehovah" in The New Testament; Search For Bible Truths)

Also, (unlike the NWT) most of these other translations used were made by those who were influenced by the pagan philosophies and unscriptural traditions that their religious systems had passed down from long ago as well as other influences. For just one instance, the majority of Bible scholars (including Trinitarian ones) freely admit that 1 John 5:7 in the King James Version is spurious. But Trinitarian scholars and copyists felt compelled to ADD it to the Holy Scriptures because of their trinitarian biases.
(Also see: How Can You Choose a Good Bible Translation?; w08 5/1 pp. 18-22; Watchtower Online Library)

For more, see:

Index of Links and Pages that Defend the New World Translation (Defending The New World Translation)

NWT FAQs (Defending The New World Translation) 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where Do the Different Races Come From?

All peoples, regardless of stature, culture, color, or language, are members of one human family.

The apostle Paul plainly stated that God “made out of one man every nation of men.” Or, as The New English Bible puts it:

"From one human being he created all races of people and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live." (Acts 17:26)

How Human Variety Came To Be

Scientific studies have shown that differences among living things are, basically, a matter of genetics. Adam and Eve had all the prerequisite genes for all the varieties of races/skin tones as well as the various features. It is said Adam and Eve could have been dark skinned to begin with, as light skin tone typically comes from dark. Note that we are all "brown"... we are simply different shades.

Now, suppose a group of people were isolated geographically from the rest of the human family. Certain characteristics among those people would become stronger, or “dominant,” throughout the group’s descendants. Eventually a new “race” would develop, yet it would remain human.

Professor S. A. Barnett, from the Australian National University, defines race as “a group which shares in common a certain set of genes, and which became distinct from other groups as a result of geographical isolation.”

How This “Geographical Isolation” Came About

The Bible mentions a time when there were not, as yet, any races. Back then, it could be said of mankind that “they are all a single people with a single language!” (Genesis 11:6 in The Jerusalem Bible)
However, the account in Genesis 11:1-9 talks about an attempt that was made to keep mankind in one location for religiopolitical purposes. But this ran contrary to God's original purpose for mankind when He said: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.” - Gen. 9:1; see also 1:28.

So the account goes on to mention that God suddenly caused men to speak different languages so they could not understand one another. Unable to communicate as one people, little groups, now isolated by the barrier of language, moved off on their own. As they spread farther afield, distance added another barrier to communication. The record of these events says that “Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth.” (Gen. 11:8; NWT) Isolated by location and by language, the descendants of each group multiplied and developed the distinct features of their “race.”
Is any race “superior” to another?
As was mentioned above, all peoples, regardless of stature, culture, color, or language, are members of one human family and that "all nations" were “made out of one man. (Acts 17:26)

The Apostle Paul admonished Christians and practicers of Bible principles to do "nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind considering that the others are superior to YOU." (Phil. 2:3) This certainly would not involve viewing those of another race as a so-called “inferior” race!

Notice what the apostle Peter wrote about how God feels:
“The truth I have now come to realise, is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” (Acts 10:34, 35, Jerusalem Bible)

For more, see:

RACES (Mankind) - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

Does God Value One Race Above Others? (w11 7/1 p. 23; Watchtower Online Library)

Races of Mankind (rs p. 300-p. 305; Watchtower Online Library)

We Are All One Family (AWAKE! 2009-11; JW.ORG)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who is the Antichrist?

Definition: Antichrist means against or instead of Christ. It occurs a total of five times, singular and plural, all of them in two of John’s epistles. The term applies to all who deny what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, all who oppose his Kingdom, and all who mistreat his followers. It also includes individuals, organizations, and nations that falsely claim to represent Christ or that improperly ascribe to themselves the role of Messiah.

Does the Bible refer to only one antichrist?

1 John 2:18 states: “Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as you have heard that antichrist [Gr., an·ti´khri·stos] is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour.” John’s statement shows that there are many individual antichrists, though all together they may form a composite person designated “the antichrist.” (2 John 7)

Is the coming of the antichrist reserved for some future time?

The use of the expression “hour” at 1 John 2:18 as referring to a period of time, either relatively brief or of undetermined length, is exemplified in other writings of John. (See John 2:4; 4:21-23; 5:25, 28; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27.) He thus did not restrict the appearance, existence, and activity of such antichrist to some future time only but showed that the antichrist was then present and would continue on. 1 John 4:3 says: "Every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the antichrist's inspired expression which you have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world." (That was written near the end of the first century C.E.)

Who have been identified as antichrist?

1 John 2:22: "Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ [or, Messiah, anointed one]? This is the antichrist."

John’s inspired statements show the term to be broad in its application, embracing all those who deny that “Jesus is the Christ,” and who deny that Jesus is the Son of God who came “in the flesh.” (Also see 1 John 4:2, 3; 2 John 7, NE, NIV; compare John 8:42, 48, 49; 9:22.)

2 John 7 shows that such ones might act as deceivers, and therefore the “antichrist” would include those who are “false Christs” and “false prophets,” as well as those who perform powerful works in Jesus’ name and yet are classed by him as “workers of lawlessness.”—Mt 24:24; 7:15, 22, 23.

John specifically mentions apostates as among those of the antichrist by referring to those who “went out from us,” abandoning the Christian congregation. (1 John 2:18, 19) It therefore includes “the man of lawlessness” or “son of destruction” described by Paul, as well as the “false teachers” Peter denounces for forming destructive sects and who “disown even the owner that bought them.” - 2 Thess. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 2:1

Also see:

ANTICHRIST - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

ANTICHRIST (Insight-1 pp. 115-116; Watchtower Online Library)

Antichrist (rs p. 32-p. 33; Watchtower Online Library)

Why Identify the Antichrist? (w06 12/1 p. 3; Watchtower Online Library)
When will he come? What will he do when he does come?

The Antichrist Exposed (w06 12/1 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)
The Bible sheds considerable light on the subject of the antichrist.

Antichrist (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

Who is the Antichrist? (Search For Bible Truths)

Does the Bible refer to only one antichrist? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is the coming of the antichrist reserved for some future time? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Who have been identified as antichrist? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Antichrist (Pastor Russell)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why Do Animals Die if They Don't Sin?

"For the wages sin pays is death." (Rom. 6:23)

"That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned." (Rom. 5:12)

So why do animals die if they don't sin?

To understand the basics of this, we need to first realize that not everything that is called "perfect" is so in an absolute sense. Perfection in the absolute sense can only be attributed to Jehovah. "Nobody is good, except one, God." (Mark 10:18)

The following quote helps to put this into more of a perspective:

"Perfection of any other person or thing (other that Jehovah God), then, is relative, not absolute. (Compare Ps 119:96.) That is, a thing is "perfect" according to, or in relation to, the purpose or end for which it is appointed by its designer or producer, or the use to which it is to be put by its receiver or user. The very meaning of perfection requires that there be someone who decides when "completion" has been reached, what the standards of excellence are, what requirements are to be satisfied, and what details are essential. Ultimately, God the Creator is the final Arbiter of perfection, the Standard-Setter, in accord with his own righteous purposes and interests.—Rom. 12:2;" -Insight, Vol.2 "Perfection"

When Adam and Eve were first created with perfect bodies, they were created with the potential for eternal life. So having a perfect body does not necessarily mean that one would live forever. For them to have lived forever, they would have had to have been allowed to eat from the tree of life. (Gen. 2:9) So even though they had perfect bodies, unless they were allowed to eat from the tree of life, they still would have grown old and died. Appearantly there is not an actual physiological connection between death and sin. Their punishment for their sin was the withholding of eternal life.

Animals (simply being lower life forms) didn't even have the option of eating from the tree of life and so they just naturally age and die. But because the first human pair were made in God's image, they had the opportunity of eating from the tree of life and live forever.

Some have simply equated the having a perfect body to naturally (never aging or dying of sickness) living forever. But looking at this from this perspective of Jehovah's withholding of Adam and Eve's partaking from the tree of life, it makes sense especially considering that animals naturally age and die.

Recommended reading:

Insight, Vol. 2 "Life"; Particularly Subheadings: "Aging and Death", "Adam lost life for himself and offspring" and "What Man Needs for Life".

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