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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Did Jesus Have a Sense of Humor?

The Bible says that we were made in God's image. If we were created with a sense of humor, then it would
be logical to conclude that God and His Son also have what humans would consider a sense of humor.

The details of all of Jesus' life could not possibly be covered in the gospels, however, we can glean information from what is available. For instance, some have commented that Jesus showed a touch of humor when he said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:23, 24) The very idea of a camel attempting to pass through the eye of a literal sewing needle is exaggerated. Another example is that of seeing the straw in a brother’s eye but not observing the rafter in one’s own eye. (Luke 6:41, 42)

Also, the brief account where children obviously are at ease as Jesus takes them into his caring arms tells us much about the kind of person Jesus was. (Mark 10:16) The children surely would not have felt drawn to a cold, joyless person who never smiled or laughed. People of all ages approached Jesus because they sensed that he was a warm, caring person, and they were confident that he would not turn them away.

For more, see:

How Some Are Remembered (JW.ORG)
"Did Jesus take himself so seriously that he lacked a sense of humor? ... Did Jesus have a sense of humor?" 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Questions For Those Who Believe in the Trinity

If Jesus is Almighty God...

1. Then why is "God head of Christ just as Christ is head of man"? (1 Cor. 11:3)

2. Then why does Scripture consistently phrase Jesus as a separate person from God? (John 20:17; John 14:1; Mark 10:18; John 17:1-3; etc. Also in heaven, 1 Cor. 11:3; Luke 22:69; etc.)

3. Then how can Jesus have a God? Could Almighty God have a God? (Mic. 5:4; Ps. 45:6, 7; 89:26; John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph 1:3; Col 1:3; Mark 15:34; John 17:1-3; Also in heaven, Rev. 1:6; 3:2, 12)

4. Then why does Scripture say he was born and is part of Creation? (Col. 1:15)

5. Then why does Rev. 3:14 say that Jesus is "the beginning of the creation of God"?

6. Then why is he subject to GOD, like we're subject to him? (1 Cor. 15:27, 28; Eph. 1:17)

7. Then why does Micah 5:2 say that Jesus' ORIGIN was “from early times”?

8. Then why does Jesus not know what God knows? (Matt. 24:36, Rev.1:1; Luke 8:45)

9. Then why is Jesus still subject to God when he is as high as he will ever be? (1 Cor. 15:27, 28)

10. Then why does Proverbs 8:22-31 show that the Messiah was CREATED / PRODUCED by God?

11. Then why is he not powerful enough to subject things to himself? (1 Cor. 15:27, Eph. 1:17, 22)

12. Then why would he have to be given any power and authority? (Mt. 28:18; 11:27; Jn. 5:22; 17:2; 3:35; 2 Pet. 1:17)

13. Then why did he have to learn anything? (Heb. 5:8; John 5:19; 8:28)

14. Then why is speaking against him not as bad as speaking against the Holy Spirit? (Mt. 12:31,32; Luke 12:10)

15. Then why did Jesus call the "Father...the only true God"? (John 17:3)

16. Then why did he need to be saved? (Heb. 5:7; John 12:27)

17. Then why did he have to be exalted to Leader and Savior? (Acts 5:31)

18. Then how could he be exalted and given a higher name than he had? (Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:2-4)

19. Then why did he have to be given life in himself? (John 5:25,26)

20. Then how can the Father be greater than he? (John 14:28)

21. Then how could Jesus be tempted by Satan when God cannot be tempted with evil? (James 1:13)

22. Then why did he worship the Father? (John 4:22)

23. Then why can he not do anything on his own? (John 5:19; 6:38)

24. Then why would he pray to anybody? (Luke 22:44; John 17:1,2; Heb. 5:7)

25. Then why do John 1:18 and 1 John 4:9 say that Jesus is God's "only BEGOTTEN Son"? ASV

26. Then how can he be God's servant? (Acts 4:26,27,30)

27. Then how could he receive strength from an angel? (Luke 22:43)

28. Then how could he be a mediator between God and man? (1 Tim. 2:5)

29. Then how could he be with God (ton theon)? (John 1:1)

30. Then how can he be God's image? (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)

31. Then why is he called the agency (dia) of creation and not the Originator (ek)? (1 Cor. 8:6; John 1:1-3; Prov. 8:30; Heb. 2:10; Col. 1:15,16)

32. Then why did Jesus say GOD was "good" in a way that Jesus was not? (Mark 10:18)

33. Then why does he have an archangel's voice instead of God's voice? (1 Thess. 4:16)

34. Then why is the only "worship" given to him the same given to humans? (Heb. 1:6, cf. Mt. 18:26; Rev. 3:9 - "Proskuneo")

35. Then why do many who believe this rely on a few selected, so-called 'proof-texts' instead of the context of the consistent teaching of the entire Bible?

36. Then how could he be commanded to do anything? (John 12:49; Deut. 18:18)

37. Then why did Steven see two separate entities, GOD and Jesus, and not just one God or three persons? (Acts 7:55)

38. Then how could he be seen at GOD's right hand? (Luke 22:69; Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34)

39. Then how could Jesus be exalted (not to become God Himself, but) to the position of the "right hand OF God"? (Acts 2:33)

40. Then why would he have to receive a revelation from God? (Rev.1:1)

41. Then why is he called God's "begotten" Son before he came to earth? (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:9)

42. Then how could he have a Father? (John 20:17)

43. Then how could he come in flesh? (1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24,25)

44. Then why did he not come in his own name? (John 5:41-44)

45. Then why did Jesus "come down from heaven to do" God's will and not his own will? (Luke 22:42; John 6:38; John 5:30; John 8:42)

46. Then how could he appear before GOD? (Heb. 9:24)

47. Then how could he die? Can God die? Can part of God die? (Rom. 5:10; Acts 5:30; 1 Cor. 15:3; Hab.1:12; cf. 1 Tim. 6:16; Num. 23:19; Ps. 90:2; Dan. 6:25-26)

48. Then why is it that God resurrected Jesus? (Acts 2:32)

49. Then why can we see him if "no man has seen God at any time"? (John 1:18)

50. Then why is there not one clear Scripture where Jesus is called "God the Son," (equal to those declaring "God, the Father)?

51. How is it that the Jews rounded up some false witnesses to make up lies to obtain a death sentence for Jesus, but neither the Jewish officials nor even one of these false witnesses made a claim that he was God or equally God? (Matt. 26:59-67)

52. John summed up his whole Gospel by saying that it was written that we may believe "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." Why is there is no mention in that summary of the entire Gospel of what would be the most important thing of all - that Jesus is God? (John 20:31)

53. How could Jesus teach in the Jewish synagogues and the temple? This would never happen if any of the authorities believed he claimed to be God (or that his followers believed such a thing). - Matt. 26:55; John 7:14, 28. Matt. 4:23.

54. How could Jesus' followers teach in Jewish synagogues after Jesus' death and for the remainder of that first century (at least)? Again, this would not have been allowed if there were any suspicion that they believed Jesus to be God. Acts 9:20; 13:5, Acts 13:13-15.

If the Holy Spirit is Almighty God...

1. Then why do quotes from Trinitarians admit that the Holy Spirit is not God but rather is a force from God?

2. Then why would Jews instructed in the Old Testament scriptures and in the teachings of John the Baptist, NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS? (Acts 19:2)

3. Then why isn't the Holy Spirit given equal description in the Bible?

4. Then why didn't Jesus ever teach that the Holy Spirit was God along with the Father and Son?

5. Then why does the Bible describe the Holy Spirit as an "it"? (Is. 34:16 ASV, KJV; Numbers 11:17, 25 ASV, KJV, RSV, NRSV, AT, LB, NEB, REB, NAB, JB, NJB; and Romans 8:16, 26 in the KJV.)

6. Then why does the Bible describe the Holy Spirit as a thing that can be poured out into portions? (Acts 2:17, 18, 33; Numbers 11:17, 25)

8. Then why did the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD disregard the Holy Spirit as a member of the Godhead when they made Jesus 'God' in 325 AD? Why did they wait until the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD to include the Holy Spirit in the formula?

9. Then wouldn't the water and blood be persons too according to Trinitarian reasoning and 1 John 5:8?

10. Then why is the Holy Spirit sandwiched between a list of QUALITIES at 2 Cor. 6:6?

11. Then why does the NT Greek Lexicon describes the Holy Spirit as "this" at Acts 2:33?

12. Then why is it that nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit ever said to be an equal member of a trinity?

13. Then why is it that nowhere is it mentioned in the Bible the words, "God, the Holy Spirit," or "The Holy Spirit is God"?

14. Then why is it that there is never mentioned a vision, dream or clear description in scripture wherein God and the Holy Spirit are shown as the same person?

If the Trinity Doctrine is a Bible teaching...

1. Then why do NUMEROUS encyclopedias agree that

"... the doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation; that it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian scriptures; that it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity"? – p. 34, The Church of the First Three Centuries, Alvan Lamson, D.D.

2. Then why do many encyclopedias, dictionaries and other sources (including Sir Isaac Newton) agree that the "Trinity was a pagan corruption imposed on Christianity in the fourth century by Athanasius"?

3. Then why does the Bible consistently identify God by singular person pronouns: "I, "Me," "He, and "Him" instead of "We", "Us", "They" or "Them"?

4. Then why does 2 Cor. 13:14 say that the Lord Jesus Christ is one individual, the Holy Spirit is another individual (whether a person or a thing), and that "GOD" IS ANOTHER DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL?

5. Then why is there not even one Scripture which clearly defines the Trinity?

6. Then why is there not even one Scripture of a vision, dream, or CLEAR description wherein God is shown as three persons?

7. Then why is there not even one Scripture where God is described using the word "three"?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Is Proverbs 8:22-31 talking about Wisdom personified instead of Jesus? Why is Wisdom referred to in the feminine gender?

When examining Proverbs 8:22-31, some have argued that this passage isn't talking about Jesus but rather Wisdom itself personified. They further may point out that Wisdom may previously have been referred to in the feminine gender.

However, in Prov. Chap.8, Wisdom is manifest only by being expressed in some way. God's own wisdom was expressed in creation (Prov. 3:19, 20) but through his Son. But as for Prov. 8:22-31, many professed Christian writers of the early centuries of the Common Era understood this section to refer symbolically to God's Son in his pre-human state.

It is true that in Hebrew, which assigns gender to its nouns (as do many other languages), the word for "wisdom" is always in the feminine gender. This would continue to be the case even though wisdom is personified and so would not rule out wisdom's being used figuratively to represent God's firstborn Son. For instance, the Greek word for "love" in the expression "God is love" (1 John 4:8) is also in the feminine gender but that does not make God feminine.

Also, Jehovah God is the Creator of all things. He is uncreated, without beginning (Rev. 4:11). Job 36:26 says, "In number his years are beyond searching." It is impossible to place an age upon him, for there is no starting point from which to measure. Because He is ageless, He is properly called "the Ancient of Days" since His existence stretches endlessly into the past. (Dan. 7:9, 13) And so, since Jehovah God has existed forever, therefore wisdom had to have always existed within Jehovah forever. (Ps. 90:2)

So we could ask those using these trinitarian arguments: If Prov. 8:22-31 is really talking about literal wisdom itself, than how could wisdom even have been "begotten"? How could it have even been "produced", "set up", "created", or "made"? If this was talking about literal wisdom itself, then how could wisdom be "beside" God or "before" Him? How could wisdom be "the one He was specially fond of"?

So instead of literal Wisdom itself (of which God had to already have in order to "beget", "produce", "set up", "create", or "make" anything), when Prov. 8:22 also says that the subject is, "the earliest of his achievements of long ago", this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Col. 1:15 where it says that he is "the first-born of all creation". Or when Prov.8:23 says, "From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth", this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Micah 5:2 where it says that his "origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite". Or when Prov. 8:22 says, "Jehovah God himself produced me as the beginning of his way," this corresponds more to the description of Jesus in Rev. 3:14 where it says that Jesus is "the beginning of the creation by God".

And as for the Hebrew word 'qanah', it can mean either to "produce, aquire, create" or "possess". Context is key in finding out which one it means. Bibles which are biased toward the Trinity do not want to render it as "Produce" or something similar because that would mean that Jesus has a beginning, and that would contradict the Trinity doctrine.

Yet, because the context of Prov. 8:22-31 so overwhelmingly supports the translation of the word 'qanah' as "create", even scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render it as such:

(1) "[Jehovah] created me at the beginning of his work" - RSV
(2) "[Jehovah] created me" - NRSV; 
(3) "[Jehovah] made me" - MLB; 
(4) "Yahweh created me" - JB; "Yahweh created me" - NJB; 
(5) "[Jehovah] created me" - NEB; 
(6) "[Jehovah] created me" - REB; 
(7) "I was the first thing made" - ETRV; 
(8) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his creations" - Lamsa; 
(9) "[Jehovah] created me first of all" - GNB; 
(10) "[Jehovah] formed me as the first of his works" - AT; 
(11) "[Jehovah] formed me first of his creation" - Mo; 
(12) "Jehovah framed me first" - Byington; 
(13) "[Jehovah] created me" - The Reader's Digest Bible; 
(14) "[Jehovah] brought me forth as the first of his works" - The NIV Study Bible. It also explains in a footnote for Prov. 8:22: "brought...forth. The Hebrew for this verb is also used in Ge 4:1; 14:19, 22 (`creator')." - Zondervan, 1985;
(15) "[Jehovah] made me the beginning of his ways for his works" - The Apostles Bible;
(16) "[Jehovah] made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. - BBE;
(17) "Yahweh created me first, at the beginning of his works" - Christian Community Bible;
(18) "[Jehovah] made me as the beginning of his way, the first of his ancient works" - The Complete Jewish Bible;
(19) "[Jehovah] made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago" -The Holman Christian Standard Bible;
(20) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his creations, before all of his works. - Peshitta - Lamsa Translation;
(21) "[Jehovah] sovereignly made me—the first, the basic— before he did anything else." -The Message;
(22) "[Jehovah] created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago." -NET;
(23) "I, wisdom, was with [Jehovah] when he began his work, long before he made anything else. 23 I was created in the very beginning, even before the world began." - New Century Version;
(24) "[Jehovah] created me as the first of his works, before his acts of long ago." - New International Reader's Version;
(25) "[Jehovah] made me at the beginning of His work, before His first works long ago." -New Life Bible;
(26) "[Jehovah] formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. - New Living Translation;
(27) "Jehovah created me in the beginning of his way, before his works of antiquity." - New Simplified Bible;
(28) "[Jehovah] created me as the head of His ways, to perform all of His works" - 2001 Translation.

For more concerning Proverbs 8:22-31, see:

Jesus Christ / Wisdom personified (Jesus Christ / Wisdom personified; Insight-2 pp. 52-72; Watchtower Online Library)

“From Time Indefinite I Was Installed” (w01 3/15 pp. 25-28; Watchtower Online Library)

How do we know that the description of wisdom at Proverbs 8:22-31 applies to Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence? (How do we know that the description of wisdom at Proverbs 8:22-31 applies to Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence?; 8/1 p. 31; Watchtower Online Library)

How do we know that these words refer to God’s Son? (cf chap. 13 pp. 129-138; Watchtower Online Library)

Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created? (Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created?; Search For Bible Truths)

Scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render the word 'qanah' as "create". (Scores of trinitarian bibles have decided to render the word 'qanah' as "create"; Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ (Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ; Examining the Trinity)