The Jehovah Witnesses claim to be Christians yet they do not believe in the God of the Bible. On major doctrines like Who God is we will let the Bible define the terms. In this study we will compare the Watchtowers beliefs about God and historic Christianity.
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Overview of content in this section is as follows:
(Jehovah Witness VS Christian)
(Jehovah Witness false god)
Although Jehovah's Witnesses would agree with historic Christianity on some of the attributes of God, they only apply these attributes to God the Father. Jehovah’s Witnesses constantly misrepresent and attack the doctrine of the Trinity. I find it interesting that the Watch Tower Society has numerous times defined the Trinity correctly, yet it often defines the Trinity incorrectly as well. One can only wonder, do they from time-to-time forget how to define Trinity, or do they purposely misrepresent the Trinity to suit their own purposes?
Page Index (Jehovah Witness Trinity)
Following is a quote by the Watch Tower on one of the occasions when they misrepresented the doctrine of the Trinity.
The Watch Tower, April 1, 1970, pg.210 (JW) (PDF pg. 210)
“It may be necessary for us to teach those with whom we study the Bible how to reason on Scripture texts. For example, Mark 12:29 might be read: ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.’ Ask the student, ‘How many Jehovah's are there?’ Let him answer. The answer is obvious that there is only one Jehovah. When he discerns this, you have caused him to register an important fact in his mind that he might otherwise have missed. Help him to appreciate further what this means to him. Reason with him, perhaps in this way: ‘If he is one Jehovah, then could he be three gods, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, as the Trinitarians teach?’ Again, let him answer. ‘No, Jehovah could not be three gods, for the Bible plainly says he is one God.’ Now, you have caused the student to think on a basic Scriptural truth and to understand that Jehovah is but one God. You have also exposed a basic false doctrine —the doctrine of the Trinity.”
The Watch Tower on this occasion gave a false definition of the Trinity, and then argued that the false definition was not Biblical. Of course the false definition is not Biblical — there is indeed only one God (Isaiah 44:8). The Trinity, however is not revealed as unbiblical here; rather, the false definition of Trinity is revealed as unbiblical instead. Next, the Watch Tower declared that this exposed the false doctrine of the Trinity. Trinitarians do not teach that Jehovah is three gods, as the Watch Tower suggested.
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines the TRINITY as follows:
"The coexistence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the unity of the Godhead (divine nature or essence). The doctrine of the trinity means that within the being and activity of the one God there are three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
One could just as easily turn this example around by asking the Jehovah’s Witness how many Gods there are. The Witness will most likely answer, “One.” Then ask, "Are all other gods false gods?" The answer should be, “Yes.” A final question — if Jehovah is the Almighty God, then who is Jesus (The New Worlds Translation, in John 1:1, says that Jesus is a god)? The Bible clearly teaches there is only one God (Isaiah 44:8). Some Jehovah’s Witnesses could become confused at this point; Jesus must be the true God, or a false god — otherwise you have two Gods. However, the Jehovah’s Witness that is well informed by Watch Tower literature will declare that Jesus only “carries the title” of “god” or “lord”; He is not a true God, such as Jehovah is. Watch Tower literature declares that there is only one Almighty God, and any other god is merely a carrying the title.
Following are three quotes from the Watch Tower Society concerning the Trinity.
Knowledge 1995, pages 30-31 (JW) (PDF pg. 31-32)
“The ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods, but Jehovah is ‘a God exacting exclusive devotion’ (Exodus 20:5). Moses reminded the Israelites that ‘Jehovah our God is one Jehovah’ (Deuteronomy6:4). Jesus Christ repeated those words (Mark 12:28, 29).Therefore, those who accept the Bible as God's Word do not worship a Trinity consisting of three persons or gods in one. In fact, the word ‘Trinity’ does not even appear in the Bible. The true God is one Person, separate from Jesus Christ (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:28).God's holy spirit is not a person. It is Jehovah's active force, used by the Almighty to accomplish his purposes — Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.
The Watch Tower, Feb. 1, 1974, pg.75 (JW) (PDF pg. 75-76)
“ALL major religions of Christendom accept the Trinity doctrine as an article of faith. The more than 250 churches belonging to the World Council of Churches confess ‘the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’
“While the views of the various religious bodies belonging to this fellowship vary radically, all are required to be in agreement that the ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ are but ‘one God.’ Hence, rejection of the Trinity doctrine is, in effect, regarded as a rejection of Christianity....................................
“So, then, can the Trinity doctrine be viewed as Christian? No, for it denies the clear Biblical statements that Jesus Christ is the ‘Son of God,’ the ‘firstborn of all creation’ and the ‘beginning of the creation by God’ (John 20:31; Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14). It falsely claims that he is coequal and coeternal with the Father.
“True Christianity, therefore, requires that we reject the Trinity doctrine as false, as an ‘invention’ of sinful men. We should worship the Father as the only true God, and do so through his firstborn Son Jesus Christ, the One who occupies the first place among all of God's intelligent creatures —Colossians 3:17.” (End Quote)
Let God Be True, 1946, page 82 (JW) (PDF pg.100)
(JW Trinity PDF on download page)
The Watch Tower puts out a 32-page pamphlet to argue against the Trinity. The next three quotes are from that pamphlet.
Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 1989, page 5 (JW) (PDF pg. 4)
Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 1989, page 6 (JW) (PDF pg. 6)
Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 1989, page 7 (JW) (PDF pg. 7)
“Summing up the historical evidence, Alvan Lamson says in The Church of the First Three Centuries: ‘The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity…derives no support from the language of Justin [Martyr]: and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and…holy Spirit, but not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact.’
“Thus, the testimony of the Bible and of history makes clear that the Trinity was unknown throughout Biblical times and for several centuries thereafter.”
In the Watch Tower quotes so far, we have seen the following:
To answer these statements we must show:
THE TRINITY IS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE
In this section, Scripture used is from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by the Watch Tower Society. The N.W.T. is actually a very poor and biased translation — but this is the accepted version of the Jehovah’s Witnesses— so, if the verses being discussed have not been perverted too badly, the N.W.T. is the version that will be used in this discussion. In cases in which the text has been twisted, and the meaning has been changed, the New American Standard is quoted and is abbreviated as N.A.S. (For further information on the N.W.T., turn to the section entitled Watch Tower Literature.)
Historically, the nature of God has been referred to as the Trinity. This means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three separate persons which constitute only one God. The word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. This simply is the name of a doctrine or idea that is taught in the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses also use terms that are not found in the Bible, such as "Theocratic kingdom". We also use the word “omnipotent” to describe God as having unlimited power. The word “omnipotent” is not in the Bible, yet the Bible clearly teaches that God has unlimited power. People who argue against the Trinity often misrepresent the doctrine by stating that it is a belief in three gods. Similarly, they often point out passages in which Jesus prays to the Father; these people then declare that Jesus cannot be the Father. This type of argument shows a lack of understanding of the doctrine. Let me try to explain this doctrine as clearly as I can. God the Father is called God, but this does not mean that he is Jesus, nor does it mean that he is the Holy Spirit.
The Father is referred to as “God” in —
Jesus the Son is also referred to as “God”, but this does not mean that He is the Father, nor does it mean he is the Holy Spirit. Jesus is referred to as “God” in —
(Notice that this verse states that God became flesh. In context this “Word” is Jesus. See also Philippians 2:5-8.)
(Notice that Jesus did not rebuke Thomas when he called Him “Lord” and “God”. A logical conclusion to make from this is that Jesus is God the Son.)
The Holy Spirit is also called “God”, but this does not mean that he is the Father; nor does it mean that he is Jesus. The Holy Spirit is called God in —
(Notice that Peter stated that Ananias “played false to”, or, in other words, “lied” to the Holy Spirit. Then in the next breath, he states that Ananias had played false to “God”.)
(PDF pg. 1493)
Here we see that the Holy Spirit said that he that was provoked, and swore in his wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest".
Here we are told that “Jehovah our Maker” is “God”. It is He that was provoked and swore in His wrath, "They shall not enter into my resting-place". God the Holy Spirit said this (see also Numbers 14:22-23).
Following is a similar reference, in which Jehovah is speaking in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the speaker. We will compare Isaiah 6:8-10 with Acts 28:25-27.
Acts 28:25-27 (N.W.T) So, because they were at disagreement with one another, they began to depart, while Paul made this one comment:“The holy spirit aptly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to YOUR forefathers, 26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “By hearing, YOU will hear but by no means understand; and, looking, YOU will look but by no means see. 27 For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes; that they should never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn back, and I should heal them.” (PDF pg. 1404)
We have just seen that the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all called “God”. These three are all called “God”, yet they are also three separate persons. They are not all the same person. This is clearly shown in the following passage, in which Jesus is the speaker:
This passage clearly shows that they are three separate persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three (Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) are called “God” and are three separate persons. Yet the Bible does not teach that there are three Gods. There is only one God. These three persons constitute only one God.
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
Did you notice that the King of Israel and his Redeemer seem to be speaking in the plural sense? Yet, "I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me" is singular. At the end of this passage, the Lord asks if there are any other Gods besides Him, stating that He (God) does not know of any! How can there be other Gods that even God Himself knows nothing about?
This passage even states that there will be no other Gods in the future.
Thus far, we have seen that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate persons. All three persons are called “God”, and there is only one God. This is also true with the word “creator”; all three are called “creator”, yet there is only one creator.
THE FATHER IS CREATOR
JESUS IS CREATOR
THE SPIRIT IS CREATOR
GOD CREATED BY HIMSELF
The Watch Tower claims that Jehovah created Jesus and then through Jesus created everything else. The problem is that even their own N.W.T. states that apart from Jesus, not even one thing came into existence (John 1:3) — while in Isaiah 44:24,Jehovah states that He did everything by Himself. Jehovah even asks, "Who was with me?” Many Jehovah’s Witnesses have shared this illustration with me, to try to explain this: "A contractor can point at a building and say, ‘This is the building that I built.’ In reality others were involved, but it does not make the contractor’s statement untrue.” The problem I have with this illustration is that the contractor could not specifically say that he built the building “by himself”, and he probably wouldn’t ask, "Who was with me?" Jehovah could not say that He created by Himself, and ask, "Who was with me?", if the Father and Jesus were not one God. To some people these verses would seem to be in conflict with each other. They are not in conflict at all: these three persons constitute only one God!
We find further plurality in the one God of the Old Testament. For example:
"Us" and "our" are plural. "His" and "he" are singular. This shows that there is plurality in the “one” God; there are not three Gods, but rather three persons in the one God.
THE ENTIRE TRINITY MENTIONED IN ONE PASSAGE IN THE
In verse 12, God is the speaker, the one who has called Israel. He states, "I am the same One. I am the first. Moreover, I am the last." "I" and "One" are singular. Follow the context down and you will see that the speaker who is God, who identifies himself as, "I am the first. Moreover, I am the last", is also the same speaker in verse 16. The context does not change speakers. Then this single person (God) speaking says, “And now the Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself has sent me, even his spirit.” God is speaking, yet he says the Lord sent Him. Not only has the “Sovereign Lord Jehovah” sent Him (God), but also He (God) was sent by the Lord Jehovah’s spirit. This passage clearly shows that three separate entities make up a singular God.
THE ENTIRE TRINITY MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
In these passages we see all three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate, and also in unity. We can see the Trinity in the birth of Christ as well.
That which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not called the “Son of the Holy Spirit” —Jesus is called the “Son of God”. Jesus refers to God the Father as His Father, yet that which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit.
Page Index (Watchtower Trinity)
On page 5 of the pamphlet, “Should You Believe in the Trinity?”, The Watch Tower, claims that the Trinity is hard to understand; therefore, the doctrine is not to be believed. To support this claim, The WatchTower cites 1 Corinthians 14:33: “God is not a God of confusion…”. But when taken in context, this verse refers to maintaining order in public worship. It has nothing to do with whether or not God is complex. Anybody who has read the book of Revelation knows that there are things in the Bible that are a little confusing. Whether the Trinity is hard to understand is not the point. The point is, does the Bible teach the doctrine of the Trinity? The fact is, the Bible does teach this doctrine. Should it surprise us that God is complex? I do not fully understand the law of gravity. But I know if I step off a cliff I will fall, even if I do not understand or believe this law of gravity. The Bible teaches that there are three separate persons that constitute only one God; therefore, I believe it. I believe it because the Bible is the Word of God.
The following are other comparisons which might cause some to believe Scripture conflicts itself, until the reader recognizes that there are three persons within the one God. First, we will see that both the Father and Jesus are called the “first” and the “last”. How many “firsts”, “lasts”, “Alphas”, “Omegas”, “beginnings” and “ends” can there be? The answer is, there is only one. There is only one God (Isaiah 44:8).
GOD THE FATHER
Next we will see that your body is a temple of God, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and it is Christ that dwells in you. How can this be? ANSWER: These three persons make only one God.
YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF GOD
YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
CHRIST DWELLS IN YOU
Next we will see that God will not give His glory to another. Yet Jesus shared this glory with Him. How can this be? ANSWER: They are one God.
Who raised Jesus from the dead? The answer is God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all raised Jesus from the dead.
You may also want to read the following:
What about accusations that the Trinity is a doctrine derived from the 3rd or 4th century? (Jehovah Witness doctrine)
What about the idea that there is three separate God’s that make up the Godhead as taught by Mormonism? ,,,,,(No other God’s)