Watchtower Literature is it trustworthy?
When the Jehovah Witness comes to your door they want to give you Watchtower literature. This literature is supposed to teach you about biblical truths. The question is does it? Is it trustworthy? The answer to that is NO! Here one such watchtower publication will be examined that shows this publication does not teach biblical truth. This publication purposely lies about what Christians in the first century taught and believed. I am not saying the person at the door is lying rather they are deceived by this organization. When considering Jehovah Witness beliefs or other JW books it would be wise to consider if the literature is even trustworthy.
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Page Index (Jehovah Witness Facts)
IS IT TRUSTWORTHY?
The Watch Tower claims to be a prophet of God. Watch Tower claims that we must belong to the Jehovah’s Witness organization to be qualified to live on Paradise Earth. Watch Tower informs us that we cannot read the Bible alone, but we also need their literature to help us to have true understanding. Considering these claims, one would certainly expect to find their publications to be extremely accurate — if there is any validity in their claims at all.
In this section I will question that validity by focusing on just two of the Watchtower publications.
“THE ante-Nicene Fathers were acknowledged to have been leading religious teachers in the early centuries after Christ's birth. What they taught is of interest.
“Justin Martyr, who died about 165 C.E., called the prehuman Jesus a created angel who is ‘other than the God who made all things.’ He said that Jesus was inferior to God and ‘never did anything except what the Creator . . . willed him to do and say.’
“Irenaeus, who died about 200 C.E., said that the prehuman Jesus had a separate existence from God and was inferior to him. He showed that Jesus is not equal to the ‘One true and only God,’ who is ‘supreme over all, and besides whom there is no other.’
“Clement of Alexandria, who died about 215 C.E., called Jesus in his prehuman existence ‘a creature’ but called God ‘the uncreated and imperishable and only true God.’ He said that the Son ‘is next to the only omnipotent Father’ but not equal to him.
“Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God. He observed: ‘The Father is different from the Son (another), as he is greater; as he who begets is different from him who is begotten; he who sends, different from him who is sent.’ He also said: ‘There was a time when the Son was not. . . . Before all things, God was alone.’
“Hippolytus, who died about 235 C.E., said that God is ‘the one God, the first and the only One, the Maker and Lord of all,’ who ‘had nothing co-equal [of equal age] with him . . . But he was One, alone by himself; who, willing it, called into being what had no being before,’ such as the created prehuman Jesus.
“Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that ‘the Father and Son are two substances . . . two things as to their essence,’ and that ‘compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light.’
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.”
Christian Response to the Watchtower pamphlet
Reading the last paragraph of this passage, a person is led to believe that no Christian writer in the first three centuries taught or believed the doctrine that is now known as the Trinity. But, it is easy to show that the doctrine known as the Trinity was taught and believed well before the 4th century. To do this we will simply quote someone who lived before that time period. I would like to share two quotes from the Early Church Fathers before the 3rd century.
(PDF Vol. 1 pg. 98) Ignatius was said to be a pupil of the Apostle John; he lived 90 A.D.
Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, Chapter 2
This clearly shows that the early church in the 1st Century taught and believed the same doctrine that we call the Trinity today.
(PDF Vol. 3, pg. 1133- 1134)
Tertullian was a Christian theologian who lived 155-220 A.D. The following quote by him can be found in Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume III, Tertullian Against Praxeas, Chapter25.
The following definition of "Paraclete" is by Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 10th Edition.
Here Tertullian is referring to John 14: 9-16, where Jesus said He would ask of the Father, and He would send the Holy Spirit (also referred to as “another Comforter” in the King James version of the Bible). We see in this text that Tertullian referred to the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit. Notice he stated that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were three persons that were distinct from one another. He further stated that these three persons were one in essence. Tertullian just defined the Trinity; remember he lived 155-220 AD.
Compare what Tertullian said to the following from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
The Ante-Nicene Fathers mentioned in this Watch Tower publication did not teach or believe what the Watch Tower stated. I have the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers on CD- ROM, and an application that has the capability of searching for words or phrases. I used this application to search for the quotes attributed in this Watch Tower publication. I did not find any of the quotes the Watch Tower mentioned. I did have two hits when I got to “Tertullian”; however, in both cases the text did not say what the Watch Tower claimed Tertullian said. My next course of action was to search for what Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Origen did teach regarding the Trinity, or the deity of Jesus Christ. Following is a quote from each of these early Christian writers.
(PDF Vol.1 pg. 150) Justin Martyr
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1
The First Apology of Justin, Chapter LXIII
Justin did not say Jesus was "a created angel"; he did say Jesus was "called both angel and apostle”, and gave an explanation as to why Jesus was given this title. One of the definitions of “angel” in the Webster's dictionary is “a messenger of God”. One who is "sent forth to declare whatever is revealed "as Justin stated, is a messenger. This is Justin's explanation as to why Jesus was given the title “Angel of God”. Justin also said of Jesus that He was "appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels.” This does not mean that Jesus is literally an angel anymore than it means that Jesus is literally a fire. Justin partially quoted Exodus 3:2-6; here the Angel of God said, “I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers”. Justin did not say Jesus was a created angel, inferior to God, as the Watch Tower would have us believe. He did say that Jesus was given the title of “Angel and Apostle”, and that Jesus is the God of Abraham.
(PDF Vol.1 pg. 409 ) Irenaeus
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1
Irenaeus against Heresies, Book 3, Chapters XX and XXI
(PDF Vol.2, pg. 177) Clement of Alexandria
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2
Exhortation to the Heathen, The Instructor, Book 1, Chapter II
(PDF Vol.2, pg. 190) The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 2
Exhortation to the Heathen, The Instructor, Book 1, Chapter VII
PDF Vol.2 pg. 171 (Clement of Alexandria)
For it was not without divine care that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Saviour, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God, not disbelieved in by all when He was first preached, nor altogether unknown when, assuming the character of man, and fashioning Himself in flesh
(PDF Vol.3, pg. 1107-1108) Tertullian
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 3
Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter XII
PDF vol. 3 pg. 1101 (Tertullian)
The Word, therefore, is both always in the Father, as He says, “I am in the Father;” and is always with God, according to what is written, “And the Word was with God;” and never separate from the Father, or other than the Father, since “I and the Father are one.” This will be the prolation, taught by the truth, the guardian of the Unity, wherein we declare that the Son is a prolation from the Father, without being from Him.
Note: To always be with and in the Father and to never be separate from the Father shows he always existed with the Father according to Tertullian. This is quite different than what the Watchtower said he taught.
(PDF Vol. 5, pg. 434) Hippolytus
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5
The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus, Part 2
Dogmatical and Historical, Against the Heresy of One Noetus
PDF vol.5 pg. 304-306 (Hippolytus) Therefore this solitary and supreme Deity, by an exercise of reflection, brought forth the Logos first; not the word in the sense of being articulated by voice, but as a ratiocination [i.e., the process of exact thinking] of the universe, conceived and residing in the divine mind. Him alone He produced from existing things; for the Father Himself constituted existence, and the being born from Him was the cause of all things that are produced. The Logos was in the Father Himself . . .
The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God.
Origen (PDF Vol. 4, pg. 1149)
The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 4
Origen Against Celsus, Book 7, Chapter XLIV
(PDF Vol. 4, pg.466) The Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 4
Origen de Principiis, Book 1, Chapter I
Anybody who wants to know whether Watch Tower literature is trustworthy should read Jehovah Witnesses’ own pamphlet, Should You Believe in the Trinity? (pg. 7), and then look up the references for themselves. This pamphlet and the volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers are available for free download on this website. Use the PDF page numbers in Adobe Reader to go to the correct page for each quote. (Free PDF Books)
Remember that the Watch Tower claims to be a prophet of God, and further claims that we must belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization to be qualified to live on Paradise Earth. The Watch Tower informs us that we cannot read our Bibles alone, but we also need their literature to help us to have true understanding. One would certainly expect to find their publications to be extremely accurate, if there is any validity to their claims at all. Yet the Watch Tower has grossly misrepresented six early Christian writers in this one pamphlet alone.
(Watchtower lies not Jehovah Witness lies)
Keep in mind that this does not mean that your average Jehovah’s Witness is untrustworthy; rather, it is the Watch Tower organization that is untrustworthy, deceiving its own followers.
You may also want to read my section on the New World Translation which is the Jehovah Witness Bible.