JW.ORG and Watchtower Library in one search box:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Was Christ Jesus Married?

By WILLIAM WRIGHT

A new book based on interpretations of an Aramaic text argue that Jesus Christ was married to the woman the Bible says was his mother. The book also asserts the couple had two children.

ABC News reported, “In ‘The Lost Gospel,’ authors Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson argue that the original Virgin Mary was Jesus’ wife — not his mother and that there was an assassination attempt on Jesus’ life 13 years before he was crucified.” Their arguments are based on an ancient manuscript dating back nearly 1,500 years, one they say they found in a British library.”

Although the report quotes Mark Goodacre, a professor of religious studies at Duke University, as stating, “There is simply no evidence in this text or anywhere else that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, much less that they had a couple of children,” news outlets are covering the scandalous accusation as if it had merit, when in fact it does not.

What proof are the authors offering? They offer the document itself as proof. Do you believe a document written some 500 years after Jesus walked the earth can offer greater proof than the documents written during the same generation that actually knew Jesus? Scholars had already scrutinized the document and discarded it as insignificant, according to news sources.

The International Business Times reports that Jacobovici has published controversial takes on early Christianity in the past, including a 2002 documentary on a site of human skeletal remains he believed to show Jesus had a family. Later, the Discovery Channel named the site one of the top 10 scientific hoaxes of all time.

Of course, this is not the first claim that Jesus was married. A fragment of an ancient Egyptian papyrus known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” was unveiled in 2012, containing the phrase “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife...’”

This document was also written centuries after Jesus died. The discovery was announced at the 10th International Congress on Coptic studies held in Rome. But Stephen Emmel, a professor of Coptology at the University of Muenster in Germany, stated in an interview at the conference, “There’s something about this fragment in its appearance and also in the grammar of the Coptic that strikes me as being not completely convincing somehow.”

Some experts commented that the writing on the papyrus is “personal writing,” whereas in ancient manuscripts it would have been written in a more rigid way, similar to a printed text. At the conference Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, said, “I would say it’s a forgery. The script doesn’t look authentic.”

Even if this proved to be an authentic product of a fourth-century writer, why would that carry more weight than the loyal, candid, gospel writers of the first century who either knew Jesus personally or lived in his era? It was no crime to be married. So why would anyone not report a marriage unless it never happened?

Why assume every article written about Jesus, hundreds of years after his death, was historical? Are we to assume that every writer in the past was a historian? People wrote for entertainment and fun even as they do today. Don’t be surprised if archaeologists dig up more baseless assertions about Jesus than these two.

Experts don’t even know if this fourth-century fragment could have intended to include the words, “Jesus said to them, my wife — is the congregation,” or “Jesus said to them, my wife — will be those with me in heaven.”

That would harmonize with similar statements in the Bible at Revelation 19:7-8: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” — New King James Version.

As Paul wrote to loyal first century Christians in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” — New International Version. The relationship between Christ and Christians going to heaven is so close that their oneness was likened to a husband and wife in Scriptures like John 3:28-30, Ephesians 5:22-32 and Galatians 3:28.

The Scriptures are clear that Jesus knew his life would be short-lived, cut off in his prime (Matthew 16:21). Clearly, he came to die for our sins and glorify God, not marry and have children (John 3:16).

Based on a few incomplete sentences and one text written some 500 years after Jesus walked the earth, some people may be ready to dismiss centuries of documentation provided by eyewitness disciples of Christ. But for millions of Christians, the Bible is the best, most reliable source of information on the life and ministry of Christ.

Unfortunately, Bible critics will continue to feed the news media with sensational stories so these skeptics can make a name for themselves. True to its word, the Bible foretold at 2 Timothy 3:1-2 that in the “last days” men would be “blasphemers” and there has been no shortage of irreverent lies in our day.

Perhaps the words of Jesus at John 8:44 could be extended to certain people in our time? Jesus told a group of religious leaders who were slandering him, “You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” — New English Translation.

If, on the other hand, you do take the four gospels of the Bible to be the inspired Word of truth — to love, honor and cherish it — to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward until death do you part — then feel free to respond by saying, “I do!”

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/20264926/article-WRIGHT-WAY--Was-Christ-Jesus-married-?instance=main_article

-----------------------------------------------------------------
For more about this subject, see:

Was Jesus Married? Did Jesus Have Siblings? (JW.ORG)

------------------------------------------------------------------
(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at http://www.jw.org/en. Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)


SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Microscopic World - Purposeful Design or Mindless Process?

Childbirth

This series of biochemical and physical events...eloquently points to design on the part of our Creator, whom the Bible calls “the source of life.”—Psalm 36:9; Ecclesiastes 11:5.
The Amazing Process of Childbirth (g 1/11 pp. 16-17; Watchtower Online Library)

FOR MOBILE DEVICES - VIDEO: The Miracle of Human Creation



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Image: A White Blood Cell Chases and Engulfs This Bacteria

"Regarding white blood cells, [the book ABC’s of the Human Body states]: “While there is only one kind of red cell, white blood cells come in many varieties, each type capable of fighting the body’s battles in a different way. One kind, for instance, destroys dead cells. Other kinds produce antibodies against viruses, detoxify foreign substances, or literally eat up and digest bacteria.”

"What an amazing and highly organized system! Surely anything that is so well put together and so thoroughly protective must have a very intelligent and caring organizer—God." - "How We Can Know There Is a God"; The Unique Blood System


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

DNA

There are myriad chemical reactions that need to be precisely staged to form DNA.

For perspective, Dr. Emil Borel, an authority on probabilities, says that if there is less chance for something to happen than 1 in 10 to the 50th power (1 followed by 50 zeros), then it will never happen, no matter how much time is allowed.

So when Dr. Frank Salisbury of Utah State University, U.S.A., calculated the odds of the spontaneous formation of a basic DNA molecule essential for the appearance of life, the calculations revealed the probability to be so tiny (one in 1 followed by 415 zeros!) that it is considered mathematically impossible.

Actually, the odds for natural evolution are so incredibly poor that even noted evolutionists admit that it is virtually impossible, but they believe it anyway, because the only alternative (creation) is so repugnant to them.
How Likely is it For a Basic DNA Molecule to Form Spontaneously? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

FOR MOBILE DEVICES - VIDEO: DNA Replication





Also see:

WAS IT DESIGNED? - The Storage Capacity of DNA (JW.ORG)

Where Did the Instructions Come From? (lf question 3 pp. 13-21; Watchtower Online Library)

Can Complex Information Write Itself? (g 11/11 pp. 4-6; Watchtower Online Library)

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




SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses

SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How Likely is it For a Basic DNA Molecule to Form Spontaneously?

If evolution is true, then it should seem at least reasonably possible that DNA could have come about by means of a series of chance events.

Yet there are myriad chemical reactions that need to be precisely staged to form DNA.

For perspective, Dr. Emil Borel, an authority on probabilities, says that if there is less chance for something to happen than 1 in 10 to the 50th power (1 followed by 50 zeros), then it will never happen, no matter how much time is allowed.

So when Dr. Frank Salisbury of Utah State University, U.S.A., calculated the odds of the spontaneous formation of a basic DNA molecule essential for the appearance of life, the calculations revealed the probability to be so tiny (one in 1 followed by 415 zeros!) that it is considered mathematically impossible.

Actually, the odds for natural evolution are so incredibly poor that even noted evolutionists admit that it is virtually impossible, but they believe it anyway, because the only alternative (creation) is so repugnant to them.

For example, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Dr. George Wald admits:

"One only has to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result I believe, of spontaneous generation."

This belief in the impossible by evolutionists is mainly because they don't want to believe in the alternative.

Biologist D. H. Watson once said: Evolution is

"universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."

For more, see:

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

WAS IT DESIGNED? - The Storage Capacity of DNA (JW.ORG)

Where Did the Instructions Come From? (lf question 3 pp. 13-21; Watchtower Online Library)

Can Complex Information Write Itself? (g 11/11 pp. 4-6; Watchtower Online Library)

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

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





SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reasons Why Jehovah's Witnesses Do Not Celebrate Halloween

ORIGINALLY POSTED 10/7/2011

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

Halloween's Pagan Origin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Halloween and Witchcraft

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Halloween - Based on Unscriptural Beliefs

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

Should You Celebrate Halloween?

Clearly, God would not approve of any ceremonies or customs that have any pagan associations. The Bible also warns us about the practice of spiritism - of which Halloween historically has close connections with. And finally, Halloween is based on beliefs that run completely contrary to what the Bible teaches. So when it comes to celebrating Halloween - especially after considering what you have just read - what will you decide?  
----------------------------------------------
(For even more specific information concerning Halloween, see:
Halloween - Links to Information
(INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

The Truth About Halloween (AWAKE! SEPTEMBER 2013; JW.ORG)

The Origins of Halloween—What Does the Bible Say About Them? (JW.ORG)

Popular Celebrations—Harmless Fun?
(g01 10/8 3-10; Watchtower Online Library)

Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween
(g 10/06 p. 27; Watchtower Online Library)

HALLOWEEN IS FAR FROM HOLY
(lv chap. 13 pp. 144-159; Watchtower Online Library)
--------------------------------------------------------------------




SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Monday, August 11, 2014

How is Phil. 2:6 Meant to Be Understood?

"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God". - Phil. 2:6; KJV

How is Phil. 2:6 Meant to Be Understood?

To begin with, the context of Phil. 2:3-9 indicates how Phil. 2:6 should be understood. The context stresses the concept of humility and obedience, and Phil. 2:6 itself is clearly meant as the prime example of this for all Christians. Even The Amplified Bible, for example, translates Phil. 2:3, 5 this way:

"Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself.... Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. - Let Him be your example in humility."

Then that very example of Jesus (Phil. 2:6-8) is given. - Cf. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1, p. 547.

Most trinitarian interpretations of Phil. 2:6, however, do not show Jesus as regarding God as "better than and superior to himself" in the beginning (as the context demands for this example). Most of them, instead, twist that proper example of humility into just the opposite: an example of a person who regards himself already as equal to the Most High, Almighty God ("thought it not robbery to be equal to God"). Such an interpretation destroys the very purpose (Phil. 2:3) of Jesus' "example in humility" here.

Paul is not telling us to regard ourselves as equal to others. He is clearly using Jesus as his example to teach that each Christian must, as the very trinitarian Amplified Bible above puts it, "regard others as better than and superior to himself". And yet most trinitarian translations show Jesus doing the very opposite in this "example in humility" for all Christians.

Something, then, is very wrong with the translation of Phil. 2:6 in most trinitarian Bibles. Consider the following:
---------------------------------------...

CONCERNING THE WORD "FORM" [morphe]:

Many trinitarian Bible scholars attempt to force an interpretation of "form" [morphe] that includes the idea of "essence" or "nature." However, even many trinitarian Bible scholars admit:

"Morphe is instanced from Homer onwards and means form in the sense of outward appearance." - The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Zondervan, p. 705, vol. 1.

Therefore, God, Jesus, and the angels all have the “essence” or “nature” of spirit. This obviously does not make them all equally God! Man, mouse, and canary are certainly not all equally man simply because they all have the same “essence” or “nature” of flesh.

If Paul had intended `nature,' `very essence,' etc., he certainly would not have used a word which means only external appearance (morphe). He would have used one of the words which really mean absolute nature.
---------------------------------------...

CONCERNING THE WORD "HARPAGMOS":

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (by trinitarian writer and trinitarian publisher) tells us that harpagmos means "plunder" and that it comes from the source word harpazo which means: "to seize ... catch away, pluck, take (by force)." - #725; 726, Abingdon Press, 1974 printing.

And the New American Standard Concordance of the Bible (also by trinitarians) tells us: "harpagmos; from [harpazo]; the act of seizing or the thing seized." And, "harpazo ... to seize, catch up, snatch away." Notice that all have to do with taking something away by force. - # 725; #726, Holman Bible Publ., 1981.

But, in spite of some trinitarians' reasonings and euphemistic renderings, it is clear from the way it was always used in Scripture that harpagmos means either taking something away by force (a verb), or something which has been taken by force (a noun).

Paul certainly wouldn't destroy this example of humility for fellow Christians by saying that Jesus is thinking that it isn't "robbery" (KJV) for him to be equal with the Most High. Besides being a nonsensical statement, it is just the opposite of humility. Instead, to be in harmony with the purpose of Paul's example, we must find a Jesus who regards God as superior to himself and won't give even a moment's thought about attempting to take that most high position himself, but, instead, humbles himself even further.

When even a number of the best trinitarian scholars are willing to admit the actual meaning (or even an equivalent compromise) of harpagmos at Phil. 2:6, it becomes necessary for honest-hearted, truth-seeking individuals to admit that Phil. 2:6 not only does not identify Jesus as God, but that it clearly shows Jesus is not God.

Also see:

Philippians 2:5, 6 (rs p. 405-p. 426; Watchtower Online Library)

PHIL 2:6;  Part 2 - Notes (Examining the Trinity)

New World Translation and Philippians 2:6 (IN Defense of the NWT)

What does it mean when Phil. 2:6 says that Jesus was in God's form? (Search For Bible Truths)

Huparchon (or `Uparchon') - Does the word `being' in Philippians 2:6 [KJV], really literally mean `remaining or not ceasing to be'? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

"[Other]" and Phil. 2:6 (Defending the NWT)



SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The King of the North, the King of the South and the "Time of the End”

Chapters 10 through 12 of the Book of Daniel tells of Daniel's prophecy concerning the ongoing enmity between the "King of the North" and the "King of the South". The political identities of these two kings have changed as the battle between them continued for the past 2,000 years and down into our day. Considering that this prophecy also concerns "the time of the end" (Daniel 12:4), this should be of interest to us. This is because this prophecy could give us a clear view of where we are in the stream of time.

The following is specifically centered on the "time of the end” (Daniel 11:40 through Daniel 12:9). But some excellent information concerning the changing of the political identities of these two kings prior to the 20th century can be found in the Daniel's Prophecy book published by the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society.

Concerning the "Time of the End”

Concerning the "time of the end”, Daniel 11:40a reads:

“In the time of the end the king of the south will engage with him [the King of the North] in a pushing.”

If “the time of the end” here means the same as it does at Daniel 12:4, 9, we should look for the fulfillment of these words throughout the last days. What immediately comes to mind when a "pushing" is described between two major powers during the course of our past century? What two "kings" have targeted fearsome nuclear weapons on each other and have engaged in high-tech espionage as well as diplomatic and even limited military offensives? This kind of "pushing" has even adopted a name: The "Cold War".

Daniel 11:40b helps to identify the King of the North in “the time of the end”:

“Against him the king of the north will storm with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he will certainly enter into the lands and flood over and pass through.”

The identity of the King of the North in the time of the end seems apparent when considering that the history of the past century has well recorded the King of the North's expansionism. But, even though—from the viewpoint of his rival—the King of the North has loomed as a menacing presence, he has not achieved world conquest.

Events To Come

But what happens next? The following is a brief excerpt from the 11/1/93 Watchtower, "The Final Victory of Michael, the Great Prince", pars. 10-14:

"Does the rivalry between the two kings continue indefinitely? No. The angel told Daniel: “There will be reports that will disturb him [the king of the north], out of the sunrising and out of the north, and he will certainly go forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. And he will plant his palatial tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will have to come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.”—Daniel 11:44, 45.

"These events are yet future, so we cannot say in detail how the prophecy will be fulfilled. Recently, the political situation regarding the two kings has changed. The bitter rivalry between the United States and Eastern European countries has cooled. Further, the Soviet Union was disbanded in 1991 and no longer exists.—See the March 1, 1992, issue of The Watchtower, pages 4, 5.

"So who is the king of the north now? Is he to be identified with one of the countries that were part of the old Soviet Union? Or is he changing identity completely, as he has a number of times before? We cannot say. Who will be the king of the north when Daniel 11:44, 45 is fulfilled? Will the rivalry between the two kings flare up again? And what of the huge nuclear stockpiles that still exist in a number of lands? Only time will provide the answers to these questions.

"One thing we do know. Soon, the king of the north will conduct an offensive campaign that will be triggered by “reports that will disturb him, out of the sunrising and out of the north.” This campaign will immediately precede his “end.” We can learn more about these “reports” if we consider other Bible prophecies.

"First, though, notice that these acts of the king of the north are not said to be against the king of the south. He does not come to his end at the hands of his great rival. Similarly, the king of the south is not destroyed by the king of the north. The southern king (represented in other prophecies as the final horn to appear on a wild beast) is destroyed “without [human] hand” by God’s Kingdom. (Daniel 7:26; 8:25) In fact, all earthly kings are finally destroyed by God’s Kingdom at the battle of Armageddon, and this evidently is what happens to the king of the north. (Daniel 2:44; 12:1; Revelation 16:14, 16) Daniel 11:44, 45 describes events leading up to that final battle. No wonder “there will be no helper” when the king of the north meets his end!"

For much more, see:

Kings of North and South - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

North Versus South, Michael Stands Up (si pp. 138-142; Bible Book Number 27—Daniel; Watchtower Online Library)

Time of the End (Insight-2 pp. 1103-1104; Watchtower Online Library)

SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Monday, August 4, 2014

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Eat Red Meat Since it May Contain a Trace of Blood?

Though Christians are to abstain from blood (Acts 15:29), the Bible shows that the eating of flesh by Christians is proper, for God Himself told us that we could eat meat from "every animal". "Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for YOU." (Gen. 9:3)

But God commanded that before eating the flesh of an animal, his people were to pour out its blood on the ground and cover it with dust, being careful not to eat the blood, on pain of death. (Deut. 12:23-25; Lev. 7:27) This is our way for us to show respect for God's view of life.

So when someone carefully takes the strict precautions that God outlined by making sure that an animal is properly bled before consumption, they wouldn't be breaking God's command of eating blood. Since God Himself has issued these directions, obviously, if properly done, God does not have a problem with eating the meat from "every animal".

People can rest assured that nearly all blood is removed from meat during slaughter, which is why you don’t see blood in raw “white meat”; only an extremely small amount of blood remains within the muscle tissue when you get it from the store. (Also see: The Red Juice in Raw Meat is Not Blood (todayifoundit.com)

For more, see:

Blood—Vital For Life / BLOOD AND TRUE CHRISTIANS (JW.ORG)

Showing Respect for Blood (bh chap. 13 pp. 125-133; Watchtower Online Library)

Meat - Links to Information (Search For Bible Truths)



SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Understand John 1:1 to Read, "...and the Word Was a god"?

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Understand John 1:1 to Read, "...and the Word Was a god"?

This Bible verse is often misused. In the King James Version, this Scripture reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Greek, ton the·on′], and the Word was God [the·os′].” This verse contains two forms of the Greek noun the·os′ (god). The first is preceded by ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article, and in this case the word the·on′ refers to Almighty God. In the second instance, however, the·os′ has no definite article.

In the New World Translation Bible (produced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society - a legal organization in use by Jehovah’s Witnesses), John 1:1 reads: “In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Some other translations render the last part of the verse to convey the thought that the Word was “divine,” or something similar. (A New Translation of the Bible, by James Moffatt; The New English Bible) Many translations, however, render the last part of John 1:1: “And the Word was God.”—The Holy BibleNew International Version; The Jerusalem Bible. So which is the correct translation of this verse?

Greek Grammar and Context Provide the Answer

Greek grammar and the context strongly indicate that the New World Translation rendering is correct and that “the Word” should not be identified as the “God” referred to earlier in the verse. (See John 1:1c Primer (Examining the Trinity). Also see the w09 4/1 pp. 18-19 article: A Text That Teaches the Trinity?)

Bible verses in the Greek language that have a construction similar to that of John 1:1 use the expression “a god.” For example, when referring to Herod Agrippa I, the crowds shouted: ‘It is a god speaking.’ And when Paul survived a bite by a poisonous snake, the people said: “He is a god.” (Acts 12:22; 28:3-6) It is in harmony with both Greek grammar and Bible teaching to speak of the Word as, not God, but “a god.”—John 1:1.

For instance, consider that John states that the Word was “with God.” But how can an individual be with someone and at the same time be that person? John 1:1 clearly phrases God as a separate person from the Word (Jesus). And since Jesus is written and identified in John 1:1 as a separate person from God (not just the Father), then that would positively exclude him as being God!

Commenting on this, Count Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian novelist and religious philosopher, said:

"If it says that in the beginning was the...Word, and that the Word was...WITH God, it is impossible to go on and say that it was God. If it was God, it could stand in no relation to God." - The Four Gospels Harmonized and Translated, p. 30.

Moreover, as recorded at John 17:3, Jesus makes a clear distinction between himself and his heavenly Father. He calls his Father “the only true God.” And toward the end of his Gospel, John sums up matters by saying: “These have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.” (John 20:31) Notice that Jesus is called, not God, but the Son of God. This additional information provided in the Gospel of John shows how John 1:1 should be understood. Jesus, the Word, is “a god” in the sense that he has a high position but is not the same as Almighty God.

Other Bibles That Render John 1:1c "a god"

The NWT is not the only Bible to render John 1:1c as "a god". Actually, there are many Bibles that render John 1:1 as "a God" or it's equivalent:

1808: “and the word was a god.” The New Testament in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text.

1864: “and a god was the word.” The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson.

1928: “and the Word was a divine being.” La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel.

1935: “and the Word was divine.” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.

1946: “and of a divine kind was the Word.” Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme.

1958: “and the Word was a God.” The New Testament, by James L. Tomanek.

1975: “and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz.

1978: “and godlike kind was the Logos.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider.

Trinitarian Scholars Have Even Admitted That "the Word was *a* god"

Even a number of respected trinitarian scholars have admitted that "the Word was *a* god" is the literal translation at John 1:1c.

In addition to their comments below, W. E. Vine, Prof. C. H. Dodd (Director of the New English Bible project), and Murray J. Harris admit that this ("the Word was a god") is the literal translation, but, being trinitarians, they insist that it be interpreted and translated as "and the Word was God." Why? Because of a trinitarian bias only!

W. E. Vine - "a god was the Word" - p. 490, An Expository Dictionary of the New Testament.

C. H. Dodd - "The Word was a god" - Technical Papers for the Bible Translator, Jan., 1977.

Murray J. Harris - "the Word was a god" - p. 60, Jesus as God, Baker Book House, 1992.

Robert Young - "and a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word" - Young's Concise Critical Bible Commentary.

Even Origen, the most knowledgeable of the early Christian Greek-speaking scholars, tells us that John 1:1c actually means "the Word [logos] was a god". - "Origen's Commentary on John," Book I, ch. 42 - Bk II, ch.3.

Origen's Commentary on John is "the first great work of Christian interpretation." Origen was certainly the most knowledgeable about NT (koine) Greek of any scholar. He studied it from early childhood and even taught it professionally from his teens onward. And this was during a time when it was a living language and, of course, well understood. - The Ante-Nicene Fathers, pp. 291-294, vol. X, Eerdmans Publ., 1990 printing.

The Sahidic Coptic Translation Reads John 1:1 as, "And the Word was *a* god."

It is also interesting to note that the Coptic language was spoken in Egypt in the centuries immediately following Jesus' earthly ministry, and the Sahidic dialect was an early literary form of the language. A significant fact concerning the Coptic language is that, unlike the Greek, it used an indefinite article ("a" or "an" in English).

The Sahidic Coptic translation DOES USE an indefinite article with the word 'god' in the final part of John 1:1 and when rendered into modern English, the translation reads: 'And the Word was a god.' (Coptic Translation of John 1:1-14)

The fact is that the New World Translation is not wrong in translating John 1:1 the way it does as some critics propose. In fact, these critics have it completely turned around. The absence of the indefinite article (a) at John 1:1c has been purposely mistranslated in most Trinitarian-produced Bibles to fit THEIR doctrine that Jesus is God.

For much more, see:

Was the Word “God” or “a god”? (w08 11/1 pp. 24-25; Watchtower Online Library)

"The Word Was God" (bh p. 201-p. 204 par. 2; Watchtower Online Library)

“Those Who Are Called ‘Gods’” (g05 4/22 pp. 8-9; Watchtower Online Library)

John 1:1 - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)



SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Really Have a "Higher Turnover Rate" Compared to Other Religions?

Anyone who believes that [Jehovah's] Witnesses have a higher rate of “turnover” has been misled by “phone
polls” which are notoriously flawed. .... We need to beware of using figures which claim the JWs have a large turnover to draw any conclusions.

First, the fact is that losing members in any quantity has absolutely no relevancy on whether a religion is truly Christian. This is simply a distractive Logical Fallacy called a "Red Herring."

Further, these figures do not take in the fact that, unlike other religions, JWs only count *active* members. We don't even count those who regularly attend meetings but don't go out in the public ministry. That is unlike other Churches who continue to count as members EVERYONE regardless of whether they even attend services!

Also, JWs do not have a problem with such a number leaving their organization because this very situation was indicated by Christ in his parables of the Christian Congregation. Christ likened the gathering of followers to a dragnet. The bad would have to be separated out and thrown away (Mt.13:47-50).

Christ also illustrated those who become disciples to four types of soil. All types "hear," "receive" and even "believe" the Word, but only one type does not "fall away" or get "carried away." The majority do not "bear fruit with endurance" (Lk 8:11-15; cf. Mt.7:13,14, 21)

Also, the Bible records that "many" who had become Christ's disciples left his fellowship because they didn't like what he taught (Jn. 6:60-69). Since this happened to Christ who was a perfect teacher and even performed miracles, why would we think in wouldn’t happen to the Christian congregation now?

Also, we can get a better perspective of such figures when we place them alongside the figures of other religions. Facts show that around 1960 seventy-five percent of the "Christian" world attended church regularly. Yet in 2002, research showed that in most countries only 3-10 percent of the population are regular churchgoers. The highest figures are in the U.S. and Canada where head counts show only 20 percent attend church regularly.

This means that religions have lost between 55 and 72 percent of their attendees.

Even more important are the figures of how many church members even agree with their churches' teachings. One newspaper report showed that a majority of church members, 57 percent, disagree with the official teachings of their church regarding matters of morality.

This certainly shows that no one can criticize the Witnesses for their turnover rate. Especially when you see that we are still growing.

Jesus didn't say you would identify the true religion because they would never lose members, nor because they always would grow. He said that you would identify the true Christian Organization "by their fruits," or the results of their Biblical teaching (Mat.7:16,20).

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.



SEARCH THIS SITE:

Defend Jehovah's Witnesses


SEARCH JW.ORG:

JW.ORG