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Monday, January 26, 2015

NEW VIDEO AT JW.ORG: Building a New Bible


NEW VIDEO AT JW.ORG:
Building a New Bible 
Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the 2013 revision of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was constructed.

Cómo se hizo la nueva Biblia

A produção de uma nova Bíblia

La produzione della nuova Bibbia

Die neue Bibel — echte Wertarbeit

La conception d’une nouvelle Bible

Создание обновленной Библии

Виготовлення нової Біблії

Η Παραγωγή μιας Νέας Αγίας Γραφής

새로운 성경이 탄생하기까지

Hogyan készült az új Biblia?

Paggawa ng Bagong Bibliya

Which Worldwide Religion Bears God's Name 'Jehovah'?

Which Worldwide Religion Bears God's Name 'Jehovah'?

Ps. 83:18 identifies God's name:

"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." (KJV)

(Also notice Ps. 83:18 from the ASV, Darby, WBT, TMB and YLT Bibles at the following link.)
http://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/83-18-compare.html

Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for educating others about God's personal name which occurs in the Bible nearly 7,000 times.
http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/gods-name/

Concerning Jehovah's Witnesses, it is also interesting that there seems to be no other readily-identifiable, world-wide religious group that use the personal name of God to identify themselves today. (Acts 15:14, 15)

"Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen;" (Isaiah 43:10) ASV

What Does "Hallelujah" Mean?

The expression “Hallelujah,” which occurs 24 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, literally is a command
to a number of people to “praise Jah” - a poetic shortened form of 'Jehovah', the name of the Most High God. (Ex 15:1, 2)

"The word halal is the source of `Hallelujah,' a Hebrew expression of `praise' to God which has been taken over into virtually every language of mankind. The Hebrew `Hallelujah' is generally translated [falsely], `Praise the Lord!' The Hebrew is more technically [more honestly] translated `Let us praise Yah,' the term `Yah' being a shortened form of `Yahweh,' the unique Israelite name for God." - p. 301, - Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, Unger and White, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1980.

"Hallelujah - Praise ye Jehovah - frequently rendered [falsely] `Praise Ye the Lord" - p. 276. "Jah - a shortened form of `Jehovah,'" - p. 322, Today's Bible Dictionary, Bethany House Publishers, 1982.

"HALLELUJAH ... 'praise ye Jehovah'; allelouia .... In the NT ['Hallelujah'] is found as part of the song of the heavenly host (Rev. 19:1 ff)." - p. 1323, Vol. 2, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Eerdmans Publ., 1984 printing.

"hallelujah: (Heb., hillel, he praises; Jah, form of Yahweh-Jehovah....) Literally, Praise ye Yahweh." - p. 320, An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (editor), 1945 ed.

"HALLELUJAH - HALLELOUIA [in NT Greek] signifies `Praise ye Jah.' .... In the N.T. it is found in Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6, as the keynote in the song of the great multitude in Heaven. Alleluia, without the initial H, is a misspelling." - p. 520, W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1980.

"ALLELUIA, the Greek form (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye Jehovah, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.)." – Easton's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1897.

The NT Greek text does have the initial `H' sound. The "misspelling" is in certain English translations (e.g., KJV) which drop the beginning `H' sound: "Alleluia"! However, most respected modern translations do have "Hallelujah" in Rev. 19 (e.g., NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ASV, REB, MLB, Mo, and Barclay).

"Hallelujah....is derived from halal, which means to praise, and Jah, which is the name of God .... here in this chapter [Rev. 19] the original Hebrew form transliterated into Greek, is retained." - p. 169, Vol. 2, William Barclay, The Revelation of John, Revised Edition, The Daily Study Bible Series, Westminster Press, 1976.

"Alleluia, so written in Rev. 19:6, foll., or more properly Hallelujah, Praise ye Jehovah ...." - p. 31. "Jah (Jehovah), the abbreviated form of Jehovah ... The identity of Jah and Jehovah is strongly marked in two passages of Isaiah - 12:2; 26:4." - p. 276, Smith's Bible Dictionary, William Smith, Hendrickson Publ.

"Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah ['Heb. JAH' - ASV f. n.], even Jehovah [YHWH], is an everlasting rock." - Is. 26:4, ASV.

Yes, Jah is equivalent to Jehovah. Two different forms of the very same PERSONAL NAME of God. (This is likely equivalent to the way Greek manuscripts often abbreviated "God" [Qeos, 'theos'] as QS. If so, Jah would still be pronounced "Jehovah" or "Yahweh".)

Psalm 68:4, King James Version - "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name; extol him...by his name JAH ['Jehovah' - ASV; LB]..."

Of course, the Gentile manuscript copyists of later centuries probably did not know that "Abi-JAH" ("The Father is Jehovah"), "Eli-JAH," ("God is Jehovah"), etc. are transliterations that actually use the shortened form of God's personal name ("Jah") and certainly didn't know that "Hallelujah" (Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6) is really Hebrew for "Praise Jah" or they would have surely changed them all also. However, the inspired Jewish Christians who actually wrote the original NT manuscripts certainly knew that writing or proclaiming aloud "Hallelu JAH!" (whether in Hebrew characters or Greek characters) was writing (or proclaiming aloud) God's personal name. If the Jewish Christian and Apostle John had left God's name out of the NT originally, he surely would not have then used "Hallelu JAH!" in four places in Revelation 19, for he knew exactly what it truly said: "Praise ye Jehovah"! Only the Hebrew-ignorant Gentile "Christian" copyists would be fooled by "Hallelujah" exactly as they were when they removed and changed the Divine Name in the Septuagint about the same time).

Also see: Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained
http://defendingjehovahswitnesses.blogspot.com/2012/09/hallelujah-jah-removal-of-gods-name-and.html

More Information Concerning This Can Be Found In the Following Articles:

Jah
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002288?q=Hallelujah&p=par

HALLELUJAH (Watchtower Online Library INDEX)
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200272571

HALLELUJAH (Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1)
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001830

What Does it Mean to "Fear" God?

What Does it Mean to "Fear" God?

The Bible shows that there is a proper fear and an improper fear. The proper fear of God is an awe and a reverence for Him and is a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.

This proper fear of God is “the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10), “the start of wisdom.” (Pr 9:10) “The fear of God is pure.” (Ps 19:9)

This fear is defined at Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of God means the hating of bad” and “in the fear of God one turns away from bad.” (Pr 16:6)

Recommended Related Articles:

What is the fear of Jehovah that we should have?
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001500?q=What+is+the+fear+of+Jehovah+that+we+should+have&p=par

Be Wise—Fear God!
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2006565

Enjoy Life in the Fear of Jehovah
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2007164

1 Cor. 11:3 - "The Head of Christ is God."

This Scripture (1 Cor. 11:3), as well as the Bible throughout, clearly shows that Jesus Christ is not God. People who believe that Jesus is God have absolutely no logical response to this.

The God-ordained principle of headship in the Christian congregation states as follows:

"But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) NWT

This verse plainly states that in the same way that Jesus exercises headship over man and man exercises headship over the woman, God also exercises headship over Christ. God does not have a head or superior.

Not only is God indicated to be superior over Christ here, but God is phrased as a separate person from Christ. Additionally, this Scripture was written about Christ when he is in heaven - not on earth - so Trinitarians cannot use the common excuse for this Scripture that he was merely a man at the time.

1 Cor. 11:3 can also be used in conjunction with 1 Cor.15:28 which shows that Jesus subjects himself to God, and also phrases Jesus as a separate and distinct individual from God.

Recommended Related Articles:

“The head of every man is the Christ.”—1 COR. 11:3.
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/pc/r1/lp-e/1200270046/173/0

1 Cor. 11:3
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989276#h=27:0-27:412

Gen. 6:2 - Who were the "Sons of God" as Mentioned in This Scriptural Passage?

The most likely interpretation is that these "sons of God" were angels:

"'Son of God' in the OT can refer to a 'heavenly court' of supernatural beings [angels] (Gen. 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1; 82:6; 89:6 ...)" - p. 571, Vol. 4, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988. [Bracketed information added.]

Further supporting this is how the Bible mentions that it was disobedient angels that left their place in heaven during the time of Noah, came down to the earth, and took on fleshly bodies:

"The angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place..." (Jude 6)

Their reason for doing this is explained in the following Scripture:

“The sons of the true God began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking; and they went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.” (Genesis 6:2)

Supporting the conclusion that these were ANGELIC "sons of God" is the apostle Peter’s references to “the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in Noah’s days” (1 Pet. 3:19, 20), and to “the angels that sinned,” mentioned in connection with the “ancient world” of Noah’s time. (2 Pet. 2:4, 5)

For more, see these posts at my other blogs:

Were the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6:2 angels, and if so, how could they produce offspring (Nephilim) in the time of Noah?
http://searchforbibletruths.blogspot.com/2010/06/since-angels-are-spirits-how-did-they.html

Identifying the Nephilim
http://defendingjehovahswitnesses.blogspot.com/2013/10/identifying-nephilim.html

Gen. 2:17 - What Did God Mean When He Said That Adam and Eve Would Die the Day They Ate the Fruit When They Actually Died Hundreds of Years Later?

God did not lie when He said in Gen. 2:17, "But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”

Yes, they died hundreds of years later - but they did die.

If the argument is that they didn't die within that 24-hour period, we need to understand that many times the Bible uses the word “day” in a flexible or figurative sense:

“the day of God’s creating Adam” (Ge 5:1), “the day of Jehovah” (Zep 1:7), the “day of fury” (Zep 1:15), “the day of salvation” (2Co 6:2), “the day of judgment” (2Pe 3:7), “the great day of God the Almighty” (Re 16:14), and others.

This flexible use of the word “day” to express units of time of varying length is clearly evident in the Genesis account of creation. At Hebrews 4:1-10 the apostle Paul indicated that God’s rest day was still continuing in his generation, and that was more than 4,000 years after that seventh-day rest period began. This makes it evident that each creative day, or work period, was at least thousands of years in length. As A Religious Encyclopaedia (Vol. I, p. 613) observes: “The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each.”—Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.

Even the entire period of the six time units or creative “days” dedicated to the preparation of planet Earth is summed up in one all-embracing “day” at Genesis 2:4: “This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.”

Man’s situation does not compare with that of the Creator, who does not reside within our solar system and who is not affected by its various cycles and orbits. Of God, who is from time indefinite to time indefinite, the psalmist says: “For a thousand years are in your eyes but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch during the night.” (Ps 90:2, 4) Correspondingly, the apostle Peter writes that “one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” (2Pe 3:8) For man, a 1,000-year period represents some 365,242 individual time units of day and night, but to the Creator it can be just one unbroken time period in which He begins the carrying out of some purposeful activity and brings it on to its successful conclusion, much as a man begins a task in the morning and concludes it by the day’s end.

Additional Reading:

Adam’s Sin
http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/what-is-gods-purpose-for-the-earth/

Gen. 3:22 - Who is the "us" as stated by God at Genesis 3:22?

To help us understand who "us" is at Genesis 3:22, we need to see what the situation was like in heaven when God spoke these words. The Bible says that the Father, Jehovah God created His son Jesus as the very first of all creation:

Rev. 3:14 says that Jesus is "the Beginning of the creation of God". NASB

John 1:18 says that Jesus is God's "only BEGOTTEN Son". ASV

Col. 1:15 says that Jesus is "the FIRSTBORN of all creation".

So when God said "Let us make man in our image" at Gen. 1:26, and “The man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad” at Gen. 3:22), God was speaking to His only-begotten Son Jesus, His Master Worker, the first-born of all creation, *through* whom all other things came into existence. (Prov. 8:30, 31; also compare John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-17.)

Here is a very good article about this:

To whom was God referring as “one of us” at Genesis 3:22? 
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003766#s=0:0-6:571

Also see:

Is Gen. 1:26 Really "Proof" of the Trinity? ("Let US make man in OUR image.")
http://defendingjehovahswitnesses.blogspot.com/2014/06/is-gen-126-really-proof-of-trinity-let.html


Gen. 3:19 - "...For dust you are and to dust you will return.” What was God condemning, the body, the personality or the person?

According to the Bible, there is no activity, feeling, emotion, or thought in death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10)

The simple truth is that no person has had a prehuman existence to remember. Before you were conceived, you did not exist.

So it is logical to conclude that when we die, our consciousness returns to exactly the same state it was before we were alive.

That is why God told Adam after he disobeyed: “For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

Recommended Related Articles: 

A Closer Look at Some Myths About Death
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2002401

Is Death Really the End? - Hope From the God of Life 
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102007442

Gen. 1:26: How is Man Created in The Image of God?

Gen. 1:26: How is Man Created in The image of God?
As to the actual form or shape of God’s body, "at no time has anyone beheld God" (1 John 4:12) because "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24). So it would seem unreasonable to liken man’s body to God’s body. 
Note that the Scriptures do not say that God created man in the image of a wild beast or of a domestic animal or of a fish. Man was made "in God’s image"; he was a "son of God." (Luke 3:38)

Man is "in God’s image" in that he was created with moral qualities like those of God, such as love and justice. (See Col. 3:10) He also has powers and wisdom above those of animals, so that he can appreciate the things that God enjoys and appreciates, such as beauty and the arts, speaking, reasoning, and similar processes of the mind and heart of which the animals are not capable. Man is also capable of spirituality...the knowing and having communication with God. (1 Cor. 2:11-16; Heb 12:9) It was these reasons that man was qualified to be God’s representative and to have in subjection the forms of creature life in the skies, on the earth, and in the sea.

Also see:

“In God’s Image”
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2000846#h=8:0-9:753

Gen. 1:16: It is claimed that God made the stars on the 4th day. Is this true?


It is in Gen. 1:1, not Gen. 1:16, where it describes the stars being physically created. In Gen. 1:1, it
says that "God created the heavens and earth". There is nothing to indicate that billions of years could not have passed between that statement and the next sentence in Gen. 1:2. So “the heavens” (which includes the stars) were most likely created long before the first "day” even began.

 Also the Hebrew word rendered “make” in verse 16 is not the same as the word for “create” used in Genesis chapter 1, verses 1, 21, and 27. So when verse 16 says that "He also made the stars", it does not mean that He actually created them at that time. But what does it mean?

 The events of the six figurative creative “days,” or time periods of special creative works, seem to have been described as they would have appeared to a human observer had he been present on the earth then. So even though “the heavens” (which includes the stars) were created long before the “first day” even began, their light did not reach the surface of the earth, presumably due to dense layers of cloud cover. During the fourth "day" (creative period), however, a notable change took place. The sun, the moon, and the stars were now made “to shine upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:17) “God proceeded to make” them in the sense that they could now be seen from the Earth's surface.

What is the "Spirit of God" as mentioned at Gen. 1:2?

Many translations do not say "God's active force" at Gen. 1:2.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/genesis/1-2-compare.html

However, the New World Translation's "active force" for the Hebrew RUACH is both accurate and appropriate for Genesis 1:2 because the way that the Bible uses the term "holy spirit" indicates that it is God's active force that He uses to accomplish a variety of His purposes.

Even many trinitarian scholars will admit this:

"In the New Testament there is no direct suggestion of the Trinity. The Spirit is conceived as an IMPERSONAL POWER by which God effects his will through Christ." - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 344, Virgilius Ferm, 1945 ed.


Using Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4 and Psalm 33:6 as its basis, Swete writes about the "Spirit" in the Old Testament:

"The Spirit of God is the vital power which belongs to the Divine Being, and is seen to be operative in the world and in men. It is the Divine Energy which is the origin of all created life, especially of human existence and the faculties of human nature." Swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (1909), page 2.

The commentator clearly sees the Spirit as a force, not a person in this verse.

About the translation of Genesis 1:2:

"There is little to commend "a mighty wind" (NEB, Speiser, von Rad); in the relatively few passages where "God" is used as a superlative, the context usually makes it clear. The sense is excellently given by "the power of God" (GNB)." A Bible Commentary for Today, General Editor G. C. D. Howley (1973), page 135.

Note that this Commentary states "The sense is excellently given by "the power of God" (GNB)."

"There is apparent a development in the direction of hypostatization of the Spirit, not in the sense that it is conceived as a person but as a substantial source of force and activity. It is the creative force of Yahweh (Gn. 1:2; Jb 33:5)" Dictionary of the Bible, McKenzie (1965), page 841.

This Bible Dictionary agrees with the NWT that in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit is the "creative force of Yahweh."

"The Spirit brooding over the primeval waters (Gn. 1:2) and creating man (Gn. 2:7), the Spirit who garnishes the heavens (Jb 26:13), sustains animal life and renews the face of the earth (Ps. 54:30), is the ruah ('breath,' 'wind') of God, the outgoing divine energy and power." The New Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas (1962), page 531.

The ruach is not a person, the basic meaning in Gen 1:2 (and the other scriptures quoted) is shown to be " the outgoing divine energy and power."

Additional Reading:
Genesis 1:2 New World Translation - "..and God's active force was moving to and fro..." (In Defense of the New World Translation)
http://onlytruegod.org/defense/genesis1.2.htm

Wednesday, November 26, 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)



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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

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For more about this subject, see:

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

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(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.)


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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



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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


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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)




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