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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)



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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)

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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)



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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)



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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.



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Friday, June 20, 2014

The Universe — Did It Come About by Chance or by Design?

Some people say: 'Yes, our universe is all a matter of chance.' Others, especially those who are religious, disagree. Still others are just not sure.

Whatever your view, you will no doubt agree that our Universe is a marvel. And it is clear to anyone who seriously studies astronomy that Earth seems tailor-made for life to exist. Some scientists admit to believing in God because of their observations of what appears to be a fine-tuning of our Universe in general. It is equipped with fixed physical laws and with natural constants that are precisely and ideally suited to support a planet like ours and all the life on it. (See links below.) 

Examining Entropy - The Universe Had to Have Been Born in a Highly Ordered State

Consider entropy. What is entropy? One dictionary describes cosmolgoical entropy as the "tendency for the Universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature". The following is a list of additional definitions of entropy from a collection of textbooks:

"A measure of energy dispersal at a specific temperature." [Atkins, Peter; Julio De Paula (2006). Physical Chemistry, 8th ed.. Oxford University Press.]

"A measure of disorder in the universe." [Gribbin's Encyclopedia of Particle Physics, 2000] 

In order to illustrate, consider a sandcastle. If there are a million different ways of arranging a handful of sand grains, with 999,999 of the ways producing disordered sand piles but only 1 producing a beautifully ordered castle, then if you keep throwing the sand grains up in the air, they will usually land in the form of a disordered pile. So, over time, if there is a force like the wind that acts to rearrange things, things will get more messy or disordered than ordered. This means that there is a difference between the past and the future: the past was more ordered and the future will be less ordered because this is the most likely way for things to play out. This is what Eddington meant by his statement that the future is more random than the past, and his description of the arrow of time as the thing that points in the direction of increasing randomness. And this is why entropy always increases. 

If you take a university physics degree this is what you will learn about entropy and the arrow of time - the past had a lower entropy than the future; ordered things become disordered as time ticks by, but one might legitimately ask where all the order in the universe came from in the first place. In the case of our sandcastle, it's obvious - a person made it - but how did the person get here? A person is very ordered. How did the Earth get here? It's very ordered too. And how did the Milky Way appear if it is composed of billions of ordered worlds orbiting around billions of ordered stars? There must have been some reason why the universe began in such a highly ordered state, such that it can gradually fall into place this way. The Universe began with sufficient order in the bank to allow planets, stars and galaxies to appear. We understand how gravity can create local order in the form of solar systems and stars, but this must be at the expense of creating more disorder somewhere else. So there must have been a lot of order to begin with. In other words, the Universe was born in a highly ordered state, and there should be a reason for that. It is unlikely to have been chance, because by definition a highly ordered state is less likely to pop into existence than a less ordered one; a sandcastle is less likely to be formed by the desert winds than a pile of sand. Since the Universe is far less ordered today than it was 13.75 billion years ago, this means it is far more likely that our universe popped into existence a billionth of a second ago, fully formed with planets, stars, galaxies and people, than it is that the Universe popped into existence at the Big Bang in a highly ordered state.

In summary, something had to have always existed in order for the physical universe to be here at all, whether it is God or an always-cycling Universe (which, in the case of the latter, does not seem to be possible because of entropy). But because the design of the Universe is so ordered and had to have begun in such a precise fashion, this lends significant evidence of a Designer. As the Bible stated the obvious millenia ago:

"Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God." (Heb. 3:4)

Additional Reading:

The "Impossible" Universe (Search For Bible Truths)


Why Do Some Scientists Believe in God? (Search For Bible Truths)

Is It Unscientific to Believe in God? (g04 6/22 pp. 3-4; Watchtower Online Library)

Our Awesome UNIVERSE - A Product of Chance? (g00 10/8 pp. 3-4; Watchtower Online Library)

Did the ELEMENTS Come About by Chance? (g00 10/8 pp. 5-7; Watchtower Online Library)

THE EARTH - Was it “Founded” by Chance? (g00 10/8 pp. 8-11; Watchtower Online Library)




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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Truth About Blood Transfusions - The Protection Jehovah's Witnesses Receive Because of Their Refusal Far Outweighs Any Risk

There is a lot of ignorance promoted by many regarding blood transfusions. Then you have the religious clergy and other FANATICS who purposely disseminate false and prejudicial information designed to emotionally alienate people. In this day and age it is extremely surprising when we find anyone in the medical field who adamantly defends blood transfusions. In fact, such a person would find themselves arguing against 'enlightened' medical experts who are up on the latest information regarding blood transfusions.

You will always find some biased individuals who claim that people [are] dying because they refused a blood transfusion, but the facts show that it cannot be proven that anyone ever died because of refusing a blood transfusion. Critics usually resort to citing these news stories which are just opinionated hearsay.

These opinions are flawed because they ignore the fact that avoiding blood transfusions does not mean that someone is going to lose his life. In fact, when you look at the facts regarding the dangers involved in accepting blood, the hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of serious injuries which have been caused by blood transfusions, then you can only conclude that the protection Jehovah's Witnesses have received because of their obedience far outweighs any risk. Notice the comments of three experts:

Dr. Aryeh Shander: "To say that one has died because of refusal of blood, I think is a very general misleading statement."

Dr. Peter Carmel: "It's rarely, if ever, the case that a patient refused a blood transfusion and therefore died."

One doctor by the name of Shadman said: "In performing upwards of 20,000 surgical operations, I never gave a blood transfusion and never had a patient die from lack of it..."

Witnesses do accept non-blood transfusions and any other medical procedure that have proven benefits. We do not accept for ourselves or our children medical procedures that have been proven to be at the very least ineffective, and often dangerous.

Though presented as lifesaving, blood transfusions are fraught with risks. They have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of serious injuries! EDUCATED medical personnel know that there have been repeated studies that show the death rate and recurrence of cancers etc. is often three times worse when a patient receives a blood transfusion when compared with those who refused blood.

"The Center for Disease Control estimates that as many as 35,000 deaths and 500,000 illnesses a year may be due to the presence of serum hepatitis in blood for transfusions." This is the result of just one complication from blood transfusion. However, there are others which are mentioned in the book Complications in Surgery Management. This book then adds: "In terms of disability and loss of life . . . blood transfusions rival some of our major health problems."

"The bloodletting of yore has been superseded by blood transfusion. Of all the ridiculous medical practices of the past and present times, this present blood craze is the worst." - -Dr. G. Boni and Dr. P.Lafarge, "Let's Live", March 1970

"If blood was a new drug it wouldn't receive a product licence."--Tom Lennard, Royal Victoria Infirmary

God has said "I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself" (Isa 48:17). His laws are always for our good. While the main reason Christians do not accept blood transfusions is because it is one of God's moral laws, time has proven that true Christians have truly have been protected from death and injury caused by human ignorance.

....

[Additional]

First, even when the accepted “gold standard” therapies are transfusions of major components, there are still alternatives. And there is ongoing research into viable alternatives to plasma exchange for TTP. Witnesses have been successfully treated for TTP without blood, one case which has been widely reported:

http://www.noblood.org/medical-articles-abstracts/3633-thrombotic-thrombocytopenic-purpura-induced-trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-jeh/#.UtS2Y55dUuc

Second, it is highly illogical to argue for the safety and benefits of blood transfusions by appealing to an extremely rare condition (TTP) which is treated with plasma. This type of logic is like arguing for the benefits of the medieval medical practice of Blood-letting because bleeding someone will save their life if they have Polycythemia vera. The fact remains: As a rule, blood-letting is archaic and bad medicine and so is [a] blood transfusion.

[Opposers who] desperately cite such an extremely rare condition do not change the fact that blood transfusions are fraught with risks and so are considered to be bad medicine and avoided by enlightened medical experts.

Third and even more important, while [opposers] choose to blatantly ignore and even deny the clear and undeniable Scriptural command to “abstain from blood,” true Christians do not.

Christians do not accept a treatment which breaks God’s Laws simply because it may be the “best” treatment that humans can give. Such reasoning is purely human thinking and a rejection of God’s thinking on the matter. Such reasoning would also condemn the early Christians who died at the hands of the Romans because they refused to save their lives by simply performing a simple act of devotion to the Emperors. The reasoning of Anti-Christians would be exactly like [opposers']: Rejecting God’s laws is “in your best interest,” and “is appropriate by all human logic.”

True Christians would not save their lives by committing fornication or idolatry which are listed with blood as equally forbidden. Likewise, Christian do not save their lives by accepting blood but rather do all they can to save their life while continuing to obey God’s explicit laws.

Additionally, [opposers who] reference “bleeding to death” is so overly simple as to be laughable. If you don’t stop the bleeding, no amount of blood transfusions will save you either. When someone refuses a blood transfusion, the premise is that someone is being treated. There is a limit to the amount of blood that can be lost by any individual, and then with or without a blood transfusion you are going to die.

However, the medical facts are that studies have proved that the mortality rate for people with surprisingly low blood counts is no worse for those who choose non-blood treatment in comparison to those who chose blood. These studies are the reason that it cannot be proven that anyone ever died because of refusing a blood transfusion. However, it is irrefutable that hundreds of thousands of people have died as a direct result of receiving blood transfusions. And transfusions continue to kill and injure tens of thousands each year.

“One way to avert the risks and costs of blood transfusion is simply to avoid the procedure whenever possible. Avoidance is usually fairly safe and well tolerated even for patients with a low hemoglobin level, stated Aryeh Shander, MD, Chief of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey.

Acutely low hemoglobin value has no central nervous system effects and is associated with acceptable cardiac outcomes as long as the patient is euvolemic, closely monitored, and not tachycardic. Furthermore, said Dr. Shander, it is possible to maintain tissue oxygen tension even after a 60% drop in hemoglobin, as long as the patient is perfused with a high viscosity fluid or colloid. He added that healthy individuals have been shown not to develop oxygen supply dependency when their hemoglobin falls from 13 g/dL to 4.5 or 5 g/dL.”

[Opposers] hear only what they want to from the experts and ignore anything that disagrees with [their] personal opinion.

Dr. Aryeh Shander has also said: "Everything in health care can be done without blood (transfusions)."

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

For more, see:

Blood / Blood Transfusions (Category)

Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood transfusions? (JW.ORG)

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Refuse Blood Transfusions? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Blood Transfusions - Jehovah's Witnesses Do Not Choose to "Let Their Children Die" as Some Opposers Claim (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses "Abstain From Blood"? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Is it Scripturally Acceptable for a Christian to Accept a Bone Marrow Transplant? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

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

Articles, Websites and Videos Concerning Bloodless Surgery and Medicine (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)




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Monday, June 9, 2014

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate Father's Day?

Jehovah's Witnesses treat Father's Day as any other, and will love their Fathers just as much that day as any other day.

Jehovah's Witnesses base all of their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible. Yes, the Bible does command children to honor, obey and respect their parents. (Eph. 6:1, 2) But nowhere does it advocate the commemoration of a special "Father’s Day".

True Christians follow Jesus Christ as their Exemplar and realize that to Jesus, every day was Father's Day. He did not set aside only one particular day out of the year to bring praise to his Father. He did so every day.

It is also worthy to note that the main purpose for the creation of Father's Day was to complement Mother's Day. Jehovah's Witnesses do not formally celebrate Mother's Day - mostly for the same reasons as stated for Father's Day above. But they also do not celebrate it because Jehovah's Witnesses avoid participating in any celebrations with non-Christian religious origins. Some may counter that by saying that Mother's Day does not have roots in ancient paganism and that it is presently considered a largely secular event. But the earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. The Bible makes it clear that if a holiday or custom is being deliberately participated in by a Christian, it must have absolutely no known pagan religion associations. (Exodus 20:3; Luke 4:8; 2 Cor. 6:17)  (See: Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Formally Celebrate Mother's Day?)

Also see:

Jehovah's Witnesses and Holidays - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
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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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Friday, June 6, 2014

Is Gen. 1:26 Really "Proof" of the Trinity? ("Let US make man in OUR image.")

"Let us make man in our image." (Gen. 1:26) NWT

Some trintiarians may point to this Scripture as 'proof' of a trinity. Yet, the bible throughout overwhelmingly identifies God by the singular person pronouns "I," and "Me," and "He," and "Him". Trinitarians themselves commonly do not refer to their own Triune God as "They," and "Them". This would not be consistent if God really were a trinity.

When God said "Let us make man in our image" at Gen. 1:26, Jehovah God was speaking to His Son Jesus, His Master Worker, the first-born of all creation (and, possibly, to the rest of the angels also), who were also made in God's image. (Pr 8:30, 31; also compare John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-17)

Also consider, if the Trinity really is correct and God really is composed of three persons, then why does Man (who was created in God's image) not display any kind of a tri-nature about him whatsoever? Certainly if God possessed such a tri-nature, and such a fundamental tri-nature aspect is conspicuously absent in Man, how then could it be said that Man was made in God's image?

We know, however, that the man created by God to be in God's image and likeness (Adam), the son of God (Luke 3:38), was a single person. He could have easily been created with three personalities. But God expressly made him in His image with one mind, one personality: one person.

How Christ Being in God's Image Shows That He is NOT God

2 Cor. 4:4 - "Christ, who is the image [eikon] of God".

Notice, this is no longer the fleshly Jesus on earth. This is the resurrected, glorious, heavenly Christ. But he still is not God. He is the image of God. He is seated (or standing) beside God (Acts 2:33-36; Ro. 8:34; Heb. 10:12, 13; 1 Pet. 3:22). He is not God. The Father alone, beside whom Jesus is seated, is Jehovah God (Eph. 1:17, 20; Rev. 3:21; Ps. 110:1). In fact, God (the Father alone) is the God of Jesus (Eph. 1:3, 17; Rev. 3:12; Micah 5:4, ASV).

Note that an image is "a physical likeness or representation of a person"...NOT the person himself. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/image

So the fact that Man AND Christ (Col. 1:15; 2 Cor. 4:4) are in God's image tells us (1) that, BY THE VERY DEFINITION, Christ nor Man cannot possibly be that God, and (2) that God is a single person also (to correspond with a man being in His image).

Yes, Jesus is the image of God. And how should we consider the worship of an image of God as being God? (Ex. 20:4, 5; Lev. 26:1)

For more, see:

Gen. 1:26 "Let Us Make Man in Our Image" (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

"Logically, it was to this firstborn Son that Jehovah said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.”' (Insight-2 pp. 52-72; Watchtower Online Library)

The Word (Insight-2 pp. 1200-1203; Watchtower Online Library)
"This Word, or Lo′gos, was God’s only direct creation, the only-begotten son of God, and evidently the close associate of God to whom God was speaking when he said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” (Ge 1:26) Hence John continued, saying: “This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.”—Joh 1:2, 3."



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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Extraterrestrials - What Does the Bible Indicate?

Astronomers have not discovered life of any kind in our solar system or in the cosmos beyond. Yet after considering the overwhelming size of the Universe, some have concluded that the odds are great that we are not alone. Also, some influential religious figures have insisted that God would not create any world without purpose and that all habitable worlds must therefore be inhabited.

But since no life has been discovered beyond our world thus far, are astronomers on solid ground when they assert that the universe is teeming with populated worlds? What does the Bible indicate on this matter? According to the Bible, is anyone out there? 

Spirit Creatures

According to the Bible, extraterrestrial life not only exists but exists in abundance. (Rev. 5:11; Matt. 26:53) It is more complex, more interesting, and more believable than anything that evolutionists, science-fiction writers, and moviemakers have dreamed up. After all, an extraterrestrial is simply a being who originates outside this earth and its atmosphere.

Scientists wonder if there might be life-forms beyond our ability to detect. The Bible assures us that such beings do indeed exist. But they are not the products of evolution. Like all life in the universe, in whatever form, they came from the Source of life, Jehovah God. He is a spirit Being, and He has created myriads of other spirit beings of different types: angels, cherubs, and seraphs. They perform different work and functions in his intricate heavenly organization. (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 19:14)

What About Extraterrestrial Intelligent Physical Beings on Other Planets?

The Bible also gives us some indication as to whether or not other intelligent physical beings exist beyond the Earth. The Bible indicates that it is very unlikely that God at this point has created intelligent physical creatures on any planets other than our own. How so?

If God did create such intelligent physical beings, He most likely did so before He created Adam and Eve. Such beings either remained faithful to their Creator, or like Adam and Eve, they sinned and fell into imperfection.

But if they became imperfect, they needed a redeemer. One essayist put it: “One has this dreadful thought that on Friday [the day Jesus Christ was executed], every Friday, somewhere in the universe Jesus is being hanged high for someone’s sins.” But that is not Scriptural. The Bible tells us that Jesus “died with reference to sin once for all time.” (Romans 6:10)

But what if these beings had remained perfect? Well, when Adam and Eve sinned, they were, in effect, questioning God’s right to rule over a world of intelligent physical beings. If another planet existed at that time, a world full of intelligent physical beings who were living harmoniously and loyally under God’s rule, it would be reasonable for them to have been called in as witnesses to testify that God’s rule does indeed work.

So in this context, the Bible indicates that, considering the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, Earth is the only planet to which the Creator sent his only-begotten Son to become a man and die sacrificially to recover the planet’s inhabitants from sin and its penalty death. The Bible also shows that the Earth will be the only planet on which God, by means of his Son Jesus Christ, will have fought the ‘war of the great day of God the Almighty’ to show his power over all his enemies in heaven and on earth and to vindicate himself as the Universal Sovereign. (Rev. 16:14)

What About Non-intelligent Life on other Planets?

The Bible gives us no indication as to whether God created any non-intelligent life (i.e. animals, insects, vegetation, microbes) on other planets. Some subscribe to the theory of Abiogenesis which is defined as "living organisms (that) can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter". It is the idea that life arose naturally - by itself - from chemical compounds. However, if one truly considers the enormous odds of life spontaneously arising even under the most favorable of circumstances, it should give one pause to this theory. Scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe estimate that the odds against life’s vital enzymes forming by chance is 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power (1 with 40,000 zeros after it). Scientists Feinberg and Shapiro go still further. In their book Life Beyond Earth, they put the odds against the material in an organic soup ever taking the first rudimentary steps toward life at 1 1 in 10 to the 1,000,000th power (1 with a million zeros after it). It also should be noted that Science, with even the best labs and equipment cannot even replicate on purpose what they claim happened by accident on Earth long ago. Certainly if there is any non-intelligent extraterrestrial life out there it is because God originally created it and not through the process of abiogenesis.

Would God Create The Universe Just to Accommodate Humans?

But if we are the only intelligent physical beings in the known Universe, does that mean, then, that God created all those countless billions of suns (and presumably billions of planets) for no purpose? Why, one may ask, would God create the entire Universe seemingly just to accommodate humans on Earth?

But consider, is it really so difficult to believe that God created the entire universe just for our benefit and wonder? After all, despite the enormity of the universe, it is still 'just' the mere "works of [His] fingers"! (Ps. 8:1) His vast power is so staggering to the imagination that His physical creation is but "the fringes of his ways". (Job 26:14) Putting it in this perspective, creating the entire universe just for us is comparatively insignificant when compared to how much God gave us in another way by means of allowing His own Son to die because of His love for us. (John 3:16,17)

But what would be the point of creating all of those countless billions of suns and planets if humans aren't even able to visit, explore or utilize them? First, while we understand that, considering the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the earth is the only inhabited planet in the universe right now, what the future holds for us we do not know.

Another thing to consider is that the Bible points out that God "has put a sense of eternity in people's minds." (Ecclesiastes 3:11) - God's Word Translation. Because of this, God’s creation is so rich and complex that it constantly intrigues us and fills us with awe of Him. The universe is so grand that it serves as a constant reminder of how much there is to be learned from the One who created it and a desire to do so. It serves as a testament of "His eternal power and Godship" and gives us a glimpse of His "invisible [qualities]". (Rom. 1:20) NWT. Trying to grasp the sheer immensity of the Universe can, when seriously pondered, promote an overwhelming admiration and gratitude toward the One who has also given so much in another way by means of His Son on our behalf. (John 3:16,17) No doubt we could begin to feel as did the psalmist who wrote: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you. . . . They have become more numerous than I can recount.” (Psalm 40:5) NWT

For much more concerning Extraterrestrials, see the 4/8/90 Awake!

Also see: Life on Other Planets? (Jimspace)



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