Jesus is God! – Chapter 7 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity book



“Any Bible reference offered as proof must be understood in the context of the consistent teaching of the entire Bible.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 23

The Watchtower Society is correct to state that any Bible reference given as proof for a particular doctrine should be taken in the context in which it is found as well the rest of Scripture.  While Christians agree that the Bible is the best interpreter of itself, we disagree with the underlining presuppositions and biases against the Deity of Christ that Jehovah’s Witnesses bring to their own interpretation of Biblical Scripture.  It is precisely their bias against belief in the Trinity that causes them to twist and completely distort the Biblical Scriptures that Christians use to support this doctrine.  In this chapter, as we contrast the Christian view of these Scriptures with the Watchtower reinterpretation of these verses, it is critical to understand that the Jehovah’s Witnesses view of God is henotheism, not monotheism and learn how to effectively counter this false presupposition.


What is henotheism? It is the belief and worship of only one God without denying the existence of other “gods.”  The main difference between monotheism and henotheism is that monotheism does not allow for the existence and worship of more than one God.  Thus, a Jehovah’s Witness with a henotheistic bias would interpret every Scripture calling Jesus “God” as a reference to Him being a secondary divine Being or lesser “god,” rather than accept the historic, monotheistic viewpoint of Biblical Christianity that regards Jesus as the same “God” as the Father.

So, how do Christians challenge this false henotheistic presupposition held by nearly all Jehovah’s Witnesses?  It is by demonstrating the irreconcilable differences between the henotheistic view of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the monotheistic teachings of the Bible.  The following is a brief overview of the most powerful Scriptural evidence against henotheism:


1.  There can only exist one Almighty God at a time. As the Watchtower Society admits on page 28 of their Trinity brochure, if two equal “Gods” exist at the same time, one cannot be called “Almighty” because His power would be shared.  Yet, even though the Watchtower Society does not acknowledge that Jesus is “Almighty,”  the context of Revelation 1:7-8 makes it clear that Jesus is the “Almighty” God.  Thus, He cannot exist as a lesser divine being but must possess all power and authority of Jehovah God (Matthew 28:19).

2.  According to John 17:3, there exists only one true God.  Thus, any additional beings “called” “gods” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6) must be regarded as false “gods” (Galatians 4:8).  Since 1 John 5:20 calls Jesus “the true God” along with the Father, Jesus must be regarded as the same true “God” as the Father is regarded, not a secondary or lesser “godlike” creature.

3.  1 Corinthians 12:4-6 states that the “same God,” the “same Spirit,” and the “same Lord” does all the spiritual work that happens in the lives of believers.  Since Romans 8:9 states that the “Spirit of Christ” is“God’s Spirit,” Jesus cannot be a lesser divine being or a separate “God” from the Father because the “same Spirit” is the “same God” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6) who performs all things.

4.  Jesus claims all the exclusive titles and attributes that Jehovah God claims for Himself alone. For example:

  • Jehovah is called the “first and last” (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12). Jesus is called the “first and last” (Revelation 1:17-18; 22:12-13, 20).  There is only one first and last God because God says that no God was formed before Him or after Him (Isaiah 43:10).
  • Jehovah God is the only one who can forgive sins (Mark 2:7; Daniel 9:9). Jesus forgives sins (Mark 2:10-11; Luke 24:46-47).  Jehovah is called the Savior” (Isaiah 45:21-22).  Jesus is the “Savior” (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1).  There is only one Savior (Isaiah 43:11).
  • Jehovah is “Lord of Lords” (Deut. 10:17). Jesus is “Lord of Lords” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).  The Father is “Lord of all” (Matthew 11:25; Acts 17:24).  Jesus is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36).  There is only one Lord (Jude 4).
  • Jehovah’s glory is not to be given to another (Isaiah 42:8).  Jesus shares Jehovah’s glory (John 17:5).  The Jehovah that Isaiah saw (Isaiah 6:1-5) was Jesus (John 12:41).

These are just some of the many exclusive attributes of Jehovah God that are attributed to Jesus Christ.  This is precisely why true Christians do not believe in henotheism, but regard Jesus as the same one and only true “God” that the Father is called in the Bible.  For a more comprehensive list, see the TITLES AND ATTRIBUTES OF JEHOVAH APPLIED TO JESUS section of chapter 8 in this book.

MATTHEW 28:19: “ …baptizing… in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…”

In the What About Trinity Proof Texts? section of the Watchtower brochure, Should You Believe in the Trinity?, the Society reference four passages in the New Testament where the three Persons of the Godhead are listed: 2 Corinthians 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Matthew 3:16 and 28:19 and they attempt to excuse away these verses by claming that the list of the three Persons in these verses does not prove the existence of the Triune God.  While it is true that simply listing a group of individuals does not prove their unity, we have already discussed how 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 calls all three Persons the “same” God and Matthew 28:19 is worth noting as well.  It states:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit… ”

Notice how the definite article (the) is placed in front of each of the Persons of the Trinity: “…the Father… the Son… the Holy Spirit.”  This demonstrates distinction between the Persons, yet the word “name” is singular.  If all three are separate “Gods,” how can they all have the same name?  It is obvious that these Persons are in some way, one essence of Being, yet they are distinct from each other. Thus, the plurality within unity is revealed in this passage.

Not only does Matthew 28:19 communicate the concept of composite unity within the Trinity, but its reference to baptism being done “in the name of” each of the Persons of the Trinity, indicates that each Person, individually possesses equal power and authority.   So, just as prayer being done in the name of Jesus means that we are invoking the power and authority of Jesus, so baptism “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” is invoking the power and authority of each of the Persons of the Triune God.  Thus, Matthew 28:19 is one of the clearest declarations of the Trinity found in the New Testament.

While the oneness and unity of the Persons of the Trinity may not be as clearly revealed in other passages used to support the Trinity, when we consider the whole testimony of Scripture, the Trinity doctrine is undoubtedly a Biblical concept, for we know from Scripture that the Father is called God (Philippians 2:11), the Son is called God (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20; John 1:1, 18; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8), and the Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17), and yet there is only one God.

“For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God.…However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.…Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.…How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?…And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.…Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; And there is no savior besides Me.…I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.…Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.…”—1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Galatians 4:8; 1 Timothy 1:17; John 5:44; 17:3; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6, 8; 46:9

In Old Testament history, Monotheism (the belief in only one God) was the unique religion of the Jews.  Adhering to the Hebrew Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” faithful Jews tenaciously threatened to stone anyone who would dare to commit blasphemy by claiming to be God (Leviticus 24:16).  This is why the Jews on several occasions endeavored to stone Jesus, for He was claiming to have the attributes of the one and only true God—thus declaring Himself to be God.1.  The Jews realized that since there is only one “true God” (John 17:3), all other “so-called” gods are, in reality, only false gods.  To the Jews, there was no middle ground.  Either a person is the true God, or he is a false god.  This is why Christ’s Jewish disciples struggled with His identity until they recognized that Jesus is indeed the “Holy One…who is called the God all the earth.”


ISAIAH 54:5:  “…And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.”
JOHN 6:69:  “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

So when Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord, and my God,”2.  Jesus blessed him for believing saying: “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (John 20:29).  Thus, Jesus is not just “a god” among many “gods”  for Jehovah God uncompromisingly declares at Isaiah 46:9 that He is the only God and “there is no one like” Him.  So, with this as a foundation, we will now focus our attention on the Watchtower arguments against other Trinitarian “proof texts” referenced in the Society’s booklet.

JOHN 10:30: “I and the Father Are One”

“But Jesus himself showed what he meant by his being ‘one’ with the Father. At John 17:21,22, he prayed to God that his disciples ‘may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us,…that they may be one just as we are one.’ Was Jesus praying that all his disciples would become a single entity? No, obviously Jesus was praying that they would be united in thought and purpose, as he and God were….So when he used the word ‘one’ (hen) in these cases, he was talking about unity of thought and purpose.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 24

The Watchtower claims that when Jesus said that He is “one” with the Father, he was merely claiming to exist in unity with the Father and they reference John 17:21-22 in support of this claim.  However, the context of John 17:21-22 where Jesus prays that his followers would be “one” just as He and the Father are “one” is totally different from the context of John 10:30.  According to 2 Corinthians 13:5, the test of being a true believer is having Christ living “in you.”  When God, through the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell within a new believer  (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19), He changes that person’s heart (2 Corinthians 5:17) and gives him a new nature and a new love for fellow believers (Ephesians 1:15).  God imparts to each believer spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12, 14) that equip him to be able to work together in unity with other believers for the cause of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10).  This “oneness” of “unity of purpose” found among believers, however, is different from the oneness that Jesus at John 10:30 was expressing that He and the Father possess.  This is evident by the Jews’ immediate reaction to Christ’s claim, for they took up stones to stone Him as they understood His claim to be an affirmation of Deity.

“ ‘I and the Father are one.’ The Jews took up stones again to stone Him.…The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ ” —John 10:30-31, 33

If Jesus was merely claiming to have “unity of purpose” with the Father (as the Watchtower Society asserts), why would the Jews try to stone Him for something that they believed they already possessed—that is, unity of purpose with the Father?  After all, were they not God’s chosen people?  If anyone had the right to claim oneness of unity with God, certainly it would have been the Jews, right?  Yet, the Jews understood that Jesus was claiming far more than mere “unity” with the Father when He made this statement that He and the Father are one.

Christ’s claim to Deity with this statement is even stronger when we examine the Greek text.  First of all, the Greek word hen (ἕν) translated “one” is a nominative singular neuter noun,3.  which means that Jesus was literally referring to His oneness with the Father being an it or thing.  Why is this significant? If Jesus had wanted to say that He and the Father make up a singular Person, or are the SAME Person, there was a perfectly good Greek word that He could have used for “one” that is masculine. He could have used the masculine heis (εἷς) which would have indicated that He and the Father are “one” Him together, but instead, He chose to say that they comprise a singular unit or thing, an it, not a Him.

Also, the Greek word translated “are” is esmen (ἐσμέν). It is the first person, plural present indicative form of the verb “to be” or eimi “I am.” The plural form indicates that Jesus is speaking of more than one Person, literally saying: “We are…”  Thus, He admitted that He was not claiming to be the same Person as the Father.  Yet, in His humanity, He said that He was presently existing together as “one” it with the Father at that very moment!  Also, He used the Indicative Greek mood which provides the strongest form of present reality that could be stated.

So, when Jesus said at John 10:30: ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν, the Jews literally heard Him say: “I and the Father, WE are presently existing as ONE SUBSTANCE,” or as the Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures states: “I and the Father one (thing) we are.” Is it any wonder the Jews tried to stone Jesus for claiming to be God?   There is no other statement in Scripture that Jesus made that shows just how much Divine substance resides within His very Person.  In His human nature, Jesus was not any less God than the Father, nor did He possess any less Divine Nature than the Father when He was on earth.  Indeed, He truly was and is God and Man as the Apostle Paul stated:

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” —Colossians 2:9

If the Jews simply misunderstood Christ’s statements, why didn’t Jesus correct their misunderstanding?  Rather, instead of correcting their alleged misunderstanding, Jesus proved that they understood his identity statements correctly.

JOHN 10:34: “…‘I said you are gods’?”

Jehovah’s Witnesses often assert that when Jesus pointed to the so-called  “gods” of Psalm 82:6, He was somehow aligning Himself with the category of human judges who were called “gods,” rather than claiming to be the one true God Himself.   Was Jesus saying that the Pharisees had no right to judge His claim to Deity because other human judges were also called “gods”? No, this is not what He was saying.  Let’s examine the context.  Immediately following His statement that He is “one” with the Father, the Jews accused Jesus of claiming to be God.  This passage reads as follows:

“…The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Has it not been written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”?  If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”?….believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.’  Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.”—John 10:32-36, 38-39

Why did Jesus quote Psalm 82:6 to the Pharisees to support His claims of being God?  We know that He was not aligning Himself with the deity claims of these false human judges in Psalm 82:6 because these wicked judges were acting as false “gods” in that context.  There is no way that Jesus would have put Himself in that category of a false “god” to whom Jehovah proclaimed death and victory over.  So, why did Jesus mention them?  I believe He was contrasting His Deity claims as the one true God against these false “gods” and the Pharisees who were acting JUST like these wicked judges when they were judging the true Son of God of blasphemy!  By contrasting His claims against these false “gods” to whom God’s judgment was pronounced (Psalm 82:7-9), Jesus demonstrated that what these judges claimed in falsehood, He is in reality—the one true God.  Regarding this, the IVP New Testament Commentary Series notes:

“The psalm is actually a condemnation of the judges for not exercising their responsibility faithfully, thus corresponding both to the condemnation of these Jewish leaders in John and to Jesus as the true judge. To make his point Jesus uses an argument from the lesser to the greater, a very common form of argument in the ancient world, not least among the rabbis. He compares the people who are called gods to himself, the Son of God. They merely received the word of God, whereas he is the one whom the father set apart as his very own and sent into the world (v. 36). Here is a succinct summary of the central truth of his identity, which has been emphasized throughout this Gospel.” (John Rodney A. Whitacre, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 273 )

Listen to how Jesus proclaimed the full nature of His Deity and Oneness with the Father in the following verses:

JESUS DOES WHATEVER JEHOVAH GOD DOES: “…the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” —John 5:19

WE MUST GIVE JESUS AS MUCH WORSHIP AS WE GIVE JEHOVAH GOD: “…For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father, He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” —John 5:22-23

SEEING/BELIEVING JESUS IS SEEING/BELIEVING JEHOVAH: “…I and the Father are one. …Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. …Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” —John 10:30; 14:1, 9

EVERYTHING JEHOVAH OWNS BELONGS TO JESUS: “…All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.” —John 16:15

These verses are some of the many claims Christ made that convinced His followers that He is indeed the one true Jehovah God.  Thus, we see that far from trying to correct the Jews’ so-called “misunderstanding” concerning His Deity claims, He rather affirmed that they understood Him correctly.  Therefore, by quoting Psalm 82 where God proclaimed the judgment of “death” upon the wicked false “gods” of ancient times, Jesus at John 10:34 was reminding the Pharisees of the serious consequences of judging Him (the true God) of blasphemy.  Indeed, He is both the Son of the ONLY TRUE God (John 17:3) and the only TRUE God Himself as the following Scripture proclaims:

“…we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.…the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.…” —1 John 5:20; 1:2

JOHN 5:18: “Making Himself Equal To God”

“It says that the Jews (as at John 10:31-36) wanted to kill Jesus because ‘he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.’ But who said that Jesus was making himself equal to God? Not Jesus. He defended himself against this false charge in the very next verse (19): ‘To this accusation Jesus replied:… “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing.” ’ —JB.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 24

JOHN 5:17-23:

“But He answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.’ For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner….For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.’ ”

Far from defending Himself from the Jews’ accusations, the context of John 5:18 demonstrates that Christ responded to the Jews—not by denying their claims—but by affirming that they were correct in their understanding. Notice how Jesus responded to the Jews by continuing to describe how He possesses all the power and authority of Jehovah and does things that only Jehovah can do. Finally, He claims that He receives the same honor and worship that Jehovah receives. Is it any wonder the Jews endeavored to stone Him for blasphemy?

DEUTERONOMY 32:39: “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”
JOHN 5:21; 10:28; ACTS 9:34: “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes….and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand….And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you.…”
PSALM 98:9: “Before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”
JOHN 5:22: “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,”
EXODUS 34:14: “for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God….”
JOHN 5:23:in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”

PHILIPPIANS 2:6: “Equal With God”

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being [uparcw—huparcho] in very nature [morfh—morphe] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped [arpazw —harpazo], but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” —Philippians 2:4-7, New International Version

In the Watchtower Society’s response to Philippians 2:6, they overlook the first half of this verse which speaks of Christ having the nature of God, and they focus instead on the second half of the verse which states that Christ did not seek to “grasp” at equality with God. They then conclude that Philippians 2:6 is teaching that Christ is not equal in nature to God the Father. (Should You Believe in the Trinity?, pp. 25-26)


1. The Greek word translated “being” (huparcho) is in the present tense and therefore carries the idea of continual existence as God.4.
2. The Greek word translated “nature”(morphe) is unique in that it is only used twice in the New Testament and in both cases, only of Christ. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words offers the following insights concerning this word:

morphe…is used with particular significance in the NT, only of Christ, in Phil. 2:6,7, in the phrases ‘being in the form of God,’ and ‘taking the form of a servant.’ An excellent definition of the word is that of Gifford: ‘morphe is therefore properly the nature or essence, not in the abstract, but as actually subsisting in the individual, and retained as long as the individual itself exists….Thus in the passage before us morphe Theou is the Divine nature actually and inseparably subsisting in the Person of Christ….For the interpretation of “the form of God” it is sufficient to say that (1) it includes the whole nature and essence of Deity, and is inseparable from them, since they could have no actual existence without it; and (2) that it does not include in itself anything “accidental” or separable, such as particular modes of manifestation, or conditions of glory and majesty, which may at one time be attached to the “form,” at another separated from it….The true meaning of morphe in the expression “form of God” is confirmed by its recurrence in the corresponding phrase, “form of a servant.” It is universally admitted that the two phrases are directly antithetical, and that “form” must therefore have the same sense in both.’ (From Gifford, ‘The Incarnation,’ pp. 16,19,39.)” —Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, p. 251

In the same way that Christ possesses the “nature” of a man and, as a result, is considered to be a complete human being (not a creature who is half man and half divine), Jesus possesses the “nature” of God and is therefore considered to be fully Divine as the infinite God.

3. While it is true that in the incarnation, Christ did not seek to grasp (arpazw—harpazo) at equality with God, this does not contradict the fact that Christ, in His Divine nature, is equal to God the Father. An examination of the context of Philippians 2:6 reveals that Paul is exhorting Christians to humbly give their lives in sacrifice for the brethren. It is in this context of humility that Paul uses the example of Christ who laid aside the equality which He possesses with the Father in order to give His life for us. If Christ did not possess this equality with the Father prior to the incarnation, the whole example would be destroyed. Not trying to exalt oneself to become equal with God is hardly an example of humility.




OMNIPOTENCE: Mark 2:7-12; 14:62-64; Jn. 2:7-11 HUNGER & WEARINESS: Lk 4:2; Jn 4:6; Mt 8:24
OMNIPRESENCE: John 1:48; Matt. 18:20; 28:20 FINITE PHYSICAL BODY: Mark 3:9; John 11:32
OMNISCIENCE: John 2:24-25; 6:64; 16:30 LIMITED KNOWLEDGE: Mark 13:32; John 11:34

3. “BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS”: HE TOOK ON AN ADDITIONAL NATURE = THE NATURE OF A MAN: Prior to the incarnation Jesus was one in person and one in nature; but at the incarnation, Jesus took on an additional nature and thus became a full man while He still retained His full Deity as God. Although, on certain occasions, attributes of His Divine nature are applied to His human person (John 16:30), His natures are not mixed. He is not half God and half man, but is two in nature while yet remaining one person. It is for this reason that we see in Scripture certain occasions where Jesus (while operating under the limitations of His human nature) was unable to foretell the future (Mark 13:32), yet on other occasions, He demonstrated His Divine attribute of omniscience by being able to foretell the future (John 6:64).

“But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone….Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things…to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” —Hebrews 2:9, 14-17

ISAIAH 45:23: “…that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”
PHILLIPIANS 2:10-11: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow….and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord….”

JOHN 8:58: “I Am”

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’ ”
New American Standard Bible
“Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.’ ”
New World Translation

“…in NW the latter part of John 8:58 reads: ‘Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.…’ Which rendering agrees with the context? The question of the Jews (verse 57) to which Jesus was replying had to do with age, not identity. Jesus’ reply logically dealt with his age, the length of his existence.” —Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 417-418

“Thus, the real thought of the Greek used here is that…Jesus had existed long before Abraham was born.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 26

“I have been (e-go’ ei-mi’). The action expressed by this verb began in the past, is still in progress, and is properly translated by the perfect indicative.…attempting to identify Jesus with Jehovah, some try to use Exodus 3:14 (LXX) which reads: E-go’ ei-mi ho on, which means ‘I am The Being,’ or, ‘I am The Existing One.’ This attempt cannot be sustained because the expression in Exodus 3:14 is different from the expression in John 8:58.” —The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1985 pp. 451, 1145-1146


1.  TRANSLATING EIMI AS “I HAVE BEEN” IS INCONSISENT. The New World Translation correctly translates eimi (εἰμι) as “I am” in nearly every place throughout the New Testament except where it appears in John 8:58. Why the inconsistency in translation? The translation of the present tense ego eimi (ἐγὼ εἰμί) as “I am” in this context indicates a continuous existence, without beginning, and therefore contradicts the Watchtower Society’s doctrine that Jesus is a created being, that is, the Archangel Michael. Thus, in an attempt to make this verse compatible with their doctrine, they chose to translate the present tense ego eimi as “I have been,” thereby dropping the connection between the Greek Septuagint’s rendering of “I am” in Exodus 3:14 for Jehovah God and Jesus’ statement of “I am” in John 8:58. The bias of the Watchtower’s New World Translation against the Deity of Jesus Christ is clearly demonstrated when one compares this translation with the Greek-English Kingdom Interlinear translation that is published by the Watchtower Society.  Note the following chart:

JOHN 8:58: “Said to them Jesus Amen amen I am saying to you Before Abraham to become I am.”
JOHN 8:58: “Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.’ ”

Here, the context is so important. The phrase ego eimi (“I am”) is not a term that was used exclusively by Jesus to refer to Deity. It was used throughout Scripture by many individuals and many different situations, but it is the context of John 8:58, where Jesus is giving his claims to Deity, that provides the significance of His use of this phrase in this passage where He refers to Himself as the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. So, while the Watchtower Society presents many arguments against the standard Bible translation of ego eimi as “I am” at John 8:58, the fundamental question that needs to be asked is this:

When challenged by the Jews about Who He claimed to be at John 8:58, did Jesus claim to be the “I am” of Exodus 3:14 or was He merely claiming to have existed for a long time by saying: “I have been” before Abraham?

An analysis of the Greek text may prove helpful here as εἰμι (eimi) (which literally means “I am”) is the present active indicative of the present infinitive “to be” (εἶναι— einai). Used in John 8:58, The New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon notes that eimi is a “basic verb capable of many translations, e.g., to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.” This Lexicon goes on to list all of the Scriptures where eimi appears in the Greek text and provides the King James Version’s translation of this verb in each of the verses. With very few exceptions, eimi is translated “I am.

Yet, John 14:9 is one place where eimi is translated similarly to the rendering of John 8:58 in the New World Translation. At John 14:9, the New American Standard Bible reads: “Have I been so long with you…?” Although the Watchtower Society admits that ego eimi is a present tense verb, they insist that it should be translated in the “perfect” tense as “I have been” and try to justify their translation by pointing to the passage’s connection to a past historical event (the birth of Abraham). They claim that a perfect tense translation can be applied to a present tense Greek verb if the event is referencing an earlier period.

Thus, to provide justification for the New World Translation’s rendering of the present indicative eimi as “I have been” at John 8:58, the Watchtower appeals to John 14:9 and a few other passages where eimi and other present tense verbs are translated in the perfect tense when conveying an action that occurred in the past with continuing results to the present. Yet, in his Exegetical Analysis of John 8:58, Justin Alfred, MA, notes concerning John 14:9:

“Jesus said (λέγει – legei) to him: ‘Have I been (εἰμι – eimi) with YOU men so long a time, and yet, Philip,you have not come to know me? He that has seen me has seen the Father [also]. How is it you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” Both λέγει (legei) and εἰμι (eimi) are present, indicative verbs, and here too, the grammatical rule for translating a present tense verb in a past or perfect form is in place: ‘Sometimes the progressive present is retroactive in its application, denoting that which has begun in the past and continues into the present. For want of a better name, we may call it the present of duration. This use is generally associated with an adverb of time, and may best be rendered by the English perfect.’[5] And again, the ‘said’ is not an aorist, indicating a completed act in past time, and the have been is not a perfect indicative in any sense of the word or meaning, but rather both these verbs are present indicatives, and in no way do they EVER LOSE their continuous action identity, but they are given a past and perfect form in translation for the sake of English readers.”

So, although it is true that in cases like these where a present tense verb can be translated by a perfect tense to convey an action that started in the past with continuing results into the present, such is the exception to the rule, not the standard. In each case, the context determines how eimi would be best translated as the present tense of “I am” or the perfect tense of “I have been.” Likewise, in each case where a perfect tense can be translated for the present tense, the verb never looses its present tense identity and it never becomes a “perfect indicative.” Thus, in the case of John 14:9, a rendering of eimi as, “Have I been” at John 14:9 in the New American Standard Bible and the King James Bible Version, means essentially the same as the translation of, “Am I so long a time with you…” in the Darby Translation.

Using a prefect tense in this instance does not change the basic continuous existence of the verb in this context. So, the essential meaning of John 14:9 does not change regardless of whether one renders eimi as “Am I…” or “Have I been” in this context. However, one cannot use John 14:9 where eimi is translated in a perfect form to support the faulty rendering of the New World Translation at John 8:58 because the rendering of “I have been” in John 8:58 completely changes the meaning of the passage as determined by the context. Here at John 8:58, Jesus was claiming continuous existence from “before Abraham” to the present and specifically used the exact phrase ego eimi that is found in the LXX Septuagint’s rendering of Jehovah’s statements about Himself at Exodus 3:14. It is obvious by the Jews reaction in the very next verse (verse 59) that they saw the connection with His claim to be Jehovah because they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.


2. JESUS COULD HAVE USED A DIFFERENT TENSE TO SAY THAT HE EXISTED BEFORE ABRAHAM. To support their translation of “I have been” at John 8:58, the 1985 edition of the Watchtower Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures explains that they translated eimi in the “perfect indicative” tense as “I have been” because they assert that Jesus was only claiming to exist before Abraham.5. Yet, there was a better verb tense for eimi that Jesus could have used that would have supported a rendering of prior existence before Abraham without the confusion with Exodus 3:14. It is the Greek “imperfect indicativeἤμην(ēmēn) for “I was.”  If Jesus had merely wanted to say that he had been existing before Abraham, he could have easily used this imperfect indicative verb instead of using the present tense ἐγὼ εἰμί(egōeimi) form of “I am.” As we see by the context, His use of the present indicative eimi stirred the anger of the Jews who clearly saw the connection with Jehovah’s claim to be the ego eimi ho ohn (ἐγὼ εἰμί) of the LXX Septuagint’s rendering of Exodus 3:14.


3. THE EGO EIMI HO OHN OF THE LXX SEPTUAGINT MEANS “I AM THE CONTINUOUS EXISTING BEING”. Contrary to the Watchtower Society’s claim that the expression of Exodus 3:14 in the Greek LXX Septuagint is “different from the expression in John 8:58”, the Greek phrase ὁ ὢν (ho ohn), that is used in the LXX translation of Exodus 3:14, is a present participle of eimi.  So, both are present tense forms of “to be” and both indicate timeless existence given the context of these passages. Thus, the Watchtower Society is wrong when they claim that the phrase used in the LXX is different. The Jews who lived at the time of Christ were assuredly well familiar with the Greek Septuagint, and as a result, tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy at verse 59, just as Leviticus 24:16 commanded them to do. The Jews had no laws commanding the stoning of people who merely thought of themselves as being angels! Indeed, Jesus in His Divine nature has “neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Hebrews 7:3), because He has always existed as God throughout all eternity.


A MADE-UP GREEK TENSE: The Watchtower Society has made other grammatical blunders when it comes to Greek verb tenses. On page 312 of their 1950 edition of their New World Translation Bible, the footnote for their John 8:58 translation reads:

“I have been… properly rendered in the perfect indefinite tense.”

The term “indefinite” does not exists in Greek grammar. While the perfect tense exists for many Greek verbs, there does not exist a Greek verb mood called “indefinite.” That term was made up! This demonstrates the utter incompetence of the translators of the New World Translation Bible of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 6.

NOTE: For further analysis of the errors in the New World Translation when it comes to John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14, see excerpts from Justin Alfred’s Exegetical Analysis of John 8:58 reproduced in the Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58 Appendix chapter of this book.


JOHN 1:1: “The Word Was God”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
—New American Standard
“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”
—New World Translation

“Note, however, that here again the context lays the groundwork for accurate understanding. Even the King James Version says, ‘The Word was with God.’ (Italics ours.) Someone who is ‘with’ another person cannot be the same as that other person….The Koine Greek language had a definite article (‘the’), but it did not have an indefinite article (‘a’ or ‘an’)….So John 1:1 highlights the quality of the Word, that he was ‘divine,’ ‘godlike,’ ‘a god,’ but not Almighty God.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 27

Attempting to disprove the Deity of Christ that is so clearly articulated at John 1:1, the Society setup a straw-man argument based on the preposition “with” found in this passage, and thus, they proceeded to knock that argument down. This type of reasoning serves as a clever way to sidestep the key issue being addressed and to confuse people as to how the doctrine of the Trinity is defined. Since Trinitarians do not believe that God the Father and God the Son are the same person, this argument has no basis in reality. When one defines the doctrine of the Trinity as consisting of three separate and distinct persons who are one God, it is not inconceivable to comprehend how Jesus is “with” God the Father, and yet possesses the same power, authority, and Divine nature that God the Father possesses. At Isaiah 44:24, the Society’s New World Translation states: “I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?” Since no one was “with” Jehovah when He created the earth, Jesus must be Jehovah God!

Likewise, John 1:3 states: “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Upon consideration of this passage, the crucial questions that must be asked are: Which category does Jesus fall under? Is He in the created being category, or the eternal, non-created category?

· Time: Past, Present, Future
· Space: Length, Width, Height
· Matter: Energy, Movement, Phenomenon
· THE FATHER: Psalm 90:2
· THE SON: Jn. 8:58; Isa. 9:6; Heb. 7:3
· THE HOLY SPIRIT: Hebrews 9:14

Since it is preposterous to assert that Jesus created Himself, the only rational conclusion one can draw is that Jesus must be as eternal as God the Father is. Thus, this passage is one of the clearest passages that demonstrates the eternal and omnipotent nature of the Son. Since Jesus created “all things” and no created thing came into existence “apart from Him,” Jesus certainly cannot be a created creature, as the Society claims, but must reign supreme as the eternal God who is without “beginning of days, nor end of life.” ((Hebrews 7:3)

We have already discussed how Scripture acknowledges the distinction between the Person of the Father and the Person of the Son within the Godhead. Yet, Isaiah 9:6 not only declares that Jesus is the “mighty God” but it attributes the title “Eternal Father” to Him. How are we to understand this title of Christ? Does this mean that Christ the Son of God is somehow interchangeable with the Person of the Father? No. Scripture often uses the phrase “Father of…” to denote authorship, possession or the source of something. Thus, when Scripture proclaims that God is:

  • “the Father of mercies”—2 Corinthians 1:3
  • “the Father of glory”—Ephesians 1:17
  • “the Father of lights”—James 1:17

It declares that God is the Author and Source of all of these attributes. Likewise, when the Son is called the “Eternal Father”, we understand this to mean that Jesus is the “Father of Eternity” or as the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) translates this phrase in Isaiah 9:6, He is the “Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity).” This agrees with John 10:28 where Jesus is said to “give” eternal life to his followers. How could Jesus “give” eternal life to people if He Himself does not own or possess eternity as the uncreated God? This is why the Pharisees criticized Jesus for claiming the authority to “forgive sins” (Mark 2:7). Just as the true God is the only One who has the authority to forgive sins since He is ultimately the One being insulted by our sins, so it is with the gift of eternal life. Only the uncreated, eternal God, who Possesses Eternity, has the authority to grant eternal life to those He chooses to pardon. Thus, as Author and “Possessor of Eternity,” Isaiah 9:6 is yet another Scripture that proves the fact that Jesus is eternal, without “beginning of days…” (Hebrews 7:3) and cannot be created.

THE NEW TESTAMENT IN AN IMPROVED VERSION, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, 1808: “…and the word was a god.”7.

Concerning the Society’s quoting of this version in support of their claim that Jesus is “a god,” Peter Barnes notes the following:

The New Testament in an Improved Version, based on Archbishop Newcome’s manuscript was not published until years after Newcome’s death, when his original text came into the possession of the ‘Society for promoting Christian Knowledge and the Practice of Virtue – Unitarian.’ Unitarians are the same as Jehovah’s Witnesses in that they refuse to believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. Those Unitarian publishers produced an ‘edited version’ of Newcomb’s manuscript!”—The Truth About Jesus and the Trinity, 1994, p. 11

Peter Barnes received this information the Cambridge History of the Bible: The west from the Reformation to the Present day:

“The translations by Wakefield and Newcome were in no sense sectarian. Yet both are sometimes listed as Unitarian. The facts are that the Unitarian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge sought to produce a version of the New Testament divesting the sacred volume of the technical phrases of a systematic theology which has no foundation in the Scriptures themselves. …It was decided to adopt Newcome’s text as the basis for the Unitarian version, to be edited and adapted by Dr Thomas Belsham. This was published in 1808 as The New Testament in an Improved Version, upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation, with a corrected text. Newcome had died in 1800, and could not object; Bishop Stock, who was a relative of Newcome, protested, but to no effect. The fifth edition, 1819, bears the title Unitarian Version on the back.” — Cambridge History of the Bible: Volume 3, page 366


THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson8.

Just as The New Testament in an Improved Version is not without bias, Wilson’s translation has an element of bias due to the fact that Wilson was a Christadelphian. According to the November 8, 1944 Watchtower publication Consolation: “Mr. Wilson was reportedly a Christadelphian. Christadelphians believe the organized churches are apostate, do not believe in the ‘trinity’, do not believe in the ‘inherent immortality of the soul’ or in ‘eternal torment’, but hold that eternal death is the punishment awaiting the wicked.”9. However, despite all of this, Peter Barnes observes:

“If we look at the Emphatic Diaglott and check Benjamin Wilson’s translation of John 1:1, we will note that in the interlinear section (which shows each Greek word with its corresponding English word underneath), Wilson has written under the Greek word ‘QeoV’ (deity, God), ‘a god,’ but when we examine Wilson’s finalized translation (his preferred rendering), we find that he does not say ‘the word was a god,’ but ‘the Word was God.’ Therefore his translation does not provide adequate support for the New World Translation.”—The Truth About Jesus and the Trinity, pp. 11-12

Likewise, when we examine page 872 of the “Valuable Alphabetical Appendix” by Benjamin Wilson, published in the Watchtower Society’s 1942 edition of the Emphatic Diaglott, we see that Wilson considered Jesus Christ to be called “Almighty” and the Alpha and Omega God at Revelation 1:8. So, again, Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott cannot be regarded as a strong support of the Watchtower Society’s position that Jesus is simply “a god” type creature who is not the one and only Almighty God.


Endeavoring to find support for their conclusions from the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Society declares:

“The Journal of Biblical Literature says that expressions ‘with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning.’ As the Journal notes, this indicates that the lo’gos can be likened to a god. It also says of John 1:1: ‘The qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun [the-os’] cannot be regarded as definite.’ ”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 27

In the Journal of Biblical Literature, the author lists five possible ways John could have written John 1:1. I will list these ways and then quote his statements concerning them. Keep in mind that Clause B is the clause that John used when he wrote John 1:1:

A. ho logos en ho theos (The Word was the God.)
B. theos en ho logos (God was the Word.)
C. ho logos theos en (The Word God was.)
D. ho logos en theos (The Word was God.)
E. ho logos en theios (The Word was divine.)

Clause A, with an arthrous predicate, would mean that logos and theos are equivalent and interchangeable. There would be no ho theos which is not also ho logos. But this equation of the two would contradict the preceding clause of 1:1, in which John writes that ho logos en pros ton theon [The Word was with the God]. This clause suggests relationship, and thus some form of ‘personal’ differentiation, between the two. Clause D, with the verb preceding an anarthrous predicate, would probably mean that the logos was ‘a god’ or a divine being of some kind, belonging to the general category of theos but as a distinct being from ho theos. Clause E would be an attenuated form of D. It would mean that the logos was ‘divine,’ without specifying further in what way or to what extent it was divine. It could also imply that the logos, being only theios, was subordinate to theos. John evidently wished to say something about the logos that was other than A and more than D and E. Clauses B and C, with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos. There is no basis for regarding the predicated theos as definite. This would make B and C equivalent to A, and like A they would then contradict the preceding clause of 1:1. As John has just spoken in terms of relationship and differentiation between ho logos and ho theos, he would imply in B or C that they share the same nature as belonging to the reality theos. Clauses B and C are identical in meaning but differ slightly in emphasis. C would mean that the logos (rather than something else) had the nature of theos. B means that the logos has the nature of theos (rather than something else). In this clause, the form that John actually uses, the word theos is placed at the beginning for emphasis.…Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.’ This would be one way of representing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos, no less than ho theos, had the nature of theos.”—Journal of Biblical Literature, 1973, pp. 85, 87

Note that the Journal specifically identifies how John would have had to write John 1:1 if he had wanted to communicate the Watchtower teaching that Jesus is “divine” or “a god.” Then, the Journal specifically demonstrates how John did not want to communicate this idea for it states: “John evidently wished to say something about the logos [Word] that was other than A [the God] and more than D and E [‘a god’ or divine].” According to the Journal, the reason John did not say that the Word was “the God” (as in Clause A) is due to the fact that had John made this statement, he would have contradicted the preceding clause (“the Word was with God”), and as a result, would have made a statement that would have denied the distinction between the person of the Father and the person of the Son. As can be seen, far from supporting the Watchtower position, the Journal of Biblical Literature actually militates against their position for the Journal concludes that ho logos, [the Word] no less than ho theos, [the God] had the nature of theos [God].”



We have just seen how the Watchtower Society misquoted the “Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1” article by Philip B. Harner to support their translation of “a god” at John 1:1, claiming that because the word “God” in reference to the “Word” is not proceeded by the article “the”, it is “qualitative in meaning” rather than definite. While it is true that John’s use of “God” in John 1:1 presents more the quality or character of the Word as possessing God’s full nature of Deity, rather than identifying Him to be the same person as the Father, this in no way supports the Watchtower’s rendering of John 1:1 as “a god.” H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey elaborate on the significance of “The Absence of the Article” in their 1957 book, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament stating:

“Sometimes with a noun which the context proves to be definite the article is not used. This places stress upon the qualitative aspect of the noun rather than its mere identity. An object of thought may be conceived of from two points of view: as to identity or quality. To convey the first point of view the Greek uses the article; for the second the anarthrous construction is used. …The use of θεὸς in Jn. 1:1 is a good example. Πρὸς τὸν θεόν points to Christ’s participation in the essence of the divine nature. The former clearly applies to personality, while the latter applies to character. …The articular construction emphasizes identity; the anarthrous construction emphasizes character.” —A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (London, England: MacMillan Publishing, 1957), 149, 140

In the 1969 edition of the Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, pages 1158-1159, the Watchtower misquoted Dr. Julius Robert Mantey’s A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament to try to elicit support for their rendering of John 1:1. In response to the Society’s misquoting of him, Dr. Mantey 13.   called the Society’s New World Translation a “grossly misleading translation.” The following is an excerpt taken from the statement Mantey wrote in response to the Society’s translation:

“Since my name is used and our Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament is quoted on page 744 to seek to justify their translation I am making this statement. The translation suggested in our Grammar for the disputed passage is, ‘the Word was deity.’ Moffatt’s rendering is ‘the Word was divine.’ William’s translation is, ‘the Word was God Himself.’ Each translation reflects the dominant idea in the Greek. For, whenever an article does not precede a noun in Greek, that noun can either be considered as emphasizing the character, nature, essence or quality of a person or thing, as theos (God) does in John 1:1, or it can be translated in certain contexts as indefinite, as they have done. But of all the scholars in the world, as far as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah’s Witnesses have.…And, if we contrast with that the belittling implication that Christ was only a god, do we not at once detect the discord? Does not such a conception conflict with the New Testament message both in whole and in part?”—“A Grossly Misleading Translation,” pp. 1-2

As is clearly evident, the scholarly community does not endorse the assertions of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning their translation of John 1:1.



Endeavoring to find support for their theology from the well-known Greek scholar Joseph Henry Thayer, the Society allegedly quotes Thayer as stating that “The Logos was divine, not the divine Being himself.”10. A look at the Society’s bibliography for the Trinity brochure lists this quote as coming from “Thayer’s personal copy of Griesbach’s Greek New Testament text, 1809, with Thayer’s handwritten comments on John 1:1 interleaved.” Since I don’t have a way of checking the context or the accuracy of this quote, I cannot substantiate or refute this statement which was supposedly made by Thayer. However, in order to determine whether or not Thayer supports Watchtower ideology, one can look at other statements Thayer has made regarding Christ.

One prime example to consider is Thayer’s comments on Colossians 2:9 which states that “…in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” In his Greek English Lexicon, Thayer notes that the Greek word for Deity (theotes) used in this verse means “deity i.e. the state of being God, Godhead: Col. ii.9.”11. This is certainly not the kind of statement one would expect from a scholar who doesn’t believe in the Deity of Christ. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that Thayer does not support Watchtower ideology. Although it is impossible to do a contextual study of Thayer’s alleged statement concerning the Word, one can assume that if Thayer did make this statement, it may very well have been in the context of the Word not being the same person as the person of God the Father.


The Society quotes John L. McKenzie as stating that “Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated…‘the word was a divine being.’ ”12. Let’s look at the context from which this statement was taken:

“In the words of Jesus and in much of the rest of the NT the God of Israel (Gk ho theos) is the Father of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that the title ho theos, which now designates the Father as a personal reality, is not applied in the NT to Jesus Himself; Jesus is the Son of God (of ho theos). This is a matter of usage and not of rule, and the noun is applied to Jesus a few times. Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated ‘the word was with the God [= the Father], and the word was a divine being.’ Thomas invokes Jesus with the titles which belong to the Father, ‘My Lord and my God’ (Jn 20:28). ‘The glory of our great God and Savior’ which is to appear can be the glory of no other than Jesus (Tt 2:13).”—Dictionary of the Bible, 1965, p. 317

Here again is another example of how the Watchtower has twisted a statement made by a scholar attempting to make it appear that the particular scholar supports their doctrine. Just like the other scholars previously discussed, McKenzie believes that the Word is “divine” in the same sense that the Father is divine and that the reason the title of “the God” is applied to Christ only a few times in Scripture is due to the fact that the biblical writers recognized the distinction between the person of the Father and the person of the Son. However, McKenzie is quick to point out that these writers invoked “Jesus with the titles which belong to the Father”, and therefore proves that Jesus is just as much God as the Father is God.

Violating a Rule?

“SOME claim, however, that such renderings violate a rule of Koine Greek grammar published by Greek scholar E. C. Colwell back in 1933. He asserted that in Greek a predicate noun ‘has the [definite] article when it follows the verb; it does not have the [definite] article when it precedes the verb.’ By this he meant that a predicate noun preceding the verb should be understood as though it did have the definite article (‘the’) in front of it. At John 1:1 the second noun (the-os’), the predicate, precedes the verb—‘and [the-os’] was the Word.’ So, Colwell claimed, John 1:1 should read ‘and [the] God was the Word.’…Does the context require an indefinite article at John 1:1? Yes, for the testimony of the entire Bible is that Jesus is not Almighty God.…it is apparent from the many translations that insert the indefinite article ‘a’ at John 1:1 and in other places that many scholars disagree with such an artificial rule, and so does God’s Word.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 28

It is true that Trinitarians in the past have attempted to use Colwell’s rule about the non-use of the definite article preceding a verb, to try to prove that in the phrase, “God was the Word,” the noun “God” should be regarded as definite, that is, “the God.” However, Trinitarian thought since this time has shifted to viewing the lack of the definite article in this phrase as a type of qualitative form, rather than a definite form. Thus, most Trinitarians now view the lack of the definite article before the word, “God,” in John 1:1 as describing the Godlike quality of the Word (Christ), rather than stating that Jesus is the definite same Person as “the God” (the Father).   Thus, the lack of the definite article in this passage is seen as a way to differentiate between the Person of the Father, “…the God,” and the Person of the Son, “…and God was the Word.”

As has already been discussed, when one considers the testimony of Scripture with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, several passages can be cited to derive the concept of the Trinity. Although the Society has repeatedly sought scholarly support for their anti-Trinitarian doctrine, such support has been difficult for the Society to obtain, not only with those who hold to Colwell’s rule, but also with those who hold to the qualitative view of John 1:1 as discussed earlier in my analysis of the article in the Journal of Biblical Literature and A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey. In fact, scholarly support for the New World Translation’s unique rendering of John 1:1 and other passages has been so seriously lacking that at one point in their history, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses turned to the world of the occult to find support for their translation.


THE NEW TESTAMENT BY JOHANNES GREBER translated with Spirit-World Mediums

From 1962 to 1971, the Watchtower quoted The New Testament – A New Translation and Explanation Based on the Oldest Manuscripts by Johannes Greber in support of John 1:1 being translated as “a god” in their New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Who was Johannes Greber? The February 15, 1956 issue of The Watchtower explains on pages 110-111:

“Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his translation of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: ‘I myself was a Catholic Priest, and until I was forty-eight years old had never as much as believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God’s spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication, and experienced things that shook me to the depths of my soul…. My experiences are related in a book that has appeared in both German and English and bears the title, Communication with the Spirit Word: Its Laws and Its Purpose. …The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible.’ Under this impression Greber endeavors to make his New Testament translation read very spiritualistic. …Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation.”

Not only does the Watchtower of February 15, 1956 admit to Greber’s connection with the spirit-world as stated in his Introduction to the 1937 edition of his New Testament, but his Introduction goes on to admit:

“In the rare instances in which a text pronounced correct by the divine spirits can be found in none of the manuscripts available to-day, I have used the text as it was given to me by those spirits.” —Johannes Greber, “Introduction,” The New Testament, Part 1 Translation,(New York: John Felsberg Inc, 1937), 15

So, Greber admits that where his translation differs from the text of the manuscripts, he provided the text directly inspired by the spirit mediums. Yet, despite the fact that the Watchtower Society was well-aware of his connection with the demonic spirit-world, they quoted Greber’s rendering of John 1:1 as “a god” in support of their New World Translation four times, starting as early as September 15, 1962, just 6 months after they exposed his “Communication with the Spirit Word” in the February 15th issue of The Watchtower published that same year. It wasn’t until 1983 that they publicized their decision to stop citing him because of his connection with the spirit-world.



“among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.…”—New World Translation Doesn’t this passage undermine the Society’s rule concerning the definite article (the) being used to designate the true God from lesser “gods”?

“…when he calls Jehovah ‘the God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob.’ He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him.”—New World Translation Since the term “God” is used of Jehovah without the definite article, doesn’t this discredit the Society’s claim that Jesus is not the true God because the term “God” is used in reference to Christ without the definite article?

3. CONSISTENCY IN TRANSLATION: If one is consistent in applying the Society’s rule of inserting the article “a” whenever the definite article (the) is not written in the Greek, the following verses would read this way:

· JOHN 1:6:“There came a man, sent from a God.…”
· JOHN 1:18: “No man has seen a God at any time.…”
· MATTHEW 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of a God.”


· MATTHEW 1:23: “Look! The virgin…will give birth to son, and they will call the name of him Immanuel; which is being translated With us the God.” —Kingdom Interlinear Translation
· JOHN 20:28: “Answered Thomas and he said to him The Lord of me and the God of me!”—Kingdom Interlinear Translation
· JOHN 1:18: “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
· 1 JOHN 5:20; 1:2: “…we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.…the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.…”
· HEBREWS 1:8: “But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom.’ ”

HEBREWS 1:8:“toward but the Son The throne of you the God into the age of the age.…”
HEBREWS 1:8:“But with reference to the Son: ‘God is your throne forever.…’ ”

Throughout Hebrews 1-3, Christ is shown to be superior to creation as He is contrasted to the angels, the prophets, and Moses. At Hebrews 1:10-12, we read a passage taken from Psalm 102:25-28 that was written exclusively of Jehovah in the Old Testament but applied directly to Christ here in the New Testament.

Incidentally, Hebrews 1:8-9 is a quotation taken right out of Psalm 45:6-7. Hebrew Parallelism occurs where the literary structure of one verse is seen to be identical to that of another verse. In this case, in the Septuagint, the literary structure of Psalm 45:6: “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever” is seen to be identical to the literary structure of the previous verse, Psalm 45:5: “Thy weapons, O Mighty One, are sharpened.” Therefore, the translation of “Thy throne, O God….” at Hebrews 1:8 is much more correct than the Watchtower Society’s New World Translation.



Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλἀ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Jehovah’s Witnesses often point to the fact that at John 1:1, the first occurrence of the Greek word translated “God” (in reference to the Father) appears as theon, while the second occurrence of the Greek word translated “God” (in reference to the Son) appears as theos. They then proceed to argue that since a different form of the word appears in reference to Jesus, He can’t possibly be the same God as the Father. However, the difference between these Greek forms is due only to Greek grammar and can be demonstrated by noting that at John 3:16, the Greek grammar form of theos is used in reference to the Father. If John had wanted to communicate the idea that Jesus merely possesses “divine qualities” (as the Watchtower Society asserts), there was a clearer word he could have used—theios. Instead, he used theos which is the strongest word for Deity available in the Greek language. Notice how the lesser word for deity theios is employed in the following passage:

2 PETER 1:4: “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the Divine [theias] nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

This verse is not implying that Christians will become “little gods” or that their human natures will turn into “divine natures.” Rather, it is teaching that when the Holy Spirit regenerates a person, the Holy Spirit actually dwells within that person (1 Corinthians 3:16), and it is in this sense that the person becomes a partaker of the “divine nature.” Jesus, in contrast to men and angels, is Divine and is therefore God (theos). Jehovah God declares:

“Remember the first things of a long time ago, that I am the Divine One and there is no other God, nor anyone like me.”—Isaiah 46:9, New World Translation

One more fact worth noting at John 1:1 is that Jehovah’s Witnesses often point to the fact that in their Greek text found in the Watchtower produced Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, the word “Theon” for God the Father is capitalized while the term “theos” for Christ is not. This, however, does not affect the veracity of the text nor does it support their theology, for the original Greek manuscripts were uncial manuscripts and thus were written in all capital letters. The Watchtower even notes this fact in their 1962 publication, “The Word” Who is He? According to John, p. 54

Must Harmonize with the Bible

 “But does not ‘Mighty God’ with its capital letters indicate that Jesus is in some way equal to Jehovah God? Not at all.…Still, even though Jesus was called ‘Mighty,’ there can be only one who is ‘Almighty’….Since the Bible calls humans, angels, even Satan, ‘gods,’ or powerful ones, the superior Jesus in heaven can properly be called ‘a god’…But what about the apostle Thomas’ saying, ‘My Lord and my God!’ to Jesus at John 20:28? To Thomas, Jesus was like ‘a god,’….Thomas may simply have made an emotional exclamation of astonishment, spoken to Jesus but directed to God.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, pp. 28-29


ISAIAH 10:20-21; JEREMIAH 32:17-18
“…but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God….Nothing is too difficult for Thee…O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name;”
“For a child will be born to us…And His name will be called…Mighty God….”

At Isaiah 9:6, we read that Jesus is called the “mighty God”  Yet, Jehovah God is called “mighty God” at Isaiah 10:20-21.  Are there two “mighty Gods”?  The real issue is not whether other beings are called “gods,” but which category of “god” does Jesus fall under?  Does He fall under the category of being the true God or a false god?  While Jehovah’s Witnesses assert that there is a category of “gods” that is neither true nor false and that these “gods” hold the title of “god” due to their power and authority, Scripture reveals that this is not the case.  For example, at Psalm 82:6-7, Israelite judges were called “gods” in sarcasm because these judges (who thought of themselves a “gods”) were reviling the true God by their unrighteous judgments.  Psalm 82 is a psalm of condemnation for these judges who acted as if they were “gods” in that they made life and death decisions for others, but they would ultimately “die like men”  —thus proving the infinite difference between the true God and the mightiest of mortals.

At 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is addressed as “the god of this world.”  Since it is obvious that Satan is a false god, he is addressed as “god” because pagans and unbelievers throughout history have worshipped him by serving false idol “gods” made of wood and stone, powered by demons (1 Corinthians 10:20).  Yet, despite Satan’s authority as “god of this world,” the demons recognize that Satan is not a real “god.”  At James 2:19, the Bible declares that even the demons recognize that there is only “one God.” Since there is only one true God (John 17:3) who has revealed Himself as the “only God” (1 Timothy 1:17), Jesus is either in the true God category of being Jehovah God Himself, or He is a counterfeit god who is a false god.  There is no middle ground.  While Scripture reveals that there is only one God “by nature” and that all other “so-called gods” are false gods  (1 Corinthians 8:5-6), Jesus is “by nature” the one and only true God. 

“However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.…Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God….we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.…the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.…And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” —Galatians 4:8; Philippians 2:5-614.; 1 John 5:20; 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:16-17; Isaiah 46:9

By teaching that there are many “gods” who are neither true or false, Watchtower doctrine resembles henotheism rather than monotheism or polytheism. While henotheism is very similar to polytheism in that it advocates the existence of many “gods,” it differs from polytheism by teaching that there is only one God who should receive worship. As is clearly demonstrated by Scripture, neither henotheism or polytheism is correct, for Jehovah God is the “only God” (1 Timothy 1:17).


ISAIAH 43:10-11; 44:6; 48:12: “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD… ‘Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and there is no savior beside Me.…I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.…Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.’”
REVELATION 1:17-18; 2:8: “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’…The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this….”


ISAIAH 44:6-8: “Thus says the LORD…’ I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. And who is like Me?…Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’ ”
1 Corinthians 10:4: “…and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”


ISAIAH 8:12-14: “…And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over.…”


I PETER 3:14-15; 2:4, 6-8: “…And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord.…And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men.…For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.’ This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,’ and, ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’;”

In chapters two and three of First Peter, Peter quotes Isaiah 8:12-14 which speaks exclusively of Jehovah God and applies this passage directly to Christ. Regarding the Watchtower Society’s insertion of the Divine Name (Jehovah) into the texts of their Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament), the Society’s Greek-English Translation states:

“In the LXX the Greek words Ky’ri-os and The-os’ [Lord and God] have been used to crowd out the distinctive name of the Supreme Deity. Every comprehensive Greek-English dictionary states that these two Greek words have been used as equivalents of the divine name [Jehovah]. Hence, the modern translator is warranted in using the divine name Jehovah as an equivalent of those two Greek words, that is, at places where the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures quote verses, passages, and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the LXX where the divine name occurs.…How many modern translators determine when to render the Greek words Ky’ri-os and The-os’ as the divine name? By determining where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then they must refer back to the Hebrew text to locate whether the divine name appears there. In this way they can determine the identity to be given to Ky’ri-os and The-os’, and make appropriate use of the personal name.” —The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1985, pp. 11-12

I Peter 3:15 states that we are to “sanctify Christ as Lord.…” According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word “sanctify” means “to set apart as holy.” Thus, Peter (quoting Isaiah 8:13 which speaks of regarding Jehovah as holy) literally states that we are to “sanctify” (regard as holy) “Christ as Lord.” If we apply the Society’s rule of inserting the name “Jehovah” into the text of any New Testament passage which is quoting a Hebrew passage where the divine name (Jehovah or YHWH) appears, we could literally translate 1 Peter 3:15 as “…sanctify Christ as Jehovah.…”, for the divine name appears in Isaiah 8:13! At 1 Peter 2:4-8, Peter also quotes Isaiah 8:14 which states that Jehovah God is the stumbling stone of Israel and reveals that this Jehovah God who is the “stone of stumbling” is Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus is Jehovah God!


REVELATION 1:8; 22:13
“ ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’ ”
“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

· MATTHEW 28:18: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’ ”15.
· HEBREWS 1:3: “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”16.
· MARK 2:7-12: “ ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?’ And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?…But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic—’I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.’ And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’ ”

PSALM 89:6-9
MATTHEW 8:24-27
For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD, a God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him? O Lord God of hosts, who is like Thee, O mighty LORD? Thy faithfulness also surrounds Thee. Thou dost rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, Thou dost still them.”
“And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’ And He said to them, ‘Why are you timid, you men of little faith?’ Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’


At John 20:28, Thomas addressed Jesus as “My Lord and my God!” If Thomas were merely making “an emotional exclamation of astonishment” by addressing Jesus as God, wouldn’t this have been equivalent to taking the name of Jehovah in vain? If Jesus were not God, wouldn’t this exclamation require a rebuke on the part of Christ? Instead of correcting Thomas, however, at verse 29 we read that Jesus commended Thomas for believing in Him! Psalm 35:23 calls Jehovah (Yahweh) “my God and my Lord.” It may be that Thomas, who was quite familiar with the Old Testament, had this verse in mind when he addressed Jesus as “My Lord and my God.”

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”—Acts 20:28

“For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him.…For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”—Colossians 1:19; 2:9



1. See John 5:18; John 8:58-59; John 10:30-39 and John 19:7
2. John 20:28. Note that Psalm 35:23 calls Jehovah (Yahweh) “my God and my Lord.”  It may be that Thomas, who was quite familiar with the Old Testament, had this verse in mind when he addressed Jesus as “my Lord and my God.”
3. Cf. Wesley J. Perschbacher, The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1990), 140; William D. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), 342
4. The New Englishman’s Greek Concordance And Lexicon, by Jay P. Green, Sr., 1982 (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MS), p. 883
5. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1985 pp. 451, 1145-1146
6. For further analysis of the errors in the New World Translation when it comes to John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14, see excerpts from Justin Alfred’s Exegetical Analysis of John 8:58 reproduced in the Appendix of this book.
7. Quoted in Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 27
8. Ibid.
9. Consolation, November 8, 1944, p. 26
10. Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 28
11. The New Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1974, p. 288
12. Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 28
13. Dr. Mantey is a professor of Greek and New Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary of Chicago, Illinois.
14. This verse is quoted from the New International Version
15. See also John 16:15
16. See also Colossians 1:17

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