Jehovah Witness - Deity of Jesus

Why do JWs reject the deity of Jesus Christ?

1. The bible does not teach the doctrine of Trinity. It teaches the existence of one God.

Besides me there is no other God; there never was and never will be.(Isaiah 43:10)

Christian's reply

Let's look at the doctrine of trinity. It is the understanding that there is one God in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since Isa 43:10 talk about the existence of one God, it is perfectly in line with the doctrine of trinity. Christians do not believe in the existence of three gods as those who use this verse to discredit trinity presume.

Now lets look at Isa 43:10. All the verse tells us is the fact that there is only one God. It does not say that this God is a one-in-one God, two-in-one God or three-in-one God. Let's not read into a sentence more that what it actually says.

2. The doctrine of Trinity is against logic.

Obviously such a trinitarian God is not what Jesus had in mind when He said in John 4:22 "we worship what we do know".

Christian's reply

There is something very wrong with this reasoning. Are we to reject something as false just because it defies logic? Not when it concerns God, we don't. Supposing God were to appear in front of us and say, "I am one God in three persons : Father, Son and Holy Spirit. " Do we say, "But this can't we true. Mathematics teaches that 1+1+1=3, so you cannot be one God and yet three persons. You see, God gives us certain laws of the universe by which we are bound but by which He Himself is not bound. If we reject the doctrine of trinity, then why not reject every miracle in the bible since they are also beyond logic.

Job 11:7­8 "Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens­­­ what can you do ? They are deeper than the depths of the grave­­­ what can you know?

Only an infinite mind can fully understand an infinite God. Since we as humans have finite minds, it is natural to find some things that concern God beyond reason. If we can accept the fact that some works of God are beyond reason (what we call miracles), then is it difficult to accept the fact that the nature of God may also be beyond reason.

3. The bible depicts Jesus as inferior to the Father.

John 14:28 Jesus said "The Father is greater than I.

Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said,"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

This verse shows that it is the Father who gives him the authority, indicating that it was not his in the first place.

In Mark 13:32, Mark 11:13 and John 11:34, Jesus appeared to be ignorant of certain things, indicating his inferior knowledge.

Christian's reply

These verses can be explained by Philippians 2:5,6 which says: Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of man."

Similarly Hebrews 2:9 says : "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death........"

These verses show clearly that when Jesus became a man, he emptied himself of the majesty and power that he enjoyed while he was in heaven and subjected himself to some of the limitations of man (eg. Jesus got hungry, thirsty and weary etc.) Almost all of the verses used to argue that Jesus was inferior to the Father compare Jesus in his humbled state as a man with God's exalted position in heaven. Christians believe that Jesus is God. However, we freely admit that in his humbled state as a man, he emptied himself of many of the attributes of God and is indeed inferior to God the Father.

If we understand this, then we understand why Jesus said that all authority has been given to him. You see, he emptied himself when he came into this world. After he died and conquered death, God the Father gave him back the authority and glory that was his in the first place.

Jn 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

We see that when Jesus has almost completed his mission on earth, he asked the Father to restore him to such glory that he had with the Father before the world was made.

But why are there verses that show Jesus submitting to God even after his resurrection?

1 Corinthians 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

In 1 Cor 11:13, God is the head of Christ. Does it mean Jesus is inferior? No, it only shows that Jesus submits to God, as a wife should submit to her husband out of love.

4. Jesus can do nothing by himself: he acts on God's commandments.

John 5:30 : "By myself (Christ himself) I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent "

Jn 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

Jn 14:31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

Christian's reply

At first glance, it may seem like Jesus is inferior to the Father as he is always acting on his father's commandments. A closer examination, however, reveals that the true reason why Jesus obeys his father's commandment is not inferiority or even obligation but simply love.

In Jn 5:30, Jesus explains that "By myself I can do nothing... for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent ".

The underlined portion tells us that Jesus cannot do anything by himself (ie outside his Father's will) not because of his inability, but because of his unwillingness. In other words, he has a choice (look at the words "I seek not to"). We cannot conclude from the words `can do nothing' that it refers to inability. If our friend say to us, "Go ahead and take it; nobody is looking.", we'll probably say, "No, I can't do it." By that we mean that we are unwilling to do something which is wrong. Likewise Jn 5:30 is talking about Jesus' unwillingness, not inability, to do anything outside his Father's will.

In Jn 10:18, what is the `command' Jesus received from the Father? It is no more than the instruction (as some translations correctly render) that Jesus can choose whether to lay down his own life or not (as proven by the words `on my own accord'). Again we see that Jesus had a choice. The Greek word translated "commandment" can refer to a mere instruction.

Mark 10:4­5 (NIV) They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." 5 "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.

In Jn 14:31, the motivation for obeying his Father's commandments is clearly spelt out -- love. The perfect love of Jesus for his Father forbids him to do anything outside his Father's will. We see a statement of this perfect love of Jesus in John 8:29 when he said that he always do those things that please the Father.

Why is Jesus always doing the Father's work and not the reverse? The answer is each person in the trinity of God has its own function. It cannot be said that since the son is always doing the Father's work, he cannot be God himself. Look at the Holy Spirit for example. He only speaks what he hears and he takes what belongs to Jesus and make it known to the world. He will glorify Jesus (Jn 16:13-14). Can we then conclude that the Holy Spirit is not God? Well, the Jews have no difficulty reconciling the role of the Holy Spirit with the fact that he is also God (Acts 5:3-4).

5. Jesus was created by the Father.

Colossians 1:15 says " He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation."

JWs quote these verses to prove that even Jesus was created by God; he did not exist from the beginning with God.

Christian's reply

To understand what the bible meant when it says that Jesus is the first born, it is necessary to look at the Greek word for `first born' which is `prototokos'. This word is used in the New Testament mostly to convey the meaning of `being born first'. However, we must not conclude that this is the only meaning. Look at this verse for example.

Psalms 89:27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.

King David was the last born son of Jesse but God calls him the firstborn. Why? The Jews has the custom of giving the birthright to the first born son. In other words, the first born son stands to be the recipient of his father's blessings and inheritance (Deut 21:17). Therefore, the word `first born' has become closely linked with the meaning of being special, heir, etc in addition to the usual meaning of being born first. It is only in this regard that David can be referred to as God's first born.

Similarly, when the bible says that Jesus is the first born son, it is not saying that Jesus was created first. It is simply saying that Jesus is the special son of God, the heir to God's riches. Note that verse 18 says that in everything Jesus might be pre-eminent. Look also at this truth which is taught in other verses as well.

Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Act 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Doesn't it show that Jesus was created at some point in time and did not exist with God from the beginning? No. The word `begotten' does not always have to mean `created'.

1 Cor 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Philemon 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Paul, who brought these people to eternal life is said to have `begotten' them. Likewise, Luke explains that when God said that He had begotten Jesus (in Heb 1:5, which is actually a quotation from Psalms 2:7), He was referring to raising him back to life after his death.

Colossians 1:16-20 For by him all (other) things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all (other) things were created by him and for him. {17} He is before all (other) things, and in him all (other) things hold together. {18} And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. {19} For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, {20} and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

In the NWT, the word "other" is inserted to make it seem that Christ is part of creation. This is justified by the following verses which has the word "other" after "all".

Luke 11:41-42 But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. {42} "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practised the latter without leaving the former undone.

Luke 13:2-4 Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? {3} I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. {4} Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?

In the two preceding examples, the word "other" was added to make foe smoother English; the meaning of the sentence is not changed. For Col 1:16-20, adding the word "other" makes a whole lot of difference to the meaning.

Proverbs 8:12,22-24 "I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;

JWs teach that Wisdom here refers to Christ. Therefore Christ was created.

Wisdom is not only personified in these verses, it is also mentioned throughout Proverbs 1-9. There is no indication that this is a different "wisdom". Elsewhere, we see that wisdom is referred to as a woman who cries in the streets (1:20-21) and dwell with "prudence" (8:12) in a house with seven pillars (9:1). This is hardly a normal way of describing Christ. However, the verse can be naturally understood to refer to the fact that wisdom has always existed with God and He exercised wisdom in His creation. This truth is paralleled in the following verse.

Proverbs 3:19-20 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; {20} by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

Also we see that wisdom was appointed from eternity (8:23), a term used to describe God Himself.

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Therefore, it could well mean that God always had wisdom.

Nowhere in the bible does it teach that Jesus was created. On the contrary, the bible teaches that Jesus existed with the father from the beginning.

Jn 1:1-2 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

John 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

6. Because Jesus is not the Father, therefore he cannot be God.

John is a doctor. James is not John. Therefore James cannot be a doctor.

Psalms 110:1 Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my Lord (NWT :The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is) : "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

The JW claim that their version is superior because they do not have the Lord talking to himself. The Lord Jesus must be a mere creature since Jehovah God is addressing a person distinct from himself.

The New Testament records many conversations between father and son but this does not disprove the deity of Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

If Jesus cannot be God, then the Father cannot be Lord. Yet we know that the Father is Lord.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

7. Jesus denied that he is God.

Jn 10:34-36 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'? 35 If he called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came-- and the Scripture cannot be broken-- 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'?

According to your interpretation, Jesus is saying that if the judges, who are human, are called gods, why can't Jesus who is also a man call himself the son of God. This is only one interpretation. I would interpret Jesus as saying that since judges, who are only human, are called gods, why can't Jesus, who is truly God, call himself the Son of God.

8. Jesus refer to the Father as God

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John 20:17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

If Jesus' reference to the Father as God excludes himself, then the following verses exclude the Father from Lordship.

Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Hebrews 1:10 He (God the Father) also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you (ie Jesus) laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

The Holy Spirit is also called "Lord".

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

9. Jesus is distinguished from God.

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favouritism.

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

These texts refer to the Father as God simply because that is the title normally used for God. Therefore, it is actually "God the Father" in short.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

If by this Jesus cannot be God, then he cannot be a man as well. The truth is rather that Jesus is able to mediate between God and man because He is both God and man.

10. Jesus is merely the angel Michael.

The bible mentions Michael five times. Ask which of these verses state that Michael is Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

If using an archangel's voice makes Jesus an archangel, then having God's trumpet should make him God.

Hebrews 1:2-8 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. {3} The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. {4} So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. {5} For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father " ? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son" ? {6} And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." {7} In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." {8} But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom.

These verses prove the superiority of Jesus over the angels. Moreover no angel will accept worship.

Revelation 22:8-9 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. {9} But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"

Regardless of whether it should be worship or obeisance, the Greek word "proskuneo" is used in both verses and is something angels will not accept.

11. Other paradoxes

-Jesus cannot be God because Jesus died and God cannot die.

-God cannot be tempted but Jesus was tempted

Why do Christians believe that Jesus is God?

1. The bible teaches that Jesus is God.

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (NWT : a god). {2} He was with God in the beginning.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

In these verses, Jesus is described as the "Word". He was in the beginning with God; he was God; and he became man and lived with us for a while.

JW translate the word "God" to "a god". This is because the word "theos" translated "God" does not have the definite article. However, there is no difference between "God" and "a god".

Luke 20:38 He is not the God (NWT : a God) of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

We see that the same word refers to Jehovah. Other examples where the word "theos" is used in the same construction and refer to God are Mark 12:27, Luke 20:38, John 8:54, Phil 2:13 and Heb 11:16.

Other verses also teach that Jesus is God.

Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

The NWT puts "the" in front of the words "Saviour" making God and Saviour two different persons.

The construction in Greek connects two nouns with the Greek word for "and" and places the definite article "the" in front of the first noun but not the second. In fact, every occurrence of this construction, where the nouns are singular and are common nouns describing persons, uses two nouns to refer to the same person.

Psalms 45:6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 9:5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Hebrews 1:8-12 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom. {9} You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." {10} He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. {11} They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. {12} You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

The NWT renders verse 8 as "God is your throne forever and ever" meaning that God is the source of Jesus' authority. This translation is possible but not likely. A throne is the position from which one rules; it is not the source of one's authority. Thus heaven is called the throne of God (Matt 5:34). Surely the verse is not saying that heaven is the source of God's authority.

Verses 10-12 leave no room for doubt because Psalms 102:25-27 from which the verses were quoted are spoken of Jehovah.

Psalms 102:24-27 24 So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. 25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. {26} They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. {27} But you remain the same, and your years will never end.

1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

JWs claim that the term "true God and eternal life" refers to the Father and not the son. Grammatically this is possible. The statement "true God and eternal life" obviously refer to the same person. Elsewhere in the same epistle, Jesus was already identified as the "eternal life". Using this reasoning, the term "true God and eternal life" must refer to Jesus.

1 John 1:2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

Philippians 2:5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. {8} And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! {9} Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, {10} that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, {11} and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The NWT translates it this way: who, although he was existing in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure (ie snatch violently), namely, that he should be equal with God. They argue that Paul is saying that Jesus was not equal to God and did not even consider trying to make himself equal with God.

The context reveals that Jesus was truly God as his name is above every name and this name is Lord, the Greek New Testament substitute for Jehovah.

Colossians 2:9 "For in Christ all the fullness of the deity (NWT : divine quality) lives in the bodily form."

The reference edition of the interlinear version of the NWT admits that the word translated "divine quality" literally means "godship".

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

They contrast Jesus, the mighty god with Jehovah, the almighty God.

Firstly, Jesus is also almighty.

Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Secondly, Jehovah is also called the mighty God.

Isaiah 10:21-22 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. {22} Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous.

Ask the JW to read from his own version.

Jeremiah 32:18 You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty (NWT:the mighty One, Jehovah),

Romans 14:7-9 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. {8} If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. {9} For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why does the NWT translate the first two "Lord" as Jehovah and the third one as "Lord". The same root word "Kyrios" is found in all three verses.

Attributes of Jesus

(i) Jesus is sinless.

The bible teaches that no one is sinless except God.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Even Jesus taught that no one is good except God.

Mark 10:18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-- except God alone.

John 8:29,46 "I always do what pleases Him (God). Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? I am telling you the truth, why don't you believe me?"

Other verses also point to the fact that Jesus was sinless.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin.

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need-- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

1 Peter 2:21-22 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."

(ii) Jesus is eternally existent with God.

Jesus said in John 17:5 "The glory I had with thee (the Father) before the world was made."

You have explained that this verse simply shows that Jesus was glorified by God in his timeless knowledge before the creation of the world. I don't think so. Let me explain why. Firstly, the words `I had' is used. Why `had' and not `have'? A Christian would simply explain that Jesus emptied and humbled himself, therefore he did not have the glory which he used to have before he came into this world. But how would the Muslim explain this verse? If Jesus was gloried only in God's knowledge, then he must conclude that at the time of this verse, Jesus was no longer glorified in God's knowledge. I wonder what happened. Secondly, the words `with thee' is used. Does this sound to you like foreknowledge? Jesus was essentially saying, "the glory I had when I was with you".

Let's look at another verse.

John 1:30 This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'

We know that John the Baptist was born 6 months before Jesus but this is what he said of Jesus. If both Jesus and John were in the foreknowledge of God--and this is what some interpret the verse to be--then in what sense was Jesus before John. Did Jesus enter into God's foreknowledge before John?

Similarly, Jesus said in John 8:58 "Before Abraham was I am."

(iii) Jesus claim to be the "I am", a phrase used only for God.

John 8:57-59 "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" {58} "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am! (NWT : I have been) " {59} At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM (NWT: I shall prove to be) has sent me to you.'"

Their 1984 large print New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with Reference has a footnote admitting that the Hebrew word would be entered into Greek as "Ego eimi"--"I am".

There is nothing special about the words "I am". It could be used by anybody in making a statement. However, when used by itself and in the way said by Jesus, the Jews understood that He was claiming equality with God.

(iv) Jesus accepts the name "God".

John 20:28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

They claim that Thomas was not directing the words at Jesus. However, it is unlikely that Thomas would have said those words out of exclamation as that would be tantamount to using God's name in vain. Jesus would have rebuked instead of commending him. Also, it is noted that Thomas said to him (ie Jesus).

(v) Jesus accepts worship.

Jesus taught that worship is due only to God.

Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "

Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.' "

Yet Jesus received worship.

Hebrews 1:6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."

John 9:38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshipped him.

Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Matthew 28:9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings ," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him.

Angels refuse to accept worship.

Revelation 22:8-9 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. {9} But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"

JW : A true worshipper worships the Father only, not the son.

John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.

The emphasis is on worshipping in "spirit and truth" and not worshipping the Father only.

John 5:23 that all may honour the Son just as they honer the Father. He who does not honer the Son does not honer the Father, who sent him.

(vi) Jesus is self existent

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.

(vii) Jesus is unchanging

Hebrews 1:10-12 He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. {11} They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. {12} You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

(viii) Jesus is eternal

John 1:2 He was with God in the beginning.

John 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Hebrews 1:12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

(ix) Jesus is omnipresent

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 4:10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

(x) Jesus forgives sins

Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ."

7. The Bible teaches the doctrine of trinity

Gen 18 & 19 shows God appearing to Abraham as 3 men. Abraham addresses the three as Jehovah (v3). "They speaking" is used interchangeably with "Jehovah speaking". When two of the three men depart to visit Lot, Abraham continues to call the remaining one "Jehovah" but Lot addresses the other two as Jehovah.

8. Jesus is the alpha and omega

Jehovah is the alpha and omega.

Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Isaiah 48:12-13 "Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. {13} My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.

Jesus is also the alpha and the omega.

Revelation 22:12-13 "Behold , I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. {13} I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes , I am coming soon." Amen . Come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 2:8 "To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.