A question Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot answer.

This is an article, originally by Clay Jones, found on: http://www.clayjones.net/2010/08/a-question-the-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses-can%E2%80%99t-answer/

When I was in seminary in the 1970’s, I took Cults from Walter Martin and he had former Jehovah’s Witness Bill Cetnar speak to the class. What follows is the line of reasoning Cetnar presented. I’ve used it ever since with Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door, with JW Greg Stafford and other JWs on my radio program, and with JW elders at Kingdom Halls (By the way, I was 16 the first time I went into a Kingdom Hall to witness to the JWs).

Christian: Let me ask you only one question and after you answer it, I’ll answer any question you want. First I need to clarify a few things. In the New World Translation, John 1:1 reads: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Then in Isaiah 9:6 (NWT) we read: “For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” So then, does Jehovah equal almighty God?

JW: Yes.

C: Now Jesus isn’t Jehovah, right?

JW: That’s right.

C: Jesus equals a Mighty God?

JW: That is correct.

C: Is Jehovah a true God or a false God?

JW: Jehovah is a true God.

C: Is Jesus a true God or a false God?

JW: Jesus is a true God.

C: Okay, here’s my question: How can you believe there are two true Gods when the Bible says there is only one God? After all, it says in Isaiah 43:10-11 (NWT), “Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.” And Isa: 44:6 (NWT) says: “I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.”

JW: That passage is teaching that there are no capital “G” gods.

C: Hebrew doesn’t have capital letters so the capitalization of the “G” in those passages is an insertion by the NW translators to make us believe there are two categories of gods. It is equivalent to their just inserting the word “almighty” in the text. If the Lord had wanted to proclaim that “besides me there is no Almighty God” instead of what it really says, “beside me there is no god,” He could easily have had Isaiah insert the word “Almighty” in those passages. But He didn’t.

JW: Well, we only worship one God.

C: If I only loved one wife but was married to two women, I would still be a polygamist and your believing there are two true Gods even though you only worship one of them still makes you a polytheist. The Bible says there is only one God.

JW: But the Bible calls Satan a God.

C: Is Satan a true God or a false God?

JW: A false God.

C: You still have two true Gods.

JW: But in Ex. 4:16 (NWT) it says that Moses “will serve as God to him [Pharaoh].”

C: It says Moses will serve “as God.” In other translations of this verse it says Moses will be “like God” to him. Do you see a difference between serving “as” God or “like” God and really being a god? For example, if I said an older woman was “as a mother to me” it wouldn’t mean that I actually came out of her womb, right? Do you see the difference?”

JW: But the word “God” is just a title that can be used for those on the side of God.

C: Then there would be lots of true Gods, but John 17:3 (NWT) says “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” If that’s true, how could you say that Jesus is a true God?

JW: As I said, we only worship one God.

C: But I’m not asking about how many Gods you worship, I’m asking about how many Gods you think are true. Can you think of a time when someone says that ‘X’ is the ‘only true’ ‘X’ that it doesn’t make everything else in that category false? If there God is the ‘only true’ God then any other god must be a false god, but you have already said that Jehovah and Jesus are both true Gods and that makes… count them… two true Gods.

JW: 1 Cor. 8:4-6 says “…there is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called ‘gods,’ whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords,’ there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.” See, the Father is God, not Jesus.

C: But you’ve already agreed there are two true Gods and this passage says there is only one God.

JW: You’re talking about the Trinity.

C: No, I’m pointing out that Jehovah’s Witnesses are polytheists who believe there is more than one true God, even though the Bible tells us there is only one true God.

JW: We didn’t come here to argue. [What?]

C: Okay, well, if you want to bring someone back, I’ll be glad to talk with them. [That hasn’t happened yet.]

This is all about logic. After all, if there is one God and if there are three persons in the Bible called God, then the three persons must be the one God. It is no surprise that I have yet to hear a coherent answer. I carried on an email dialog with one JW and after several months she ended our discussion with, “You just like to go around and destroy other people’s religions!”

What?

By the way, I really don’t let them ask me a question unless they can answer mine first because JWs, more than any cult I’ve talked to, will change the subject as soon as they see they are in a bind (I got that from Bill Cetnar, too).

Titus 2:13: “We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Amen.

22 thoughts on “A question Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot answer.

  1. The rigid monotheism of the post-exilic prophets like Isaiah isn’t shared by more earlier sources. It seems Israel was more monolatrous than monotheistic.

    On a different note, whenever JWs came to my house and asserted that Jesus was created because Colossians 1:15, I asked them, “Was Jesus the first one to be resurrected in the Bible?” Invariably the answer is, “Of course not.” And I/they list Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, and others. So then I take them to Revelation 1:5 and ask them what “firstborn from the dead” could possibly mean. Usually they either 1) have to leave immediately or 2) employ arguments with special pleading.

    The JWs seem to be the most inconsistent of the Christian fringe groups.

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    1. That is a very good response. And you are right, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very inconsistent and it is little wonder why many leave that organization wanting absolutely nothing to do with organized religion and their Bible.

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  2. Speaking as a JW, I would *love* to have this discussion play out with a believer, although I certainly wouldn’t answer as Clay Jones has his hypothetical “JW” answer.

    The most serious problem with the argument of “Christian” is that it presents a false choice by constraining the biblical term “G/god” to only its absolute sense, i.e. as merely true or false. That is *not* solely how the term is used in scripture. As the NET Bible explains in a footnote to Exodus 7:1, where Moses is called “a god” (the word “like” is not present in the original Hebrew BTW), “The word אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is used a few times in the Bible for humans (e.g., Pss 45:6; 82:1), and always clearly in the sense of a subordinate to GOD – they are his representatives on earth.” These are not false gods, since they have been given real authority by Jehovah God and are acting as his representatives rather than his rivals, but neither are they the true God. Jesus is a god in this sense of the term, i.e. one who is acting as the true God’s representative and has been given real authority and power by him.

    And just to demonstrate how easy it is to prove the false choice given for the term “god”, one only needs to take the referenced proof text of “Christian” and turn it around on him using the term “savior”. Isaiah 43:10-11 states clearly that “besides [Jehovah] there is no savior.” Yet in the book of Judges we read of Jehovah ‘raising up saviors’ in behalf of Israel, namely the judges Othniel and Ehud. (Judges 3:9, 15) According to the logic presented above, either Othniel and Ehud were false saviors (even though they really did save Israel from enemies), or they too are true saviors and so actually Jehovah himself!

    This exposes the flawed reasoning “Christian” employs. If Othniel and Ehud were acting as Jehovah’s representatives through whom he was saving Israel, then they can rightly be called “saviors” in that *relative* sense of the term. Likewise, this is how Moses, Jesus, and others were described as “gods” in a relative sense.

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    1. I think your point underscores the importance of understanding types and shadows in the Old Testament, how there was something which prefigured a greater reality only to be fully realized later on, namely in Jesus Christ.

      While the Bible may say we are god, in the demi sense, it does not attribute creative power to us as it does with Jesus who was fully present in the moments of creation, as per Colossians 1.

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      1. Hi Colin,

        Indeed Jesus did have a role in creation alongside the true God, but as it is also clearly spelled out in Colossians 1, Jesus himself was “the firstborn of all creation.” The term “firstborn” is inherently partitive, meaning that he is a part of creation, i.e. the first and/or foremost creature.

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      2. The word here refers to preeminence, Psalm 89:27 discussed Jesus being “made” the firstborn. This is referring to Him being the firstfruits of the resurrection which we are all to participate in as well, patterned after His.

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  3. The use of “firstborn” at Psalm 89:27 is again partitive. IOW, of all the kings, David is the foremost king. Thus at Colossians 1:15, of all the creatures, Jesus is the foremost creature. Agreed?

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  4. This notion is inconsistent with the passages such as Isaiah 44:24 which say that Jehovah stretches out the heavens all by Himself.

    As another commenter noted well above, Revelation1:5 uses the same language, calling Jesus the firstborn from the dead.

    From what I understand, the greek for firstborn here is “prototokos” meaning preeminence, not “prototiksis” which means created.

    This is probably why the word “firstborn” was used, rather than “first created.” If you think the difference is a matter of splitting hairs, the Bible refers to David as the firstborn over his brothers, even though he was obviously the youngest son.

    I even saw some interesting notes regarding this on your own jw.org website.

    https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001525

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  5. Deuteronomy 32:12 reports of Jacob: “The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.” Yet in the detailed accounts of Jacob’s life, we see that he was led by an angel sent by God. (e.g. Genesis 31:11,13) The reason why Moses could write that it was Jehovah ‘alone’ that led Jacob was because he was speaking in reference to the foreign gods. That very same context is present in Isaiah 44 where Jehovah is contrasting himself with the gods of the nations. This is why Jehovah can say at Isaiah 43:11, “besides me there is no savior”, and elsewhere raise up the ‘saviors’ Othniel and Ehud. They are his subordinates; they are not rival gods acting as ‘saviors’ outside of his authority.

    Regarding Revelation 1:5, in order to be ‘the firstborn from the dead’ means that Jesus himself had to be one raised from the dead. It is partitive; he had to be a part of that group. Just like in order for David to be ‘the firstborn over his brothers’, he had to be one of the sons, in this case the foremost one.

    So “firstborn” means ‘the first in a series’, be it first in terms of time or first in terms of position or both. Either way, the firstborn must be a part of the rest of the group. So ‘the firstborn of creation’ must be a creature, either the first creature chronologically or the first creature in terms of preeminence or both. I tend to believe it carries both meanings at Colossians 1:15, as he is likewise called “the beginning of the creation by God” at Revelation 3:14.

    The term ‘protoktisis’ doesn’t seem to have been used in Greek literature before the second century that I can find. But when it did begin to be used by certain Church Fathers, it was used as a synonym for ‘prototokos’ in reference to Jesus.

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    1. Well, it seems there are verses which suggest Jesus was created in terms of His humanity, yet was uncreated and the only creator present at the initial moments of creation.

      How is one to reconcile this paradox?

      Your theology reduces Jesus to being instrumental in creation, not efficient, making Him redundant, while trinitarian theology recognizes His humanity was a contingent component which His essential nature assumed.

      I find the latter less contradictory.

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      1. Are you saying that you now recognize verses like Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14 to be speaking of Jesus as a creature?

        What verses suggest to you that Jesus was “uncreated and the only creator”?

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      2. There are verses which speak of Jesus as having come into being regarding His humanity, but not his deity. Other verses, such as John 1:1 discuss His essential nature as having eternal existence, and all else depending on Him for existence, which has come into being.

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    2. Regarding the late coming of “protoktisis”, later manuscripts would have reflected this newer word, but they didn’t. They retained the newer word instead of changing it to reflect change in language.

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  6. Hello,

    So do you view Revelation 3:14, which describes Jesus as “the beginning of the creation by God”, as a verse speaking of Jesus “as having come into being regarding His humanity”? In what way is he “the beginning” of creation, in your view?

    How do you determine which verses are speaking to Jesus’ humanity and which are speaking to his deity? Or is this solely determined by your interpretation?

    Could you please elaborate where exactly John 1:1 discusses Jesus’ “essential nature as having eternal existence”?

    Regarding ‘protoktisis’, I don’t agree with the premise that that newly coined word was necessarily a “better word that more accurately codified the concept.” The ante-nicene fathers pretty commonly connected Colossians 1:15, Revelation 3:14 and Proverbs 8:22 in reference to Jesus. The only one that I know of for sure that used (and possibly coined) the term ‘first-created’ was Clement of Alexandria in the late second century. But that word never achieved anywhere near popular usage before Nicea (my BAGD lexicon doesn’t even seem to list it) and even then it was used only as a mere synonym for ‘firstborn’:

    “Clement repeatedly identifies the Word with the Wisdom of God, and yet he refers to Wisdom as the first-created of God; while in one passage he attaches the epithet ‘First-created,’ [protoktiston] and in another ‘First-begotten,’ [prototokos] to the Word. But this seems to be rather a question of language than a question of doctrine. At a later date a sharp distinction was drawn between ‘first-created’ and ‘first-born’ or ‘first-begotten,’ but no such distinction was drawn in the time of Clement, who with the Septuagint rendering of a passage in Proverbs before him could have had no misgiving as to the use of these terms.” (Clement of Alexandria, by John Patrick, p. 103)

    I know you didn’t originate this argument, but the whole notion that there was this other ‘better’ term out there that Paul/John (or as you are now arguing, later copyists) ‘would have used’ if they wanted to say that Jesus was the first creature just seems like a sort of insincere (for lack of a better word) falsifiable test propped up for what is really a non-falsifiable position.

    By that I mean I’m pretty sure that even if that word was used in later copies, most of those with your theological outlook would tweak the definition in a manner similar to how they tweak the term “firstborn” to make it non-partitive only when it applies to Jesus at Colossians 1:15. Otherwise the next preference would be to interpret it so as to relegate it solely to his humanity but not his deity. IOW, I really don’t think anything would change.

    Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but I wanted to give you a little more context for why I see that word as a non-factor, if not a red herring.

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    1. First of all, it seems you know the writings of the early church fathers somewhat better than I. Good job. It might be helpful if you provided some sources that you referred to so I can go look into what you’re referencing for myself.

      Regarding revelation 3:14, Jesus as the beginning, is not saying that Jesus is the first of the creation of God, but that all things originate in Him. This is consistent with God having stretched out the heavens “all by Himself” in Isaiah 44:24.

      “How do you determine which verses are speaking to Jesus’ humanity and which are speaking to his deity? Or is this solely determined by your interpretation?”

      Verses which say that “Jesus emptied Himself” Philippians 2:7, “having *took on the likeness of men*” clearly refer to His humanity, but verses which refer to His preexistence, prior to the manger, pertain to His deity. Where Jesus, in the flesh, knows people’s thoughts Luke 5:22, pertains to His deity, as it is only God who knows our thoughts as Psalm 139, and other passages state.

      “Could you please elaborate where exactly John 1:1 discusses Jesus’ “essential nature as having eternal existence”?”

      Sure, I’ll try. The passage goes on to say that nothing that has come into being came into being apart from Him. So, here we have in the domain of things which came into being, and the other class of all that which did not come into being. This passage excludes Jesus as being in the domain of created things and asserts He is the eternal, preexistent logos of God which never came into being. I believe even the NWT states this, even though it says that the word was “a god,” which is fine, because in order to be a god, one must be uncreated.

      “Regarding ‘protoktisis’, I don’t agree with the premise that that newly coined word was necessarily a “better word that more accurately codified the concept.”…”

      You do not think that as language developed that the new uses of words would have found themselves into copyists works? I’ll have to look into this one later, or perhaps you could. My brother in law is a Greek Classicist. He might be able to help me on this one.

      I’ll leave it at that, since I am probably the wrong one to debate the ancient languages and the ante-nicene fathers. My history and language skills are lacking. I apologize.

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  7. Hello, and thank you for your patience with me here.

    “It might be helpful if you provided some sources that you referred to so I can go look into what you’re referencing for myself.”

    Apologies. It certainly is not my intention to get bogged down in the labyrinth of the early church fathers’ writings, which are often inconsistent and even contradictory. I only went there because that is the only place where the specific term you put forward as a sort of falsifiable test of your position can be found. It appears in Clement of Alexandria’s work Stromata in reference to Jesus in book 5, chapter 6 and again in reference to Wisdom in book 5, chapter 14.

    I’ll try to stay away from making points from the church fathers as much as possible. I’ve just been pulled into that area in the past because there seems to be this myth that the modern Trinity doctrine, which took centuries to develop and is certainly nowhere explicitly stated in the Bible, was just sort of tacitly understood and agreed with by the early Christians. That is not at all the case since the types of things they wrote would make them heretics today. But I’ll leave that for another time.

    “Regarding revelation 3:14, Jesus as the beginning, is not saying that Jesus is the first of the creation of God, but that all things originate in Him.”

    So you’ve adopted the view that the Greek term arche means “Beginner” or “Source” here rather than “beginning”. Could you list another example, either from the NT or not, where this Greek word carries that meaning?

    I agree with the standard Greek lexicon BDAG (3rd edition) where it says of arche at Revelation 3:14, “the [meaning] beginning=first created is linguistically prob[able].”

    “The passage [John 1] goes on to say that nothing that has come into being came into being apart from Him. So, here we have in the domain of things which came into being, and the other class of all that which did not come into being. This passage excludes Jesus as being in the domain of created things and asserts He is the eternal, preexistent logos of God which never came into being. “

    Ok, so basically because it says that the Word had a part in creating “all things”, you understand that to mean that the Word could not have been created. I disagree for a few reasons.

    First, the same essential thing is stated at Colossians 1:16, right after Jesus is explicitly stated to be in the ‘domain of created things’, being called “the firstborn of all creation”.

    Second, the footnote to Revelation 3:14 in the USB4 Greek NT connects “the beginning of the creation by God” to Proverbs 8:22, John 1:3 and Colossians 1:15. Why? Because these are all variations of the same point. Jesus was God’s first creation that then had a role in creating all things. Whereas John 1 describes the role of “the Word” in creation, the passage at Proverbs 8:22ff describes the role of “Wisdom”: “Jehovah produced me as the beginning of his way,
    The earliest of his achievements of long ago…..When he established the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside him as a master worker.” (Proverbs 8:22, 29-30) Wisdom was the first created and then worked alongside God in the creating process of all things, which is the same thing described at Colossians 1:15-16.

    The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible has this footnote for the Proverbs 8 passage: “Wisdom’s creation by God was on a different plane to all his other works. Wisdom almost seems to be a distinct personality, sharing in God’s activity, and his agent in the world. The concept given here will be used in the NT to express Christ’s relationship to his Father.”

    Third, regarding John 1:3, I typically encounter the objection that the wording is too strong, that it absolutely rules out “the Word” as a creature. But look at a passage like Romans 3:10, “it is written: ‘There is not a righteous man, not even one.'” Would you argue that this proves that Jesus was not righteous? That is comparable to how you are using John 1:3 to rule out “the Word” from creation, and I don’t think that is at all the original intent of the author.

    “I believe even the NWT states this, even though it says that the word was ‘a god,’ which is fine, because in order to be a god, one must be uncreated.”

    John himself seems to deny that last statement in verse 18 where he qualifies Jesus as “the only-begotten god”. Elsewhere, in chapter 10, as Jesus was accused of blasphemy for referring to God as his Father he defends himself by appealing to former human judges in Israel. Jesus’ point in quoting from Psalm 82 was to give scriptural validation to God having a father/son relationship with his appointed representatives, and even their right to be called “gods”. Jesus claims the same right on the basis that he too is God’s representative. And at John 17:3, Jesus himself explicitly recognizes his Father alone as “the only true God”, excluding himself from that designation.

    Just a quick viewpoint question, do you view the Trinity as three “whos” (referring to the hypostates or persons) and one “what” (the ousia or being)?

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    1. “Apologies. It certainly is not my intention to get bogged down in the labyrinth of the early church fathers’ writings, which are often inconsistent and even contradictory.”

      I have to agree with you, it does often seem tedious to discuss the church fathers, unless one has a good understanding of Church history, which I unfortunately do not.

      “So you’ve adopted the view that the Greek term arche means “Beginner” or “Source” here rather than “beginning”. Could you list another example, either from the NT or not, where this Greek word carries that meaning? “

      Yes. I believe John 1:1 uses “arche” in the same way.

      “”First, the same essential thing is stated at Colossians 1:16, right after Jesus is explicitly stated to be in the ‘domain of created things’, being called “the firstborn of all creation”.””

      Yes, but we already discussed this.

      “”The earliest of his achievements of long ago…..When he established the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside him as a master worker.” (Proverbs 8:22, 29-30) Wisdom was the first created and then worked alongside God in the creating process of all things, which is the same thing described at Colossians 1:15-16.””

      The problem with this understanding is one of bootstrapping. If you say it was by this word that God created all things, and this word was created, then what did God use to create the word with.
      Secondly, if you want to take the passage in Proverbs to mean that Jesus is the wisdom proverbs speaks of, I must ask who you take the character “prudence” to be, who He lives with. (8:12) and if Jesus, then, is the woman crying in the streets. (1:20-21)

      “”Would you argue that this proves that Jesus was not righteous? That is comparable to how you are using John 1:3 to rule out “the Word” from creation, and I don’t think that is at all the original intent of the author.””

      The cited Romans passage is referencing Psalm 14. This rule would apply to those who are the seed of Adam, which Hebrews says Jesus is a type of Adam which unwinds what the first Adam did. So, Jesus would not fall in this category.

      “”John himself seems to deny that last statement in verse 18 where he qualifies Jesus as “the only-begotten god”. “”

      The term “only-begotten” is actually an unfortunate rendering of the word “mono-genes” which would have been better rendered “unique” son of God. I think Jesus expresses this when He says “I go to *my God and to *your God,” not “to *our God” indicating He has a special relationship to the Father, which we do not have. (John 20:17)

      “Elsewhere, in chapter 10, as Jesus was accused of blasphemy for referring to God as his Father he defends himself by appealing to former human judges in Israel. Jesus’ point in quoting from Psalm 82…”

      Some understand this citation on the part of Jesus to be in irony, that if the fallen sons of Israel can be called “gods” why can’t the Son of God claim to be God? Elsewhere, He asserts His authority in healing a man demonstrating His authority to forgive sins, which is a divine prerogative. (Matthew 9:6)

      “Just a quick viewpoint question, do you view the Trinity as three “whos” (referring to the hypostates or persons) and one “what” (the ousia or being)?”

      I adopt somewhat of a Platonic view of the trinity. I believe that in order to be God one must participate in the divine attributes, such as omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. One would have to be a necessary, and uncreated being in order to fulfill this criteria. I hold that there are 3 distinct persons which participate in the divine nature.

      I hope that helps clarify my view.

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  8. Hello,

    “Yes. I believe John 1:1 uses ‘arche’ in the same way.”

    But in John 1:1 arche doesn’t mean “Beginner” or “Source”, it means “In [the] beginning”, evidently in reference to the opening of Genesis. It seems this “Source” definition is a special one made up for Jesus alone.

    “The problem with this understanding is one of bootstrapping. If you say it was by this word that God created all things, and this word was created, then what did God use to create the word with.”

    Well, nothing. The Word/Wisdom was created directly by God alone (which is why he is God’s ‘only-begotten’ or ‘unique’ one), and then all [other] things were created through the Word. I don’t see a problem with that, particularly since that is the sequence spelled out at Proverbs 8:22ff and Colossians 1:15ff.

    “So, Jesus would not fall in this category.”

    In other words, “not even one” at Romans 3:10 must be understood in a qualified sense so that we can recognize an exception to it. I would say the same is true for John 1:3 and the “unique god”, Jesus.

    “I must ask who you take the character ‘prudence’ to be, who He lives with. (8:12) and if Jesus, then, is the woman crying in the streets. (1:20-21)”

    OT messianic scriptures often give just mere glimpses of traits, events or ideas about the Christ. In Proverbs 8, “Wisdom” is given personality in a way that it is not elsewhere by speaking in the first person. The attributes of ‘prudence’, ‘knowledge’, ‘pride’, ‘fear’, etc, do not speak. John and Paul echo the parts of the passage from Proverbs 8:22-31 and apply it to Jesus. There seems to be an obvious connection here.

    “…why can’t the Son of God claim to be God”

    That isn’t really what he claims. He says, “do you say to me whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?” His argument is that if past divinely-appointed authorities were called “sons” and “gods” by Jehovah God himself, even when they became corrupt, then certainly Jesus, who is divinely-appointed and is not corrupt, can rightly claim to be “God’s Son”.

    “He asserts His authority in healing a man demonstrating His authority to forgive sins, which is a divine prerogative”

    He was given that authority by God, just as he gave the authority to heal and forgive sins to his apostles. Yet this did not make them God.

    “I adopt somewhat of a Platonic view of the trinity. I believe that in order to be God one must participate in the divine attributes, such as omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence.”

    “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:6) How is it that only the Father can know something that the Son and the Holy Spirit do not know?

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    1. But in John 1:1 arche doesn’t mean “Beginner” or “Source”, it means “In [the] beginning”, evidently in reference to the opening of Genesis. It seems this “Source” definition is a special one made up for Jesus alone.

      The Greek meaning for “Arche” seems to convey a first principle, like in Aristotelian terms. In case you aren’t familiar, a first principle is what is axiomatic, it isn’t provable, rather all things are proven by it. When Jesus is described as being in the beginning it seems to be in that sense.

      “”Well, nothing. The Word/Wisdom was created directly by God alone (which is why he is God’s ‘only-begotten’ or ‘unique’ one), and then all [other] things were created through the Word. I don’t see a problem with that, particularly since that is the sequence spelled out at Proverbs 8:22ff and Colossians 1:15ff.””

      What do you do then when Isaiah 42:8 says that Jehovah will not share His glory with another. When you say that God gave creative power to another created entity, God is essentially giving the nod to idolatry, when the Bible says we are not to worship the created thing, rather the creator, as is the case with Romans 1:25 where it says, specifically, that people worshipped the created thing rather than the creator. So, which creator, then, is this passage referring to?

      “”John and Paul echo the parts of the passage from Proverbs 8:22-31 and apply it to Jesus. There seems to be an obvious connection here.””

      The connection seems somewhat spurious. Proverbs was written as Wisdom literature, and not prophetic, or revelatory. It seems when we bend it to be something other than what it was intended to be we get strange results from it. I would not build a systematic theology out of Proverbs, or even the Psalms.

      “”He was given that authority by God, just as he gave the authority to heal and forgive sins to his apostles. Yet this did not make them God.””

      No, but on what authority did Jesus communicate this authority to His disciples? It seems that it was properly His to give.

      “””Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:6) How is it that only the Father can know something that the Son and the Holy Spirit do not know?””

      In His humanity, there do seem to be limits in His knowledge. I do not believe that in His incarnate state that He had full divine knowledge, such as this. However, He demonstrates omniscience in John 1:48, and other passages where He knew the hearts of the Pharisees and what they were thinking.

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