Jehovah s Witnesses Defended: An Answer to Scholars and Critics Elihu Books Cottonwood Street Murrieta, CA

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1 R E V I S E D (Digital Version) REVISED ISBN:

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4 Jehovah s Witnesses Defended: An Answer to Scholars and Critics Elihu Books Cottonwood Street Murrieta, CA Copyright 1998, 2000, 2009, 2012 by Greg Stafford All rights reserved. First Edition: 1998 Second Edition: 2000 Third Edition: 2009 Digital Version (Revised Third Edition): Except for brief quotations embodied in printed reviews or critical articles, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or computer of any kind, transmitted in any form or by any means (printed, written, photocopying, visual, electronic, audio, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the author. Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures With References, Revised, Copyright At times, however, the author will present his own translation of biblical and other ancient, related texts. *Portions of this book have at times been separately released by the author for review. Only the official printed and digital forms of this book contain the actual editions of the contents of this book. Publisher s Cataloging-in-Publication (Provided by Quality Books, Inc.) Stafford, Greg G. Jehovah's Witnesses defended : an answer to scholars and critics / by Greg Stafford. Rev. 3rd ed., digital version p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. LCCN ISBN-13: ISBN-10: X A previous edition of this book was cataloged as follows: 1. Jehovah's Witnesses--Doctrines. 2. Jehovah's Witnesses--Apologetic works. I. Title. BX8526.S '2 QBI

5 This is the third time I am coming to you. At the mouth of two or three witnesses what is said will be validated. 2 Corinthians 13:1.

6 Table of Contents Introduction Abbreviations xiii xxi Chapter 1 Jehovah and Jehovah s Witnesses 1 Pronouncing the Divine Name 3 Excuses for not using the divine name found in the Old Testament 3 Reasons for using the divine name found in the Old Testament. 10 The vowel points for Lord and Jehovah from the Masoretic text.. 21 Early Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek forms of the divine name. 28 Other Greek forms of the divine name associated with Jewish and Samaritan usage 46 Conclusions regarding the pronunciation of the divine name based on the best available evidence 51 Should we only use those names whose ancient or original pronunciation is known to us?.. 56 The Divine Name in the Text of the Bible 62 The use of the divine name during and after the Babylonian exile 62 The divine name in the Septuagint (LXX) and in the Greek OT manuscript tradition. 66 Dr. Robert Countess, NWT, and Aquila s and Other Greek OT versions.. 73 Evidence for the divine name in the NT Nomina sacra Greek philosophy and the removal of the divine name from Christian writings Hallelujah! The Divine Name in the NT of the New World Translation 101 Variant readings The basis for the use of the divine name in the NWT s NT 103 How many times should the divine name be used in the NT? 105 The Meaning of God s Name 111 What do names tell us? What meaning is associated with the divine name in the Bible? 115 The translation and the meaning of Exodus 3: Chapter Summary 123

7 viii Jehovah s Witnesses Defended Chapter 2 One God, the Father 127 Person and Being 131 The Trinitarian distinction The Bible on God s Person and Being The One God and the Bible 140 Meaning what you say Saying what you mean More on who is assuming what, and why Missing the point and misstating the argument Logic, hermeneutics, and the Trinity Other Ancient Texts and the Trinity 159 The Targum of Isaiah 9: The Pseudepigrapha and the Trinity Q246 The Son of God text from Qumran Jesus, the One God, and Other Gods 176 Do Jehovah s Witnesses deny the deity of the Christ? Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none The Sons of God How can there be any real gods and yet only one God? A little lower than *elohim lower than God or gods? I said: You are gods Biblical monotheism is the belief in one God, the Father Chapter Summary 209 Chapter 3 Jesus of Nazareth: The Christ from Heaven 211 From Heaven : Real or Ideal Preexistence? 213 The real preexistence of Jesus as taught in the New Testament Foreknowledge versus preexistence. 225 The preexistence of the Messiah in the Pseudepigrapha 227 Ego Eimi and Jesus as the Christ 231 John 4: John 6: John 8:24, John 13:19 250

8 Table of Contents ix John 18:5-6, A summary of the I am sayings in John 256 Ego Eimi in Matthew, Mark, and Luke 256 Are you the Christ? Simple self-identification 258 For false Christs and false prophets will arise 259 A summary of the I am sayings in the Synoptics 260 A Brief History on the Early Interpretation of John 8: Ignatius of Antioch (c. 115 CE) Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130 to c. 200 CE) Origen (c.185 to c.253 CE) 262 Novatian (died 258 CE). 263 Gregory Thaumaturgus (c. 213 to c. 260) 264 Athanasius of Alexandria (c CE) 264 Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315 to 368 CE). 267 Theodoret of Cyrrhus (c. 393 to c. 468 CE). 270 John Chrysostom (c. 350 to 407) 270 Augustine of Hippo (354 CE to 430 CE). 272 The Preexistence of the Christ in John 8: Viewing eijmiv (eimi) as absolute The Extension from Past idiom 277 Jesus as the Christ in John 8: They picked up stones to throw at him. 296 Chapter Summary 299 Chapter 4 Jesus as God and as a god 301 John 1:1: Jesus as a god 308 Jesus as the Word The Logos in other early literature and thought 310 The Logos as God, a god, and divine More on qualitative 327 Jah as a God 332 Jesus as the only-begotten god of John 1: Monogenes and the textual variants in John 1: The translation and meaning of monogenes in the NT The only-begotten god

9 x Jehovah s Witnesses Defended Jesus as Our God in John 20: My Lord and my God 345 Inconsistencies in NWT s translation of theos? 351 The truth about the only true God 353 Chapter Summary 357 Chapter 5 Jah s Firstborn 361 The Worship of Jah s Firstborn 364 The NWT s use of worship in reference to Jesus The worship Jah permits others to receive The Logos and Time 370 In the beginning In which beginning? 372 When was the Word? Is the Logos the Creator? 377 Through him 377 God the Father as the source of creation 380 Respecting the role of the Logos in creation 382 With God 383 The Firstborn 385 Colossians 1: Proverbs 8: Revelation 3: Chapter Summary 424 Chapter 6 The Temple of His Body 427 Jesus Body 428 The biblical teaching 428 A house not made with hands Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus 431 A spirit does not have flesh and bones Jesus appearance to Mary 432 Their eyes were kept from recognizing him 433 The empty tomb 434

10 Table of Contents xi Jesus spiritual body 435 A Life-Giving Spirit 438 Does soma always denote materiality? With what sort of body? Flesh and blood cannot inherit God s kingdom Made alive in the spirit I will raise it up Chapter Summary 445 Chapter 7 The Freedom of Jah and the Free Will of Mankind 447 The Knowledge and the Freedom of Jah 450 Jah s knowledge Jah s freedom Reformed Theology and the Bible 455 God s Reformed foreknowledge 455 The Potter s Reformed freedom 460 OASIS. 469 The Bible s Scroll of Life 478 Before the foundation of the world The Scroll of Life 488 Chapter Summary 493 Chapter 8 Salvation 497 Earning Their Salvation? 500 The Witnesses view of salvation and works 500 What kind of faith saves? Faith Alone 509 Can saving faith exist apart from works? James on faith and works 510 Paul on faith and works Salvation For Whom and Where? 519

11 xii Jehovah s Witnesses Defended Jah s original purpose and his will for heaven and for the earth New Jerusalem 522 The great crowd standing before the throne Jah s Promises 531 Hebrews 11 and promises to men of old 531 Kings over the earth 536 Exercising faith Chapter Summary 545 Chapter 9 Abortion, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Uses of Blood, and Personal Interests 547 Abortion 548 Sex 554 Sexual Orientation 563 Uses of Blood 570 Personal Interests 592 Chapter Summary 594 Chapter 10 Jehovah s Witnesses Christian Witnesses of Jah 597 Bibliography 605 Author Index 625 Scripture Index 631

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