Here is a perfect example of their deceptive and unscholarly argument:
Modalism and Trinity deliberately confused in "Should you believe the Trinity?", Watchtower publication.
Here is what the booklet says:
"AT JOHN 1:1 the King James Version reads: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Trinitarians claim that this means that "the Word" (Greek, ho lo'gos) who came to earth as Jesus Christ was Almighty God himself. Someone who is 'with' another person cannot also be that other person."
The deception is that this false argument implies that Trinitarians believe that Jesus is the same person as the Father, when in fact, only Modalists believe this. Modalists and JW's are both anti-Trinitarians!
Jehovah's Witnesses really don't understand the difference between Trinity and Modalism. In fact Modalism is just as Anti-Trinitarian as Arianism, just in a different way. But in utter deception, the Watchtower applies Modalistic interpretations to a passage, then refutes it. What the average Jw's doesn't understand, is that Trinitarians apply the identical logic to refute Modalism.
Here is something that is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for the JW to understand. When a born again Christian points to Scriptures that demonstrate Jesus is God, THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO PROVE THAT JESUS IS GOD THE FATHER.
Orthodox Trinitarians do not believe Jesus and the Father are the same Person though the WT repeatedly teaches its followers this is the case. When a JW shows a person that Jesus and the Father are not the same Person they think they have disproved the teaching of the Trinity. This is one of the single greatest deceptions of the WT. The WT teaches its adherents that we believe Jesus and the Father are the same Person.
To verify what I'm saying, all one needs to do is simply turn to just about any WT literature and examine how they represent our belief. For example, turn to page 39 of the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (which is zealously "placed" by JWs to try to prove their doctrine) to see the kind of logic I'm talking about.4
Right under the picture of Jesus in the bottom left hand corner is the statement "Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his, be done, the two could not be the same person."
This is a true statement; however, it does not disprove the doctrine of the Trinity by a long shot. The WT thinks that by pointing out that they are not the same Person they have disproved the Trinity. I can't begin to believe how many individuals have fallen for this one deception right here.
Another example of this deceptive logic is when on the same page they make another statement like, "If Jesus were the Almighty God, he would not have prayed to himself, would he? In fact, following Jesus' death, the Scripture says: 'This Jesus God resurrected.' (Acts 2:32) Thus the Almighty God (The Father) and Jesus are clearly two separate Persons."
You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth
In light of what has been covered in this article, let us examine the pages I quoted before from the WT's Paradise book with the knowledge we now have and, of course, with a few comments from yours truly. The quotes are taken from pages 39-40 in a chapter titled, "God—Who Is He?" under the subtitle of "Is God Jesus or a Trinity?"
Paradise: Are such views of God correct? Well, did Jesus ever say that he was God?
Comment:Here they go! Remember, how do you define the word God??? Did Jesus ever say He was God the Father??? In agreement with the WT we would say NO; but as we have seen the WT does not use the word God the way the Bible does. Now, did Jesus ever say He was God, not in the sense that He's the Father but in the way the Bible uses the word God? Emphatically Yes! If anyone would like to have an intelligent discussion on John 8:58 please oblige me, for it was He who saw Abraham in Genesis chapter 18.
Paradise: No, he never did. Rather, in the Bible he is called "God's Son." And he said: "The Father is greater than I am." (John 10:34-36; 14:28) Also, Jesus explained that there were some things that neither he nor the angels knew but that only God knew. (Mark 13:32)
Comment:You see, here is the WT pointing out the distinction between the Persons. They are not making a case against the Deity of Christ but against MODALISM/ MONARCHIANISM which rejects the distinction between the Persons.
Paradise: Further, on one occasion Jesus prayed to God, saying: "Let, not my will, but yours take place." (Luke 22:42) If Jesus were the Almighty God, he would not have prayed to himself, would he? In fact, following Jesus' death, the Scripture says: "This Jesus God resurrected." (Acts 2:32) Thus the Almighty God and Jesus are clearly two separate persons.
Comment:As we have seen, distinguishing between the Persons does not disprove anything. The WT does this again and again and again and again in all their publications. This is truly sad for those who have been duped into believing that born again Christians believe the Father and the Son are the same Person. JWs are being deceived and they're not even aware of it.
"separate and distinct individuals"
The next section again begins with a question, "Does the Bible agree with those who teach that the Father and the Son are not separate and distinct individuals?" (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p.407).
"Those who teach" this concept are Modalists. So what is this section doing here? It belongs in an article on Modalism. But, of course, Reasoning from the Scriptures has no separate article on Modalism; so it places this irrelevant question in the Trinity article. Why?
The Trinity vs. Modalism
The article begins with the WT again trying to define the doctrine of the Trinity:
Definition: The central doctrine of religions of Christendom. According to the Athanasian Creed, there are three divine Persons (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), each said to be eternal, each said to be almighty, none greater or less than another, each said to be God, and yet together being but one God (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p.405).
The WT again here presents a basically true definition of the doctrine. But the next sentence will again demonstrate how deceptive the WT can be. "Other statements of the dogma emphasize that these "Persons" are not separate and distinct individuals but three MODES in which the divine essence exists" (emphasis added).
Here we go again! With this simple slight of hand, the WT has combined two conflicting ideologies into one. The first statement defined the Trinity. The second is known as Modalism. People who believe in the Trinity consider Modalism to be heresy; believers in Modalism believe the Trinity is false.
If the WT was honest, it would have two separate articles in this book; one titled "Trinity" and the other "Modalism." But of course it doesn't. The WT just hopes nobody notices the difference. Many of the arguments in the article are actually directed against Modalism and are thus irrelevant in a discussion on the Trinity.
THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth", first published in 1982. There are three such examples of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY on page 39 of this book. The first is found in paragraph 14 where the book cites an accurate definition of the Christendom Trinity: "There are four places in the Bible where the word God is defined.
1. The kind of gods men make out of idols (Isa 44:17;1 Cor 8:5:6), who are really no gods at all.
2. Human judges (gods) who come under judgment themselves (Ps 82:6).
3. The kind of god Satan is: A so-called god who has already been judged (2 Cor 4:4; Isaiah 14:15).
4. The one True God in the Bible (John 17:3)."
John 19:7 We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.
The Modalistic Watchtower Trinity:
"...Which God gave unto Him.--"The declaration that 'the Son can do nothing of Himself,' if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father." --(The Finished Mystery, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 7, 1917, page 11.) "...How strange that any should attempt to misuse and pervert these our Lord's words, to make them support the unreasonable and unscriptural doctrine of a Trinity, -- three Gods in ONE PERSON". (Studies in the Scriptures On page 76 of Volume 5) "...Ask the student, "How many Jehovahs are there?" Let him answer. The answer is obvious that there is only one Jehovah. When he discerns this, you have caused him to register an important fact in his mind that he might otherwise have missed. Help him to appreciate further what this means to him. Reason with him, perhaps in this way: "If he is one Jehovah, then could he be three gods, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, as the Trinitarians teach?"....You have also exposed a basic false doctrine--the doctrine of the Trinity." (Watchtower, April 1, 1970, page 210)<
The Trinity in Two Watchtower Publications
By Gary F. Zeolla
Jehovah's Witnesses believe "The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society" is "God's organization." As such, the average Jehovah's Witness (JW) places complete trust in the Watchtower (WT) and its publications.
This four-part article will study two popular WT publications in an effort to determine if the WT and its publications are worthy of such trust. The focus will be on the teachings of the WT on the nature of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity.
In this article, unless otherwise indicated, Scripture references will be from the WT's own Bible, The New World Translation (NWT). Verses marked NKJV are from The New King James Version.
Other versions referred to are: King James Version (KJV), Modern King James Version (MKJV), Literal Translation of the Bible (LITV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and New International Version (NIV).
You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth
When two JWs knock on someone's door, if given the chance, they will generally offer to lead a "Bible study" in the person's home. If the person agrees, the 255 page book, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (LF) will probably be used as the basis of the study.
The study will consist of one person reading a numbered paragraph from the book and the corresponding question at the bottom of the page. Another person is then expected to answer the question by rephrasing what was just read in the paragraph. The study will proceed to the next paragraph and question in the same manner. This pattern will be followed for about an hour or so. The JWs most likely will want to meet with the person for this "Bible study" on a weekly basis.
LF was first published in 1982. A new edition was released in 1989. Since there are no changes in the sections to be studied between editions, the following page and paragraph numbers apply to either edition.
The Doctrine of the Trinity Defined
The main section of LF to be looked at is titled "Is God Jesus or a Trinity?" The first paragraph states, "According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three distinct persons, that is, there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit" (p.39).
This definition is basically a correct articulation of the Trinity doctrine. So the WT obviously knows that the doctrine teaches the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons. But on the same page is a picture of Jesus praying. The caption under the picture reads, "Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his be done, the two could not be the same person."
Within the text, Jesus' prayer in Gesthsemane is quoted, "Let not MY will, but YOURS take place" (Luke 22:42; emphasis in original quote). LF then asks, "if Jesus were the Almighty God, he would not have prayed to himself, would he?"
Please take careful note of the switch that has been made. The statement of the caption and the question are irrelevant to a discussion of the Trinity. The WT knows this doctrine teaches the Father and the Son are two distinct Persons (and thus have two distinct wills). As such, why is it now trying to imply the Trinity is false because the Son is a distinct Person and has a distinct will from the Father? In the prayers of Jesus, the second Person the Trinity is speaking to the first Person of the Trinity. So where's the problem?
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