Logos – Part 3: The Only-Begotten God

– posted by meleti

“At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.” – Mt 11:25 NLT[i]

“At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children.” (Mt 11:25)

Throughout my past years as a loyal member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, I always believed our Bible translation was pretty much bias free. I’ve come to learn that is not the case. In the course of my research on the subject of the nature of Jesus, I have come to learn that every Bible translation contains biased renderings. Having worked as a translator myself, I can understand that often this bias is not the result of bad intent. Even when translating from one modern language to another, there were times when I had to make a choice, because a phrase in the source tongue allowed for more than one interpretation, but there was no way to carry that ambiguity over to the target language. I often benefited from having the author available to question so as to remove any doubt as to what he actually meant to convey; but the Bible translator can’t ask God what he meant.
Bias isn’t the exclusive province of the translator however. The Bible student also has it. When a biased rendering aligns with reader bias, significant deviation from truth can result.
Am I biased? Are you? It’s probably safe to answer Yes to both questions. Bias is the enemy of truth, so we should want to be on guard against it. However, it is a most stealthy enemy; well camouflaged and able to affect us without our even being aware of its presence. Our awakening to the truth of Scripture and the growing awareness that we too have been biased presents a special challenge. It is as when a pendulum has been held off to one side, then is finally let go. It will not move to its natural rest position, but instead will swing right through and all the way to the other side, reaching a point almost as high as its release height. While air pressure and friction will slow it until eventually it comes to rest at equilibrium, it may swing for a long time; and it only needs the tiniest of assistance—say from a wound clock spring—to continue on swinging endlessly.
Like a pendulum, those of us who have been released from the extreme orthodoxy of JW doctrine may find ourselves swinging toward our natural resting point. That is the place where we question and examine everything we’ve been taught and are taught. The danger is that we swing right past that point over to the other extreme. While this illustration serves to make a point, the fact is we are not pendulums, powered only by external forces. We can determine for ourselves where we will end up, and our goal should always be to achieve balance, to be at intellectual and spiritual equilibrium. Never would we want to trade one bias for another.
Some, angered at learning of the deception that has bound us to some falsehoods all their lives, react by discounting everything we’ve ever been taught. As wrong as it is for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept everything taught by the Organization as true, the opposite extreme is just as bad: discounting as false any teaching that might align with our former JW belief. If we take this position, we are falling in the trap that snared Rutherford. So driven was he to distance himself from the teachings of the hated churches that conspired to imprison him that he introduced doctrines that went beyond what is written. Our NWT and RNWT bible versions reflect some of that bias. Yet many other translations reflect bias of their own. How can we cut through it all to get to the truth?

Becoming Little Children

As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we consider ourselves to be childlike, and in one way we are, for like children we submit to and believe what our father tells us. Our mistake is in submitting to the wrong father. We have our own wise and intellectual ones. In fact, in the face of a questioning objection to some teaching, we will often interject, “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body?” This is not the childlike attitude Jesus was extolling at Matthew 11:25.
There’s a running joke in the movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that starts out, “There are two kinds of people in this world…” When it comes to understanding God’s Word, it’s no joke, but an axiom. Nor is it simply academic. It is a matter of life and death. We should each ask ourselves, which of the two am I? The proud intellectual, or the humble child? That we tend to the former is a point Jesus himself warned us of.

“So, calling a young child to him, he set it in their midst 3 and said: “Truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU turn around and become as young children, YOU will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.” (Mt 18:2, 3)

Notice his call to “turn around” so as to become like young children. This is not the normal inclination of sinful humans. Jesus’ own apostles were constantly arguing about their place and status.

Little Children Learn of Logos

I cannot think of a setting where the difference between the “wise and clever” and the “childlike” is more manifest than that involving the study into the nature of Jesus, “The Word of God”, Logos. Nor is there a situation where it is more necessary to make that distinction.
How would a father who is a world renowned expert in the field of theoretical mathematics explain to his three-year-old what he does? He would likely use simplistic terminology that she could grasp and only explain the most basic of concepts. She, on the other hand, would not realize how much she doesn’t understand, but would likely think she’s got the whole picture. One thing is for sure. She will have no doubt about what her father tells her. She will not look for hidden meaning. She will not read between the lines. She will simply believe.
Paul revealed that Jesus pre-existed all other creation. He revealed him as the image of God and the one through whom all things were made and for whom all things were made. He referred to him by the name Christians knew him by at that point in time. Some years later, John was inspired to reveal the name by which Jesus would be known at his return. A couple of years later, he revealed that this was also his original name. He was, is, and always will be “The Word of God”, Logos.[ii] (Col 1:15, 16; Re 19:13; John 1:1-3)
Paul reveals that Jesus is the “firstborn of creation.” Here is where the difference between the “wise and clever” and the “little children” becomes evident. If Jesus was created, then there was a time that he didn’t exist; a time when God existed all alone. God has no beginning; so for an infinity of time he existed alone. The trouble with this thought is that time itself is a created thing. Since God cannot be subject to anything nor live inside of anything, He cannot live “in time” nor be subject to it.
Clearly, we are dealing with concepts beyond our ability to comprehend. Yet often we feel compelled to make the attempt. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t get full of ourselves and begin to think we are right. When speculation becomes fact, dogma sets in.   The Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has fallen prey to this malady which is why most of us are here at this site.
If we are to be little children, then we have to agree that Daddy says that Jesus is His firstborn. He’s using a term we can understand, based in a framework common to every culture that has ever existed on earth. If I say, “John is my firstborn”, you know immediately that I have at least two children and that John is the oldest.   You would not jump to the conclusion that I’m speaking of firstborn in some other sense, such as the more important child.
If God wanted us to understand that Logos had no beginning, he could have told us so. Just as he told us that He Himself is eternal. We cannot grasp how that is possible, but no matter. Understanding isn’t required. Belief is required. However, he did not do that, but chose to use a metaphor—the birth of a first human child into a family—to tell us about his Son’s origins. That it leaves many questions unanswered is something we’ll have to live with. After all, the purpose of everlasting life is to acquire knowledge about our Father and his Son. (John 17:3)

Moving from Past to Present

Both Paul, at Colossians 1:15, 16a and John at John 1:1-3 go way into the past to establish Jesus’ supreme credentials. However, they do not remain there. Paul, having established Jesus as the one through whom, by whom, and for whom all things were created, continues in the second half of verse 16 to bring things into the present and focus on his main point. All things, including every authority and government is subject to him.
John goes into the past in the same way, but from the viewpoint of Jesus as God’s Word, for it is his Word that John wishes to emphasize. Even all life came through Logos, whether the life of angels or the life of the first humans, but John also brings his message into the present by revealing in the fourth verse that, “In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” – John 1:4 NET[iii]
We should be wary of a hyperliteral reading of these words. The context reveals what John wanted to communicate:

“4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children” – John 1:4-12 NET Bible

John does not speak of literal light and darkness, but the light of truth and understanding that wipes away the darkness of falsehood and ignorance. But this isn’t simply the light of knowledge, but the light of life, for this light leads to everlasting life, and more, to becoming children of God.
This light is the knowledge of God, the Word of God. This Word—information, knowledge, understanding—was transmitted to us by Logos himself. He is the embodiment of God’s Word.

God’s Word Is Unique

Both the concept of God’s Word and its embodiment in Logos are unique.

“So my word that goes out of my mouth will be. It will not return to me without results, But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight, And it will have sure success in what I send it to do.” (Isa 55:11)

If I say, “Let there be light”, nothing will happen unless my wife takes pity on me and gets up to throw the switch. My intentions, expressed by word of mouth, will die in the air unless I or someone else act on them, and a great many things can stop—and often do stop—my words from amounting to anything. However, when Jehovah says, “Let there be light”, there will be light—period, end of story.
Many scholars from different Christian denominations have believed that the reference to Wisdom Personified in Proverbs 8:22-36 pictures Logos. Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge. Outside of Logos himself, the creation of the universe is the most outstanding practical application of knowledge (information) there is.[iv] It was accomplished by means of and through and for Logos. He is Wisdom. He is God’s Word. Jehovah speaks. Logos does.

The Only-Begotten God

Now John speaks of something truly remarkable!

“So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of divine favor and truth….No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him.” (Joh 1:14, 18 NWT)

Imagine, Logos—God’s own Word—becoming flesh and residing with the sons of men.
It is almost too amazing to contemplate. What a wondrous expression of God’s love!
You may have noticed that I’m quoting from the New World Translation here. The reason is that in these passages it does not give way to the bias that it seems many other translations exhibit. A quick scan of the parallel renderings of John 1:18 found at biblehub.com, will reveal that only the New American Standard Bible and the Aramaic Bible in Plain English render this correctly as “only-begotten god”.   Most replace “god” with “Son”. It can be argued that “Son” is implied at vs. 14 based on the interlinear. However, the same interlinear reveals that “god” is explicitly stated in vs. 18. John was revealing an aspect of Jesus’ nature which is lost if we change “god” to “Son”.
Verse 18 ties in with the first verse of the opening chapter of John’s gospel.   Logos is not only a god, but the only-begotten god. The devil is called a god, but he is a false god. Angels may be godlike in a sense, but they are not gods. When John prostrated himself before an angel, he was quickly warned not to do that for the angel was only a “fellow slave”.
While correctly translating this portion of the Bible, Witnesses shy away from the truth it reveals. The nature of Jesus’ godhood and how that relates to scriptures such as Hebrews 1:6 are things we have yet to explore.
For now, let’s address what it may mean to be the “only-begotten Son” and the “only-begotten god”. – John 1:14, 18
There are three possibilities that are being advanced. One element is common to all: “only-begotten” is a term denoting uniqueness. It is the nature of the uniqueness which is in question.

Only-Begotten – Scenario 1

The Watchtower has long held the view that Jesus is the only creation Jehovah has made directly. All other things were made through and by Jesus, aka Logos. Failing any explicit Scriptural explanation of the term, we have to accept that this interpretation is, at least, a possibility.
Put succinctly, this scenario supposes that the term “only-begotten” refers to the unique manner in which Jesus was created

Only-Begotten – Scenario 2

Logos was created as a god. As a god, he was then used by Jehovah as the embodiment of his Word. In that role, he was used to create all other things.   No other creation was made to be a god. Therefore, he is unique as being the only-begotten God.
So this second scenario refers to the nature of Jesus creation, i.e., as the only god ever created.

Only-Begotten – Scenario 3

Jehovah directly begat Jesus by inseminating Mary. This is the one and only time he did this, and the only human ever born who can claim Jehovah as his direct and sole Father is Jesus. The god that was Logos was begotten of woman by his Father Jehovah. This is a unique.

In Summary

I do not list these to stir up debate. Quite the opposite. I would like us all to see that until we can prove conclusively which scenario (if any) is correct, we can at least agree on some elements. Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus is the Word of God or Logos. Jesus/Logos relationship with the Father is unique.
The point John is trying to make is that if we want to get to know our heavenly Father, we have to get to know his unique Son, who resided with him in an intimate and caring relationship since the beginning of all things. Additionally, he was telling us that if we want to be reconciled with God which comes with the benefit of life everlasting, we also have to listen to and obey God’s Word…Logos…Jesus.
Those are things we must agree upon, as they are matters of life and death.

A Final Word

To return to my opening point, some of what I believe regarding the nature of the Christ agrees with official JW doctrine; some of it does not, but likely lines up with the teachings of other churches in Christendom. That the Catholics, Baptists, or Jehovah’s Witnesses had it before me should not concern me, because it is not that they believe something which will convince me, but rather that I can confirm it in Scripture. If they have it right it is of little consequence, because Scripture had it first. I would not reject what the Scriptures say because some group I disagree with happen to believe the same as I do. That would be giving in to bias and prejudice, and it would block my way to my Father. Jesus is that way. As Jehovah told us: “This is my Son…listen to him.” – Mt 17:5
[i] New Living Translation
[ii] As explained in a previous article, “Logos” is used throughout this series of articles in an attempt to overcome an English language mentality to consider “The Word of God” as a title rather than the name it is. (Re 19:13)
[iii] The NET Bible
[iv] From a comment by Anderestimme: “Here's an excerpt from the forward to William Dembski's book "Being as Communion":
"This book extends his earlier work and asks the most basic and challenging question confronting the 21st century, namely, if matter can no longer serve as the fundamental substance of reality, what can? While matter was the only allowable answer of the past century to the question of what is ultimately real (matter's origin, on its own terms, remaining a mystery), Dembski demonstrates there would be no matter without information, and certainly no life. He thus shows that information is more fundamental than matter and that intelligible effectual information is in fact the primal substance."
Information as the "primal substance" of the universe. In the beginning was information

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by imjustasking on 2014-11-19 19:05:50

    This was a nice essay and I agree with the general sentiments. Thank you. I particularly enjoyed your illustration of the pendulum and how it swung for Mr Rutherford to the detriment of truth. Very good.
    However, as you know I do not agree with your concrete assertion (although you may be correct) that Jesus had an existence before he became human. You are entitled to your view and at the end of the day it does not affect my relationship with him or my obligation to pay homage to him, regardless where in the stream of time his existence began.
    However I would like to see some supporting arguments for some of the scriptures you cited instead of letting your own bias ("the enemy of truth" as you put it) presuppose their meaning.
    For example you quoted Proverbs 8 - why and how does 'lady wisdom' become or even mean the same as John's Logos? How, why and when does the personification of Gods wisdom become a person, within the poem that we know as Proverbs 8? I would be interested in your reasoning and the onus is on you to do so, since you present it as evidence that this is referring to a Jesus before his theophany.
    Col 1:15,16 is another example why do presume the creation Paul is talking about is the Genesis creation and not the New Creation? Again, I would be interested in your thoughts.
    I would be willingly to accept these cross references that you propose to mean that Jesus was agent of the physical creation who came and dwelt with humanity, clothed in flesh if you can do so through exegesis and not eisegesis.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-19 22:06:22

      I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'd be happy to supply the supporting arguments, but I'm not sure which Scriptures you're referring to that were not supported.
      Why do you think I present Proverbs as evidence? I reread my piece and couldn't find where I made that claim. I believe that Proverbs 8 is an allegory to fill in the blanks regarding Jesus' role in the creation of all things, but an allegory is not proof and I made no statement that it was.
      As for Col 1:15, 16, I explained in the article why I have reached that conclusion.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-20 03:01:33

    Meleti, there is a beautiful scripture which you have quoted several times in the past, and I think that for the sake of many listening here, this would be a good time for you to remember that scripture.
    "He has told you, O earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?" Micah 6:8

  • Comment by Harrison Webster on 2014-11-20 04:09:06

    Interesting thoughts Meleti ! and I like your approach, which is basically "Let us not go beyond what is written" i.e fall in to the trap of eisegesis.
    On the matter of honest translation of the texts it occurs to me that perhaps a N.T Scholar who is not a believer would make a good translator ! no "axe to grind."
    As to the divinity of Christ I find myself at peace over the issue, the Scriptures do not explain the "mechanics" of it, nor do they teach the Trinity in the way the JW religion opposes it, but then again this is somewhat of a Straw Man, as most Christian sects do not teach it the way JW's explain it.
    I have no problem with the concept of "if you have seen me you have seen the Father also", the meaning is plain, coming from someone, a teacher like Jesus, who rarely spoke in strictly literal terms, but in Illustrations and parables.
    JW's have been taught to dismiss out of hand the thoughts of any religion that teaches any form of the Trinity, without even examining the Doctrine, and therefore they do not give any respect to such religions. In truth what such religions teach is probably to be found in the NWT.
    However, I cannot agree that we should pay too much attention, or worse, slip in to argument, over every "Jot and Tittle" of the Manuscripts that we have, they are all very late, apart from some pre 3rd Century fragments. We know for sure that the Manuscripts have been changed, edited and that errors have crept in.
    So we have no way of knowing what was originally written.
    This should not be a problem for people of Faith, people had faith in, and followed our Lord long before pen was put to paper about Him.

  • Comment by menrov on 2014-11-20 05:31:27

    Thanks Meleti. nice overview. 2 points I feel I have to make. 1 is regarding John 1:14,18 and the use of only-begotten. I am not necessarily saying that this use is incorrect but I just like to share a comment on the use of this verse, as provided in NET: I share so anyone can make up his own mind:
    tn Or “of the unique one.” Although this word is often translated “only begotten,” such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7:12, 9:38] or a daughter [Luke 8:42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clem. 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb 11:17 and Josephus, Ant., 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham’s only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means “one-of-a-kind” and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God, Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and 3:18).
    There is equally a large note on verse 18 regarding the words The only God or the only Son (https://lumina.bible.org/bible/John+1, note 45). My point is, eventually it is up to the individual to make up his mind and what to believe. But at the same time, it is not always that black and white.
    My other comment was your use of FIRSTBORN. Col 1:18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. And Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over [of] all creation,
    It is my view here, in these 2 verses that the point being made is not that Jesus existed before all the dead or creation, but that Jesus is the most important of all, of the dead raised (actually Jesus was not the first to be resurrected), of all creation.
    In my opinion, it does add much value to explain the Jesus was there before creation, but that He is the most important. In particular towards the Jews, it was most important to stress the role of Jesus.
    But I very much appreciate the overall article and absolutely agree that only when we turn to become like children, we show we accept what we read and long for the kingdom.

  • Comment by menrov on 2014-11-20 05:43:55

    Addendum: I lack to see the value of John or Paul to explain that Jesus had or did not have a beginning. The audience to whom Paul and John were writing or speaking were mostly Jews. And their leaders and many of their followers did not believe this Jesus was the Christ or Messias. My view is that the objective of John and Paul was to show that Jesus lived with the Father, that He was there when things were created, that He has the most prominent position (like the position of the firstborn in a Jewish family. A person could give up his rights as a firstborn (ESAU) and someone else in the family can receive these rights and as such, become the firstborn) and that this Jesus now has even a superior role than before and that all this was because the Father, the God of the Jews wanted this and made it happen.
    It is in my view not relevant whether Jesus was born, created or whatsoever. The point being made was that He was there, is close (one) with the Father and as a result, Jews (and people in general) should listen to Him because that is what the Father wants and have arranged it that way.

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-11-20 07:02:28

    Thanks meleti for your hard work on that article i must say that i like your approach . firstborn seems a pretty plain enough statement to me and im sure people can be excused for taking it on face value .even if it does mean the one in prime position .i think the context allows for both interpretations . The illustration of the child was all about the importance of being a humble person .we all must admit that not one of us has all the answers . This very fact should remind us of the need for humility .as love builds up but knowledge puffs up as paul said . 1 corinthians 8 .however i do think that some things are more plain than others ..I also like you do not believe that the watchtower are wrong on everything .but have a measure of truth like most other religions .but ambition and politics have got in the way once again and perverted bible truth. I think there is a tenndency among the clever ones to break down the scriptures a bit too much and look at individual words and thier meanings while this can be enilightening sometimes .it has to be remembered that paul warned about fighting or arguing about words .2 timothy 2 v 14 .it has to be remembered that thoughts are not so much presented in words alone but in sentences .and the way that they relate to one another just like a beautiful piece of music its not so much the notes that give us the song but thier relationships to one another . I think we can do no better than ask for gods blessing and just plainly read the bible through .that seems to me to be the best way to get a clearer picture .thanks again kev

  • Comment by imjustasking on 2014-11-20 08:02:20

    As I stated earlier, my fealty to Christ is not contingent to when his existence began.
    But to those who press for a beginning prior to the physical universe I only ask this simple question. How would a 1st Century Jew understand the concept of pre-existence? Does it tally with ours 2000 years later, which has a Hellenistic concept? This is THE CRUX of the matter. Until we know how a Jew would have thought, the language of Paul and John is always going to be coloured by our cultural bias. Menrov, I must applaud you, because in your first reply you picked up on this when considering Col 1:18.
    By looking at Talmudic writings and other literature circa the time period of Paul is ONE way how pre-existence language would have been understood in that time period. I know some may object and say, why should we look at writings that are not inspired. Well simply because the Bible was not written in a vacuum, and common CULTURAL understandings would be COMMON in both the inspired and mundane literature.
    The way cultural bias can influence our thinking was brought home to me when I recently visited the National Portrait Museum in London. Many of the paintings depict scenes from the Synoptic Gospels. What is striking is the clothes the subjects of the paintings are dressed in. Rather than wearing the attire of 1st Century Palestine Jews, they are all wearing clothes of the Renaissance. Could we be making the same mistake by dressing Jesus in pre-existence language from a completely different culture?
    I implore everybody reading these posts to keep an open mind. The reason why the scriptures that Meliti et al seem so obvious in teaching that Jesus had an existence before his human birth, is because your brain, my brain has only a single Western concept of the language used by Paul. Until we understand how a middle eastern Jew 2000 years and more ago understood these concepts we will be trapped into thinking of only one possibility.
    Please, please, look up Hebrew thought vs Greek thought in your search engine. Look up topics like Hebrew pre-existence and see a world of alternate meaning open up to you. There is a very good blog post called Dustin Martyr Blog who is a Phd lecturer in Biblical studies, and its sole purpose is to explore concepts of Jewish pre-existence.
    Of course, if at the end of your own individual journey you still hold to a Hellenistic view of pre-existence, fine. But at least your mind would have been open to alternative view and that is all I urge everybody should do.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-20 11:44:54

    imjustasking, when you come to understand that there was no pre-existence of Jesus Christ, how much more alive our future becomes, and everything fits into place from Genesis to Revelation, especially with regard to the Abrahamic Covenant in relation to the New Covenant. You begin to understand so much more about Jesus Christ and the role that we will have as rulers with him on the earth, and the opportunity of working with him and helping to put things right again. We won't appear or look unusual - we will be like Jesus and have glorified human bodies. Even now, as Christ's brothers we can be used by him. He has helped us to develop a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father, and we are at peace, no matter what lies ahead. We have a wonderful future to look forward to and there will be a lot of satisfying, interesting work for us to do and share.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-20 12:05:06

      It should be noted that Jannai40 and imjustasking have a view of Jesus pre-existence which differs from our own. We encourage readers with different views to share them using the Scriptures to support their arguments and that has already been done extensively. For those who would like to investigate both sides of this discussion, I refer you to this link.

      • Reply by Jannai40 on 2014-11-20 13:31:27

        Meleti, thank you for your comment. In your comment you refer to "our" and "we" - to whom are you referring to please? Thank you.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-20 14:07:11

          When I said, "our own", I was referring to myself, Apollos, and Alex as well as a few others who supported the establishment of this site from early on. While we don't all agree on all aspects of the nature of Jesus, we all agree that he had a pre-human existence. As for the various readers and other commenters, it is not my place to speak for them.

  • Comment by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 13:08:13

    Hi Meleti
    Thank you for taking your time to line out your believes about the Logos.
    I definitely agree that it takes humility as a child to address both sides of the coin rather then just sticking to what you have come to believe.
    It's amazing how deep that point is. I never taught it applied to me until a few years back. I have always been one to study things deeply and to ask questions, but I always felt "all other christendom" and my bible students were the ones who had bias, but not me. It takes a lot of time and humility not to get angry or overly dogmatic about certain points which are at the core of our belief, but only with God's spirit can we overcome them.

  • Comment by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 13:59:23

    I had a few points noted down in your article which I wanted to talk about.
    You said the following:
    "A quick scan of the parallel renderings of John 1:18 found at biblehub.com, will reveal that only the New American Standard Bible and the Aramaic Bible in Plain English render this correctly as “only-begotten god”. "
    I feel this is an unfair statement. You have to take into account what the textual variants are which they use to base their translation on.
    The Textus Receptus renders John 1:18(a) as:
    θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός
    translations which draw from the Textus Receptus translate John 1:18 legitimately as the only begotten Son, as in fact the Greek supports that rendering. Whether the Textus Receptus and other source texts are accurate is another debate, but translators cannot be accused for rendering Son where the greek says "υἱός".
    Some translations use the Greek text in an "eclectic" way. The footnote of the NIV says: "Where existing manuscripts differ, the translators made their choice of readings according to accepted principles of New Testaments textual criticism.
    Translations which base themselves on the NA, or on the W&H versions do render theos as God. Some translate only-begotten as one and only, unique or only and have supported extensive reasons why they feel this might be a better rendering.
    In short, the NASB and Aramic Bible in Plain English are definitely not the only bible translations on bible hub who translate the Greek in a fair and honest way.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-20 14:10:16

      Thank you for this clarification, InNeedOfGrace. I was basing my statement on the interlinear rendering provided by the same site, biblehub.com, that provided the parallel translations. Is there any way to determine which of the ancient texts is most likely to be a correct copy of John's words?

      • Reply by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 14:52:33

        It's not easy to draw a definitive conclusion, but here is what it boils down to:
        - The oldest known Greek manuscripts, P66 and P75, read only begotten God.
        These manuscripts come from Alexandria. (second century) Some accuse the texts from Alexandria to be heavily inspired by Gnosticism, who teach that Jesus was a begotten God, created by the Unbegotten God.
        Those quoting from these manuscripts include: Tatian (second century), Valentinus (second century), Clement of Alexandria (215 AD), and Arius (336 AD)
        - On the other hand, there are quotes from other early church fathers such as Irenaeus (early 2nd century), Tertullian (160 – c. 225 AD) who quote John 1:18 as Son. Most MMS's support this rendering.
        - So basically at the one hand you have the two oldest manuscripts favoring God, you have equally old Church Fathers quoting Son, and next to that the majority of the manuscripts read Son.

  • Comment by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 14:21:39

    Could you elaborate on:
    "Paul reveals that Jesus is the “firstborn of creation.” Here is where the difference between the “wise and clever” and the “little children” becomes evident. (1) If Jesus was created, then there was a time that he didn’t exist; a time when God existed all alone. God has no beginning; so for an infinity of time he existed alone. (2) The trouble with this thought is that time itself is a created thing. Since God cannot be subject to anything nor live inside of anything, He cannot live “in time” nor be subject to it."
    I am not sure if you are in favor of the 1st idea or the second? (I added 1 and 2 to your quote) Which one displays "the little children" and which one displays "the wise and clever?"

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-20 14:33:45

      I believe the following paragraph from the article answers your question.
      "Clearly, we are dealing with concepts beyond our ability to comprehend. Yet often we feel compelled to make the attempt. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t get full of ourselves and begin to think we are right. When speculation becomes fact, dogma sets in. The Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has fallen prey to this malady which is why most of us are here at this site."

      • Reply by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 15:52:09

        I fully read your article, I was just a little puzzled as to what you were expressing in that part. Am I understanding you correctly then in that you are saying that both expressions are possible, and we should not be so dogmatic as to think we are right?

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-20 16:00:23

          You are missing the point, I fear. I was trying to show that logic fails us when trying to express things pertaining to infinity, timelessness, and the eternity of God.

        • Reply by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-11-20 16:30:23

          Thank you for clarifying. That's what I got from it, I probably didn't articulate it well enough. I fully agree that we can't always measure the Devine to our human standards! Well put.

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-11-20 17:47:04

    The question i have about this concept of hebrew thinking v greek thinking on pre existence . The hebrews may have thought different . Concrete thinking as opposed to abstract thinking .of the greeks . But it must be remembered that the new testament as far as i know was written in greek . Greek thinking and culture would have been well known to the jews for about 300 years especially those using the greek septuagint in the diaspora .paul qouted from this in the NT .The jewish writers in the NT expressed themselves in greek . And they speak of jesus pre human existence .at least as far as i can see . Kev

  • Comment by ilovejesus333 on 2014-11-20 18:05:07

    I still feel that we are missing Jesus unique position as opposed to all other creation. Not only is he the ONLY begotten from god, he was also made a God John 3;16 also 1John 4;9 .(I use the term MADE carefully here) He was the firstborn of all creation, "born" but not created. All creation was made for him and through him. But Jesus alone came DIRECTLY from God. Jesus being A God should have an entirely different relationship with the Almighty God. Who else was ever made a God?
    Is it possible at some point Jehovah formed an extension of himself.
    Think about it if we have a son isn't that child a part of us with the same genes and blood, but not ourselves. wouldn't that child be an extension of us just as Jesus is an extension of Jehovah.
    Ok I accept we are all children of God, but children created from two parties where as Jesus came solely from God.
    Sure is a tough one all right!

  • Comment by Harrison Webster on 2014-11-21 03:53:55

    Meleti asked " Is there any way to determine which of the ancient texts is most likely to be a correct copy of John’s words? " and Inneedofgrace answered well, but I say again what I said above, which I believe is something if we are honest we need to acknowledge :
    " So we have no way of knowing what was originally written."
    As I also said above, this need not affect our faith, faith in Jesus came before anything was written about him.
    But the honesty comes in when we admit that our faith is simply that, faith, we trust that what we believe is true, but we certainly have no real proof that it is true, in a forensic sense.

    • Reply by menrov on 2014-11-21 04:23:07

      I agree with that. Most people believed without having read one word. It is Rom 10:17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.
      The bible helps a lot to understand more and test that was is heard, is somehow true. As we have access to many translations, one can compare, read the context and as such test his faith in what has been heard.
      Therefore faith is show in actions, no by what one knows, the knowledge about the bible. Most people that approached Jesus had not read anything about him. True worship is actually simple: love you neighbor. By doing this, one does honor the Son and by honoring the Son, one honors the Father.
      The purpose why things were written: Rom 15:4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope.
      Reading the bible gives hope, tells us what behaviours were wrong and which were good. Quite simple. It is when religious organisations started to use the bible to their own advantage (i.e.Catholics used Latin for a long time to limit access to the bible, others stressed that knowledge of the bible will bring salvation, hence bible schools ad universities).

    • Reply by kev c on 2014-11-21 04:34:17

      I agree with that harrison and thats where humility comes in as well .as we learn the most important things about god and the holy spirit permeates our thinking .resulting in wonderful qualities such as kindness and patience .with others .instead of intolerance and arrogance . I believe its these things that show we may be on the right track .where the latter show we are absolutely not . I love jesus i think similar to you . But the only spanner in the works is the hebrew scriptures say that god is one . Although these statements may be in contrast to people of the nations who worshipped many . 1 corinthians 8 . Kev

  • Comment by Harrison Webster on 2014-11-22 03:33:58

    I think sometimes we still get hung up on Black and White thinking when we are thinking about the relationship between Jesus and Jehovah. And perhaps we have been so conditioned in our minds that we look at things entirely as the Society has taught us to.
    But if we follow Meleti's lead and consider what the Scriptures actually say we have no problem. The Hebrew Scripture certainly teach little if anything definite in this area, but that is as we should expect, they are "our Tutor leading to Christ", not written as a guide to all the details about him, but for people of faith to recognize him when he came. The Hebrew Scriptures if you examine them properly do not teach a concept of a Resurrection, but that does not mean the teaching is in doubt.
    The Christian thinkers that came in the 2nd Century and later gave consideration to the nature of Christ's Divinity and related matters, taking their lead from the Gospel of John. Their conclusions are not at odds with the Hebrew Scriptures.
    Of course we may come to a different view than them,but a simplistic view of the matter is not sensible, we are here talking of things that we cannot actually use anthropomorphic terms for, and so expressing them becomes difficult.

    • Reply by menrov on 2014-11-22 04:39:49

      Daniel!12:2 does speak about a resurrection.

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-11-22 05:15:28

        And psalm 16 v 10. Isaiah 53 v12. See 1 corinthians 15 v 3 and 4.

  • Comment by Truthseeker on 2014-11-23 01:44:58

    In John 3:13 and 6:38 Jesus talks of descending from heaven. In 6:46 he has "seen the father." But my favorite is 17:5 where he says"...Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was." So no one can say Jesus did not have a prehumen existence, that he did not exist before the physical creation, or that he did not have glory before this existence alongside his Father. He was not created at his birth by Mary, even with Jehovah's powers. He was born as the person he always was, but now in physical form as a human. He was not the Christ yet, but he was himself. I feel the Bible makes this very clear, and to say otherwise is to play semantical games. He became the Christ only after his baptism, after he had proven himself to be a perfect, sinless man on his own merits, and without the benefit of God's Holy Spirit. He had to do this to counteract the act of the first perfect man who sinned, and who, so doing, sold us all into sin and death. Firstborn, means he had a beginning, and that he came before all others. Whether or not that makes him "created" is for the linguists to argue about, and they can never prove anything one way or the other, so it's a moot point. He had a beginning, and he is called the ONLY begotten son. To me this has always meant that Jehovah somehow gave something of himself to make Jesus a part of himself, as our own children are part of ourselves. Even though we were all created our children are still a part of us, and so special to us as more than brothers or sisters. I always liked the idea that God allowed us to feel we had a part genetically in the creation of our children, and that this part we played in creation was a gift for us, and a lesson for us to better understand how God feels about Jesus. This makes creation alive and on-going, just as all of the laws of nature are really alive in the sense that all of the processes of the physical universe work together automatically. But this is just how I look at it. The details are not really important. Jesus was somehow made first, and in a very special way.
    I don't see how anyone who has read the Gospels a few times cannot think that Proverbs 8:22-31 refers to Jesus, especially the part in 30 about being a "master worker" alongside Jehovah. Wisdom is a concept, a state of mind. A concept cannot say "...the things I was fond of were the sons of man." (verse 31) Wisdom was not something the Israelites were particularly known for. But they knew there was to be a great prophet who would be their redeemer. They probably didn't know then that this referred to God's Son, but we looking back can certainly see that this describes Jesus, that at the very least it is an allegory to help us, now, to understand Jesus, and his purpose, as the article states. Whether or not Solomon knew this when he wrote these words, they still had meaning at the time. But that doesn't mean that Jehovah didn't know when he inspired Solomon to write this that in the future it would have a special meaning for anyone who wants o get closer to his Son, and so also to Him.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-23 07:15:36

      Truthseeker, you and I are very much of one mind on this.

    • Reply by kev c on 2014-11-23 14:35:36

      And me truthseeker . John 17 v 5 seems pretty plain enough to me .and as for jesus being personified wisdom see colossians 2 v 3 and 4 kev c

  • Comment by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-11-23 17:36:08

    Hi truthseeker,
    I agree with the thrust of your comment very much.
    "I don’t see how anyone who has read the Gospels a few times cannot think that Proverbs 8:22-31 refers to Jesus, especially the part in 30 about being a “master worker” alongside Jehovah. Wisdom is a concept, a state of mind. A concept cannot say “…the things I was fond of were the sons of man.”
    I could be persuaded by this argument. But I've yet to hear or read a satisfactory explanation as to why Wisdom at Prov. 8:1-12 and 9:1-6 is not Jesus . Or a chapter over why foolishness in Prov. 9:13-18, is not a person. Or why in Proverbs 1:20–33 and Proverbs 8:1—9:12, wisdom is personified as a woman(Proverbs 8:18, 35)I don't read these scriptures as literary fact to teach us about the Logos' "beginning" as JW's teach but more as poetry or figures of speech.
    There's another way to look at this scripture and balance it with scriptures that refer to Jesus as the eternal Father, First and Last (Alpha Omeha) I am not a trinitarian but the most common response to this scripture if this text is to be taken literally : Was there a time Jehovah God did not possess wisdom or did he create it ?
    I say that Jehovah eternally possessed wisdom. So if Jesus is wisdom in this scripture, then Jehovah God eternally possessed Logos.
    As I commented on Meleti's Part 2 article of this series I don't believe thst it matters if the logos had a "beginning" or was created. Only Jehovah knows. Yet he inspired John to write that the Logos existed beside him before the world began.
    I accept He was created or generated at some point from the perspective of Jehovah outside of time. It's only logical. But from our perspective neither the Logos or the Father has a beginning . Jesus was with God "before the world began". If we can accept the beautiful concept of the Father/Son relationship as God's way of explaining his relationship with Jesus....why can't we accept that" like father, like son" that He teaches us by means of John that both are without beginning?

  • Comment by markchristopher on 2014-11-24 03:44:27

    My opinion of Proverbs 8 is that its not a lesson that reveals to us the identity of Jesus Christ.John 1:1 does that.Its a lesson in how God uses his wisdom and how we should use wisdom and be prudent like God is.Thats why its a proverb, its a piece of advice.
    The word is no doubt an extension of God, but, might there be some bias when reading proverbs.?Can,t we just appreciate the advice.I have never heard a JW use proverbs as it is meant to be used, only as an inferred argument to support that its talking about Jesus Christ.

    • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-24 07:45:17

      Just to add.At proverbs 9:12 it describes Folly as an unruly woman.. also “Let all who are simple come to my house!”To those who have no sense she says,17“Stolen water is sweet;food eaten in secret is delicious!”
      Proverbs is using an allegory of a woman that lives in a house to give “Folly” a character.Folly is not a real person.Is,nt this the poetic style used in Proverbs 8?

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-11-24 14:40:25

        Fair enough mark seems common sense enough . Thanks kev

  • Comment by markchristopher on 2014-11-24 14:48:23

    One more thought but in relation to John 1:18, Yes, it seems that it should read “only begotten god”.instead of “son”..I think when reading this scripture we might contemplate 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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    This is a promise to Israel that a child will be born(Jesus Christ).But it clearly says that he “Will”be named a “mighty god”.The grammar is future tense.So, we are reading the fulfilment of that prophesy.John is not necessarily revealing to his jewish audience that God begat a god before all creation more like he begat a son through Mary. Who then became a mighty god.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-24 15:37:21

      From Isaiah's viewpoint it is future because he is referring to it subjectively. The Word's god like status didn't have any affect in Isaiah's time. Only in his future, when the Word became manifest as a human, suffered, died, was resurrected, could he act like a mighty God who could impart life.
      John, on the other hand is speaking about his past. The word was a God who existed at God's side (John 1:1-3) The world came into existence through him (vs. 10) He became flesh. (vs. 14) He existed before John the baptist who was born six months before him. (vs. 15) He is the only begotten God who existed at God's side. (vs 1-3 and 18)
      Nothing here indicates his becoming a God only after his birth as a human.

      • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-25 04:38:05

        I think that depends on wether John 1:1 should be translated “a god” or “God”.I prefer “Divine” for the sake of argument.Either way.I think the discussion and comments have helped me sort out to a certain degree the problems that both the Trinity and idea that Jesus is Michael have.
        Jesus, no doubt has a pre-existence. Truthseeker mentioned John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began”.Don,t think you can have it clearer.But. I think the most important think for me is that we really only came to know the Father through Jesus the man.I think that is something we can all relate to.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-25 08:47:11


  • Comment by Aletheia on 2014-11-24 16:22:44

    It never ceases to amaze me how although separated by time and circumstance, I continue to read articles and posts from brothers and sisters on this site and our forums that harmonize alarmingly well with my own thoughts. It truly speaks to the power and clarity of God's word, and of his holy spirit.
    This is a subject I have given a great deal of thought, study, and prayer to. The conclusion I have come to that the very nature of Jehovah and of Jesus is something that just simply lies beyond our comprehension. Modern science and mathematics teach us that it could be possible for something to exist beyond the 4 dimensions we currently know and understand (time being the 4th). Such a being would exist outside of our linear experience of time. They could look forward and backwards in time as easily as we could thumb through a book, and could even manipulate it as easily as we could work on a piece of art on a canvas. Even with these advances in our thinking, however, the true nature and meaning of such an existence completely escapes our feeble minds.
    Just before this article was released, I was speaking to a friend about how Witnesses tend to demonize the Trinity doctrine. Let me be clear and say that I do not believe it is true, in any of it's many incarnations. However, imagine early Christians trying to wrap their minds around a man who existed both as a God in Heaven, and also a man on earth. They were trying to combat human thinking that would cause some to gravitate towards the idea that Jesus was merely a man. The Trinity was merely their clumsy attempt to understand the "Divinity of Christ", and for hundreds of years it was the subject of much theological debate, works of art, and doctrinal decrees.
    In our conversation, I proposed that they were moving in the right direction, and merely SWUNG too far past the truth. As a reaction, the Witnesses push away from that teaching and SWING in the other direction. In our zeal to separate ourselves from Trinitarian doctrines, we began teaching that Jesus existed as an angel. The truth is perhaps somewhere in between (I almost fell out of my chair when I read the pendulum analogy).
    Jesus is unique in that he is equal to Jehovah in the nature of their existence. This doesn't mean that they are the same being or exist in equality. Jesus rightfully glorifies Jehovah as his creator, and as the almighty God.This is confirmed in scriptures such as Philippians 2:6: "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." But just because they are separate beings does not make Jesus a mere angel, as though the only thing that sets Jesus apart from all the other angels is that he was created first.
    Logos is a God in his own right, as Jehovah created him in his likeness to be his Master Worker. He was created into the same plane of existence that Jehovah God inhabits, above all other creation, which is why he alone is called Jehovah's only-begotten Son. This shared nature between Jehovah and Jesus is what humans historically have referred to as the "Divinity of Christ", although the simplicity and beauty of this truth was historically lost in many doctrines.
    Any insight beyond this simple truth will likely have to wait until we receive our reward in heaven, and are no longer limited by our human understanding.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-24 16:38:10

      A nicely reasoned summation. Thanks for a balanced perspective, Aletheia.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-26 03:10:26

    markchristopher, John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (NIV)
    Jesus here was talking about the glory that was stored up with God for him in the beginning. If you read verse 22 (which is relating to all believers, verses 20-21) - so then this glory for us (only if we remain faithful, of course) - we have been given this glory and yet we hadn't even been born then.
    So in verse 5 Jesus was not asking to be "restored", but to receive the reward for his ministry and all that the had accomplished.

    • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-26 07:08:27

      Hi Jannai40
      I understand what you are saying.There are scriptures that use the term “before the world began”, such as Matt 24:34.....”inheritance of the Kingdom which has been divinely intended for you ever since the creation of the world.” WNT
      This gives us insight to Gods pre determined plan to save mankind through his Son.So Jesus Christ’s glory was pre determined before the creation of the world.
      The problem with John 17:5 it says ..with the glory “I had”.as opposed to “divinely intended” or “prepared”.Although their may be bias in the translation of John 17:5 because of the trinity.The greek word eichon, which in all translations on bible hub is translated “i had”can also be translated “kept”or “held”.So you could say that Jesus was to receive the glory that was held before the world began.
      Also John 17:1 says the “hour has come.Glorify your Son”.Indicating he did not previously have glory.
      It does seem odd that Jesus would ask for the glory that he once had as a pre existing god or God because according to Romans 10 it was,nt until he accomplished his purpose on earth that he inherited a superior position than that of the angels.If Jesus pre-existed as a god in which all creation originated then he would not need to inherit a superior position?
      This does not change the fact that the Word became flesh, which proves Jesus Divine origin

      • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-26 07:11:34

        Sorry, I meant hebrews 1:4 not Romans 10!!

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-26 08:47:23

        Whether echó (Greek: ἔχω) should be translated "I had" or "I kept" or "I held", it is clear that the verb is in the first person singular past tense. All three renderings indicate that what Jesus was referring to was glory he one had in the past in God's presence. When specifically in the past? Many translations add the word "created" because they feel it is implied. We have to remember that in Greek κόσμος or kosmos literally means "something ordered". We get the word "cosmopolitan" from this Greek word as well as the word Cosmos. So we also recognize that it can apply to the world of man, i.e., humanity, or the universe. In what sense he uses it here I don't think we can say definitively, but there is nothing to indicate that the glory Jesus held in his past implies a pre-determined plan of God.
        Matthew 25:34 speaks of the kingdom which God prepared for Christians since the founding of the world. "Founding" translates from kataballó and means "a laying down" according to NASEC. It is rendered in the NASB as "conceive" and "foundation". Strong's defines it as "(a) foundation, (b) depositing, sowing, deposit, technically used of the act of conception." Since Kosmos can mean world of mankind, Jesus could be here referring to the founding or conception of the world of mankind which occurred when Eve conceived her first child. Or, he could be referring to the conception or founding of the universe. The first absolves God of all responsibility for Adam's sin while the latter makes him responsible for all the horror the human race has experienced. Of the two choices, only one is compatible with the name and nature of the God of Love John speaks of in 1 John 4:8. Therefore, if we are to uphold and sanctify the name of Jehovah, we must go for the former.

        • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-27 06:27:18

          You make valid points Meleti..But again, the overall context of John 17 is a fulfilment of passages such as Isaiah 49:3 “He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory."
          The glory that Jesus in John 17 is asking for is soon to be accomplished through his life, death and resurrection “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you”.Its about God the Father glorifying himself in the son, not the son getting back the glory he once had.
          I know next to nothing about greek but εἶχον (eichon) even translated as “I had”can still be interpreted as the glory he had stored up or promised for some future date considering the context of John 17
          The idea that God begets a son in his likeness( a god) who he then creates all other things through, causes a few problems, mainly you end up with two gods involved with creation.
          Isaiah 43:10.....Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
          Isaiah 45:12 I myself made the earth and personally created humankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the skies; I marshaled all their starry hosts."
          Isaiah 46:9 I am Yahweh, and there is none else. Besides me, there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known me;
          I am still contemplating your view.However at this time I see things differently.Which is. There is one God “Jehovah” who alone created all things through his word.The same way our word is an extension of ourselves.His word creates and brings forth life.This means of creation becomes flesh.The exact character of the Father, which is in Jesus Christ The Son,.This man after accomplishing the will of his father is given the glory that was pre determined at the beginning to bring salvation to mankind, glorifying the Father as Creator, Saviour and one true God.
          This solves the problem of having two pre existing gods and also makes God truly all knowing.past present and future.
          God does not need absolving from the horror of the human race.God creates man with free will, but foreknew mankind would need a saviour, So God pre ordained salvation through his Son.
          JWs have the view that somehow God did not exercise his foreknowledge when creating Adam.So, when adam sinned he then had to come up with a plan to save mankind.God made Adam good, but he chose to rebel.
          Ephesians 1:4”For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love”
          Romans 8:10 “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope”
          Acts 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

          • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-27 08:59:18

            In John 17:1 Jesus asks to be glorified so that he can in turn glorify the Father. The Father is already glorious. How can any being, human or angel, glorify him? Obviously there are various meanings to the word here.
            In verse 1 he asks to be glorified, but doesn't specify the type nor amount of glory he is requesting. In verse 5 he gets specific. He's only asking for what he had before. For what he gave up when he descended from heaven. (Phil. 2:6, 7) He wants to have the glory he had when we was in the presence of God before becoming a man. This shows his humility in that even with all he had done and was about to do, he wasn't asking anything for himself that he didn't already possess previously. Jehovah however, because he is true to himself, gave him more glory than he had before. (Phil. 2:9-11)
            Now as for your argument that God begetting a son, a god, in his likeness creates for you a few problems--specifically, Isaiah 43:10, 12; 46:9--I think we have to first understand what defines God or a god. What do you understand the word to mean?
            I see a major flaw in your reasoning regards God's foreknowledge: "God does not need absolving from the horror of the human race.God creates man with free will, but foreknew mankind would need a saviour, So God pre ordained salvation through his Son."
            I would agree that grammatically this works, but semantically, it is illogical. You are saying that before God created the first man, he already knew his creation would fail. However, you feel that wouldn't make him responsible for the failure. Would we accept that as a valid argument in court if a drug ended up maiming people. Imagine the manufacturer on the stand claiming that he is innocent of any wrongdoing by saying, "Yes, we knew it would maim and cause unimaginable pain and suffering from the very moment we conceived of it, even before we mixed the first batch. But knowing that ahead of time, we provided a vaccine which we will give away free of charge and which will reverse the drugs effects." Well, okay then. Let us acquit!
            You base this conclusion on one interpretation of Scriptures like Eph. 1:4; Ro 8:10; Acts 2:23 and others like them, but I've already shown that there is a viable alternate to your interpretation, one which plainly harmonizes with all other Scriptural accounts. You didn't comment on that. I'm curious to know why you have discounted it out of hand, as if it is unworthy of mention.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-26 16:23:30

    markchristopher, your comments are so interesting. I believe that once we come to know Jesus Christ then everything begins to fit into place scripturally - it takes time, but the search proves to be very rewarding.

    • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-11-27 07:18:46

      Thank you Jannai40.I appreciate that.

  • Comment by markchristopher on 2014-11-27 10:54:19

    You said “The Father is already glorious. How can any being, human or angel, glorify him?”
    John 17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do”
    You said “we have to first understand what defines God or a god. What do you understand the word to mean?”
    1 Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus”
    The best way I can define Gods Word is how God defines a mans word.
    Matthew 15:11 “What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them”.This tells us that we are what we say.Its the same with God, but what he says brings things into existence. Why do we have to make his word a separate god entity?Why cant we accept that God is his Word.Yes you make a lot of good points about Gods word and Christ’s pre-existence, but I see things differently.I could be wrong.It may be things have not have clicked with me yet!Anyway thats my opinion.
    Regarding Gods foreknowledge, I don,t want to get into a huge debate and get sidetracked, But with all respect, Meleti. We are dealing with God here, his omni essence and foreknowledge.I don’t think the dilemma with mankind can be compared to a batch of faulty medicine made in a factory.
    Many disturbing things where prophesied through Gods foreknowledge such as John 19:36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." 37And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED."
    Bones where usually broken to hasten death and lessen the suffering, but in Jesus case his bones where not broken, therefore prolonging his death and suffering.God foreknew this.Does this make him sadistic?Of course not.But we except that it had to happen to accomplish his purpose.Yes, we are talking about the fall of man into sin, But, he had given man a choice and planted the tree of knowledge of good and bad.Might of there been an element of “what if” man sinned,would he have prepared a plan in advance?

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-11-27 16:02:43

      Hi MarkChristopher,
      I'm afraid you missed my point about the glory of the Father, but no matter.
      As for defining the meaning of the word God, am I to understand that you believe god applies to any being that "brings things into existence"? Hence if a being cannot create things, he cannot be a god? Is that correct?
      As for your argument about God's foreknowledge and omni essence making any comparison moot, I don't see that as a valid argument. Essentially you're saying that anything is possible because we're dealing with God here. If he wants to create a being whose future he cannot see while simultaneously seeing his future, well, sure he can. He's God! But that works both ways. I could just as well argue that if he wants to create a being that is his Word, who is also a god but who had a beginning and was born of God and then God sent the word to the earth, well, why not. He's God. I don't have to prove anything, because my argument is that God is God and for him all things are possible. Indeed, if I can imagine it, it must be so, because God can do all things. But let's go further. Both your belief and mine, while contradicting one another, are both true. They must be, because God can do all things.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-28 15:42:02

    markchristopher, According to the research I have done, this is my understanding. In John 1:1 "In the beginning" is relating the Genesis creation, God's plan for mankind and the universe. Because of Adam's sin, it became necessary for his plan (word) to come to fruition through Jesus Christ - John 1:14 - "the word became flesh".
    This does not mean that God knew in advance Adam and Eve would sin, but after they had sinned, it would be through Jesus Christ that God's divine plans would be realised.
    So it would appear that John is referring to the Genesis creation and also to the new creation.

  • Comment by markchristopher on 2014-11-28 16:08:30

    Jannai40/Meleti.Yes, so after it all went wrong God came up with a plan.I understand and agree.

  • Comment by markchristopher on 2014-11-29 04:24:40

    The Son can not be asking for the glory he once had before the world began, as an only begotten god because he becomes a new creation.Not the same glory, because he did not pre exist as a man in a glorified body.I think there has to another way at looking at John 17:5

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-29 12:58:14

    markchristopher, Just a thought - as we seem to be thinking along similar lines scripturally, if you would like to compare notes so to speak, then please ask Meleti for my email address and we could carry on the discussion.

    • Reply by Markchristopher on 2014-11-29 15:57:53

      Sure,why not.
      Meleti. Can you send me Jannai40's email address, if you don,t mind.Thanks

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-11-30 19:30:58

    markchristopher, I've just been reading over the comments again and thinking about one of the interesting points you raised which has moved me to do more research. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Reply by markchristopher on 2014-12-01 03:38:22

      Not received a reply from Meleti yet.Maybe you have a better way of contacting him?

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-01 08:29:45

        In response to your request, I sent an email yesterday at 8:13 AM to your gmail account with Jannai40's email address in it. Perhaps it is in your spam folder. Why not send me an email directly and I'll reply, that way we can make sure it doesn't get put in spam and that I have your active email address.

  • Comment by Sebastian the ignorant on 2018-03-07 14:58:50

    We desperately need a profund and deep article about Jesus as Jehova in the Old Testament. We are waiting.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-03-07 15:04:25

      I plan to write more on the nature of Jesus, but it will be on beroeans.study. However, time is the problem.

    • Reply by ian howat on 2019-07-26 08:22:58

      i have a problem with jesus being michael the arch angel i see nothing in scripture to support this .in fact hebrews 1 seems to demolish it ..however the text in revelation " the begining of the creation by God rev 3 :14. it seems to contradict the idea of only begotten .so far i am unable to answer this in a satisfactory way .

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-08-16 11:35:24

        My view on this has been clarified. I've put it together in a video and article you can see here.

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