Treasures from God’s word
Under the heading “Jesus Performs His First Miracle”, three very good points are highlighted:
- Jesus had a balanced view of pleasures, and he enjoyed life and happy times with his friends.
- Jesus cared about people’s feelings.
- Jesus was generous.
We do well to imitate Jesus in maintaining a balanced view of pleasures. We never want to be cynical in our view of the world nor do we want to focus only on pleasures to such an extent that other important matters (including our worship) suffer as a result.
If we consider the thoughts expressed in John 1:14, we can discern that if Jesus contributed to the joy of an occasion through the miracle he performed, then Jehovah, whose glory Jesus reflected, also wants his servants to enjoy life.
The question then is, did Jesus really want us to spend so much of our time in the preaching work, construction work, cleaning of Kingdom Halls, midweek meetings, preparation for meetings, family worship, personal study, shepherding calls, elders meetings, preparing for conventions and assemblies and viewing of monthly broadcasts such that we have little or no time to enjoy life after caring for our families and day to day responsibilities?
Jesus also cared for people’s feelings and was generous. Did Jesus only show this generosity to his family and disciples? Or was he generous to all? Does Organisation encourage Witnesses to be generous to all including those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Digging for Spiritual Gems
I enjoyed Ellicott’s commentary. The explanation of the verse is simple and easy to follow.
With God: These words express the co-existence, but at the same time the distinction of person.
Was God: This is the completion of the graduated statement. It maintains the distinction of person, but at the same time asserts the oneness of essence.
Jamieson-Fausset’s commentary also carries similar easy-to-follow thoughts:
Was with God: having a conscious personal existence distinct from God (as one is from the person he is “with”), but inseparable from Him and associated with Him (Joh 1:18; Joh 17:5; 1Jo 1:2).
Was God in substance and essence God; or was possessed of essential or proper divinity.
Jesus says that Nathanael is a man in whom there is no deceit. This is of interest to us as Christians for two reasons.
Firstly, it affirms the fact that Jesus, like Jehovah, examines the hearts of mankind (Proverbs 21:2). Secondly, Jesus views humans who serve him with a pure heart as being upright despite their imperfections or sinful state.
While the translation of the Bible into different languages should be commended, the Bible should be translated as accurately as possible and without doctrinal influence.
I also think that the continued focus on the Organization and what it is accomplishing draws attention away from Jesus’ role and gives undue recognition to men. How much better it would be to focus on what Christ has in store for us.
I saw no direct link between changing of the format of the Watchtower magazines and Jehovah speeding up the work. Once again, another unsupported statement which aims to instill confidence in the rank and file members of the organization that Jehovah is using JW.org to accomplish his purpose.
Congregational Bible study
Nothing of Note
When it comes to discussions like these I refer back to Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “So when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with extravagant speech or wisdom declaring the sacred secret of God to you. For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and him executed on the stake. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling; and my speech and what I preached were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might… Read more »
This was not my first intention to comment around this topic other than to comment on Jesus’ miracles , however since the thread has begun I would like to throw my pittance in. I would like to throw a challenge out here for those who would like to do some digging around the true nature of the Christ. I take it from the comments here regarding John 1:1 that this is the common view that current JWs and many of those who are now not supportive of the Org have retained. (A view I also had for many years) Including… Read more »
Alithia, You go into a lot of human reasoning to make your case for a Jesus without a prehuman existence, but you provide no Scriptural proof for this. Jehovah’s Witnesses have many unique teachings, all of which we have proven to be false. All of these teachings depend on human reasoning and human interpretation based on flawed and unscriptural premises. We must reject all such teachings that are based on human logic, but which ignore and even contradict clear Scriptural facts. In this case, such Scriptures as John 8:58 and Phil 2:5-7 to name only two. I’m sure other contributors… Read more »
Thank you for the feed back Eric, It was not without some reluctance that I made this advance knowing what reaction it might cause. In any case I will consider the 2 versus you have mentioned and reconsider how I have arrived to my conclusions. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
You could consider Mark 12:35-37; John 3:13; 6:38,62; 8:23; Heb 1:2,6; 2:9-18; 7:1-28; Col 1:13-20; John 8:37-40,56-59; John 1:9,10,14,30; Zech 4:2,3,10-14, Rev 5:6; 11:3,4.
But, if you’ve already made up your mind Jesus had no pre-human existence, then there is no point considering those or other scriptures. The scriptures and Holy Spirit simply will not teach those that have already made up their minds.
Perhaps it would be good to ask yourself: Who convinced you Jesus had no pre-human existence?…and in answering that you might get to the root of the problem.
I have checked the scriptures that you sited and you have done really well and many thanks for your hard work I will keep them in my bible as a reference, pity I cannot tell my friends where I got them, keep these beautiful golden nuggets of your coming, I relish them.
Well done Melti, you are a stickler and a champion for the word of God.
Dear Eric, with considerable profundity I would like to respond to your criticism around my comments above, and to clear away any misconception I may have created in your and any other readers mind. Your response that I use a lot of human reasoning is exactly my point! As there is no clear explicit teaching found at John 1:1 about Jesus having a pre human existence, I was simply saying we should not ascribe to any one persons interpretation (Human reasoning)regardless of whether it is Arius ,Ellicot, and you or me either. It is indisputable however, as found in various… Read more »
Alithia, Starting with the most important and arguably contentious issue: Should 2 John 2:7 (you cite 17, a typo I’m sure. We all make them.) be seen to apply to those who claim as you do that Jesus had no pre-human existence. You state: “Ellicott and others attempts to overcome the Trinitarian idea is based on another faulty idea; the idea that Jesus had a pre-human existence.” Now the text from 2 John that is relevant to our discussion is this: For many deceivers have gone out into the world, refusing to confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the… Read more »
Hi Meleti, This isn’t really a disagreement, but more of a potential reason for understanding the unique language that John used in his gospel (Jo. 1:14) and epistles (1 Jo. 4:2; 2 Jo. 1:7) when discussing the circumstances surrounding Christ’s flesh. Early church fathers (Irenaeus, Hippolytus et al.) have tended to converge on the idea that John was refuting a specific teaching by the heresiarch Cerinthus in these passages. Cerinthus taught that Christ “came” in the spirit upon Jesus’ baptism and “left” again at his crucifixion. This may indicate that John’s choice of language regarding the “come”, “coming”, and “became”… Read more »
I am also very fond and very close to idea of not pre-human existence of our Lord Jesus (although I didn’t totally discarded teaching of Jehovah Witnesses, what is my background) My opinion, is somehow like yours, that Gods Word is not so clear about that issue, and there is room for studying and contemplating about that. But I also think that ours diferent opinion about that issue is not reason to fight and arguing, and possibly divisions. I think, that is much more important to put our attention on Christ, to develop personal relationship with our Lord, and to… Read more »
The Angel that visited Mary had a simple message. After Mary questioned how it would be possible without having sexual relations, the Angel stated that Holy Spirit would overshadow her, and then a Greek word is used which is genesis in English, or generated. It means only one thing it is the beginning, a genesis, you can not have 2 beginnings. Jesus genesis was in the womb of Mary. If Jesus had a pre existence then this does not make sense it is a contradiction. And in regards to the plethora of scriptures you mention I could take my time… Read more »
Hi Alithia. my thoughts are about Satan crying foul. If the vase is broken, it does not matter what the original cost as long as the replacement satisfies the owner. Jehovah simply satisfied the laws of atonement. it takes no more, except in the eyes of the person who might attach some particular sentiment because of who gave him the vase. In Adam and Jesus case, though, the giver is the same.
Therefore no foul. Objection over ruled !
However, you are entitled to think otherwise.
You are right about jehovah being the giver in both cases. However you still are dodging the point I was making about the replacement being like for like. Using the analogy of a vase is a very poor comparison. If you think a pre-existent super powerful, knowlegeble and experienced spirit with eons of existence is like for like with Adam who is limited by comparison then there is nothing more I can do to make my point. You may give additional time for consideration of my proposition that we have preconceived ideas that we will prosecute to the “death” in… Read more »
To say that the “analogy does not fit the facts” is to assume that the facts are established. But you have failed to provide the Bible proof that Jesus brought all his power, knowledge and experience with him as a human. There is nothing in the Bible record to support such an assumption. In fact, there are many experiences related in the gospels to indicate he was a mere human being just as Adam was.
It is also fair to say it is an assumption that he did not, or to any degree in between. I agree with you that there is an avalanche of scriptures that do just what you mention. Jesus was a man, born of a human mother, and in fact human in every way, except for Jehovah being involved in the begetting process. Meaning he did not pre exist himself like none of us or anyone prior to us. That is why Paul said at 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God… Read more »
Alithia, I’m using this comment to reply to both your most recent comments. First, I would like to direct you to the FAQ page, “Commenting Guidelines”. “When making a comment in which you wish to expound some particular Bible teaching, please note that we require all to provide proof from Scripture. Stating a belief that is nothing more than a person opinion is allowed, but please state that it is your own opinion and nothing more. We do not want to fall into the trap of the Organization and requires others to accept our speculation as fact.” The reason for… Read more »
And the Word became flesh! Sometimes genesis can mean a “new beginning”.
Compare John 1:1 with John 1:14.
According to scripture, the balancing is fine. Paul states in 1 Cor 15:45 “the first man Adam became a living person, the last Adam became a live giving spirit”. I think that is all I was saying. You may not like the reference to a vase. Its only an illustration, nothing more. Of course Jesus is way above anything Adam was. Had he been faithful, then he would have had pride of place among humans, but what he did do was he paid the price.
It is not that I do not like your illustration it is just not fit for purpose as illustrations are used to make a point, what you tried to make similar I am disagreeing with. What does Jesus becoming a life giving spirit have to do with the ransom balancing the scales of justice and Jesus life being offered as a propitiation? Note 1 Timothy 2:6 Where it say Jesus gave his life as a corresponding ransom for all! Vases and Fighters to the side think for a moment of your idea of a corresponding ransom ( A pre existence… Read more »
One thing that stands out and catches one’s attention is the degree to which Jesus went to improve people’s lives where he could. He was liberal and lavish in praise and commendation and abundantly generous in physical gifts too, like his Father. However the real truth of the Org and its view of generosity is controlled by very strict parameters that only encompasses giving where there may be some real benefit to the Org in some way. Usually where a recruit can be made to swell the numbers. I was horrified at a service meeting in Aus, a couple of… Read more »
Indeed, how are people clapping for this experience? The really scary part is that most of us here used to do the same thing. It all seems so surreal now that our perspectives have changed.
I think that is because we’re trying to truly be Christ-like now……..
Alithia from Australia my land: Bible says Matthew 10:11 Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until you leave. Why the search?? Jesus said unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh……. Why did he make that statement if he wanted to gain popularity? I came across a visitor from India while witnessing, he wanted to have a study only if I could find him someone from congregation to marry……. What would you have done? You speak of being horrified at the witness couple, but really how many refugees… Read more »
James Brown after much thinking I cannot for the life of me understand what you understand about me from a recent post where I simply presented the proposition as to whether Jesus did or did not have a pre-human existence, based on the evidence in the scripture presented and the quoted commentary, and nothing else. John 1:1 But it appears I have disturbed you so just to clarify; I do not ascribe to the belief in a Trinity God of any kind or a duo God of Jesus and Jehovah. I was simply commenting around the post of an anonymous… Read more »
Let us bear this Scripture in mind when replying to a comment:
Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person. (Col 4:6)
So I guess if we had been around in the 3rd/4th century we would have supported Arius and what became Arianism.
I was thinking something similar LJ….
I do not believe the organization encourages members to be generous to all. Even when they make an attempt in their publications it always seems to focus on the end means of getting a person into their religious group. Personally, their form of generosity appears to be a far cry from the kind Jesus showed and taught. Watchtower 1993 7/1 p.23 paragraphs 17-18 “An act of kindness to a relative, a neighbor, or a work colleague could do much to break down prejudice against us and open up the person’s heart toward the truth. To do this, we do not… Read more »
Just curious as I know there are multiple contributors to this site: are all of you or just some of you holding to a Trinitarian Christology? Perhaps there’s a diversity of perspectives amongst the contributors as I vaguely recall the Trinity being denied by one of several of the contributors.
To the best of my knowledge, none of us hold to Trinitarian Christology.
Hi Meleti, thanks for clarifying and that’s what I thought. The reason I asked was because the John 1:1 section in this post seems to be quite Trinitarian, or Nicene at the very least.
Perhaps we can get the author to clarify what he meant. I’m non-trinitarian, but the JW doctrine on Christology with Jesus being just an archangel doesn’t work for me either. “The truth is out there.” 🙂
I agree with you on that Eric. I’m still trying to reconcile what is really accurate about the true nature of Christ, so-to-speak.
Yeah, it just seems odd for a non-Trinitarian to approvingly cite a clearly pro-Trinitarian viewpoint without clarifying. So yes, if the author could clarify i’m sure it would help all of our curious minds 🙂
I caught that too. Even though he was just sighting Ellicott’s Commentary, it could definitely give the impression of a Trinitarian viewpoint.
The trinity in my view would be the hardest thing for an exJW to come to terms with, being that the indoctrination of only one true God is embedded so firmly.
It is not indoctrination if the belief is based on clearly stated Bible evidence.
So true, as you rightly mention, Christ our Lord and Saviour, loved people. That is people in general. He loved sinners, how could he not, because every single person is a sinner, it’s just some feel they’re exempt from this classification because they’re ‘Special’. I’m minded of Ephesians 4. Paul here deals with the eventuality of Unity, even though God deals with people in different ways. Having been in ‘The Organization’ for 60 years, I was encouraged to be a clone of those who set the lead. Shirt, tie, gray suit, bookbag, kingdom smile, tow the party line. We all… Read more »
If you look at the 1984 Reference Bible footnote, the Kingdom Interlinear and other English translations, they give Ephesians 4:8 as “gifts to men” not “gifts in men”. In the NWT they give “in” in the main text. Why? it can only be bias to main the org teachings of a hierarchical structure and implement obedience.