Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | June 11, 2007

A God? (Lesson 1: Question 4 Answer)

4.  What do the Jehovah’s Witnesses and/or Mormons say about this text?  Why do they disagree?

In order to answer this question we will need to quote the Greek text, which is as follows:

εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος.  ουτος ην εν αρχη προς τον θεον

The Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that the Greek term for God (θεος or θεον) is accompanied by an article in all places except in the section that states “the Word was God”.  Since it is missing the article they claim that it should be translated as an indefinite noun (a god) rather than as a definite (God or the God).  In the other places where God the Father is referenced it include the article (τον), thus should be translated as a definite in those instances.  Are they right?

Well, orthodox Christians would disagree with their position for two reasons.  First, their grammatical argument based on the Greek text is simplistic and inaccurate.  Second, the rest of the biblical data still provides strong support for the Deity of Christ as is argued about in verse 3 in this passage noted above.  Let’s examine the grammatical argument first.  There are numerous rules that govern the translation of the Greek text and the Jehovah’s Witness conveniently ignore some of them.  For example, lets take the phrase in dispute “θεος ην ο λογος”.  We would concede that this noun does not possess the definite article, however that is not the only grammatical rule that dictates the definite nature of a noun.  This phrase includes the copulative verb rule ην, which is a common construction through the Greek New Testament.  In all the instances of this construction less than one percent allow for an indefinite noun (i.e. a god).  The majority of instances possess a definite (God or the God) or qualitative (God or Godlike) noun.  Moreover, the Jehovah’s Witness are not consistent in grammatical rules since they conveniently ignore it when translating the word beginning (αρχη).  This noun also is missing the definite article, however the Jehovah’s Witness does not translate the phrase as “in a beginning”.  Thus, we can have assurance the next time these cult members start speaking Greek to us that they are characterizing this information in a biased and partial manner not consistent with the facts.   

The Mormon’s are a little bit different and will affirm that Jesus is one with the Father and will even affirm the existence of the Godhead.  However, don’t let this language fool you since they qualify their statements by asserting that they are only one in purpose and not in substance.  The biblical data, which support the concept of a plurality of the Godhead is not a problem for them since they affirm polytheism (belief in many gods).  Thus, one of the major tenants for the Trinity, which is the Scriptures unequivocal affirmation of only one God, is not taken serious by the Mormon.  This, of course, is a most diabolical falsehood that should be rejected outright.

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Responses

  1. I’ve had several debates with JW elders,
    http://jimost.com/jwdebate.htm

    and more than a few dustups with the Mormons. The JWs simply change the Bible to match the doctrine. The Mormons will simply run to one of the other 3 books they hold sacred. I think these are doctrines of demons. It is a sad, brutal prison that Satan has these people chained up within, groaning and suffering.

  2. This is the best site on the internet that deals with the cults: http://www.carm.org/cults.htm

  3. Thanks, you should check out James White’s site:

    http://www.aomin.org/


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