Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Response to Karen Konnection’s Paper on Jehovah’s Witnesses

“Karen Konnection” is a website whose goal is “to help the newly-resettled Burmese Karen to connect with American Baptist-USA and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches throughout the U.S.” ( It is a wonderful resource for becoming familiar with and learning the Karen language, becoming informed of their settlement locations, and for locating Karen resources like Bibles and dictionaries.

However, as it is Baptist and Trinitarian, it has hosted a three-page paper (in English and Karen) addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is the subject of this response. Karen Konnection’s paper will be referred to as KKP, and responses to its statements will be bracketed and in bold type:

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?
Comparing beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses with Christian Beliefs

[Immediately we are presented with a loaded question that assumes that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christian but that the Trinitarian authors of KKP are. Therefore, it presents itself as bigoted. Trinitarians are Christians the same as Mormons are Christians in that they both point to Christ for salvation. Therefore, since Jehovah’s Witnesses also point to Christ for salvation, we are Christian too. (Jehovah’s Witnesses usually use the designation “Christendom” for religions that claim to be Christian.—See Mankind’s Search for God page 235 footnote.)]

Sometimes when we are at our homes, someone will knock on our door and ask if they can talk with us. They may or may not say they are from the Jehovah’s Witness (JW) church, but if they give you information printed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York then they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

[Later on in KKP, the claim is twice made that we are forbidden from talking to people of other religions, which contradicts what KKP here acknowledges.]

The JW church was started by Charles Taze Russell, an American from Pittsburgh, PA. As an 18 year old, he began teaching Bible studies related to the second coming of Jesus Christ and he published a number of books.

[In 1870, as an 18-year-old, he gathered with a group of friends to begin a systematic study of the Bible using concordances and church publications. He did not publish books at this time. In 1877 he published the book Three Worlds with N. H. Barbour and published the booklet The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return.]

Russell also wrote a series of books called “Studies in the Scriptures” which is the basis of the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

[This needs to be qualified as Jehovah’s Witnesses do not use these books anymore. It could be reworded like this: “The anti-Trinitarian theology presented in those books is still the theology of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”]

The Jehovah’s Witness and Christian churches have a number of things in common. However, the JWs view of the Bible, God, Jesus, Heaven and Hell are very different from Christian beliefs. This paper will describe a few of these differences.

[Again, we are presented with the same bigoted, self-serving definition of Christian. It should be reworded thusly: “…are very different from Baptist/Trinitarian beliefs.” (This will be noted hereafter.) Additionally, it will be seen that KKP presents some misperceptions about Jehovah’s Witnesses, possibly due to poor research.]

Beliefs about God and Jesus
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe there is only one God who should always be called Jehovah. The main difference between Christian [Trinitarian] and Jehovah’s Witness beliefs about God however, is that JWs totally reject the idea of the Trinity, one of the foundational beliefs of Christians [Trinitarians]. Christians [Trinitarians] believe that God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons of the same God.

[Thus we see the main “beef” in KKP. Notice how no scriptures are cited in support of Trinitarianism.]

This difference becomes a real problem when looking at Jesus Christ. JWs believe that God’s first creation was the Archangel Michael who became known as Jesus when he took bodily form as the son of Mary. So by JW belief, Jesus was created by God and Jesus and the Archangel Michael are the same. Christian [Trinitarian] belief however, says that Jesus is God and was always together with God and that Michael and Jesus are two separate beings.

[Again, no scriptures are cited in support of Trinitarianism. It could easily be said that Christian belief is that Jesus is a created divine being known as Michael the archangel, and that God is the Father, a person, and not the triangular abstraction that Trinitarianism presents.[1] For in Trinitarianism, Jesus shares the Godhead with two other persons, and is himself an abstraction of two natures (the “Hypostatic Union” doctrine), one divine and one human. What Trinitarianism fails to take seriously is that it places Jesus’ human nature outside of earth’s atmosphere where Jesus said human nature cannot exist (John 8:21, 23; see also Matthew 16:17, 1 Corinthians 15:50, and Psalm 115:16), in harmony with the laws of physics. But KKP does not mention the Hypostatic Union to the reader, possibly due to being woefully ignorant of what Trinitarianism teaches. Or perhaps it is concealing it so as to keep KKP short! Either way, its absence is inexcusable and pathetic, but far from surprising. Additionally, notice the confusing statement: “Jesus is God and was always together with God.” How can someone simultaneously be someone and be with the same someone? This is a fatal contradiction in Trinitarian theology that is absent in the strikingly lucid theology of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Bible.]

Changes were made in the JW Bible to reflect this belief.

[This belief came from the Bible. We merely treated the original Bible languages more respectfully to let its Divine Author speak more clearly. The forward to the NWT reflects this deep respect: “It is a very responsible thing to translate the Holy Scriptures from their original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into modern speech. Translating the Holy Scriptures means rendering into another language the thoughts and sayings of Jehovah God, the heavenly Author of this sacred library of sixty-six books that holy men of long ago were inspired to write down for our benefit today. That is a very sobering thought. The translators of this work, who fear and love the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, feel toward Him a special responsibility to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible. They also feel a responsibility toward the searching readers who depend upon a translation of the inspired Word of the Most High God for their everlasting salvation.” Thus, the translation proceeded with “a sense of solemn responsibility.”]

For example, when looking at John 1:1, the Christian [Trinitarian] Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” While both the Christians [Trinitarians] and JWs would agree that “the Word” in this verse means Jesus Christ, the Bible of the JWs says that “the Word was a god”. By adding ‘a’ in front of the word God and not capitalizing the ‘G’ in the word God, in English this verse now says Jesus is not God but one of many spirit beings and is only God’s worker.

[The ‘a’ was not added. It was translated from the Greek text, and is only an addition to ones who want to preserve the imprecise translation of “was God,” as the Greek text demands no such thing. This can be seen in a 1,700 year-old translation of John 1:1 from Koine Greek into Coptic. The Coptic translators knew Koine Greek as a living language, and they translated John 1:1 in the same manner as the “JW Bible.” Also, according to the Bible Jesus may be called God representationally as His personal ambassador, like the angel in Exodus 23:21 was called Jehovah representationally as His personal ambassador. This reasoning is corroborated in the NET Bible footnote for Exodus 23:21. Lastly, we do not believe that Jesus is “only God’s worker,” rather we apply the description of Proverbs 8:30 to him, as God’s “master worker” or “master craftsman.” This is a significant difference the authors of KKP chose to ignore to make their presentation more sensational.]

Those that study Greek and translate the Bible agree there is no reason to make this change in the Bible. But the JW leadership made the change to reflect the belief of the JW church. Christians [Trinitarians] however, read “the Word was God” which is an accurate translation of the Greek and understand that Jesus is God.

[This is called cherry picking. Other non-JWs who “study Greek and translate the Bible” do not agree with their biased, ignorant, and self-serving appraisal. Jason BeDuhn is one. (Truth in Translation, page 125) Ironically, Trinitarian Robert Bowman is another, although he erroneously thinks the “a god” translation is “pagan” (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John, page 62), when instead it is monolatrism: Biblical monotheism.]

In short, the JWs do not believe that Jesus is God while Christians [Trinitarians] do. For Christians [Trinitarians], seeing Jesus as the Son of God at the same time as acknowledging Jesus as God himself, the second person of the Trinity who came to live among us, is one of our basic beliefs.

[Again, it could easily be said that Christian belief is that Jesus is a created divine being and not God while Trinitarians do. Their appraisal is therefore seen as self-serving and circular: “We are Christian because the Trinity is Christian.”]

Likewise, JWs do not see the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity and as God but just as an “active force” that God uses. So when the JWs do not believe in the Trinity, they do not see Jesus or the Holy Spirit as God which is the opposite of Christian [Trinitarian] belief.

[Same comments above apply: it could easily be said that Christian belief is that Jesus is a created divine being and the holy spirit is God’s active force and not persons of God while Trinitarians do. Their appraisal is therefore seen as self-serving and circular: “We are Christian because the Trinity is Christian.”]

Beliefs About the Bible

[After confirming that they believe the Bible is God’s word, which Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe, they state:]

The Bible also tells us that the Word of the Lord will last forever (1 Peter 1:23-25). Because the Word of God will last forever there is no need to change it. In fact, Deuteronomy 4:2 teaches us that it is wrong to change the Bible.

[What is the point of stating this? Translating the Bible is not the same as changing it. If it was, then no translations could be made!]

The JW Bible on the other hand, is called the “New World Translation” which was done by an unknown group of JW translators. Greek scholars say there are a number of errors in the JW translation but as in John 1:1,

[That is, Greek scholars with a vested interest in preserving Trinitarianism.]

the JW Bible is made to match the theology of Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah’s Witness church.

[However, our anti-Trinitarian theology predates the New World Translation, which means it came from other Bibles. So, our anti-Trinitarian theology matches the theology of other Bibles. This is due to the fact that we are free of Trinitarian bias, bigotry, and circular reasoning. Or, as Jason BeDuhn called it: “the Protestant’s Burden.” (Truth in Translation, pages 163-4) That is, Protestants are under the burden to read doctrines like Trinitarianism into the Bible, even if they are not actually there. On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been “approaching the Bible with a sense of innocence, and building their system of belief and practice from the raw material of the Bible without predetermining what was to be found there.” This “has meant a fresh approach to the text, with far less presumption than that found in many of the Protestant translations.” (Ibid., pages 164-5)]

In spite of these flaws, the JWs say that the “New World Translation” is the only valid interpretation

[Translation. This can be studied using the Kingdom Interlinear Translation which uses the Westcott and Hort Greek text.]

of the Bible and only it can be used.

[This is a made-up claim, and therefore is propaganda for the sole purpose of manipulating the reader: in a word, a lie. Obviously we can use other Bibles, as our doctrinal journals do all the time. Therefore, it is clear that the ones responsible for KKP have failed to properly investigate Jehovah’s Witnesses.]

The JW leadership also says that it is the only body that can properly interpret the Bible. This is in contrast to the Christian idea that the Holy Spirit will provide wisdom and understanding of God’s word to anyone (See Ephesians 1:17-18 and john 14:26 [sic]).

[Notice how those two scriptures do not say what KKP says they say. Instead of referring to “anyone,” they are speaking to Christians. Thus, there is no conflict, for Jehovah’s Witnesses as individuals strive to receive holy spirit and follow Christ. Karen Konnection, on the other hand, supports the God-dishonoring falsehood of Trinitarianism, therefore it and its Baptist Church are disqualified from properly interpreting the Bible and receiving holy spirit. Additionally, we also strive to be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses being rebuked for following that scripture? Are the authors of KKP ignorant of it?]

Beliefs about Heaven and Hell
JW and Christian [Trinitarian] beliefs about heaven and hell are very different as well. JWs believe that Jesus became king in heaven in the year 1914. At that time, Jesus threw Satan and his angels down to earth which is why the earth is so full of evil today.

[Adam and Eve’s sin is why the earth is so full of evil today. Satan’s and the demons’ ouster from heaven to earth has intensified and escalated the evil we see.]

But after the battle of Armageddon, Satan will be in prison and Jesus will establish His kingdom here on earth. He will separate the righteous (defined as the believers in the JW church) from the wicked (everyone else) and the wicked will simply disappear.

[The righteous or sheep Jesus referred to is everyone that survives. This is not only “the JW church” but the body of survivors. Only God can judge non-Jehovah’s Witnesses as wicked and eliminate them.]

In JW belief there is no hell.

[Hell is the common grave of mankind, not a place of eternal torture as the Baptist Church believes.]

Most of the righteous will remain on earth and establish a paradise and will live forever. A “little flock” (Luke 12:32) however, composed of 144,000 people will be chosen to rule with Jesus as kings, judges and priests over the paradise built on earth. Only these 144,000 will go to Heaven and in the resurrection they will rise as gods.

[While they are resurrected to spirit life and thus become supernatural/divine like the angels (Psalm 8:5, Hebrews 2:7), they are “gods” in nature only like the angels and are not worshipped as God. Jehovah’s Witnesses affirm Biblical monotheism which is monolatrism.]

Christians [Trinitarians] on the other hand, believe Heaven is eternal life in paradise with God.

[So do Jehovah’s Witnesses. We believe that going to Heaven means attaining eternal life in paradise with God.]

It is a place of no disease, pain or evil and is where we can be forever in God’s presence.

[Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this too from the Bible.]

Heaven is available for anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

[Jehovah’s Witnesses accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Yet, God’s original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled.]

We cannot earn our salvation, we can only accept this free offer of God made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For the JWs, they must earn their salvation by doing things the church wants them to do. For the Christian however, what we do is important, but it is our faith and God’s grace that saves us.

[Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that we cannot earn our salvation. Thus, KKP’s claim to the opposite is false. We believe that “sinful humans cannot earn everlasting life by their imperfect efforts to do what is right. (Isa. 64:6) Gaining everlasting life is possible only by putting faith in God’s loving provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.” (The Watchtower, 2008 6/15 p. 12 Qualities We Must Pursue)]

Christians [Trinitarians] believe that Hell is for those that do not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Hell is described by Jesus as an eternal fire (Matt. 25:41) and eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46). So if Jesus himself is describing Hell, it seems we should believe it.

[Quote: Note that “the eternal fire” mentioned by Jesus and recorded at Matthew 25:41 was prepared “for the devil and his angels.” Do you think that literal fire can burn spirit creatures? Or was Jesus using the term “fire” symbolically? Certainly “the sheep” and “the goats” mentioned in the same discourse are not literal; they are word pictures that represent two types of people. (Matthew 25:32, 33) The eternal fire that Jesus spoke of completely burns up the wicked in a figurative sense. In what sense do the wicked “go off to eternal punishment”? Although most translations use the word “punishment” at Matthew 25:46, the basic meaning of the Greek word kolasin is “checking the growth of trees,” or pruning, cutting off needless branches. So while the sheeplike ones receive everlasting life, the unrepentant goatlike ones suffer “eternal punishment,” being forever cut off from life. (The Watchtower, 2008 11/1 p. 7 What Did Jesus Teach About Hell?)]

Other Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs
Some other beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness would include that no one is allowed to smoke, chew betel nut or take drugs for pleasure.

[And Trinitarians are? This should be commended as it adheres to Bible principles seen in Matthew 22:39, 1 Corinthians 6:12, and 2 Corinthians 7:1. Notice how KKP appears to place the application of these Bible principles in a demeaning light, or perhaps the ones responsible for KKP are ignorant of these Bible principles.]

Men cannot have long hair or a beard.

[“If a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him.” So says the Apostle Paul at 1 Corinthians 11:14. (NWT, NASB) Are the ones responsible for KKP ignorant of this scripture, or just forgetful? If not, then why is it placed in a demeaning light? This should be commended. Regarding beards, they are actually allowed in different lands as long as they are tidy. They are also allowed everywhere if the man has a skin condition that resists shaving. The bottom line is that we want to present ourselves as neat to the public.]

Blood is sacred so no one should eat blood and no one should have a blood transfusion.

[Jehovah’s Witnesses get this from the Bible. It’s part of living a Christian life.]

Any church other than the Jehovah’s Witness are demonic and JW members should have nothing to do with them.

[As they teach false doctrines of men and demons, it is only natural that we would feel that way. The Baptist Church feels the same about us. Yet, as KKP contrarily acknowledges in its introduction, far from having nothing to do with them, we still knock on their door to converse with them.]

JWs believe that holidays were not celebrated by early Christians and therefore, should not be celebrated today. For this reason, not even Christmas or Easter is celebrated by JWs.

[A little research shows how they only have a veneer of Christianity, and actually have God-dishonoring roots.]

The celebrations of birthdays are also forbidden.

[True, it’s part of living a Christian life based on our careful Bible reading and comprehension.]

JWs see governments as evil organizations

[Simply put, we do not believe that. It is an extreme generalization, and is therefore misleading. While they are not from God and not part of his Kingdom, they also serve as the “superior authorities” discussed in Romans 13:1-7 and are thus valuable for maintaining a structured society. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not rebels but pay taxes.]

so JWs do not vote, join the military or participate in any government activities.

[This is only because we support God’s Kingdom: thus we do not vote and become politically divided, nor do we put ourselves in danger of killing other Jehovah’s Witnesses and innocent people by joining the military, as Baptists do or put themselves in grave danger of doing, bloodying their hands. However, to say we do not “participate in any government activities” is an extreme generalization, and is therefore misleading.]

If someone leaves the Jehovah’s witness church, they are shunned and the other members will have nothing to do with them.

[Quote: Based on the principles of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Greek Scriptures by command and precedent authorize expulsion, or disfellowshipping, from the Christian congregation. By exercising this God-given authority, the congregation keeps itself clean and in good standing before God. The apostle Paul, with the authority vested in him, ordered the expulsion of an incestuous fornicator who had taken his father’s wife. (1Co 5:5, 11, 13) He also exercised disfellowshipping authority against Hymenaeus and Alexander. (1Ti 1:19, 20) Diotrephes, however, was apparently trying to exercise disfellowshipping action wrongly.—3Jo 1:9, 10.

Some of the offenses that could merit disfellowshipping from the Christian congregation are fornication, adultery, homosexuality, greed, extortion, thievery, lying, drunkenness, reviling, spiritism, murder, idolatry, apostasy, and the causing of divisions in the congregation. (1Co 5:9-13; 6:9, 10; Tit 3:10, 11; Re 21:8) Mercifully, one promoting a sect is warned a first and a second time before such disfellowshipping action is taken against him. In the Christian congregation, the principle enunciated in the Law applies, namely, that two or three witnesses must establish evidence against the accused one. (1Ti 5:19) Those who have been convicted of a practice of sin are reproved Scripturally before the “onlookers,” for example, those who testified concerning the sinful conduct, so that they too may all have a healthy fear of such sin.—1Ti 5:20. The Christian congregation is also admonished by Scripture to stop socializing with those who are disorderly and not walking correctly but who are not deemed deserving of complete expulsion. Paul wrote the Thessalonian congregation concerning such: “Stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.”—2Th 3:6, 11, 13-15.

However, regarding any who were Christians but later repudiated the Christian congregation or were expelled from it, the apostle Paul commanded: “Quit mixing in company with” such a one; and the apostle John wrote: “Never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”—1Co 5:11; 2Jo 1:9, 10. Those who have been expelled may be received back into the congregation if they manifest sincere repentance. (2Co 2:5-8) This also is a protection to the congregation, preventing it from being overreached by Satan in swinging from condoning wrongdoing to the other extreme, becoming harsh and unforgiving.—2Co 2:10, 11. (Insight on the Scriptures Vol. 1 p. 788 Expelling).

Additionally, Jehovah’s Witness elders may meet with the disfellowshipped and other Jehovah’s Witnesses may help such ones in a humanitarian way. Thus we can see how unreasonable and, most importantly, how unscriptural KKP is being here. Are the ones responsible for KKP ignorant of these scriptural injunctions?]

They also believe that Jesus died on a wooden stake buried in the ground and not on a cross. So they see the cross as an evil sign.

[While the position taken is that the Greek words involved are best translated as ‘stake,’ we do not believe that it was “buried in the ground” but held up publicly. Claiming that we believe the stake was “buried in the ground” is misleading and confusing.[2] Additionally, we do not see the cross as an “evil sign” but as an erroneous translation of the Greek words involved.[3] We also point out that it should not be used in worship as that is idolatry (1 John 5:21), which would also be reminiscent of pre-Christian pagan worship that used their own crosses. Thus, it is clearly seen that KKP is sacrificing accuracy for sensationalism.]

Jehovah’s Witness members are required to visit homes of non-members to try and convince them to come to a Jehovah’s Witness service and to take some of their literature. So it is quite common to have someone from the JW church knock on our door and ask to visit. They may seem like they are Christians but when their beliefs are examined, it can be seen that JW and Christian [Trinitarian] beliefs are very different. The Jehovah’s Witness church does not believe in the Trinity, they do not believe that Jesus is God.

[Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very different from Trinitarians. We reject Trinitarianism, yet believe in the full deity of Christ: We believe he is now fully supernatural/divine in subordination to his almighty God and Father. (John 20:17; Revelation 3:12) Trinitarians, on the other hand, ironically reject the full deity of Christ, preferring instead to believe that he is fully human outside of earth’s protective atmosphere, as well as fully divine in nature. Simultaneously having two natures in two realms, a divine and human, one transcending the other, is analogous to simultaneously being three-dimensional and two-dimensional. It is a false teaching that contradicts Jesus Christ’s words at John 8:21, 23, as well as absurd and impossible.]

They changed the Bible to make it fit JW beliefs

[This is a misleading statement which is easily reversible: Trinitarians changed the Bible to make it fit with Trinitarian beliefs. We also use a wide variety of Bible translations, including ones Trinitarians cherish.]

and their ideas of heaven and hell are completely different from the Christian [Trinitarian] view.

[KKP frequently repeats this point. As noted above, we believe that people do go to heaven, thus it is obviously not “completely different” from their beliefs at all. Additionally, the Bible does not teach that sinners are forever tortured, and this insight is something that is actually gaining ground within the Trinitarian church, as seen in the “Rethinking Hell” movement that the authors of KKP may be ignorant of. Indeed, the Trinitarian “Rethinking Hell” movement has been criticized for sounding like Jehovah’s Witnesses!]

If one starts attending a JW service, they will be pressured to have nothing to do with Christians [Trinitarians] or anyone who believes differently.

[If this were true, then Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be allowed to knock on doors in their public ministry, the activity that KKP acknowledges both in its introduction and conclusion above, nor would we be able to visit with non-believing family members, which we in fact do.[4] Thus, aside from contradicting its introduction for the second time, it is clearly seen that this claim is a total lie, of which Satan is the father.—John 8:44.]

This paper lists just a few of the JW beliefs that are different from Christian [Trinitarian] beliefs.

If your faith is important to you, then it is important to know what you believe and how it might be different from the beliefs of others you might meet.

[Excellent admonition.]

A Jehovah’s Witness might tell you they are a Christian but I hope it is apparent that their beliefs are very different than Christian [Trinitarian] beliefs.

In Matthew 24:11, Jesus said that “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” Each of us needs to study the Bible, pray, know our beliefs and attend church so we aren’t mislead.

[KKP closes with another excellent admonition. Additionally, it is important for Trinitarians, Baptists, and Karen Konnection to study the Scriptures and carefully consider how Trinitarianism with its contradictory Hypostatic Union doctrine is unscriptural and therefore false and God-dishonoring, along with its doctrine of eternal torture that can only come from God-and-Jesus’ chief adversary, false prophet and slanderer: Satan.

In conclusion, it is obvious that KKP contains poor research and misinformation on Jehovah’s Witnesses, including some lies. It bears repeating that Satan is the father of lies per John 8:44! Jehovah’s Witnesses are emphatically Christian whereas the ones responsible for KKP appear to be shamefully ignorant of, and/or resistant to, Bible teachings and principles, all in stark contrast to the standards the Lord Jesus Christ set for his followers.]

[1] Trinitarianism employs the triangular diagram variously called the Shield of the Trinity and the Scutum Fidei, meaning “Shield of the Faith.” It is an equilateral triangle where each angle is a person of the Trinity. Each side of the triangle is labeled “is not,” yet each angle has a line going to the middle of the triangle that is labeled “God,” with each of these lines being labeled “is.” This diagram is not in the Bible, but is a confusing teaching of men. It turns God into an impersonal abstraction, which by definition cannot exist. Significantly, Jesus said only the Father is God at John 17:1-5. Since Trinitarianism places Jesus and the Holy Spirit on the same level as the Father, it unwittingly calls them false gods and idols and therefore advocates idolatry.

[2] We once quoted Moses Maimonides and another source that stated that due to the curse in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 that the timber the condemned was hung on was buried with him. (The Watchtower. November 1, 1950, 427) However, this was doubtlessly dependent on who managed the execution, and the Romans were not in the practice of burying the execution device with the condemned. (Additionally, neither were the Gibeonites as seen in the account at 2 Samuel 21:6, 9, 10, 13.) However, it was never claimed that the Romans buried Jesus’ torture stake. Thus, this is an instance of KKP combining information in a confused way in order to be sensational—sacrificing accuracy for sensationalism.

[3] Nor are we alone in this regard. For instance, the NET Bible in its footnotes for “cross” (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; John 19:17) notes that: “in all probability this was only the crossbeam, called in Latin the patibulum, since the upright beam [called in Latin the crux or stipes] usually remained in the ground at the place of execution.” Thus two stakes, one carried to the other, that were only joined together at the end to form a ‘T’ or ‘†’. While this is not our current position, it shows that the position that a cross was dragged to Golgotha is unhistorical.

[4] For instance, notice the scriptural counsel expressed here from one of our doctrinal journals on respectful involvement with non-believing family members: Awake!, 2003 11/8 p. 26 “The Bible’s Viewpoint: When Loved Ones Do Not Share Your Faith.”

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