Dialogue with a Jehovahs Witness on the Trinity by Dave Armstrong Part 3

In dealing with "I and my Father are one," it is interesting to note that Christians are said to be "one" in the same way as the Father and Son.

Joh 17:22 And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, as We are One:

Further, Paul states that he and Apollos are one.

1Co 3:8 So he planting and he watering are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Does this mean they are two persons in one being? No. It means they are united. Just as Jesus and his Father are united.

This again proves too much. If all Jesus meant by saying He was "one" with the Father was a sort of spiritual unity or agreement, such as might be attained on a baseball team, knitting club, or volunteer fire department, then He was not claiming much at all, and we would all be one with God. But as we have seen and will continue to see, over and over and over, that Jesus' status is unique. He is described as God repeatedly, and calls Himself God and does nothing to disabuse others of such notions. Every essential attribute of God the Father is applied to Him. This is simply not true of human beings. One has to interpret the Bible as a harmonious whole.

You seem to simply dismiss the point,

I haven't dismissed it; I have set it in its larger biblical context.

but you have no evidence. In fact, this does not "prove too much," but it fits the Biblical view perfectly. We are one in Jesus and God, in the same way that Jesus and God are one. You again import your priori assumptions into the text, overlooking what you just stated. You just demonstrated that many are termed ELOHIYM (God/Gods). Yet, when you apply the term to Jesus, you define it as the Almighty God. There is no basis for this, but again, it is a priori assumption on your part. When you remove these assumptions from John 10:30, and accept Jesus's clear statements in John 17, where Jesus says we are one in the same way they are one, The rational reader have no choice but to accept that it means unity.

I am happy to let the above arguments stand on their own.

13) JOHN 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father {is} in me, and I in him.

And Christians are also spoken of as being "in" the Father and the Son. Please take note:

Joh 17:21 that all may be one, as You are in Me, Father, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

If we are thus in God and in Christ, does that too make us God? By the apparent logic presented, that would be true. However, we know this is not the case at all, and neither does John 10:38 make Jesus God.

The context (as explained at length, above, by Jerome H. Neyrey), makes it abundantly clear that Jesus is claiming much more than this humdrum "unity" you describe. He claims to be the sole repository of salvation (Jn 10:9) and giver of spiritual life (10:10). He is the "good shepherd" who "giveth his life for the sheep" (10:11,14-15), and He sacrifices Himself and has the power (which only God could possess) of raising Himself from the dead (10:17-18; cf. 2:19-21). Jesus gives "eternal life" and no one can prevent Him from doing so and "pluck" the saved away from His "hand" (10:28), thus making Himself equal to God the Father, since they can't be "plucked" out of the Father's "hand" (10:29).

As we have shown, there is no alternative but unity. Jesus was "given" all these things to the son, they are not his by nature (John 3:35). The fact that only God possesses these, but in fact gives these to the son, only goes to show that Jesus is not God by nature (or he would have already had these).

I have already dealt with this factor at length, especially in the treatment of Philippians 2.

Regarding Jesus raising himself from dead, Hebrews 5:7 clearly tells us that the Father is "the one" that was able to save him from, death, not he himself. John 10:17-18 does not mean that Christ raised himself, but simply that he had the authority to live again (nowhere in this passage does it speak of resurrection).

It didn't necessarily have to be mentioned in the context because Jesus had repeatedly referred to His resurrection in speaking to the disciples: Mt 12:40, 16:4, 17:23, 20:19, 26:32, Mk 10:34, 14:28, Lk 9:22, 18:33, 24:7, Jn 16:16,22 (cf. Mt 27:63: the hostile report of the Jews that He had said this). So this was nothing new.

Take careful note:

John 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father."

Now, if we assume that the statement "I have the authority to take it back" as meaning the he would resurrection himself, we have no choice by to take "I have the authority to lay it down" as denoting suicide. Of course we know that Jesus did not kill himself, and so we also know then that Jesus didn't raise himself.

This is ridiculous. It is not "suicide" to willingly die for the sake of the salvation of the human race. Jesus came to die for us (KJV: "I lay down my life", cf. Jn 10:15). He was murdered by the Jews and the Romans. He chose to do that and He had the power (having done it) to resurrect Himself from the dead, because death had no power over Him: Rev 1:17-18). The Bible teaches that all three Persons of the Trinity were involved in the Resurrection of Jesus (itself one of many excellent indications of trinitarianism):

GALATIANS 1:1 . . . God the Father, who raised him from the dead;

1 THESSALONIANS 1:10 . . . his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead . . . .

ROMANS 8:11 . . . the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, . . .

JOHN 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

JOHN 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

In regards to John 2:19, this is not about his resurrection, but about the body of Christ. How can we know this? Because of verse 22, which uses the passive verb HGERQH, which is a passive verb. If John 2:19 spoke of the resurrection, it would be a clear contradiction to verse 22, as verse 22 states that someone else resurrected Jesus, but verse 19 (based on your view) would mean that Jesus raised himself. That is a contradiction, and scripture does not contradict. How can we know this is the body of Christ though?

The Bible teaches that the Father raised Him, that the Holy Spirit raised Him, and that He raised Himself. That is not a contradiction because trinitarianism is true: they are all God (demonstrated by hundreds of biblical proofs). You wish to get into Greek grammar? Very well, then, I will cite A.T. Robertson's opinion of the meaning of John 2:22:

You have already stated the grammar is beyond you. Why continue trying to act as if its not?

The grammar may be beyond me, but it is not beyond Robertson, Vincent, and other scholars.

First aorist passive indicative of egeiro, to raise up . . . Probably Psa. 16:10 is meant (Acts 2:31, 13:35). And the word which Jesus had said (kai toi logoi hon eipen). Dative case logoi also, but hon (relative) is not attracted to the dative. Clearly then John interprets Jesus to have a parabolic reference to his death and resurrection by his language in 2:19.

(WPN, vol. 5, 41)

And Greek scholar Marvin Vincent:

The passage referred to here is probably Ps. 16:10. Compare Acts 2:27,31; 13:35.

(WSN, vol. 2, 86)

PSALM 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:27 directly quotes this passage, and then Acts 2:31 (Peter speaking) interprets it:

ACTS 2:31-32 He [David] seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up . . .

Acts 13:35 (Paul talking this time) also cites it. In context, it is clear that he, too, interprets Psalm 16:10 as referring to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as seen in 13:30,33,34,37, which repeatedly states that the Father (cf. Gal 1:1, 1 Thess 1:10) raised Jesus. Therefore, both Peter and Paul interpret Psalm 16:10 authoritatively (as part of inspired Scripture), as referring to Jesus' resurrection. Robertson and Vine believe that John 2:22 is alluding to Psalms 16:10. Conclusion?: John 2:22 is undoubtedly referring to Jesus' resurrection, not about the Church, as you absurdly argue.

This sanctuary, or temple that is spoken of is made in reference to his body. Scripture often speaks of "the body of Christ."

Colossians 1:24 who now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf and fill up in my flesh the things lacking of the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the assembly,

Ephesians 4:12 with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,

This is obviously speaking of Christians as this body. Christians are referred to as the stones that make this "temple of his body."

1 Peter 2:4 Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected, it is true, by men, but chosen, precious, with God, 5 YOU yourselves also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ 6 For it is contained in Scripture: "Look! I am laying in Zion a stone, chosen, a foundation cornerstone, precious; and no one exercising faith in it will by any means come to disappointment." 7 It is to YOU, therefore, that he is precious, because YOU are believers; but to those not believing, "the identical stone that the builders rejected has become [the] head of [the] corner,"

Now, with this in mind we must remember that Christ is the cornerstone, and without the cornerstone, no structure can stand.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them: "Did YOU never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone that the builders rejected is the one that has become the chief cornerstone. From Jehovah this has come to be, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?

When Christ died, the cornerstone was rejected and removed, and the "temple of his body," the disciples were scattered.

Mark 14:27 And Jesus said to them: "YOU will all be stumbled, because it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered about.'

This is all true and well and good (except for the supposed application to John 2), but unfortunately it has nothing to do with the subject. How "body" is used depends on context, because (you are right) it can mean different things in different places. You can't believe that this passage talks about Jesus' body because you don't believe He was raised bodily (according to JW belief). So you have to reinterpret it in this way that you have. Context, however (as well as grammar, per Robertson and Vincent, and the corresponding cross-exegesis), doesn't allow this:

1. The "three days" of Jn 2:19 could easily be seen to correspond to the "three days" in Jesus' many references to His resurrection (Mt 12:40, 17:23, 20:19, Mk 10:34, Lk 9:22, 18:33, 24:7).

2. John 2:21 states: "But he spake of the temple of his body." Now how does the immediate context view that statement? The very next verse definitively interprets it: "When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them . . . " Obviously, they themselves applied the utterance to the resurrection of Jesus, not to some meaning concerning the Church. One disciple of Jesus (John) interprets the saying as referring to Jesus' "body" (2:21), then proceeds to interpret that the "body" is related to His resurrection (2:22), and that the other disciples believed the same thing (2:22). That settles the matter (unless someone decides beforehand that bodily resurrection is impossible, and forces Scripture to fit into that and to assert something which it does not teach).

3. The cross-reference to Jn 10:17-18 is obvious as well.

When Jesus was raised back to life,

He was raised bodily, not just "back to life" (Lk 24:39-43, Jn 20:27, 21:10,12,15, Acts 10:41 -- mere spirits cannot eat and drink -- Rom 8:11: "he . . . shall also quicken your mortal bodies", 1 Cor 15:12-57, Phil 3:10-11,21, etc.). He was never unconscious or not alive, because death is simply the separation of the soul from the body.

he reunited the disciples and instructed them to move forward and preach (Mat 28:19). Scripture tell us that it was only the Father that could actually resurrect Jesus, but Jesus was able to restore his body, the congregation.

As just demonstrated, this is untrue.

Hebrews 5:7 In the days of his flesh [Christ] offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear.

The same book repeatedly teaches the deity of Jesus in its chapter one, as we have already examined.

Then He claims He is one with God (10:30) which prompted the Jews to try to stone Him. Why? Because they understood His claim of being God and didn't agree with it (10:33). But Jesus never corrects them. He doesn't say, "look guys, you are completely misunderstanding Me. I'm not claiming to be equal to God the Father. I'm only talking about a oneness of purpose and will with God, just like all of you can have." Neither He nor the apostles ever talk like that. Believers can have a oneness of purpose with God insofar as they seek to follow His will and accept His truth. But they are not described the way Jesus is described.

Ahh, but Jesus does correct them! They claim he is QEOS, and he says, "Hey wait, men are called QEOI, so there is nothing wrong with it."

Jesus is called "God" (Theos) in John 20:28 by the disciple Thomas, and He accepts this address. Scripture also calls Him God (Theos) in John 1:1, Acts 20:28 (God the Father has no "blood," only God the Son does, which He shed for us), Rom 9:5, Phil 2:6 (twice), 1 Tim 3:16 (an explicit declaration of the incarnation), Titus 2:13, Heb 1:8, 2 Pet 1:1, and 1 Jn 5:20. That's eleven times.

14) JOHN 12:44-45 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. (45) And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

Does this mean Jesus is God or that he represents God?

Both. He is God, and He is the express image of the invisible Father. See my section on the "invisible/visible" paradox and Jesus as the "image" of the Father, in my paper on the Holy Trinity, for extensive proof of this.

Col 1:15 speaks of Jesus as the "image of God," while Heb 1:3 refers to him as "the image of his person." If one is the image of another, if you see how one acts, you know how the other acts. So when one sees the actions of Jesus, they know too that the Father would do the same, as Christ is his image. And so this does not prove Jesus to be God either, but only "the image of God."

See the above proofs in the link given. Your theology cannot harmoniously explain all the relevant biblical data.

15) JOHN 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am {he}.

Please see the discussion on # 11.

And see my replies there.

16) JOHN 14:7-10 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (8) Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. (9) Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou {then}, Shew us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

First, I would suggest referencing the second portion of the discussion on # 12, and also # 13. As we say, Christians are said to be "in" the Father and the Son. Yet, Christians are not God. Neither does this make the Son God, but it speaks of a unity.

I appeal to my replies above.

17) JOHN 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

Please reference (Matthew 25:40) and in reply the king will say to them, 'Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.' Would this also make them God?

I'll pass on this as it is not compelling in and of itself; only as part of an overwhelming cumulative argument leading to only one conclusion: trinitarianism.

Can you in all honestly pass on the quotation and then logically think the reader can draw the same conclusion as you?

In light of the hundreds of other more compelling evidences I have presented, certainly. I've already discussed lesser and greater proofs, and the different nature and claims for various sorts of proofs or evidences or indications. I need not repeat myself. This paper is very long. I'm sure that by now the reader is jubilant when we quickly deal with any of the disputed passages.

Taken from Science and Skepticism:

* “Argument By Repetition (Argument Ad Nauseam):

if you say something often enough, some people will begin to believe it. “ as if drawing false conclusions and stating it numerous times will convince the reader of the same.

* “Argument By Laziness (Argument By Uninformed Opinion):

the arguer hasn't bothered to learn anything about the topic. He nevertheless has an opinion, and will be insulted if his opinion is not treated with respect.

Thanks for the refresher course in some of the aspects of logic. I pray that you may apply this wisdom and knowledge to your own arguments also.

18) JOHN 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew {it} unto you.

John 3:35 states that the Father has given all things to the Son, so it is only because of this gift that the son has these things. This only disproves Jesus being God, as God as possessed everything from the time when they were created. The Son only had them after they were given to him.

It's a manner of speaking, in the sense of the Son being subject to the Son, while remaining equal. See my section on "Jesus' Subjection (as Messiah) to the Father," in my paper on the deity of Jesus.

19) JOHN 17:10-11 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. (11) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we {are}.

Why are they Christ's? Let us look at the context:

Joh 17:6 I revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your Word. 7 Now they have known that all things, whatever You gave to Me, are from You.

So we note that the Father gave them to the Son, and that all things are from the Father. So yes, John 17:10, 11 are true, but only because they are from God and given to Christ. This in no way makes Christ God, but it only does the opposite by the fact that they were actually given to Christ.

Yet Jesus was eternal and unchanging in His Divine Nature. The Father gives things to the Son in His role as the incarnate Messiah. That doesn't mean He was ever not God. The Bible is clear that He always was:

Are you implying that God was ever lacking something?

No. Jesus remained God; He became man in the incarnation. Thus He never lacked anything at any time in His Divine Nature, but He gave up things in His human nature. At times, we see indications of the two natures. For example:

MATTHEW 26:53-54 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Jesus (in His Divine Nature) could have easily defeated His enemies who were coming to take Him away and kill Him in this passage. But He didn't because His purpose was to die for us so that we could be saved. We see this theme again when Jesus replies to Pontius Pilate:

JOHN 19:11 . . . Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above . . .

And you cannot rightly conclude he’s God on the above stated proofs.

There is plenty of proof for anyone who is willing to see it and accept it and believe, by God's grace, which alone enables fallen human beings to accept spiritual and theological truth.

I would like to ask you: Is Jesus all of GOD?

Not in the sense that God subsists in Three Persons. God is Triune. The view that Jesus is "all of God" is the ancient heresy of modal monarchianism or Sabellianism (revived today in so-called "oneness" or "apostolic" groups and notably in the United Pentecostal Church).

And please clarify what you mean when you use that term God. Is it consistent with the use in the scriptures?

Yes, as explained at excruciating length by now.

Does your use of the word God fit into the understanding and use at both 1 Cor 8:4 and 1 Cor 8:6?

That passage teaches that there are no "gods"; there is only one Lord God (monotheism). That is one reason why we reject this notion you have that Jesus is "a god" -- and call it polytheism. You can call it whatever you like, but from our perspective it is an unbiblical denial of monotheism (as well as of Jesus' true nature, which -- in our opinion -- makes it a blasphemous point of view as well, in addition to being idolatrous by definition).

Or will the definition vary according to your need to fit the verses into your theological framework?

There are different senses of the word (but one overwhelmingly predominant one), as has been dealt with. Everyone ultimately interprets Scripture according to a framework of some sort. This is what systematic theology is, after all. The only question is: which framework is true, self-consistent, and harmonious with all of Scripture? Which best explains all the biblical data which can be brought to bear on any specific subject? I think that can only be trinitarianism, when it comes to the nature and attributes of God.

Thanks for not addressing the question. The one God according to the Bible is THE FATHER (1 Corinthians 8:6) there is actually to us one God the Father. Not the son, or god the son as you would like.

MICAH 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, {though} thou be little among the thousands of Judah, {yet} out of thee shall he come forth unto me {that is} to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth {have been} from of old, from everlasting.

The Hebrew word for "everlasting" here is olam, and it is often used in the most explicit way to
describe God the Father's eternal existence (e.g., Ps 41:13, 90:2, 93:2, 106:48, Is 40:28). If this
word means "eternal and uncreated" when applied to God the Father (YHWH, or "Jehovah"), then it must mean the same thing when it is applied to Jesus.


BDB Definition:

1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
1a) ancient time, long time (of past)
1b) (of future)
1b1) for ever, always
1b2) continuous existence, perpetual
1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity
Part of Speech: noun masculine

Words have a wide semantic range, to say it can only mean one thing shows your missing understanding, or lack of grasp of language.

Granted, the word olam has a range of meaning. My only Hebrew reference source is Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, and it does not comment specifically on Micah 5:2. You have not provided a direct comment in Brown-Driver-Briggs for the passage, either. So our readers are left with an incomplete exposition of olam in this verse (in terms of what the experts on Hebrew think). Failing that, however, we are not left with no recourse in determining if the verse teaches that Jesus is eternal or not. We still have translators, who have looked at olam in this context and who have chosen the best English word to render olam in this verse. The English meanings of the following words are pretty clear:

Eternal Having neither beginning nor end of existence; infinite duration; everlasting; having no end; independent of time or its conditions.

Eternity Infinite duration or existence; an endless or limitless time.

Everlasting Lasting forever; eternal; past or future endless duration.

(Funk and Wagnalls, Standard Dictionary of the English Language, International Edition)

Therefore, if we find Bible translations using these words, we can be reasonably assured that they thought Jesus was an eternal being. Here is what we find:

Translations suggesting eternal existence:

Beck: eternal past
Amplified: from ancient days -- eternity
NASB, Douay, Darby: from the days of eternity
Rotherham Emphasized Bible: from the days of age-past time
KJV, RV, NKJV, ASV, Dartmouth: from everlasting
Knox: from ages untold!
Living Bible: everlasting ages past
Lamsa: from eternity
Modern Language Bible: from days of eternity

Translations suggesting ancient existence:

Moffatt: of long descent
NIV, NAB, Confraternity: from ancient times
NEB: in days gone by
Jerusalem, New Jerusalem: to the days of old
REB: far back in the past, in ancient times
RSV, NRSV, Goodspeed/Smith: from ancient days
TEV, CEV: to ancient times
Young's Literal Translation: From the days of antiquity.

Translators are of a mixed opinion, with 14 on the first list, and 14 on the second. I have, therefore, modified my opinion of the strength of this proof text for the eternal existence of Jesus. I would point out, though, that if the first group of translators are correct, Jesus is eternal; therefore God, and your theology utterly collapses. If, on the other hand, the second are correct, it is still the case that an eternal being can also be spoken of as being "from ancient times" without necessarily ruling out the possibility that He is eternal. That is easily shown by passages which refer to God as "ancient" and suchlike:

JOB 12:12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

DANIEL 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. (cf. 7:13,22)

Sometimes, what seem to be eternal decrees of God (made in His omnipotence and omniscience and Providence and sovereignty) are described as "ancient":

2 KINGS 19:25 Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps. (cf. Is 37:26)

ISAIAH 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

ISAIAH 48:3,5-6 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did {them} suddenly, and they came to pass. . . . (5) I have even from the beginning declared {it} to thee; before it came to pass I shewed {it} thee: . . . (6) Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare {it}? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

You are so off topic, may I remind you what you're trying to show? The [argument] below is typical TANGENT. Let’s avoid the issues on equality, and tangent to make myself look better, its just sad. [sic] Why may I ask, do you continue to try and represent Jehovah’s Witnesses in your arguments when its clear you do not understand our beliefs? And the subject is upon EQUALITY. This is a poor attempt when the subject at hand can't be defended.

But alas, Jehovah's Witnesses even deny that "Jehovah" is omniscient:

. . . Would not limiting God's knowledge of the future undermine his almightiness?,
you might ask. Not at all.

(Watchtower, 15 July 1984, 4-5)

Is his exercise of foreknowledge infinite, without limit? . . . Or, . . . selective and
discretionary, so that whatever he chooses to foresee and foreknow, he does, but
what he does not choose to foresee or foreknow, he does not? . . . The argument that
God's not foreknowing all future events and circumstances in full detail would
evidence imperfection on his part is, in reality, an arbitrary view of perfection.

(Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, "Foreknowledge," 595)

Certainly Jehovah God had not planned matters this way. He now had to adapt himself to the new set of circumstances.

(God's "Eternal Purpose" Now Triumphing For Man's Good, 1974, 97)

Further, it should be noted that “goings forth” is translated from the Hebrew word mowtsa'ah, which BDB literally defines as “origin.” Does God have an origin? No, he is truly eternal, but this one has a point of origin, which only created things possess.

As for the meaning and usage of mowtsa'ah, I refer the reader to a lengthy treatment on a web page called "Trinity Proof Texts: Micah 5:2-3" (http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-micah5-2.htm).

Lets continue reading Micah and see what it shows about the messiah. In (Micah 5:4) “And he will certainly stand and do shepherding in the strength of Jehovah, in the superiority of the name of Jehovah his God. And they will certainly keep dwelling, for now he will be great as far as the ends of the earth.” Now notice how this messiah has one that’s God over him? He cannot be God if he has one that’s God to him.

This is the same old miscomprehension of the relationship of the Father to the Son. To be subject to another does not imply being less than equal.

COLOSSIANS 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

This is obviously with exception to the Son himself, as the Son lives because of the Father.

John 6:57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me.

And elsewhere the Bible says that He has life in Himself. One must harmonize all these Scriptures, as we agree that the Bible does not contradict itself.

But it says all, and it does not list an exception. Does that really mean there is no exception though? No. This can be demonstrated quite easily in scripture. Consider the following example:
Heb 2:8 You put all things under his control." For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control. So by this verse, “all things” are under the control of Christ, and there is “nothing” that isn’t under his control. Yet is there exception? Yes.

1Co 15:27 For "He subjected all things under His feet;" but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is plain that it excepts Him who has subjected all things to Him.

Yes, thus the Father is an exception to the “all things.” So, in Col 1:15 where the Son is included in the group of creation (PASHS KTISEWS is grammatically a Partitive Genitive, and thus the one called firstborn is included in the realm of creation), he is shown to be the exception.

This has all been pretty much replied to in other contexts.

HEBREWS 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

This scripture is often used out of context, as it is here. Consider the context:

Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you, considering the issue of their conduct, imitate their faith: 8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by various and strange doctrine; for it is good that the heart be confirmed by grace, not by food, in which those walking in them were not profited.

The context is about the word of God that they had received, they are told to remember it and not be carried away by false doctrine. Why? Because the doctrine that Christ provided is always the same. This is not about the person of Christ, but about his spoken word, doctrine.

I think you are special pleading. A.T. Robertson doesn't agree with you at all:

"Forever" (eis tous aionas) is eternity as well as the Greek can say it. Jesus Christ is eternally "the same" (1:12) and the revelation of God in him (1:1 f.) is final and never to be superseded or supplemented (Moffatt). Hence the peril of apostasy from the only hope of man.

(WPN, vol. 5, 447)

20) Use of "Father" + Arche ("beginning")

Jesus constantly referred to God as "My Father" and claimed to have a unique relationship with Him. In Mark 14:36 He called God Abba, Aramaic for "daddy," an absolutely unprecedented address of God {cf. Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6}. And He says "My Father and Your Father" (Jn 20:17), not "our Father." The Jews understood full well what Jesus was implying by repeatedly speaking of His singular relationship with God the Father, but thought this was blasphemy, since they didn't believe that He Himself was God the Son {cf. Jn 5:18, 10:33 above}.

Jesus had a special relationship with the Father, as the only begotten (John 1:18). He was the only directly born of the Father, where Christians are called sons by adoption (Rom 8:15). This does not make him "God the Son," it simply means that he is Son by birth, not by adoption. All are sons, but in a different sense.

As we proceed, we shall see (if we haven't already, by many proofs -- I maintain that we have already seenmore than enough demonstration), that Jesus was not created at all (which view is blasphemy and a damnable lie), but the eternal God.

We agree God is eternal, but verses like Rev. 1:1; 3:14, RS: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him . . . ‘And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

“The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.”’” (KJ, Dy, CC, and NW, as well as others, read similarly.)

the beginning [Greek, ar·khe'] of God’s creation

Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon lists “beginning” as its first meaning of ar·khe'. (Oxford, 1968, p. 252) The logical conclusion is that the one being quoted at Revelation 3:14 is a creation, the first of God’s creations, that he had a beginning.

No, because you yourself have vigorously stated that words have varied meanings. In section 19 (just before this one), you wrote concerning the Hebrew olam: "Words have a wide semantic range, to say it can only mean one thing shows your missing understanding, or lack of grasp of language." So to cite one of Liddell and Scott’s meanings and apply an English word in a woodenly literal way, without considering how linguists view arche as particularly used in Rev 3:14, is not acceptable at all. Furthermore, you have grossly neglected context.

BDAG (Bauer Danker Arndt Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature) cites ARCH here as most likely meaning “first-created” from a linguistic standpoint (BDAG, p. 138)

Also, Proverbs 8:22, where, as many Bible commentators agree, the Son is referred to as wisdom personified (1 Cor 1:24). According to RS, NE, and JB, the one there speaking is said to be “created.” Its very similar to saying I am the youngest employee at my job, so out of the people employed at my job I would be the youngest of age. So out of the things God created he was the beginning, in no way is he excluded from the things God created.

Proverbs chapter 8, about "wisdom," is thought by some to be a reference to Jesus, based on 1 Corinthians 1:24: ". . . Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." You cite Proverbs 8:22:

The LORD possessed (RSV: created) me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

The only problem is that if Jesus was not eternal, then neither would God's power and wisdom be eternal. Proverbs 8 is an example of the poetic devise of personification of an abstract, non-personal concept (common in Hebrew poetry). This is easily shown by the common reference in many translations to wisdom as "she" in 8:1-3 (the NWT has "it"). In Proverbs 9:1-4 and 1:20-2:11 "it" is used in the same way. I assume that you do not deny the maleness of Jesus, so this "proof" is demolished. The Watchtower actually agrees with this notion of personification in Proverbs 1:20-33 and elsewhere:

. . . it is not unusual in the Scriptures for something that is not actually a person to be personalized or personified. Wisdom is personified in the book of Proverbs (1:20-33; 8:1-36); and the feminine pronominal forms are used of it in the original Hebrew, as also in many English translations . . . Wisdom is also personified at Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:35.

(Insight on the Scriptures, 1988, vol. 2, 1019)

But back to our topic of Revelation 3:14 and its supposed (blasphemous) proof that Jesus was created:

REVELATION 3:14 . . . the beginning of the creation of God;

(NWT: ". . . creation by God")

If we trace the Greek word for beginning, arche (Strong's word #746), we find that in Revelation 1:8 and 21:6 God the Father ("Jehovah") calls Himself the "beginning [arche] and the end." So if Jesus is a created being because of arche, Jehovah must be, too, since the description (arche) is applied to both, in the exact same fashion (they both also call themselves the similar titles, Alpha and Omega and first and last -- see also Is 44:6, Rev 1:17-18, 2:8). All three descriptions are obviously (typically Hebraic) synonyms meaning eternal. They are all applied to both the Father and the Son:

You again are misapplying a partitive Genitive. Of REV 3:14 And you show your lack of understanding the more you continue to enter into grammar discussions, by trying to draw parallels in unlike conditions. If I am the beginning of something I am included within the whole of that thing. If I am the Beginning of the house of Juda, I am also a member of the house of Juda; it is that simple. The idea again that you can just transplant words as you see fit, will cause you to reject your own Bible as a mistranslation. Your below examples really show you have no clue what you're talking about, yet you continue to dove on and on as if you’re an authority on the grammar.

REVELATION 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning [arche] and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (God the Father)

REVELATION 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning [arche] and the end . . . (God the Father)

REVELATION 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning [arche] and the end, the first and the last. (identified as Jesus in 22:16)

The Greek scholars are unanimous in their interpretation of arche and this verse.

THEN WHY DOES YOUR BIBLE ( KJV WHICH YOU STATED YOU ACCEPT ) READ BEGINNING NOT ORIGIN?. Your dogmatic rhetoric with words like unanimous show you to be either a fool or a liar, and [at] this point the reader can decide.

Abbot Smith's Manual Greek Lexicon (p. 62) defines the word as, "uncreated principle, the active cause of creation, Rev. 3:14." Joseph Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon of the NT (p. 77) gives as its meaning, "origin, active cause," as does Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words (under, "Beginning"), Liddell and Scott (p. 121), and Bauer, Arndt, & Gingrich (pp. 111-112). A.T. Robertson states:

Not the first of creatures as the Arians held . . . but the originating source of creation.

(Word Pictures in the NT, Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1932, vol. 6 of 6, 321)

We even get our word, architect from arche, which makes its meaning clear. At least 20 English translations use an unambiguous terminology which brings out the specific meaning of Rev 3:14:

Williams, Beck, Goodspeed, Moffatt, NRSV: origin of God's creation
Knox: the source from which God's creation began
NAB, REB, CEV: the source of God's creation
Wuest: the originating source of the creation of God
Living Bible: the primeval source of God's creation
Jerusalem: the ultimate source of God's creation
NEB: the prime source of all God's creation
Barclay: the moving cause of God's creation
Amplified: the Origin and Beginning and Author of God's creation
TEV: The origin of all that God has created
NIV: the ruler of God's creation
Weymouth: the Beginning and Lord of God's creation
Jay Green Interlinear: the Head of the creation of God
Basic English: the head of God's new order
MLB (in notes): he was the source of creation

Jesus, here as in other passages, is revealed as Creator in Scripture, not as a creature. See, e.g.:

JOHN 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

JOHN 1:10 . . . the world was made by him, . . .

(we've already seen Col 1:16 and Heb 1:10)

Kittel writes about the use of arche as applied to Jesus (and translated as "beginning") elsewhere:

1 John has the phrases "that which was from the beginning" (1:1) and "he who was from the beginning" (2:13-14) for the Logos who has become perceptible to the disciples but is eternally preexistent, since it is God himself who here gives himself to us.

"In the beginning" in Jn. 1:1 says this specifically of the Logos; the Logos is before all time, so that no temporal statements can be made about him. Eternal preexistence is plainly implied.

(TDNT, one-volume edition, 81)

Therefore, we can only conclude that your abominable exegesis of arche has been shown to be absolutely false and untrue to Scripture, once all the relevant data has been considered.

21) Divine "I"

Jesus teaches in His own authority ("I say to you") in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:18,20,22,26,28,32,34, etc.), and many other passages. The prophets, in contrast, spoke as God's messengers in the second person ("The Lord says . . ."). He often talks in a way in which only God could speak. For instance, when He addresses the seven churches in the book of Revelation, He is clearly speaking to them as God (Rev 1:17-3:22). Perhaps the most striking example of this "Divine `I'" occurs in Matthew 23:34-39

MATTHEW 23:34-39 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and {some} of them ye shall kill and crucify; and {some} of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute {them} from city to city: (35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, {thou} that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under {her} wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (39) For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed {is} he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

JEREMIAH 22:5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.

Another instance of Jesus' assumed divine prerogative is recorded in Matthew 7:21-22:

MATTHEW 7:21-22 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Actually, everything that Jesus spoke came from his Father. Take note:

Joh 17:8 For the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they received and truly knew that I came out from beside You, and they believed that You sent Me.

Further, Jesus speaks of how he speak as the Father has commanded him, and as he has learned from the Father.

Joh 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he; and from Myself I do nothing; but as My Father taught Me, these things I speak.

Joh 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son is not able to do anything from Himself, except what He may see the Father doing; for whatever that One does, these things also the Son does likewise.

Sure: Jesus does His Father's will, because they always agree. No argument there. But that doesn't somehow refute the fact that He is God.

This so-called divine "I" is no different than what Paul did.

1Co 5:9 I wrote to you in the letter not to associate with fornicators; 10 and not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or with plunderers, or with idolaters, since then you must go out of the world. 11 But now I wrote to you not to associate intimately; if anyone is called a brother and is either a fornicator, or a covetous one, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a plunderer, with such a one not to eat.

Paul does not say "God has said," but here he states "I." So really, there is no significance in the use of EGW in the text.

This is no analogy whatsoever. You miss the point entirely. Paul is simply giving moral teaching. The argument doesn't rest on the mere use of the word "I", but on use of it precisely as God speaks in the first person (i.e., the "Divine 'I'"). Paul doesn't speak in the first person, as God, with supreme divine authority. He doesn't say that he himself "sent the prophets" to Israel, as only God can do.

It fits perfectly, as Paul here is providing commands in the first person, so it is exactly the same.

No it's not. Paul doesn't say that he "sent the prophets" or other things that only God can do. He doesn't speak in the first person as God (and only God) would. But Jesus does this.

Another example is 1 Cor 11:1, where Paul lays out a direct command to imitate him.

That's beside the point as well. He is not speaking as God, but as an apostle.

But really, the point is that you can’t just pick and chose “So-Called” Rules as you see fit. We have already discussed how in Exodus chapter 3 there is an Angel in the bush, But when it speaks its in the First Person, Can one rightly conclude the angel is Jehovah? No, but the reader can conclude the use of the first person or “I” in the use of Agency.

When one sees in Scripture every single attribute of God attributed to Jesus: by others, and by His descriptions of Himself, then a pattern emerges and it occurs to one that the Bible may indeed be intending to teach that Jesus is God.

JEREMIAH 7:23-25 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets,

2 CHRONICLES 24:18-19 And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. 19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

JEREMIAH 25:4: And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets ...

JEREMIAH 26:2, 5 Thus saith the LORD: . . . hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, . . .

JEREMIAH 29:19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, whichI sent unto them by my servants the prophets, . . .

(cf. Jer 35:15, 44:4)

ZECHARIAH 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

MARK 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

(citation of Malachi 3:1, where God is speaking through the prophet Malachi. The NT applies the prophecy to John the Baptist, who is called a "prophet" by Jesus in Lk 7:28)

Jesus speaks as God would speak. Paul doesn't speak of himself as "gathering" Israel together, as a hen gathers its chicks. Only God does that, too:

PSALM 50:5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

PSALM 102:22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

PSALM 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

PSALM 107:2-3 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

PSALM 147:2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

ISAIAH 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

ISAIAH 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will Igather thee.

ISAIAH 56:8 The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel . . .

JEREMIAH 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds.

JEREMIAH 29:14 I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; . . .

(cf. Jer 31:8,10, 32:37, Ezek 11:17, 20:41, 28:25, 34:13, 36:34, 37:21, 39:27-28, Micah 2:12, 4:6)

But Jesus speaks this way. Likewise, the metaphor of "wings" is applied to God:

EXODUS 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

DEUTERONOMY 32:8-12 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
9 For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
12 So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

RUTH 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

PSALM 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

PSALM 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

PSALM 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

(Cf. Ps 61:4, 63:7, 91:4)

LUKE 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Thus, Jesus is once again (as always) talking exactly like God: how God alone speaks. Paul does no such thing. He does this because (it is obvious) He is God.

All of the above is:

Fallacy Of The General Rule:

Assuming that something true in general is true in every possible case. For example, "All chairs have four legs." Except that rocking chairs don't have any legs, and what is a one-legged "shooting stick" if it isn't a chair?

I've expained the reasoning very carefully, and this is a twisting of what I have argued. I don't think you have even understood it. But I'm sure that many readers will. And I write to convince and persuade them; I don't expect to persuade you (although you can always pleasantly surprise me).

While I am glad to see Dave Armstrong owns a concordance, this so-called rule is nonsense. To think a reader should conclude equality with the use of wings or gather is almost demeaning to the reader. You would think by this point the deductive reasoning conclusions should hold no weight, and are more of looking through scripture trying to justify your own conclusions VS. Drawing your understanding from the provided text. Another critical error would be one in confusing the use of the divine name in the Old Testament texts with lord or kyrios of the Greek New Testament. If you are somehow trying to conclude Jesus is Jehovah, or Yahweh of the Old Testament you are violating your own doctrine. Holding to the assertion Jesus is Jehovah your own church would consider you a heretic. Please review your texts or clarify your self, Jesus isn’t considered the Father by your own camp, and this is where you really begin to tread the definition of Trinitarians.

I see. I have a sense that reply is pretty much futile by this point. I've covered most of this sort of reasoning, and this paper is long. So I desist.

In conclusion and regarding the two scriptures quoted in Question 4 [see above] . . . Let us take a close look at the wording and texts and what's said and how it's understood, and whose mind is clear from the above discussion. Can one possibly read words like TEMPT, RECIEVE, KNOWETH, LIFE, FROM, SENT, I AM, TAUGHT, HATE, ETC and in their mind perceive the words EQUALITY or EQUAL. If the Father Jehovah and Jesus are equal then so should the terms be all throughout the bible, and talking to a Trinitarian they aren't.

Indeed they are, as I have shown and will continue to demonstrate.

I personally have a problem with teachings that are not explicitly found within the accepted canon of the Christian scriptures.

Then you have a ton of explaining to do. I look forward to your replies, and I will continue to answer all of them.

and I think the verse in John 14:28 sums up the matter in a plain black and white fashion. Answering any possible challenge if the Father is equal to the Son, with Jesus' own words (John 14:28) YOU heard that I said to YOU, I am going away and I am coming [back] to YOU. If YOU loved me, YOU would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.."

I dealt with this in my treatment of Jesus' subjection to the Father.

Thank you. I am looking forward to your further questions and comments.

You're welcome, and likewise.


Final thoughts regarding this issue:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Armstrong for engaging me in this discussion, And at the very least to present the reader with something not 100% skewed, or one sided as most articles found on the internet are. I am sure Dave and I can go on and on regarding these issues, but this is presented as only as a starting point, and I feel at many times for simplicity sake and wanting to present something the average reader can understand much of the above depth had been left out as to not overwhelm the reader. All issues discussed are far from exhaustive. My goal here is that the reader will approach the scriptures with the proper heart condition and draw their own conclusions from the text presented there.

One more final point I would like to mention is an excerpt from 100 Scriptural Arguments for the Unitarian Faith:

“There are in the New Testament 17 passages wherein the Father is
styled ONE or ONLY God, while there is not a single passage in which
the Son is so styled.

There are 320 passages in which the Father is absolutely, and by way
of eminence, called God; while there is not one in which the Son is
thus called.

There are 105 passages in which the Father is denominated God, with
peculiarly high titles and epithets; whereas the Son is not once

This is simply untrue. Here are a dozen passages where Jesus is directly called God:

1) JOHN 1:1-4,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

2) JOHN 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

3) ACTS 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

4) ROMANS 9:5 Whose {are} the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ {came}, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

(RSV, NIV: "Christ, who is God over all")

5) PHILIPPIANS 2:5-6 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

6) COLOSSIANS 1:15-19 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all {things} he might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased {the Father} that in him should all fulness dwell.

7) COLOSSIANS 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

8) 1 TIMOTHY 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

9) TITUS 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

(RSV, NIV: "our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ")

10) HEBREWS 1:8 But unto the Son {he saith}, Thy throne, O God, {is} for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness {is} the sceptre of thy kingdom.

(God the Father calls the Son God -- a citation of Ps 45:6-7)

11) 2 PETER 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

(RSV, NIV: "our God and Saviour Jesus Christ")

12) 1 JOHN 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, {even} in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

(NIV: "He is the true God")

There are 90 passages wherein it is declared that all prayers and
praises ought to be offered to Him, and that everything ought to be
ultimately directed to his honor and glory; while of the Son no such
declaration is ever made.

This is blatantly false as well (apparently Unitarians have never heard of a Concordance):

1) HEBREWS 1:3 Who being the brightness of {his} glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

2) JOHN 5:23 That all {men} should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

3) REVELATION 5:12-14 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, honour, and glory, and blessing. (13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, andhonour, and glory, and power, {be} unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four {and} twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

4) JOHN 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glorywhich I had with thee before the world was.

5) PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him aname which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee shouldbow, of {things} in heaven, and {things} in earth, and {things} under the earth; (11) And {that} every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ {is} Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

6) HEBREWS 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

7) LUKE 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his

8) JOHN 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that theFather may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do {it}.

9) JOHN 16:23-24,26 . . . Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give {it} you. (24) Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full . . . (26) At that day ye shall ask in my name: . . .

10) ACTS 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon {God}, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (cf. Lk 23:46, Ecc 12:7)

11) 1 CORINTHIANS 1:2 . . . with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, . . . (cf. Joel 2:32 -- quoted in Acts 2:21, Rom 10:12-14, using the same word for "call," epikaleo, as that in 1 Cor 1:2 --, Jer 33:3, 2 Tim 2:22)

12) EPHESIANS 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

13) COLOSSIANS 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

14) HEBREWS 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to Godcontinually, that is, the fruit of {our} lips giving thanks to his name. (see 13:12)

15) REVELATION 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four {and} twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

(cf. Mt 25:31, Lk 2:32, Jn 1:14, 16:14, 17:1, 1 Cor 2:8)

See also the comparison of terms used in worshiping both God the Father and Jesus, in Revelation -- fromsection 6.

There are 1300 passages in the NT wherein the word God is
mentioned, not one necessarily implies the existence of more than
one person in the Godhead, or that this one is any other than the

These guys wrote the book on grossly-exaggerated overstatement! See Jn 1:1-4,14, Phil 2:5-6, Col 1:15-19 w/ 2:9-10, and 1 Jn 5:20 above.

There are 300 passages wherein the Son is declared, positively, or
by clearest implication, to be subordinate to the Father, deriving
his being from Him, receiving from Him his divine power, and acting
in all things wholly according to His will.”

Dealt with repeatedly . . . The clearest refutation is found in Philippians 2:5-8. The Son-as-Suffering-Messiah is subjuect to the Father, but He is not therefore lesser than or inferior to the Father, as many passages above show.

"Argument By Selective Observation:

Also called cherry picking, the enumeration of favorable
circumstances, or as the philosopher Francis Bacon described it,
counting the hits and forgetting the misses. (Now,
there's something with hits and misses.) A parallel example of this would be a modern day casino. Casinos encourage this human tendency. There are bells and whistles to announce slot machine jackpots, but losing happens silently. This
makes it much easier to think that the odds of winning are good."

How about "Argument by citing fallacies but fallaciously and wrongheadedly applying them to legitimate arguments that are scarcely comprehended in the first place . . . "

Concluding scriptures are to meditate upon regarding this issue of equality, taken from Reasoning from the Scriptures. Consider their meaning and understanding and see how much work it takes to fit them into your theological framework:

" Matt. 26:39, RS: “Going a little farther he [Jesus Christ] fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’” (If the Father and the Son were not distinct individuals, such a prayer would have been meaningless. Jesus would have been praying to himself, and his will would of necessity have been the Father’s will.)

John 8:17, 18, RS: “[Jesus answered the Jewish Pharisees:] In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true; I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.” (So, Jesus definitely spoke of himself as being an individual separate and distinct from the Father.)

They are distinct Persons indeed. The Godhead consiste of three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Sabellians are the ones who have a problem with the Son praying to the Father, not trinitarians.

Prophetically, with reference to the Messiah, Micah 5:2 (KJ) says his “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Dy reads: “his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity.” Does that make him the same as God? It is noteworthy that, instead of saying “days of eternity,” RS renders the Hebrew as “ancient days”; JB, “days of old”; NW, “days of time indefinite.” Viewed in the light of Revelation 3:14, discussed above, Micah 5:2 does not prove that Jesus was without a beginning.

I've dealt with Micah 5:2, and also Revelation 3:14, which is a strong proof for the eternality and deity of Jesus.

Mark 13:32, RS: “Of that day or that hour no ones knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Of course, that would not be the case if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were coequal, comprising one Godhead. And if, as some suggest, the Son was limited by his human nature from knowing, the question remains, Why did the Holy Spirit not know?)

The suggestion that the Holy Spirit did not know something would contradict Scripture elsewhere, where it is taught that the Holy Spirit knows all the thoughts of God; so therefore (by definition and logical necessity), is omniscient (a trait possessed only by God):

1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-11 . . . for the Spirit searcheth all things, ye, the deep things of God . . . the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (cf. Jer 17:10, Rev 2:23)

Compare NSV:

. . . no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Since Scripture does not contradict itself, an interpretation must exist which harmonizes all of Scripture. We interpret the less clear passages by the clearer and plainer ones. Moreover, in many places the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is God. See my paper: The Holy Trinity: Biblical Proofs for dozens of examples.

Matt. 20:20-23, RS: “The mother of the sons of Zebedee . . . said to him [Jesus], ‘Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ But Jesus answered, . . . ‘You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’” (How strange, if, as claimed, Jesus is God! Was Jesus here merely answering according to his “human nature”? If, as Trinitarians say, Jesus was truly “God-man”—both God and man, not one or the other—would it truly be consistent to resort to such an explanation? Does not Matthew 20:23 rather show that the Son is not equal to the Father, that the Father has reserved some prerogatives for himself?)

The Father and the Son have different roles in some respects, but it doesn't follow that this implies any inequality.

Matt. 12:31, 32, RS: “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (If the Holy Spirit were a person and were God, this text would flatly contradict the Trinity doctrine, because it would mean that in some way the Holy Spirit was greater than the Son. Instead, what Jesus said shows that the Father, to whom the “Spirit” belonged, is greater than Jesus, the Son of man.)

If the argument is against trinitarianism, then it is strange to use this passage, which proves the deity of the Holy Spirit, since only God can be blasphemed. An "active force" (as JW's define and denigrate the Holy Spirit), certainly cannot be.

John 14:28, RS: “[Jesus said:] If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.”

1 Cor. 11:3, RS: “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” (Clearly, then, Christ is not God, and God is of superior rank to Christ. It should be noted that this was written about 55 C.E., some 22 years after Jesus returned to heaven. So the truth here stated applies to the relationship between God and Christ in heaven.)

Jesus' subjection to the Father is seen in such verses as John 14:28: ". . . for my Father is greater
than I," 1 Corinthians 11:3: ". . .the head of Christ {is} God," and 1 Corinthians 15:28: "And when
all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put
all things under him, that God may be all in all."

John 14:28 is to be understood in light of passages such as Philippians 2:6-8, which show us that
Christ in John 14:28 was speaking strictly in terms of his office as Messiah, which entailed a
giving up, not of the Divine Nature, but of certain prerogatives of glory and Deity which are
enjoyed by the Father. Christ subjected Himself to the Father in order to undertake His role as
the Incarnate Son and Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). Similarly, one might say that
"the President of the United States is a greater man than I am," but this would not mean he was
necessarily a better man. In any event, he is still a man like us. Since Jesus is still God, even while
"humbling" Himself (Phil 2:8), Scripture also indicates that the Father is, in a sense, "subject" to
the Son:

JOHN 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew {it} unto you.

JOHN 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give {it} you.

When the Father is called the "head" of the Son (1 Cor 11:3), this also does not entail any
lessening of the equality between the Son and the Father. The Bible also talks about wives being
subject to their husbands (1 Pet 3:1,5), even while the two are equals (Gal 3:28, Eph 5:21-22), and
indeed, "one flesh" (Mt 19:5-6). Likewise, one Person of the Godhead can be in subjection to
another Person and remain God in essence and substance (Phil 2:6-8). Luke 2:51 says that Jesus
was "subject" to Mary and Joseph. Yet no orthodox Christian of any stripe would hold that Jesus
was lesser in essence than His earthly parents! The same Greek word for "subject" in Luke 2:51
(hupotasso) is used in 1 Cor 15:28, and in 1 Pet 2:18 below. Besides, submissiveness and
servanthood is not presented as a sign of weakness in Scripture. Quite the contrary:

1 PETER 2:18 Servants, {be} subject to {your} masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

MATTHEW 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

The word for "greatest" here is meizon, the same word used in John 14:28. Thus, any notion that
submissiveness is a lessening of equality is absolutely unscriptural.

Likewise, in 1 Cor 15:28, the subjection spoken of is that of the Son as incarnate, not the Son as
Son in essence. While this verse tells us that God will be "all in all," Colossians 3:11 tells us that ".
. . Christ {is} all, and in all." Thus, Jesus' office as Messiah and Mediator will cease in time, but
not His Godhood, since Scripture teaches that He will be "all in all" just as His Father is.

The Hebrew word Shad·dai' and the Greek word Pan·to·kra'tor are both translated “Almighty.” Both original-language words are repeatedly applied to Jehovah, the Father. (Ex. 6:3; Rev. 19:6) Neither expression is ever applied to either the Son or the Holy Spirit.

That may be, yet the Son is often described (and described Himself) as being omnipotent. See the section on omnipotence in my paper, Jesus is God.

Thank you again. John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (KJV)

One last final thought which I would like to mention would be the fact that people hold tightly to their religious convictions. Some have inherited them from previous generations, yet others just go with the flow without questioning the why, be it emotional reasons or otherwise, but we need to seek out TRUTH and biblical understanding, never allowing our senses of reason to dull. Acts 17:11 (kjv) reads" These were the more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." If we can truly reason from the scriptures there should be no reason why two intelligent people can't sit down and look at a specific matter and draw a conclusion. This is something we wanted the reader to be able to do on his own.

At times the dialogue may seem heated and rightly so (the subject material is something we both hold dear), but one thing I hope Dave and I can agree upon is that the reader should open his Bible and see if these things are so, and avoid the danger stated in Matthew 15:9 "And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

Thank you also for the vigorous argument and the generally congenial tone. I would like to end with a brief presentation of the Christian gospel of salvation. We are saved and attain eternal life by the blood of Jesus, shed on our behalf when He died on the cross and took our sins upon Himself. And we have the promise that all three Persons of the Trinity: God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit, will come and dwell within us and help us to be Jesus' disciples and to live holy lives, devoted to God, and in service to others, with great peace and joy, if we are regenerated and have thus entered into communion with the Triune God.

Catholics believe that baptism, the Eucharist, and other sacraments play very important roles in the Christian life and aid in ultimate attainment of salvation (which is always by Grace Alone, in the final analysis), and that God left us an authoritative Church, which preserved His apostolic doctrine. Concerning the doctrine of Jesus, all three branches of Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy) completely agree. I pray that readers who do not yet believe that Jesus is God, will be able to accept and grasp that glorious truth after reading all of this biblical evidence which cries out to Jesus, like the disciple Thomas, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28).