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#1 of 93 Old 11-23-2008, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Was having a discussion with DH the other day and he thought that JWs aren't Christian. I'm pretty sure it's a Christian religion and told him so. He said that they don't believe in the birth, death and resurrection so that means they're not Christian. I told him I thought they did and that he was wrong. Asked my ex who was brought up JW and he thought so, too, but couldn't quite remember if there was something different there to their intreptation of the Jesus/Jehovah story.

So who's right?
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#2 of 93 Old 11-23-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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In a nutshell: Yes, JWs are christian. they do believe in the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. The sticking point is in who they believe Christ was.... They do not believe in the trinity or in the equality of Jesus with God. They define him as Jehovah's firstborn, original, creation. The son of God.
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#3 of 93 Old 11-23-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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You could undoubtedly find people who will insist JWs are not Christian, just as you will find many who insist LDS people are not Christian. As far as I'm concerned if someone believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the savior of the world they're Christian. Actually, if someone merely says they're Christian I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I just want to say that I'm glad you asked the question. Hopefully a JW will speak up and provide an answer because, ultimately, I think people who actually are members of a belief community should be the ones who get to affirm what they do in fact believe.

This is an idea that is close to my heart (being LDS) because we get no end of people telling us what we believe and that we're not Christian (because we do not believe the Nicean Creed (spl?)). There is no end to the frustration of having someone tell you (incorrectly) what you believe to be true, or having someone proclaim you as not Christian because they interpret something differently than you do (i.e. the nature of the Godhead).

ETA: Every JW I have met (which has only been missionaries) has shared their belief in Christ. So yeah, definitely seem Christian to me!
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#4 of 93 Old 11-24-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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That's about right-- JW's would normally call themselves Christian, and most non-Christians would agree, but they are not Nicene Creed Christians. Historically speaking they are a branch of the lovely transcendentalist-ish soup that existed in the early 19th century and ultimately gave rise to LDS, anthroposophy, modern theosophy (and its associated descendents), 7th-day Adventism, and Unitarian Universalism. (Some of the above, of course, had earlier roots as well.)
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#5 of 93 Old 11-24-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Frunchy Mama View Post
Was having a discussion with DH the other day and he thought that JWs aren't Christian. I'm pretty sure it's a Christian religion and told him so. He said that they don't believe in the birth, death and resurrection so that means they're not Christian. I told him I thought they did and that he was wrong. Asked my ex who was brought up JW and he thought so, too, but couldn't quite remember if there was something different there to their intreptation of the Jesus/Jehovah story.

So who's right?
Yes, we believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the son of God. We believe in his immaculate conception, sacrificial death and resurrection. We do consider ourselves to be Christians, followers of Christ.

Thanks for asking, many people assume we don't believe in Jesus at all.

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#6 of 93 Old 11-24-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Can I add another question here? Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the Holy Spirit in any form? Or Just God and Jesus?

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#7 of 93 Old 11-24-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Can I add another question here? Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the Holy Spirit in any form? Or Just God and Jesus?
We believe in the holy spirit, but not as a person/personage. We believe that it is the active force that God uses to create, protect, strengthen, etc. For example, if I am a facing a difficult times I may pray to God to provide his holy spirit to keep me calm/strong/safe, whatever. Hope that answers the question.

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#8 of 93 Old 11-25-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
That's about right-- JW's would normally call themselves Christian, and most non-Christians would agree, but they are not Nicene Creed Christians. Historically speaking they are a branch of the lovely transcendentalist-ish soup that existed in the early 19th century and ultimately gave rise to LDS, anthroposophy, modern theosophy (and its associated descendents), 7th-day Adventism, and Unitarian Universalism. (Some of the above, of course, had earlier roots as well.)
No, JW's are not transcendentalists at all. They came from the Millerites, which give rise to all the adventist sects.

From Wikipedia under the "Adventism":

Quote:
* Advent Christian Church General Conference, founded 1860 with 25,277 members in 302 churches in 2002 in America
* Branch Davidians, founded in the 20th century, a breakoff of Shepherd's Rod
* Christadelphians, founded 1844 with an estimated 25,000 members in 170 ecclesias in 2000 in America
* Church of God General Conference, founded 1921 with roots back to the 1840s, with 7,634 members in 162 churches in 2004 in America
* Church of God (Seventh Day), founded 1863 with an estimated 11,000 members in 185 churches in 1999 in America
* Church of God and Saints of Christ, founded 1896 with an estimated 40,000 members in approximately 200 congregations in 1999 in America
* Jehovah's Witnesses, previously known as International Bible Students before 1931, founded circa 1870, with 1,029,652 members in 11,930 congregations in 2003 in America. "Russell was deeply influenced by Adventist thought" (p. 268)
* Seventh-day Adventists, founded 1863, with 15.6 million baptized members worldwide in 2007[2]
* Worldwide Church of God, founded 1933 with an estimated 63,000 members worldwide in 2004
Also check "Millerism" for more information.
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#9 of 93 Old 11-25-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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Somewhat OT, but what's the Nicean Creed?
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#10 of 93 Old 11-25-2008, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering the same as PP. What's OT, too??
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#11 of 93 Old 11-25-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I was wondering the same as PP. What's OT, too??
OT= off topic

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Somewhat OT, but what's the Nicean Creed?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed

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The Nicene Creed has been regarded as a touchstone of true Christian faith, though not a complete expression of it. When the word "symbol" meant a "token for identification (by comparison with a counterpart)",[18] the Nicene Creed was given, in Greek and Latin, the name "symbol of faith", a name still used even in languages in which "symbol" no longer has that meaning.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Church of the New Jerusalem, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and similar groups, accept the Christian Scriptures in whole or in part, but reject the Nicene Creed. They consider themselves Christians, an identification contested by others who consider acceptance of the Nicene Creed a key part of Christianity.[19]

While not necessarily rejecting the Nicene Creed as erroneous, some evangelical Christians, on the basis of their sola scriptura view, consider it as in no way authoritative, since it is not part of the Bible, and do not recite it in their services.
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#12 of 93 Old 12-01-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Christianity is based on who God, Jesus, & The Holy Spirit is.

Quite a few groups, among JW's & LDS offer different teachings on this. This alone is critical. The basics of Christianity has been around since we were first called Christians in the New testament.

Christians believe God, Jesus, & The Holy spirit are all GOD. The trinity concept (which is in the Bible, though the word trinity isn't) is a difficult one to grasp, but yet, the Bible clearly teaches this concept.

The JW's believe that Jesus was created. Christians say no. JW's often quote John 1:1 from their own new world translation (which no other group uses). This verse in their Bible is "In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, & the word was a God".

All other Bibles say, "In the beginning, was the word, & the word was with God, & the word was God".

Vs. 14 goes on to say that Jesus is the word.

Greek scholars from all religious backgrounds, or no religious background at all find this translation to be incorrect, among others I will not get into.

My point being. Anyone can claim to be Christian. Ancient Christian beliefs teach plainly who Jesus, God & the Holy spirit is. Added bonus, it is in the Bible!! One just needs to search the scriptures, with no religious, denomination, or group teaching, & the answer is there. It's easy to take some one's word for it. It's another to actually search & seek like the Bereans did in the New Testament!

Caveat: I am not JW or LDS, but I have spent quite a bit of time with a dear JW, reading through their awake! magazine, & watch tower, along with their version of the Bible. She refused to look at my literature like I looked at hers.....& she would only seek material from her organization.

 

  

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#13 of 93 Old 12-01-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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Christianity is based on who God, Jesus, & The Holy Spirit is.

Quite a few groups, among JW's & LDS offer different teachings on this. This alone is critical. The basics of Christianity has been around since we were first called Christians in the New testament.

Christians believe God, Jesus, & The Holy spirit are all GOD. The trinity concept (which is in the Bible, though the word trinity isn't) is a difficult one to grasp, but yet, the Bible clearly teaches this concept.

The JW's believe that Jesus was created. Christians say no. JW's often quote John 1:1 from their own new world translation (which no other group uses). This verse in their Bible is "In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, & the word was a God".

All other Bibles say, "In the beginning, was the word, & the word was with God, & the word was God".

Vs. 14 goes on to say that Jesus is the word.

Greek scholars from all religious backgrounds, or no religious background at all find this translation to be incorrect, among others I will not get into.

My point being. Anyone can claim to be Christian. Ancient Christian beliefs teach plainly who Jesus, God & the Holy spirit is. Added bonus, it is in the Bible!! One just needs to search the scriptures, with no religious, denomination, or group teaching, & the answer is there. It's easy to take some one's word for it. It's another to actually search & seek like the Bereans did in the New Testament!
Sounds right to me. If people want to call themselves Christians (because Christ is involved in the Jehovah's Witness religion) I certainly can't stop them, but I don't consider myself to be in the same religion with Jehovah's witnesses or the LDS church. I have different beliefs about who Jesus is, and who he is (fully God, fully man) is what makes him able to save me.

I have one wonderful husband and one wonderful little toddler boy!
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#14 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Christianity is based on who God, Jesus, & The Holy Spirit is.
I would say that Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, Savior of the world.

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The basics of Christianity has been around since we were first called Christians in the New testament.
What basics? The trinity idea? That was part of the Nicene creed...which came well after the time of Christ and the time the NT was written.

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The trinity concept (which is in the Bible, though the word trinity isn't) is a difficult one to grasp, but yet, the Bible clearly teaches this concept.
I have to disagree. I think the Bible teaches very few things "clearly" and that the trinity concept is definitely not clearly taught. The nature of the the Godhead, or Trinity has been in dispute since before the Nicene council and though the council aimed to settle the argument it is still in debate today.

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The JW's believe that Jesus was created. Christians say no.
I find this wording a little offensive. It's not fair nor kind to insuate that JWs are not Christian because you happen to disagree with an interpretation or translation. I happen to think that the common ideas concerning the Trinity are incorrect and a result of mistaken interpretation, but I certainly don't think people who believe it aren't Christian. They still believe Jesus is the Christ and worship Him.

Quote:
All other Bibles say, "In the beginning, was the word, & the word was with God, & the word was God".

Vs. 14 goes on to say that Jesus is the word.
Doesn't that pretty much argue that God and Jesus are in fact separate beings? "The word (Jesus) was WITH God."


I find it so interesting that some people seem so intent on keeping people out of the "Christian Club" based on differing interpretations of the scriptures on this topic, when it doesn't seem to matter when there are differences on other topics. I mean, there are a lot of Christians who don't think that the NT clearly says women should cover their hair. There are Christians who do. But I've never heard any of the non-coverers say that coverers aren't Christian of vice versa.
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#15 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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me and my best friend had this exact conversation a couple weeks ago... wondering whether or not Jehovah's witnesses and LDS are in fact christian. we googled... wiki said they are both Christian! lol
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#16 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I have different beliefs about who Jesus is, and who he is (fully God, fully man) is what makes him able to save me.
Exactly. To make a point....where do your beliefs come from?

Teaching from some denomination/church/group? A booklet? A periodical? A feeling? What others have taught you?

Or possibly....just the Bible. The one that's been around for hundreds & hundreds of years.

 

  

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#17 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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I find it so interesting that some people seem so intent on keeping people out of the "Christian Club" based on differing interpretations of the scriptures on this topic,
So the Bible is some esoteric mumble-jumble up for interpretation when it comes to who Jesus is?

Is Jesus God?

 

  

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#18 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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So the Bible is some esoteric mumble-jumble up for interpretation when it comes to who Jesus is?

Is Jesus God?
Not believing in the Trinity as defined by the Nicene Creed is not the same as believing Jesus is not God.

ETA: And I never said the Bible is esoteric mumble-jumble. I did say that different people interpret the same scripture a hundred different ways and that proclaiming people aren't Christian because they don't interpret something the same way you do is not fair and not kind.

ETA: To me it's like saying another mama on MDC isn't TRULY crunchy because they use Bum Genius cloth diapers instead of prefolds. They're still using cloth diapers.

Disagreeing on the NATURE of God is not the same as disagreeing on His DIVINITY.
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#19 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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Not believing in the Trinity as defined by the Nicene Creed is not the same as believing Jesus is not God.

ETA: And I never said the Bible is esoteric mumble-jumble. I did say that different people interpret the same scripture a hundred different ways and that proclaiming people aren't Christian because they don't interpret something the same way you do is not fair and not kind.

ETA: To me it's like saying another mama on MDC isn't TRULY crunchy because they use Bum Genius cloth diapers instead of prefolds. They're still using cloth diapers.

Disagreeing on the NATURE of God is not the same as disagreeing on His DIVINITY.
I'm trying to leave all emotion out of this. Just because I'm questioning & debating makes me unkind? If you were my next door neighbor, you would know I'm very sensitive (too sensitive in my mind) & loving....& we would probably be great friends....after all, we are on Mothering....we have lots in common that many women don't even think about! Like bum genius vs prefolds & covers. Personally, I love em' all....I'm a cloth diaper addict!

So, who is Jesus according to Jehovah's Witnesses?

Was He a God? Or still is? If he was...two Gods? Then you are polytheistic?

Please don't take my posts personally....no matter what you believe in God. I just love honest discussion, & learning from each other.



ETA: Easy question for JW's? I'm sorry...but I'm LOL. As you can see...it's not easy....I just hope this thread stays peaceful & loving...just like Jesus!

 

  

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#20 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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I can see both sides of the argument.

I guess it depends on how you define Christianity. I define it as a follower of Christ and an acceptance of him as the only means of salvation. JWs fit that category.

Anyone who claims that the bible crystal clear is full of hot air. If it were so we wouldnt have denominations or apologetics or hundreds of conflicting interpretations of various scripture.

Because of my background I have a very hard time with the concept of Trinity. It took me a long time to realize that God would forgive me for not knowing as long as I held firm to the things that the bible IS crystal clear on... That Jesus is the truth and the way and the light.
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#21 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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We believe in the holy spirit, but not as a person/personage. We believe that it is the active force that God uses to create, protect, strengthen, etc. For example, if I am a facing a difficult times I may pray to God to provide his holy spirit to keep me calm/strong/safe, whatever. Hope that answers the question.
Yes, that make sense. So basically, Jehovah's Witnesses believe in one supreme God (Jehovah), Jesus as His Son, but don't believe that Jesus is God, just His Son, although they do believe He is the Savior, and then the Holy Spirit is something that comes out of God, but is not God? Correct me if I'm wrong.

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#22 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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The basics of Christianity has been around since we were first called Christians in the New testament.

Christians believe God, Jesus, & The Holy spirit are all GOD. The trinity concept (which is in the Bible, though the word trinity isn't) is a difficult one to grasp, but yet, the Bible clearly teaches this concept.
The trinity concept was highly debated during the first couple centuries and not every Christian group adapted this concept. Just because the roman catholic church did (among others), does not mean, they are right, it just means, they have a different view point, which was not firmly established before the 4th century.

There are so many differences between the different Christian Denominations and yet, they all share some basic principles. As a somewhat outsider, I do not even find the differences between Jewish, Muslim and Christians to be so significant, compared to other religious groups (Hindu, Pagan, Wicca, Shinto to name a few). All three believe in (parts) of the bible, except the role of Jesus is viewed differently. How these believes are lived and adapted culturally is sometimes more different from one Christian denomination to another than from one religion to another. Don't all three religions even share the same God?
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#23 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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So the Bible is some esoteric mumble-jumble up for interpretation when it comes to who Jesus is?

Is Jesus God?
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Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
<snip>
Anyone who claims that the bible crystal clear is full of hot air. If it were so we wouldnt have denominations or apologetics or hundreds of conflicting interpretations of various scripture.

<snip>
Just reading through the thread and found the juxtapositio of these two statements to stand out.

I agree with the latter statment, the bible is not the world's most clear book. Though some would say (argue, rather) otherwise. I also agree that the lack of consensus on the "clarity" and amount of fights amongst who is and who is not a christian is arguable evidence to say that no one really knows.

But on the JW as Christian question. I reckon they are. Not as most Christians would define it, but the ol JC holds a big place in their teachings, and they would state they follow his teachings, so that tears it. IMO a definition of a Christian means there's a following of Jesus' teachings, belief in the resurrection that clinch it. The divinity question can be a bit of a gray area, from what I've seen. Though most Christian churches say Jesus is God, sometimes delving into an individual's perception of it may come something more akin to not Jesus being not exactly a god.

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#24 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Forgive me, for I am not a Christian (anymore) so my knowledge of the Bible is not as well developed as some here, but doesn't the Bible actually refer to the trinity? Father, Son, Holy Spirit as one? Isn't the word Elohim used to refer to more than one, "us," meaning more than two, since the dual is not used, but the plural? even in the New Testament?
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#25 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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Forgive me, for I am not a Christian (anymore) so my knowledge of the Bible is not as well developed as some here, but doesn't the Bible actually refer to the trinity? Father, Son, Holy Spirit as one? Isn't the word Elohim used to refer to more than one, "us," meaning more than two, since the dual is not used, but the plural? even in the New Testament?
Not exactly in so many words. Elohim is kind of a "Royal We" used by Jews who OBVIOUSLY don't believe in any kind of trinity, and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit get mentioned separately in the NT. Jesus says "I and the Father are One" in the gospel of John (?) and the references to the Holy Spirit are kind of ambiguous as to his/ her/ its nature. The trinity wasn't official until the Nicene council.
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#26 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Not exactly in so many words. Elohim is kind of a "Royal We" used by Jews who OBVIOUSLY don't believe in any kind of trinity, and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit get mentioned separately in the NT. Jesus says "I and the Father are One" in the gospel of John (?) and the references to the Holy Spirit are kind of ambiguous as to his/ her/ its nature. The trinity wasn't official until the Nicene council.
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#27 of 93 Old 12-03-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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Yes, that make sense. So basically, Jehovah's Witnesses believe in one supreme God (Jehovah), Jesus as His Son, but don't believe that Jesus is God, just His Son, although they do believe He is the Savior, and then the Holy Spirit is something that comes out of God, but is not God? Correct me if I'm wrong.
You are correct.


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#28 of 93 Old 12-03-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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Yes, that make sense. So basically, Jehovah's Witnesses believe in one supreme God (Jehovah), Jesus as His Son, but don't believe that Jesus is God, just His Son, although they do believe He is the Savior, and then the Holy Spirit is something that comes out of God, but is not God? Correct me if I'm wrong.
True, and also, they pray in Jesus name and believe that he was the first creation of God, and everything else was created through Jesus. Jesus plays a very prominent role in the religion, he is just not part of a trinity. I was raised believing all this, and never believed in the trinity, and I am quite sure I was a Christian. To me, it must go by self identification. What else can it go by? Otherwise we could just as easily say that anyone who believes in the trinity is not Christian. It seems a little ridiculous to make up certain standards for who is allowed to call themselves Christian. It would also not matter at all to people who really are not Christian whether a religion believes in the Jesus who is part of a trinity or the Jesus who is God's son, but also the Lord and Savior.
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#29 of 93 Old 12-03-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Not exactly in so many words. Elohim is kind of a "Royal We" used by Jews who OBVIOUSLY don't believe in any kind of trinity, and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit get mentioned separately in the NT. Jesus says "I and the Father are One" in the gospel of John (?) and the references to the Holy Spirit are kind of ambiguous as to his/ her/ its nature. The trinity wasn't official until the Nicene council.
Thanks for clarifying. Language is so complicated!
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#30 of 93 Old 12-03-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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Anyone who claims that the bible crystal clear is full of hot air. If it were so we wouldn't have denominations or apologetics or hundreds of conflicting interpretations of various scripture
That's the thing though. Denominations don't disagree on the essentials of Christian faith (excluding groups such as oneness Pentecostals (who deny the Trinity & are very legalistic)...who God is, how we are saved, etc. We may disagree on non-essentials, such as baptism & the work of the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues, gifts), infant baptism vs adult, sprinkling vs full immersion baptism, KJV only vs other versions, worship style (music, no music) & service style (liturgical, contemporary)....the list of non essentials goes on & on.

The Bible is very clear though who God is, Jesus is, & The Holy spirit. We do not have to be Greek scholars to read what the Bible says our God is. There are very plain scriptures that claim that Jesus, & the Holy spirit are indeed God! Yea, it's a hard concept that we may not understand....but keep in mind, we are finite creatures. We won't be able to understand all the Bible has to say, but we can, understand the very important over-riding theme in His word that we can be saved, by His grace, NOT by works, lest we should boast (paraphrasing).

If one is truly seeking God's truth, & wants a relationship with the almighty, God will never turn us away, no matter what we believe. He will lead us to search HIM. Not religion, Not groups, Not man's teaching.

I do not rely on ANY written material, book, or magazine to teach me. I read the Bible alone. No, I will not get twisted teachings from doing so. I do not rely on some one's else's "light" that they published to educate me. God has already given us His light.

I suggest taking it one step at a time. First investigate the Bible(outside of your particular group's Bible & study guide) & see what it says about Jesus. See if the other believers have a reason why we believe that Jesus IS GOD. If I'm not mistaken, back when the JW's first established, Russell commanded his followers to read his materials alongside the Bible, otherwise, you will go into darkness.

If you can't take that step alone...ask your self why. I'm pretty sure you know where I'm getting at here...if people are controlling your thought process....well....ask if you think that's even healthy.

This thread is about if Jesus is God. I think it has been pretty well stated that no, JW's don't believe He is.

It is a big difference than the real meaning of Christianity that's been around for centuries. Arianism (the belief that Jesus was not God) surfaced a few centuries after Christ's death by ONE man alone. Very few Christian churches teach this doctrine, but, JW's do.

Anyway, like I said. I think the question has been answered. Nope. Jesus isn't God to JW's. He was a God, but not the almighty God.

 

  

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