Posts Tagged ‘Bible Version’

TITUS 2:13 – ONE IDENTITY OR TWO IDENTITIES

TITUS 2:13

NWT:   13 while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of [the] Savior of us, Christ Jesus,

TNIV:   13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

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

NASB:  13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

DISCUSSION:

Trinitarians insist that NWT is again faulty here because of insertion of the word “the” which makes God and Jesus as two distinct persons. They use Isaiah 43:11 as a proof that since Jesus is also called as a savior also such as in Luke 2:11 and John 4:42, they conclude that Jehovah and Jesus are coequal. Isaiah 43:11 says, “I, even I, am the Lord [Yahweh], and apart from me there is no savior.” However, those statements should not be treated as they are equal persons. Jude 1:25 clearly states that Jehovah is the savior through Jesus Christ. How we are going to understand this? The word “through” has also the same as by, by way of or by means of. Obviously, when using the word “by means of” as substitute terms for “through” this could lead to this statement: Jehovah is the savior by means of Jesus. Although, the latter statement may sounds like as not as good as the first statement, still we could clearly see that it delivers the same meaning i.e. Jehovah gave his son Jesus the authority to be the savior of mankind in relation to his will. But, to some point of view of some critics, they might say that Jehovah is the savior in the person of Jesus. However, this couldn’t be possible. If we are going to modify the statement by using the exact thinking of these critics we could possibly restate the statement as “Jehovah is the savior in the person of Jesus Christ” which I truly believe not in parallel with the original statement. Trinitarians of course can say that it can be possible but from the point of view of the writer of this verse, he is definitely aware of the distinction of Jehovah and Jesus and nowhere in the Greek Scriptures uses the words “in the person of Jesus” by those writers. This is really a raising issue that if the Greek writers really believe that Jehovah comes in the person of Jesus, they would use at least the possible Greek terms that would identify Jehovah’s coming in the person of Jesus. Contrary to that, these Greek writers clearly identify Jehovah and Jesus as separate individuals. Though some critics insist of some verses that points their equality like the words “the Word is God” and “the Father and I are one” still, it does not validate the statements because of the following verses on it that point out or clearly suggest their distinction. What I am trying to say is, if Jesus is really Jehovah then why there is no literal claim from Jesus himself and from his apostles that he is really God (the Almighty) – that is saying that Jehovah is in the person of Jesus. To have an illustration of this, an actor can say he is portraying a character in the person of that name. This is the same as he with his own real name is portraying another character in a role with a screen name. Thus, he leaves his present identity to portray another character in a role. This didn’t happen with Jesus. All of his life on earth he addressed his Father and prayed to him. This is in contrast with the truth that Jesus was sent by Jehovah to be the savior of the world – 1 John 4:14 and that Jehovah exalted Jesus on his right hand to be the Leader and Savior of the people – Acts 5:31.

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ABOUT JOHN 8:58 – “I AM”

JOHN 8:58

NWT:   58 Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”

TNIV: 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

KJV:    58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

NASB:   58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

DISCUSSION:

Many critics are spreading their derogation to NWT about this verse. Trinitarians are very eager to discredit the NWT and the Watchtower by throwing false accusation as tampering the Word of God. Since Jesus also used the word “I am” which Jehovah also said to Moses in Exodus 3:14, then they conclude that they are the same and coequal. However, when studying the name of God as to what it means, some scholars noticed the three letter “HWH” (hawah or havah) has a basic meaning of “to be” indicating of an action word or verb. Since the Hebrew Scriptures don’t use “be verbs” which we know as is, was, are, were, am, and will, the main verb “to be” in the Hebrew language means that it had became, it is (becoming) or will become. Thus, when a word is described as it had became or it is becoming or will become, all words pertaining to an action use Hebrew verbs that indicates “to be”. Therefore when someone states “he was a doctor, he is the father, or he will become king”, the word/s used to identify the becoming of such a person or thing has one meaning which is “to be”. Thus, when Jehovah spoke to Moses as to who is he and said “I am who I am”, he basically mean that “He is the one who was, who is and who will be.” This is the basic meaning of his name as he introduced his name to Moses as Jehovah (YHWH). The Watchtower believes on the meaning of the name of God (YHWH) thus in NWT they rendered it as “I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHATEVER I SHALL PROVE TO BE”. The word “prove” can mean to show but “prove” is deeper in its context. The word “prove” as used by God to identify himself indicates that he wanted to show to all his all-being with valid reasons. This includes his nature and qualities to be presented in public with proofs that can be perceived in many ways. Since God introduced himself to Moses as “Jehovah” and “I am who I am” we can say it as congruent but not equal. Not equal because the word “I am” is only the meaning of the name Jehovah. In dictionary the words may be the same in a certain use but not the same in its own definition. One word may use to substitute the other word based on how it is being used and so they are said to be congruent however, a word is not always possible to substitute to a certain word when it does not shows its concordance to the context of the sentence or statement. Words can be used alternately when it is possible to do so however, their own definition might vary for not all the definition of one word is the same as to other word and so they are not equal but can be congruent when use alternately to modify the meaning of the other word. Thus we cannot use the word “I am” as a name for God but rather it is a word that identifies him in another context. When an ordinary someone say “I am who I am”, he is basically saying that he is the one who himself really is, thus it means he is showing his real identity as to who he is before, now and then. He is admitting to himself and want to introduce to others that he prefer to show himself as to what he want for himself to be known by the others. That is the same when it comes to Jehovah. He wanted to show himself in his own way. Thus, the Watchtower believed and accepted the definition of Rotherham for the name of God. With regards to the said verse on how we will understand it by its context, we must consider the preceding words of Jesus as to what he is speaking about. When the person contradicts the words of Jesus as Jesus is not yet 50 but has seen Abraham, Jesus answered him on a figurative sense. Of course, Jesus will not say the words “I am” as his name because he is answering the question of the person as to his existence and not as to his name. The words “before Abraham was, I am” is the same as “before Abraham was born, I was born (literally created).” To make the word “I am” satisfy the answer of Jesus, we should map the possible meaning of the word “I am” to the original statement of Jesus. We will take all the meaning of the word “I am” as Jehovah (YHWH), Jesus, God and was (one of the be verbs).

1.      Before Abraham was, Jehovah.

2.      Before Abraham was, Jesus.

3.      Before Abraham was, God.

4.      Before Abraham was, I was.

The first three statements are not showing a thought. The second clause does not connect on the first statement. Only # 4 shows significance. Supposed we will attempt to show the implicit term after was. This will show as the following statements.

1.      Before Abraham was born, Jehovah.

2.      Before Abraham was born, Jesus.

3.      Before Abraham was born, God.

4.      Before Abraham was born, I was born.

It is only the last statement that shows validity and that is saying that he existed before Abraham. Since Jesus was not born literally but figuratively and since the word “born” means came into existence (brought into life) then NWT can render it as “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” The NWT shows that Jesus had been existed before Abraham came into existence which is parallel to any of the statement # 4 and which is in concordance to the implicit statement of Jesus. Actually the word “I am” in Hebrew is “ehyeh” which has a basic meaning of to be or become therefore all of these statements mention by Jesus and Jehovah means they become. “I am who I am” may be written as “I am who I become” and “Before Abraham was, I am” may be written as “Before Abraham was, I become” which shows implicit thought of had became, becoming and will become of his own identity. Please see the links below for a depth discussion about this subject. The word become (or to be) doesn’t only shows its meaning in present tense but also in past and future. Thus, I believe when someone in Hebrew is saying that someone had became, has become or will become they use the Hebrew characters that denotes “to be” even in different tenses i.e. whether past, present or future.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/ego-eimi-and-some-ot-texts-356103/

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/john-858-and-i-am-361402/

THE TRUTH IN COLOSSIANS 1:15-17

COLOSSIANS 1:15 – 17

NWT:  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,

NIV: 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

KJV:  15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For 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: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist

NASB:  15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

DISCUSSION:

Most of the critics of NWT regarding these verses are Trinitarians for the very reason of promoting their Trinity doctrine. By criticizing the inserted word “other” as not originally part of the Greek scriptures, they derogate the NWT and consider it as a tampered and not credible translation of the Bible. For some religions that do not teach the doctrine of Trinity, they may accept the NWT when trying to expose the explicit teachings about the distinction of Jehovah and Jesus. However, because it is not in the original texts in Greek Scriptures, some religionists who do not believe in Trinitarians still discredit the NWT version. With the united thought of the Christendom against the JW and the NWT, some people who are wanting and starting to know the truth and even some of those who are in truth were powerfully driven their minds to deceptions.  The links below allows the reader to perceive explicitly the truth concerning the verse above. I suggest you read the entire links for clarity of the subject and to erase the misconception of the many people about NWT.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/col-115-20-nwt-and-other–272818/

http://jehovah.to/xlation/other.html

With regards to the insertion of the word “other” in NWT, verse 15 shows the relation of how important to insert the word “other”. The word “firstborn” (prototokos in Greek) as explained in Watchtower’s publication and from the links above provides us a better understanding of its meaning. They explained that in the Bible when “firstborn” is being discussed this means generally that the firstborn belongs to a group or class. Even there are verses in the Bible as some critics points out that firstborn is also first in position or rank or simply preeminent over the others, still the firstborn belongs to a group or class. Thus, Jesus as firstborn can be taken as first in rank or preeminent from all creation and as the first creation from all creation of God. All the word “firstborn” in the Bible belongs to a group or class that is a group of family, animals and even a place. As examples of this is from Exodus 4:22 which says, “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,”; Exodus 12:12 which says, “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.” We know that Israel is the chosen nation of God as this is the first land he has taken to be his own and later he also included the Gentile nations to be his own nation. He affirmed it in Oseas 2:23 and Romans 9:25 and we can clearly see it now in the true congregation of God which is all over the world, the Jehovah’s Witnesses from all nations. Exodus 12:12 clearly identify not only on a particular family but rather by taking all men and animals in Egypt as two groups or classes. The link below provides a broader explanation about the relation of the word “firstborn” to the word “begotten”.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/monogenes-and-jehovahs-witnesses-121681/

Here are the links that explains about the word “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15:

http://www.jehovah.to/exe/discussion/prwtotokos_lexical.htm

http://www.jehovah.to/exe/discussion/response1.htm

Concerning Job 18:13 which used BeQor in Hebrew but not Prototokos in Greek. Wes Williams explained implicitly that the writer did not use “prototokos” since death cannot bear illness but rather illness can bear death. It is an abstract noun which does not require literal bearing of death.

So what does “firstborn of death” means here?

Figuratively, it means sickness is the number one cause of death, preeminent from all other death-causing cases. Literally, it means that sickness is the first one that causes death (literally speaking). Of course we know that Adam and Eve died because of their sin but what causes them to die is because of their health –their body’s failure to sustain their life. Thus, sickness as the first born of death is acting as the over-all causing death and the first cause of death of Adam and Eve. “Firstborn” here does not mean first created but rather first reason of death. Sickness is the major reason of death followed by other reasons such as by accidents, suicides, killings and natural calamities. Thus, sickness as the firstborn of death requires that there are still reasons of death that follows.

Jesus as firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15) cannot mean he came from all creation or he was fathered by all creation like the basic meaning of the firstborn of Jacob is Rueben as Ruben was fathered by Jacob or Rueben is the son of Jacob. So we cannot take the “firstborn” literally on the way it should mean that Jesus was fathered by all creation.

But figuratively we can take that he is preeminent over all creation and the first one brought into existence from among all creation. Can we take only the first definition and not take the second definition? No. A related example can be seen in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5.

Jesus was described as the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5) though it does not used the word “of all” which is also not in Greek because it would give meaning as Jesus had existed from being dead before.

Literally, Jesus was the firstborn from the dead. Thus, he is the first one resurrected from all the dead that has given eternal life. Figuratively, he is preeminent over all the resurrected people for heaven (for heaven only because firstborn requires same quality i.e. being spirit – see Romans 8:29). Consequently, Jesus as firstborn among the dead literally requires that he became part of the group and that he was dead once. He was the first dead person resurrected for eternal life in heaven and he belongs to a certain group i.e. from among other dead who will have eternal life. Literally, Jesus was the first “created” spiritually that has resurrected from grave against all other dead. Figuratively, he is the first one given a predominant power over the other resurrected people (the144,000) who will become kings on heaven. Thus it requires literally that he belongs to the dead people before.  So, firstborn of all creation means Jesus belongs to the class of creation and that he is the first one created from among other creation. I agree with Wes Williams, the word “firstborn” literally requires that the firstborn belongs to a certain group or class and that it requires others to come after him in the following time.

Example:

the words “firstborn of all angels” would mean he is the eldest among the angels and that he is preeminent with all the angels.

This is the only way it calls for the definition of the words. We cannot neglect one and accept only one. There is no reason to do it unless the user of it is being biased in his position.

Here is a very good example that shows “firstborn” as preeminent and that it belongs to a class or group.

Psalms 89:27

27 Also, I myself shall place him as firstborn,
The most high of the kings of the earth.

Thus David is a king preeminent to all other kings on earth and that he is also a king who belongs to a class or group of kings. 🙂

PLEASE SEE THIS LINK IN WHICH JESUS IS DESCRIBED AS THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD OR THE FIRSTBORN OF GOD’S CREATION.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/the-bibles-view-jesus-christ-as-the-first-born-of-all-creation