Jehovah’s Witness Part 2
Prepared and Presented by Titus Prevatt, Youth Group Student Leader
The series we are doing is titled “What’s the Difference?”. We are going through basic beliefs of different religions to see how they compare with the Bible. Now what this series should do is help you discern what’s in the Bible, and what is not. So that way you are better equip to serve God and His kingdom whenever you run into someone of a different religion. This week, we’ll be going over the Jehovah’s Witness version of the Bible titled “The New World Translation.” Let us take a look at their translation of the Bible and see how it compares to the version we use.
- Their version of the Bible is called the New World Translation. The reason this is significant is because a lot of the verses in their Bible do not align with the original Greek or Hebrew that our Bible translations come from.
- One major translation difference is found in John 1:1. Jehovah Witnesses often teach that John 1:1 should be translated to say, “In the beginning was the word. The word was with God and the word was a god. They say that this best fits the original Greek text and is proof that the Trinity is not real.
- The translations we use such as the NIV, KJV, ESV, NKJV, NLT all say that “…the Word was God.” The “word” in this text is Jesus. So we, as evangelical Christians, are stating that Jesus was God, rather than a god-like figure. If we look through the Bible, we will not see a single instance where multiple gods exist. We do see the gods in other cultures throughout the Bible, but they are shown to be nothing more than worshipped materials that do nothing. However, God has demonstrated to his people time and time again that he is the one true God. We do not have proof for any other god to exist in the Bible other than our God.
- Here’s another notable difference between our two translations. In Colossians 1:15-23 Paul is talking about a lot of things, but one thing Paul touches on is how Jesus is God. In verse 16 of the New World Translation, the Jehovah Witnesses added the word “other” in between the words all and things. So, Colossians 1:16 in the NWT reads, “…because by means of [Jesus] all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth…” The reason the Witnesses added the word “other” is because they do not believe in the Trinity; therefore, they do not believe Jesus was the creator of all things.
- With the translations mentioned earlier, they all say in Colossians 1:16 that “all things were created through Him.” We believe that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and He was part of the creation story, being the creator. One example of the Trinity is in the creation account of Genesis. In Genesis 1:26 it reads “Then God said, “Let Us create man in Our own image…”” the Hebrew word for God that is used in that verse is el-o-heem, which refers to God as plural. I think that’s pretty solid evidence that the Trinity is supported in the original Hebrew text, and that the entire Trinity was present during creation.
- Moving on to another difference, the NWT says in Matthew 27:32 that Jesus carried his torture stake rather than his cross because they often teach that Jesus did not die on a cross, rather he died on a stake.
- The most popular translations all render Jesus carrying a cross. This is more of a nit-picky thing because at the end of the day, it was WHY Jesus died that is significant, not what He died on. However, the point is the changing of the text and doctrine. The Bible should not be changed to fit theology. Our theology should change to fit the Bible.
- Another difference can be found in John 8:58. Their text says, “Before Abraham came into existence, I, [Jesus], have been.”
- However, In the popular renditions of the Bible they state that “Before Abraham was, I AM.” This is incredibly important. It is one of many times when Jesus is stating that He is the “I AM” that is stated in the Old Testament when Moses asks for the name of God, and God says, “I AM.” This is also another link to the Trinity’s existence, showing that Jesus IS God.
- One last verse I want to point out is in Acts 20:28. I think this is really important because it is another verse that shows the Deity of Christ. In the NWT it says, “Pay attention to yourself and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.”
- The aforementioned translations ALL say, “…shepherd the congregation of God, which He purchased by His OWN blood.” God and His own are in the same sentence here, which signifies that Christ is, in fact, God.
Overall, there is some really strong evidence of the Trinity’s existence in the Bible. Another point we can take away is that when we hear something about the Bible that doesn’t seem right, we should go straight to the source and read the Bible for ourselves. That will help a long way in discerning other religions.