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ARE THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHANGING THEIR NAME TO “BIBLE STUDENTS?”

KHARE THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHANGING THEIR NAME TO “BIBLE STUDENTS?”

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? In 1931, at a Columbus Ohio Convention, with great fanfare, J. F. Rutherford introduced a name change from “Bible Students” to “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The real reason, we think was to differentiate themselves to the public and brethren from the Bible Students who were very active in the witness work. Ever since then, an emphasis on the importance of honoring “Jehovah’s” name has been a cornerstone of the organizations teachings. To imagine that the Watchtower organization would change its name back to “Bible Students” seems unthinkable. That was my reaction at first when Sister Jacqueline shared her opinion about the name change with me. However, now I am beginning to wonder.

At a recent state fair in Indiana, Bible Students had a booth and we provided free literature to the public. One day when sister Jaqueline was serving at the booth, some JWs walked by and she was able to engage them in conversation. When Sister Jacqueline told the told them that we are the Bible Students, a JW elder’s wife sternly retorted back, “No! We are the Bible Students!”

Having been a JW for 60 years, Sister Jacqueline has experience observing the process of how the organization subtly begins to introduce a change in belief – new light. By the time the new light is officially announced, most of the JWs already have accepted the change.

This year, the JW Organization published a new book which will be studied by JWs around the world beginning early in 2015. The new book is called, “God’s Kingdom Rules!” Notice, it is “God’s Kingdom,” not “Jehovah’s Kingdom!” For their personal study material, are JWs now starting to use “God” instead of Jehovah?”

I have read through this new book and hope to soon post an article discussing it on our site. There is a lot to say about the book. It seems that the book is doing damage control. JWs are becoming more and more aware now of the existence of Bible Students and the real history of the early Watchtower. The organization would have benefited by coming out with this book years ago before so much of the Internet history information damage had been done. Now, they appear to be implementing damage control by introducing all the JWs to the history that is already out on the Internet, but now with the Organizations perspective. This may be a smart move by the Governing Body. As JWs hear the organizations revised and expanded view on history, they will quickly adopt that view as their own. Therefore, when they find a different perspective on the Internet, it will come across as lies and deceptions.

As I read through the book, I could see what sister Jacqueline was telling me. Throughout the book the early Watchtower brethren are frequently referred to and always called Bible Students. So more and more, JWs are being conditioned to view themselves as the original Bible Students who simply made a name change.

But why go back to the old name, “Bible Students?” In business marketing, this is called “rebranding.” There is a stigma in the minds of the general public against the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Now, imagine going out on service, knocking on a door and saying, “Hi. We are Bible Students visiting in your area.” If the person at the door asks, “Are you Jehovah’s Witnesses?” You simply respond, “We are Bible Students.” The door is not slammed in your face.

There is another advantage of rebranding – attempting to eliminate the Bible Student threat. Jehovah’s Witness members can easily find the original Bible Students on the Internet with a Google search. This has caused great problems as now it appears JWs have an alternative. The JW point of view has been that these old Bible Students left the organization, lost Jehovah’s blessing and went out of existence. Yet that was never true. We Bible Students have existed and actively witnessed to the public continuously since the days of the early Watchtower.

Now imagine if JWs changed their name to “Bible Students.” There would be so much on the Internet about Bible Students (the JW Organization), that people might never come accross the original Bible Students with a Google search. So a name change would help to hide our existence and hopefully, from their point of view, diminish questions and doubts. These efforts look like a smart strategy to counteract and diminish the existence of the original Bible Students as a threat to the organizations stability! So perhaps they want to eliminate both the alternative and room for doubt.

So what do you think? Are the JWs changing their name to “Bible Students?” Or is this a stupid/crazy suggestion? Personally, I don’t know, but Sister Jacqueline is starting to win me over. Also, if you have any relevant factual information you can contribute? Please do.

111 comments to ARE THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHANGING THEIR NAME TO “BIBLE STUDENTS?”

  • Ellis Green

    Jackie, yes I do remember something like that. As all BS groups (including JWs) started as 1 Movement, it would be so nice is just before Christ’s Return if all the groups could reform into 1 group again. Unless I’m just being sentimental? Nation of Israel split in 2 and the result was the Jews and Samaritans, neither mixed with the other until Jesus said “Spread the Good News to Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles”. Then Jews and Samaritans re-united when they became Christians. Maybe history could repeat itself?

    Ellis

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Ellis when my fleshly elder brothers gathered 30 elders and called the society on me, they told them Bible students are our brothers and I could be free in KH and at eating arrangements.
      I go to see old witness friends who at dying and meet with all my witness friends without a problem in the hospitals, home or visit their KH without a significant problem.
      I find it is certain individuals doing the shunning for the GB but not all. We do mix at some private gatherings and almost a few entire congregations use this site as study material. One has over 200 JW members that still attend KH. It isnt broadcast too openly however.
      I wish ALL Christians could come together and they will during Millennium. Martin Luther King expressed it that way. I like being free to just speak to other lovers of Christ without fear of letting my brothers know. I just like Christians, if you love Christ, you love God. I don’t really think witness vs Bible student. Ithink Christians from other faith groups also.
      PS: I am studying the church from the days of the apostles through the reformation and down thru our late 19th and early 20th century.
      I have respect for many heroes of faith down through the centuries.
      Now history in school makes sense.
      Learning about martyrs for Christ has changed my outlook. There are now and have been many down thru history.

  • Ellis Green

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the mails; very interesting to read. Any more comments on JWs changing their name?

    Ellis

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Ellis I will weigh in. Do you remember the trial period where we had to introduce ourselves as Bible Students at the door in field service? It didn’t go well so they stopped us late 70’s.
      2013 study articles seemed as if they were setting up to do it again but instead adopted JWdotorg. Lots of us called them from facebook pages to ask if they were aware of original BS. It led many to go on internet and look us up. So if you check until mid 2016 they associated themselves as BS but seemed to have dropped it in favor of being known by a website name. The public however still calls them Jehovahs witnesses.

  • Ellis Green

    Hi All,

    When Jesus mentioned about the “last days” being like the days of Noah, and the Flood swept them all away so it will be in the day of the Son of Man, does that mean the wicked swept away at Armageddon?

    Ellis

    • zionsherald

      Great question. Well, … the answer to your question is yes…and no.

      Keep in mind that Jesus (and also Matthew as the writer of the Gospel) had a Jewish audience in mind. This audience knew their Scriptures and their minds would automatically go back to the passages they knew that he was referring to.

      The immediate context is speaking about the nations, the fig tree (Israel), and all the other trees are to bloom or become nations at the time of the Lord’s parousia (Matthew 24:32). At the same time it says that the heaven and earth shall pass away (Matthew 24:35) describing the symbolic destruction of the ecclesiastical heavens, and the earth, the stable parts of society that will become unstable and will be shaken. Haggai 2 describes (and interprets) this for us where it says that the Lord “will shake the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations” (Haggai 2:6-7). In the context the interpretation is given as the Lord who says he will “overthrow of the thrones of kings, and I will destroy the power of the kings of the nations.” (Haggai 2:22). The end result of this shaking of the heavens and earth in the context is stated as “the desire of all nations shall come.” (Haggai 2:7).

      So the answer to your question again is no, it is not speaking of individuals, but yes, the nations it speaks of will be shaken and will be removed. But the desire of all nations, the peaceful new heavens and new earth will be God’s way of sorting everything out.

      In other words, Armageddon brings peace.

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Zionsherald, my family and facebook friends are enjoying your easy to understand answers.
        Our family needs to healfrom the pain and hurt that shunning has caused to dozens.
        I will have different family all of August at my home so we will watch. I can’t share everything onsite but will send an email to the Wednesday group.

        • Lincoln

          Dear Jacqueline,

          Sorry we are not so good friends anymore. Why do I still write to you and friends here? Well, I know you from long time ago ever since I was a child. I never forget. I think I will give you and friends this one I found today:

          Now the day is over,
          Night is drawing nigh,
          Shadows of the evening
          Steal across the sky.

          Jesus, give the weary
          Calm and sweet repose;
          With Thy tend’rest blessing
          May mine eyelids close.

          Grant to little children
          Visions bright of Thee;
          Guard the sailors tossing
          On the deep, blue sea.

          Comfort those who suffer,
          Watching late in pain;
          Those who plan some evil
          From their sin restrain.

          Through the long night watches
          May Thine angels spread
          Their white wings above me,
          Watching round my bed.

          When the morning wakens,
          Then may I arise
          Pure, and fresh, and sinless
          In Thy holy eyes.
          quote end.

          Today I woke up to this new morning in hope; One day to meet Jesus in heaven, where ever it is. God bless you.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Ellis,

      Just a though for you to consider, while it’s true that the flood of Noah’s day “swept away” the lives of everyone that could have chosen to prolong their lives if they’d have gotten on the ark with Noah, what the flood really swept away was the dreams, hopes, aspirations, and possessions of those persons. When they are resurrected in the Peaceful Kingdom, they will find the things they esteemed are gone. Their earthly ambitions, plans, cares, and belongings have all been washed away. The fence they intended to mend, the granary they hoped to build, the wine they were aging for that party they were planning, the field they were plotting to acquire, the harvest they were counting on, all those stored up treasures are gone forever, and those treasures did not sustain either their pleasure nor their lives like they’d imagined.

      So it will be in these last days.

      Another way of putting it would be this: While their living bodies were swept way, it was really their life-style, or way of living, that was swept away.

      -greg

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Greg well said. I also would like to add that it was not the time for gathering ones for salvation as Christ had not come and paid the price. The Ark was not build large enough to save the world. I saw no mention of God inviting them to get in the ark. The doors were closed because it was going to rain not because the door to salvation was over. It is much like our time, indeed. Salvation is open after armageddon. Like in Noah’s day it will sweep away their aspirations as you said and a system of things. And after this age the millennium, which is the time for salvation and all must make a choice. Governing body says the organization is the ark of salvation, but it floated them but God saved them thru the flood. Jesus is the means of salvation for us now He is the way. Like in Noah’s day it will sweep away their aspirations as you said and a system of things.
        Isn’t it nice to understand that he is indeed a Ransom for all of Adam’s offspring since he ransomed Adam.

        PS: I was so uplifted today to hear my Brother in law, a JW elder, say to my older sister that I was her sister and the fact that I wasn’t a witness shouldn’t stop her from speaking to me. She apologized after I left about talking to me. She said she didn’t mean to. We had a good time and enjoyed each other, shared photos and caught up on things. I didn’t know she was afraid and apologize to the other family members for letting me in her home and having fun as we always did. She is sick now and the witnesses shunning policies have kept us apart for 12 years. Why do men fear men like that?

        • greg (Bible Student)

          Jacqueline,

          You wrote: “I was so uplifted today to hear my Brother in law, a JW elder, say to my older sister that I was her sister and the fact that I wasn’t a witness shouldn’t stop her from speaking to me.”

          Me: Yay! Your Brother-in-law advocating for both you and for truth! How encouraging!

          You: “She apologized after I left about talking to me. She said she didn’t mean to. We had a good time and enjoyed each other, shared photos and caught up on things.”

          Me: Brings tears of joy to my eyes to hear that. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for letting me celebrate and dance with joy alongside you.

          You: “I didn’t know she was afraid and apologize to the other family members for letting me in her home and having fun as we always did.”

          Me: Ah, what a complex mix of emotions. On the one hand, regrets. On the other hand, I’m going to guess maybe some healing, maybe some hope?

          You: “She is sick now and the witnesses shunning policies have kept us apart for 12 years.”

          Me: Oh, how sad on both counts. No doubt you’ve both got some catching up you want to do.

          You: “Why do men fear men like that?”

          Me: Yep. It sickens me, too, to see people copying Satan’s perverted methods.

          What perverted method, exactly? The method of IMPOSING EXTERNAL shame on people. To IMPOSE shame on someone, is to create fear and conflict within them. It’s a manslayer-tactic. It’s a form of character assassination. If I try to shame you, I’m trying to dominate you by wielding as a weapon my opinion of you. If I imply that my opinion of you is that you’re ignorant, foolish, inferior, even disgusting, then you are very likely to focus all your attention and energy on shifting MY OPINION of you, rather than on listening to your own conscience. In a way, the externally-imposed form of shame hijacks and corrupts a person’s conscience and their ability to see clearly what really needs their attention and energy.

          I mean, we all want to be valued and loved, don’t we? We all want to feel equality. We all want for others to see us as we see ourselves.

          Shame (specifically the EXTERNALLY-IMPOSED form of shame) never makes the world a better place. It was precisely what CAUSED Eve to sin. Think about it: Satan said, “Did God really say you’d die? And you believe that? What? You don’t KNOW the difference between Good and Evil? Oh, what a shame! Don’t you want to be like God and KNOW for yourself?”

          By those words, Eve no doubt felt ashamed of her ignorance. It was only after she and Adam had sinned that they felt the HEALTHY, INTERNALLY-ARISING, GOD-GIVEN form of Shame.

          Yet almost every JW I know subscribes to the notion that HEAPING SHAME on others is how to make the world a better place. It isn’t.

          And in JW-land, they are ready, willing, and even eager to shame anyone that refuses to join them in their shaming practices. That’s truly tragic. And in my mind, that’s how they come to live in such fear. Shame and Fear and very tightly linked. Both are often implemented as social-control mechanisms, just as Satan implemented them. (And in my mind, that explains why so many JW’s are fatally depressed, discouraged, and suffer from what we call “mental illness.” For me, the sadness is that their methods–Satan’s methods–work all too well.

          And so I say it again, Yep, it sickens me, too.

          I’m so glad to be free from all that.

          Anyway, congratulations, and thanks again for sharing this good news. I sincerely hope you and your sister can reconnect in a wonderful way in the days ahead.

          -greg

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Greg, my brother in law is an elder for probably 50 years and he was waiting outside to park my younger sister and my car. He said I am so glad to see some family come up here!!! She has early stage alzheimer. He is 80. She is 76. All of my brothers are elders and many more JW in this family and not one soul has come to see their oldest sister nor called her. My little sister that lost her husband in March could finally travel. (her husband was sick 30 years and she didn’t want a memorial because the brothers never helped. Only I drove down constantly to Alabama.
            I showed her pictures on my phone and went over and over things to make sure she understood. It was touching my younger sister and I are overcome with emotions on her fear of reprisal for letting me, her friend, all our lives come in. I have tried to save my feelings by not going around witnesses but I won’t abandon her. My mother and father worked hard to cement our family and these men in Warwick New york ar one of the purest forms of evil I have encountered. To have these poor souls in fear. As you mentioned satan deliberately destroys families. These guys know they are doing it but have hearts of stone. They must protect their donations.
            BTW: I texted my family that are witnesses her number so they could call here while my sister was there. (I had left). She could help her remember them but not one soul called the whole weekend my sister was living in her home in Chicago.
            Now I am putting them all on the road. Taking them to the children’s museum in Indianapolis.
            Another group of witness family with kids arriving Wednesday. I will run back home to greet them.
            So that is why you haven’t heard from me.

            • greg (Bible Student)

              Jacqueline,

              I hope you have safe journey’s, and as wonderful a time as is possible under the circumstances. I’m glad to hear that you’re finding some measure of success in healing relationships with your family members. I know there will be more tears, but hopefully–and I trust it will be so–the joys will outshine the sadness.

              And a quote from SitS, Volume 4, page xii:

              “The spirit of fear, inspired by the croaking, will scourge the passions of otherwise good and reasonable men to fury—desperation. In their blind following of these evil spirits, evil doctrines, they will be ready to sacrifice life and everything on what they mistakenly suppose is the altar of Justice, Truth and Righteousness under a Divine arrangement.”

              Keeping you in my prayers,
              -greg

      • Lincoln

        The day of sin – the day af judgement – the day of atonement.

        I come to think about another judgement of God, who decided to judge and condemn the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

        In the Bible the account tells about one of the times God himself comes to earth and reveals himself as a human (in human form). Genesis 18:1–15
        The account goes like this:

        ”And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
        He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, (559 z8799 Yähwè יָהוֶה, 136 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.)

        4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”

        6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

        9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”

        10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

        And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.

        11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

        13 The Lord said to Abraham ( And Yähwè יָהוֶה 068 said 559 z8799 unto x413 ´Avrähäm ), “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?

        14  Is anything too hard for the Lord? (hard 6381 z8735 for Yähwè יָהוֶה? 3068) At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
        Quote end.

        Genesis 18 ( Hebrew OT – Transliteration – Holy Name KJV Genesis 18 – Hebrew English Translation Massoretic Text MT ..)

        Question: Now, did Yahweh or did Yahweh not punish and destroy the people of Sodom and Gomorrah because of sinfulness? Are they going to be resurrected?

        Jude 7-8 New International Version (NIV)

        7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

        (Matthew (Matthew 10:15; 11:24 w 10:15; 11:24

        Matthew 10.15 (ASV 1901)

        15 “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city …”

        Matthew 11.24 (ASV 1901)

        24 “But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”
        ____________________________________________________________

        Matthew 25: 46 ”And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”

        so, my question is. Does it matter what we do? Will we be saved anyway?

        • Lincoln

          Dear Friends,

          Many of you have told me how you have been shunned by the watchtower JW, because you asked the wrong question.

          You told me how sorry and that you found it disgusting to do such a thing and therefore you were so happy to come here on this Internet site with the Bible students.

          So, excuse me for asking questions here. Genesis 18:1–15 ( Hebrew OT – Transliteration – Holy Name KJV Genesis 18 – Hebrew English Translation Massoretic Text MT ..)

          God bless you

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Hi Lincoln, I think you arent aware that sometimes if there is no question from the poster and this is frequent we just leave it as a comment. No offense is meant but the person isnt asking for a discussion and that is okay.
            Because you will paste an entire chapter of scripture plus some and add a link the site pushes it into pending for us to take a look at it.
            Matt 6:1-20 does not have to be written out. It will be long and look like spam.
            I dont have a problem with anyone on a personal level. Normally I don’t even know what they look like or if truly male or female.
            You say you know me from a long time ago.
            How may I ask?

            • Lincoln

              Dear Jacqueline,

              Ok, I just wanted to say this;

              “Why do I still write to you and friends here? Well, I know you from long time ago ever since I was a child. I never forget”.

              It has something with language to do. What I mean is, I know you (Bible Student / Charles Taze Russell) from my childhood in JW. I just thought it could be possible to ask the questions I cannot get answers from with JW without being “shunned”.

              Many times we find ourselves in sort of a club; get together with friends and those outside this circle cannot participate since they have another view. Talking about “the Truth” and not just believing in Jesus Christ it sometimes gives the understanding that a smaller group of a fews thousands (JW maybe 8 millions) wipe out the Christian denominations and people because “they do not have the Truth”.

              So, we can go elsewhere at the same time you here are talking about reunion.

              I wish all Christians, inclusive the Jewish people, would stay together. But, I must say I am a little discouraged and sad about the situation. But I get along, I hope. People are not so loving always.

              God bless all of you.

              • zionsherald

                Lincoln,

                Lets try this again. I’m sorry that I’m going to sound a bit harsh, but why do you still post here when you never reply to what is written in response to you?

                I could understand why JWs would ‘shun’ you, but perhaps you aren’t understanding how your actions displays a sense of insincerity.

                You claim you want answers to the questions you post, but the truth of the matter is that you post lists and lists of things and after someone replies, you then run away only to return later to post more.

                Why would someone even want to dialogue with someone who doesn’t dialogue? You post things as a definitive answer and when it is explained your point of view either doesn’t fit the context, or there is another way to look at the passage, you start another subject. Actions like this expose weakness in the knowledge of the subject. It’s ok if you don’t know. Just say you don’t know. But if you claim to know, and you ‘hit and run’ as you’ve been doing, you simply make yourself look silly and the appearance seems to be that you really don’t know at all.

                If you want to talk about talking “truth”, then lets talk. I seriously mean talk, and don’t talk and run. If you want to talk about love, then show it. Discuss the subjects you bring up. Don’t talk and run.

                At the bottom of this post I’m going to post again what I’ve been waiting on a reply from you and see if you bite.

                You talk about “knowing” Bible Students, yet at the same time get everything we believe incorrect. You’ve got to remember your audience. Don’t talk about Bible Student beliefs as if they were JWs beliefs. They are two different denominations, two different groups, two different beliefs, and I would add, two entirely separate religions with very little in common.

                As for reconciliation between JWs and Bible Students, or Jews and Christians. It will happen, but not before Armageddon. Read my post about the Bible Student view of Armageddon bringing about the possibility of salvation for every man woman and child (which was in contrast to the JW view where everyone except the JWs are wiped out of existence.)

                The Bible Student view is completely opposite than that of the JWs. We believe that Armageddon will be good news for unbelieving mankind.

                http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2014/09/18/are-the-jehovahs-witnesses-changing-their-name-to-bible-students/comment-page-3/#comment-1346801
                ——————————

                So Lincoln, lets try this again. Here follows my earlier response to you on John 1:1 —

                You’ve raised a new subject on the passage of John 1:1.

                John 1:1 ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

                We know from the context that the Word here was Jesus so I’ll substitute that in the text and paraphrase it as we go.

                “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God….”

                Who is God here? Jesus obviously was not with himself. The context tells us how to identify “God” here. In John 1:6 he says “There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.” We know this was the Father because the 18th verse tells us that “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father…” Since I’ve let the context do the interpreting for me, I will now substitute Father in the place of God and continue with my paraphrase.

                “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with the Father, and Jesus was the Father.” (The Zionsherald paraphrase).

                The traditional trinitarian ‘formula’ has each person in the godhead separate and distinct from the other persons. In other words, they believe there are three separate persons, all God. The Father is not the Son or Holy Spirit, but all three are God. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit, nor is the Spirt the Father or Son.

                This is the reason that in Greek John makes a distinction between ‘theos’ and ‘ho theos” as John could not make Jesus the same person as the Father. There are some Oneness Pentecostals who equate the ‘persons’ but most trinitarians consider them heretics, and rightfully so.

                Keeping the distinction between the Father and Son is important and it is the same issue found in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is called both “mighty God” and “everlasting Father.”

                When I point this out to some trinitarian friends that I’ve had this discussion with they quickly recognize there is an issue with their interpretation of these texts because, as they affirm, Jesus the Son is not the Father.

                ——————–

                I look forward to a reply.

                ===================
                Adding to the list.

                DISCUSSED
                John 1:1

                • Lincoln

                  Dear Zionsherald.

                  Thank you for letter. I don’t think I can ”prove” or explain anything about you question that you can use or Bible Students can use at all. Because you already have made up your mind about this.

                  On the other hand I read Charles Taze Russell agree to Jesus deity. I understand he never explained The Holy Spirit as a distinct person. I understand that, but you must admit being (as you believe) a part of God, The Holy Spirit must be God if it is (as you believe) Gods Power. So that makes God and The Holy Spirit one.

                  Now I would like to comment what you have written to me. Let me therefore quote from you letter.

                  You write:

                  ”John 1:1 ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.
                  We know from the context that the Word here was Jesus so I’ll substitute that in the text and paraphrase it as we go.

                  “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God….”
                  Who is God here? Jesus obviously was not with himself. The context tells us how to identify “God” here.

                  In John 1:6 he says “There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.” We know this was the Father because the 18th verse tells us that “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father…” Since I’ve let the context do the interpreting for me, I will now substitute Father in the place of God and continue with my paraphrase.

                  “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with the Father, and Jesus was the Father.” (The Zionsherald paraphrase).

                  The traditional trinitarian ‘formula’ has each person in the godhead separate and distinct from the other persons. In other words, they believe there are three separate persons, all God. The Father is not the Son or Holy Spirit, but all three are God. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit, nor is the Spirt the Father or Son.

                  This is the reason that in Greek John makes a distinction between ‘theos’ and ‘ho theos” as John could not make Jesus the same person as the Father. There are some Oneness Pentecostals who equate the ‘persons’ but most trinitarians consider them heretics, and rightfully so.
                  Quote end.

                  My comment:

                  So, when Jesus is said to be (as you write) ”ho theos” to point to Jesus as ”The God” and as you say (Bible says): ”Jesus was the Father”, it makes sense to me. We are talking about spiritual matters and not physical beings.

                  The Christian doctrine about the Trinity is a way to understand about God. Who God is like and who God is. We don`t know anything, but we try to define about God. How can God be one and tree at the same time?

                  God is Spirit and does not represent a person like us. God is more. In the same way, Jesus was more than a man and was not conceived like we are, but by The Holy Spirit.
                  Therefore we cannot say that the human person Jesus in flesh and blod was God, but Jesus was both human and God at the same time.

                  Does this make sense? Yes it does. It gives us understanding about God you cannot get from elsewhere. God reveals himself in human body as God has done before to Abraham.

                  So, the possibility for God to come to us in human body is clear.

                  Now what happens when we speak about God as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? It explain to us who God is. God is more than an Idea, God is real and we can get in personal contact with God.

                  Blessings

                  • zionsherald

                    Lincoln, you said, “So, when Jesus is said to be (as you write) ”ho theos” to point to Jesus as ”The God” and as you say (Bible says): ”Jesus was the Father”, it makes sense to me.”

                    First, keep in mind that I was not saying that Jesus was the Father. The paraphrase was to illustrate an important point on the passage under discussion. Now that I’ve said this I have one question that will help us go forward.

                    Do you believe Jesus is the Father?

                    Are you a “Oneness” Pentecostal? Trinitarians consider any doctrine which suggests that Jesus is the Father, as heresy.

                    http://www.equip.org/article/oneness-pentecostalism-heresy-not-hairsplitting/

                    If you are not a ‘Oneness Pentecostal’ the definition in the link above suggests you are not a trinitarian (because of your equating Jesus as the Father above).

                    It helps to have definitions so that those who dialogue can have a better understanding of each other, and so that no misunderstandings ensue going forward.

                    • Lincoln

                      Dear Zionsherald. Thank you for your comments. I will answer your questions. You ask me:
                      ”Do you believe Jesus is the Father”?

                      Answer: No, I don`t believe Jesus is the Father, I believe Jesus deity as God. God in our understanding of who and what God is; Jesus in spirit in Jesus`fleshly body. So Jesus was both man and God at the same time.

                      Talking about God the Father, we are talking about God’s relation towards us. But, we are at the same time talking about God, The God.

                      I don’t know who and what God is (Bible says ”God is Spirit”). I don’t know where God is (in Heaven, but where is Heaven?) But we believe in God and that God is here and in our hearts in Spirit. I cannot explain God, but as God the Father I believe he is my Father, my maker and I am his child, now born again.

                      We are discussing things we do not know about. Now from you link:

                      1)
                      Trinitarian scholar and ex-Oneness follower Gregory Boyd is quoted as saying, “If you deny the eternality of the three personal ways God is God, you undermine the very essence of Christianity.”

                      2)
                      Oneness leader T. F. Tenney states, “We do not deny the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit…. We believe Jesus Christ is wholly, fully, absolutely, and completely God. But no one is going to put us in the position of saying that there are three Gods.”

                      3)
                      The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is three consubstantial persons or hypostases — the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit—as “one God in three Divine Persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios). In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a “person” is who one is.
                      ________________________

                      In the Christian faith no one of the mentioned ”persons” over the other, but are each equally and eternally the one true God.
                      At the same time God is present at the same time everywhere in the world, Universe.

                      We are talking about definitions of God.

                      TRI-UNITY — The teaching of the Bible concerning the Trinity might be summarized thus. God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God.

                      Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order.

                      The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son.
                      With reference to God’s creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality.

                      We “see” God and His great salvation in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, then “experience” their reality by faith, through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.
                      _______________________________________

                      So, what do I expect? From you? I don’t know, but I think I expect you recognize the possibility of a unity in the Godhead. Why? Because nobody really knows who and what God is, but the revelation of God in the Bible.

                      What has happened?

                      This has happened; we learned about the Jewish religion, Judaism and then the Jewish God JHVH and we came to believe in this through Jesus.

                      This was an answer to many questions we had as humans. For 2000 years we have tried to understand who God is and why we live. In recent history 6.000 years we have studied the problems within our societies. Wars have been fought and everyone has taken over everything.

                      We have persecuted everyone, out of our own understanding and we keep on doing this even today.

                      As far as I can see the only chance we have is uniting in Jesus. Millions, yes maybe as much as more than 2 billions are worshiping God in the name of Jesus. We unite in the name of Jesus and not in the name of JHVH, but when we Christians use the name Jesus we worship God JHVH whom we try to understand as our father, Jesus as our brother and the Holy Spirit as our true Helper.

                      So, doing this we even unite with the Jews.

                      Jesus said (Acts 1): 8 ”but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

                      John 15: 26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me”,
                      _______________________________________

                      Here I see the possibility of the world we are living in and the one we are looking forward to come. A united world helping everyone. Luke 3 1-17 Matthew 25:40-45

                      God`s blessing to all of you.

                    • ZionsHerald

                      Lincoln,

                      Your comments regarding my ‘paraphrase’ of John 1:1 contradict each other.

                      Fist you said, “So, when Jesus is said to be (as you write) ”ho theos” to point to Jesus as ”The God” and as you say (Bible says): ”Jesus was the Father”, it makes sense to me.” This appears to sound as if you are equating Jesus as the Father.

                      Then you said, ” No, I don`t believe Jesus is the Father.”

                      Lets look at the ‘paraphrase’ again.

                      “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with the Father, and Jesus was the Father.” (The Zionsherald paraphrase).

                      The Greek is very specific when it makes a difference between “god” and “a god.” If the Greek did not make the distinction, it would have equated Jesus as the Father, and this is not the traditional trinitarian formula.

                      Lets throw another Scripture out there. Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus both “the mighty god” and the “everlasting Father.” If you do not believe Jesus is the Father (and neither do I), then how do you understand this passage?

                      You also said, “….Jesus was both man and God at the same time,” yet you provide no scriptural evidence of the matter. Lets try to keep to Scripture in the discussion. Leave out the philosophy, and stick to Scripture.

                      Lets add the Isaiah 9:6 passage to our ongoing list.
                      ————————-
                      Discussed

                      John 1:1
                      Isaiah 9:6
                      ——————

                    • Lincoln

                      Ok, Zionsherald, I will answer you.

                      Thank you Zionsherald,

                      The traditional doctrin the trinity renders God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy spirit equal;

                      Athanasian Creed (A.D. 325 )

                      We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Person: nor divided in the Substance [Essence].

                      For there is one Person of the Father: another of the Son: and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

                      ”Such as the Father is: such is the Son”: and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreate [uncreated]: the Son uncreate [uncreated]: and the Holy Spirit uncreate [uncreated].

                      The Father incomprehensible [unlimited]: the Son incomprehensible [unlimited]: and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible [unlimited, or infinite].

                      The Father eternal: the Son eternal: and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal.

                      As also there are not three uncreated: nor three incomprehensibles [infinites]: but one uncreated: and one incomprehensible.

                      (3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 4″Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5″You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.…)New American Standard Bible

                      So likewise the Father is Almighty: the Son Almighty: and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty.

                      So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet “they are not three Gods”: but one God.

                      So likewise the Father is Lord: the Son is Lord: and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord. . . . And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another: none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped . . .
                      ___________________________________________________________________________

                      Lets throw another Scripture out there. Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus both “the mighty god” and the “everlasting Father.” If you do not believe Jesus is the Father (and neither do I), then how do you understand this passage?

                      I understand this as an utterance of God and Jesus as God the Son within the Godhead represent also God the Father not the same ”person” as The Father. So being distinct and at the same time part of ”the fulness of God”.
                      __________________________________________________________

                      You also said, “….Jesus was both man and God at the same time,” yet you provide no scriptural evidence of the matter. Lets try to keep to Scripture in the discussion. Leave out the philosophy, and stick to Scripture.

                      My comment:

                      Colossians 2:9; …8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ.

                      9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. 10 And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.…

                      God Bless you.

                    • ZionsHerald

                      Lincoln,

                      You are still responding with the philosophy of men (essence, uncreated, unlimited, etc….). Perhaps I am not being clear enough. I think you’re looking at this too generically. At one moment you say Jesus is the Father and the next you don’t. Without a definite, clear, consistent interpretation, there isn’t

                      My questions for you (based on the two passages under consideration) are how you can understand Jesus to be the Father. I am not asking if you believe both Jesus and the Father are god. I already know you believe that. The passage in Isaiah 9:6 specifically calls Jesus the ‘everlasting father” yet you stated both a “yes” and a “no” to that question. If Jesus is not the Father, then how do you understand these two passages? Stating Jesus is the “Father” is not stating he is “distinct” from the Father. It specifically says “Father.”

                    • Lincoln

                      Dear Zionsherald,

                      As I started out with, I am not able to prove to you, but to tell you how we Christians understand God. I am not saying Jesus is the Father. He is also “everlasting Father” within the godhead, but there are distinct in how God appears. In the Christian faith no one of the mentioned ”persons” over the other, but are each equally and eternally the one true God.

                      At the same time God is present at the same time everywhere in the world, Universe.

                      We are talking about definitions of God.

                      TRI-UNITY — The teaching of the Bible concerning the Trinity might be summarized thus. God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God.

                      Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order.

                      The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son.

                      With reference to God’s creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality.

                      We “see” God and His great salvation in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, then “experience” their reality by faith, through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.

                      So, in this way Jesus is Everlasting Father, since we think about one God. What God the Father is, God the Son is too, but they are two different appearances and still one.

                      God is Spirit

                      https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-can-jesus-be-our-everlasting-father

                      God Bless you.

                    • zionsherald

                      Lincoln,

                      I appreciate that you are trying to explain what you believe. I am not asking you to prove what you believe at all, but rather to explain how your views fit within or without the traditional Christian views. Now that you’ve explained yourself somewhat, I can appreciate that the view of God that you hold does not completely fall in line with either the trinitarian or oneness formulas. It’s ok to state that you have your own perspective of the matter.

                      Definitions are a good start for any discussion to begin so that we are talking about what is believed, rather than what one perceives the other believes. This is why I continually explain to you that you confuse the JW and Bible Student beliefs and that arguing against the JWs beliefs is not exactly arguing against the beliefs of the Bible Students.

                      As stated previously, we know the oneness view suggests the concept that Jesus is the Father. The trinitarian view does not. The trinitarian view would suggest that Jesus is “father-like” rather than the Father himself. This is a description I like. Jesus is indeed “father-like” but not the father himself. And this is the way that John 1:1 is describing Jesus. It is stating he is “father-like” but not the father himself. Isaiah 9:6 calls him “everlasting father” and “mighty god” in the same way. Jesus is like the “everlasting father” and he is like the “mighty god” but he is not either one.

                      Keep in mind that you haven’t really replied with Scripture, but you continually reply in philosophical reasonings and links. My suggestion is that we should avoid these type of discussions. Lets stick to the Scriptures and lets not repeat ones that we’ve already discussed.

                      You mentioned Colossians 2:9 in your previous post along with a statement that Jesus was both god and man. I want to be certain I was not misunderstanding you so I will paraphrase what I think you were saying. Were you saying that this passage proves that Jesus is both god and man?

                      When we study a passage we need to keep its historical context in mind. Remember, Colossians was written by Paul some time after Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. This was written after Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Emmaus. If Colossians is saying anything, it is only saying that Jesus nature is just like God’s AFTER his death and resurrection. And we know this because the first chapter in Colossians states specifically this very thing. In that context it calls Jesus the “beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence’ (Colossians 1:18). The passage certainly doesn’t state that he his God himself, or the Father for that matter (keeping in mind the distinction between the trinitarian and oneness perspectives). On this point I can agree. Jesus nature after his resurrection (in this passages historical context) is just like God’s nature. I find it both comforting and humbling at the same time to know that we are promised the same thing, that whatever Jesus is like, we will be just like that as well!

                      1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

                      I will now add these new passages that have been raised to the “DISCUSSED” list below.

                      —————————

                      DISCUSSED (in order of appearance in Scripture)

                      Isaiah 9:6
                      John 1:1
                      Colossians 1:18
                      Colossians 2:9
                      1 John 3:2

                    • Lincoln

                      Dear Zionsherald, (it is difficult to find “reply” to your letters)

                      You write:

                      As stated previously, we know the oneness view suggests the concept that Jesus is the Father. The trinitarian view does not.

                      The trinitarian view would suggest that Jesus is “father-like” rather than the Father himself.

                      My comment:

                      I don`t think so. Jesus is not the Father. Jesus is not Father-like. Jesus is The Son of God, but one with God. There are two distinct identification mentioned in the scriptures of whom it says; They are One. Jesus point to that many times and the present days Jews understood perfectly what he was talking about- ”equaling himself to God” and wanted to stone him.
                      ________________________________________________

                      My comment:

                      Our Christian belief about God, who God is and how, comes from our understanding the mission of Jesus and his own words.

                      It is impossible to ”picture” God and explaine God, but we get a good understanding in the doctrin about the unity.

                      Ultimately the Son of God was to be known as the reveletion of the Heavenly Father on earth. He states later in the Gospels,

                      “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9, NAB)

                      The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, “he is the image and glory of God? (1 Cor 11:7, NAB)

                      This “glory of God” is no less than the image of the Heavenly Father on earth, but it does not say he thereby becomes God the Father.

                      John 14

                      8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?

                      Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

                      10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

                      11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

                      In other words, they are united and this union they have is a unity of nature.

                      28 ”I give them eternal life”, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

                      29 My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

                      32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”

                      33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

                      34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

                      37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
                      John 10:28-39 (ESV)

                      The Son is “the very image of the Father’s substance” (Hebrews 1:3 ASV). Both John 14:9 and Hebrews 1:3 are not speaking of a physical image.

                      John chapter 1 equates the “Word” with “God” (“the Word was God,” v.1). That “Word became flesh … the only begotten of the Father” (v.14; this is the first notation of the Father), which incarnation is Jesus Christ (v.17), the Son of the Father (v.18).

                      So there is immediately both an equating of the Being of God with the incarnated Word, the Son, while also the beginning of the distinction of Father (the begetter) vs. Son (the begotten). This begotten one is recognized by some as the promised Messiah (v.40), which the Hebrew scriptures in Isaiah 9:6 had revealed would be:

                      John 4:21-34 is the most explicit statement made (by Jesus) up to this point in the Gospel that indicates the designation of “Father” is equated to “God” also (though it is certainly implied earlier in the gospel with 1:14), so the same Being of John 1:1. This is the same passage that mentions “God is Spirit”:

                      John 10:30 has the statement:

                      I and My Father are one.

                      Which the Jews did not misinterpret when they sought to stone Him for that statement (10:33):

                      The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

                      They interpreted the “one” of John 10:30, based on the reaction, as the “one” of Deut 6:4—
                      Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

                      And Christ clarifies this oneness in 10:37-38

                      37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.

                      God is Spirit.

                    • zionsherald

                      Lincoln,

                      Correct, Jesus is not the Father. On this account we both agree. To summarize the first two passages under consideration, the contexts of the John 1:1 and Isaiah 9:6 passages, call Jesus the Son “father”, but Jesus is not the Father. This is why I pointed to the rest of the context in both John and Isaiah which illustrates that the God Jesus is like is his Father. (I’ve added those verses to our ongoing “discussed” list below). This is why many trinitarian commentators will conclude that Jesus is “father like” because of these contexts. Whether you agree or disagree, equating Jesus with “god” in these passages, is the same as equating Jesus with the “father”, which we both do not believe. Whether you agree with their conclusion is up to you, but the direct statement of calling Jesus Father is not equivalent to calling God Father. The passages specifically reference Jesus as “father” and this is why it is interpreted as “father-like” by many scholars.

                      I’m going to ignore the philosophical comments you make which are not based on Scripture (as I’ve stated multiple times this is not the place for it.) We aren’t discussing the philosophy of the trinity doctrine anyway. Our current discussion is the Scriptures and whether or not the doctrine is proven by Scripture. If we want to debate philosophy we can do that somewhere else. The problem with philosophy is that there isn’t a foundation where one can claim definitively a commonality. On the authority of Scripture we can both agree. Again it appears that you are copying and pasting lists of passages from websites in an attempt to validate your point rather than trying to deal with the passages that we are already discussing. Instead of dealing with the context and meaning of what we are discussing you point twenty other places and say, “well look over there” instead. Lets keep discussing but lets keep to the subject and passage at hand rather than point elsewhere. We also need to be careful not to go beyond what the plain words of Scripture say. Lets not shoehorn philosophy into the texts. Lets just try to read them for their plain meaning. I’ll make point of the contexts of many of the passages you quoted below.

                      You mentioned a passage without quoting it where you claim that Jesus was ”equaling himself to God” and the Jews “wanted to stone him.” This passage is found in John 10. “Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:32-33). Note carefully that Jesus did not say he was equal to god here. The context merely states that the JEWS accused Jesus of this claim. Jesus response to their accusation is fascinating. He responds to the claim by quoting from Psalm 82:6 where the Psalmist says, “I said, ‘You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.” “Jesus answered them, ‘Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:35-36).

                      The context of Psalm 82 which Jesus quoted in response describes God as telling the rulers of Israel that they are judging incorrectly and showing partiality to the wicked. “God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly And show partiality to the wicked?” (Psalm 82:1-2). Jesus quotes a Psalm these Pharisees would be familiar with and they get upset with him because they realize he’s informing them in a subtle yet direct way that their claim was wrong, and that they too are judging incorrectly, just as the judges of Psalm 82 did.

                      Another passage you quoted states, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9, NAB). Both of us do not believe that Jesus is the Father. This is a passage that Oneness Pentecostals point to in order to try to prove their theory. We can both agree on Jesus sentiments that when you look into Jesus eyes, you see his father’s eyes (like the old Amy Grant Christian song which you can listen to at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9L1ODcaE-k).

                      You said, “The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, “he is the image and glory of God? (1 Cor 11:7, NAB) This ‘glory of God’ is no less than the image of the Heavenly Father on earth, but it does not say he thereby becomes God the Father.” Again, we can both agree on this point that Jesus is NOT the Father. We can also agree that after Jesus resurrection, at the time Paul is writing to the Corinthians, Jesus is indeed the image and glory of God. However your conclusion that “they are united and this union they have is a unity of nature” goes beyond what the text actually states. Note that in the context of John 10 Jesus had just described a oneness of unity of purpose between Jesus and the Father, and Jesus and his followers, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16). When Jesus repeats the idea in his prayer to his Father in John 17 he elaborates further on it by stating, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:11. It is my belief, and the belief of Bible Students, that all people who have ever lived, man, woman, and child, they will all come to this unity of purpose in the same way in God’s coming Kingdom. Everyone will have the opportunity. Note carefully that this is much different than the JWs who claim (like many Christians), if you don’t believe like them you will be lost eternally (either through second death or a burning hell.)

                      And finally, on the last Scripture you quoted you stated that “The Son is ‘the very image of the Father’s substance'” (Hebrews 1:3 ASV). Again, the context of Hebrews is also interesting. Start with verse 1. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB). God appointed Jesus his heir, and it was through Jesus that he created the world. The word ‘by’ (Gr. en) indicates instrumentality. This shows God’s superiority to Christ and’s Christ being used as an instrument of God. Jesus as heir shows he was not the original possessor of all things. God was. Otherwise he would already have everything and would be heir of nothing. Hebrews then states that Jesus is seated at God’s right hand, in a subordinate position, not an equal one. Note that Jesus is described here as the representation of God… “the exact representation of His nature…” (Hebrews 1:3, NASB) A representation is not the actual thing.

                      The whole point of Hebrews is that Paul is trying to prove to the Hebrews both how and why Christ is NOW superior to the angels. If Jesus is God the Father himself, all he would have had to say was ‘He’s God’ and that would have been it. This entire context does not speak of what Christ did in the past, but rather what has been appointed for him AFTER his resurrection …’in these last days’ ‘appointed heir of all things…’ (vs 2) ‘He is the radiance of His glory and exact representation of His nature…He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high … ‘ (vs 3) ‘having become as much better than the angels, as he has INHERITED a more excellent name …’ ‘For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘You are my Son, Today I have begotten you’ (Hebrews 1:5.).’ In response to this, many trinitarians have told me that ‘Scripture plainly teaches that Jesus was never an angel. If He were an angel, He would have to have been created.” But remember, both historically and contextually when this was said about Jesus, he was a man NOT an angel at all! Look at how the passage is applied in the book of Acts.

                      “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Acts 13:33). When Jesus died as a man and had risen from the dead he was ‘begotten’ as it said in the Psalm where this is quoted from. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalms 2:6-7 KJV) This passage does not relate to Jesus as an angel in any way. As stated above, all the context in Hebrews is saying is that now, after Jesus resurrection, he has been made much better than the angels. On this point we can agree. Jesus is indeed better than the angels.

                      The context in Psalms 2 is also very interesting. It states that this Messiah was to be ‘set up’ on Mt. Zion. Hebrews 1 quotes this Psalm and this Psalm is not stating that God himself was appointed, but that God had appointed a king like him, in his very image. On this point Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s Commentary states, “I have set—anointed, or firmly placed, with allusion in the Hebrew to “casting an image in a mold.” The sense is not materially varied in either case. My king—appointed by Me and for Me (Numbers 27:18).” This king that is better than the angels in Hebrews was appointed by God. This is the point that the writer of Hebrews is trying to prove to the Jews of his day that did not believe Jesus was appointed by God.

                      —————————
                      — Our little list is growing rapidly —

                      (Please Let me know if I missed any. Before proceeding, please try to comment on each of my responses to the passages that you raised without bringing up another subject. I spent a great deal of time attempting to reply to your comments and I expect the same amount of effort on your part.)

                      DISCUSSED (in order of appearance in Scripture)

                      Numbers 27:18
                      Deuteronomy 6:4
                      Psalms 2:6-7
                      Psalm 82:1-2, 6
                      Isaiah 9:6
                      John 1:1, 3, 14, 17-18
                      John 4:21-34
                      John 10:16, 30, 33, 37-38
                      John 14:9
                      John 17:11
                      Acts 13:33
                      1 Corinthians 11:7
                      Colossians 1:18
                      Colossians 2:9
                      Hebrews 1:1-6
                      1 John 3:2

              • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

                Lincoln, I would not reunite with Jehovah witnesses as I dont share their understanding of scripture nor would I worship their governing body or join their organization. There are some xjw that can’t drop the governing body and have chosen to create a fusion of the two. Therefore creating another religion altogether and that is fine. As Zionsherald stated After Armageddon there will be peace and uniting of all worship in the absolute truth. I look forward to the ensuring conversation between you and Zionsherald.

                • Lincoln

                  Dear Jacqueline,

                  Thank you for letter. You write: “There are some xjw that can’t drop the governing body and have chosen to create a fusion of the two.
                  Therefore creating another religion altogether and that is fine”. quote end.

                  Ok, that I don’t understand how it is possible, but as you say; “that is fine”.

                  There are so many things and I don’t know how to understand it all. My dream is “united people” in society and education and work and families.

                  I think that is why some cannot forget JW because of relative peace and “unity”. But the way “things” has developed I cannot accept.

                  How would things be if Bible Students “took over”? What would you do?

                  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

                    I don’t believe in an organization but people free to worship the creator on a personal basis. I really like JEHOVAH and Jesus plan to destroy all systems both political, religious and social systems. Destroy Not people but the systems then set up their plan to benefit all. No denominations that divide. He is only taking out his Bride and temple class for heaven now. Witnesses have jumped the gun and trying to save the world from Armageddon.
                    Also please remember not all that comment are associated with Bible students on here they are expressing themselves and not all want to run for the heavenly calling. You dont have to want all of them to agree and march as an unthinking army. Think only of your understanding and not focus on others way of coping and adjusting.
                    I worry about my relationship not trying to change or get confused when others express how they see it. It requires study, prayer and open discussion in association with others.
                    Some can’t adjust quickly to not being told what to do, say and feel in unisom. When everyone is like that it is generally only one or a few thinking and setting up rules. I appreciate the freedom Jesus sacrifice provided to go to God now thru him. No need of an organization of billionaires.
                    You mentioned peace within Jehovah witnesses: It was gossip, control, disfellowshipping, reproof, divorce, fornication and adultery is rampant. Huge partying and loose living, cliches galore. We must have been in a different religion.

  • Ellis Green

    Hi again,

    Just wanted to know if anyone attended the Dawn Bible Student convention in UK and what it was like. I’m curious: what do Bible Students understand Armageddon to be, and the “sheep and goats” that Jesus mentioned, and how does that compare with how JWs see it?

    Ellis Green

    • ZionsHerald

      Hi Ellis,

      My sister-in-law attended the convention in the UK and found it to be a great blessing. The Editor of the Bible Fellowship Union’s magazine, Bible Study Monthly, was also there. I also know that a sister from Germany was there as well because she spent the last couple of weeks with us roaming around the Rocky, Appalachian, and Blue Ridge Mountains and visiting Bible Students along the way. We (The German sister, my wife and son, sister-in-law and about 500 other friends) also attended the General Convention here in the US a couple weeks ago and enjoyed the fellowship and discussion on various points of agreement (and disagreement) and trying to hash out the meaning of various passages.

      As for Armageddon, it is the Bible Student belief that Armageddon will find both believers and unbelievers in God’s Kingdom.

      One passage I really like to share with JWs is that found in Zechariah 14:2-3. The JW interpretation of this verse has all the nations coming against Jehovah’s Witnesses in the last days and the nations all going into second death after this attack. However, the context would contradict such an interpretation as Zechariah 14:16 tells us specifically that the nations that went against Israel to battle will go year after year to worship the Lord. The JWs I have spoken with have a response that this is that these nations are the Jehovah’s witnesses. If so, then the first verse would have the Jehovahs Witnesses attacking the Jehovahs Witnesses. Hardly a favorable interpretation.

      Taking this a step further, Zechariah 12 is a parallel passage to this chapter and it states clearly that the holy spirit is not poured out on Jerusalem until after the nations come against her to battle. If Jerusalem is the JW Organization, it would suggest that they do not have the holy spirit at all.

      Interestingly enough, the JW literature consistently has passed over these verses in context since the 1940s or 50s. In the 1920’s and 30’s they saw this like Bible Students, that it was the actual nation of Israel that God was going to protect. It was Rutherford’s antisemitism that replaced Israel in these verses with the organization…all to the damage of their interpretation of the context.

      We go into a great amount of detail on this and other passages in the following video. Go ahead and check out this video conference call we had on the subject in the past.

      http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2012/02/04/feb-4-conference-call-who-will-survive-armageddon-only-those-in-the-jehovahs-witness-organization-ark/

      Also, here are some articles (with discussion) that we’ve had on the subject in the past.

      http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2015/02/02/after-armageddon-gods-kingdom-a-much-more-happy-ending-then-you-may-have-been-taught/

      http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2015/04/03/no-one-left-behind-hope-beyond-armageddon/

      If I remember correctly the separation of the sheep and goats in mentioned in the video link above, but the main difference is that the JWs basically have Jehovah separating the sheep and goats now (no longer the organization or JWs themselves in our time…since they changed this a few years back). The Bible Student view is that after Jesus takes his complete bridge for the marriage and they return to educate mankind in righteousness for 1000 years that then and only then the separation will occur.

      • greg (Bible Student)

        Ellis,

        I’d really like to express a thank you to you for asking this question about Armageddon.

        ZionsHerald,

        I’d like to thank you sincerely for answering the question by putting the Zechariah 14 argument into such “simplified” print. I’ve heard this passage discussed in one the audio call-ins I listened to very a long time ago, and have long wanted to revisit those specific verses and refresh my mind in them because I have been wanting to share them with someone. Now that I have read your posting, I’ve also had a chance to reaffirm and solidify the points in my own mind. So thank you for making such a concise (and wonderful) reply.

        -greg

        • zionsherald

          Wow. Thanks.

          Lately my own Bible studies have evolved from not just WHAT I believe, but WHY I believe something. At this point in my scripture research I like to follow the consequences of where views takes someone. What are the steps from point A (reading the passage) to point B, C, or even Z…and what are the steps that it took to get to the conclusion? If someone simply tells me WHAT they believe, I need to know why and how they got there. This is very much like the “if / then” statements you find in computer programming. If this is true, then that happens.

          By using this interpretation the JWs can manipulate their followers with fear tactics of only the Witnesses surviving Armageddon. Through their claim that only they will survive the attack of the nations they instill paranoia into the rank and file and an almost instinctive distrust and fear of anyone and any government outside of the organization. In order to survive they must remain members. They use this interpretation to keep their membership (and finances) from dwindling.

          In this case, the Jehovah’s Witness “replacement theology” (replacing Israel with themselves) leads to several illogical inconsistencies within the context. Since their magazine or literature doesn’t deal with the context of the passages or even cross references, the out of context interpretations are missed by the great majority of the group. For those who do see issues in the context, they simply wait patiently for the governing body to clarify at some point in the future or they simply just leave. At a certain point their conscience simply must chose the red pill over the blue one, even though they leave behind those who choose the red pill so they can continue to believe what they want to believe, rather than see how deep the rabbit hole goes and where it might lead them, even if it is outside of the organization.

          To take this a step further: they can’t reinterpret this context. The removal of this ‘replacement theology’ of the Witnesses would lead to a weakening of the authority of the governing body. This is why they’ve centralized the ‘faithful and discreet slave doctrine.’ By removing the authority of the entire anointed class as the ‘slave’ and then centralizing it into just the governing body, they’ve increased their power base by simply changing their doctrine. By centralizing the GB as the sole authority, they’ve had to change the doctrine of the bible students as the ‘evil slave’ since the old view wouldn’t consistently fit with their new view of the discreet slave class.

          To summarize – Instead of attempting to be honest with the failures of their ‘replacement theology’, they’ve gone further into the rabbit hole of trying to boost their weakening authority.

          I would like to add to what I said yesterday about Rutherford’s Antisemitism. I would state it was also his ego that led to these interpretations. He simply wanted to find evidence, anything, that would lead credence to him as the leader of the organization, and that it was his organization that was chosen by God over all of the other Bible Student splinter groups at the time. This is one of the reasons he changed his name and Isaiah 43:10 is another example of this ‘replacement theology’ which the JW organization uses today as their name. The last time a JW showed me this passage I gave a summary of each of the chapters surrounding the verse showing that whoever these witnesses are, they are sinful, unbelieving, and idolatrous. All one needs to do is look at why God is calling Israel that name in the context. Once I showed the JWs the context there I commented that it was hardly a group that I think they want to be identified with. Their mouth simply just dropped as they heard this as they’ve never looked at the context. At that point they looked at their watch and stated they simply had to leave.

          I could go further on this, but I think I’ve made the point of why the Scriptures about Israel are important and why they shouldn’t be reinterpreted as another group.

          • greg (Bible Student)

            Zionsherald,

            And may I thank you yet again? 🙂

            I am tempted to respond to so many things that you said. I’ll try and be brief:

            What prompts and inspires me to want to comment on nearly every point and sentence and expression you wrote is the satisfaction I have from hearing you say to me, “I’m pretty sure the Emperor has no clothes.”

            And I desperately want to reply and impart a similar joy, relief, and satisfaction to you by saying, “Yep, I don’t see any clothes either. I’m so relieved to meet someone else who sees–and doesn’t see–the same things I see and don’t see.”

            🙂

            I find it a joy and a privilege to have made your acquaintance, and to read your expressions. Thank you, sincerely!
            -greg

  • Ellis Green

    Hi there, my name’s Ellis and I’m new to this site. Fascinating comments! Thanks Sis Jacqueline for the clips you sent me; very interesting. So if I understand correctly, Jackson has hinted that JWs may change their name or at least he’s acknowledged the existence of Bible Students? I’ve often wondered had Russell lived longer and no Rutherford if Bible Students back then would ever have changed the name in the first place?

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Ellis hi. I heard that Rutherford adopted the theory of substitutionalism of Christians for the Jews. I heard that his rationale was since the natural Jews had not fulfilled the scriptures to return to their homeland after being released in WWI and WWII (Barfour declaration and that Israel could become a national state) that they had to assume They were the Jehovah witnesses spoken of in the prophets So he adopted their name. It also served to differentiate his group from all of the Bible student groups that formed after the death of Brother Russell and Rutherford’s takeover of the presses etc.
      Now this is how I heard it. Br Peter or some of the other friends might know another story on why he took their name.
      I thought they would take over the name of Bible students because theirs was getting bad press but it only made people google it (bible student name) So they just acknowledged the Bible students are not the evil slave in July 2013 study issue of watchtower and the evil slave was among their group.

      PS: Ellis thanks so much for posting directly to the site it is easier for me to answer this way. Don’t put the friends website in the website section as it popped you in spam. Just leave website line blank.
      I never look thru spam but something prompted me to do it. And wow! there you were in spam. Strange, who looks thru spam???
      Makes me think these conversations should be continued. I am sure the brothers here would like to hear some of the things you have written by email.
      Could you tell us your story please.

  • Lee Anthony

    The Jw’s pride themselves on their name as they feel it sets them apart from the rest of religions and groups. Most Jw’s I know are of the belief that no one else anywhere uses the name Jehovah. Hmm… Yes, I do however find the thought in this article interesting, when I was still an active Jw and a pioneer I remember on more than one occasion someone introducing themselves as bible students at the door in area’s where the preaching was so commonplace that people were seemingly tired of them coming by every 2 or 3 weeks. Interestingly enough I had tried introducing myself as a Jw a few times and the door was quickly shut. They call everyone studying with them bible students, which can help pave the way for those coming into the organization. This seems to be a way to help “get a foot in the door” yet I think with the new book more and more Jw’s will be using the name bible student. Whatever is being studied at the time is usually at the fore of any conversations that Jw’s have in their day to day, the last one I remember talking with was speaking of brother Russel as if he was the founder of Jw and he talked about the bible students and there seemed to be no differentiation between Jw and bible student in his mind.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      I am thinking that is why my former spinners are speaking to me now because of the mention of Bible students so much. GB member Jackson said before European court that it would be absurd to think God only deals with witnesses or just the GB. They don’t have a special relationship with him no more than all others. He is just selecting the heavenly host now from those that accept his invitation to run for the upward call. Other than that they are the rest of the Christian nations serving the God of the Bible. Antioch gave followers of Christ the name Christian and they liked it so we have Christian nations now.

      • Lee Anthony

        I listened to him, the way he worded his answer was interesting to me when he said that “we are not the only spokesperson”. So he didnt deny it neither did he agree. A rank and file would likely ne DF’d for a statement like that.
        Lee

  • Oh My Goodness, how much one could say here,

    But owning a bible of whatever flavour, reading it in a variety of denominational contexts, understanding it in an even more conscripted doctrinal environment, quoting from it relative to the above, lying to themselves and to others while accusing those not of their own persuasion of lying deception while individually wearing a benign bible student’s mantle whatever their denomination.

    The ‘Witness’ Mantle hails from Isaiah, is entirely Israel’s and DOES NOT belong to the JWs who commandeered, nay stole it, whatever their aggrandising claims.

    The Witnesses’ 2013 NWT revision framed Jehovah’s word with their own denominational text & pictures turning it into just another JW publication of dubious merit. In the March 15 2015 WT letters from readers they have completely done away with O.T. types fulfilled via the NT’s glorious antitypes projecting the why and the how of the beautiful future awaiting humanity.

    Nonetheless they are all without guilt, and just a part of the great flock of lost sheep, deceived by those gone before.

    May Jehovah kindly accommodate them all in his benign future oh so near.

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