Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
3. The Trinity
3. The Trinity
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. There is no plurality in the Godhead.12 The Father alone is God.13
b. Jesus is an angel, the first creation of God.14
c. The holy spirit is God's active force, and is not a person.15
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Q1. Does the Old Testament indicate plurality in the Godhead?
Gen 1:1-In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:2-and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Gen 1:3-Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Gen 1:26-Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness..."
Gen 3:22-Then the Lord [Jehovah] God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of US, knowing good and evil"
Gen 11:7,9-"Come, let US go down and there confuse their language"...the Lord [Jehovah] confused the language of the whole earth
Gen 18-[Jehovah and two men [angels-19:1] visit Abraham-a distinction is made between Jehovah and the angels.]
Gen 19:24-Then the Lord [Jehovah] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord [Jehovah] out of heaven...
Ex 23:20-23-"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared, Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say...My angel will go ahead of you...I will wipe them out..."
1 Cor 10:4-and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Is 48:12,16-"Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. And now the Sovereign Lord [Jehovah] has sent me, with his Spirit."
Is 63:7-14-the Lord [Jehovah]...he became their Savior...the angel of his presence saved them...they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit...he who set his Holy Spirit among them...who sent his glorious arm of power...they were given rest by the Spirit of the Lord [Jehovah]
Zech 2:8-11-For this is what the Lord [Jehovah] Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you-for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord [Jehovah] Almighty has sent me.
"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the Lord [Jehovah]. "Many nations will be joined with the Lord [Jehovah] in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord [Jehovah] Almighty has sent me to you..."
Zech 3:2-The Lord [Jehovah] said to Satan, "The Lord [Jehovah] rebuke you, Satan!"
Q2. In the New Testament do the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit cooperate collectively?
Matt 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22-Jesus...the Spirit of God descending like a dove...a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
Matt 28:19-"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name [singular] of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Luke 1:35-And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
John 3:34-35-"For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand."
John 14:26-"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my [Jesus'] name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
John 16:13-15-"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine [Jesus'] and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."
Acts 2:32-33-"This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses. Being therefore exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear."
Acts 2:38-39-And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him."
Rom 15:16-to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:30-I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf
1 Cor 12:4-6-Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
2 Cor 3:4-6-Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Cor 13:14-The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
1 John 1:3-our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ
Gal 4:4-6-But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, both under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
Eph 4:4-6-[There is] one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Heb 10:12,15-But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God...And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying...
1 Pet 1:2-...according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood...
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a. The Old Testament on several occasions indicates plurality in the Godhead.
b. Individually, the Bible indicates:
1) The deity of Christ [See THE DEITY OF CHRIST]
2) The personality and deity of the Holy Spirit [See THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT]
3) The deity of the Father [undisputed]
These three factors produce a description of the Godhead in trinity.
c. Especially in the New Testament, these three Persons are repeatedly spoken of as cooperating collectively.
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Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
Deut 6:4-Hear, O Israel! The Lord [Jehovah] is our God, the Lord [Jehovah] is one [Heb. ehad-a compound unity; cp. Gen 2:21 (one of his ribs), Gen 2:24 (shall be one flesh), Gen 3:22 (man is become as one of us), etc...not Heb. yahad-unique]
12. Reasoning From the Scriptures, pp. 136-137
13. Ibid., p. 218
14. Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 919, 1152
15. Reasoning From the Scriptures, pp. 136-137