Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Divinity of Christ and Jehovahs Witnesses

Yes, that's MY doorpost!
Last Saturday morning I was visited by a couple Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), one elderly woman and one young woman.  I must admire their zeal for their convictions.  They were very proud of the fact that JWs are translating the Bible into many translations so that the Scriptures can be spread throughout the world and people can read in their own languages.  I identified myself as a Catholic, and the elderly one said, "Oh, I thought you might be Jewish" and pointed to the mezuzah on my door jam (which, I might add, has the Shema prayer inside it, blessed by a rabbi), to which I answered, "As Catholics, we embrace our Jewish roots and heritage."  I don't think she caught the significance of the mezzuzah or the fact that it contains the Hebrew prayer which destroys their argument against the Trinity.

The Shema prayer is one taught to all Jewish children and likewise, we teach it to our children.  It goes as follows:
Sh'ma Yisra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf'sh'kha uv'khol m'odekha.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

V'hayu had'varim ha'eileh asher anokhi m'tzav'kha hayom al l'vavekha.
And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.

V'shinan'tam l'vanekha v'dibar'ta bam
And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them

b'shiv't'kha b'veitekha uv'lekh't'kha vaderekh uv'shakh'b'kha uv'kumekha
when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Uk'shar'tam l'ot al yadekha v'hayu l'totafot bein einekha.
And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.

Ukh'tav'tam al m'zuzot beitekha uvish'arekha.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This is taken straight from Scripture too - recognized as such by Jew, Christian and even the JW.  So, when we read that the Lord our God is One (Deut. 6:4) and we recognize the deity of Jesus Christ as even JWs do though they call Him "a" god, not co-eternal with the Father.  In Catholic translations (I use the DRB below), and even most, if not all, Protestant translations we read in John 1:1 - 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
However, the JW version (the NWT) says:
In the beginning was the Word,+ and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
So, how can the JW reconcile that our God is One God, and yet declare that Jesus (the Word in John 1) is "a god" too?  

Back to my conversation with the two JW ladies...  
I stated, again, that we too are translating and have translated the Scriptures into all known (written) languages around the world.  We too are doing that, and then I said, "but we have an issue with your translation."  The elderly one stated, "You can find the truth in all translations, I assume you use the Douay-Rheims..."  I answered, "Yes, that is one I turn to the most, but not the only one."  I pointed to my computer screen and said, "I am a Catholic apologist and actually am researching Scripture right now on my computer."  (I was doing this for an on-going discussion in the Catholic Debate Forum with an atheist). 

I again drew the attention away from their boasting of bringing the Scriptures to so many different people, repeating that we do that too and have been doing it for a lot longer.  I brought the discussion back to the divinity of Jesus Christ and that He is One with the Father...  At this point they must have realized they brought a knife to a gunfight.  They were polite, but quickly excused themselves.  The irony of them bringing to my attention the mezzuzah on my doorpost did not go unnoticed.

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