This post isn’t about how to prove the doctrine of the Trinity (or the deity of Christ) to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Rather, it’s about overcoming the language barrier so that at least Jehovah’s Witnesses understand what you are and aren’t saying.

As you prepare to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding the identity of Jesus, it’s critical for you to understand that in their mind, “Almighty God” or “Jehovah” means only one thing—the Father.

So if you begin by telling them that you believe Jesus is Jehovah (or God), they are likely to think you are claiming that Jesus is his own Father or that when he prayed, he was praying to himself.

They may ask who you think ran the universe when Jesus died.

I recommend that you start by explaining your terminology so as to prevent misconceptions.

Consider starting the discussion by saying something like this: “I understand that you will disagree with this, but what I believe is that within the nature of the one true God, Jehovah, there are three distinct persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So when you see the name ‘Jehovah,’ you think one thing—the Father. When I see the name ‘Jehovah,’ I look to the context to see which person or persons it is referring to.”

If they start trying to argue with you or to show you proof texts for Watchtower theology, tell them that you will be glad to get into those scriptures one by one but that first you want to make sure you’ve adequately conveyed to them what it is that you believe.

Ask them to state it in their own words.

Often, that is very difficult for Jehovah’s Witnesses to do.

They may tell you that they don’t understand what you mean because it makes no sense to them. How can God be three in one?

There are several ways to respond to this.

Perhaps the most thought provoking is simply to ask, “Do you think if Jehovah wanted to manifest himself in a human body he would be able to do so?”

If they even admit that this is possible, you have made significant progress.

Another way is to make a simple analogy. Acknowledge at the outset that all analogies to God are inadequate because God is unique. However, one comparison is that space consists of height, width, and depth. They are different from each other and yet together the three comprise space. Another comparison is that time consists of past, present, and future. They are different from each other and yet together the three comprise time. (See Philip DelRe, Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses With Questions (Belvidere, IL: Voice Publishing, 2007), p. 27)

Acknowledge that you haven’t proved your beliefs yet or even attempted to prove them. All you are doing so far is making sure they understand what you believe.

Now invite them to give you a basic statement of what they believe. If they try to show you proof texts, say, “I would appreciate it if you would hold off on the proof texts for a little bit. First, I want to make sure I understand what it is you believe.” Then restate in your own words what they have told you. If necessary, ask questions to clarify what they believe but don’t get into arguments as to why they believe it.

Once you have clarified what the Witnesses believe, say, “We haven’t tried to prove our respective positions to each other yet, but already I can see how important this issue is to our relationship with God. If the Watchtower is right, then Jehovah never came to earth but sent someone else to become a man and die for our sins. But if I am right, then God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, personally came and bore the consequences of his own righteous wrath against sin in order to save us. The Good Shepherd of Psalm 23 himself came to earth and gave his life for the sheep. That’s a big difference, isn’t it?”

Even though they will disagree with your position, you will have introduced to them a totally new concept for which the Watchtower hasn’t prepared them.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will use it to reveal to them the real Jesus and the real gospel.