Having asserted that Jesus is a created being, the Watchtower had to figure out how to deal with John 1:1, which plainly states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

So they came out with their own version of the Bible (the “New World Translation”), in which they rendered that verse as follows: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

The Watchtower points out that in the original Greek, the last appearance of the word appears without a definite article, so it argues that Jesus wasn’t THE God (Jehovah) but rather “a god,” that is, “a mighty one.”

Even if you were a Greek scholar, Jehovah’s Witnesses would believe the Watchtower over anything you might say, so I recommend that you avoid such a discussion.

Instead, simply ask, “Is Jesus a true God or a false god?”

This puts them on the horns of a dilemma. They will probably point out that in John 17:3 Jesus called his Father “the only true God.” If so, you can follow up by asking, “Does that mean that Jesus is a false god then?”

They will probably avoid a direct answer to that question and instead point out to you that 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 calls Satan “the god of this system of things.”

Most likely, they will also cite to you Psalm 82:1 and John 10:35-36. Psalm 82:1 says, “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the ‘gods’…” Referring to this passage, Jesus said in John 10:35-36, “If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?”

In response, point out that both Satan and the “gods” referred to in Psalm 82 were false gods against whom God brought judgment. Jesus’ point was that during their history the Israelites were quick to embrace false gods but then called him a blasphemer because he rightly called himself the Son of God.

Of course, human beings can allow anyone or anything to become a god in our lives and worship them and serve them. As Galatians 4:8 says, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.”

 Ask the Witnesses to read aloud 1 Corinthians 8:5-6. In the Watchtower Bible, those verses read: “For even though there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords,’ there is actually to us one God, the Father, from whom all things are and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and we through him.”

In saying “there is actually to us one God, the Father…,” this passage is not excluding Christ from being God any more than it is excluding the Father from being Lord when it says “there is one Lord, Jesus Christ…” The passage isn’t contrasting the Father and Christ. It is putting the Father and Christ together and distinguishing them from all the other so-called gods and so-called lords.

You can also point out that in Isaiah 43:10, the verse from which Jehovah’s Witnesses take their name, Jehovah specifically indicates that neither Jesus nor anyone else is a secondary “god”: “…I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.”

What you want to leave with them is the question I asked earlier: “Is Jesus a true God or a false god?”