In arguing against the deity of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes cite John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (KJV)
The Watchtower’s argument essentially is as follows:
- No man has seen God at any time.
- Men have seen Jesus.
- Therefore, Jesus cannot be God.
Let’s consider how to answer them using some soundbites.
“No man has seen God in his fullness—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father and Holy Spirit are invisible. However, God has manifested himself in limited, visible form to men a number of times.”
If they ask for examples, you can follow up by citing the following scriptures (all from the Watchtower’s New World Translation, emphases added):
- Isaiah 6:1: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Jehovah sitting on a lofty and elevated throne, and the skirts of his robe filled the temple.”
- Exodus 24:9-11: “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was what seemed like a sapphire pavement, and it was as pure as the heavens themselves. He did not harm the distinguished men of Israel, and they saw a vision of the true God and ate and drank.”
- Exodus 33:18-23: “Then he [Moses] said: “Please show me your glory.” But he said: “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will declare before you the name of Jehovah; and I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy.” But he added: “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.” Jehovah said further: “Here is a place near me. Station yourself on the rock. When my glory is passing by, I will place you in a crevice of the rock, and I will shield you with my hand until I have passed by. After that I will take my hand away, and you will see my back. But my face may not be seen.”
“Although he is not the entirety of the triune God, Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation of God.”
John 14:8-9: “Philip said to him: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him: “Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, Philip, have you not come to know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also.”
Have one of the Witnesses read aloud Hebrews 1:3: “He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power” (emphasis added).
You can conclude with this soundbite question: “How could a mere created archangel be the exact representation of God’s very being and sustain all things by the word of his power?”
Have Jehovah’s Witnesses ever used John 1:18 to try to prove to you that Jesus can’t be God? What do you think of these soundbite responses and the supporting scriptures?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
 See Reasoning from the Scriptures (1985), p. 212