Chapter 11 of the book is a doctrinal chapter which sets out the differences between biblical Christianity and Watchtower teaching on three topics: (1) the Trinity, (2) the identity of Jesus Christ, and (3) the identity of the Holy Spirit.
This post will just set out the basic differences without trying to prove the deity of Christ or the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit.
Chapter 11 is followed by three approach chapters which explain the “how” of getting the Christian teachings across to Jehovah’s Witnesses:
- Chapter 12: The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach
- Chapter 13: The Jesus Is the God-Man Approach
- Chapter 14: The Holy Spirit is God Approach
The Trinity (pp. 141-142)
Christianity (p. 141)
Christians believe that within the nature of the one true God there are three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of these Persons is fully God, yet there is only one God. (p. 141)
Jehovah’s Witnesses (pp. 141-142)
The Watchtower teaches the following: (p. 141)
- Only the Father is Jehovah God.
- Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel, God’s unique Son, the first and greatest creation of Jehovah God—“a god,” but not Almighty God.
- “holy spirit” (they usually omit the definite article and use lower case type) is neither Jehovah God nor a person; rather, it is Jehovah’s impersonal, active force.
- The Trinity doctrine is derived from pagan sources and was forced onto Christendom by Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
Jehovah’s Witnesses often point out that the word “Trinity” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. Of course, the fact that a word or phrase doesn’t appear in the Bible doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to use it. For example, Witnesses themselves meet in a building called a “Kingdom Hall” and claim that the Watchtower is “God’s theocratic organization.” Neither of those phrases can be found in the Bible. So the question isn’t whether the word “Trinity” appears in the Bible. Admittedly, it doesn’t. Rather, we need to examine whether the concept is taught there. (pp. 141-142)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses often mistakenly think that we believe in modalism—the idea that the same Person was “Father” in the Old Testament, “Son” during Jesus’ life on earth, and “Holy Spirit” since Pentecost. So sometimes they will ask, “Was Jesus praying to himself?” or “Who was speaking from heaven when Jesus was baptized?”
What would you say to overcome this misunderstanding? (p. 141)
- Where did the Trinity doctrine originate, according to the Watchtower? (p. 141)
- How would you respond to a Jehovah’s Witness who says, “The word ‘Trinity’ doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible’?” (pp. 141-142)
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