Question MarkThe Watchtower teaches that Jesus’ body never rose from the dead. Rather, “at his resurrection from the dead, Jesus was brought forth with a spirit body.”[1]

Let’s see if we can come up with a good soundbite response.

When Jesus cleansed the temple, the Jews demanded that he give them a sign showing that he had divine authority for his actions.

John 2:19-21: “Jesus replied to them: “Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said: ‘This temple was built in 46 years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was talking about the temple of his body.”

You should ask: “What did Jesus tell the Jesus would be raised in three days if they destroyed it?”

It’s very hard for Jehovah’s Witnesses to give the obvious answer—his body—because the Watchtower teaches that his body was never raised.

Sometimes they will try to tell you that he was talking about his spiritual body—his disciples. However John 2:21-22 rules out that interpretation: “But he was talking about the temple of his body. When, though, he was raised up from the dead, his disciples recalled that he used to say this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had spoken.”

What Witnesses will often do is try to distract you by changing the question in order to get you into an argument about the Trinity. They might say something like this: “How could a dead man raise himself from the dead? It wasn’t Jesus who did that. It was Jehovah.”

If they bring that up, you can say “That’s a great point. Jesus didn’t say, ‘Jehovah will raise it up.’ He said, ‘I will raise it up,’ didn’t he? We can discuss that further later if you like, but the point I am making is…”

Soundbite: “Jesus said it was his body that would be torn down and then raised up from the dead. But the Watchtower says his body was never raised. So who is right—the Watchtower or Jesus?”

This won’t end the discussion. However, this question should stick in their minds, and their failure to have a good answer should trouble them. If the Watchtower teaching about Jesus’ resurrection is right, he shouldn’t have said what he did.

But he said it.

Make sure you keep coming back to that question: Who is right—the Watchtower or Jesus?


Your turn:

Have you ever brought this quotation to the attention of Jehovah’s Witnesses? What was their response? If you were a Witness, how would you have responded?

 Share your thoughts in the comments.


[1] Reasoning From the Scriptures (1985), p. 334