John 20:28


#1

catholicforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13057

Jehovah’s Witnesses- What does this verse mean?


Thomas said something here that caught my eye. I wonder why he said this?

John 20:28

For some on going comment on this subject, please see:

john-20-28.blogspot.com/ :slight_smile:


#2

Hi, not good at web dialog, plus I have a huge migraine today, but wanted to answer your query with some info. I looked up. Hope this helps.

Watchtower 1955

Jesus is a god. “God” means a strong one. Christ is called “The mighty God” at Isaiah 9:6, “a god” at John 1:1 (NW), and “the only-begotten god” at John 1:18 (NW). Jehovah is not the only god or strong one. The very fact that he is called the Almighty God indicates that there are other gods not so mighty, not almighty like him. So Thomas could call Jesus God, but not THE God, and three verses later Jesus is called “the Son of God,” as we read (NW): “But these have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that, because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.” So there was no objection to John’s reporting that Thomas addressed Jesus as a deity, and certainly John does not say that Thomas’ address to Jesus was to make us believe that Jesus was The God, but says it was to make us believe Jesus was God’s Son. In this same chapter (20:17, NW) Jesus said: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.” He was not ascending to himself.

But now the trinitarians will say Thomas used the Greek definite article “the” (ho) before “God,” proving he called Jesus The God. The article “the” is in the nominative case in the Greek, but the word “God” here is in the vocative case and of such A. T. Robertson says in his A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, on page 461: “The article with the vocative in address was the usual Hebrew and Aramaic idiom, as indeed in Aristophanes we have ho pais akoloúthei. It is good Greek and good Aramaic too when we have Abbá ho patér (Mark 14:36) whether Jesus said one or both. In Matthew 11:26 (nai, ho patér) we have the vocative. When the article is used, of course the nominative form must occur. Thus in Rev. 18:20 we have both together, ourané kai hoi hágioi. Indeed the second member of the address is always in the nominative form. Thus Kýrie, ho Theós, ho pantokrátor (Rev. 15:3). Compare John 20:28.” Page 462: “When Thomas said Ho kýrios mou kai ho theós mou (John 20:28), he gave Christ full acceptance of his deity and of the fact of his resurrection.” Page 466: “In John 20:28 Thomas addresses Jesus as ho kýrios mou kai ho theós, the vocative like those above. Yet, strange to say, Winer calls this exclamation rather than address, apparently to avoid the conclusion that Thomas was satisfied as to the deity of Jesus by his appearance to him after the resurrection. Dr.*E. A. Abbott follows suit also in an extended argument to show that kýrie ho theós is the LXX way of addressing God, not ho kýrios kai ho theós. But after he had written he appends a note to p. 95 to the effect that ‘this is not quite satisfactory. For [John] xiii. 13 phonéite me ho didáskalos kai ho kýrios, and Rev. 4:11 áxios ei, ho kýrios kai ho theós hemón, ought to have been mentioned above.’ This is a manly retraction, and he adds: ‘John may have used it here exceptionally.’ Leave out ‘exceptionally’ and the conclusion is just. If Thomas used Aramaic he certainly used the article. It is no more exceptional in John 20:28 than in Rev. 4:11.”

So, since the use of the definite article was made before the form of address to anybody, Thomas’ use of the definite article does not force his use of God to mean The God, Jehovah. Jehovah was not begotten, but existed without beginning. But according to John 1:18 (NW) Christ was the only god or strong one directly begotten or created by Jehovah, however.

So Jehovah is The God; Jesus Christ is one of many who are called gods. Satan is called “the god of this system of things,” Moses was said to be as god to Pharaoh, and in the Psalms men are called gods, and Jesus referred to this and argued that hence the Jews should not say he blasphemed when he said he was God’s Son. And the apostle Paul said there are many called gods. But to argue that these many different ones called gods are, by virtue of this fact, The God Jehovah would be absurd. Similarly, it is absurd to try to argue that Thomas’ reference to Jesus as god proves Jesus is The God, and doubly so when just three verses later Jesus is identified as God’s Son.—2Cor. 4:4, NW; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 82:6; John 10:35; 1Cor. 8:5.

Incidentally, in view of the existence of so many called gods, does it not establish the need for The God, the Almighty God, to have a distinguishing name, that is, Jehovah?

Watchtower 1955


#3

Funny that you ask this. I am also wondering and have asked witnesses, but they only say they’ll get back to me on that one… including my DH who is a JW…

I think they don’t have an answer to that verse. If you take a look at the NWT of the Bible, they also spell God in that verse with a capital “G”, so it means that either they missed it when they printed their translation of the bible, or somehow they cannot deny that it’s saying Jesus is God.


#4

I feel like I am watching a volleyball game here. One poster sets up the ball and the next attempts to spike it. Pardon my reference to a “team” sport here, but I can’t help being suspicious of two brand-new members to the forums, both obviously Jehovah’s Witness, both posting in an attempt to selectively prooftext John 20:28. The commentary that BoxTopMom provided attempts to rationalize away from the idea that Christ is “the” God by pointing to other, more benign uses of the word, and by rationalizing that the article (“ho”) in the Greek does not necessarily mean “the” God as it is used commonly in front of other nouns of direct address (vocative tense).

First, as I mentioned, the commentary demonstrates what I have always observed in my one-on-one dialogue with JW’s, which is that they have no real understanding of what we mean by the Trinity, which leads to comments like, “He [Christ] was not ascending to himself” from the commentary.

Second, I refered to proof-texting because this commentary is doing the exact mirror-opposite (but equally invalid) of proof-texting, which is trying to disproof-text. If John 20:28 were the only verse we used to justify our belief in Christ’s divinity, we really would be a sorry bunch. However, true exegesis of the Bible calls for a comprehensive look at the whole. And unlike with the other examples given in the commentary (such as Satan and Moses), Christ has an incredible amount of supporting text throughout Scripture to distinguish his title as “the” God.

Sorry for my suspicious nature of the posters here, but I wish that our JW visitors could get away by posting “authoritative” commentary (from unreliable sources) and try to have a dialogue justifying what they believe.


#5

Jehovah is not the only god or strong one

Are the JWs implying there are more gods? I thought they believe in only one God. According to my DH, their congregation and literature there is only one God, but when they say in John 1:1, “the Word was a god” aren’t they accepting there are many gods? Also, that Watchtower from 1995… (as posted above)

There is ONLY 1 God!

Are JWs ignoring the words of Jehovah? He did say, “there were no other Gods before me and none after”… (paraphrasing here…)

“‘You are my witnesses,’ says the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me’” (Is. 43:10).

So, why do they say there are many gods if God himself is saying there are no other gods???

As always, and once again, the JWs are contradicting themselves…


#6

You know, the more I thought about this thread the more I had to come back and write about how typical it is of my experience with JW’s.

Alpha (who hasn’t been back for a while), makes a post, and as I’ve pointed out, “BoxTopMom” just appears out of nowhere to provide a thorough JW explanation for it. Only after my original post did I bother to look and see that she just joined up today, almost as if she joined just to respond to his post.

Besides having a “huge migraine”, a time when most people would be popping aspirin and trying to sleep and avoid computer screens, BoxTopMom suddenly decides to do some web surfing, just happens to come across Catholic Answers and likes it enough (during her huge migraine) to start an account and just happens to see Alpha’s JW question and she just happens to do research at WatchTower to find a convoluted explanation of the verse in question.

All with a huge migraine …

Of course, I’m probably just imagining things to imply that she’s an invention of Alpha. After all, she’s a “Box Top” mom, and what could be more normal than that? And doesn’t the fact that she’s not good at “web dialog” and has a “huge migraine” (did I mention that part) add a nice human touch.

I guess what I’m saying is that, Alpha, if you want to have a dialogue with us, maybe just ask some sincere questions and we’ll give some sincere answers.

All that aside, I think that the post that “BoxTopAlpha” gave from the WatchTower Society is typical of what one sees in much of the JW literature, a lengthy and excessively detailed and psuedo-intellectual explanation of a rather simple concept in order to give the impression of scholastic authority. Some fancy (but deceptive) Greek gymnastics and a little diversionary reference to obscure sources go a long way in hiding the fact that the content is essentially empty in the long run.

I hope Alpha visits again, but I hope that when he does, we can drop the charade and just have a deep but respectful dialogue. I know all of us welcome a challenge to our belief systems.


#7

I always tell my children, when people attack you it is not so much about you as it is about their insecurity.

Yes, I just did join. Yes, I did have a migraine. No, I do not know who alpha is, but when the Google alert popped up in my email, the query appeared sincere, so I replied. Imputing wrong without knowing the truth, lacks love and is unchristian. It did not take me alot of time to gather my post. (Edited by Moderator) I have had productive discussions with other Catholics who have not felt the need to attack me, yet were able to handle information that they were not in agreement with. (Edited by Moderator)


#8

I suggest that everyone remember this from 1st Corinthians 13.

4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

MF


#9

Very interesting to see the bias in who and what is edited.
HMMMMMMMM


#10

Hello BoxTopMom,

I am sorry that you have a migraine. I know how it feels like to have it as I do get headache most of the time due to having problem with breathing. I hope you get better soon.

Anyhow, here is the instruction on how to dispute a ruling - this rule was found on:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=116166

If you have questions on Moderator rulings or wish to dispute a ruling, please contact the appropriate Mod via PM.


#11

Thank you, Water.

I have done that already, but felt that the post was necessary also.


#12

plus I have a huge migraine today, but wanted to answer your query with some info. I looked up. Hope this helps.

But now the trinitarians will say Thomas used the Greek definite article “the” (ho) before “God,” proving he called Jesus The God. The article “the” is in the nominative case in the Greek, but the word “God” here is in the vocative case and of such A. T. Robertson says in his A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, on page 461: “The article with the vocative in address was the usual Hebrew and Aramaic idiom, as indeed in Aristophanes we have ho pais akoloúthei. It is good Greek and good Aramaic too when we have Abbá ho patér (Mark 14:36) whether Jesus said one or both. In Matthew 11:26 (nai, ho patér) we have the vocative. When the article is used, of course the nominative form must occur. Thus in Rev. 18:20 we have both together, ourané kai hoi hágioi. Indeed the second member of the address is always in the nominative form. Thus Kýrie, ho Theós, ho pantokrátor (Rev. 15:3). Compare John 20:28.” Page 462: “When Thomas said Ho kýrios mou kai ho theós mou (John 20:28), he gave Christ full acceptance of his deity and of the fact of his resurrection.” Page 466: “In John 20:28 Thomas addresses Jesus as ho kýrios mou kai ho theós, the vocative like those above. …

So, since the use of the definite article was made before the form of address to anybody, Thomas’ use of the definite article does not force his use of God to mean The God, Jehovah. Jehovah was not begotten, but existed without beginning. But according to John 1:18 (NW) Christ was the only god or strong one directly begotten or created by Jehovah, however.

So Jehovah is The God; Jesus Christ is one of many who are called gods. Satan is called “the god of this system of things,” Not all that good at Greek either I see. The verse reads as follows:
[size=]
απεκριθη θωμας και ειπεν αυτω· ὁ κυριος μου και ὁ θεος μου. λεγει αυτω ὁ ιησους· ὁτι εωρακας με πεπιστευκας. μακαριοι οἱ μη ιδοντες και πιστευσαντες. and in Latin, 28 respondit Thomas et dixit ei Dominus meus et Deus meus (Yeah, you picked the wrong guy to bring up this passage with. :smiley: )

There is no way that this is an exclamation as these were Jews and would have been blasphemy had that been the case, but the fact is that Thomas is confessing his personal belief that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. Not a god, like you have errantly asserted.

Watchtower didn’t know what they were talking about in 1955 and they still don’t know what they are talking about today. If that offends you two then I’m sorry, but it’s a verifiable fact. The early church all believed that Jesus was fully God and fully man and it’s hard to see how you can even attempt to assert anything else in the light of this plain statement of scripture, to say nothing of this. "8: See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
9: For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, "

Verse 8 would also seem to apply to this situation here as well.

BTW, Before you guys decide that this is a good platform for your evangelism I really suggest that you carefully read the Forum Rules and Banned Topics Policy. which you agreed to when you joined us here at CAF.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.[/size]


#13

Hi,

I just popped in for a few seconds :slight_smile:

I thought that this message board and web site scripturaltruths.com/ might be a good site for you. It has a discussion board, and a lot a JW material about the “Trinity”. Anyone can joint the discussion board.

Bye Now
Alpha :slight_smile:


#14

Jehovah’s Witnesses are NOT the restoration of early Christianity.
Research it yourself: there were no early Christians who held the basic Jehovah’s Witness beliefs (Jesus is Michael, no hell, no soul, torture stake, communion only once a year on Nisan 14).
NO early Christians held these beliefs, zero, zip, NADA.

You can’t restore something that never existed.
The JW religion is a brand new religion, not a restoration
of the apostolic churches. There was NO apostasy from a
Jehovah’s-Witness early church. There was no JWism in the early church to begin with, not ever.


#15

Christ was the only god or strong one directly begotten or created by Jehovah, however.

“Begotten” and “created” are not synonymous terms.
They do NOT mean the same thing.

When humans “beget” they have relations, and the child born is of both their essences.

God is not by nature human but pure spirit.
The word is the only-begotten of the Father simply because
the word is eternally (eternal PAST and eternal FUTURE)
begotten of the Father’s OWN ALMIGHTY ESSENCE.
The Holy Spirit is not directly begotten of the Father but proceeds eternally from the mutual love of the Father and his only-begotten Word or Son. Thus, God has ALWAYS been a Father eternally begetting his Word or Son from all eternity of his OWN almighty Essence.

When we speak of a being that God created, we mean that God created that creature out of NOTHING. Jesus was not a Creature, but the eternally and only-BEGOTTEN Word or “Son” of the Father. The archangels and angels, by contrast, are spirits who were created by God out of NOTHING. They are NOT 'begotten" sons of God, although they are called “sons of God” in an adoptive sense. They are not, by ESSENCE, true sons of God, as the Word is and always has been.

THUS, in the beginning (before ANYTHING was created) the Word already WAS, and the Word WAS WITH GOD (the Father) and the Word WAS GOD (being of the same eternal divine essence as his Father).

Jaypeeto3


#16

More hit and runs?


#17

Try this and come back to us alpha…

watchtowerinformationservice.org/jws.htm

It doesn’t have to do with John 20:28, but since you introduced your site, here is this site. Hope you may find some truth in this…

Oh, and remember one thing when you go to that link:

Jesus: founder of the CC.


#18

Seems they’re afraid that if they stay here long,
they will pick up our Catholic Cooties.

Seriously,
the new religions cannot sustain their position in a fair debate on these forums with educated Catholics.

That scripturaltruths site is basically a site rehashing the basic beliefs of the Watchtower society along with the Society’s ridiculous claims about what the Bible “means” when it shows Jesus being called, God, First and the Last, etc, etc,.
These positions are easily refuted, and most of the Catholics on these forums are well able to refute them.

That’s why we get so many (as one person here called them),
“one post wonders.”


#19

I just cannot believe they are so brainwashed that they cannot figure out for themselves that the watchtower only teaches lies… I mean, just the fact that it was man-invented and all the end of the world prophecies should be enough to them,don’t you think?


#20

I just caught this thread now, and I am curious about it. I hope Alpha will come back to talk about this, since I do not go to Jehovahs Witness blogs - only their official site. And, I rather not have to be lured to a blog when the thread here exists already.


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