JW's on Jesus - works for me?


#1

Hi All

I have been studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while now and find their teachings on the nature of Jesus to be very appealing. In particular, the idea that Jesus reallly died just like anyone else and relied totally upon the Father for his continued existence. This resonantes with me as it does indeed make it seem like he “really” paid a ransom for us by really dying in every way and being as reliant upon his Father for his future life as all the rest of us will be. Having him be part of the Godhead seems kind of like a “cheat” for lack of a better word.

Furthermore, JWs address well the issue of what Jesus was exalted to after his resurrection. Sitting at the right hand of God and so forth as shown in the scriptures seems like a restoration of what Jesus already had vice any kind of exaltation. What is so special about that?

I think, nevertheless, I am misunderstanding Church teaching on these issues as they are very complex and are not explained explicitly in scripture as far as I know. In short -

How did Jesus really die if he was God?

If he didn’t die like we do, how was he able to ransom us?

What did he get from dying that he did not already have with the Father before he came to earth?

Thanks to anyone who cares to answer my questions and God Bless All


#2

God [the Son] did not impede death from separating his soul from his body according to the necessary order of nature, but has reunited them to one another in the Resurrection, so that he himself might be, in his person, the meeting point for death and life, by arresting in himself the decomposition of nature produced by death and so becoming the source of reunion for the separated parts.

~St. Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. catech. 16: PG 45, 52D

Christ’s death was a real death in that it put an end to his earthly human existence. But because of the union which the person of the Son retained with his body, his was not a mortal corpse like others, for "it was not possible for death to hold him"470 and therefore "divine power preserved Christ’s body from corruption."471 Both of these statements can be said of Christ: “He was cut off out of the land of the living”,472 and "My flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy One see corruption."473 Jesus’ Resurrection “on the third day” was the sign of this, also because bodily decay was held to begin on the fourth day after death.474

CCC 627


#3

Just my tuppence… The soul of every human being will continue on existing for all eternity because God has willed it to be so - when we “really” die, our soul leaves our physical body and goes either to hell or to heaven as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice. There is no other death than that. We rely on God for “eternal life,” which means heaven, and those who reject God’s salvation, will still live eternally, but in hell.

The physical death is the only death that anyone undergoes, and Jesus Christ, God infinite, suffered that physical death in atonement for our sins. Jesus died like we did and left his physical body in the same way that we will when we die, regardless of whether we will go to heaven or through our own choice suffer hell for eternity. His body was resurrected, just like our bodies will be at the end of the world.

Since a transgression against the infinite that is God is infinite in nature, the atoning sacrifice must too be infinite, and so Jesus cannot be anything less than God for His sacrifice to be sufficient. No finite sacrifice, be it one of one animal or human or one of millions, can atone for even the smallest sin imaginable.


#4

The only way that Jesus can atone for our sins is if God is sacrificing Himself. Otherwise, God could have taken any random man and told us to sacrifice him. That is not the Biblical way. The purpose of the Sacrifice of Isaac is that human sacrifice will not be practiced. That’s what the other cultures were doing at the time. Instead, animals would be sacrifice. Eventually, God Himself would be the sacrifice. If Jesus were just a man, Isaac would have sufficed, and the would could have been saved a long time ago.


#5

Furthermore, the Bible describes Jesus as the mediator between God and man.

What does this mean?

If two people are having a fight, there must be a third person to mediate between them. This person cannot be wholly on one side or the other, for they would be a reinforcement rather than a mediator. Likewise, Christ, if He is our mediator, cannot be fully God (as the Docetists proposed) because God remains too transcendent from man. Nor can He be fully man (as the Arians proposed) because there is no way man can reach up to God. Being “half-God half-Man” doesn’t work, because those words have no meaning (how can someone be just “half-God”:confused: ). Thus, if Christ is the Mediator, He MUST be fully God and fully man.

The incarnation would have occurred even if the fall did not occur. It would have been necessary to complete the unity between God and man.


#6

I am so sorry you are starting to fall for what the JWs teach. I am married to one and believe me, nothing that they say about the bible is true. Just think of it this way, what Church has been standing since the begining of Christianity? Why would they go saying false prophets are damned when they actually had 2 false prophets of their own?

Russell invented this religion and you can find so much information about the JW online that it’ll convince you they are lying.

The fact that Trinity is misunderstood by many is because it is a Mistery itself. Such a wonderful thing that if you truly believe it makes sense to you.

Besides, the JWs changed the wording of the Bible so it’d fit their beliefs.

PLEASE, PLEASE reconsider. Speak to a priest. A priest can guide you to the right path and will show you why Jesus is also God.

Just in case, take a look at these links:

Are They Awake on the Watchtower
Distinctive Beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
The God of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
History of the Jehovah’s Witnesesses
More Stumpers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Strategies of Jehovah’s Witness
Stumpers for Jehovah’s Witnesses

Another thing you can do is contact Jeff Schwehn (jschwehm here ont the forums) he has wonderful information that can show you the JWs are only misleading you. Why don’t you try and run a search on JWs here. You will find such great information.

Believe me, I almost fell for it too. But deep inside my heart I knew the CC was right. Even having the facts infront of my face didn’t help, but I prayed to God every day that he’d show me which way to go, and here I am, I’m still a Catholic, and a better one than ever!!!


#7

Why are you, a Catholic, studying with the JW’s?! Did you not think it incumbent upon you as a Catholic to seek out authentic Catholic sources for whatever questions you may have about the Faith? Seeking help in your Faith from a source inimical to Christ’s teaching through His Church is presumptuous and dangerous folly.

In particular, the idea that Jesus reallly died just like anyone else and relied totally upon the Father for his continued existence. This resonantes with me as it does indeed make it seem like he “really” paid a ransom for us by really dying in every way and being as reliant upon his Father for his future life as all the rest of us will be. Having him be part of the Godhead seems kind of like a “cheat” for lack of a better word.

(Jonk has just addressed an important distinction you must understand when comparing the JW theology of “soul sleep” to that of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the state of the soul after physical death.)

If Christ is not God Incarnate how would His death in anyway be a ransom for us, since our sins are against God, not against anyone else however – in JW estimation – exalted that creature’s position in God’s Kingdom? Only God is worthy to atone for sins against Himself.

Furthermore, JWs address well the issue of what Jesus was exalted to after his resurrection. Sitting at the right hand of God and so forth as shown in the scriptures seems like a restoration of what Jesus already had vice any kind of exaltation. What is so special about that?

A look at the bigger picture might help you: God the Father is “one in Being with the Son,” and He did not demand the cruel torture and death of the Son. Rather, WE are the ones who demanded the cruel torture and death of Jesus. The Father merely demanded that Jesus go to the ultimate human extent of loving us (i.e., “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for those he loves.”).

The best way to explain this mystery is to look at if from the point of view of the Bridegroom-and-Bride motif that runs all through Scripture. God the Son enters into our world - the world that was created through Him - as a man, Jesus, the New and sinless Adam. However, He is not a man like the rest of us since He is not fallen like the rest of us, but is completely without sin. This is what makes Him the New Adam. So, Jesus the New Adam has our human nature as it should be, but not as it is. Thus, something more needs to be done in order for Him to save us, that is, a “connection” (Covenant) needs to be made between us and the sinless New Adam. That Covenant will be a one-Flesh Covenant, just like a marriage covenant. Thus, the New Adam comes to us as the Bridegroom, and wishes to become “one-flesh” with us, the Bride.

Now, it was quite possible for sinful mankind (the Bride) to accept the Incarnate Jesus just as He was, and so become “one flesh” with Him in holiness (i.e., this is how Jesus was able to give Himself to His followers in the Eucharist at the Last Supper, that is, before His passion and death on the Cross). Yet, since mankind as a whole would not accept Jesus and become “one flesh” with Him in holiness, Jesus was forced (by the demands of love) to become one flesh with us in sin. This is what was happening in the Garden of Gethsemani and why Jesus was so upset, because He was taking our sins onto Himself; and for the first time in His human life, the sinless New Adam felt the guilt, fear, dirtiness, and desperation that is associated with sin, something He had no “knowledge” (intimate experience) of before because He, like His mother (and like Adam and Eve before the fall) literally had no idea what sin is like. He, as a still-sinless (guiltless) Person, could clearly see the horror of sin and the sins of ALL of us combined!

continued. . .


#8

By taking our sins onto Himself, Jesus was then compelled to pay the price for them under the Law, and that price was death. Thus, the sinless Bridegroom, becoming one-flesh with the Bride (sinful humanity) in the only way She would let Him become one-flesh with her, takes on her sins, and dies for her, thus completing His Incarnation and His solidarity with sinners, and making forgiveness in His Name possible for everyone. This is why Jesus had to suffer and die and, again, it was not because of some arbitrary standard of justice imposed by the Father, but because of our refusal to become one-flesh with Him in any other way. Thus, now being one-flesh with Him we are able by grace to be where He is, in the home of His Father by nature, and our Father by grace. IOW, in His returning “to the right hand of the Father” He doesn’t go alone, but joins us (and those who have gone before us, including the faithful of the Old Testament) to Himself as now worthy to be where He is because of what He has accomplished as the New Adam.

There is much, much more to explore in this mystery, and I urge you to cease your “studies” with the JWs and seek out Catholic sources to strengthen your faith. The library at Catholic Answers and back issues of THIS ROCK available on the CA site have a wealth of material on this and other topics pertaining to our Faith, including articles relating to the problems of JW theology (below are some links). Also, reading a book often recommended here, Theology for Beginners, by Frank Sheed, would be an excellent start in forming your Catholic faith that you have placed in danger. Authentic study combined with prayer, particularly in from of the Blessed Sacrament will be the key to true spiritual growth.

catholic.com/library/god_christ.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9111frs.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0312clas.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9709frs.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0101frs.asp


#9

Take a look at these past threads… they will show you many truths of the JWS…

[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=127839

[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=123883

[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=123722

Also, look at this site and it will show you the lies this organization has told so many times.

carm.org/witnesses.htm

They predicted the end of the world at least 3 times, the believe Jesus came back in 1914 and they are the only ones who know this. In the bible it does state it will be very obvious when Jesus returns, so why are they so priviledged?


#10

Tommy D.,

You’ve been studying with JW’s for a while now. I was just wondering if they’ve demonized you yet?

You know the part where they tell you that people will oppose you studying with them, and that it’s satan that’s causing them to do that?


#11

They sure do tell everyone this!! I know so because it happened to me.

They sure do brainwash you :mad:


#12

Hi Tommy D.:

My name is Jeff Schwehm. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and even served at their World Headquarters for a while. I became Catholic in 2003. If you want to know more about me and others who have left the JWs to become Catholic you can visit our website at www.catholicxjw.com

How did Jesus really die if he was God?

Some of the posters here have addressed this to some degree. Remember that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is fully human and fully God. In other words, Jesus has all of the characteristics of humanity (except sin) and all of the characteristics of Almighty God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 464:
(By the way, if you do not have a copy of The Catechism of the Catholic Church email me your snail mail address to jschwehm@catholicxjw.com and I will send you one free of charge.)

464 The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against the heresies that falsified it.

The Catechism also explains the relationship between Christ’s human and divine nature as follows in paragraph 470:

470 Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed”,97 in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity”. The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity: The Son of God. . . worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.

If he didn’t die like we do, how was he able to ransom us?

Actually, the Church teaches that He did die like humans do. The Catholic Church teaches us that at death the human soul separates from the human body. The same thing happened to our Lord. He is like us in every way but without sin.

Remember also that the JWs teach that when a person dies their soul no longer exists. This contradicts what Christians have taught about what happens at death for the last 2000 years. I have an audio podcast that you might like to listen to that shows how the JWs have misunderstood the scriptures in this area and also shows many of the problems that they have by interpreting scripture in this way. Here is the link:

catholicxjw.blogspot.com/2006/07/soul-is-immortal.html

What did he get from dying that he did not already have with the Father before he came to earth?

Well, the salvation of humans and our reconcilation with Him and God the Father.

I often ask my JW friends to think about this.

In the JW tradition, we are taught that God loved us so much that He sent a created being whom the JWs call Jesus to come to earth and do all of the dirty work to save us.

In the Catholic and Christian Tradition that has been here for over 2000 years, we are taught that God loved us so much that He came to earth Himself and did all of the dirty work to save us Himself.

Now, which God loves us more?

Also, do you really believe that Jesus went through all of that suffering so that He could improve his position in heaven? Looking at Jesus as a mere creature and not Almighty God Himself, I can see how one could possibly reason that perhaps Jesus sacrificed Himself more for the great power He would receive after He was done than for any love for us.

But, as you so effectively point out, since Jesus, in the Catholic and Christian Tradition, is Almighty God, there is nothing that He could have gained that He did not have prior to coming to earth, except to reach down into the muck and mud of sin and save each and every one of us because of His passionate love for us.

I do not know about you. But it would seem to me that the JW perspective on the Passion of Christ reduces what Jesus did to a mere business transaction that involves Jesus getting to purchase us and his own Kingship.

The Catholic perspective on the Passion of Christ shows Jesus sacrifice for what it really is…a true sacrifice for the salvation of souls due to the total and complete selfless love that God, Himself, has for us.

I hope this helps.

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com


#13

I am so intimidated by these boards (but enjoy reading them!) but I wanted to answer your OP.

I have studied under JW twice for a total of two years. There were many reasons I started, and one reason I stopped. Jesus showed me the way out.

I implore you to stop studying with them. If you need to, compare their Bible with other published versions…you will find how convenient their editing is, and how self serving it is. You are getting involved in a cult, and it’s scary when you are in there.

Seriously take some time and LISTEN to God right now. Pray a rosary…get on your knees and ask Him to show you.

It’s a really scary world in JW…


#14

Ditto all of this except for the 2 yr part… mine was 1 yr… :thumbsup:

PLEASE, PLEASE do not let them get to your get any further. Thanks to these people I still have trouble with understanding the Trinity, but I accept it. As heathernoel said, grab the NWT Bible and any other Christian Bible, and you will see that they have changed the wording so it fits their way of thinking. Just look at it this way, Rutherford, of the anointed class actually claims to have studied Greek thus translated the ENTIRE Bible. He did not study ancient Greek. He studied modern Greek, therefore, he cannot claim he knows what the Bible actually says!! The Catholic Church made these translations straight from the original rolls. The CC gathered the scrolls and chose which one went onto the Bible and that’s the same Bible EVERYONE (every Christian religion) uses. The only difference between a Catholic Bible and other Christian bibles is that we have the deuterocanonical books and they don’t, making our Bible longer.

Please feel free to contact me through this if you have any questions. I live w/a JW, I have all their literature, I went to Kingdom Hall meetings for over a year. I know all their tactics and trick… I’m just glad God helped me out and reassured me that the CC is the place to be :smiley:


#15

Hi All

I am very, very grateful for the thoughtful and insightful responses I have received from all. Time is a great gift between people and some of these responses took a lot of it. I am really uplifted and very eager to look at my study with the witnesses from a new optic.

Thanks to Mr. S for his offer of a catcechism - I have one already but thanks just the same.

Some asked why I undertook these studies in the first place. I know a lot of JWs and am impressed with their conduct and beliefs. That was the biggest factor. Moreover, most of my encounters with the Catholic Church have not been that great for a number of years, despite the fact that I remain active and sincerely try to be a good brother. I would be glad to elaborate if anyone was interested.

The exchange here, however, has restored some of my faith and I am most thankful. God Bless All Here.


#16

Please do elaborate. That might help us help you in a better way.

But my thoughts are these: a Priest will be the best one who can help you. Go to your Pastor. He can guide you in the right direction.

The JWs are very interesting people as a community/religion, but the fact that all they teach is human-made, should help you see that they are only manipulating you.

They are VERY nice people; however they do not know that they are lost in that religion.

Just a thought, why would anyone who comes from the Catholic side want to switch to the JW side? They do not have heavenly hope, just the 144,000. You in fact do, (they do too since God will probably let them repent after death, but they do not know this). Why give up your hope of going to Heaven for an earthly hope? I sure do want to meet Jesus Christ our Lord. The JWs don’t even have that in their minds. They don’t even crave it. All they are thinking about is living with the lions and bears, having their homes, working for themselves, having world peace, but do not have the hope of living among Jesus. They do not even think they’ll ever meet Him.

Remember this; according to them, we will all die/be destroyed (those who are not JWs in good standing or convert to JWism after Armageddon and the 1000 yrs of the Kingdom), and they will have to pick up the pieces and clean Earth up. Do you really think God is going to do this? Why would God kill all who believe?

Another thought….they have apostatized, don’t make the same mistake.

You’re in my prayers.


#17

Look at it this way;
Jws are very nice people (for the most part) who try hard to live a good life with one of the most skewed, heretical religions in the world. Their doctrine is all wrong.

Catholics fall down frequently but we do not put our faith in any man, particular parish, priest or other. Our faith is in The One Holy Catholic Church and Jesus Christ.

In other words, pay more attention to the doctrine and the faith Christ left us and less to human beings.

I hope that was clear. I’m not always as precise as I need to be. :slight_smile:


#18

Hello and Welcome,

I would like to suggest another handful of links for you to look at:

What the Jehovah’s Witnesses Won’t Tell You at the Door

How to Become a Jehovah’s Witness

Once you commit you will not be allowed to read anything written by former Jehovah’s Witnesses and you will be discouraged form reading anything written about the Bible unless it is written by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. If you become a Jehovah’s Witness you will forfeit the freedom to choose your own religious reading material.

Questions Every Catholic Should Ask JWs

Please study now, as once you turn away from Christ and His Church, you won’t be permitted to study anything freely again.

God bless you,

Kelly


#19

Please be wary of any religion that uses “proof texts” to demonstrate that their religion is “true”. THe JWs, Mormons, SDAs and other religions that started in the 1800s as offshoots of the Campbellite Movement use a method known as “proof-texting” to try to prove that their religion is true. They take selected scripture verses out of context to try to convince you that they are preaching the true gospel of Christ.

But the bible, taken in its honest entirety, proves that the Catholic faith is the only one that agrees with the bible in every particular.

As a former Mormon, who investigated all of the 19th-century Campbellite offshoots, I can tell you that all of these 19th-century Campbellite offshoots are false religions that twist the bible to support their false gospels. The JWs even publish their own paraphrase of the bible (the New World “Translation”) with huge changes (see John 1:1) to support their false teachings. They change John 1:1 to say, instead of “the Word was God”, that “the Word was a god”.

The bible is clear throughout that there is only one God. But the Campbellite offshoots (the JWs, Mormons and SDAs) all teach that there are many gods. To become a JW or Mormon or SDA is to become a pagan - believing that God is not the only God. Please do not become a pagan. The pagan gods cannot save you.

Praying for you,
Paul


#20

Did he die on a cross, or on a stake?

I accept that Jesus was both Man and God. The Man part of him really did suffer and die. It’s in the Nicene Creed that he “suffered death and was buried”

They deny that Jesus is God.


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