New Catholic Encyclopedia(1967), Vol. XIII - pages frequently referenced by Jehovah's Witnesses

I was looking for the original source for two references given to me by a couple Jehavoh’s Witnesses:

“There is no dichotomy [division] of body and soul in the O[ld] T[estament]. The Israelite saw things concretely, in their totality, and thus he considered men as persons and not as composites. The term nepeš [ne′phesh], though translated by our word soul, never means soul as distinct from the body or the individual person. . . . The term [psy·khe′] is the N[ew] T[estament] word corresponding with nepeš. It can mean the principle of life, life itself, or the living being.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia(1967), Vol. XIII, pp. 449, 450.

“The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen [died c. 254 C.E.] in the East and St. Augustine [died 430 C.E.] in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . His [Augustine’s] doctrine . . . owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), Vol. XIII, pp. 452, 454.

After searching online for a while, and seeing others looking for the same reference, I drove to the local university library and took a snapshot of ALL relevant pages from the 1967 edition so we can read these quotes in full context. (The full context is very important to understand these quotes.)

Here’s the PDF of the relevant pages: bit.ly/1967CC4JW

I apologize there are couple pages that I didn’t notice were out of focus but the vast majority is very legible.

I hope this helps future others that are researching this topic.

No matter what it is, True or False, NEVER accept anything coming from Jehovah’s Witnesses!

They have an agenda and many of us are on to them.

The JW’s are noted for creative editing when it comes to their publications. Of note is their publication “Should you Believe in The Trinity”. They edit the Church Fathers to make them say that they don’t believe in or question the Trinity themselves.

I don’t think the OP is suggesting JW’s have created or edited anything here. He is pointing out historical Catholic teaching from an old encyclopedia that JWs use against Catholics and based on the excerpts in the OP, it is understandable. The question is, when put into context, what does it mean?

Peace!!!

It’s interesting that St. Irenaeus wrote before both Origen and St. Augustine yet they ignore that (of course). Once again, it’s a development of doctrine that happens over time, not that they knew absolutely everything all at once. As Jesus says (paraphrased) “The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truths, but your not ready for it yet.” Yet it’s also interesting to know that the non-christian philosophers were coming to the realization that we are not just matter and that there is more to life than just our time on earth.

Thanks for this and agree entirely.

The original context is very enlightening. Here’s what I shared back with my JW friend regarding my own inferences from the context of the quotes:

Pages 449-450 reference the “SOUL (IN THE BIBLE)” major heading, but importantly the context to understand the quote is the “In the Old Testament” minor heading. Your email makes it look like the New Catholic Encyclopedia agrees with your point, where in fact in context all it’s saying is that is what the early Jews believed. The New Catholic Encyclopedia continues, in the next section, “In the New Testament”, “The psyche in Mt 10:28… means a life that exists separately from the body”.

Page 452 and 454 are part of many pages describing the development of Christian understanding about the body and soul. It continues though page 464 where the next major section “SOUL, HUMAN, IMMORTALITY OF” starts with this: “The doctrine that the human soul is immortal and will continue to exist after man’s death and the dissolution of his body is one of the cornerstones of Christian philosophy and theology.”

It is so concerning to me that the JW would call upon the New Catholic Encyclopedia like this (i.e. completely out of context and certainly outside of what Catholics believed then and believe now) to support their argument. It just raises so many questions. Why in the world would they do that???

Setting that aside, of course there is a development of Christian doctrine. Just like we started with addition and subtraction and worked our way to algebra, geometry, and calculus, our understanding of the Truth that Jesus gave to us certainly does get deeper and more clear over time. It can never, never, never, never, never(!) contradict itself, not even once through 2000 years, but understanding certainly does develop. How it did develop through the centuries and why is laid out in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright 1967, in full context, on the pages 447-473.

This is an area I do not have much experience with. I hope others can chime in and comment on the situation.

The .pdf you posted is very hard to read but based on what you wrote in response, it seems you are on the right track.:thumbsup:

Peace!!!

I should add that, for me, the additional (bigger) context of these discussions with JW or Mormons or any others, is love. I admire that they have the guts to knock on my door and share the gospel as far as it’s been taught to them. I’m thankful for the opportunity God creates to share the Truth with them. I don’t get any satisfaction out “I’m right and your wrong” type of dialogs, but rather “what is the Truth and how can we better find it”. My heart goes out to these that have been led astray and have never heard the Truth in a way that they can really “hear” it.

The quote they gave will not be made up or edited. The magazines are well researched. I have never even seen a spelling mistake.
But Jehovah’s Witnesses will be more interested in what the Bible says because they think it is God’s word. Sure, - now and then they will quote human sources that agree with what they say. Sometimes religions that teach things contrary to the Bible will even admit it publicly. But so what? it is just human opinion. We are more interested in what the Bible says.
If the Bible taught God was three people in one we would teach that throughout the world. :slight_smile:
It does not.

Greetings Logically and welcome to the CAF,

You are correct in stating “the bible does not teach God was three people in one”. The bible does not teach anything - which is why the Watchtower organization publishes other teaching materials such as “Examining the Scriptures Daily” and “What Does the Bible Really Teach”, right?

Peace!!!

This is a little off topic but sense you bring it up I will ask. I have asked this question to JWs before but have never received an answer…

If JWs believe I worship something or someone when I bow (or other gestures) to it, why don’t they believe Jesus was being worshiped in Mt 2:1, Mt 28:9, & (Mk 15:19 in a mocking tone)? In these instances people were bowing, falling down, got on their knees. Also in these instances the NWT has translated “proskyneo” as obeisance and every other instance also when this word is referencing Jesus. But every time “proskyneo” is used when referencing God the NWT translates it into worship. Why the inconsistency in translations and more importantly, why is bowing to Jesus not considered worship but yet my bowing to say, the crucifix, is considered idol worship?

Peace!!!

Hey, that’s a good question! :slight_smile:

I did a little research on the word. I think I have the answer. (Sorry, I am certainly not a scholar of ancient languages) I found some good information in our “insight on the scriptures” encyclopedia.
The greek word is “proskyneo” as you said. And in the OT the Hebrew word is “hishtachawah.” Below I will partially quote the insight book since it puts it better than me. It contains Bible references if you wish to compare. I have underlined a few bits I think especially significant to your question. Quote: wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003293

Hish•ta•chawah′ means, basically, “bow down.” (Ge 18:2) Such bowing might be done as an act of respect or deference toward another human, as to a king (1Sa 24:8; 2Sa 24:20; Ps 45:11), the high priest (1Sa 2:36), a prophet (2Ki 2:15), or other person of authority (Ge 37:9, 10; 42:6; Ru 2:8-10)…
From the above examples it is clear that this Hebrew term of itself does not necessarily have a religious sense or signify worship. Nevertheless, in a large number of cases it is used in connection with worship, either of the true God (Ex 24:1; Ps 95:6; Isa 27:13; 66:23) or of false gods. (De 4:19; 8:19; 11:16) …
Bowing down to humans as an act of respect was admissible, but bowing to anyone other than Jehovah as a deity was prohibited by God. (Ex 23:24; 34:14) Similarly, the worshipful bowing down to religious images or to any created thing was positively condemned. (Ex 20:4, 5; Le 26:1; De 4:15-19; Isa 2:8, 9, 20, 21)…
The Greek pro•sky•ne′o corresponds closely to the Hebrew hish•ta•chawah′ as to conveying the thought of both obeisance to creatures and worship to God or a deity. …
As with the Hebrew term, the context must be considered to determine whether pro•sky•ne′o refers to obeisance solely in the form of deep respect or obeisance in the form of religious worship. Where reference is directly to God (Joh 4:20-24; 1Co 14:25; Re 4:10) or to false gods and their idols (Ac 7:43; Re 9:20), it is evident that the obeisance goes beyond that acceptably or customarily rendered to men and enters the field of worship. …
Obeisance to a human king is found in Jesus’ illustration at Matthew 18:26. It is evident that this was the kind of obeisance that the astrologers rendered to the child Jesus, “born king of the Jews,” that Herod professed interest in expressing, and that the soldiers mockingly rendered to Jesus before his impalement. They clearly did not view Jesus as God or as a deity. (Mt 2:2, 8; Mr 15:19) While some translators use the word “worship” in the majority of cases where pro•sky•ne′o describes persons’ actions toward Jesus, the evidence does not warrant one’s reading too much into this rendering. Rather, the circumstances that evoked the obeisance correspond very closely to those producing obeisance to the earlier prophets and kings. (Compare Mt 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 20:20 with 1Sa 25:23, 24; 2Sa 14:4-7; 1Ki 1:16; 2Ki 4:36, 37.) The very expressions of those involved often reveal that, while they clearly recognized Jesus as God’s representative, they rendered obeisance to him, not as to God or a deity, but as “God’s Son,” the foretold “Son of man,” the Messiah with divine authority. On many occasions their obeisance expressed a gratitude for divine revelation or evidence of favor like that expressed in earlier times.—Mt 14:32, 33; 28:5-10, 16-18; Lu 24:50-52; Joh 9:35, 38.

End of quote.
Phew, I hope that wasn’t too much. :o
So in summary. Both in Hebrew and Greek the word for bowing down could be correctly applied to bowing down to worship a diety, or bowing as a sign of respect for humans of higher authority. The context would decide whether we use the English word “worship” or if “obeisance” is more appropriate.
I hope that answers the question. At least I understand it better now, so thanks for that! (I didn’t realise there were so many instances of the same word being applied to humans of high rank) :thumbsup:

Um, OK.

But those publications help people to understand, appreciate and benefit from the Bible. They quote the Bible as their authority constantly. They don’t teach things not found in the Bible.

I’m sorry, I don’t understand your point. :confused:

That is just not true, JWs took the trinity brochure off of their shelves because of how badly they misquoted sources. Just google trinity brochure misquotes. They habitually misquote and misrepresent Catholic doctrine. They also discourage their people to ever read for themselves what others like Catholics believe.

Also the “we believe the Bible” thinking doesn’t work, all religions say that and have their own explainations for their beliefs, no matter how strange they are. JW do a good job teaching that the Catholic Church teaches things that contradict the Bible, it is not true. Now, JW do contradict the Bible by teaching that the Church apostasized after the apostles died all the way until Charles Taze Russel came along. That idea is not only against scripture where Jesus spoke about the gates of hell not prevailing against his Church or when he says that he is with us until the end of the world, but it is a huge disrespect for our ancestors by claiming that for 1800 years there was no Church. Shameful.

Greetings Logically,

Sorry for the confusion but In going back to my original question with scripture references I see I made a typo. The “Mt. 2:1” should have been Mt. 2:11. This along with the other two scriptures I referenced was on purpose as these scriptures have the double verb. An extra action word along with “proskyneo”. If you use your explanation above you will end up with a statement like “they knelt down and they bowed down”. This is seen in the Young’s Interlinear translation as “and having fallen down they bowed to him". Seems pretty silly.

So which is it - bowing to the pope or crucifixes is not worship or those that bowed to Jesus was worship?

The Greek pro•sky•ne′o corresponds closely to the Hebrew hish•ta•chawah′ as to conveying the thought of both obeisance to creatures and worship to God or a deity. …
As with the Hebrew term, the context must be considered to determine whether pro•sky•ne′o refers to obeisance solely in the form of deep respect or obeisance in the form of religious worship. Where reference is directly to God (Joh 4:20-24; 1Co 14:25; Re 4:10) or to false gods and their idols (Ac 7:43; Re 9:20), it is evident that the obeisance goes beyond that acceptably or customarily rendered to men and enters the field of worship. …

Thank you Logically, this is huge for me. :thumbsup: By saying “context must be considered” is it safe to assume that you would agree the context can only be finalized and defined by the person producing the action of worship or obeisance?

Obeisance to a human king is found in Jesus’ illustration at Matthew 18:26. **It is evident **that this was the kind of obeisance that the astrologers rendered to the child Jesus, “born king of the Jews,”

Where is the evidence? What context are you using?

that Herod professed interest in expressing, and that the soldiers mockingly rendered to Jesus before his impalement. They clearly did not view Jesus as God or as a deity. (Mt 2:2, 8; Mr 15:19)

Agreed! But they also didn’t view him as you view him either so now, when you put this in “context” your conclusion should be “Jesus is a lunatic”, right?:wink:

While some translators use the word “worship” in the majority of cases where pro•sky•ne′o describes persons’ actions toward Jesus, the evidence does not warrant one’s reading too much into this rendering. Rather, the circumstances that evoked the obeisance correspond very closely to those producing obeisance to the earlier prophets and kings. (Compare Mt 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 20:20 with 1Sa 25:23, 24; 2Sa 14:4-7; 1Ki 1:16; 2Ki 4:36, 37.) The very expressions of those involved often reveal that, while they clearly recognized Jesus as God’s representative, they rendered obeisance to him, not as to God or a deity, but as “God’s Son,” the foretold “Son of man,” the Messiah with divine authority. On many occasions their obeisance expressed a gratitude for divine revelation or evidence of favor like that expressed in earlier times.—Mt 14:32, 33; 28:5-10, 16-18; Lu 24:50-52; Joh 9:35, 38.

So why is it that JWs consider me to be worshiping the crucifix when I bow down to it or worshiping the flag when I salute it even when the contexts has been clarified by myself and continually refused by all JWs?:rolleyes:

Peace be with you!!!

The point is those publications and the organization putting them out is what is doing the teaching not the bible. The bible does in fact give many inferences to God being three people in one. I realize you do not believe this and please do not feel offended but the bible was not meant for JWs or anyone not believing in what the early church and early church fathers were teaching and preaching when they canonized it.

Those trying to use the bible it was not meant for is like me writing a technical how-to manual on how to assemble a Ford car transmission. If someone at Honda picks it up they will be able to glean some things from it but without special tools and parts they will not be able to build the Ford transmission.

I can agree the documents you speak of do not teach things not found in the bible if, and only if, you change the original authors intent and context.

Peace!!!

Umm… I’m a bit confused. I recognize that the discussion has moved on to other topics, but still… what does the original citation from the '67 Catholic Encyclopedia prove, from a JW perspective? That doctrine develops? That doesn’t seem to be a problem – the Bible never suggests that we understood everything in Scripture at the time it was written down, so why is it an issue that we see that our understanding of Scripture grows over time? :confused:

:thumbsup:…as a mater of fact, quite the opposite from the bible…

[BIBLEDRB]1 Corinthians 3:2-3[/BIBLEDRB]
[BIBLEDRB]John 14:26 [/BIBLEDRB]

The original citations were used by a JW friend in trying to prove that the soul is not immortal but rather that it ceases to exist when the body dies. The thought that the soul or spirit continues to exist after death, he explains, is due to the influence of Babylonian, Assyrian and Greek Philosophy. He provided many biblical citations supporting this as well as non-biblical citations. The two references to the 1967 Catholic Encyclopedia were under the heading of “Do other scholars who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge that this is what the Bible says the soul is?”

What this shows to me most clearly is the the Bible does not interpret itself. As Steve Ray explains so well, Jesus left us only one thing: a teaching authority (Magesterium). He didn’t leave us the Bible, and 99.99% of Christians didn’t have the Bible for 1600+ years. Christianity grew for the first 300+ years with a foundation of only this teaching authority and the body of knowledge of that they received from Jesus (Sacred Tradition). Then 300 years later this same teaching authority formally and officially pulled together and decided on the content of the New Testament. Even with a critics eye, it would have been quite an oversight on their part to pull together a New Testament that disagreed with what they had been teaching, eh? (“Oh, shoot! We missed that!” It’s almost Monty Python material. Or maybe they see the early Church like members of our current Congress… “Gentlemen, we have to create the New Testament before we can read what’s inside.”)

Yes I see your point.

I’m sure if I appeared before the queen of England or the pope I would bow my head in respect. But would take exception if anyone charged me with “Worship.”

I admit I can’t put a good answer to you at the moment. :blush:

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