Refuting Jehovah's Witness belief in Jesus as Michael the arch angel


#1

While debating with a Jehovah’s Witness that Jesus is God and not Michael the arch angel, I used Hebrews 1:4-5 to refute his claim.

However he came back with Genisis 6:1-4 and Job 1:6 and 38:7

How do I combat this? And anyway what are the “sons of God”?


#2

You have a difficult task on your hands. Of course, that does not mean you shouldn't try. JWs do not believe that our Lord was and is God. They do not believe in the Holy Trinity.

I cannot see how the verses from Genesis support their argument. The other verses: the "sons of God", aren't we all sons of God? I am not a biblical scholar. I may be wrong. I would suspect this refers to us all.


#3

[quote="Mgray82, post:1, topic:302664"]
While debating with a Jehovah's Witness that Jesus is God and not Michael the arch angel, I used Hebrews 1:4-5 to refute his claim.

However he came back with Genisis 6:1-4 and Job 1:6 and 38:7

How do I combat this? And anyway what are the "sons of God"?

[/quote]

First of all, never argue based on their "New World" translation. The (anonymous) "translators" literally desecrated it by changing words and meanings throughout (just found one example here). Argue based on the Biblia Sacra Vulgata, the most ancient version (of which direct translations, I think, are the Douay-Rheims and the New Jerusalem, but I could me mistaken) . They won't accept it - of course - but you have to stand by the side of truth.

That being said: as far as I know, the ONLY thing that the Watchtower Society employs to affirm that Christ is Michael the archangel is a cryptic passage, 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

NWT
because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet

Douay-Rheims
For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God

New Jerusalem
At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord himself will come down from heaven

They argue that since the Lord has an archangel's voice, he IS the archangel. Of course, that makes as much sense as to say that since he has God's trumpet, he is God. That is, neither of the two justify the conclusion.

Of the countless ways in which you can show from the Scriptures that the Lord Jesus is God - and, by the way, if you knew more about the teachings of the Watchtower you'd despair of ever being able of making one of them understand any of these truths without the special aid of divine grace - you can point out the dialog between the resurrected Lord and St. Thomas, which - by God's grace - escaped the attention of their "translators" and was not distorted:

NWT

In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him: “Because you have seen me have you believed? Happy are those who do not see and yet believe.”

What did he believe? That Jesus was Lord AND God.

Then of course, since he promised at "baptism" that he is associated to the organization directed by the spirit of God, he will be most certain that you are mistaken, even if the Scripture is as evident as the wound on the Lord's chest was to st. Thomas.

Why don't you challenge him, instead, on their belief that Satan is the ruler of the world, rather than Christ?


#4

[quote="Mgray82, post:1, topic:302664"]
While debating with a Jehovah's Witness that Jesus is God and not Michael the arch angel, I used Hebrews 1:4-5 to refute his claim.

However he came back with Genisis 6:1-4 and Job 1:6 and 38:7

How do I combat this? And anyway what are the "sons of God"?

[/quote]

I do believe that in the scripture you are referring to, "sons of God" is actually referring to angels in this 1 instance. I could easily be wrong but I do remember reading that and having to think on it for a while due to the context and I believe that is the conclusion I reached (could be wrong about it even being the conclusion I reached). Even so, it would not support their argument. Sons of God = us Son of God = Jesus. Our words are very primitive which is probably the reason for confusion.

The holy spirit is quite scriptural, how can they not believe in it? Very hard to confuse that one. Care to explain their position because they show up at my door sometimes and I always honor them with a conversation but I never bothered to argue points of theology with them.


#5

Satan is the ruler of the world we Catholics believe that or am I wrong? Regardless, the scripture is clear. Of course, Christ is the one who has full power over all things, including Satan. Am I getting this wrong?


#6

The OT testament refers to Angels as "sons of God", its true, but notice God never calls them that himself.
Their argument seems kind of like a distraction to me though, since it still doesn't answer the fact of Hebrews 1, where there is no doubt that Jesus is NOT an angel. Especially since it says God said, "let all the angels worship him (Jesus)" If Jesus was an angel than that would mean Jesus would be worshipping.....himself?? :confused: Ask them if worshipping someone other than God is a sin, than why would God command it?

Anyway, I think you're on the right track, They cant answer Hebrews 1 so their just trying to distract you with red herrings. Don't fall for it. :thumbsup:


#7

Here's my reply on this, written time ago for a former Catholic - now JW.

Their strongest point is that Satan offered all the kingdoms to Christ. They argue that not only Satan had that authority back then, but that he still has it even after the resurrection of the Lord.

However, already St. Jerome (347-420), first translator of the Bible, explained that this was never so:

Arrogant and superb, speaks with ostentation: he cannot, in fact, give all kingdoms, for we know that many holy men were made kings by God.

It should not be surprising that Christ did not call him a liar. They would say that Satan did not lie and that Jesus knew that Satan had that power and authority from God. That has no basis whatsoever. On the other hand, we can argue that Jesus already knew that Satan was "a liar and father of all lies" and that "there is no truth in him". That Jesus did not even bother to rebuke Him on such a big lie, but simply and straightforwardly said:

Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

While we cannot argue that the devil has authority over those who have chosen him between the two masters, we must also keep in mind the words of Christ: "now the prince of this world will be cast out" and "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth".

Indeed, it was s. Thomas Aquinas who, criticizing Manicheism (an old heresy that stated that Satan was the lord of all visible things - reminds you of anyone?), wrote that the title "prince of the world" was "not due to a natural dominion of his, but by usurpation: for worldly men, despising the true Lord, submit to him."

Furthermore, he cannot have such authority on those who are born of water and spirit in Christ, for those are incorporated into the mystical body of Christ (1 Cor 12, Eph, 4) and Satan, we know, has no authority over Him (Jn 14:30). Of course, Christians can lose that "state of grace" and fall into the clasp of the adversary, yet all men - Christian and non-Christian alike - have the right to appeal to Christ's salvation in order to repent and return in the Lord's way - because it is a scriptural truth that Christ died for all, though for the salvation of many: a many that by its nature is not infinite, yet has no upper limit.

Christians are "in the world" but "not of the world". However, if they are in the world, and if they can rightfully call themselves servants of the Lord, and have received authority over Satan himself ("in my name they will expel demons") how could Satan be the "ruler of the world" and at the same time be rebuked and driven away by those who are supposed to be his subjects? "* how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" Indeed, " *if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you", and even if the majority of us will never exercise this authority, there is another truth that we experience daily: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".

Indeed, I find it a most interesting fact that not only they deny the fundamental truths (the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, anything about the Blessed Virgin, the Cross) but they profoundly hate the Catholic Church, deny the existence of hell, and claim that Satan is the ruler of the world. :shrug:


#8

[quote="FaithInTheSon, post:5, topic:302664"]
Satan is the ruler of the world we Catholics believe that or am I wrong? Regardless, the scripture is clear. Of course, Christ is the one who has full power over all things, including Satan. Am I getting this wrong?

[/quote]

Yep, a little :o

Here's my reply on this, written time ago for a former Catholic - now JW.

Their strongest point is that Satan offered all the kingdoms to Christ. They argue that not only Satan had that authority back then, but that he still has it even after the resurrection of the Lord.

However, already St. Jerome (347-420), first translator of the Bible, explained that this was never so:

Arrogant and superb, speaks with ostentation: he cannot, in fact, give all kingdoms, for we know that many holy men were made kings by God.

It should not be surprising that Christ did not call him a liar. They would say that Satan did not lie and that Jesus knew that Satan had that power and authority from God. That has no basis whatsoever. On the other hand, we can argue that Jesus already knew that Satan was "a liar and father of all lies" and that "there is no truth in him". That Jesus did not even bother to rebuke Him on such a big lie, but simply and straightforwardly said:

Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

While we cannot argue against the fact that the devil has some degree of authority over those who have chosen him between the two masters, we must also keep in mind the words of Christ: "now the prince of this world will be cast out" and "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth".

Indeed, it was s. Thomas Aquinas who, criticizing Manicheism (an old heresy that stated that Satan was the lord of all visible things - reminds you of anyone?), wrote that the title "prince of the world" was "not due to a natural dominion of his, but by usurpation: for worldly men, despising the true Lord, submit to him."

Furthermore, he cannot have such authority on those who are born of water and spirit in Christ, for those are incorporated into the mystical body of Christ (1 Cor 12, Eph, 4) and Satan, we know, has no authority over Him (Jn 14:30). Of course, Christians can lose that "state of grace" and fall into the clasp of the adversary, yet all men - Christian and non-Christian alike - have the right to appeal to Christ's salvation in order to repent and return in the Lord's way - because it is a scriptural truth that Christ died for all, though for the salvation of many: a many that by its nature is not infinite, yet has no upper limit.

Christians are "in the world" but "not of the world". However, if they are in the world, and if they can rightfully call themselves servants of the Lord, and have received authority over Satan himself ("in my name they will expel demons") how could Satan be the "ruler of the world" and at the same time be rebuked and driven away by those who are supposed to be his subjects? "* how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" Indeed, " *if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you", and even if the majority of us will never exercise this authority, there is another truth that we experience daily: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".

Indeed, I find it a most interesting fact that not only they deny the fundamental truths (the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, anything about the Blessed Virgin, the Cross) but they profoundly oppose the Catholic Church, say there is no such thing as hell or punishment of any sort for the evildoers, and claim that Satan is the ruler of the world. :shrug:


#9

Thanks all for the replies.

However, I am still confused…are the “sons of God” in the passages I provided in the OP angels?

I have to admit, reading the text I can clearly see how they would assert angels as being sons of God. Because it literally says “sons of God”.


#10

Instead of trying to come up with evidence for the Trinity (which you will never convince them of, anything you bring up they'll ignore and claim translation error, even though very few are actually fluent in Greek) why not demand valid evidence for Jesus being Michael? They only have one verse (compare to dozens that state He is God), and they grasp at straws to twist it into saying that Jesus is Michael.


#11

[quote="FaithInTheSon, post:4, topic:302664"]
I do believe that in the scripture you are referring to, "sons of God" is actually referring to angels in this 1 instance. I could easily be wrong but I do remember reading that and having to think on it for a while due to the context and I believe that is the conclusion I reached (could be wrong about it even being the conclusion I reached). Even so, it would not support their argument. Sons of God = us Son of God = Jesus. Our words are very primitive which is probably the reason for confusion.

[/quote]

The sons of God seem to be the sons of Seth (son of Adam). The daughters of men on the other hand are the descendants of Cain. Seth's line was faithful (for a while); Cain's line was not. The Bible is talking about intermarriage here, a theme which extends throughout the OT.


#12

[quote="R_C, post:8, topic:302664"]
Yep, a little :o

Here's my reply on this, written time ago for a former Catholic - now JW.

Their strongest point is that Satan offered all the kingdoms to Christ. They argue that not only Satan had that authority back then, but that he still has it even after the resurrection of the Lord.

However, already St. Jerome (347-420), first translator of the Bible, explained that this was never so:

It should not be surprising that Christ did not call him a liar. They would say that Satan did not lie and that Jesus knew that Satan had that power and authority from God. That has no basis whatsoever. On the other hand, we can argue that Jesus already knew that Satan was "a liar and father of all lies" and that "there is no truth in him". That Jesus did not even bother to rebuke Him on such a big lie, but simply and straightforwardly said:

While we cannot argue against the fact that the devil has some degree of authority over those who have chosen him between the two masters, we must also keep in mind the words of Christ: "now the prince of this world will be cast out" and "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth".

Indeed, it was s. Thomas Aquinas who, criticizing Manicheism (an old heresy that stated that Satan was the lord of all visible things - reminds you of anyone?), wrote that the title "prince of the world" was "not due to a natural dominion of his, but by usurpation: for worldly men, despising the true Lord, submit to him."

Furthermore, he cannot have such authority on those who are born of water and spirit in Christ, for those are incorporated into the mystical body of Christ (1 Cor 12, Eph, 4) and Satan, we know, has no authority over Him (Jn 14:30). Of course, Christians can lose that "state of grace" and fall into the clasp of the adversary, yet all men - Christian and non-Christian alike - have the right to appeal to Christ's salvation in order to repent and return in the Lord's way - because it is a scriptural truth that Christ died for all, though for the salvation of many: a many that by its nature is not infinite, yet has no upper limit.

Christians are "in the world" but "not of the world". However, if they are in the world, and if they can rightfully call themselves servants of the Lord, and have received authority over Satan himself ("in my name they will expel demons") how could Satan be the "ruler of the world" and at the same time be rebuked and driven away by those who are supposed to be his subjects? "* how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" Indeed, " *if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you", and even if the majority of us will never exercise this authority, there is another truth that we experience daily: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".

Indeed, I find it a most interesting fact that not only they deny the fundamental truths (the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, anything about the Blessed Virgin, the Cross) but they profoundly oppose the Catholic Church, say there is no such thing as hell or punishment of any sort for the evildoers, and claim that Satan is the ruler of the world. :shrug:

[/quote]

Well I do not see how whether or not he was given authority from the Father to offer that to the Son at that time is relevant to the conversation.
In truth, we are saying the same thing though. Satan runs the world, and Christians have dominion over him and the legion. That does not mean Christians run the world. You said it perfect "Christians are not of this world".


#13

Oh also, just because God can do something doesn't mean Satan can't. God could have definitely given Satan the ability to give all the kingdoms of the world to the Son. The argument would essentially be over whether or not God did this and that would be a pointless debate because there is no evidence either way.

Of course God can make men kings. Did God ever say that Satan could not? Hitler does come to mind.


#14

[quote="2cents, post:11, topic:302664"]
The sons of God seem to be the sons of Seth (son of Adam). The daughters of men on the other hand are the descendants of Cain. Seth's line was faithful (for a while); Cain's line was not. The Bible is talking about intermarriage here, a theme which extends throughout the OT.

[/quote]

It is important to understand that when Jesus says “Ye are gods,” he is not speaking about the divine nature of human beings. The Hebrew understanding of “gods” in Psalm 82 is in reference to human judges not to divinity. There are other places in scripture where one is referred to as a “god” due to his official capacity, such as a judge, which was viewed as a divine administration. The Psalm continues: “But you shall die like men and fall like any of the princes.”

In John 10:34-36, Jesus answers, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, **unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

Jesus explains exactly who the "gods" are. They are those to whom the Word was given. It is evident from Jesus' words that the term “god” does not apply to all men and women and therefore is not referring to human nature, but rather only to those who receive the Word; they are not gods by their own nature. They are "gods" by receiving the divine nature from the Word, who is Jesus. Therefore, Jesus must be divine if we receive our divinity from him.


#15

I just can’t get my head around the idea that they would use the same word they use for God as they do for human judges.

Needless to say, I and probably others need more clarification and proof of this statement.


#16

The sons of God are indeed the Angels created by God. This JW is probably trying to tie together the “sons of God” and Jesus who is called the “Son of God.” This doesn’t really benefit them in any way, because Jesus alone is called the Son of God in a very distinct way, it’s not as if he ever says he is one of the “sons of God.”

Hebrews 1 is a very important chapter in scripture which describes Jesus as having the same “nature” as God the Father, and says that the Son is to be worshipped by all of the Angels. Jesus was worshipped on Earth, and now he is to be worshipped by all the Angels once he is resurrected and back on the throne. This of course is a grave sin, since we are only to worship YHWH, and Jesus is not YHWH to them.

In order for the JW’s to have a leg to stand on, they have to show that the Word of God was created, which means there was a time when only the Father existed. They will refer to their edited version of Colossians 1:15-18 to try and prove this, but there are a few problems of course. The most glaring is their insertion of the word [other] in scripture when the greek does not have it. It’s quite different to say that Jesus created all things than it is to say that he created all [other] things.

Second, if you look at the last part of verse 16: "All things were created through him and FOR him. Would Michael the Archangel create all things for himself, or would he create them for the one true God, his own creator, YHWH? The context of these verses is at the end of verse 18, when it shows that in all things he may have preeminence. To be preeminent does not mean that the being was the first to be created (Firstborn,) it means they have the highest rank. Only God has the highest rank when it comes to creation, since God himself is uncreated.


#17

Well Jesus addressed it quite specifically. I gave you the scriptural references. What would make this more clear to you? Take a look at Exodus 7:1: “And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” This use of the word “god” was used in reference to prophets. It was a term of authority implying a divine administration; i.e. judges, prophets, kings, etc. This might offend our sensibilities today, but they understood the difference between a “god” and “God”. It is simply a matter of word usage, not a matter of theology.


#18

Words are an annoying thing sometimes.


#19

God bless these people. He's trying..I'll give him that. But he's not consistent at all. He's going all over the place with it. The latest is Daniel chapter 2. And even worse, after I asked him if the apostles taught Jesus as Michael the archangel he gave me Paul saying yes in 1 Cor. 10:1-4. He is making a good case for it, but he's ducking the question I proposed about Hebrews. More help would be appreciated, thank you all and pray for this person.


#20

[quote="FaithInTheSon, post:18, topic:302664"]
Words are an annoying thing sometimes.

[/quote]

Indeed.


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