The easiest proof of the Trinity (John 1:1)

John 1:1 isn’t the only verse Christians use to prove the Trinity, but it is key because the Watchtower (Jehovah’s Witnesses organization) has proven the Trinity for us from this verse. The JWs have a book called “What does the Bible Really Teach,” which is their number one “evangelization” book they give to everyone, and it’s available on the JW.org website for free.

It has a short chapter On the Trinity. Here is the key part of what it says:John 1:1 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (King James Version)

Bear in mind that this part of the Bible was originally written in Greek. Later, translators rendered the Greek text into other languages. A number of Bible translators, though, did not use the phrase “the Word was God.” Why not? Based on their knowledge of Biblical Greek, those translators concluded that the phrase “the Word was God” should be translated differently. How? Here are a few examples: “The Logos [Word] was divine.” (A New Translation of the Bible) “The Word was a god.” (The New Testament in an Improved Version) “The Word was with God and shared his nature.” (The Translator’s New Testament) According to these translations, the Word is not God himself.

John also states that the Word was *“with *God.” But how can an individual be *with *someone and at the same time *be *that person?
The official Christian doctrine of the Trinity teaches that Personhood and Nature are different. You are a person, you are a different person than your own dad, but you have the same (human) nature as your dad. You are not your dad, but you have his nature, and thus you have his same ‘abilities’.

The Watchtower officially thinks that what Christians are saying by John1:1 is this: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was the Father.” But this is completely wrong and is the exact opposite of the Christian doctrine on the Trinity. :crying:

Rather, the Greek text makes it very clear what John was saying so that there would be no confusion (it only becomes confusing in English). How do we know this? Because the Watchtower has given us correct translations of 1:1c above! “The Word was divine” and “The Word was with God and shared God’s nature.”

Thus, the true doctrine of the Trinity, proven directly from the JWs is this: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son had the God the Father’s divine nature.” That is what the Greek is saying, and this is what Christians have always believed (Jesus is “consubstantial” with the Father, as the Creed says) :thumbsup: Thus, Jesus is a different person than the father (just as you are a different person from your parents), but Jesus has the same divine nature as God the Father (just as you have your parents nature).

The Watchtower repeatedly thinks the Trinity means “the Father IS the Son,” but that’s completely wrong. :eek: Rather, the Trinity means “the Father and Son are distinct persons but have the same divine nature”. :slight_smile:

Visit my various blog articles on JWs for more information. :bible1:

Their website actually quoted the KJV?

Why not the New World Translation?

K

They quote other translations to try an show that they can use ‘regular’ translations to refute Catholic/Protestant teachings. The average Protestant wouldn’t object to the KJV, so the JWs use it when it can help their cause.

And honestly, part of the purpose of John’s gospel was to combat heresies. By the time John’s gospel came out (about AD 100), both Gnostism and adoptionism were rampant heresies. John’s gospel was partially used to combat these heresies and partially to instruct catechumens. This is probably the reason why it was felt necessary to include the gospel of John in the canon. The gospel of John is clear that (a) Jesus is NOT the Father, (b) Jesus IS God, © Jesus truly became a man.

As I see it the error starts with the Greek ‘Logos’. ‘Logos’, Greek for word, can be taken to mean the spoken word, the written word or the word one develops in the mind, a mental concept - we would otherwise call wisdom. Usually JW’s as well as some other Protestants stop at spoken word or written word, so that we have John 1:1 meaning to the effect; ‘in the beginning God spoke, what He spoke stayed with God and this utterance was God. If they focus on the spoken word, then it is this spoken word later put into writing. Otherwise, they elevate Scripture to the Divine; Mary in essence gave birth to a walking, talking, BOOK that we are to worship.

Jesus was not created. We know that a true God is not made. Furthermore, if Christ is God, there he is not subservient or second to any other entity. Consequently, our God, Christ, did take on the form of humanity as the Second Person of the Trinity, in the mysteries of the Incarnation. Christ is the expressed image of God being the Wisdom of God. We see it in the Greek, “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.” (At the beginning of time the Logos already was; and God had the Logos abiding with him, hence, the Word was God.) [John 1:1]. John continues in the Greek: “καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο,” (And the Logos became flesh) [John 1:14]. John says that the ‘Logos’ always existed and was God and furthermore the ‘Logos’ became flesh, man.

“***Truth exists, the Incarnation happened.***”

Powerful Eternity (God) is the Wisdom of God, ever present, all powerful. Wisdom exists with God in all eternity. With the Wisdom of Eternity in Christ, we find Christ the same substance as God, yet a distinct Person. Christ is not ‘made or created’ by God but rather the Same Substance of God, all Eternity. Solomon described Wisdom as follows:

For in her [Wisdom] is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent, Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtile. For wisdom is more active than all active things: and reacheth everywhere by reason of her purity. For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.

For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God’ s majesty, and the image of his goodness. And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets. [28] For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it. [30] For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom. [Wisdom 7:22 sqq.]

In Proverbs we find a description of The coming Anointed One who ‘became’ man is described in Proverbs as, Wisdom herself tells us, He through all things were made:

The Lord possessed me [Wisdom] in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I [Wisdom] was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth:

He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth; I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times [Proverbs 8:22 sqq.]

The Wisdom of God comes forth from God in the likeness of God’s intellect. It is by God that all things are expressed in the image of Himself, Jesus Christ. “The figure of His substance” is the expressed image of God the Father, i.e. His Son.

In these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high. [Hebrews 1:2-3]

The reflective act of understanding the existence of His eternity awakens the concept of understanding Eternity in the form of a Divine Wisdom. Thus the likeness of Eternity is the expression begotten as Wisdom. “And the ‘Logos’ [the mental concept of Word, i.e. Wisdom - not necessarily the audible or written word] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14].

The Logos takes flesh, the begotten Son of God. One Divine Person with Divine nature and a human nature uniquely and inseparably united. From the Father and the Son comes the Holy Spirit. Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit yet of One Substance, Eternity.

JoeT

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