The Father is Greater than Me


#1

I have a sister-in-law that is a Jehova Witness. We are respectful of each others religion…never trying to shove our beliefs on each other. She is a nice lady and we get along well.
Today I asked her if it was true that they believed that Michael the Archangel and Jesus was the same person. She said yes because Jesus was the greatest angel & Michael the Archangel is also the greatest angel so they had to be the same. She asked who I thought Jesus was and of course I said God. She said it can’t be so because Jesus says in the bible-The Father is Greater than Me.
Of course I do not agree with her beliefs and wish I could explain my faith better.
She also says they use the same Bible we do. Is that true?? Or did they do away with some of the books like the protestant?? Or maybe added some we don’t have…like the gospel of Thomas, etc.
I have to get to bed now because I have to get up early but any comments would be greatly appreciated.


#2

I think the Jehovah’s Bible is translated with a twist. It sort of is tailored to their beliefs instead of the other way around.

The Book of Hebrews contains some good scriptural evidence that claims that Jesus was greater than the angels in the first Chapter.

Also, John Chapter 1 is the most simple pointer to Jesus being God. ‘The Word’ (greek: Logos) refers to Jesus.

And if she’s still not convinced, Jesus claims to be equal with God in Mark 14:61-62. Jesus says “I am,…” which is an Old Testament name which was given to Moses to tell the Israelites which god Moses was a prophet of. (There are like 7 major “I AM” statements Jesus makes)


#3

She might not know that we don’t use the same Bible. Not only do the JW’s use the protestant Cannon (so some books are missing) but what books they do use have been changed to fit their theology. For example (a very famous example) The Gospel According to St. John opens with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” In their ‘new world translation’ it says; “In the begining was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a god.” With the addition of a single letter they drastically alter the text. There are several other well know alterations to their bible. You can find more here:

catholic.com/library/noncatholic_groups.asp

About the middle of the page.


#4

Hey Tink… see if these articles help.


#5

There is one sense only in which the Father can be considered “greater” than the Son. That is the fact that the Son proceeds from the Father.

Your SIL’s position focuses on one sentence of scripture and ignores all of the council teachings and the writings of the doctors of the Church in explaining the meaning of that teaching.

Beliefs like hers are a much bigger problem for Protestantism than for Catholicism, precisely because they arise from that which Protestants defend, the right and efficacy of private interpretation of scripture outside of the light of the Church.


#6

There is not a scripture that says that Jesus is Micheal the angel, push her for an exact statement in scripture where it says “Jesus is Micheal the archangel”. Later, she is going to ask you for an exact statement that “Jesus is God” in scripture. Depending on what she says, at that time you can go back to the Micheal statement.

They use a mixed up logic to prove that Jesus is Micheal. Simply, keep pointing out that they are reading into the text what is not there. And, say exactly what the text is saying, not what they want the text to mean.

A Rule to memorize is that a word gets its meaning from its immediate context, not from how it used elsewhere.

As for the Father is greater, he is in Rank or authority. They are the same in divine nature, but there is a rank of authority in the godhead, Father sent the Son, both the Son and Father sent the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:7
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

Matthew 24:36
The Day and Hour Unknown ] "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Basically, Jesus does not know when the second coming is going to be simply because he does not have the authority to set that date.


#7

Ask your sister about a neutral scripture like Eze 18 whole chapter. Basically, the chapter is saying that each person is responsible for their disobedance to God, that there are no spiritual children so to speak. Anotherwards, the good works of the Father can not save his Son, nor does the good works of the Son save his Father, each is responsible for their own sin or obedance to God’s law. The principle you are trying to point out is a mere creature can not atone for another creature. An angel is a creature. Satan is a fallen angel and can not go to heaven, but will end up in the lake of fire. An angel is not sufficent to atone for all mankind. In fact, there is no proof in scripture that an angel can atone for anyone. For Christ’s atonement to be able to atone for all mankind, Christ must be divine, thus infinite.

Creatures are finite and thus are limited to being responsible for only our own obedance or disobedance and as such can not atone for another.

So, read Eze 18, and ask who is responsible for their sin? Can they atone or take responisblity for another persons sin?

newadvent.org/fathers/360323.htm

Basic argument

a creature is limited, can not atone for another ( Hebrews 7-10 )

Jesus is fully man and fully God as such **he is infinite and can atone for all mankind. **

The suggestion that some innocent man, or angel, might possibly pay the debt incurred by sinners is rejected, on the ground that in any case this would put the sinner under obligation to his deliverer, and he would thus become the servant of a mere creature. The only way in which the satisfaction could be made, and men could be set free from sin, was by the coming of a Redeemer who is both God and man. His death makes full satisfaction to the Divine Justice, for it is something greater than all the sins of all rnankind. Many side questions are incidentally treated in the dialogue between Anselm and Boso. But this is the substance of the answer given to the great question, “Cur Deus Homo?”. Some modern writers have suggested that this notion of deliverance by means of satisfaction may have a German origin.

newadvent.org/cathen/02055a.htm

Hebrews 1

5For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”? Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”? 6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Note: Their NWT mistranslates “worship” as “obeisance” to get out of the text.

newadvent.org/summa/4048.htm
newadvent.org/fathers/28164.htm
newadvent.org/cathen/15132a.htm


#8

Thanks guys for all the info. I’m at work now and will read all the links that you supplied tonight.
I knew you could help me out. :thumbsup:


#9

Hebrews 1

5For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”? Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”? 6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Note: Their NWT mistranslates “worship” as “obeisance” to get out of the text.

Gosh, how can they read Hebrews 1 and come up with their translation is beyond me…but no telling what their bible says.


#10

Add to all of the other answers…Phil 2:5-8: 5: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8: And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

When Jesus says the Father is greater than I, it is only because He had emptied Himself of the fullness of His Glory for the Incarnation. God the Father, who had not willed to become God Incarnate,had not emptied Himself of the fullness of His Glory and therefore, in that context, He was greater… at the time Jesus spoke those words.

To put it another way, we must remember that Jesus is both human and Divine. Referring to His Divinity we see Him say “I and the Father are one” and “those who have seen me have seen the Father.” Clearly, He is equal to the Father in these verses. But when Jesus said “the Father is greater…”, He was referring to His humanity, which is not greater. This is actually a good thing, because it makes clear that Jesus has two natures. You just have to look at the whole Bible to see it, and not just selected verses of a Bible that has been altered. :wink:

Here is a link and also another thead with some other helps.


#11

How does the JW’s bible translate Colossians 2:9

9] For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily,

(This is from the RSV)


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.