Search This Blog

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Unbiblical Teachings

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not deny Jesus’ godship, or divinity. They accept what John 1:1 says of him, that he is “a god.” However, the Church says that Jesus is not just “a god” but that he is the almighty God, part of three coeternal persons, coequal in power.

The Bible, God’s inspired Word, does not teach that. Instead, it plainly states: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16) At no time did Jesus claim to be almighty God. He said he was “the only-begotten Son of God.” Any impartial reading of the Scriptures will verify that.—John 3:18; 10:34-36.

Time and again Jesus said: “The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing.” “I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.” “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me.” “The Father is greater than I am.” And God’s Word adds: “The Son himself will also subject himself to [God].”—John 5:19; 6:38; 7:16; 14:28; 1Corinthians 15:28.

Thus the Trinity is unscriptural. From where, then, did it originate? It was adopted at the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E. when apostates incorporated a pagan idea that had originated in ancient Egypt and Babylon. As historian Will Durant observed in The Story of Civilization: Part III: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.” And The New Encyclopædia Britannica states: “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies.” - December 1, 1986 Watchtower, WTB&TS

Additional Reading:

When the descendants of Abraham journeyed down into Egypt, there they came across a whole selection of different gods. According to Wilkinson, Egypt had many gods, the greatest of whom were Neph, Amun, Pthah, Khem, Sati, Maut and Bubastis. Ra and Seb were the first of the second class of Egyptian deities. The Egyptians believed that Neph made the sun and moon revolve. Pthah was worshiped as the creator. Khem was the god of agriculture. Ra was worshiped as a sun-god and his son Seb represented time. The ancient Egyptians also worshiped a trinity made up of Osiris, Isis and Horus, namely, father, mother and son. This trinity is precisely the same as that worshiped in Christendom. It has been handed down from ancient Egypt and Babylon.

Jehovah vindicated his supremacy over all the gods of Egypt when he disgraced them with ten plagues and destroyed the Egyptian forces in the Red Sea. Following the Red Sea victory the Israelites sang to Jehovah’s praise: “This is my God, and I shall laud him; my father’s God, and I shall raise him on high. Jehovah is a manly person of war. Jehovah is his name. . . . Who among the gods is like you, O Jehovah?” There is none.—Ex. 15:2, 3, 11. - December 15, 1959 Watchtower, WTB&TS

Additional Reading:

What Influenced It

THROUGHOUT the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.

Historian Will Durant observed: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.” And in the book Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz notes: “The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.”

Thus, in Alexandria, Egypt, churchmen of the late third and early fourth centuries, such as Athanasius, reflected this influence as they formulated ideas that led to the Trinity. Their own influence spread, so that Morenz considers “Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.”

In the preface to Edward Gibbon’s History of Christianity, we read: “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.”

A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge notes that many say that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.” And The Paganism in Our Christianity declares: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”

That is why, in the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings wrote: “In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahmā, Siva, and Viṣṇu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus . . . Nor is it only in historical religions that we find God viewed as a Trinity. One recalls in particular the Neo-Platonic view of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality,” which is “triadically represented.” What does the Greek philosopher Plato have to do with the Trinity?

- Should You Believe in the Trinity? - WTB&TS

Additional Reading:

Many religious people say that Jesus is God. Some claim that God is a Trinity. According to this teaching, “the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.” It is held that the three “are co-eternal and co-equal.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia) Are such views correct? Jehovah God is the Creator. (Revelation 4:11) He is without beginning or end, and he is almighty. (Psalm 90:2) Jesus, on the other hand, had a beginning. (Colossians 1:15, 16) Referring to God as his Father, Jesus said: “The Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) Jesus also explained that there were some things neither he nor the angels knew but that were known only by his Father.—Mark 13:32. Moreover, Jesus prayed to his Father: “Let, not my will, but yours take place.” (Luke 22:42) To whom was Jesus praying if not to a superior Personage? Furthermore, it was God who resurrected Jesus from the dead, not Jesus himself. (Acts 2:32) Obviously, the Father and the Son were not equal before Jesus came to the earth or during his earthly life. What about after Jesus’ resurrection to heaven? First Corinthians 11:3 states: “The head of the Christ is God.” In fact, the Son will always be in subjection to God. (1 Corinthians 15:28) The Scriptures therefore show that Jesus is not God Almighty. Instead, he is God’s Son. The so-called third person of the Trinity—the holy spirit—is not a person. Addressing God in prayer, the psalmist said: “If you send forth your spirit, they are created.” (Psalm 104:30) This spirit is not God himself; it is an active force that he sends forth or uses to accomplish whatever he wishes. By means of it, God created the physical heavens, the earth, and all living things. (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 33:6) God used his holy spirit to inspire the men who wrote the Bible. (2 Peter 1:20, 21) The Trinity, then, is not a Scriptural teaching.* “Jehovah our God is one Jehovah,” says the Bible.—Deuteronomy 6:4.

Additional Reading: