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#42066 Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:25 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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Today, during my lunch break I was reading JI Packer's 'Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God'. One of the other employees asked if he could sit with me and I told him sure go a head.
Being polite I put the book down and he asked if he could look at the book.
After he had looked to see what the book was about and read a few pages. He said that the author made a mistake. This got my curiosity up so I asked him what the mistake was. He told me that the author failed to mention God's name.
Well, right away I knew that this person must be a Jehovah's Witness, so because I have had too many fruitless conversations like this in the past with JWs and because I didn't have much time left in my break, I decided that the best course of action to take was not to engage him in a conversation. I politely told him that I would rather not get into a debate about that point and although he confirmed my suspicion that he was a Jehovah's Witness, he changed the subject.

That conversation kind of made me wonder if I should have engaged him in a conversation on that particular subject. But to tell you the truth, at the moment I am not sure if what to say to him about that particular aspect that has some real meat to it.
I am not saying that I will talk to this person again about the subject, but in case I decide to in the future. I thought I had best be prepared to do so.

If anyone has any suggestions about this, I am very open.

Thanks

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:26 PM.
Tom #42067 Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:27 PM
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Tom,

First, I can tell you are discouraged by what you've experienced with JWs in the past. They are some of the hardest to witness to, and one of the main reasons why is that they are taught no one knows the Bible better than the Watchtower. Most JWs who leave become atheists or agnostics because of this.

That being said, we are commanded to spread the Gospel, even if it appears to be fruitless. I know there are the verses about not throwing pearls before swine, but I think it's fair to say that it's too early to tell if this is one of those situations.

So this would be a great opportunity for you to tell him about Christ! You could start by showing him that you too believe that God is called YAHWEH or Jehovah, but that the difference between you and him is that you declare Jesus Christ to be Jehovah. And this difference is no small one but one that marks the difference between salvation and condemnation! You can show him (in his own Bible, though you should also say that the NWT is not accurate) texts like Isaiah 6/John 12, Hebrews 1 use of the Psalms, Revelation and the use of "Alpha and the Omega."

Of course, know your Bible well and above all ask God to fill you with the Spirit and for God to open the eyes of this man to the glory of Christ!

Last edited by MarieP; Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:30 PM.

True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Tom Offline OP
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Thanks Marie

In the past I was discouraged about my experience with the JWs, but I no longer am. The main reason for this is that I believe that God is soveriegn and God is the one that opens eyes.
That said, now I am leary about getting into issues like this with them, unless I have a lot of time. I am not one who thinks fast on my feet and because of that many times I need to think and pray a great deal, before I am ready.
Knowledgable JWs stretch my knowledge and witnessing abilities.

Tom

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I do have a question concerning Is. 42:8
"I am the Lord, that is My name;..."
The JW translation NWT uses the word "Jehovah" in place of "Lord". They make a big deal about this, so my question is what does the original say?

Tom

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The original can be translated as either "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". But taking their self-assured attitude in using this text, here are a couple of answers you can give back:

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Isaiah 42:8 (ASV) "I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images."
Compare that with:

Quote
Hebrews 1:6-8 (ASV) "And when he again bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame a fire: 8 but of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."
Not only does He (Jehovah) command the angels to worship Him (the LORD Christ), which unless Jesus was Jehovah God would be in direct contradiction to Jehovah's own prohibition in the Isa 42:8 passage, but in Heb 1:8, Jehovah Himself calls Jesus, "GOD" (Jehovah).

Secondly, GOD has many names by which He has revealed Himself. Each name highlights part of His character and/or being. This is how Jehovah God spoke to Moses in regard to His name:

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Exodus 3:13-14 (ASV) "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
Here, GOD tells Moses that His name is "I AM", which in Hebrew is the verb "to be"... i.e., I AM the self-existing One. GOD is thus emphasizing His "aseity", thus He is the Supreme Creator and Ruler over all. So, "Jehovah" isn't His one and only name, but one of several revealed names of God.

Oh yeh... let's not forget this one too which is very applicable to dealing with JW's:

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Jeremiah 23:5-6 (KJV) "5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Heb: Jehovah-Tsidkenu)"
Notice that Jehovah (LORD) calls the coming Branch, a specific reference to the coming Messiah, aka: Jesus Christ, "Jehovah Our Righteousness". Jehovah calls Jesus, Jehovah. BigThumbUp

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Tom #42079 Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:34 PM
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Tom,

While it is important, for our own faith and that of those we are teaching, to be confidently grounded in counter-arguments to the commonly used twistings of Scripture used by the JWs or any other heretical group, it is also important to be able to discern when to use those arguments. Evangelistic conversations with unbelievers about these arguments are not structured like a debate with James White vs. Whoever, with openings, rebuttals, cross-exams, a judge and an audience. While we can give a brief scriptural rebuttal here and there, doing so rarely gives room to move to the essentials of the gospel.

Our neighborhood is near a high concentration of JWs. Our previous neighbor was active at Kingdom Hall (and cut down a beautiful holly tree by his front steps because it was "of the devil"--grrrrrrrrrr); when I asked him why he was moving away he said that his elders felt that they were seeing too little fruit in the neighborhood and he would be of more service elsewhere--sDg!

Over recent years, if I engage one on my porch on a Saturday morning, I will ask if I can ask some questions. I ask if they can tell me in a couple minutes how to be forgiven of my sins and be accepted by Jehovah at the coming judgment. They will mention believing in Jesus, and perhaps the cross. I then ask, will you be forgiven and accepted? They will inevitably say, "If I persevere to the end." I then probe how can they persevere--they will say go to meetings, study the Word, be a witness for Jehovah--and then ask if they have persevered sufficiently at this moment to be accepted? Does your righteousness exceed that of the Pharisees? Are you holy and blameless in Jehovah's sight? Have you kept and will you keep all of Jehovah's holy commands? In whose righteousness will you be found? What certainty do you have for your salvation?

Of course they will have no biblical answer. I then ask if their righteousness, gained through their diligence, equals that of the perfect life of Christ. When told no, I them inform them that I have already been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. And so, I say, if you cannot even tell me how to obtain that most essential garment, how can I listen to anything else you have to say.

Of course that would hopefully present an opportunity to preach Christ to a softened heart and hearing ears. Or it might lead to them checking off your address as a place to avoid next month. But I believe getting to the heart of the matter immediately can be more God-honoring than entering an endless tit-for-tat over their classic questions.


In Christ,
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Paul,

While it would be hardly profitable to argue with your approach, since it is certainly appropriate, there are other equally profitable approaches, IMHO. Each will depend, of course, on the 'hardness' of the ones who visit. One of my preferred approaches is to first discredit the authority and reliability of the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society which is what all JW's rest upon as their epistemological source. It's not hard to do this especially using their own literature which I have a 'working collection' of. evilgrin

What normally happens, since this approach is rarely something they come across is that they will return with a more educated and seasoned "elder". He is there to answer all the previously unanswerable questions posed to the first couple and to train his companion/worker. To cut this very short, I most always get to the Gospel in short order such as you have presented above when I see things are going 'south' so at least they will have heard something of the necessity of believing upon Christ, although as you well know, they claim they do and that they deny His deity, which is my other approach; proving the deity of the Lord Christ.

I have had the extreme pleasure of seeing the conversion of one of these blinded souls right in my own living room after demolishing the WatchTower's foundation and beginning with Moses and the Prophets showing this person all the places where it spoke of Christ, the eternal Son of God Who took upon Himself human flesh, lived a perfect life, died, was buried and rose again for the justification of all who would believe upon Him with a repentant heart.

One needs to be discerning when dealing with any of these cults, especially those who cut down holly trees. rofl

In His grace,


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Quote
I have had the extreme pleasure of seeing the conversion of one of these blinded souls right in my own living room after demolishing the WatchTower's foundation and beginning with Moses and the Prophets showing this person all the places where it spoke of Christ, the eternal Son of God Who took upon Himself human flesh, lived a perfect life, died, was buried and rose again for the justification of all who would believe upon Him with a repentant heart.

What does a conversion look like?



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Originally Posted by William
What does a conversion look like?
I am hoping your question was sincere and you were not being facetious? scratchchin

The woman was overcome with conviction of sin and prayerfully pleaded that God would forgive her. She called out to the Lord Jesus Christ to embrace her and that He might clothe her with His perfect righteousness. There was much more to her prayer, but as best as I could discern, she was sincere in her pleadings. She, without hesitation, confessed that the WatchTower was of the Evil One and that she had been ensared by their teaching. So, in short, I believe I witnessed true repentance and a believing upon Christ for salvation. And just in case you are wondering, Yes, she left that cult and began worshipping at a conservative OPC congregation shortly thereafter.

In His grace,


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Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim

What you have been saying is extreemly helpful.
Your first post on this thread did bring a question to mind however.
As you are aware most versions read "Lord" rather than "Jehovah".
What is the reason for this?

Tom

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Many translations in order not to offend use LORD or Lord instead of the Hebrew YHWH they do this because they think by using Yahweh or Jehovah they might offend some.


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If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Tom #42093 Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:18 PM
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Tom,

Most versions continue the tradition of rendering the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) as "LORD" in all capitals. This tradition derives from Judaism where, since the Name had not been pronounced generally for some time, "Adonai" ("my Lord") was said in its place. Thus in manuscripts of the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) "Kyrios" replaces YHWH, & the same usage continued in the New Testament where YHWH is consistently rendered "Kyrios." Again, this continued in the Latin Vulgate ("Dominus") & carried into the vast majority of translations in other languages. Since the correct pronunciation of YHWH is disputed (either "YaHWeH" or "YeHoWaH" or some other permutation), most English translations continue to render it "LORD."


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Yeah Tom what he said. yep


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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Tom Offline OP
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Originally Posted by CovenantInBlood
Tom,

Most versions continue the tradition of rendering the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) as "LORD" in all capitals. This tradition derives from Judaism where, since the Name had not been pronounced generally for some time, "Adonai" ("my Lord") was said in its place. Thus in manuscripts of the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) "Kyrios" replaces YHWH, & the same usage continued in the New Testament where YHWH is consistently rendered "Kyrios." Again, this continued in the Latin Vulgate ("Dominus") & carried into the vast majority of translations in other languages. Since the correct pronunciation of YHWH is disputed (either "YaHWeH" or "YeHoWaH" or some other permutation), most English translations continue to render it "LORD."

Great stuff.
I have to admit that when I read the word "LORD" in place of "YHWH" or Jehovah I don't really think of the same meaning.
I think of LORD as referring to God who is sovereign over all. Where as I see YHWH or Jehovah as the LORD's name.
Perhaps this is because my knowledge of the matter is limited.
Someone want to fill in some blanks for me?

Tom

Tom #42108 Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:12 PM
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Well Tom what more can be said? Kyle succinctly stated the reasons for why translators do what they do with regard to the name of God. If you really want to know which verses actually say Adonai, or Kyrios then I suggest do a search using some electronic bible search. And do the same for YHWH then you'll know for certain what is being used where. Or you could study Hebrew and Greek.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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