I know this is a long and it's not my normal approach to copy past stuff from the net, but this letter makes some interesting scripturally back points and I wondered if robbies carrobie and Galveston cared to read it and comment.
[An open letter to my Jehovah's Witness friends: from Bobby Richardson.]
As a non-denominational layman, my approach to Bible study is independent.
I do not utilize any religious organization's material. Instead, I use the King James Version of the Bible, a good dictionary and a concordance. However, I have studied many different doctrines with a number of different people from a number of different faiths. Some years back I had the opportunity to study with a Jehovah Witness elder. We had a very comprehensive study which, for the most part, was "open" and Independent. Neither he nor I believed the doctrine of Rome that emerged in 325 A.D., known as the trinity. This gave us some common ground to build on. Even though there were areas that he and I were in agreement, there were others where we were very far apart. In addition, he either would not, or could not, answer some very important questions. We became friends, parted as friends, and remain friends today as far as I am concerned.
My decision to remain an independent Non-Denominational Bible student/layman instead of becoming a Jehovah’s Witness had nothing to do with this elder personally. He was a kind and considerate man, who very deeply believed the doctrine which had been taught to him. But, I too, very deeply believed what God has revealed to me from His Word through very diligent study and prayer.
It is my understanding the Watchtower Society discourages members from participating in "open" Bible studies or reading "other" material which is not published or approved by them. However, I would like for you to hear me out and explain some things to me. I Peter 3:15 does instruct us to be able to give an answer to them that ask us.
When Jehovah Witnesses knock on my door, they are not treated with disrespect or contempt. If I have time to discuss the Bible, and perceive that they are willing to have an "open discussion", I will invite them in. Otherwise, we part on friendly terms. I have the Watchtower's 1970 and 1984 revisions of the Bible, a 1959 Interlinear Translation of the New Testament and other literature.
I was raised a Protestant Trinitarian, but my belief system dramatically changed when I began to "openly" study (and search) the scriptures. God revealed the Apostles Monotheistic doctrine to me as I independently studied the Bible. The Apostles doctrine was set forth by Jesus Christ, who commissioned HIS Witnesses to take it to the world. Jesus (who doesn’t lie) specifically promised Peter that he (Peter) would receive the keys to the kingdom of heaven, at some point.
According to Matt. 28:19 Witnesses were to ... Go therefore and make disciples of people of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME (singular) of the Father, AND of the Son AND of the holy spirit.
These witnesses went forth baptizing converts in the NAME of JESUS as recorded in the history book of Witnesses, Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 and 19:5 as documented in the 1970 Revision of the New World Translation. WHY DID THEY? WHO DOES THIS TODAY?
That gets me to the purpose of my "open letter" to Jehovah Witnesses. In my non-denominational lay work I often correspond with people who have different religious beliefs. My practice is to correspond with each of them individually. However, it occurred to me that it would make more sense to prepare an "open letter" to be used when corresponding with any Jehovah's Witness friend.
It is a dangerous thing to add to or take from the Word of God. Instead the Word of God -is to be rightly divided, line upon line, precept upon precept. It is of no private Interpretation. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It is our weapon against the adversary. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus used the Sword of the Spirit against him. Paul gave a solemn warning that if anyone, including an angel, preached another message than that which the Apostles preached, they were accursed. The Word of God is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We are to esteem it more than necessary food, and are to hid it in our hearts, lest we sin against God. The Word of God is forever settled in Heaven, and it is sharper than any two edged sword. We will be judged by the Word of God, so I have learned to make sure my beliefs are grounded in the Word of God.
I trust that we share mutual respect for the Word of God, as well as for one another from this point forward. My purpose isn't to criticize or condemn "the people" who are Jehovah's Witnesses. It is an appeal from a serious Bible student for Scriptural reconciliation of some things that I do not understand about Jehovah Witness doctrine.
WHO IS MAN'S ONLY SAVIOR?
IS HE THE ONLY CREATOR?
DOES ANY OTHER BEING OR ANGEL "SHARE" IN HIS CREATION, HIS GLORY, HONOR OR POWER?
(1970 New World Translation)
Isaiah 44:24 "This is what Jehovah has said, your Re-purchaser and the Former of you from the belly: 'I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me'?"
Isaiah 43:3 "For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel your saviour."
Isaiah 43:11 "l-l am Jehovah, and besides me there is no saviour".
Isaiah 43:15 "I am Jehovah your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King ".
Isaiah 44:6 "... I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God... "
Isaiah 45:21 "...Is it not I, Jehovah, besides whom there is no other God; a righteous God and a Saviour, there being none excepting me?"
Isaiah 49:26 "...I, Jehovah, am your Saviour and your Repurchaser, the Powerful One of Jacob".
Isaiah 42:8 "I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory, neither my praise to graven images".
Isaiah 48:11-13 "For my own sake, for my own sake I shall act, for how could one let oneself be profaned? And to no one else shall I give my own glory. 'Listen to me, 0 Jacob, and you Israel my called one. I am the same One. I am the first. Moreover, I am the last. Moreover, my own hand laid the foundation of the earth'...".
Isaiah 40:5 "And the glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see [it] together for the very mouth of Jehovah has spoken [it]."
Isaiah 53:1-5 ".. And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed? And he will come up like a twig before one, and like a root out of waterless land. No stately form does he have, nor any splendor; and when we shall see him, there is not the appearance so that we should desire him. He was despised and was avoided by men, a man meant for pains and for having acquaintance with sickness. And there was as if a concealing of one's face from us. He was despised, and we held him as no account. Truly our sicknesses were what he himself carried; and as for our pains, he bore them. But we ourselves accounted him as plagued, stricken by God and afflicted. But he was being pierced for our transgression; he was being crushed for our errors. The chastisement meant for our peace was upon him, and because of his wounds there has been a healing for us.
Micah 1:2-3 "Hear, 0 you peoples, all of you; pay attention, 0 earth and what fills you, and let the Lord Jehovah serve against you as a witness, Jehovah from his holy temple. For, look! Jehovah is going forth from his place, and he will certainly come down and tread upon earth's high places.
SINCE JEHOVAH IS MAN'S ONLY SAVIOR, HOW COULD JESUS BECOME SAVIOR? WHAT DOES THE NAME "JESUS" LITERALLY MEAN?
(1970 New World Translation)
Matthew 1:20-23 "...Jehovah's angel appeared to him in a dream, saying: 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife home, for that which has been begotten In her is by holy spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you must call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this actually came about for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet, saying: 'Look The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Immanuel,' which means, when translated, 'With Us Is God"'.
Luke 2:10-11 "But the angel said to them: Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, In David's city."
Isaiah 9:6-7 "For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the abundance of the princely rule and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this."
My studies have involved some very time consuming research on many different subjects. Here's some places in the Watch Tower's 1959 Interlinear Translation of the New Testament where I found a Greek word that were translated Jehovah in some places, but was translated Lord (Jesus) in others places. This calls into question the competence and/or the motives of the anonymous translators of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The following examples are not a complete listing of the words, but are a sampling for purposes of discussion only. Please feel free to check my accuracy yourself.