An Exposition Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Argument In Rejecting Christ’s Deity Using John 17:3 -- By: Aaron Tuazon Shelenberger

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 08:2 (Fall 2009)
Article: An Exposition Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Argument In Rejecting Christ’s Deity Using John 17:3
Author: Aaron Tuazon Shelenberger


An Exposition Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Argument In Rejecting Christ’s Deity Using John 17:3

Aaron Tuazon Shelenberger

Orthodox Christianity claims that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is fully God and fully man. Scripture reveals that He is the second person of the Triune God and that He clothed himself with humanity. Yet the Son never ceased to exist as God since the moment of the Incarnation. Thus, from what Scripture teaches, orthodoxy has always maintained that Christ is God–man in the fullest sense.

Other religious groups, which claim to embrace the Bible as their sole authority, however, reject the full deity of Jesus Christ. Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are among the detractors. They accept Christ not as God, who is the supreme Creator and Sustainer of the universe, but a god, who is a mere copy of the one true God. They based this belief on their interpretation of certain key biblical passages, of which few are as follows.

The Watchtower organization asserts that Christ is described in Scripture as the “Mighty God” (Is 9:6), but not the “Almighty God,”

as only the Father is.1 Watchtower translation New World Translation (NWT) renders John 1:1c “And the Word was a god.” The word “firstborn” in Col. 1:15 is said to indicate “that Jesus is the eldest in Jehovah’s family of sons.”2 This is why the NWT renders Col. 1:16 and 17, “By means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth. . . . All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist.”3 Thus, the Watchtower claims that as a created being, Christ is by nature a subservient god to God the Father.

The Father as the Only True God

One “proof text” commonly used by the Watchtower is John 17:3, which will be the focus of the discussion. The verse reads, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (NIV). The Jehovah’s Witnesses seem utterly convinced that Christ’s calling the Father “the only true God” is a clear and compelling indication that he is excluding himself from the category. ...

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