AUTHOR: Martin, Walter
PUBLISHED ON: April 29, 2003

                        JEHOVAH’S WITNESS
                    AND THE DEITY OF CHRIST
                          WALTER MARTIN

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has always
taught from its inception in 1896 that Jesus Christ was no more than a perfect
man, “certainly not the supreme God Almighty in the flesh.”1  Amplifying this,
they state categorically that He was in no sense both God and man.  “Some
insist that Jesus while on earth was both God and man.  This theory is

By maintaining that our Lord was the “first and direct creation of Jehovah
God,” and that prior to His earthly life He was Michael the Archangel,3  the
Witnesses deny the very foundation of the historic Christian faith.

In contrast to this teaching, the Bible and Christian Church declare the full
deity of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father.

In the first verse of John’s Gospel, Christ is revealed as the eternal Word of
God who became flesh (verse 14) – the “image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). 
Consider the emphasis.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Note that John 1:1 states that the Word was in the beginning – it does not say
the Word “became” or “was created” by God as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.  The
Witnesses also mistranslate this text to read “the Word was a god”4 but their
translation is by both context and grammar an impossibility according to all
recognized authorities on Greek grammar.

Moreover, the Scriptures proclaim that Christ made “himself equal with God”
(John 5:18) and that “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”
(Colossians 2:9).  The Bible further states that Christ claimed to be the
great I AM (Jehovah) of the Old Testament (see Exodus 3:13-16 with John 8:58),
and the Jews during His ministry understood Him so clearly that they sought to
stone Him to death for blasphemy (John 8:59; cf. 10:28.33).

Jehovah’s Witnesses pervert these texts and many others in their determined
attempt to demote our Lord from His position of God and Creator (Colossians 1;
Hebrews 1;), and they compound their error by translating the Greek of the New
Testament in many places contrary to all known grammatical authorities.5  It
is certainly true that during His earthly life our Lord voluntarily limited
Himself as a man (Philippians 2:6-8), and thus He never strove to usurp the
prerogatives of Deity.  But one does not have to “rob” what is His by
inheritance (Hebrews 1).  As we have already shown, He was true Deity – “the
great God” (Titus 2:13).

We must not forget that Christ humbled Himself even to the death of the cross
and therefore as a man could say, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). 
However, let us not forget that Christ never said, “My Father is better than
I”; “better” is a term of comparison between natures (Hebrews 1:4) while
“greater,” as in the context of John 14, is a term of comparison relative to

Our President, for instance, is greater in position than any of his fellow
Americans by virtue of his office as President of the United States; but he
would be the first to insist that as a human being he is not necessarily
better.  So Christ was admittedly inferior to His Father positionally while on
earth as a man, but the Scriptures indicate He was His Father’s equal on the
spiritual plane at all times (Hebrews 1:3; John 5:18).

Jehovah’s Witnesses always point to Christ’s humanity in the Scriptures; they
carefully omit mention of His claim to full Deity and the thus
“wrest…the…scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

Our Lord taught His Full Deity (John 8:58, John 8:24) and the Bible calls Him
the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17,18).  Yet it is
Jehovah alone who declares that He is “the first, and…the last” (Isaiah
44:6).  Since there can be only one first and last, God fully manifested
Himself in Jesus Christ, “the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17,18) as the
Scriptures and the Christian Church maintain.

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny these and many other great doctrines of the Bible. 
They are therefore misguided followers of a fallible, human organization. 
Consequently, they too, desperately need the salvation that the Godman, Jesus
Christ, alone offers to all men who will come to Him and accept Him as their
Saviour and Lord (John 3:16, 5:24).

1. Let God be True, Edition 1946, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 87.

2. The Harp of God, J.F. Rutherford, pp. 101 and 128

3. The Truth Shall Make You Free, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p.
  49; also The Kingdom is At Hand, pp. 46, 47, 49.

4. New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures – John 1:1, The
  Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

5. See Jehovah of the Watchtower, Moody Press, Chicago, Revised Edition, 1974
  for a full-length study of Jehovah’s Witnesses with full documentation on
  their errors.

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