Watchman Fellowship's Guide to Marking Your Bible
Written by: Branch, Rick/ Walker, James Posted on: 05/07/2003
Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics
Watchman Fellowship's Guide To Marking Your Bible
This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all
verses misused by the various cults. Rather, it is a sampling of
the more prevalent verses twisted by numerous cults. Each cultic
interpretation will be followed by a Christian response. These
responses are not intended to be an exhaustive explanation. Each
reader should search out further information found in numerous
conservative Bible commentaries. Cross referencing will be
provided where applicable.
Authorship: Rick Branch and James Walker
Reading the Chart:
A. Reference - -> Genesis 1:1
B. Scripture - In the beginning God created the heavens and the
C. Cult Identification - (MORMONISM)
D. Cultic Interpretation - The term "created" is understood to
mean organized for according to Mormonism, matter is eternal.
E. Christian Explanation - (CHRISTIAN) The term "create" in the
Hebrew means to form something from nothing.
-> Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heaven and the
(MORMONISM) The term "created" is understood to mean organized
for according to Mormonism, matter is eternal. They explain that
Heavenly Father simply organized, for according to Mormonism,
matter is eternal. They explain that Heavenly Father simply
organized pre-existent matter into the shape of the Earth (Mormon
Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p.218).
(CHRISTIAN) The term "create" in the Hebrew means to form
something from nothing. Thus, it was not simply an organization,
but rather a true creation.
-> Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and
darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) They have changed the term "spirit of God
to "active force" in their version of the Bible, the New World
Translation. By doing so they have denied the personality of the
(CHRISTIAN) There is absolutely no linguistic basis for such a
change. See also John 15:26; 16:13 and Acts 13:2 for information
on the personality of the Holy Spirit.
-> Genesis 1:26-27 - And God said, Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness... So God created man in his own image, in the
image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
(MORMONISM) This verse is used to prove that since man is
created in the image of God and since man has a body of flesh and
bone, then God the Father must likewise have a body of flesh and
bone. According to Mormonism, the Father is simply a resurrected
man (Gospel Principles, pp.6 & 9).
(CHRISTIAN) This verse is normally understood to refer to man
being created in the moral and spiritual nature of God, not in a
physical sense. Remember Jesus' words in John 4:24, "God is a
-> Genesis 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the
blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This verse is often used to deny the
faithful Jehovah's Witness a necessary life saving blood
transfusion. For years the Watchtower has taught that to submit
to a blood transfusion is comparable to cannibalism. That is, to
sustain ones own life by means of another human's life (Insight
on the Scripture, Vol.1, pp.344-346).
(CHRISTIAN) First, the Bible never discusses blood transfusion.
The people in the days of Genesis had no such medical technology.
Second, concerning the idea of cannibalism, the digestive system
and the circulatory system are separate bodily systems. Third,
the Orthodox Jewish community, who follow the Old Testament
commandments to a meticulous detail, have no aversion to blood
transfusion. They understand that to not eat blood has nothing
to do with the medical practice of blood transfusion.
-> Genesis 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their
language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
(MORMONISM) This verse is often used to prove the Mormon view
that there are many gods. "Let us" is plural and therefore there
must be more than one god (Mormon Doctrine, p.576-577).
(CHRISTIAN) Remembering that Christianity is based upon the
biblical doctrine of the Trinity, this verse is in perfect
harmony with numerous other passages. For instance, Isaiah
45:18, 22 and 46:9 which clearly state that there is only "one
-> Genesis 32:30 - And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel:
for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
(MORMONISM) Many times this passage is used to prove that a man
can see God face to face and live. Joseph Smith, the founder of
Mormonism claimed to do this very thing in 1820 when he
supposedly saw God the Father and God the Son -- face to face
(Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History, vs.17).
(CHRISTIAN) The Bible is quite clear that no one can see God face
to face and live (Exodus 33:20). Jesus made it very clear that
no one had ever seen God the Father (John 1:18). Genesis 32:1
explains that the encounter which Jacob was to have was with an
angel. It is obvious that Jacob was not actually wrestling God,
for in Genesis 32:27 the being whom Jacob wrestles ask the
question, "What is thy name?" God would not need to ask Jacob
his name. Thus, what did Jacob mean when he said "face to face"?
It is a Hebrew idiom of familiarity or an expression of
relationship. The fact that Jacob did not wrestle with God is
also confirmed by Hosea 12:2-4. Rather he wrestled with the
angel of the Lord.
-> Genesis 40:20-22 And it came to pass the third day, which was
Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants:
and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief
baker among his servants...But he hanged the chief baker...
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This verse is often used by the Watchtower
to show that the celebration of birthday's was originally a pagan
holiday. They explain that no one should celebrate a birthday
today, for only pagans do so (Insight on the Scripture,
(CHRISTIAN) While it is true that pagans celebrate birthdays, so
did people with whom God was well pleased. See Job 1:4 and 3:1-3
for the celebration and cursing of "his day...wherein I was
born". Also, Luke 1:14 mentions that the birth of John the
Baptist was celebrated. Not even the Watchtower would claim he
was a pagan. Further, the angels in Luke 2:13-14 seem to be
celebrating the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.
-> Exodus 33:11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a
man speaketh unto his friend.
(MORMONISM) Used in conjunction with Genesis 32:30, this verse is
also used to prove the ability to see God and live.
(CHRISTIAN) As with so many cases, the cults take one verse out
of context and twist it unto their own destruction. Though the
Mormons would have their prospective converts read this verse
alone, Chapter 33 is self-explanatory. In verse 20 it is stated,
"Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and
live." What then did Moses mean when he said face to face?
Remember, this is as one friend speaks to another, it was a
relationship. Did Moses actually see anything at this encounter?
Verse 22-23 speaks of God's hand and back parts. If God the
Father is only an exalted resurrected man as the Mormon Church
states, how could his hand cover Moses as He passed by?
Obviously the language used here is anthropomorphic (see Numbers
11:18 reference elsewhere). It was God's glory that Moses saw.
-> Numbers 11:18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify
yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have
wept in the ears of the Lord..."
(MORMONISM) This passage along with several others are used to
prove that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone. The
Mormon will explain, the Bible states, God has ears. Also
Deuteronomy 11:12 says, "the eyes of the Lord they God are always
upon it", thus God has eyes. If He has ears and eyes, he must
have a head and shoulders upon which to set His head. Remember
the account in Genesis 3:8 when "the Lord God was walking in the
garden in the cool of the day?" To be walking, the Mormons
reason, would necessitate that He has feet, legs and hips.
Further Amos 1:8 stated the Lord "will turn mine hand against
Ekron..." meaning that the Lord must have hands, arms and
shoulders. Hence, the Lord has a body of flesh and bone
(Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).
(CHRISTIAN) All of these passages as well as numerous other are
using what is known as anthropomorphic language. That is,
ascribing physical attributes to a spiritual being. It is giving
human characteristics to God so that Man may in turn understand
the character and nature of God. How can a finite sinful being
such as man understand an infinite and perfect being such as God.
It is impossible to do so. However with the use of
anthropomorphism the task is made easier. Thus, the passages are
to be understood in a symbolic nature when they speak of God's
hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes, mouth, etc. Also, if the Mormons
wish to maintain that these passages must be interpreted
literally, then they must also interpret Psalm 91:4 literally.
"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt
thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Now God
has the appearance of a magnificent shield carrying chicken
rather than an exalted man!
-> Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto
me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
(MORMONISM) According to Mormon theology, Jesus was born into a
preexistent spirit world by procreation between Heavenly Father
and Heavenly Mother. This verse speaks of that pre-earthly birth
(Mormon Doctrine, p.589-590).
(CHRISTIAN) The best method of interpretation is to accept the
meaning provided by the Bible itself. The New Testament contains
the proper interpretation (and fulfillment) of this passage.
Acts 13:33 states: "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their
children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also
written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I
begotten thee." Thus, the Psalm is a prophetic reference to the
resurrection of Jesus -- not to some cultic doctrine of pre-
-> Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are
children of the most high.
(MORMONISM) The belief in polytheism or many gods is one of the
cardinal doctrines of Mormonism. This passage is used to support
the idea that men can become gods (Achieving A Celestial
(CHRISTIAN) While Mormonism would have the uninformed believe
that it is just another Christian denomination, in truth, it is
in an entirely different theological category. Christianity is
monotheistic -- the belief in only one God. Mormonism is
polytheistic -- the belief in many gods. Not only the belief in
many gods but the belief that all worthy Mormon men can one day
become a god themselves.
This passage refers to the unrighteous rulers of Israel who "are
gods" not will become gods as Mormonism teaches. Psalm 82 speaks
of God judging these gods. Verse 2 explains that they are evil
rulers who "judge unjustly" and accept the "wicked". In
addition, they are apparently not defending the poor or helping
the needy. Verse 5 explains that these "gods" are walking in
darkness. These are not the attributes of God, but rather the
evil deeds of the unrighteous rulers in Israel. In addition,
these "gods" are warned of impending doom. Verse 7 explains that
though they may believe they are gods, they will "die like men!"
This type of "godhood" may be achievable by mankind but it is not
desirable nor is it pleasing to God. The Bible teaches there is
only one true God (Isaiah 43:10).
-> Psalm 115:16 - The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's:
but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This verse is used to convince the
unsuspecting potential convert that they have no hope of going to
heaven. In Watchtower theology, only 144,000 will be allowed
into heaven with the Lord. The remainder of the faithful
Jehovah's Witnesses will remain forever on earth (Insight on the
Scripture, vol. 1, p.668).
(CHRISTIAN) Contrary to Watchtower teaching, Jesus taught that He
was going to prepare a place for His followers. Not simply a
few, but for all His followers. See John 14:1-3, Hebrews 3:1 and
-> Ecclesiastes 9:5 - For the living know that they shall die;
but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a
reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This is often used by the Watchtower to
demonstrate that the soul goes to the grave until the
resurrection. They teach a doctrine known as soul sleep. That
is, when people die, they simply cease to have consciousness
until the resurrection when Jehovah will raise them from their
long slumber in the grave. This verse is also used to support
their doctrine of annihilation. This teaches that the wicked,
the non-Jehovah's Witness, will be destroyed, the "memory of them
is forgotten" (Insight on the Scripture, Vol.1, p.675).
(CHRISTIAN) First, with the reference to soul sleep, the apostle
Paul's words explain that this could not be true doctrine. For
Paul was torn with a dilemma. Was it better to stay alive and
work for Jesus or to die and be with Him (Phil. 1:23-24)? If
Paul expected to go to the grave and stay there for centuries,
this would not be such a difficult decision. Second, concerning
annihilation, no less an authority than Jesus explained the
realities of a place called hell - a place where many will spend
-> Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is
given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his
name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the
everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESS) In Watchtower theology, Jehovah is known as
the Almighty God and Jesus is simply called a "mighty god."
Thus, the Jehovah's Witnesses will use this verse to prove that
Jesus is not Almighty, but rather only some type of lesser god
(Insight on the Scripture, Vol.1, p.77; Vol.2, pp 52-72).
(CHRISTIAN) The Bible teaches that there is only one true God
(Isaiah 44:10). Men, idols, and evil rulers are called Gods in
scripture but the context is clear that they are being referred
to as false gods, not the true God. Thus, were Jesus not truly
God, this prophetic statement would have been considered
blasphemy. Also, only a few verses later in Isaiah 10:20-21, as
well as in Jeremiah 32:18, Jehovah is called the "mighty God"
according to Watchtower's own New World Translation. Would
calling Jehovah a mighty God and referring to Jesus as a mighty
God mean the same thing? With reference to Jesus being only the
mighty God and Jehovah the Almighty, remember Jesus' words in
Matthew 28:18. He said He had "all power." Would that mean He
was Almighty? How can He have all power and yet not be almighty?
Further, Revelation 1:8 refers to the Alpha and Omega, the one
who "is to come, the Almighty." If Jesus is the one who is to
come, then He must also be the Almighty.
-> Isaiah 29:4 - And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak
out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust,
and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit,
out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
(MORMONISM) That is a prophecy of the coming forth of the Book of
Mormon which was found by Joseph Smith to have been buried in the
ground. Mormon theology explains that the term "familiar spirit"
means the reader is already familiar with the subject matter.
That is, the Book of Mormon has a familiar ring to it (A
Marvelous Work and a Wonder, LeGrand Richards, pp.67-68).
(CHRISTIAN) Actually Isaiah 29:1 explains this passage is a
prophetic utterance for the city Jerusalem, the "city where David
dwelt." Concerning the Mormon misunderstanding of the term
"familiar spirit" this simply demonstrates the Mormon General
Authorities lack of biblical knowledge. The term does not mean
to be previously acquainted with the subject, but rather is
descriptive of a person who consults evil spirits. Passages such
as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 explains that witches, wizards,
necromancers, and those who consult familiar spirits were to be
banished from the land. These things were abominable in the
sight of the Lord. Also, 2 Chronicles 33:5 declares that those
who practice witchcraft, seek out the advice of a wizard or
familiar spirits do "much evil" and cause the Lord to be angry.
The term familiar spirit in the Bible does not mean what the
Mormon church believes it to mean. Hence, it may be asked, do
they still wish to claim that the Book of Mormon has a familiar
-> Jeremiah 1:5 - Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;
and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,
and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
(MORMONISM) One of the more unique doctrines of the Mormon church
is the idea of the pre-existence. According to this doctrine,
everyone who has ever lived on the earth, who is alive today or
who ever will live on the earth was born in a pre-existence to
Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. This is not reincarnation,
but rather a pre-existent life in a spiritual realm with heavenly
parents. Mormons will explain that since Jeremiah speaks of God
knowing him prior to his birth, this proves the Mormon concept of
the pre-existence (Gospel Principles, pp.5-27).
(CHRISTIAN) Actually, this verse says nothing about a pre-
existent life. Rather, it speaks of God's foreknowledge. When
placed into a biblical context, this verse becomes very clear. In
Zechariah 12:1, the Lord explains when the spirit of man was
created. It was formed in man. It was not formed in some pre-
existent life, then later obtained a physical body. Further, if
the Mormon concept is true, then Job would have had an answer to
God's questions. For if Job were a pre-existent spiritual
being, conceived by Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, Job
could have answered the questions in Job 38:2 and 4. "Who is
this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?... Where
was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" After a long
series of questions, what did Job say? In Job 40:5 he answered,
"Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I
will proceed no further." Had Job been in the pre-existent
spiritual realm as the Mormon church teaches, it would have been
very easy to answer this question. What then did Jeremiah mean
when he wrote his words in Jeremiah 1:5? The apostle Paul's
words will be a clarifying point. He wrote in Romans 4:17 that
God "calleth those things which be not as though they were." God
knows the future and thus knew Jeremiah prior to his birth. Not
because of a pre-existent spiritual life, but rather because God
has foreknowledge of people and events.
-> Ezekiel 18:4 - Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the
father, so also the soul of the son is mine; the soul that
sinneth, it shall die.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This verse is used in conjunction with
Ecclesiastes 9:5 to prove their doctrine of annihilation. The
Watchtower explains that this verse proves the soul is not
eternal but rather will be destroyed by Jehovah if the person has
been an evil person (Insight on the Scripture, Vol. 2, p.1007).
Thus the souls of mankind will have no conscious existence after
physical death and the lost will not go to a literal, eternal,
burning Hell but will be annihilated.
(CHRISTIAN) Taken in a strictly literal sense, if this
understanding of the verse were true, not even the Jehovah's
Witnesses would be able to survive certain annihilation, for
everyone has sinned. However, if the term soul in this passage
refers only to the physical body and the term "die" refers only
to physical death, then the Bible is consistent. In some
passages the Bible refers to soul as the physical life of humans,
elsewhere the same word is used to speak of the eternal,
spiritual aspect of man. In Luke 12:4-5 Jesus spoke of the
difference between killing the body and destroying the soul.
Also the soul is aware prior to the resurrection. In Revelation
6:9-11 the souls of the dead cried out for justice.
-> Ezekiel 37:16-17 - Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one
stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of
Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon
it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of
Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one
stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
(MORMONISM) This passage is used by Mormon missionaries and
others to provide a biblical prophecy about the coming forth of
the Book of Mormon. It is explained that the sticks were
associated with scrolls or Old Testament writings. The stick of
Judah is the Bible and the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon.
The two become one in the hand of the Mormon user because they
both teach the same doctrines (Mormon Doctrine, p.767).
(CHRISTIAN) While it is true that this passage is a prophecy, it
is a terrible mistake to assume that it is a prophecy of the
coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
Ezekiel 37 is another example of simply allowing the context to
interpret the passage. What are the sticks? The next few verses
in the chapter explain precisely what is meant by this prophetic
passage. In verse 18 the question is asked, what does the
prophecy mean? The answer is then found in verses 19-22. The
two sticks represent the "two nations" of the northern and
southern kingdoms. The Lord says that by joining the two sticks
into one, the nations "shall be no more two nations, neither
shall they be divided into two kingdoms."
-> Daniel 10:13,21;12:1...Michael, one of the chief princes, came
to help me...Michael your prince...And at that time shall Michael
stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) Throughout their history, the Watchtower
has repeatedly made reference to Jesus being Michael the
archangel. They believe Jesus to be the first and only thing
that Jehovah directly created. Thus, Michael, the great prince,
is actually Jesus (Insight on the Scripture, Vol.2,pp.393-394).
(CHRISTIAN) Were Jesus merely an angel His words in Luke 4:8
would have carried a condemning warning for Jehovah. Jesus
explains to Satan that only God should be worshipped. However,
in Hebrews 1:6 Jehovah tell all the angels to worship Jesus. If
Jesus were only an angel, who would He worship. Jesus would be
commanded to worship Himself, because "all" the angels were to
worship Jesus. Also, Jehovah in Hebrews 1:8, speaking to Jesus
says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." Thus, Jehovah
calls Jesus "God!" In addition, Philippians 2:9 explains that
Jesus has been given a name which is "above" every other name.
Would that include the name--Jehovah?
-> Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth
his secret unto his servants the prophets.
(MORMONISM) Using this passage as justification for the their
latter-day revelation, the Mormon church teaches that its prophet
can provide information from God the same as did the prophets in
the Old Testament (Mormon Doctrine,p.605-609).
(CHRISTIAN) Because the word "prophet" appears to be the same in
both the Old and New Testaments, it is sometimes misunderstood.
Generally the role of the prophet in the Old Testament was one
who provided spiritual instructions from God for the nation.
They would give prophetic utterances, pointing always forward to
the coming of the Messiah. However in the New Testament the role
of the prophet took on a new dimension. Since the Messiah had
come, rather than pointing to that future day, they were to now
proclaim the day had arrived. Jesus' words in Matthew 11:13 will
help clarify this shift in the role of the prophet. He
explained, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until
John." At the coming of John the Baptist, the role of the
prophet generally shifted towards that of proclaimer rather than
simply the foreteller.
This idea is reiterated in Hebrews 1:1-2 where it is explained
that God spoke in "times past unto the fathers by the prophets",
but today He has spoken to man in a personal manifestation -- His
Son, the Messiah. The New Testament role of a prophet is not
seen as a Moses figure leading all of God's people as a nation.
It is important to note that it is not impossible for God to use
a prophet in any role He wishes today. Christians usually point
out that the Mormon prophets fail the biblical test for being
true prophets (Deuteronomy 13 and 18).
-> Matthew 3:11 - I indeed baptize you with water unto
repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose
shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost, and with fire.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) Using this verse in conjunction with
Genesis 1:1, the Watchtower explains that neither water nor fire
are persons thus the Holy Spirit is not a person. For how could
mankind be baptized with the Holy Spirit, if he were a person.
Instead, they state, the Holy Spirit is Jehovah's active force
(Insight on the Scripture, Vol.2,p.1020).
(CHRISTIAN) Using this line of reasoning, then Jesus must be a
non-person also. For both Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27 explain
that Christians have been baptized into Jesus. Certainly no
Jehovah's Witness would deny Jesus was a person. Also, the Holy
Spirit did things in Acts 13:2 that an active force would be
incapable of doing. Things such as "speaking" and "calling" Paul
and Barnabas to a certain task. Earlier in Acts 5:3-4, Peter
said Ananias and Sapphira had lied to the Holy Spirit. Only a
personal being can be lied to -- not an active force.
Electricity is an active force, but no one can lie to
->Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect.
(MORMONISM) Since God would never give a commandment that He did
not expect man to keep, it must be possible for Man to become
perfect (Mormon Doctrine, p.568).
(CHRISTIAN) Again, the words in the Bible become clear when the
Bible is allowed to interpret itself. What does the Bible say
about "perfect" men? Were there ever any perfect men who walked
the earth? Yes! Noah is said to have been "perfect" in Genesis
6:9 and Job was said to be "perfect" in Job 1:1. However, does
the word "perfect" mean without sin as the Mormon church would
interpret it? Does man have the capability to be perfect in the
same sense? The answer is no. For as Paul explains in Romans
3:23 "all" have sinned. That would certainly include both Noah
and Job. So what was meant by these passages? Noah had found
"grace" in the Lord's sight as Genesis 6:8 explains and Job was
upright because of his reverence for God's holiness. They had
not become sinless, but rather had found favor with God because
of their relationship with Him. The perfectness of which Jesus
speaks means to be complete or full. The same word used by Jesus
in this Matthew passage is the identical Greek word used in
Hebrews 5:14 which speaks of people who are of "full age" having
the ability to discern both good and evil. Thus Jesus was not
saying to be perfect in the sinless sense, but rather mature or
complete in the ability to judge good from evil.
-> John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) In their New World Translation, the
Watchtower has altered the last phrase of this verse to read,
"and the Word was a god." Because they deny the doctrine of the
Trinity and believe Jesus to be a creation of Jehovah, the
Watchtower attempts a strained translation to mask an obvious
reference to the Deity of Christ (Insight on the Scripture, Vol.
(CHRISTIAN) Aside from the fact that absolutely no qualified
Greek scholar, be they Christian or atheist, agrees with the
Watchtower's translation of this passage, there are still other
problems with the Jehovah's Witnesses interpretation. First, the
Jehovah's Witnesses would generally agree that there is only one
true God and that all other gods are false gods. The one true
God is Jehovah. However, they would have to admit that Jesus
also was a true God, for to do otherwise, would mean that the
only thing that Jehovah ever directly created was a false god!
Once this is admitted they are then left with two true Gods --
something the Bible categorically denies being possible. See for
example Isaiah 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 18. Second, to say that Jesus is
a created being is refuted in John 1:2-3, the very next two
verses. The apostle John explains that Jesus created "all
things." How could Jesus, a created being according to
Watchtower theology, have created all things? There are two
categories in the Universe. There is the creator and there is
the creation. Either Jesus is a creation as the Jehovah's
Witnesses say, or He is the creator of all things as John 1:2-3
explains. He cannot be both.
-> John 10:16 - And other sheep I have, which are not of this
fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and
there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
(MORMONISM) This verse is used to support the Mormon idea that
Jesus visited the American continent after His resurrection. The
other sheep are said to be the Nephites and Lamanites, the people
of the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi).
(CHRISTIAN) The disciples did not understand that Jesus was the
Messiah not only for the nation of Israel, but also for the
Gentiles. When Jesus spoke of His "other sheep," He was speaking
of the Gentiles who would flock to Him. He was not speaking of
future travel plans to the Americas. Acts 9:15 recounts Saul's
(Paul's) road to Damascus encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
Jesus commanded, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me,
to bear my name before the Gentiles..." Even though the Gentiles
were to be brought into the fold, many of the disciples still did
not understand. They did not understand when they heard Jesus
speak His words about the "other sheep" and they did not yet
understand even after His resurrection. However, with the vision
of Peter and its ramifications as recorded in Acts 10:9-48,
Peter, of Jewish heritage, realized that "God is no respecter of
persons." Jesus truly was the Messiah of the Jewish nation as
well as the Messiah of the "other sheep" -- the Gentiles.
-> John 10:34 - Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your
law, I said, Ye are gods?
(MORMONISM) One of the central doctrines of the Mormon Church is
the idea that every worthy Mormon man can one day become a god
and rule over his own planet with his goddess wife or wives.
This verse is used as a proof-text for that idea. Jesus said,
"ye are gods" thus men can become gods (Achieving a Celestial
Marriage, pp. 129-132).
(CHRISTIAN) As with many other verses, so this one interprets
itself when placed in context. Jesus was speaking to a group of
skeptical Jewish leaders. These leaders would be well acquainted
with the Old Testament passage Jesus would quote. That passage
was Psalm 82:6 and is not a proclamation of future godhood, but
rather a condemnation of being an evil and defiled ruler (see
also the note for Psalm 82:6).
-> John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they might know thee
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) Similar to the arguments used in John 1:1,
the Jehovah's Witness will explain that Jesus admits He is not
the True God -- Jehovah.
(CHRISTIAN) In establishing a false dichotomy with this verse by
saying that Jehovah is the only God and Jesus is thus excluded is
to again reaffirm the Watchtower's denial of the trinitarian
doctrine. On this line of reasoning, it could be argued that
Jesus is man's only Lord. For the New World Translation reads,
"...our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ in Jude 4. Would the
Jehovah's Witness agree that Jesus and not Jehovah is man's only
Lord? Certainly not.
-> John 20:17 - Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not
yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto
them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God,
and your God.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) By claiming to ascend to "my God",
Jehovah's Witnesses say that Jesus was drawing a distinction
between Jehovah and himself. Thus, the Watchtower explains that
Jesus did not claim to be God (Insight on the Scripture, Vol.2,
(CHRISTIAN) Again this line of reasoning falls prey to its own
faulty premise. Remember God the Father calls Jesus "God" in
Hebrews 1:8. Both are called God while at the same time the
Bible affirms there is only one true God. Because the Trinity is
a biblical doctrine, there is no contradiction. However, in the
Jehovah's Witnesses explanation, there are several problems.
Also, to say that since the Father is God, Jesus must not be, is
to deny that Jesus can be called "Savior" in Phil.3:20 and that
God the Father is called "Savior" in 1 Timothy 1:1. Both are
savior and both are God. The doctrine of the Trinity maintains
that in the nature of the one true God, eternally exists three
distinct Persons -- the Father Son, and Holy Spirit. The three
are co-equal and co-eternal -- three Persons yet one God. This
doctrine is uniformly consistent with otherwise conflicting and
contradictory biblical passages.
-> Acts 2:4 - And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and
began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) Using this verse in conjunction with verses
such as Matthew 3:11, the Watchtower explains that the Holy Ghost
is not a personal being for no one can be "filled" with a person
(Insight on the Scripture, Vol.2,p.1022).
(CHRISTIAN) Though the Watchtower would have its prospective
readers read only the first portion of the verse, the last few
words give a hint at the personality of the Holy Ghost. The
verse states, He "gave them utterances." These words were
apparently understood by at least some of the listeners. Also,
concerning being "filled," the scripture is very clear on this
point as well. The Psalm 22:14 explains that Jesus was to be
"poured out like water." Certainly Jesus was more than an active
force. Philippians 2:17 in the New World Translation explains
that Paul was "being poured out like a drink offering..." No
Jehovah's Witness would accuse Paul of being only an active force
in this passage. (See also Matthew 3:11 reference listed
->Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the
Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
(MORMONISM) This verse is sometimes used in conjunction with
verses such as those listed above in the Numbers 11:18 entry.
Mormons often argue that since Stephen saw Jesus standing on
God's right, that both Jesus and God the Father must have
(CHRISTIAN) There are several problems with this line of
reasoning. First, the term "standing on the right hand" does not
always designate a place of position, but rather one of authority
or relationship. Such is the case in Acts 5:31 where it states
God exalted Jesus "with His right hand" to be the Savior. Also
in Matthew 25:33 when Jesus spoke of separating the sheep from
the goats. Those who had a relationship with Jesus, the sheep,
were to be placed on the "right". It should also be noted that
Stephen was experiencing a vision. The Bible is clear that no
one has or can see God. What then did Stephen see? Just as
John's description of Jesus in his vision in Revelation 1:14-17
as having eyes of fire, feet of brass and a sword in his mouth is
to be interpreted symbolically, so Stephen's vision is not a
physical description. Stephen confirms that it was the glory of
God that he saw, not a tangible body.
-> Romans 8:16 - The Spirit itself beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God.
(MORMONISM) Using this verse, Mormon theology attempts to prove
the idea of a pre-existent spiritual existence for all people.
Believing that every person was originally begotten by Heavenly
Father and Heavenly Mother in the pre-existence, this verse
confirms that all are "children of God" (Mormon Doctrine, p.745).
(CHRISTIAN) This is another example of biblical context (the
passage in light of the rest of Scripture) help avoid faulty
interpretation. When placed into its biblical context, Romans
8:15 explains that Christians are children of God, not by nature,
but by "adoption." If all men were sons of God (as Mormonism
teaches), then Jesus was in error when He spoke to the Jewish
leaders in John 8:44. He said, "Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father ye will do." If taken literally,
that would mean that not only is heavenly Father married and
having children as Mormonism teaches, but the devil too. Further
clarification of Man's ability to be a child of God is made in
John 1:12. The Apostle John wrote, "But to as many as received
him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name." People are not
automatically sons of God from some pre-existent life. Rather,
one becomes a son or child of God for the first time when they
become a Christian.
-> 1 Corinthians 8:5 - For though there be that are called gods,
whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords
(MORMONISM) A central doctrine of Mormonism is the idea of
polytheism, the belief in many gods. They will use this verse to
prove that Paul believed many gods (Mormon Doctrine,pp.576-577).
(CHRISTIAN) Though Paul said there were many gods, it is
essential to understand who (or perhaps more appropriately what
these gods were. Again, the context provides the explanation.
Verse one begins by raising the subject of meat offered to
"idols." Then in verse four Paul answers the question from verse
one. He explains, "As concerning therefore the eating of those
things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an
idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God
but one." Having said there is only one God, what are the "gods"
of which Paul speaks in verse five? They are the idols. Paul's
words in verse four condemn the concept of many true gods because
these gods are described as nothing. Paul reiterates this idea
in verse six by explaining that to true Christians there is only
-> 1 Corinthians 8:6 - But to us there is but one God, the
Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) The Watchtower explains that Paul has very
clearly stated that there is only one God -- the Father. Thus,
by necessity, Jesus must not be God (Insights on the Scripture,
(CHRISTIAN) The Watchtower has again failed to be consistent with
their theology. They believe that Jesus was created by Jehovah.
Thus, they explain, Jesus is a created being. This verse very
clearly explains that Jesus is the one "by whom are all things."
Either Jesus is created as the Watchtower states, or He is the
creator of "all things" as the Bible states. Also, if the
Watchtower wishes to claim that the term "God" refers only to the
Father, then they must also admit that the term "Lord" refers
only to Jesus. However, Isaiah 26:4 explains, "Trust ye in the
Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."
Certainly the Watchtower would not wish to deny that Jehovah is
-> 1 Corinthians 12:28 - And God hath set some in the church,
first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, and after
that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
diversities of tongues.
(MORMONISM) Used in conjunction with Ephesians 4:11, Mormons will
use this verse to explain the necessity of having latter-day
prophets and apostles (Mormon Doctrine, p.106).
(CHRISTIAN) The Mormon church fails to understand that the list
given by Paul is not a list of specific offices but rather a list
of functions. Many Christian churches have these same positions
filled by men, whether they be called "apostles," "prophets,"
etc. or not.
Also, on the assumption that the Mormon church were correct and
that these were indeed specific offices, the LDS church still
fails the biblical pattern. For what does Paul say? "First
apostles, second prophets." However, in the Mormon Church it is
first prophet and second apostles. They have reversed the order!
-> 1 Corinthians 15:29 - Else what shall they do which are
baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are
they then baptized for the dead?
(MORMONISM) Mormonism teaches that no one can go to the highest
degree of heaven without being baptized. Thus, those who have
died without being baptized, must have a living person be
baptized, by proxy, for them (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and
His Apostles, p.297).
(CHRISTIAN) This is the sole passage in the entire Bible that is
used to support the superstructure of the Mormon doctrine of
Baptism for the Dead. Placed into the context of the 15th
chapter of 1 Corinthians, this verse can be properly understood.
The context is Paul's proofs for the resurrection of Jesus and in
turn, for the resurrection of Christians.
False teachers in Corinth were teaching that there was no true
resurrection. Paul seems to be arguing that the same false
teachers who claimed that there was no resurrection, were also
baptizing for their dead. Paul pointed this out as an
inconsistency in the false teacher's faith.
Throughout his ministry, Paul used many pagan examples to prove a
Christian point (e.g. Acts 17:23). Because Paul used a pagan
example does not mean that he believed them or promoted their
practice. Rather, he used them because they were familiar to his
audience. The baptism that he speaks of was a practice of
In writing his letters, Paul would identify himself with his
readers. However, in this passage he says, "why are they then
baptized." He makes a clear distinction between himself and his
readers from those who were performing this practice. This is
quite obvious when in the very next passage, 1 Corinthians 15:30
he states, "And why stand we in jeopardy every hour."
-> 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 - There are also celestial bodies, and
bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and
the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of
the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the
stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
(MORMONISM) This passage is used to prove the Mormon idea of
three heavens, the celestial, terrestrial and telestial (Mormon
(CHRISTIAN) Again, the context of 1 Corinthians 15 is proof for
the resurrection. With this in mind, it becomes clear that Paul
is speaking of the resurrected body. For the previous few verses
speak of the types of "flesh" and a few verses later explains, "a
natural body is raised a spiritual body" (vs.44).
-> 2 Corinthians 12:2 - I knew a man in Christ above fourteen
years ago, (whether in the body; I cannot tell; or whether out of
the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such as one caught up to
the third heaven.
(MORMONISM) This passage is used in conjunction with 1
Corinthians 15:40 to prove the existence of three heavens. For
Mormons will ask, how could someone be caught up into the third
heaven unless there were two others? (Gospel Principles, pp. 289-
(CHRISTIAN) First, in the world view of Paul's day, there were
three heavens. The first one was where the birds fly, the second
one was the night sky where the stars and planets existed and the
third heaven was the abode of God. Remember Jesus' words in John
14:2, "I go to prepare a place for you," not three places.
Further, in Mormon theology, the concept of the third heaven is a
distinctly different place from Paradise. However, 2 Corinthians
12:2 speaks of a man being "caught up to the third heaven" and
verse 4 explains that he was "caught up into paradise."
-> Colossians 1:15 - Who is the image of the invisible God, the
firstborn of every creature.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This is one of the Watchtower's most used
proof texts to argue that Jesus was created. The only thing that
Jehovah directly created, according to Watchtower theology, was
Jesus, "the firstborn of every creature" (Insight on the
Scripture, Vol. 1, p.836).
(CHRISTIAN) There are several problems with their reasoning at
this point. Perhaps the foremost mistake made by the Jehovah's
Witness is to assume that the word "firstborn" means first
created. Actually, the Bible speaks of several firstborn
individuals. In Psalm 89:20-27, the Lord is speaking of King
David. In reference to David is stated, "I will make him my
firstborn..." Certainly no Jehovah's Witness would say that King
David became Jesus! Also, firstborn does not necessarily even
mean firstborn from the womb. In Genesis 41:51-52 is written,
"And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh...and the
name of the second called he Epraim..." Thus, the firstborn was
Manasseh. Later in Genesis 48:1-20, Manasseh and Ephraim receive
their blessing. However, verse 20 states, "God make thee as
Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."
Thus, the first one born is now listed as second and the second
son has become the first. This is reiterated in Jeremiah 31:9
when it is stated, "For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is
my firstborn." Hence, the term "firstborn" does not always refer
to birth order.
In addition to this explanation, the next verse in Colossians
1:16 begins by explaining, "For by him (the firstborn - Jesus)
were all things created..." Hence, if Jesus is a creature, as
the Watchtower would have its members believe, how could Jesus
have created all things? In an attempt to circumvent this
problem, the Watchtower has added the word "other" to this verse,
making it read "because by means of him all other things were
created..." The word "other" is not in the Greek text but was
added by all Watchtower's translators. The Society has left
other passages unaltered, such as John 1:2-3, that bear this out
even in the New World Translation.
-> James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall
be given him.
(MORMONISM) Missionaries of the Mormon church will quote this
verse to help convince unsuspecting prospects to read the Book of
Mormon. They will explain that it was this verse that drove
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, into the woods to pray
for guidance about which church to join. They will then explain
that because of this verse Smith was told, by God the Father and
Jesus, to join no existing church but rather to restore the true
church to the earth (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His
(CHRISTIAN) A simple reading of the verse will provide the true
meaning for the passage. This verse in context promises wisdom
to Christians facing trials. It does not promise knowledge or
correct answers to multiple choice questions. Wisdom is the
ability to use the knowledge one has already gained. Most of the
world's religions promise some form of prayer yet all those who
sincerely pray are not led to the only true church.
-> Revelation 3:14 - And unto the angel of the church of the
Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and
true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) Since Jesus is obviously speaking in this
verse, and since He calls Himself the "beginning of the
creation," He must be, according to Watchtower theology, a
created being (Insight on the Scripture, Vol. 1, 527).
(CHRISTIAN) Interestingly, in Revelation 21:5-6, the one who is
setting "upon the throne" explains that He, too, is the
beginning. Not only the beginning, but also the "Alpha and
Omega." Then in Revelation 22:12-13 it is learned that the Alpha
and Omega, the "beginning" is also the same one who is "coming
quickly." Ask any Jehovah's Witness who that is and they will
explain it is Jesus. Yet, who is setting on the throne in
Revelation 21:5? It must be Jehovah. So who is the beginning?
The word "beginning" can also mean author.
-> Revelation 7:14 - And I heard the number of them which were
sealed; and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four
thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
(JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) This verse explains the total membership of
heaven. According to Watchtower theology, only 144,000 of the
most faithful Jehovah's Witnesses will be allowed to go to
heaven. This number is set by the Bible. The remainder of the
Jehovah's Witnesses, called the Great Crowd, will live forever on
a Paradise Earth (Insight on the Scripture, Vol. 2, p.736).
(CHRISTIAN) In Revelation 7:5-8 the listing of the twelve tribes
of Israel is given. The Bible explains that from each of the
twelve tribes will come 12,000. When pointing this out to the
Jehovah's Witnesses they will often say this in only a symbolic
listing. If that be true, then the number 144,000 must also be
symbolic, for the two are interconnected. Also, concerning the
Watchtower's view that the Great Crowd will never enter heaven,
Revelation 7:9 and 7:15 places this great crowd, "which no man
could number" in heaven before the throne.
-> Revelation 14:6 - And I saw another angel fly in the midst of
heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that
dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue,
(MORMONISM) According to the Mormon church, this passage is a
prophecy of the angel Moroni who guided Joseph Smith to the
golden plates. These plates were then translated into what
became the Book of Mormon and is referred to as containing the
fullness and everlasting gospel (Mormon Doctrine, p.514).
(CHRISTIAN) The Bible is clear as to the message of this angel.
In the next verse, Revelation 14:7 states, "Saying with a loud
voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his
judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth,
and the sea, and the fountains of water." This was not the
message of the angel Moroni.
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