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Watchtower “Proof Texts” (7) …head of Christ 1Cor. 11:3 …………………………………… John Stickland

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Cor. 11:3

This verse is used by the Watchtower to try to disprove the deity of Jesus. However a closer examination of the content will clearly show this assumption to be without merit as follows: –

The false assumption implies inferiority of nature between the Father and the Son. However to have an accurate understanding of the verse it is necessary that we look at it closely, and in it’s context in the chapter, to enable Scripture to interpret Scripture.

If we do this we see that the chapter context is not speaking of superiority or inferiority between persons, but of role and order.
This is also easily seen in the subject verse when it speaks of “the head of woman is man”. This takes us back to Genesis 3.16 to the beginning of creation where we see God’s order established in the headship of the man in the union of the man and woman.
In 1 Corinthians 11.3 here, the man is the head of the woman in respect of role only. The man and the woman being of one nature are of equal worth in the sight of God, have equal spiritual blessings in the Kingdom of God and neither is inferior to the other.
I remember some time ago explaining this verse to a Watchtower visitor who appeared to be an elder, as he sat on my sofa with his wife. He had no valid answer to the truth of this and very soon abruptly closed his Watchtower bible, said his goodbyes and left with his wife. I never saw them again.

The illustration of the passage then gives us a greater understanding of the relationship between Jesus and His Father. Being of one substance or of one nature with the Father there can be no inferiority. We do however see the differing roles of Jesus the Son and his Father shown to us in a number of places in the Scriptures.
To pluck part of the verse of 1 Corinthians 11.3 out of its context within the verse as a whole and outside its context in the whole passage clearly is wrong.

For further Scripture relating to the divinity of Jesus, see the posting of December 28th 2011 on this website.


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4 Responses »

  1. Thanks. Been looking for this type of explination.

    The logic makes sense mostly, just a question

    The term head, I see how it doesn’t have to mean one is superior (Obviously Christ is superior to man). But it still seems to me that the term head, means that one would be listening to or following the directions of the other. Does that mean the Father directs the Son?

  2. Thanks for your comments John.
    I have to say that understanding fully the relationship between the Father and the Son which in effect relates to the Trinity and the very nature of God, is clearly beyond the capability of our finite minds. Jesus indicated as such in Matthew 11:27 when He said that no man knows the Son but the Father,and no man knows the Father but the Son. Leaving aside assumptions and speculation, the only facts we have are what is given us in the Scriptures. In answer to the question then as to whether the Father presently directs the Son, I see nothing elsewhere in the Scriptures to support this concept. What does come over to me however with the Trinity, is a oneness of nature and a unity of purpose beyond anything known or understood by ourselves, rather than a direction by one person.

  3. This is such fallacious reasoning. First of all the economy of the TRINITY being explained here has no foundation in the Scriptures, but it is simply an imaginary response to Scriptures that prove the Trinity false. First, if we were to take this argument seriously, it would mean that God is not superior to us, it is just his ROLE! Jesus is not superior to us, it is just his ROLE! This guy is conflating terms! I feel sorry for the dumb uneducated brother that came to his door because its not hard to see through this foolishness!

  4. Maurice, thanks for sharing some thoughts on your understanding of 1 Cor. 11:3. Two issues are raised from your comments.
    Firstly on the Trinity. The Watchtower teach that the Trinity does not exist and cannot be true because it is too difficult to understand, is beyond human reason and confusing,
    One verse that they often quote in support of this claim is 1 Corinthians 14 : 33 which says that God is not the author of confusion. This is taken out of its context and actually refers to need for the exercise of spiritual gifts to be done properly and in order.

    The concept of the Trinity or Godhead is clearly shown us in the pages of Scripture.
    In Matthew 28:19 we see the three persons of the Trinity shown together in unity as one in the baptismal formula. Here the commandment is to baptise in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
    The union of these three names in the form of baptism is proof that Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are one with the Father, and therefore equal with the Father.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus is a created being and the Holy Spirit they say is an invisible force. If this is so, isn’t there something seriously amiss with this teaching if a created being (however exalted), and an invisible force should be united with the name of the eternal God in the solemn rite of baptism ? The absurdity of this claim needs no further comment.

    There are of course many other Scripture verses or passages which provide evidence of both the divinity of Jesus and that of the person of the Holy Spirit, showing that both are one with the Father in the Godhead or Trinity.
    Relating to Jesus the following are a few of many examples -:
    Colossians 2:9 In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.
    1 Timothy 3:15 & 16 He was God manifested in the flesh.
    Hebrews 1:6 Angels commanded to worship Him
    Hebrews 1:8 Spoken of as God

    Maurice, from your comments I have to ask, have you actually looked fully into the bible for yourself on this subject? I will be very happy to supply the extensive list of other Scriptures, that show the divinity of Christ.

    There are also many verses showing the Holy Spirit is both a Person and God. The following are some of them.

    Acts 5:3 & 4 He can be lied to and is spoken of as God
    John 14:26 He teaches and brings to remembrance
    John 16:13, Acts 10: 19 to 20, Rev. 2: 7, 17, 29 etc. He guides, speaks and hears.
    Romans 8:26 He intercedes
    Acts 13:4 He sends into service
    Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28. He appoints and commissions individuals
    Acts 5:3 2 Cor. 3:17 & 18. The Spirit of God is called God and bears names which belong to God.

    Your second point, if I understand it correctly, is that if the passage is referring to role, and not superiority, then it would logically follow that God is not superior to us.
    However if we read the passage correctly, the roles spoken of are between the Father and the Son – not man and God as you are suggesting, and between the man and the woman and not Jesus and us. We must not confuse the issue here.

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