Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

Introduction to Reasoning From the Scriptures

reasoning book

The reasoning book was one of the best tools I used when I was a Jehovahs Witness. The idea behind this book was how to deal with certain subjects (such as the trinity, the cross, birthdays etc) when they came up on the ministry.

The truth is that this means you never have to look at why Christians believe in the Trinity or take any of their literature, you just have to look into this book as to how to respond to the Trinity.

Paragraph 2 on page 7 under the sub heading “how to use reasoning from the scriptures” actually says:-

Instead of providing a broad, general coverage of each subject, Reasoning From the Scriptures focuses primary attention on questions that are currently being asked by many people.

To a Jehovahs Witness this is a vital book to help aid there preaching work.

There will be a view issues that they talk about in this book that actually as a Christian I would share in terms of their view.

You can view the whole book from their new online Watchtower library.

http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/lv/r1/lp-e/0/19691

As you will see there are some things we would agree on (no abortion, creation, not worshiping images).

However there a number of different issues that you will need to face as a Christian, that present themselves in this book. I will not be covering a specific article that is found in this publication as this is just an introduction.

Take for example the rapture on page 312, this is what they say :-

Definition: The belief that faithful Christians will be bodily caught up from the earth, suddenly taken out of the world, to be united with the Lord “in the air.” The word “rapture” is understood by some persons, but not by all, to be the meaning of1 Thessalonians 4:17. The word “rapture” does not occur in the inspired Scriptures.  

Jehovahs Witnesses love to use this “the word is not in the bible, therefore it is not true” statement. While it might be the word is not in the bible, the issue is not whether the word is the bible its whether the doctrine is. The following words/ statements are not in the bible, but Jehovahs Witnesses believe in them :-

Gods spirit guided organisation, 1000 year reign, blood transfusions forbidden, Theocratic arrangement, only 144,000 bound for heaven, 1914 would mark the return for Jesus.

This idea then on the grounds the word or expression is not directly printed in the bible is one then that does not really work, however it is one they like to use.

It is unlikely they will ever give this book to you, but they may well take it out while on the door to you.

The first quote I would like to highlight is this found in the introduction passage of this book :-

 “this book makes limited use of quotations from secular history, encyclopedias, religious reference books, and Bible-language lexicons. Thus, instead of making assertions as to the origin of false religious practices, the development of certain doctrines, and the meanings of Hebrew and Greek terms, the book shows the reasons for statements made. However, it directs attention to the Bible as the basic source of truth”.

If that sounds a bit suspect that’s because it is! I would strongly suggest that if Watchtower literature ever quote any other publication that you check it for yourself that they have not try to twist the quote to support their own doctrine. For example on page 405 where they are trying to explain how the trinity is un-biblical, and they quote the The New Encyclopædia Britannica.  “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ .

I suggest that you get hold of the New Enclopaedia Britannica and check out this quote. While the Britannica does say this it also goes on to say “The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presumed presence and power of God among them—i.e., the Holy Spirit, whose coming was connected with the celebration of the Pentecost. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament passages as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19); and in the apostolic benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Thus, the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity”.

So the Britannica actually says that the trinity IS based on the New Testament. The reason for the word “trinity” was to help people grasp that God is Father, Son & Holy Spirit. This was valuable because during the first century there was many false religions that where trying to claim that Jesus was not the Lord. It was not necessary to put the word “trinity” in the new testament people new Jesus was “God with us” (Matthew 1:23) they were waiting for the Messiah, not the arch angel Michael.

It therefore is worth in this book checking the references to see what the quote actually says in the context.

What is good though that in this book on page 7 says “Keep in mind that this book is only an aid. The Bible is the authority. That is God’s Word”.

Although they may claim this, ultimately to a Jehovahs Witness the Watchtower literature is also Gods authority. However it may be good to use this quote while discussing doctrine.

In all the introduction of this book there is no mention of prayer or Holy Spirit. Yet the bible says :-

John 14:25 – However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you.

James 5:16 – “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”

There is a lot in this book about overcoming conversation stoppers, how to respond, even the exact words to say……but no mentioning of asking God to help.

I therefore word always advise as a Christian, when you know a Jehovahs Witness is coming to your door you pray prior to it opening and let God use you to say what needs to be said.

It may well be that these reviews of there “reasoning book” will help, but ultimately God will do what needs to be done.

1 Corinthians 3:6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

God Bless,

Jason

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Categorised in: Jehovahs Witnesses at your door, Reaching Jehovah's Witnesses, The Trinity

2 Responses »

  1. The Doctrine of the Trinity is false, not because the term ”Trinity” is non-existent in the Bible, but because the historical Jesus never taught the Trinitarian formula. Jesus never claimed to be the Second Person of the Trinity. Question: Why the hell not? Judaism always was, and is, absolutely Unitarian. In the 1st Century Palestine, the Jewish faith, as always, was Unitarian; they regarded only the Father as God. When Jesus was preaching, he never taught the Trinity nor claimed to be the 2nd Person of the Triune Godhead. This is a historical fact. In the Gospel of Mark, the most historically accurate and the earliest source (amongst the Gospels) Jesus proclaimed Unitarian Monotheism as the Greatest Commandment in Mark 12: 28-32 .

    In Mark 12: 29 , Proto Q Source, Jesus recited the Shema Yisrael “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!” In a Unitarian Society 1st Century Palestine, Jesus recited the Shema to a Jewish Rabbi as the Greatest Commandment, and they mutually came to an agreement, and we are supposed to think that Jesus was affirming the Trinity? Are you having a laugh?? Jesus could have said: ”Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is One Being and Three Persons” but he did not do that! Instead, he recited the Creed of Israel, which always meant the Worship of God, the Father alone, to a Rabbi, without clarifying the Trinity, and they both came to an agreement! This obviously meant that Jesus affirmed Unitarian Monotheism, by default.

    Facts:

    1) Jesus was Preaching in a Unitarian Society

    2) Jesus never Preached the Trinity

    3) Jesus Preached the Shema (always understood as Unitarian) without 3 in 1 Nonsense

    4) Rabbi agrees on the concept of God, as always understood, with Jesus

    Conclusion: Jesus was a Unitarian.

    Professor James Dunn of Durham university, the leading New Testament scholar today in Britain writes

    ‘there was no real evidence in the earliest Jesus tradition of what could fairly be called a consciousness of divinity’

    Christology in the Making, 2003, p. 60.

    It is quite clear that Jesus never regarded himself as God in any shape or form, nor preached a concept of God remotely Trinitarian. Therefore, the Trinity is a human invention. Not a divine revelation.

    This fact is further supported by the most eminent theologian and New Testament scholar Father Raymond Brown, as he writes: “The slow development of the usage of the title “God” for Jesus requires explanation. Not only is there the factor that Jesus is not called God in the earlier strata of NT material; but also there are passages, cited under A above, that by implication reserve the title “God” for the Father (even in the Pastorals and the Johannine literature). The most plausible explanation is that in the earliest stage of Christianity, the OT heritage dominated the use of “God”; hence “God” was a title too narrow to be applied to Jesus. It referred strictly to the One in heaven whom Jesus addressed as Father and to whom he prayed.”

    Brown, R. (1994). An Introduction to New Testament Christology. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. p. 192

    • Jesus did mention the Shema of Israel ( Deut 6:4 ) in Mark 12:28-32 , why would’nt he ?
      That Rabbi would agree with Him at that point But would that Rabbi also agree with Jesus being the Messiah/Savior ? Hardly . If that Rabbi could’nt ( or would’nt ) see that Jesus was in fact the Savior how could he understand deeper truths like Jesus’ Deity ? Jewish leaders were not the final authority for Christians to understand who Jesus is — the apostles were/are .

      You relied on two Christian scholars to prove your belief about Jesus . That was a bad move on your part .

      You cited page 60 of scholar James Dunn’s book . You should have read further . On page 61 it states :

      ” Paul and Mark seem to agree that Jesus’ divine Sonship was a feature of his whole ministry…”

      You also used page 192 of scholar Raymond Brown’s book .
      In Appendix #3 of Brown’s book it asks the question :
      ” Did the N.T. christians call Jesus God ? ”
      The answer is given :
      ” The question that forms the title of the Appendix must be answered in the affirmative.”
      ( page 189 )

      You undoubtedly fail to understand scholar Brown . You’re short changing yourself .

      Lastly,

      The N.T. does in fact reveal who Jesus is , He is God’s unique Son . Religious Jews like John and Paul knew well the O.T. doctrine of God . But with the coming of Jesus it slowly dawned on them that He was more than a man , a prophet . They came to discover that He is worthy of their worship , and that such devotion was the Father’s new arrangement for mankind . The Father and Son occupy the Throne of heaven and honor, praise, and worship is rendered them –Rev 22:3 .

      The Trinity is’nt the issue . That’s getting the cart before the horse , if the Trinity is true or not that is not where one starts . One starts with Jesus . It’s about Him .
      The Father draws all to him by way of His Son . To please the Father is to treat His Son as He (the Father) desires to be treated , that is His will now — Jn 5: 23 ; 39-40 ; 14:6 ; Matt 28:17 ; Phil 2:10-11 . So failing to give Jesus the proper position in your life , nothing else really matters .

      Jesus loves you so much and is waiting to hear from you . Matt 11:28 .

      I’ll be praying for you .

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