Jehovah’s Witnesses have many publications produced by the Watchtower Society to inform them of their beliefs and also promote those beliefs to the public through the distribution of literature. One book that many JWs have bound into the back of their New World Translation (a biased Bible translation produced by and used among Jehovah’s Witnesses) is Reasoning from the Scriptures. This resource organizes topics and suggests presentations for the JW to use at your door. With each topic is a section titled “If Someone Says -” which the JW can use in the event that the householder tries to stumble them with a question.
Under the topic of Jesus Christ, several pages are devoted to dismantling the Deity of Christ.
On page 213 an examination of John 20:28 is offered as a potential conversation stopper from a householder who may use that verse to prove Thomas believed Jesus to be God. Within their reasoning on this topic, the writers note that from their own New World Translation Jesus is referred to as “Mighty God” at Isaiah 9:6. The average Christian may view that verse as definite proof that the Bible declares Jesus to be God, but Jehovah’s Witnesses will argue from their Reasoning from the Scripture book which states,
Isaiah 9:6 (RS) also prophetically describes Jesus as “Mighty God,” but not as the Almighty God. All of this is in harmony with Jesus’ being described as “a god,” or “divine,” at John 1:1(NW, AT).
They will point out to you that the verse at Isaiah 9:6 does not say “Almighty” indicating “the child born to us” is not God. Since it only says “Mighty” it must be referring to a lesser god and that is why they reference John 1:1 from THEIR OWN TRANSLATION which has inserted the non-trinitarian Watchtower bias by rendering the verse as
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was a god. (John 1:1 NWT)
Notice in John 1:1 that the Word is “a god” and not “God” as in other Bible translations. The lower case “g” and the insertion of the article “a” leads the reader to believe Jesus is “a god” subordinate to Jehovah God.
How can a Christian use this information in preparation for a discussion with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
First, use their own Bible, the New World Translation. Notice how Isaiah 9:6 is rendered there.
For a child has been born to us,
A son has been given to us;
And the rulership will rest on his shoulder.
His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NWT)
Jehovah’s Witnesses will not argue with you that the passage points to Jesus. Even in their song book “Sing Praises to Jehovah” they declare in the second stanza of song #53 that Christ is reigning on his throne referring to him as “Mighty God.” So they are in agreement with Christians that the “Mighty God” is Jesus Christ. But to them, this title does not indicate that Jesus is God. So an honest question to pose to them is why their Bible has rendered the “G” as upper case in Isaiah 9:6 but lower case in John 1:1.
Their New World Translation Bible cross references a few Scriptures to back the claim of Jesus receiving his counsel and mightiness from the Almighty Jehovah God. One is Isaiah 11:2 showing that it’s Jehovah’s spirit that settles on Jesus. The King James Version renders Isaiah 11:2 as showing the spirit of the Lord resting upon Jesus also, so this passage hardly challenges the JW, and that is likely why it’s offered in their NWT.
Their next reference given cites Psalm 45:3 in the New World Translation which addresses “a king” as a “mighty one.”
Strap your sword on your side, O mighty one,
In your dignity and your splendor. (Psalm 45:3 NWT)
Who is this king? Is it Jehovah or Jesus? Because the question can be posed again why their Bible uses an upper case “M” when describing Jesus as a “Mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6 but a lower case “m” here at Psalm 45:3.
But the most unusual reference given to cross reference Isaiah 9:6 in the New World Translation is John 1:18
No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him. (John 1:18 NWT)
Jehovah’s Witnesses want to convince you that Jesus could not possibly be God. A mighty god, yes, but not the “Mighty God” that their own Bible declares. How do they know Jesus isn’t God again? Because Isaiah 9:6 only calls Jesus “Mighty God” and not “Almighty God.”
But there is a nearby verse that they conveniently left out in their cross reference. And it’s easy for you to jot down in the margin of your Bible at Isaiah 9:6 so you can direct your JW friend to find it in their New World Translation. All they have to do is flip the page to Isaiah 10:21
Only a remnant will return,
The remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. (Isaiah 10:21 NWT)
And who is the Mighty God here? The verses above it indicate the “Mighty God” referred to here is Jehovah.
Why is Jesus the “Mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6 but one chapter later Jehovah is the “Mighty God” in Isaiah 10:21? According to Reasoning from the Scriptures, shouldn’t the latter be rendered “Amighty God?”
The JWs have been asserting that Jehovah is identified as “Almighty” and Jesus as “Mighty” but we’ve already seen how Isaiah titled Jehovah only as “Mighty” at Isaiah 10:21 and the prophet after him, Nehemiah, also referred to Jehovah as “mighty” (see Nehemiah 9:32). And long before either of these prophets, Moses not only called Jehovah “mighty,” but he also used some other interesting titles…
For Jehovah your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty, and awe-inspiring, who treats none with partiality and does not accept a bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17 NWT)
Hmm…. “Lord of lords?” Where have we heard that before?
These will battle with the Lamb, but because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those with him who are called and chosen and faithful will do so.” (Revelation 17:14 NWT)
See also Revelation 19:16 in the New World Translation.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have clearly identified that Jesus is the Lamb (Revelation 17:14) and the Word of God (John 1:1), but why does their own Bible use the same title of “Lord of lords” for Jesus in Revelation that is given to Jehovah the “mighty” God in Deuteronomy?
Keep yourself in God’s love,