Can any Jehovah's Witness please say when they stopped believing the Trinity doctrine: was it pre or post 1914?
It's just that today someone showed me an original Watchtower magazine that said,
“Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah’s purpose. (Heb. 1:3-6)" 15 November 1939 (magenta cover) Vol. LX No. 22. Article entitled SNARES with Proverbs 22:5 as its theme text, para 4 headed ‘Religion’. Surely Christians can only worship Jesus if they believe He has the same being as the Father (1st point of the Trinity doctrine), otherwise they would be worshipping two Gods?
- Anonymous1 year agoFavorite Answer
The JWs must go through some major mental gymnastics to try to explain the false teachings of their leaders.
I don't know how they keep up.
WAFFLING ON THE WORSHIP OF JESUS
To the church at Philippi the apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, emp. added). The reference to the bowing of the knee is an obvious allusion to worship (cf. Isaiah 45:23; Romans 1:4). Such worship, Paul wrote, would not only come from those on Earth, but also from “those in heaven” (Philippians 2:10). This statement harmonizes well with Hebrews 1:6. In a section in which the writer of Hebrews exalted Jesus above the heavenly hosts, he affirmed that even the angels worship Christ. He wrote: “Let all the angels of God worship (proskuneo) Him.” The KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, RSVand a host of other translations render proskuneo in this verse as “worship.” How does the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation render this passage? Unfortunately, as with all other times in the NWT when Jesus is mentioned as being the object of proskuneo, the word is translated “do obeisance,” not “worship.” Hebrews 1:6 reads: “Let all God’s angels do obeisance to him” (NWT).
Interestingly, however, the NWT has not always rendered proskuneo in Hebrews 1:6 as “do obeisance.” When Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower Bible and Tract Society first printed the NWT in 1950, the verse actually rendered proskuneo as “worship” instead of “do obeisance.” Even the revised 1961 edition of the NWT translated proskuneo as “worship.” But, by 1971, Jehovah’s Witnesses had changed Hebrews 1:6 to read: “Let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”
The fact is, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has been very inconsistent in their teachings on whether or not Jesus should be worshiped. In the past few decades Jehovah’s Witnesses’ flagship magazine (November 1964, p. 671) has claimed that “it is unscriptural for worshipers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ” (as quoted in Rhodes, 2001, p. 26; see also The Watchtower 2004, pp. 30-31). But, “from the beginning it was not so.” Notice what Jehovah’s Witnesses used to teach in The Watchtower (called Zion’s Watch Tower in the early days) regarding whether or not Jesus should be worshiped:
“The wise men came at His birth to worship Him. (Matt. 2) The leper worshiped Him. They in the ship worshiped Him, as did also the ruler and woman of Canaan. Yet none were ever rebuked for it…. [T]o worship Christ in any form cannot be wrong” (Allen, 1880, emp. added).
“[A]lthough we are nowhere instructed to make petitions to him, it evidently could not be improper to do so; for such a course is nowhere prohibited, and the disciples worshiped him” (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1892, emp. added).
“Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so” (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1898).
“[W]hosoever should worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus…” (The Watchtower, 1945, p. 313).
For more than half a century, Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that it was acceptable to worship Jesus. Now, however, they claim it is unscriptural. Such inconsistency regarding the nature of Christ, which is no small matter, reveals to the honest truth seeker that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is an advocate of serious biblical error.
Sadly, Jehovah’s Witnesses not only reject the worship of Jesus because of their belief that He is not deity, they also must deny Him such religious devotion because they teach He actually is an angel. The Watchtower has taught such a notion for several years. The November 1, 1995 issue indicated, “The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael” (“The Truth About Angels”). More recently, an article appeared on the Jehovah’s Witnesses official Web site affirming “the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth…. [I]t is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role” (“Who Is Michael…?,” 2015). Since, according to Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9, good angels do not accept worship, but rather preach the worship of God, and no other, Jehovah’s Witnesses must reject paying religious praise and devotion to Jesus. But, notice (again) how inconsistent Jehovah’s Witnesses have been. In only the fifth issue of Zion’s Watch Tower magazine (originally edited by Charles Taze Russell, the founderof The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), regular contributing writer J.H. Paton stated about Jesus: “Hence it is said, ‘let all the angels of God worship him’: (that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God)…” (1879, p. 4, emp. added). Thus, at one time Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official publication taught that Jesus is not Michael the archangel, and that He should be worshiped. In the 21st century, however, Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus is Michael the archangel, and that He should not be worshiped. Clear contradictory statements like these found throughout the years in The Watchtower should compel current and potential members of this religious group to question their teachings in light of the Truth found in God’s Word.
- Roberta BLv 62 months ago
The early brothers in the Watchtower Society had to grow in knowledge, because they had to unlearn a LOT of false doctrines that were taught by the churches for centuries.
Paul warned the first century Christians that people from the congregations, "from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves." Acts 20:29-30
If anyone thinks that Paul was wrong, they are saying that the holy spirit is wrong.
The early Christians eventually saw that happen, with "bishops" dividing the congregations, writing apocryphal doctrines that contradicted the pure teaching of the apostles, adopting doctrines from Greek and Roman mythology. Before long, some of the formerly peaceful Christians started to go to war. The Roman Empire itself began to splinter, and efforts were made to do something to hold it together.
Through the efforts of primarily two emperors, Constantine, whose mother had espoused a form of Christianity, and Theodosius, a new kind of national religion began in the fourth century. The history of these events are described in the Encyclopedia Britannica, among others, where the events of that time are told.
The doctrines that the early Watchtower Society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries worked very hard to combat were the trinity, immortal soul, hellfire, political neutrality, going to war, the clergy-laity division, and on the positive side, encouraging the individual Christian responsibility of the public preaching work.
So refuting the trinity doctrine was a significant part of that time. The word "worship". (where one word was used for kings and judges, etc, and the other word refers to worship of Almighty God alone) had to be made clear, not from the available English translations of the Bible, but from a carefully studied knowledge of the original languages.
Church leaders hated the then called Bible Students, and accused them of not having degrees in the Bible colleges. But they were telling the truth, and the situation was like when the Jews wondered how the apostles had such a knowledge when they were "unlearned and ordinary" but then they recognized that they used to be with Jesus. Acts 4:13
- Hannah J PaulLv 71 year ago
I have never believed in the Trinity so I neither stopped nor started. I was raised in Protestantism from childhood; I was specifically baptized as a Methodist and remained such until after adulthood. At that time, out of curiosity, I began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses and, subsequently, studied the fascinating subject of the Trinity.
Your question seems to be predicated on the term worship and you offer an “original” of a 1939 Watchtower as evidence for what you contend Witnesses used to believe. But your question overlooks some very important factors – not the least of which is how religious persons then and now have understood the meaning of the Greek (and Hebrew) word rendered worship.
It seems to me that it is an unfair assessment when one deliberately ignores all evidence on the subject. I refer particularly to the account at Matthew 18:23-35. This is where the servant guy owed the King a heck of a lot of money. Matthew 18:26 reads, in the King James, “. . . the servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him.” That is to say, the servant worshipped the King to whom he owed this ridiculous amount of money. Now this is Jesus speaking his illustration so this ought to weigh in for us. The New King James says “The servant therefore fell down before him.” The word has not changed – only the translation. The phrase “fell down” is also used in the NLT, the NIV, the ESV, and the CSB. The NASB says the servant fell down and “prostrated” himself. That’s telling. The NWT reads “did obeisance.” Why? What is that word anyway? It is, as you well know, proskyneo. What do dictionaries give as the meaning?
Strong’s definition: to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):—worship. Blue Letter Bible shares an outline of Biblical usage of this word: to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank, to the Jewish high priests, to God, to Christ, to heavenly beings. Vine’s expository says "to make obeisance, do reverence to" (from pros, "towards," and kuneo, "to kiss"), is the most frequent word rendered "to worship." It is used of an act of homage or reverence.
Was all of that necessary? Yes! Why? Because some are hanging their hat on the word, so of necessity, we must understand the word in all its nuances. And from a consideration of the above it becomes readily apparent that the word is NOT restricted to worship in the religious sense. It most assuredly is not restricted to use in connection with God Almighty. Or are we prepared to sternly insist that Jesus had the servant “worshipping” the king.
You seem to be contending that at some point in the distant past, Jehovah’s Witnesses “worshipped” Christ in the sense of him being God Almighty. Then apparently, they changed their mind. And you are offering the “original” Watchtower that you have been given as evidence. You have gone all the way back to 1914 to follow some sort of line of evidence to support your contention that Witnesses embraced the Trinity and actual worship of Christ as God at some point. They did not. They have never embraced the Trinity or actual worship of Christ “as God Almighty.” They worship, show reverence to, do obeisance to our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus as the King of God's Kingdom and as the express image of the Sovereign Lord God Jehovah of Armies.
Hannah J Paul
- TeeMLv 71 year ago
C. T. Russell and his associates felt a keen responsibility to expose teachings that misrepresented God, to help lovers of truth realize that these are not based on the Bible. They were not the first to recognize that the Trinity is unscriptural,
Thomas Emlyn (1663-c. 1741) accepted the Bible as God’s Word and rejected the Trinity.
Henry Grew (1781-1862) and George Storrs (1796-1879) not only accepted the Bible and rejected the Trinity but also expressed appreciation for the ransom sacrifice of Christ.
In an 1882 Watchtower:
“We believe then in one God and Father, and also in one Lord Jesus Christ. . . . But these are two and not one being. . . . We reject as totally unscriptural, the teaching that [Jehovah, Jesus and God’s spirit or active force] are three Gods in one person, . . . The doctrine of the Trinity had its rise in the third century.”
“Many pagan philosophers finding that it would be policy to join the ranks of the rising religion [an apostate form of Christianity endorsed by Roman emperors in the fourth century C.E.], set about paving an easy way to it by trying to discover correspondencies between Christianity and Paganism, and so to blend the two together. They succeeded only too well. . . . As the old theology had a number of chief gods, with many demi-gods of both sexes, the Pago-christians (if we may coin a word) set themselves to reconstruct the list for the new theology. At this time, therefore, the doctrine of three Gods was invented—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.”
July 1883, the Watch Tower said:
“More Bible and less hymn-book theology would have made the subject clearer to all. The doctrine of the trinity is totally opposed to Scripture.”
(1) By the 16th century, antitrinitarian movements were strong in Europe. For example, Ferenc Dávid (1510-79), a Hungarian, knew and taught that the dogma of the Trinity was not Scriptural. Because of his beliefs, he died in prison.
(2) The Minor Reformed Church, which flourished in Poland for about a hundred years during the 16th and 17th centuries, also rejected the Trinity, and adherents of that church spread literature all over Europe, until the Jesuits succeeded in having them banished from Poland.
(3) Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), in England, rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and wrote detailed historical and Scriptural reasons for doing so, but he did not have these published during his lifetime, evidently out of fear of the consequences.
(4) Among others in America, Henry Grew exposed the Trinity as unscriptural. In 1824 he dealt with this matter at length in An Examination of the Divine Testimony Concerning the Character of the Son of God.
*** jv chap. 14 p. 189 “They Are No Part of the World” ***
When the first world war erupted, the Bible Students had for decades been exposing the pagan roots of such doctrines of Christendom as the Trinity, immortality of the human soul, and hellfire
One must also understand that according to the KJV, the translation Jehovah's Witnesses were using in 1880 - 1950 also said we are to worship our dinner guests.
Luke 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
If Jesus tells us to worship our dinner guest, then worshiping Jesus as Jehovah's Executive Officer is acceptable in the language of the KJV.
According to 1828 Webster's Dictionary, the word 'worship' as used in the KJV had two meanings.
"2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
6. Honor; respect; civil deference.
Then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. Luke 14"
"Worship given to God."
Another example of how the KJV uses the word 'worship' is when it says 'all christians are to be worshiped.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Thus in the KJV, dinner guests and fellow Christians are to receive worship.
Around 1950, the word worship came to have only ONE meaning.
"reverent honor and homage paid to God"
If this is your definition of the word worship, then it is wrong to worship Jesus, because you would be worshiping 2 Gods and not the only true God.
When the definition of the word changed, then we changed along with it.
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- DavidLv 71 year ago
Not a JW, but I have done some research. As late as 1919, The Watchtower Society was proclaiming the value of Christmas as the birth of the Lord. In fact, they said it didn't really matter whether Jesus was born on December 25th or not, but we should still celebrate Christmas. I suspect Rutherford didn't abandon it completely until the early 30s when he took the cross off the cover of their publications. here's a you tube video with some very enlightening documents.Source(s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKnzBWBDWJg
- Anonymous1 year ago
It seems the "New Light" came in 1954, with no warning.
The link is in my comments for all of the quotes on the subject.
They indeed, worshiped Jesus no matter how they twist it.
"Now, at Christ's coming to reign as king in Jehovah's capital organization Zion, to bring in a righteous new world, Jehovah makes him infinitely higher than the godly angels or messengers and accordingly commands them to worship him. Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah's Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy." Watchtower 1945 Oct 15 p.313"Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah's purpose (Heb.:3-6)." Watchtower 1939 Nov 15 p.339"During the Millennium, "the princes will lead the people in their worship of Jehovah and of Christ." Vindication Volume 3 (J. F. Rutherford, 1932) p.295"The people of all nations who obtain salvation must come to the house of the Lord to worship there; that is to say, they must believe on and worship Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ, his chief instrument (Philippians 2:10, 11)." Salvation (J. F. Rutherford, 1939) p.151"Should we worship Jesus?Consequently, since the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is not a trinitarian co-person with God the Father, but is a distinct person, the Son of God, the answer to the above question must be that no distinct worship is to be rendered to Jesus Christ now glorified in heaven.Our worship is to go to Jehovah God. However, we show the proper regard for God's only-begotten Son by rendering our worship to God through and in the name of Jesus Christ. Even now when we kneel in prayer, as Paul did according to Ephesians 3:14-19, we offer prayer in the name of Jesus Christ in obedience to his own directions (John 15:16; 16:23-26), but the prayer itself is addressed, not to Jesus, but to God his Father. In this way we keep things in their relative positions." Watchtower 1954 Jan 1 p.31
- UserLv 71 year ago
The founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses was an Adventist
the doctrine that Jesus is really Michael the Archangel is also an Adventist doctrine
one of many that Russell (the founder of the Witnesses) "brought over" to the Witnesses.
as far as I know
they rejected the doctrine of trinity from the outset, from the time of their founder.
- BrianLv 51 year ago
I am going to give you links that may help you understand.
- ?Lv 71 year ago
Founder Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Rutherford both taught that Jesus should be worshipped.
The Watchtower Society supported worship of Jesus until 1954. It would be logical that they also stopped worshiping the Trinity at that point.
Before 1985 Jehovah's Witnesses baptized in the name of the "Father, Son and the Holy Spirit".
Funny how the Watchtower keeps the truth from the current crop of JW's.Source(s): Greek Orthodox Christian
- ?Lv 61 year ago
To reach and feed others spiritually, C. T. Russell began publication, in July 1879, of the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. At an early point in their modern-day history, Jehovah’s Witnesses firmly rejected Christendom’s Trinity dogma in favor of the reasonable, heartwarming teaching of the Bible itself.Source(s): jw.org
- Anonymous1 year ago
I've read your statement & there;s no reference to Trinity. I don't know much about JW's except their doctrine of Jehovah is wrong. The first chapter of John tellsus that Christ is the Creator & is God. The Old Testament has several names for God, El Shaddai, for one.