As I was browsing trhrough the What does the Bible really teach book, chapter 4, I came across paragraphs 11-13 and they contain some prime examples of how the Watchtower uses dishonest writing, misdirection and half truths to mislead readers. Let’s dig in.
Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son—and for good reason. He is called “the firstborn of all creation,” for he was God’s first creation.* (Colossians 1:15) There is something else that makes this Son special. He is the “only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16) This means that Jesus is the only one directly created by God. Jesus is also the only one whom God used when He created all other things. (Colossians 1:16) Then, too, Jesus is called “the Word.” (John 1:14) This tells us that he spoke for God, no doubt delivering messages and instructions to the Father’s other sons, both spirit and human.bh 4:11
Let’s start off with a light assumption and contradiction. The Bible says, and the paragraph quotes that Jesus is the “only-begotten son”. The word only-begotten, or monogenes, means unique or special. The same appelation refers to Isaac, who was neither first nor only, but he was special to Abraham. But that’s just a side-note, because what does the word “begotten” mean? To beget something means you are the parent by blood, it means the same a to give birth, only men (or spirits) don’t give birth, but they beget children. Adam begat Seth, Abraham begat Isaac. It means that the one begotten is the same kind of creature as the one doing the begetting. A dog begets a dog. A giraffe begets a giraffe. A human begets a human. A God begets a God. That Jesus is “begotten” means that Jesus is also a divine being. It means Jesus is the same kind of being as his Father. It means that Jesus has the same nature as his Father.
But then they play a word trick by in the very next sentence using a word that means something completely different but is similar enough to confuse people. Can you spot it?
Yes, “create”. Create is not the same thing as beget. Create is to make something that is different than yourself. You don’t “create” a child. You create a robot, or a meal, or a car, or a piece of art. But you don’t “beget” any of these. Create implies the creation is not the same nature as the creator. See how they cleverly uses a word that is totally different than what the Bible actually uses. Jesus was begotten, not created. BIG difference.
Now, on to the next paragraph.
Is the firstborn Son equal to God, as some believe? That is not what the Bible teaches. As we noted in the preceding paragraph, the Son was created. Obviously, then, he had a beginning, whereas Jehovah God has no beginning or end. (Psalm 90:2) The only-begotten Son never even considered trying to be equal to his Father. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is greater than the Son. (Read John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3) Jehovah alone is “God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1) Therefore, he has no equal.bh 4:12
In this paragraph they rely on people being ignorant about what the doctrine of the trinity actually says. What does it mean to be equal to God? Equal in nature, or equal in rank? If you don’t know what that means, that’s exactly what they’re hoping for.
They claim the son was created, which we already covered. The son wasn’t created, but begotten. The son is not part of creation, his origin is in eternity, before time began. So they follow it up with a false conclusion. A false premise leads to a false conclusion.
The only-begotten Son never even considered trying to be equal to his Father. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is greater than the Son.
Just to rub it in how you missed the part about “begotten”, they again mention that Jesus is begotten, not created. They say he never considered trying to be equal to his father. Technically that’s true, but again, what do yo mean by equal? In nature or rank? And yes, the Bible teaches that the father is greater in rank than the son, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not equal in nature.
If it’s confusing, think of it this way: My father is Human. My father has seniority over me, his son. Does this mean that I am not human? Of course not!
My father is human, that’s his nature. I’m human, that’s my nature. But my father has seniority over me, that’s his rank.
Jesus father is God, that’s his nature. Jesus’ is God, that’s his nature. But Jesus’ father has seniority over him, that’s his rank.
The doctrine of the Trinity is not more complicated than that.
Jehovah alone is “God Almighty.”
Jehovah is God Almighty is technically true, but they again rely on your ignorance of the trinity doctrnie. Jehovah is the name of God, of the whole “Godhead” or Divine Nature consisting of the three persons. Jesus is one of the persons of the Godhead. Jesus is one of the persons of Jehovah. Jesus is the second ranking member of God. The name “Jesus” literally means “Jehovah saves” because that’s his job, he’s the member of Jehovah that saves humanity.
So they’re mixing and jumbling concept and hope that you won’t understand what any of them mean.
Jehovah and his firstborn Son enjoyed close association for billions of years—long before the starry heavens and the earth were created. How they must have loved each other! (John 3:35;14:31) This dear Son was just like his Father. That is why the Bible refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Yes, even as a human son may closely resemble his father in various ways, this heavenly Son reflected his Father’s qualities and personality.bh 4:13
It would be impossible for The Father and Son to not enjoy close association since they existed together for eternity (together with the Holy Spirit). That is why “God is love”. Think about it, the only way God could be love is if God consisted of at least two minds or persons. Because you can’t have love unless there’s a give and a receiver. If there was a point in time where the Father existed without the Son, then who did the Father love? There was no one to love, hence he could not love, hence he could not be love.
If you believe “God is love” then you must necessarily believe that God consists of at least two individual minds or persons.
the Bible refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God.”
One of the jobs of the Son is to represent God before humanity. Hence he is necessarily the representation or image of God. He’s the manifestation of God in the physical universe.
I have a fish tank in my living room. The little fishes have no idea what goes on outside their little world. They may have some kind of idea that I exist, but can’t fully comprehend me. If I put my hand down my fish tank to move about a stone or something, then my hand is the visible representation of me inside their little universe. So the question is: Is my hand a part of me, or not?
Jesus is the part of God that interacts with the universe.
this heavenly Son reflected his Father’s qualities and personality
This tries to strip Jesus of his glory and divinity.
Colossians 2:9 — because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.
Jesus has all the fullness of the divine nature, meaning he is fully God, just as his Father is, even though his rank of authority is one step lower.
John 1:14 — So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of divine favor and truth.
This scripture emphasizes that Jesus glory is the glory of God, because they have the same nature, he being begotten of the father.
This is an example of dishonest writing. The Society use words they hope you don’t know the definition of, and they mix and jumble concepts like “create” and “beget” and make unfounded assumptions to come to a conclusion that goes against clear Bible teaching.