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The extent of the deception of the WBTS is shown in their past claim that the Greek rendering of ego eimi (I Am) in John 8v58 is 'properly rendered in the 'perfect indefinite sense' (I have been), not 'I am'.' To unmask this crude perversion of the Greek the text can be examined grammatically to see if there are any valid grounds for this translation. The author of the note in the WBTS New World Translation (NWT) does not use standard grammatical terminology, nor is the argument documented from standard grammars. Experts are clear that the aorist infinitive, as such, does not form a clause. It is the adverb prin which is significant here, so that the construction should be called prin clause. The term 'perfect indefinite' was an invention of the WBTS - and the facts show that they have made four attempts in their literature to disguise the real meaning of these words and try to give credence to their translation 'I have been':
'perfect indefinite tense' - New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 1950, p.312
'perfect tense' - Kingdom Interlinear Translation, 1969, p.467
'perfect tense indicative' - Large Print New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 1971, p.1121
'perfect indicative' - Kingdom Interlinear Translation, 1981, p.451
Since every one of these descriptions is incorrect, and the first does not even exist, we can be certain that the ignorant and deceptive WBTS are trying to hide something important from the innocents who let Jehovah's Witnesses into their houses! Greek expert, Professor Julian R. Mantey describes 'I am' as the present indicative tense.
When the WBTS have attempted to address their real problem with the verb, ego eimi, they quoted world-renowned Professor A.T. Robertson as authoritative (in their NWT translation: page 775-880), stating that eimi is 'absolute'. This means there is no predicate expressed with it. This usage occurs four times (in John 8v24; 8v58; 13v19; 18v5). In these places the term is the same used by the Septuagint at Deuteronomy 32v39; Isaiah 43v10; 46v4 etc., to render the Hebrew phrase 'I Am [He]'.
The WBTS deception, despite their supposed appeal to Greek authorities, is made even more noticeable by checking all the other places that 'ego eimi' occurs in the gospel of John - where we find that they manage to translate correctly in those places, e.g. John 10:7-14 (NWT):
7 Therefore Jesus said again: ""Most truly I say to YOU, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage. 10 The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they might have life and might have it in abundance. 11 I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is no shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong as his own, beholds the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees----and the wolf snatches them and scatters them---- 13 because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my soul in behalf of the sheep.
THE PHRASE 'I Am' OCCURS ONLY WHERE 'YAHWEH'S' LORDSHIP IS REITERATED AND IS THEREFORE A CLAIM TO FULL AND EQUAL DEITY!
It does not matter where the WBTS turns to in their sad attempts to avoid the truth. The incorrect and blasphemous rendering of the NWT of the Jehovah's Witnesses only serves to illustrate the difficulty of evading the meaning of the phrase & the context. Refer to the comments on the NWT by world-renowned Greek scholars in the section dealing with the translation of John 1:1.
The meaning of the phrase in the sense of full Deity is especially clear at John 13v19 where Jesus says that He has told them things before they come to pass, that when they do come to pass the disciples may believe that ego eimi ('I Am'). 'Yahweh' is the only One who knows the future as a present fact and Jesus is telling them beforehand that when it does come to pass in the future, they may know that 'I Am' (ego eimi), i.e. they will recognise that He is 'Jehovah'. The Jews clearly recognised this claim and that is why they set out to stone Him!
In conclusion, the facts are self evident & undeniably clear - the Greek allows no such impositions as 'I have been', which the WBTS has contended by saying that the phrase in question is a 'historical present' used in reference to Abraham, and hence permissible. This a classic example of double-talk. Jesus was not narrating but arguing, and the 'historical present' is used in narrative, not argument, as any standard grammar reveals.
The term is therefore translated correctly 'I Am', and since 'Yahweh' is the only 'I Am' (Exodus 3v14; Isaiah 44v6), He and Christ are 'One' in Nature, and thus demonstrates truly the fullness of the Deity of Christ in the flesh. As stated earlier, the Septuagint translation of Exodus 3v14 from the Hebrew ehyeh utilizes ego eimi as the equivalent of 'I Am', and Jesus quoted the Septuagint to the Jews frequently, hence their known familiarity with His meaning and their anger at His claim (8v59).
He is fully God, for Colossians 2v9 says of Him: 'For in Him all the fullness of Godhead (Deity) dwells in bodily form'. All is all, full is full. Jesus Christ, even in the flesh, never ceased to be truly and fully God. He functioned on this earth as the Son of Man to perfectly redeem us, but this did not detract from His eternal Deity.
Thus the Lord Jesus Christ has the divine attributes:
ETERNAL: 'Before Abraham was, I Am' (John 8:56-58; cf. John 1:1; Hebrews 1:8; Colossians 1:17; 1 Timothy 1:17: 'Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.'
Some contend that since Christ received life from His Father -'I live by the Father' (John 6v57) - He could not be co-eternal with Him. Coupled with John 5v26: 'As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself' this may seem plausible at first glance but, taking these verses in context, we can see that it cannot mean Christ derived 'eternal existence' from the Father. John 1v1, as well as the abundant evidence from other Scriptures already discussed (e.g. Micah 5:2; John 8:24, 58), bears witness that 'the Word was God', therefore eternity was inherent in His makeup by Nature. The logical conclusion must be that the indwelling 'Life' of 'God the Word' entered time in the form of the 'Son of Man' through the Virgin Birth and, by this operation, the Father, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, gave the 'Son of Man' to have 'Life in Himself', the same Life that was eternally His as the eternal Word.
OMNIPRESENT: 'For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matt. 18:20; cf. Matt. 28:20; Eph. 1:23).
Christians worship Jesus and pray to Him because He is God and commanded it! Notice that this is another source of embarrassment for the WBTS, for they teach Jehovah's Witnesses not to pray to Jesus. However, once again, careful examination of their KIT (which the NWT is supposedly based on) reveals their hypocrisy. Refer to John 14:14 and you find the Westcott and Hort Greek text with the literal translation into English underneath:
14 ean ti aithshte me en tw onomati mou touto poihsw
If ever anything you should ask me in the name of me this I shall do
However, in the margin, we can read the WBTS translation into English:
If you ask anything in my name, I will do it (NWT)
How come the WBTS fail to include 'me' in their translation? If they can try and hide the abundant evidence of Christ's deity it simply will not suit their doctrinal stance to have Jehovah's Witnesses praying to Jesus, will it! Again, careful study will reveal a parallel passage supporting this phrase in John 16:23:
23 (AV) And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
OMNIPOTENT: 'ALL power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth' (Matt. 28:18; cf. Hebrews 1:3; John 5:21-23; Eph. 1:20-23).
The 'Triune' God has determined that Jesus shall have ALL power - how could the Godhead allow this if He is not God?
OMNISCIENT: 'In whom are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' (Colossians 2:3; cf. John 2:24,25).
Again, if Jesus was not God how could He possibly have 'ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge'?
IMMUTABLE: 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever' (Hebrews 13:8).
How could this possibly be true unless the Lord Jesus Christ had always existed in the form of God? If He was a created being like us no one could ever make this claim for there is always the possibility that created beings can sin or pass out of existence!
CREATOR: 'ALL things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made' (John 1:3; cf. Col. 1:15-16).
If the Lord Jesus Christ was not God then this could not be said about Him! Did He make Himself?
We need to always remember that God said:
'I, the Lord, am the Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone' (Isaiah 44v24)
Yet these New Testament Scriptures (John 1:1-3; cf. Col. 1:15-16) tell us that Jesus did these things, for 'the Word was with God, and the Word was God'. The Word is Jesus who must have been with God (as described in Isaiah 44v24) in a way that is beyond the human interpretation that the cults and all other religious are forced to put on the Scripture to avoid seeing the real historical, Biblical Jesus.
How can the WBTS deny that the Bible teaches clearly that:
He forgives sin: '... the Son of Man hath power upon earth to forgive sins' (Luke 5:20-25). The Pharisees were right (Luke 5:21) - only God can forgive sins!
He is the source of life: 'In Him was life; and the life was the light of men' (John 1:4,5).
He is the Judge of all: '.... the Father ... hath committed all judgment unto the Son' (John 5:22; cf. 2 Timothy 4:1). If Jesus were only a fallible created creature, and not God, who would sensibly desire their eternal destiny to be in His hands?
He raises the dead: '... The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God' (John 5:21,25).
He is worshipped as God: '... let all the angels of God worship Him' (Heb. 1:6; cf. Phil. 2:10,11). Only God is to be worshipped! (ref. Acts 10:26; 14:11; Revelation 19:10; 22:9)
He is prayed to: '... Lord Jesus, receive my spirit' (John 14:14; Acts 7:59,60; cf. 1 Cor. 1:2).
He is God manifested in the flesh: 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth'. (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16).
In Him dwells the fulness of God: '... it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell' (Colossians 1:19; cf. 2:9).
SON OF GOD
The term, son of God or sons of God, is used in various parts of Scripture in a non-literal sense of angels, Israel and others (see treatment of Old Testament usage*). But those who insist that the title Son of God is used of Christ in the same way it would be used of any godly person are teaching doctrine which is clearly contrary to the New Testament teaching. So, what is the significance of the term 'Son of God' and what were the charges levelled at Christ by the illegal Sanhedrin court? In John 19v7 we read that the Jews said:
'We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.'
So what was this 'law' which they claimed Jesus was guilty of breaking? It is a fact that is as true today as it was true then - to a Jew brought up on the Old Testament there is only one God and to claim to be another 'god', or even the Son of the true God, is blasphemy. Another deception, Islam has a similar problem with this claim.
The gospel of John has three recorded instances of Jesus claiming to be the Son of God (John 5v18; 10v33; 19v7) and, together with the quotations below, they establish two points beyond doubt.
1. The first is that the Jews took for granted that the special claim of Jesus to be the Son of God, and His calling 'God His own Father,' was nothing less than claiming divine equality with God, or making Himself God.
2. The second point is that this claim of divine Sonship, which the Jews plainly understood as a claim to Deity, was the real issue in the trial before the Sanhedrin which resulted in His crucifixion. In view of the claims of Jesus, a Jew had no logical alternative to belief in His Godhead, except the imperative duty of putting Jesus to death (this is made clear by the Jewish writer, M. Salvador, in his book, Jesus Christ). The WBTS struggles in vain to deny this for there is no record of ancient testimony to deny this obvious fact - the following Scriptures, which are a record of the 'trial,' also make it clear that they rightly understood the phrases 'begotten of God' or 'stand at the right hand of God' to be claims of equality.
In Matthew 26v59-66 they plainly accuse Christ of blasphemy for this claim:
59 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.'" 62 And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" 63 But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."
Notice that Jesus merely affirmed that He was the 'Son of man' who would be 'seated at the right hand of Power' and would come in the future 'on the clouds of heaven'! This was blasphemy under Jewish law.
Luke 22v70-71 again makes it clear when He is asked:
'Are you the Son of God, then?'
And He said to them, 'You say that I am.'
And they said, 'What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.'
Clearly, they were satisfied that He confirmed their question as being the truth because their response indicates that they are now certain (without need of further witnesses) that he was guilty of blasphemy.
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