I now post the second installment in my series where I employ the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ (JWs) own Bible, the New World Translation (NWT) of the Holy Scriptures, to prove that Jesus Christ is identified as Jehovah God in the flesh https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/jesus-is-jehovah-god-according-to-the-jehovahs-witnesses-bible-pt-1/.
Is Jehovah the Supreme Shepherd or Not?
The Christian Scriptures describe Jesus as the Shepherd who oversees the lives of all true believers:
“In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges righteously. He himself bore our sins in his own body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness. And ‘by his wounds you were healed.’ For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25
The God-breathed revelation also depicts him as the great Shepherd whom God raised from the dead:
“Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, with the blood of an everlasting covenant,” Hebrews 13:20
And, although there are many shepherds whom the Lord has appointed to watch over his flock, Jesus is said to the be the one and only chief/head or supreme Shepherd over all the other ones:
“I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my life in behalf of the sheep. And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, ONE Shepherd.” John 10:14-16
“Therefore, as a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of the Christ and a sharer of the glory that is to be revealed, I make this appeal to the elders among you: Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers, not under compulsion, but willingly before God; not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. And when the CHIEF shepherd has been made manifest, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:1-4
This puts JWs in a dilemma. The Hebrew Bible states that Jehovah is the Shepherd of his people:
“Jehovah is my Shepherd. I will lack nothing. In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; He leads me to well-watered resting-places.” Psalm 23:1-2
“O Shepherd of Israel, listen, You who are guiding Joseph just like a flock. You who sit enthroned above the cherubs, Shine forth.” Psalm 80:1
As such, if Jesus isn’t Jehovah then this means that Jehovah isn’t THE one chief ruling Shepherd. Rather, a creature who dwells in heaven happens to be the supreme Shepherd, with Jehovah being subject to him!
However, we know that this can’t be possible since there is no one who is higher than Jehovah in terms of power, status, authority etc. This is especially true of heaven, namely, there cannot be a heavenly creature that is equal to Jehovah in respect to authority, let alone greater than him.
Therefore, the only way that Jesus can be THE one, chief or supreme Shepherd of God’s flock who dwells in heaven is if he is Jehovah God in the flesh, and one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in essence.
This explains why OT texts describing Jehovah as the Shepherd that comes to recompense individuals for their deeds, and who nourishes and sustains his flock,
“Look! The Sovereign Lord Jehovah will come with power, And his arm will rule for him. Look! His reward is with him, And the wage he pays is before him. Like a shepherd he will care for his flock. With his arm he will gather together the lambs, And in his bosom he will carry them. He will gently lead those nursing their young.” Isaiah 40:10-11
“They will not go hungry, nor will they thirst, Nor will scorching heat or the sun beat down on them. For the One who has mercy on them will lead them, And he will guide them by the springs of water.” Isaiah 49:10
Are ascribed to the Lord Jesus!
“For the Son of man is to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will repay each one according to his behavior.” Matthew 16:27
“So Jesus said again: ‘Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep. All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage. The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.’” John 10:7-10
“They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, because THE LAMB, who is in the midst of the throne, will SHEPHERD them and will guide them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17
“‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work. I am the Alʹpha and the O·meʹga, the first and the last, the beginning and the end… I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you about these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright morning star.’… The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus. May the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus be with the holy ones.” Revelation 22:12-13, 16, 20-21 – cf. 1:17-18; 2:8; John 5:22
Note that in the above passage, Christ describes himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, titles which belong only to Jehovah:
“This is what Jehovah says, The King of Israeli and his Repurchaser, Jehovah of armies: ‘I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me.” Isaiah 44:6 – cf. 41:4; 48:12
“‘I am the Alʹpha and the O·meʹga,’ says Jehovah God, ‘the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8 – cf. 21:6-7
These names essentially point to the uncreated nature of God, highlighting his eternal, timeless existence who is ever living. This is why he can be there from the beginning of creation, being present with the very first generation, and why he is able to remain with all of creation till the end of the age.
Therefore, could God’s Word be any more explicit in identifying Jesus as Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit?
There’s more. According to the Psalter, God’s people are the flock of Jehovah who are in his care and whose voice they are supposed to obey:
“Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For he is our God, And we are the people of his pasture, The sheep in his care. Today if you listen to his voice, Do not harden your heart as at Merʹi·bah…” Psalm 95:6-8a
Yet, Jesus claims that true believers are his sheep that are under his care and protection, and who hear his voice!
“Most truly I say to you, the one who does not enter into the sheepfold through the door but climbs in by another way, that one is a thief and a plunderer. But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens to this one, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus spoke this comparison to them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them… I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his life in behalf of the sheep.” John 10:1-6, 11
“But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:26-28
Once again, the only way Jesus can be described as the Shepherd of the sheep who are under his protection and whose voice they are supposed to listen to, when this is what the OT says of Jehovah, is if Jesus is Jehovah God in the flesh!
Jehovah Jesus permitting, I will be publishing more segments in this series in the near future.