The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Nightmare Pt. 4

This is a continuation of my series: The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Nightmare Pt. 3b.

In this post I will contrast the Authorized King James Version with the JW’s (mis)translation of the Holy Bible in order to show the deliberate, pernicious renderings by the Society of specific biblical texts, which are directly related to the Trinity and the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The readers can access all these Bible versions from the Society’s own website: Online Bible.  

It will become obvious to the readers that the Society has deliberately mistranslated these verses, or chosen to go with alternate ways of rendering the texts, for the express purpose of misleading its members from what the Holy Bible actually teaches in regards to God’s true identity.

FIRST EXAMPLE

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood (dia tou haimatos tou idiou).” Acts 20:28

“Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.” NWT

Here we have an explicit affirmation of the two natures of Christ, i.e., Jesus is God who became man in order to redeem a people for his own possession by his sacrificial death. The Society obscures this by inserting the word “Son,” even though this term does not appear in any extant Greek manuscript of Acts 20:28.

Besides, the God-breathed Scriptures are rather emphatic that a mere creature is incapable of ransoming a single soul from their sins, which is why God must do so:

“None of them can ever redeem a brother Or give to God a ransom for him, (The ransom price for their life is so precious That it is always beyond their reach); That he should live forever and not see the pit… But God will redeem me from the power of the Grave, For he will take hold of me. (Selah)” Psalm 49:7-9, 15 NWT

“Truth has vanished, And anyone who turns away from bad is plundered. Jehovah saw this and was displeased, For there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, And he was astonished that no one interceded, So his own arm brought about salvation, And his own righteousness supported him.” Isaiah 59:16 NWT

“I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled that no one offered support. So my arm brought me salvation, And my own wrath supported me.” Isaiah 63:5 NWT

And yet Jesus does what only the one true God is able to do, namely, redeem the entire creation by his sacrificial death on the cross:

“in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness that he kindly bestowed on us by means of his beloved one. By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one (dia tou haimatos autou), yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his undeserved kindness.” Ephesians 1:6-7 NWT

“who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood (dia tou haimatos autou), even the forgiveness of sins… And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:13-14, 18-20

This brings me to my next example.

SECOND EXAMPLE

“who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him (en auto) were all things (ta panta) created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things (ta panta) were created by him (di’ autou), and for him (eis auton): And he is before all things (panton), and by him all things (ta panta) consist.” Colossians 1:15-17

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,” NWT

The Society has inserted the word other for times in their translation, despite the fact that this term does not appear in the original Greek copies of this passage.

It is obvious why they did so since the Society realizes that, for Christ to have been the One whom the Father employed to create and sustain the entire creation, he must be Jehovah Almighty, just as the following texts affirm:    

“And the Levites Jeshʹu·a, Kadʹmi·el, Baʹni, Hash·ab·neiʹah, She·re·biʹah, Ho·diʹah, Sheb·a·niʹah, and Peth·a·hiʹah said: ‘Stand up and praise Jehovah your God throughout all eternity. And let them praise your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are Jehovah; you made the heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens and all their army, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. And you preserve all of them alive, and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you.’” Nehemiah 9:5-6 NWT

“He spreads out the heavens by himself, And he treads upon the high waves of the sea.” Job 9:8 NWT

“I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back. Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by my name And whom I created for my own glory, Whom I have formed and made… The wild beast of the field will honor me, The jackals and the ostriches, For I provide water in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert, For my people, my chosen one, to drink, The people whom I formed for myself So that they might declare my praise.’” Isaiah 43:6-7, 20-21 NWT

“This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, Who formed you since you were in the womb: ‘I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself, And I spread out the earth. Who was with me?’” Isaiah 44:24 NWT

Therefore, since the divine Scriptures testify that Jehovah alone created and sustains all things, and yet Jesus is the One in/by/through/for whom all things came into being, the Son must be Jehovah God Almighty (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit). There’s simply no way around this divinely revealed truth.

In fact, the very same prepositions which Scripture employs to describe Christ’s role in creation are ascribed to God the Father as well.

Note carefully the following texts:

“Because from him and by him (di’ autou) and for him (eis auton) are all things (ta panta). To him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36 NWT

“For it was fitting that the one for whom (di’ hon) and through whom (di’ autou) all things (ta panta) exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the Chief Agent of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10 NWT

And now contrast this with the what the proceeding verses state in regards to Christ’s creating and giving life to all creation:

“All things were made by him (di’ autou); and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men… He was in the world, and the world was made by him (di’ autou), and the world knew him not.” John 1:3-4, 10

“but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom (di’ houare all things (ta panta), and we by him (di’ autou).” 1 Corinthians 8:6

“hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom (di’ hou) also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:2

These passages show that both the Father and the Son are equally responsible for creating and preserving the whole creation, which in turn proves that both of them are being described as the one true Creator and Sustainer of all created things.  

THIRD EXAMPLE

“He that cometh from above is above all (epano panton estin): he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all (epano panton estin).” John 3:31

“whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

Compare:

“The one who comes from above is over all others. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks of things of the earth. The one who comes from heaven is over all others.” NWT

“To them the forefathers belong, and from them the Christ descended according to the flesh. God, who is over all, be praised forever. Amen.” NWT

The Society obscures these texts by denying that Christ is being described as the God who transcends all creation.

However, they did manage to translate the following passage correctly:

“and how surpassing the greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE EVERY government and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this system of things but also in that to come. He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head OVER ALL THINGS with regard to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

Now since the Hebrew Bible attests that Jehovah alone is the head of all creation, and that he alone is exalted far above all beings,

“Then David praised Jehovah before the eyes of all the congregation. David said: ‘May you be praised, O Jehovah the God of Israel our father, throughout all eternity. Yours, O Jehovah, are the greatness and the mightiness and the beauty and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah. You are the One exalting yourself AS HEAD OVER ALL. The riches and the glory are from you, and you rule over everything, and in your hand there are power and mightiness, and your hand is able to make great and to give strength to all. And now, O our God, we thank you and praise your beautiful name. And yet, who am I and who are my people that we should be in a position to make voluntary offerings like this? For everything is from you, and we have given to you what comes from your own hand.’” 1 Chronicles 29:10-14 NWT

“For you, O Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth; You are exalted FAR ABOVE all other gods.” Psalm 97:9 NWT

This again affirms Jesus’ identify as Jehovah God Almighty who became flesh!

That is why Christ can be described as possessing absolute sovereignty over all creation,

“Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: ‘All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.’” Matthew 28:18 NWT

Possessing infinite and unfathomable riches,

“For you know the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich through his poverty.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 NWT

“To me, a man less than the least of all holy ones, this undeserved kindness was given, so that I should declare to the nations the good news about the unfathomable riches of the Christ” Ephesians 3:8 NWT 

And who reigns supremely over all created beings as the only sovereign Ruler since he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords:

“to observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times. He is the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords, the one alone having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal might. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:14-16

“and from Jesus Christ, ‘the Faithful Witness,’ ‘the firstborn from the dead,’ and ‘the Ruler of the kings of the earth.’ To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood—and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6 NWT

“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 – Cf. 19:11-16, 19, 21

This helps us appreciate why every created being in the entire creation worships Jesus to the same extent and for the same duration that God the Father is worshiped:

“When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, and each one had a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense. (The incense means the prayers of the holy ones.) And they sing a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.’ And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, and they were saying with a loud voice: ‘The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and ALL THINGS IN THEM, saying: ‘To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.’ The four living creatures were saying: ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.” Revelation 5:8-14 NWT

I.e., the risen Christ is no mere creature but is distinguished from and infinitely superior to every created thing in existence, since he is the uncreated Son of God who is as to his very nature Jehovah God Almighty who became flesh!

FOURTH EXAMPLE

“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him… But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God (ho Theos), is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” Hebrews 1:6, 8

Hebrews has taken the following OT texts, which speak of the angels worshiping Jehovah,

“Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.” Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX

“Let all that worship graven images be ashamed, who boast of their idols; worship him, all ye his angels.” Psalm 96[Heb. 97]:7 LXX

And applied them to Christ, so that it is now God’s Firstborn Son whom all the angels worship as Jehovah!

Now contrast this the NWT:

“But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: ‘And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him… But about the Son, he says: ‘God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.’”

Once again, the Society robs the Son of his glory be denying that he reigns eternally as THE God whom the whole host of heaven worships.

That these texts are clearly depicting the Son as Jehovah God Almighty that became human is easily proven by what immediately follows:

 “‘You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions.’ And: ‘At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.’” Hebrews 1:9-12 NWT

Here the inspired author has the Father quoting the following passage, which describes Jehovah as the unchangeable Creator and Sustainer of all creation,

“O Jehovah, hear my prayer; Let my cry for help reach you… But you remain forever, O Jehovah, And your fame will endure for all generations… I said: ‘O my God, Do not do away with me in the middle of my life, You whose years span all generations. Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end.’” Psalm 102:24-27 NWT

In reference to the Son, thereby magnifying Christ as that very Jehovah God who at the beginning created the heavens and the earth and all their host!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.” Genesis 1:1, 2:4 NWT

As one noted Evangelical scholar explains:

In establishing the superiority of Jesus over angels, the author draws a series of contrasts between them in verses 4-14. The antithesis between verse 7 and verses 8-9 that is marked by the strongly adversative mende is twofold: the angels serve… but the Son reigns… in their service of God the angels change their form… but in his rule of equity the divine Son continues forever… One contrast relates to function, the other to nature. Over against the variability of angelic function, the author sets the stability of the Son’s throne and the constancy of his rectitude. Over against the evanescence and impermanence of angelic form, the author sets the eternality and divinity of the Son’s person. Whereas the angels are addressed by God, the Son may be addressed as God. On this view verses 10-12 reinforce and extend the antitheses. While angels are creatures of divine fiat, the Son himself is the divine Creator. While they are mutable, he is immutable… Never could it be said concerning the Son, ho poion ton hyion tou pneuma kai ton leitourgon autou pyros phloga. From this I conclude that to interpret theos as a vocative does full justice to the flow of argument in the immediate context.

Some scholars are reluctant to express a preference as to whether theos is nominative or vocative in verse 8, declaring that both interpretations are admissible and make good sense. But the overwhelming majority of grammarians, commentators, authors of general studies, and English translations construe theos as a vocative (“O God”). Given the affirmation of verse 3 that the Son is the effulgence of God’s glory and the visible expression of his being, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that when the author affirms further that God the Father addresses his Son as theos at his resurrection he intends to signify that, equally with the Father, Jesus possesses the divine nature

Sometimes the elements of this divine-human paradox are expressed elsewhere in the epistle in close juxtaposition, but generally the author is content to stress one or other aspect as his argument demands. That he believes in the full deity of Jesus is clear: Jesus is described as the perfect representation of God’s glory and nature (1:3); he not only existed before he appeared on earth (10:5), before Melchizedek (7:3), before human history began (1:2), or before the universe was created (1:10), but he also existed and exists eternally (7:16; 9:14; 13:8); like his Father he may be called “Lord”; he is creator (1:10), sustainer, (1:3), and heir (1:2) of the universe, that is, everything in time and space (tous aionas, 1:2); he is “Son” (hyios) and “the Son of God” (hyios you theou), 98 the timeless on of 1:3 pointing to a natural, not adoptive, sonship; he is worshiped by angels (1:6) and is the object of human faith (12:2); he is sovereign over the world to come (2:5); and passages referring to Yahweh in the OT are applied to him.

No less evident is the writer’s emphasis on the real and complete humanity of Jesus. He assumed human nature with all its weaknesses and limitations (2:11, 14, 17), apart from sin (4:15; 7:26); he belonged to the tribe of Judah (7:14) and “Jesus” was his human name; he experienced human emotions (5:7), temptation (4:15), suffering (5:8; 13:12), and death (2:9; 12:2); he believed in and feared God (2: 13; 5:7) and offered prayer to him (5:7); he exhibited human virtues such as fidelity (2: 17; 3:2) and obedience(10:7); he gave teaching while on earth (2:3); and he endured the hostility of sinners (12:3)…

Finally, Christ’s eternality. “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever” affirms that Christ’s personal rule is eternal. Eis ton aiona tou aionos and implies that Christ, as ruler, is also eternal; (v. 8a) anticipates the phrase eis ton aiona of Psalm 110:4 (109:4 LXX) cited three times by the author in reference to the eternity of the Melchizedekian order of priesthood (5:6; 6:20; 7:17). Jesus is a priest “forever” after the order of Melchizedek, and the treatment in Hebrews of the relationship between these two figures constitutes “the culmination of the epistle’s argument,” “the kernel and focus of the entire Epistle.” Other statements that are reminiscent of this theme of Christ’s eternal nature are “your years will never end” (1:12); “the power of an indestructible life” (7:16); “he continues for ever … he is able for all time (eis to panteles) to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (7:24-25); “through his eternal spirit (dia pneumatos aioniou)” (9:14); “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (eis tous aionias)” (13:8)… The appellation theos that was figurative and hyperbolic when applied to a mortal king was applied to the immortal Son in a literal and true sense. Jesus is not merely superior to the angels. Equally with the Father he shares in the divine nature (theos, v. 8) while remaining distinct from him (theos sou, v. 9). The author places Jesus far above any angel with respect to nature and function, and on a par with God with regard to nature but subordinate to God with regard to function. There is an “essential” unity but a functional subordination. (Murray J. Harris, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos for Jesus [Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 1998], pp. 216-218, 225-227; bold emphasis mine)

FIFTH EXAMPLE

“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins… Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” John 8:23-24 56-59

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:13-14

Compare:

“He went on to say to them: ‘You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world. That is why I said to you: You will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am the one, you will die in your sins.’… ‘Abraham your father rejoiced greatly at the prospect of seeing my day, and he saw it and rejoiced.’ Then the Jews said to him: ‘You are not yet 50 years old, and still you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple.”

“But Moses said to the true God: ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,” and they say to me, “What is his name?” What should I say to them?’ So God said to Moses: ‘I Will Become What I Choose to Become.’ And he added: ‘This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I Will Become has sent me to you.”’”

The foregoing is self-explanatory and therefore needs no commentary.

SIXTH EXAMPLE

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things 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

Compare:

“For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every OTHER name,” NWT

Instead of Christ possessing the status and authority that transcends all power, rule, and dominion in creation, the Society has Jesus being positioned above every other name.

It is apparent why the Society inserted the word other again, even though it is not in the Greek manuscript tradition.

To have Jesus bearing the name above all names means that the post-resurrected Christ now reigns supreme as Jehovah God Almighty, since Jehovah alone bears the name that far transcends all power, rule and dominion:

“Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For his name ALONE is unreachably high. His majesty is above earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:13 NWT

And it is at the name of Jehovah that every creature must bow and confess:

“By myself I have sworn; The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, And it will not return: To me every knee will bend, Every tongue will swear loyalty.” Isaiah 45:23 NWT

Therefore, for Paul to say that every creature in the entire creation will worship Jesus as Lord means that the day is coming when all creation will acknowledge that the Son is Jehovah in the flesh.

The blessed Apostle states that such a confession glorifies the Father since it is the Father’s express will and command for everyone to give the Son the exact same honor that he himself receives:

“For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son, so that all may honor the Son JUST AS they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23 NWT

SEVENTH EXAMPLE

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

An astonishing prophecy where Jehovah claims the day will come when his own people will mourn over the fact of their having physically pierced him through!

The Christian Scriptures indicate that this prophecy was partially fulfilled when Christ was crucified and will be fully realized when the risen Lord returns to judge the earth:

“And again, a different scripture says: ‘They will look to the one whom they pierced.’” John 19:37 NWT

“Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him. Yes, Amen.” Revelation 1:7

Now contrast this with the NWT:

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of favor and supplication, and they will look to THE ONE whom they pierced, and they will wail over him as they would wail over an only son; and they will grieve bitterly over him as they would grieve over a firstborn son.”

Unsurprisingly, the Society has chosen to go with the minority reading as opposed to the reading found in the vast majority of the Hebrew copies and ancient versions:

“Some scholars, however, are not content to take the passage as it stands but make every conceivable effort to evacuate the passage of any and all references to the Messiah and his deity. These efforts begin, not surprisingly, with the expediency of textual emendation. Despite the fact that the original Hebrew of 12:10 clearly reads ‘they will look unto me’ and has the support of the large MAJORITY of reliable Hebrew manuscripts, the LXX, the Old Latin, the Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targums, and the Greek versions of Aquilla, Symmachus, and Theodotion, some scholars and modern versions such as the Revised Standard Version, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, and Moffat’s version, have chosen to follow a MINORITY of unreliable Hebrew manuscripts and have changed the ‘unto me’ to ‘unto him’… Now the presence of the third-person pronoun in the following phrase is factual enough, but it is not a conclusive argument that the former first-person reference must be emended to harmonize with it.

“I say this on three grounds: first is the fact that the reading ‘unto me,’ as we have already noted, is supported by the VAST MAJORITY of ancient witnesses; second the ‘unto me’ is by far the harder reading. That is to say, it is readily conceivable why a scribe would alter ‘unto me’ to read simply ‘unto,’ but it is not readily apparent why a scribe would change the simple ‘unto’ to ‘unto me.’ Even though he himself prefers the easier reading and accordingly emends the text, H.G. Marshall acknowledges the arbitrary character of his choice when he writes:

The point may… be made, and, in fact, has been made… that [‘unto]’ is the easier reading; hence it is more probable that it is an error for [‘unto me’] than vice versa. There is great force in this objection. Indeed, it so weakens the case for [‘unto’] that those who feel the incongruity of the Massoretic text will have to resort to emendation.

“And third, the shift from the first to the third person may be an instance of either the common enallage (a grammatical change) of verbal number frequently met with in the speeches of Yahweh (see the many instances where Yahweh, as the first person speaker, refers to himself in a given speech in the third person as Yahweh) or the differentiation-identity pattern we have already had occasion to note for the reader (see Zech 2:10-11; MT, 2:14-15) in which the Messiah is both personally identified with God and yet, at the same time and in the same context, distinguished from him.” (Robert L. Reymond, Jesus: Divine Messiah – The New and Old Testament Witness [Christian Focus Publications, Scotland 2003], Part One: The Old Testament Witness, 2. The Old Testament Witness to the Messiah, pp. 145-146; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Once again, it is obvious why the Society chose to go with reading found in a minority of manuscripts.

As already indicated, according to the majority reading it is Jehovah God who is speaking and therefore he is the One that had been physically pierced or thrust through due to the instigation and rebellion of his people.

And yet the only way that Jehovah who is Spirit by nature (cf. Isaiah 31:3; Matthew 16:17; Luke 24:39; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15:45) could be physically pierced through is if he took to himself a physical body of flesh.

This is precisely the inspired message of the NT writings. I.e., Jesus is that very Jehovah God who became flesh when he was conceived and born from the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit (Cf. Matthew 1:16, 18-25; Luke 1:26-35; 2:1-7; John 1:1-4, 10, 14; Romans 8:3; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8).

Jesus’ virginal conception and birth fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which announced that the Mighty God would be born as a child in order to rule over David’s throne forever and ever:

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 (El Gibbor), Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the increase of his rulership And to peace, there will be no end, On the throne of David and on his kingdom In order to establish it firmly and to sustain it Through justice and righteousness, From now on and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Seeing that the phrase Mighty God is one of the names given to Jehovah in the very next chapter,

“In that day those remaining of Israel And the survivors of the house of Jacob Will no longer support themselves on the one who struck them; But they will support themselves on Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel, with faithfulness Only a remnant will return, The remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God (El Gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21 NWT

This again merely reinforces the fact of Jesus being the human incarnation of Jehovah God Almighty, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit!

FURTHER READING

JESUS CHRIST: SUPREME OVER ALL CREATION

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