Not A Plural God?

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Lately, we’ve been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Finally, the Watchtower has got to the topic of what the Bible itself says about the doctrine. We shall continue that tonight.

Of course, the Watchtower brings out John 17:3 (Sometimes I wonder if they know there are other verses in the Bible.) which is not a problem for a Trinitarian. The Son and the Spirit would be subsumed under the identity of the Father and thus would also be included as the only true God.

The Watchtower makes a big deal about no one else being called Almighty. While I think this is an important point, it is also not a problem for Trinitarians either. Jesus would be included in the identity of the Father. That does not mean He is the Father of course, but He would have been seen as included in the divine identity.

There is also the point that plural forms are used for God in the Old Testament in his name, but the Watchtower dismisses this saying most would see it as the plural of majesty and not as teaching the Trinity. Again, what’s the difficulty? I would have no problem with a plural of majesty, but it is interesting that plural nouns are used so often whereas in pagan literature, one god is not normally referred to as plural.

Also, God is referred to doing activities in the singular. Again, this is not a problem for a Trinitarian but more of a problem for those who approach it from a fully Western perspective. Since there is one God with more than one persons in that identity, there is still a singular being acting and of course the actions will be expressed in the singular.

Why would it be used for other gods? This would be an exception but would also be comparing the Elohim of Israel to a supposed Elohim outside of Israel. The Watchtower says also that this would mean that we have to be guilty of worshiping three gods and that most Trinitarian supporters reject the view that the Trinity is made up of three gods.


Could the Watchtower point to the Trinitarian supporter who says that the Trinity consists of three gods?

Also, other beings are called gods. Yes. This is not a problem. Moses could be seen as a god because he was functionally acting as a god. The Watchtower is again doing an all-or-nothing game. One wonders if we can say “Moses is called God, but that’s insufficient for him to be God,” if that would mean that since YHWH is called Almighty, that that’s insufficient to say that He is Almighty. Is it even sufficient to show that He is God?

Again, I find the Watchtower extremely lacking. There is no interaction with other scholarship and as has been said before, “Beware the sound of one hand clapping.” Unfortunately, most Witnesses only get one side of the story. Will you make sure they get the other side?

“God is One, Not Three.”

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re continuing tonight our look at the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Tonight, we’re finally going to start getting into discussing the Bible. Let’s see what the Watchtower has to say.

To begin with, the Watchtower has a little bit before their first point on God being one and not three that no one reading the Bible through would come to the concept of the Trinity.

No one, that is, except the early church.

To get to the Scriptures, the Watchtower begins quoting an authority again, L.L. Paine who says:

“The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation.”

To begin with, I as a Trinitarian agree. The Old Testament is monotheistic as is Trinitarianism. God is a single personal being. I also agree that the Trinity is not found in the Old Testament in the sense that it is explicitly taught, although I do think the seeds of the doctrine are there.

But of course, the Watchtower wants to give the impression that all Trinitarians teach that the Old Testament explicitly teaches the Trinity.

We are told that Jesus affirmed the tradition of Jews that “Hear O Israel, The Lord your God is one.”

It’s a good thing Trinitarians affirm that too. Does the Watchtower tell its readers that? Nope.

We are told the word “one” has no plural modifiers to indicate it refers to one individual. This does not follow. The word for one itself is a word that leaves room open for plurality. Also, one individual and one being are not necessarily the same. The term individual is to be equated with persons so that the Watchtower is wanting to stack the deck without coming out and blatantly doing so.

We are told Paul affirmed that God is one in Galatians 3:20 and 1 Cor. 8:4-6.

Okay. Are we supposed to disagree with this sometime along the way? In fact, I would begin a teaching of the Trinity by affirming that God is one.

We are then told:

Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer on this. As God states: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory.” (Isaiah 42:8) “I am Yahweh your God . . . You shall have no gods except me.” (Italics ours.)—Exodus 20:2, 3, JB.

Note there are times he speaks in the plural, such as Genesis 1 and Genesis 11. That God uses terms like “me, my, I, etc.” does not go against Trinitarianism. In the Trinity, the Son and the Spirit would be subsumed under the identity of the Father. An excellent reference on this would be Richard Bauckham’s “God Crucified.”

The Watchtower says that surely this would be made clear. We argue that it was. One wonders if the Watchtower would hold that the condemnation of homosexuality is clear for instance, but there are some who deny the Bible explicitly teaches a condemnation of homosexual practice.

However, to say that God being one goes against the Trinity is completely false since we do affirm the oneness of God. The Watchtower is mistakingly making the case that God is one means that God is one person.

The question to ask is “God is one what?”

Do try to find a verse that explicitly says one person as well.

After all, this needs to be explicitly taught.

Why Did God’s Prophets Not Teach It?

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve lately been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’ve been going through the section on the development of the doctrine of the Trinity and tonight, we’re going to look at the Watchtower question of why did God’s prophets not teach it?

The Watchtower begins saying this:

WHY, for thousands of years, did none of God’s prophets teach his people about the Trinity? At the latest, would Jesus not use his ability as the Great Teacher to make the Trinity clear to his followers? Would God inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the “central doctrine” of faith?

You know what? These are great questions. I have some of my own to ask.

Why did God’s prophets not teach that the Messiah would have to be crucified?

Why did God’s prophets not teach that he would be raised from the dead?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the practice of baptism?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the New Testament church?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the New Testament?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the return of the Messiah after his leaving?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the Watchtower’s 1914 generation?

We can imagine the Watchtower saying “Well these things were hinted at in the Old Testament but not explicitly taught.”

Well we can say the same thing about the Trinity.

In fact, it makes sense seeing as the Watchtower misunderstands the Trinity to be polytheistic. Israel’s great danger in the past was polytheism. What does the Watchtower expect? Was God supposed to say “Abraham. I am your friend. By the way, I’m also one God in three persons.”

To which Abraham would say “Um. What?”

Looking on it as a whole, God’s way of revealing it was best. Had he announced that he was going to come down Himself one day explicitly, then history would be quite different. Would the true followers have known Christ? Would they not have been instead trying to understand who the Son is in light of the Father instead of focusing on his ministry?

Remember, Jesus did not come to teach the Trinity. He came to bring God to the people and He did that in His own person. The Watchtower thinks that if something is to believed, it must be taught explicitly in both testaments.

That is, unless they believe it.

Are Christians to believe that centuries after Christ and after having inspired the writing of the Bible, God would back the formulation of a doctrine that was unknown to his servants for thousands of years, one that is an “inscrutable mystery” “beyond the grasp of human reason,” one that admittedly had a pagan background and was “largely a matter of church politics”?

Note how much language is loaded. We’ve already seen that this was not centuries after the coming of Christ. The church fathers have done that. Now have we seen Scripture yet? No. To be fair however, the reason we haven’t is because the Watchtower hasn’t even brought forward a single verse of Scripture to make their case.

One wonders also if the Watchtower thinks they have a complete handle on God seeing as since something is a mystery, it must not be true. Is their God also fully understandable by human reason? Well that must be a small God.

And as for admittedly pagan, note the admittedly part. Ripping quotations out of context is not an admission. This is especially so in light of the fact that some who are “admitting” this are anti-trinitarians. It would be like saying I’m admitting the new atheists have terrible arguments. Of course I am. However, what does that prove? Nothing in itself. Now if Richard Dawkins said it, that would be something.

The Watchtower is ready to say that it’s clear that the Trinity is a deviation. Amazingly, they did this without once looking at the Bible itself!

Well they’re finally getting ready to. We’ll be ready to engage them also.

Platonism and the Trinity

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” and looking at the question of how the Trinity developed according to the Watchtower. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at the influence of Plato on the Trinity.

Something consistent with the Watchtower is that they think a triad is the same as a Trinity. It’s not. The triads have three separate beings, whereas in the Trinity, there is only one being who is revealed in three persons. (I find it extremely important to watch terminology when discussing the Trinity. We do not believe in three beings in one being for instance.)

The New Universal Dictionary is cited saying that the Platonic trinity appears to be what gave birth to the Christian idea. The problem is that for one, the Watchtower does not state what this Platonic trinity is. All that is asserted is that there is one. As for Plato’s God, Plato says very little about him. Timaeus is the dialogue that describes him the most and he is described as a demiurge that works with pre-existing matter.

Second, the Watchtower is citing a possible connection as if it must be actual. For those of us however that like our beliefs backed by evidence, we prefer to see how you get from A to B. It would be good to ask the average Jehovah’s Witness what the Trinity is in Plato and how that became the Christian Trinity.

Third, if we talk about triads, then the Watchtower is just as pagan! The Watchtower has the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well. True, they’re not a Trinity of course, but they are a triad. By the standards they cite then, they are pagan, unless they want to admit that triads are not a problem and then when they say how the Trinity differs from a triad, we don’t have a problem either.

The Watchtower then says:

The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge shows the influence of this Greek philosophy: “The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who . . . were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy . . . That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied.”

Yet when one goes to Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church” one finds nothing like this. Rather, Schaff says on page 282 that the doctrine arose from a Scriptural basis. On the very next page it says “The Socinian and rationalistic opinion, that the church doctrine of the Trinity sprang from Platonism and Neo-Platonism is radically false.”

Does the average follower of the Watchtower know this? Probably not. We could always say Schaff was wrong in what he said, but we cannot be wrong in that he believed what he said was true.

The next book cited is “The Church of the First Three Centuries” by Alvan Lamson. Again, what we have is an assertion and keep in mind that Lamson was a unitarian. The Watchtower does not mention this. It does not mean he is wrong, but the Watchtower shows no discrimination in sources. The same applies to Andrew Norton cited later also as he was a unitarian.

As for Harnack’s quote, it comes from page 194 of Harnack’s book “Outlines of the History of Dogma.” Unfortunately for the Watchtower, on the page before, Harnack says that the Christian church made no compromises with pagan religion. The doctrine not understood is not the Trinity but the Logos-Christology, which the Watchtower should hold to some form of since they believe that in the beginning was the Logos. There is no doubt Greek thought played some part, but only as an aid in understanding Scripture. It did not in any way act as the source of the doctrine.

We shall conclude this section tomorrow.

What Influenced It?

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve been looking lately at the booklet of the Watchtower called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re right not discussing the doctrine of the Trinity and how the Watchtower says it came to be. Let’s go to what they say now.

The Watchtower goes with scholarship of a past era asserting that Christianity copied the Trinity from pagan religions. (Not letting their readers know that the same theory holds that the entire Christian story was copied from pagan religions, including beliefs that the Watchtower holds to like the virgin birth.) Let’s look at some of their claims.

For instance, consider what they say Will Durant says.

“Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.”

This is one of the worst deceptions in the whole book. Fortunately, this was also one of the books I managed to find at my local library. What is horrible about this is that the Watchtower puts a period after “trinity” in this quote. There is no period. There is a comma and Durant lists beliefs of “The Last Judgment” and “reward and punishment.” That the Watchtower did not use an ellipsis here is shameful and if you can get your hands on this book, show it to your Witness friends.

The next quote is from Morenz. I urge the reader to look up in Google Books the book “Egyptian Religion” and see what else he says is of Egyptian origin. The story of the rich man and Lazarus is one. Also, the association between a ship rudder and the tongue. Also, a Pauline formula on the supremacy of the creator. These can be found on page 254.

The next source is Gibbon and again, the Watchtower does not mention that Gibbon thinks other beliefs are pagan, like the virgin birth. Once again, the Watchtower is willing to embrace the opinions of scholars and show them, but they selectively show them. If they say the Trinity is pagan, well the Trinity is pagan. If they say the virgin birth is, well we need to step back some.

The reality is that this kind of idea while popular on the internet today is not seriously discussed in academic circles. Scholars of Mithraism today for instance know that Christ is not meant to be seen as a copycat of Mithras. If anything, the reverse is true. The believers of Mithraism copied from Christianity.

There are several sources one can go to to verify these points. The chief one I’d point to is that of my ministry partner, J.P. Holding, at There, he has a page with copycat Messiah figures demonstrating that these are not valid copies. There’s also Ronald Nash’s book “The Gospel and the Greeks.” Finally, Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for the Real Jesus” has a short interview with Mike Licona on this topic as well as a longer one with Edwin Yamauchi. The interested reader is encouraged to go there for more information.

We shall continue tomorrow.

Apostasy Foretold

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve been going lately through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” The next section is about Athanasius whom we’ve already discussed. I prefer to move on ahead past that then to the section on Apostasy Foretold.

Apostasy is an important part of the Watchtower system, as it is part of the Mormon system. The Mormons talk about the great apostasy and they would see the Watchtower as part of that. The Watchtower talks about an apostasy and would see the Mormons as part of that. Christians can believe there are apostates and would see both groups as part of that, in that they are falling away from the true teaching.

For the Watchtower, this hinges on prophecy. Followers of the Watchtower should know that they don’t have a good track record on prophecy. How many times has Armageddon been predicted now and been wrong? What exactly is going on with the 1914 generation? Those of us who are regularly countering cults like the Watchtower are wondering what is going to be done when those in charge of the organization pass away and there is no one left in the generation to take over.

Of course, the Watchtower assumes a futurist stance. If someone does not hold to this stance, then they will handle what the Watchtower says differently. However, let us suppose one does not. Again, there is no need to take what the Watchtower says seriously. As we have seen, the evidence is not on the side of the Watchtower, particularly when we looked at the church fathers.

The question to ask the Watchtower is to ask them how they know they’re not the apostasy. Then, once can present the material that has been presented earlier in this blog to them. If they really want to be on guard against an apostasy, is it not reasonable for them to check and make sure that they are not the ones who are being apostates?

In reality, I believe that the draw is powerful for Witnesses in this area. It would be very exciting to believe that you are part of a group fulfilling prophecy and you alone have the truth no one else has because your organization is in connection with the Almighty. While prophecy is not our focus here, there are enough sources of information, online and offline, about the history the Watchtower has with prophecy and the Witness should be confronted with these.

Also, while what the Witnesses say could be consistent with what Christ teaches, that does not mean that is what Christ had in mind. I do not wish to go into eschatology, but both the preterist and futurist camps can answer this. One might want however to engage the Witnesses on eschatology and particularly when it comes to personal eschatology and get into the question of what they must do to be saved.

However, the Watchtower is sure they know where the teaching of the Trinity came from if not from the church, which is a good question. If it was so contrary and outside of Scripture, then where did it arise and why was it Arius that caused a stir and not Athanasius?

Hopefully we can start that tomorrow.

Further Development

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been spending a lot of time lately looking at the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re on the section now about how the doctrine of the Trinity developed and tonight, we’re going to be looking at the section called “Further Development.”

The Watchtower is correct that Nicea did not end the debate. Indeed, you could often tell how the debate was doing just by looking at where Athanasius was at the time. If he was in exile, then the Arians were winning the day. Arianism has not died out of course and there were pockets of it throughout the Medieval period up to today when we have groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, our modern-day Arians. Of course, they’re not the only ones, but they’re the most well-known.

The Watchtower however is leaving much out. For instance, the booklet talks briefly about the Council of Constantinople in 381. What is not mentioned at all is that the teaching of Apollinarianism was under discussion. This was the belief that Jesus did not have a human rational mind, but that the divine logos took the place of that mind. This would have called into question the full humanity of Christ. To be sure, while we should rightly condemn Arianism, we also need to realize that it is in fact just as much a heresy to deny Christ’s humanity as it is to deny his deity, and implicitly many of us might do that in the church today.

The Watchtower does not mention this at all and one would think it would be important to state that about the Council. The Watchtower does say that this doctrine was further developed throughout the medieval period. With this, we have no qualm. Of course it was developed. So was our doctrine of God concerning any of his attributes. There has not been a point for instance where it has been said “Okay! Now we know about omnipotence! There’s no need to study that any further!”

In fact, we should still be studying this. We should still be studying the doctrine of the Trinity further today and developing it. If our doctrine of God ever ceases to develop, and I don’t mean in our personal theologies but in our theology in general, then we are in a sad case. Who are we to say we have plumbed the depths of the knowledge of God and have reached the point where we can know no more? Of course, some knowledge of God will always be beyond us, but we don’t stop reaching. Sinless perfection is beyond us in this lifetime, but we don’t stop reaching.

I recommend for those interested in this time period reading works like Harold O.J. Brown’s book “Heresies.” For those who are interested in the development of the doctrine, an excellent example of a fine work on it in the medieval period would be Augustine’s “On The Trinity.”

We shall continue tomorrow.

Constantine’s Role At Nicea

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re continuing our look at the booklet of the Watchtower called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re going to be going to the subheading that this post is named after. I do agree with the Watchtower at the start when they say Nicea was not to discuss the Trinity but the nature of Jesus. I think this is something Christians should be aware of. However, I have much disagreement with what they say later on.

It’s not a shock that Constantine gets a lot of blame for everything. I’m not going to defend him for everything either. There is much question as to if Constantine was a Christian or not. That is irrelevant for my purposes here. This is what the Watchtower says their source, Henry Chadwick’s “The Early Church” says:

“Constantine, like his father, worshipped the Unconquered Sun; . . . his conversion should not be interpreted as an inward experience of grace . . . It was a military matter. His comprehension of Christian doctrine was never very clear, but he was sure that victory in battle lay in the gift of the God of the Christians.”

This book can be found through Google Books. The first quote is nowhere near the second one. I can’t even find where the first one is in relation. It’s that much of a difference. Looking at the second part, before that sentence Chadwick says “But if.” This is a great change. He is not saying his conversion should not be interpreted as an inward experience of grace, but says, if it is not that, it is something else.

As for the claim of the Encyclopedia Britannica that Constantine presided and gave the idea of the formula to be used, I would have loved to have seen an actual church historian quoted on this. Constantine pretty much called the event and stayed out of it. He had no theological understanding and if anyone was the main speaker here, it would have been Athanasius.

Note also that Constantine was the one later who gave an order for Arius to be admitted back into the church and was himself baptized on his deathbed by an Arian, so it would not make sense for him to be their main opponent. As has been shown also, the early church did indeed teach a view that is firmly in line with what was decided by the orthodox at Nicea.

The Watchtower finally asks that if the Trinity had been a clear Bible truth, why not propose it at that time?

Probably for the same reason that they did not need to propose that Jesus came back from the dead.

The reality was that no council was ever called to deal with the teaching that Jesus is of the same substance of the Father, but to deal with the teaching that he isn’t. Arius’s teachings were those that were going contrary and to maintain order, the council was called so the issue could finally be debated out.

Such tactics from the Watchtower at this point are not surprising.

Watchtower and Church Fathers Conclusion

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been looking lately at the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’ve spent the past few days looking at the church fathers. Of course, we could not do an exhaustive search, but I recommend the reading of the fathers for all interested. We did see the Watchtower’s undocumented claims were quite contrary to what the fathers themselves taught. Tonight, we’re going to give a final conclusion.

The Watchtower cites Alvan Lamson as an authority that the church did not teach the Trinity. What is left out is that Lamson was a member of the American Unitarian Association. Does this make him wrong? No. It doesn’t. However, you would not know that he was a member of that group by reading their booklet. You could be thinking this is a Trinitarian who is giving embarrassing testimony that the church indeed did not teach this.

Note also how long ago Lamson lived. He died before the 1900’s. Again, this does not make him wrong, but the Watchtower has a tendency to cite the oldest materials out there, probably counting on their readers to not know this. Could it be that the Watchtower has to go back this far before they find something that they believe to be scholarship that agrees with their opinion?

When doing research of this kind, with some exceptions, one needs the latest and greatest material. In history, one uses ancient material to cite primary sources, but one needs the latest scholarship that is based on the latest finds in an area. This is the same with science. I consider philosophy and theology to be different. I have no problem with reading the latest material in these areas, but there is an important distinction.

For instance, in philosophy, most of us either lean towards Plato or towards Aristotle and the whole of the debate is often more towards which school is right. While I hold to Aristotle, I do not think we can go around saying “Plato has been debunked entirely.” In theology, it is the founders of the religion that are discussed and we build on their past teachings. We cannot change the teachings of Jesus for instance. We can only change our understanding of them.

What we saw repeatedly instead is that the Watchtower has only given snippets of what has been said and has done so without a documentation. Some of these quotes could not be found or maybe they exist but were found in a different translation that reads them differently. We cannot know because the Watchtower does not provide sources.

Note also that they speak of the testimony of the Scriptures and yet, not once did we see a portion of Scripture cited. To their credit, they will present some Scripture later, but one can hardly give half a page and think that in doing so, one has covered what Scripture says. The section on the Old Testament has four paragraphs and the section on the Greek has nine. By what standard can this really count as a look at the teaching of the Bible?

Tomorrow, we shall start looking at how the Watchtower says the Trinity developed.


Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been looking lately at the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Right now, we’re reviewing the church fathers. Tonight, we’re going to look at Origen and to do an exhaustive look at his work would be nigh impossible. Even Jerome once asked if anyone has read all that Origen wrote.

For now, let’s start with what the Watchtower says about Origen:

Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that “the Father and Son are two substances . . . two things as to their essence,” and that “compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light.”

To begin with, Origen’s view is very difficult to understand. He did hold to some opinions that would be considered unorthodox. However, we will point to some instances where he does affirm an orthodox view.

Let’s look first at the sixth section of book 1 on his commentary on John:

Now the Gospels are four. These four are, as it were, the elements of the faith of the Church, out of which elements the whole world which is reconciled to God in Christ is put together; as Paul says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself;” of which world Jesus bore the sin; for it is of the world of the Church that the word is written, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” The Gospels then being four, I deem the first fruits of the Gospels to be that which you s have enjoined me to search into according to my powers, the Gospel of John, that which speaks of him whose genealogy had already been set forth, but which begins to speak of him at a point before he had any genealogy. For Matthew, writing for the Hebrews who looked for Him who was to come of the line of Abraham and of David, says: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” And Mark, knowing what he writes, narrates the beginning of the Gospel; we may perhaps find what he aims at in John; in the beginning the Word, God the Word. But Luke, though he says at the beginning of Acts, “The former treatise did I make about all that Jesus began to do and to teach,” yet leaves to him who lay on Jesus’ breast the greatest and completest discourses about Jesus. For none of these plainly declared His Godhead, as John does when he makes Him say, “I am the light of the world,” “I am the way and the truth and the life,” “I am the resurrection, “I am the door,” “I am the good shepherd;” and in the Apocalypse, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” We may therefore make bold to say that the Gospels are the first fruits of all the Scriptures, but that of the Gospels that of John is the first fruits.

Chapter 26 of book 2 against Celsus:

This Jew of Celsus still accuses the disciples of Jesus of having invented these statements. saying to them: “Even although guilty of falsehood, ye have not been able to give a colour of credibility to your inventions.” In answer to which we have to say, that there was an easy method of concealing these occurrences,–that, viz., of not recording them at all. For if the Gospels had not contained the accounts of these things, who could have reproached us with Jesus having spoken such words during His stay upon the earth? Celsus, indeed, did not see that it was an inconsistency for the same persons both to be deceived regarding Jesus, believing Him to be God, and the subject of prophecy, and to invent fictions about Him, knowing manifestly that these statements were false. Of a truth, therefore, they were not guilty of inventing untruths, but such were their real impressions, and they recorded them truly; or else they were guilty of falsifying the histories, and did not entertain these views, and were not deceived when they acknowledged Him to be God.

Here, Origen says that the writers of the gospels knew that Jesus claimed to be God on Earth. They did not make it up and they were not deceived when they acknowledged him as God.

Section 8 of book 1 of De Principiis:

In order, however, to arrive at a fuller understanding of the manner in which the Saviour is the figure of the person or subsistence of God, let us take an instance, which, although it does not describe the subject of which we are treating either fully or appropriately, may nevertheless be seen to be employed for this purpose only, to show that the Son of God, who was in the form of God, divesting Himself (of His glory), makes it His object, by this very divesting of Himself, to demonstrate to us the fulness of His deity.

I conclude that while Origen had views that are unorthodox, and wherever we find those we should disagree with them, he also did not hold to the position that the Watchtower thinks he does and while there could be more nuances there, I believe the Watchtower is misusing him. Again, without references, it’s hard to tell.

We shall sum up this part next time.

All references can be found here: