Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” At the moment, we’re looking at verses that the Watchtower says Trinitarians use to back the Trinity but that the Watchtower claims doesn’t work.
This one starts at John 8:58 which should be recognizable as an allusion to Exodus 3:14. The Watchtower takes us back there however and cites the opinion. Interesting that the Watchtower goes back to one person who was writing about 50 years prior to the publication of this booklet. I’m not surprised. It seems the Watchtower method is to go through history, find one person who agrees with their view, and then shout out that they have confirmation.
You can find scholars however who will argue for nearly any position. I’m not against scholarship of course, but the reality is not that you believe something because scholars say it, but you need to know why the scholars say it. Of course, if many scholars say something and especially if it’s a case of something that would not be advantageous to their position, there’s good reason to affirm it.
The Watchtower tells us that some translate this as “I will be.” Why? Well, don’t ask such questions. You won’t find an answer. The Watchtower thinks it’s sufficient to show that one person agrees with them. It would be good of them to give the reason why their scholar is right and why everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.
When it comes to their justification of John 8:58, we have instead a long list of translations that do not translate it as “I AM.” Well if that’s the game that they’re playing, all anyone needs to do is go to any Bible web site themselves and count out how many translations render the verse a certain way.
In fact, I have here just such a collection.
The Watchtower has five translations listed. I have more. Is it the case then that I automatically win the translation war? No. Instead, we’d want to look at the reasons why scholars do translate the verse the way that they do. However, there is just such a resource that does show the verse to be read as “I Am.”
And that source happens to be from the Watchtower.
It’s the Kingdom-Interlinear Translation. All you have to do is if you come across the rare JW who has this, just ask them to open it up to John 8:58 and read what it says on the side of the Greek. Lo and behold, they will read that it says “I am.” In this case, who am I to argue with the Watchtower?
Do I have independent reasons for believing it’s translated correctly traditionally? Yes. Jesus was not speaking about how old he was. He was speaking about existence. He was around before Abraham. He was around because He always was. What was the response of the crowd? They wanted to stone him. Was he claiming to be just older than Abraham? If so, they would have simply thought him a lunatic. No. The problem was not that the Jews misunderstood Jesus. They understood him entirely. He made a divine claim and they knew the response to that was stoning.
We shall continue next time.