Creation and a cult
Challenging a Jehovah’s Witness with creation
Published: 10 June 2014 (GMT+10)
“Hullo, hulloooo, hullo”, came the call a few days ago from just outside my study window. I went outside and immediately guessed that the lady calling for attention was a Jehovah’s Witness. In the background I could see her accomplice already engaging someone else on our property. As I approached she commented on the lovely day and a pretty section of our garden. This was her opening from which to launch about the creator of these things. As JW’s do not believe in a biblical creation, but in a combination of ‘day age’ and Genesis 1:1 as an indeterminate amount of time within which to fit ‘true science’, this seemed a bit impertinent. The disingenuous nature of the JW presentation was repeated when she then referred to the “son of God, Jesus” as being the “saviour”. Disingenuous, as she knows that most people with any Christian background would understand those words in the context of Jesus as the second person of the one triune God; while as a JW, she does not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ.
I immediately graciously challenged her on her statement and she acknowledged that JW’s do not believe that Jesus is God; a theology at odds with 2000 years of orthodox Christian doctrine, is explicitly claimed by Jesus Himself and implicit in much of the Old Testament as well. In other words, she knew her statement about Jesus was a ruse to get people’s guard down. I put it to her that if salvation is through a belief in Jesus Christ, as we both acknowledge, then who He is must be extremely important. The Bible tells us that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Establishing the true identity and nature of this Jesus is therefore a matter of (eternal) life or death. Will any Jesus do? Obviously a Jesus da Silva in Peru will not. And so establishing the true identity and nature of the Jesus we are called on to believe for salvation is imperative. There is an infinite gulf between a Jesus that is ‘The Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father’1, and a Jesus that is not.
She stated that Jesus is not the eternal God, but ‘a god’, created by God the Father, as He created Satan who is also called ‘the god of this world’ in 2 Corinthians 4:4. She then went on with the familiar JW ‘proofs’ of their denial of the deity of Christ.
Why is Jesus referred to as ‘the firstborn of all creation’ in Colossians 1:15? Why is He called the ‘mighty God’ in Isaiah 9:6 and not almighty God? Why does Jesus say, “the Father is greater than I” in John 14:28 if He is equal with God? All of these objections to the deity of Christ have been adequately answered by Christians since the Church began and are covered in the ‘Related articles’ section below. The powerful refutations come from within the Bible itself, showing the folly of building a theology on an isolated verse without ‘examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so’ (Acts 17:11), as did the Bereans in response to Paul and Silas’ teaching.
By this time the lady’s accomplice had come over and was taking over the conversation. With a prayer that God would use my words to bring conviction to these ladies, I began to show them, using their own ‘New World Translation’ of the Bible, how the Bible refutes the JW arguments. I was conscious of how the ‘interpreters’2 have made changes and insertions to their version, at odds with any other translations of the Bible. There are some passages of the Scriptures which powerfully argue for the deity of Christ, which are however a bit more subtle, and so the sense of them has not been altered by the ‘New World’ translators.
An example is found in John 12:37–41 where, in the context of repeated opposition and rejection of Christ by the Pharisees, John says that this was in fulfillment of prophecies of the prophet Isaiah and quotes from Isaiah 53 and Isaiah 6. John concludes with the words (taken from the ‘New World Translation’), ‘Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him.’ (John 12:41) The translators clearly are showing that the ‘his’ and ‘him’ referred to here is Jesus. Their problem is that they did not go back and look at Isaiah 6:5 to see who it was that Isaiah had seen and heard. “For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (ESV) In context, John is clearly identifying Jesus as the LORD (Jehovah) and the rejection of Jesus as synonymous with the rejection of Jehovah.
An even clearer presentation of Jesus as part of the eternal Godhead is in references to His role in creation. In John 1:1, the ‘New World Translation’ has added the indefinite article ‘a’ to ‘god’ to remove the power of John’s sense that ‘the Word was God’. The ‘Word’ (logos) is clearly identified as Jesus in the context which JW’s would also concede. But in verse 3, the JW interpretation does not diminish the force of John’s statement. The English Standard Version says ‘All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.’ The ‘New World’ translates it ‘All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.’ Whether translated ‘made’ or ‘came into existence’, the verse is clear. Everything that was ‘made’ or ‘came into existence’ was done so by ‘the Word’. Now JW’s do not believe that Jesus is the ‘eternal God’. They believe He was made or created or came into existence. If this is so, from John 1:3 it means that He made Himself. This is a logical absurdity. It is impossible for the Word to be at once created, and yet the creator of all things. If the JW assertion that Jesus Himself ‘came into existence’ is granted, then He must have come ‘into existence’ prior to making everything else, in which case the claim that ‘apart from him not even one thing came into existence’ is false, as it excludes his own coming into existence. In order for Jesus to be the maker of all things, He has to be the eternal, self-existent, creator God.
When I pointed this out to her, she hesitated for a while and said she would have to ask her leader about this. As I saw her to the gate I told her of Creation Ministries. As she left she asked whether I really believed that the days of Genesis 1 were ordinary, 24-hour days. It was a sobering reminder of the fact that while belief in 6-day creation of itself does not save, denial in one form or another of such an obvious, straightforward biblical teaching (while claiming to be ‘anti-evolution’) is a feature of all the major heretical cults. This is at least consistent with their denial/twisting of other, equally obvious and Gospel-related aspects of the ‘faith delivered once unto the saints’—including something as fundamental as the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ—that I had just been a witness to.
I have found that JW’s are generally very well trained to handle the obvious and clear biblical objections to their denial of the deity of Jesus Christ. If you have the opportunity to speak to someone trapped in this cult, consider prayerfully challenging their denial of the Trinity and Christ’s deity using John 1:3 to show them that Jesus is the eternal, creator God. You may be used by God in the life of one who ‘wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:19, 20)
References and notes
- As many creeds and confessions state, this particular one being from The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646, Chapter 8, section II. Return to text.
- It is not a translation but a very subjective interpretation of the Scriptures, making additions and deletions in accordance with the JW objections to orthodox Christian belief that they find unpalatable. Return to text.
Very well written, I commend your diligence in knowing the New World 'translation' well enough to refer to it in sharing. There is also the reference in Isaiah 45 vs 22 & 23 where Jehovah is speaking & He declares that "to Me every knee shall bow" , which is significant in the light of Philippians 2 v 10 as it declares that every knee shall bow to Jesus.
God bless your ministry.
Ironically, for all their anti-Trinitarian attacks that we are polytheists, if Jesus is a god who creates the universe, then the JWs are the real-deal polytheists because polytheism is defined as "belief in and/or worship of more than one god". JWs certainly believe in more than one "god". I often get them to count them up on their fingers: the Son creates and the Father creates the universe. 1 god+1 god=2 gods. How can you argue with maths!
Thankyou for a very informative article on the JW issue.
I have found that it is always very useful to have the New World Translation handy when talking to these sincere people. Yes, they are sincere even though misled by the Watchtower Society.
I have my main Bible (NKJV) marked with 33 Bible studies including one especially for the JW's.
Briefly it is a study on the nature of Christ and begins with Matt. 28:19,20 - The threefold name.
Matt. 3:3 (NWT) Lord = Jehovah
Isa. 40:3 - LORD = Jesus
Heb. 1:10 - Angels worship the SON
Ex. 3:14 - I AM = God
Jn. 8:58,59 - Jesus = I AM
Isa. 9:6 - Jesus = The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father
Isa. 43:10,11 - No God after Me
Jer. 23:5,6 - Jesus is Jehovah
Mic. 5:2 - from everlasting
Phil. 2:6 - Jesus equal
Col. 2:9 - Fulness of God
Acts 13:30-33 - Christ "the begotten"
Jn. 14:28 - In His humanity The Father is greater
Vv. 8,9 - Claims equality
Jn. 16:15 - All things are Mine
Rev. 1:7-18 - A & Omega is Almighty God
Rev. 22:13,16 - A & Omega is Jesus
1 Cor. 15:28 - All things made subject to Jesus
Ex. 6:3 - "...but by My name LORD I was not known to them."
There are of course several studies that can be used but one of the BIG problems is that JW's have been trained and appear to know the Bible whereas so many "christians" don't know Genesis from Revelation!
Oh that we were more like the Bereans!
Well written article. Another couple of points regarding Jesus deity are :
JOHN 20 V 24 -28 Key verse is verse 28. Thomas declared My Lord and My God.
As a Jewish person under the Old Testament Law, to worship anyone else was forbidden. Obviously Thomas believed that Jesus Christ was actually God not “a god” – not an angel or a spirit – He recognised Him in his Resurrection Body
MATTHEW 14 V 22 - 33 Key verse is verse 33. The disciples worshipped Jesus. He did not stop them. Compare this with Exodus 34 v 14 or Deuteronomy 5 v 8 -10. Also compare to Acts 14 v 8 - 18 and Revelation 19 v 9, 10. You will see from these verses that the Jewish people were forbidden to worship angels under the law yet Jesus let them worship Him. The angel did not let John worship him.
Thanks Marc - That Jesus is God (Jehovah) can also be reasoned from the book of Revelations (even from the New World Translation) in which Jehovah -the only God and Saviour - (Isaiah 41:4, 43:11, 44:6) the one who sits on the throne - "the Alpha and the Omega", "the first and the last", the beginning and the end" (Rev 22:12-13) is identified as the "one who is coming" - who is identified as Jesus ( Rev 22: 20:21)
Some time ago while waiting for a train I was approached by a JW. So, I asked him to look up the following passage his Bible:
“THIS IS the story of the birth of the Messiah. Mary his mother was betrothed to Joseph; before their marriage she found that she was with child by the Holy Spirit. […] when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph son of David,’ said the angel, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary home with you as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. […] All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord declared through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel’, a name which means ‘God is with us’. […] — Mt§1:18-25”
“What does this show?” I asked him. “Surely it tells us that Jesus was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit — meaning that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the very human Jesus Christ.” I left the JW somewhat bemused.
Moreover, the name Emmanuel aka ‘God is with us’ tells us that the human spirit of Jesus Christ is no less than God the Holy Spirit come to live in a human body. So, wherever Jesus speaks of his and our heavenly Father in the Bible, he is speaking of his Holy Spirit. As Jesus says in the Gospel of John: “My Father and I are one”, and “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”. Again, if we are born again by the Holy Spirit, who is our heavenly Father?
Thanks you for the article. I’ll be forwarding it to a number of friends who also have a passion in reaching out to JW’s.
Colossians 1:15-20 clearly contradicts John 1:3 in the New World Translation.
John 1:3 NWT All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence
Colossians 1:15 NWT He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 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. 17 Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist, 18 and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might become the one who is first in all things; 19 because God was pleased to have all fullness to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all other things by making peace through the blood he shed on the torture stake, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.
In the 1984 NWT the word other was in brackets but they brazenly removed the brackets in the 2013 version, implying the word other was in the original Greek. Yet the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, published by the Watchtower, states in the Greek all things, not all other things. Most JW’s are unaware of the Kingdom Interlinear. It reveals many errors in their New World Translation.
I had an amazing opportunity to witness to JWs about a year and a half ago. I worked with them for about 2-3 months of sessions. The most important thing to remember when witnessing to them is that they are very brainwashed, and that as soon as you start challenging them in a confrontational manner, the will 1) Spill out the rehearsed answers 2) Close their ears to anything you have to say back and refuse any literature you will offer.
The best way to approach them (at lest the method I used) is with sincere curiosity. As mentioned in this article, there are multiple verses their Bible "translators" omitted to "fix". If you tell them something along the lines of "I'd like to understand your teaching better, but I'm having difficulties making sense of...". This way they go home confused about the Watchtower teachings, and wanting to explore the subject, as they don't feel your question came from an aggressive angle.
Hopefully this way they find the truth, or at least find out that the Watchtower is unreliable, and free themselves to accept God's truth.
I gave them many questions, and they all remained unanswered. They just wrote them down and said they will have to look that up. One admitted that he had hard time sleeping after our study sessions.
Also, keep the Watchtower criticism for the very end. The moment you start criticizing the Watchtower they will likely give up on talking to you.
The result of the above mentioned ministry effort was helping a family who "flirted" with JWs for two years (and was considering membership) to finally be able see them for what they are, and baptizing their 20 year old son several months later. It also left the long time JWs that came to our house for study sessions with many questions they couldn't answer.
Well done! I am a former JW, who is now a Christian and I believe firmly in the deity of Christ. Although the the concept of the trinity is the hardest for any former witness to accept, as it was also with me, it's not beyond acceptance. In the ministry of teaching others how to witness to JWs it is a subject I have avoided, unless they have already left the organization. However, it may be time to "reason" with them on this. First, plant the seed that there might be the possibility, using scriptures from the NWT. Excellent. God Bless!
I have 2 very useful resources for when the JW's visit. The first of these is their own 'Reasoning from Scripture' which they use to counter Christian arguments. I use this either to present arguments they've not heard - as per the article above - or to challenge their own book which I do with my second resource, namely 2 Greek-English interlinears of the NWT, one from 1948, the other from 1984.
My question to them on John 1:1 is, "why have you changed the translation in those 36 years to "a god"? If they do answer, it's usually something like, "it's a better translation"!
But, despite being able to discredit their arguments, I'm not sure I've ever succeeded in leading someone from that faith - although I can never be sure whether the seeds I planted later bore fruit.
What this shows to me is that when someone has been indoctrinated in a false belief - be that by the JW's or 'true science' (i.e. evolution!) - it is extremely hard to challenge those beliefs. Should the person who knocked at my door ask questions of his/her superior, I'm sure they would merely question my 'authority', or my 'sources' (even though they are their own!) and give them another indoctrination session!
Likewise, when talking about evolution, the responses either become ad hominem where they attack me rather than the argument, or appeal to the majority ("but how can you disagree with what all scientists believe?"), or use one of many other ways to avoid actually listening to what was said.
However, I still feel the greatest challenge we face is the 'cult' within the church, namely those proposing theistic evolution. In this regard, I was greatly encouraged recently when the pastor of my church asked me to critique a theistic evolution 'sermon' given by a professor. Needless to say, I did!
As Roger T. pointed out, Jesus calls Himself "I AM" in John 8:58, which is the name God gave for Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15 ("I AM who I AM"... therefore tell them "YHWH"...has sent you). Thus, Jesus is (along with the Father and Spirit) YHWH. Similarly in John 10:33-36, Jesus defends the application of the Hebrew word "Elohim" to Himself (quoting Psalm 82:6). Thus Jesus is (along with the Father and Spirit) Elohim. This informs our understanding of Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear O Israel, YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is one." Since Elohim is a plural in Hebrew, Elohim here emphasizes the plurality of God, while YHWH emphasizes His one-ness. Three Elohim, one YHWH. Understood rightly, it's a basic teaching of the Trinity right there in Deut. 6:4.
One argument JW's couldn't answer is the limited atonement of a created god. If Jesus were a created god then he had a beginning and what has a beginning is limited. If he's limited then his atonement has to be limited too. Limited atonement cannot satisfy Jehovah who's unlimited.
The Importance of Christ's Deity
Great article by Marc Amber.
> "I put it to her that if salvation is through a belief in Jesus Christ, as we both acknowledge, then who He is must be extremely important."
This is a great way of putting the debate about the deity of Christ into perspective. It emphasies this debate is more than a casual dispute about theological ideas, but one that has salvific ramifications.
Christians recognise the importance of this in the New Testament epistles regarding His deity and in the word's of Jesus,
> "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." John 8:24 ESV.
Christ's absolute 'I AM' claims (ego eimi) from John's Gospel assert His deity (particularly John 8:24; 8:58; 13:19; 18:5-6).
These are linguistically and theologically connected to Jehovah's 'ani hu' (Hebrew) / 'ego eimi' (Greek) claims in the Old Testemante such Isaiah 41:4; 43:10; 46:4 and 52:6.
e.g. Isaiah 43:10 (ESV)
> “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
> and my servant whom I have chosen,
> that you may know and believe me
> and understand that I am he.
> Before me no god was formed,
> nor shall there be any after me.
In addition to Christ's I AM claims being theologically conneted to Exodus 3:14 as already noted in the comments.
The comments and resources in this article are a good reminder for us:
> "in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect"
> 1 Peter 1:15 (ESV)
(Note: If you inspect the context of 1 Peter 1:13-16, Peter here is referring to Isaiah 8:12-15 where the Isralites are to regard Jehovah as their Holy Lord.)
A good article Marc. Both article and comments contain a wealth of useful information. One thing I would like to point out, however, is the mistake that many Christians make, not just JWs, in interpreting the accounts of Jesus conception and birth.
The JW Bible passage, that Terry P of Australia quotes, misquotes the angel’s words saying “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home with you as your wife....” (Matthew 1:20), however the literal translation from the Greek says: “... not fear thou to take Mary the wife of thee....”
In verse 18 it says that Mary & Joseph were “betrothed”, that is the covenant of marriage had already been established in all points except the seal which is sexual intercourse. They had not “come together” . In verse 19 it says “Now Joseph the husband of her....” which indicates again that they were already married, but the marriage had not yet been consummated.
We must be careful while pointing out other people’s errors in the interpretation of Scripture that we do not also make mistakes.
Another useful reference is Matthew 21:15-16, where Jesus applies Psalm 8:2 to Himself. Psalm 8:1 in the JW translation should be clearly addressed to Jehovah .
Excellent and helpful article. And, yes, they have been studying the NKJ Bible to try and "justify" their cultish beliefs. I have a heart to try and save JW's from this horrible cult. I would love more info.
Thank you for the burden you have for people who have been indoctrinated against a saving faith in Jesus Christ, the second person of the one triune God. Our ministry is very careful to focus on Biblical creation, but you will find a number of useful articles dealing with the unbiblical manner in which JW's and other cults deal with the subject.
The article was about two JW ladies...
I once knew a Christian lady who was visited by two JW ladies and so she promptly sent them into her garden to speak to her husband.
They asked him "Would you like us to explain anything from the bible?". He immediately responded, "Yes, please could you explain 1 Timothy 2 verse 12 ?".
When they looked up this verse in the bible "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.", they immediately left without any further comment!
Hopefully it made them think?
JWs used to believe in a young earth and used to reject evolution, as far as I can remember. Nearly 50 years ago, a JW wanted to make an appointment to visit us. When he arrived, we both sat down and he started into a monolog about how evolution was false. I couldn't get a word in edgewise. After about 20 minutes, he stopped to take a breath. At that point, I said, "We don't believe in evolution anyway." He got this look on his face and left quickly. Another time I handed the two JWs (one was obviously a newcomer) a page long explanation of John 1:1. During the meeting, one quoted a Bible passage. I was looking at KJV, and she the NWT. I said they were different. Then I said, let's look at it in some other languages. I read Spanish, Russian, and German. The newbie knew German, and said it agreed with the KJV. She took my paper with her. I can hope it planted a seed. We haven't seen a JW at our door since, and that was over 30 years ago.
JW's may still not believe in evolution, but in taking a day-age, or progressive creation view, just add to the contortions of scripture that they already indulge in. Evolution and deep time are inextricably linked. As far as we know in our many years of creation ministry, none of the cults take a straightforward, biblical stand on creation.
God bless your family and ministry for the Kingdom of God extension JESUS as King
1 Cor 15.58
with love in CHRIST
Wonderful article. Just another verse to counteract JW misuse of Isaiah 9:6 "The mighty God", is the reference in Jeremiah 32:18 which states that "the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name". As I understand it, when LORD (all capitals) appears, it is the translation of the title/name Jehovah, so JW's would have to acknowledge that this reference to the Mighty God is to Jehovah
Great article Marc.
Like you, I've had quite a few visits from the JWs over the years and have done a little research on my own, with the help of the Holy Spirit and some handy Bible software.
With respect to their statement that Jesus is "a mighty god but not the Almighty God". Get them to read Isaiah 10: 20-21 and ask them who is the “Mighty God” referred to there? No doubt they will tell you that it is Jehovah. Then read Jeremiah 32:16-18 and ask them the same question. They may try not to answer the first but should be forced to answer the second question as Jehovah God (or God the Father). Then ask them to explain Isaiah 9:6. In all three cases, the same two Hebrew words (Gibbor El) are translated as "mighty God". Two passages clearly referring to Jehovah, one clearly prophetically referring to Jesus.
Also in addition to John 1:3, the following tell us that ALL things were made by God:
Jeremiah 32:17 (KJV)
17 Ah Lord GOD [Jehovah Adonia] ! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Also: Hebrews 3:4 (KJV)
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
Unfortunately I don't have a copy of their version of Scripture so it would be interesting to see if they have inserted "a" before the word "God" above. I don't think that's the case.
Besides, if they accept that Jesus did make all things (as described in John 1:3) I don't know how much "mightier" he could possibly be.
Keep up the great work.
Thanks for the article. In many evangelistic opportunities with JW's over the years, have learnt some arguments are easily answered by them.
Some years ago, I used the John 1:3 argument you suggested, but the JW was easily able to answer it by using 1 Cor 15:27 to show that the "alls" of Scripture sometimes have exceptions.
John 1:3 says that all things were made 'through' Him. To us, in the light of all Scripture, that means God - the Triune Godhead - made all things through the Son. To JW's, there is no Trinity, so it means that the Father made all things thru the Son. Since the Father could not make the Son thru the Son, to the JW it is obvious that an exception is implied in the verse, just as there is an exception in 1 Cor 15:27. (It is the underlying presupposition of who the One is who made all things "through" Christ - whether it is a Triune Godhead, or the Father only - which determines the meaning that is seen in the verse).
Col 1:16-17 goes further, with creation being not only ""through" (dia) Him but also "by/in" (en) and "for" (eis) Him - so they had to add those "others"!
Also, it is Scripture alone that is inspired and has power to convict, so refs to words of human creeds or "2000 years of orthodox Christian doctrine" etc. are unhelpful. For example, the so-called Apostles Creed says, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth". This particular statement is fundamentally false doctrine, making the Father alone Creator and Almighty, perfectly consistent with Arian/JW beliefs - although many reciting it do not intend or mean what it says.
I have found many verses of Scripture which JW's seemed to have no answer to, but I will just mention one: Psalm 23 "Jehovah is my Shepherd" and John 10:11 "I am THE fine shepherd" [NWT]
John almost seems to be anticipating such an argument from his emphatic repetition that not only were all things made by the Word, but that nothing that was made was made without Him. He is emphasizing strongly that 'all' means 'all'.
Unlike the others who have commented I learned some useful points here. The earlier comments you published were also useful too. Thanks guys this is good teaching and I will use the lessons taught as I periodically come across JW's in my travels (and I have come across a few!).
Let me first say that your article is very helpful. Concerning the scripture in Colossians 1:15, "the firstborn over all creation." I often challenge JWs in reminding them that in their translation, they use the Greek word 'protoktistos' (first created), rather than the authorised translation where the Greek word 'prototokos' (first begotten) is used, and which Paul used.
Hello Marc. Thanks for relating your experience, and useful perspective and Biblical approach.
Another Scripture which utterly eviscerates the JW's assertion that Jesus was first created and then subsequently created everything else, is this passage:
"Thus saith the LORD ... I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretchech forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" — Isaiah 44:24. together with, "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands:" (Hebrews 1:10), and "I have made the earth and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens ..." (Isaiah 45:12). And many more passages, e.g. Isaiah 48:13 and 45:18 etc
Jehovah God created Jesus before any other creature in heaven or on the earth. The Bible does not say if the angels were created by Jehovah or Jesus but Jesus did create all the living creatures, including man, on the earth. The Universe was created by Jehovah before he created Jesus, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus created the universe or the angels. Jehovah gave Jesus the instructions and power to create but under his direction (John 14:28). This is why Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus was made in the image of God and the firstborn of all mankind.
‘All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.’ (New World Interpretation) This is the whole point of my article. Did the angels 'come into existence'? Yes. Therefore they were created by the Word, Jesus. Did Satan 'come into existence'? Yes. Therefore they were created by Jesus. If Jesus 'came into existence', then he could obviously not have created Himself, therefore the above quoted verse is false as the 'All things' DID NOT 'come into existence through him'. The Bible does not need to spell out every thing that the Triune God created, from angels to atoms. If it did, John says 'Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.'
I challenge JWs with asking why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus in John 5:17-18, John 8: 58-59 and ch 10: 30-33. (..because thou, being a man, makest thyself God). He didn't correct them, or disclaim that they had misunderstood. His silence acknowledged that they understood His claims correctly.
Also that he accepted worship and forgave sins both of which are the sole prerogatives of God