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Mars Hill Apologetic Discussions
Ray Goldsmith Answers "Student of the Bible"
On Jude 4
Regrettably, I do not have a copy of the entire dialog between Ray Goldsmith, a lay Christian, and self-described Jehovah's Witness "Student of the Bible" (SOTB). This dialog took place of Larry Ingram's Trinity Discussion board in 1999. This is the final post Ray made to SOTB on the subject of Jude 4, John 17:3, and other matters. Ray has provided SOTB's previous comments, so it possible to reconstruct his line of argumentation to a great degree.
SOTB responded to Ray's post, but it is no longer available in the archives of Larry's Trinity Board. It is my recollection that SOTB's response was, in part, that he was "through dropping pearls before little piggies." In other words, he had no interested in continuing the substantive elements of this debate.
Posted by Ray on August 01, 1999 at 03:11:15:
In Reply to: Only DOES mean Only once again. posted by Student of the Bible on July 30, 1999 at 02:41:42:
Hello Student of the bible, nice to see you again. I will try to
intersperse my comments once more.
: Harvey, or Ray(which is it?)I will not waste my time rehashing things over and over to ones who refuse to accept the truth and admit the folly of their reasonings. So I will kindly take a few moments to answers your most recent attempt to reply to my rather lengthy post:
You begin by complaining about wasting your time. However, I don't
consider it a waste of time to defend the Trinity against its
detractors, and I only wish I had more free time available.
: Yes, this does reveal that the committee was indeed the annointed of Jehovah. So, maybe I should have been a bit clearer, as you seemed to imply you knew exactly WHO this "annointed" committee was made up of. My question should have been.... "Where does the WTB&TS identify *who* these annointed ones were, that made up the translation committee of the NWT."
: Can you do this? Or will you again "dodge the question?"
No I cannot name the translators because the WT Soceity has refused to divulge their names, but then again, neither did I say or imply that I could. Nor did I dodge the question. I answered it exactly as you put it. You see, Student, you said rather tongue in cheek, "Really...wow, I never read that the translators were OF the annointed of Jehovah", you didn't mention anything about names...nor did I. Instead you challenged me to show you where in WT literature "that the translators of the NWT were the annointed of Jehovah" (once again, nothing about names here). Then you ended your challenge by mockingly saying "Opps forgot..you don't have to prove anything you say..sorry". So I showed you what you asked for. Now you seem to be engaged in Monday morning quarterbacking. Instead of admitting that you were ignorant of this information because "...I never read that the translators were of the annointed of Jehovah", you changed your tune. Now you say you should have made yourself clearer and that your question "should have been"..etc. Oh well, what can I say, except that I've now answered BOTH of your questions and didn't dodge either of them as you falsely accused me.
I can see, though, why you would be very embarrassed that an outsider
would have to show you what the WT teaches about something as elementary
as this. But if you think about it, and look at your attitude, who could
deny that you brought it on to your own head? hmmmm....
: I never said or implied that I "seem to be having some doubts or 2nd thoughts about the NWT, in recent posts." Please do not put words in my mouth. Your words are simply not the truth. This again is typical of one who cannot deal with the arguments presented, so you simply evade them. Your "koine Greek " courses have done little more than to confuse you even deeper.
Here you take a hissy fit because you think I put words in your mouth
when I said you "seem to be having doubts or 2nd thoughts about the
NWT in recent posts"..etc. But with a short memory, just a moment
ago you suggested that I "seemed to imply" that I knew exactly
who the annointed committee was made up of, when I neither said nor
implied any such thing. hmmmm Actually what I had in mind was our
questioning that the Father was being referred to in 2nd Tim 2:19-22.
Put that together with your ignorance that these translators were "annointed
witnesses of Jehovah", and it is no wonder I had that feeling, for
the loyal witness usually doesn't show suspicion about how the NWT is
rendered into English.
: With regard to my "attacks:" There is a difference of attacking a "person" with a personal "ad hominem" and attacking a line of twisted reasoning. You confuse the two. Might this be due to the fact that you see your reasoning crumble under the weight of scripture? Then, to shift the argument away from your Biblical fallacies, you accuse me of attacking you.
: This is nothing new. Very typical. And quite frankly, I do not have the time to waste on this type of discussion.
: And while I agree that your posts are very
amusing, I do not have time to be rehashing things over and over again
Look again at your words "Opps forgot...you don't have to prove
anything you say..sorry"., and tell me what do you call that? Looks
like a personal attack to me. And even in this latest post you
characterized my arguments as "crafty twisted", so what does
that say about my motive? Therefore I don't think I confused anything.
It looks more like you're just having a hard time admitting your own
shortcomings. And I don't think my reasoning has crumbled under the
weight of scripture at all. In fact I'm quite satisfied with the way my
position has stood the test of scripture, even though, as I pointed out,
the burden of proof is not on the defendant anyhow. You're the one who
seems to be on the attack, so you should accept the burden of proof like
a good prosecutor. Also, this is the fourth time you've complained about
"wasting" your time. I'm sorry you look at it this way. I
consider it a great opportunity.
: You said:
: This is so typical of your twisted reasonings. I really must LOL here. The fact that you cannot escape, regardless of your crafty twisted arguments, is that Paulís words WERE written to the Congregation in Corinth. 1Cor. 1:2. You seem to be one big on "context" except when it does not suit your argument! I tire of this banter.
: With regard to your "argument" that "only" does NOT mean "only" I also have to Laugh, that you go through such elaborate twisted logic to confuse the fact that the Father is called the ONLY TRUE GOD.
: Where you miss the point, is that... I could easily have shown from scripture that wives "belong" to their husbands...and husbands "belong" to the Christ and Christ "belongs" to God.
: So then we could twist that to say.... every one belongs to someone else.. so then likewise, Jude was out of his mind when he said Jesus was our "ONLY" Owner....
: Well, the fact is, Jude was Not out of his mind as your twisted logic asserts.
: And Only DOES mean Only.
However, we need to be careful not to read into scripture more than is warranted. For example, although a letter may be addressed to the congregation, a title applied may have a greater application than just to the congregation. For example, with JWs, even when Jehovah is called Lord (without qualifiers added, such as "Lord of the..."), we have no warrant to assume that the title must be restricted to just the congregation...for it may have a broader application while INCLUDING the congregation. Hence, then, when the bible writer actually attaches a qualifier to a title, it's legitimate to bear that in mind. But when he applies the title without a qualifier, we have no warrant to try for a restricted application by saying "he's addressing the congregation"..etc. So what, that doesn't mean that he is intending to restrict the application of the title to just the congregation. But in your case the attempt fails anyway, for as we see in 2nd Tim 2:19-22, Jehovah is identified as the Owner of all believers who "name Jehovah (19) and the Lord of all believers who "call upon the Lord", even though Jude 4 made the positive statement about Jesus that he's our only Owner and Lord.
We are not dealing with a single situation like you pointed out, like a husband or a wife. No, this shows the relation between Jehovah and all believers (plural...those being of him). They are his belongings and so he must be their Owner. In fact the congregation is even called God's in 1st Cor 10:32. And it's God's building in 1 Cor 3:9, and Paul even referred to the Corinthians like this: "YOU people are God's field under cultivation". So how could it be God's congregation if He werent' its Owner? And how could it be God's building is He weren't it's Owner? And how could it be "God's field under cultivation" if He weren't the field's Owner? You see, because we believe that true God incudes Jesus, we don't have a problem with this. But because you deny that true God includes Jesus, you end up with two Saviors, two Masters, two Owners...etc. And this cause you fits at places like Jude 4. You see, Student, it is a mistake to think that a positive statement made about a Person (John 17:3..Jude 4) justifies assuming a negative about someone else (compare Jude 4 with 2ndTim 2:19-22).
Maybe this will help you to understand my point. For the sake of the
argument, please try to imagine God being more than a single Person (US
MAKE). IF that were true, one of the Persons could make a positive
statement about the other without authorizing a negative assumption to
be made about Himself and in regard to his ultimate identity. And Jude 4
could also make a positive statement about Jesus (he's our only Owner
and Lord), without authorizing a negative assumption about someone else
(such as the Father..2nd Tim 2:19-22) Do you see what I mean? If we
choose not to try to hold God hostage to our finite logic, the scripture
harmonizes perfectly. But if we persist in trying to regulate God to our
conception of logic, you will have no way to explain how someone OTHER
than Jesus could be the Owner of all believers (2nd Tim)..when Jude 4
clearly says that Jesus is our "only Owner and Lord". God is
more than a single Person (US MAKE), therefore Jude 4 could make a
positive statement about Jesus without authorizing us to assume a
negative about the Father. They are one Savior, One Authority, one
Masteer, one Owner..and one God!
: Paul then, could rightfully write to Timothy, that Jehovah does know those that BELONG to him...For the head of Jesus is God 1Cor. 11:3
: So Jude WAS correct. As Jesus hands over the
congregation to the Father at the end of the 1000 years. 1Cor. 15:28
: But does this mean then., that John 17:3 means that others could be THE ONLY TRUE GOD? NO!
: Why is that... simply Harvey.. because we are dealing with TRUE GOD.
But hold the phone. You say of Jesus that he's the "only one" who is head, master, owner of the congregation. God made him such". To be sure, after emptying himself with lowliness of mind and enduring even unto the death on the cross, He was exalted to his present position as Mediator and Lord (as a man), as according to God's plan, but this does not mean that the Father relinquished his Ownership. For example, it's even called "God's congregation" in 1st Cor 10:32, so He's still its Owner even though the man Jesus was exalted to that status, and it's STILL "God's field under cultivation", even though Jesus had been exalted. The problem you have is when you try to restrict it to Jesus alone as per your own logic as applied to Jude 4. Scripture shows that such an assumpiton is erroneous.
And 1st Cor 15:28 gives us a snap-shot of the completion of God's
plan of reconciling all things unto himself. How did God accomplish
this? Isaiah 40:3 shows that one of the members of the Godhead (Jehovah
our God) was to come to earth and the baptist was to prepare his way.
This member (Jesus) had emptied himself to become our kinsman redeemer
(for our sakes he who was rich became poor), then according to God's
plan he was to actually become truly human and live on earth for 30 some
years to become a sympathetic priest..thus knowing firsthand what's it's
like to be one of us. He would then be exalted to be the proper mediator
between God and man, being our advocate before the throne of God, and
operating in that capacity until all things are reconciled, then God
will become all in all once again. You see, Student, it is wrong to use
the transient reality about Christ to deny his ultimate identity.
No I am not willing to concede that there are other true Gods (other
than Jehovah), nor do we have to assume that the one true God is only a
single Person. Take a look at Genesis chapter one. There the one true
God is identified as a plurality of Persons (US MAKE), and this plural
"us make" is identified as God right there, and we read in
Hebrews that the maker of all things is God.
: And you and I BOTH know that the TITLE (or phrase if you like) TON MONON ALETHINON THEON only appears once in scripture.
Now wait a minute. You had accused me of not having reverence for
Jesus's words simply because I noticed the same thing the WT
noticed...that the expression "the only true God" doesn't seem
to be an established title in Scripture, and the WT didn't include it in
their list of titles for Jehovah in the big reference bible. You see,
the expression "the true God" IS an established title in
Scripture and IS included in the WT's list. Hence, then, as I said, the
word "only" appears to be an adjective added in the
attributive position. It's not part of the title, it's an addition. And
we see the scope of the same adjective in the same position at Jude 4.
It does NOT require the conclusion that no one else can be our Owner and
Lord (2nd Tim 2:19-22..1 Cor 10:32..1 Cor 3:9), it simply makes a
positive statement about the one mentioned without authorizing a
negative to be assumed about someone else.
: The only other thing you are left with, is
that if you claim Jesus IS ALSO the ONLY TRUE GOD.. and Jesus said the
Father was THE ONLY TRUE GOD, then you are saying Jesus WAS the
Father... for it is he who is called the ONLY True God by Jesus himself!
: You cannot have it both ways.
And it is not necessary to believe that Jesus is the Father to regard
him as true God, for as we've seen..true God is more than a single
Person (US MAKE). So John 1:1 identifies the logos as God and then
immediately portrays him as the hands on maker of all things that ever
came into existence...all things without even a single exception it says
(John 1:3). So then, far from being the first creation himself, as the
WT claims, John 1:3 distinguishes the logos from even the first thing
that ever came into existence, and that makes him God with a capital
"G" (John 20:28), not God the Father mind you, but God
nonetheless...for only true God exists before all creation. You see,
this is not polytheism because we do not claim they are separate Gods,
but one God. So when we find the single Authority for baptism in Matt
28:19, we find three individuals listed (in the name of, not names of),
and it stops with just those three. Yet did you know that baptizing in
the name of one of them is equivilent to baptizing in the name of all
three? Sure it is, for notice what Peter says in Acts
2:38.."Repent, and let each one of YOU be baptized in the name of
Jesus Christ..". You see, Student, because these Jews had been
denying Christ, Peter lets them know that they must submit to baptism in
his name. Hence they must publicly acknowledge the one they'd been
rejecting...but that doesn't mean that the authority (name) is to be
restricted only to Jesus. They are one anyhow, and so to baptize in the
name of one is equivilent to baptizing in the name of all three. It'll
: Remember, we are dealing with the one called the "ONLY" True God. Not one who is said to be the "Only One" who is True God., as you keep imagining I mean it to say.
: Therefore ONLY does mean ONLY Harvey whether you like it or not.
That is exactly right. This adjective "only" is in the attributive position in both John 17:3 and Jude 4. That means that the article is directly in front of the adjective, and that makes it attributive and not predicate. You keep saying the one but assuming the other. For example you SAY "he's the only true God", but you THINK "only the Father is true God". This is a very common idiom in Greek. There's a difference between saying "the good word" and "the word is good". We say in Greek "ho agathos logos"(the good word...attributive), but "agathos ho logos" must be translated "the word is good", and that is predicate where the verb is supplied. How do we recognize that? Look to see where the article is located. And this idiom is not restricted to adjectives in Greek either. It makes a huge difference with almost anything..from bracketed units, participles, prepositional phrases, and even the pronoun "autos". Thus we can say "the same Lord" or "the Lord Himself", simply by locating the "autos".
Yes, only means only, sure enough, but we must let god's meaning rule
the day, not man's. And we can discover God's meaning by comparing
scripture with scripture..thus Jude 4 with 2ns Tim 2:19:22, and we see
that a positive statement made about the one (Jesus) does not authorize
us to assume a negative about someone else..even in your own bible.
Whether we like it or not..there's no way around it.
: And another thing....... the verse tells us literally , that those Jesus was praying in behalf of, "would be knowing you, the only true God and whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ".
: Now here Jesus distinguishes himself FROM the ONLY True God, as being sent forth FROM that one. Jesus could NOT also be that ONLY True God, for that ONLY True God was The FATHER.
: Therefore ONLY HAS to means ONLY, unless you teach Modalism. Remember, we are dealing with *THE* ONLY TRUE GOD", (of whom YOU say is triune) and Jesus said was One Person.
: There is no way around it.
: Now, I could go on to show others in the Bible are called gods (Ps. 136:2), bit this hardly distracts from Jesus statement, that ONE PERSON, was the "ONLY" TRUE (alethinos) God. There are those like him, but none his exact equal. Therefore, I believe Jesus when he said the Father (one Person) was the *ONLY* True God.
: Why donít you?
But we cannot show where the bible says of any of the others that all
things came into existence through them, but it does say that about
Jesus L(John 1:3). We cannot show that any of the others deserve to be
honored "just as" the Father is honored, but it does say that
about Jesus (John 5:23). We cannot show that all God's angels must
worship any of the others, but it does say that about Jesus (Heb 1:6) We
cannot show where it says of any of the others that they are the
"same, yesterday, today, and forever", but it does say that
about Jesus (Heb 18:8)
: With regard to your burden of proof, I agree, the burden of Proof is upon YOU, as it is YOU who does NOT believe the Bible and it is YOU who teaches that ONLY does NOT mean Only.. therefore ultimately calling God a liar.
: Yeah, Iíd say that puts the burden of proof square on your shoulders.....
: good nite.
And with regard to the burden of proof, since you did not respond to
my points about the burden of proof, you've allowed them to go
unanswered. I'll accept that because in any debate a point left
unrefuted is a point condeded. You should have addressed yourself to
what I said about it. And as I've shown throughout this post and others,
believe the bible even when it doesn't seem to tally with human/finite
logic..because I'm willing to let God's ways and thoughts be higher than
ours (Is 55:8-9). It used to be said "God said it, we believe it,
and that settles it", but that is wrong. It is more accurately
stated "God said it, and that settles it, whether we believe it or
Well, it's been an interesting post, but in closing let me ask you a question: I know you deny that Jesus is the true God, but since he's to us the "one Lord" (as contrasted with the false ones in paganism) and he's our only Owner and Lord (Jude 4), do you believe Jesus is the true Lord? Or would you say he's an untrue lord? Well, it's time to close for now..thanks, friend....Ray