February 5, 2021 E-Letter
“And unto the angel of the church of Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” Revelation 3:14.
Jehovah’s Witnesses use this text to ‘prove’ that Jesus had a beginning. This is a gross misreading of the text. Other verses the Witnesses will resort to include Proverbs 8:22, John 14:28 and Colossians 1:15, 16.
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There are two ways the Witnesses should be answered on this text. The first is to show the meaning and use of the word ‘beginning’ in the Greek. The second is to compare the Watchtower’s interpretation of Revelation 3:14 with other passages that contradict their interpretation. There is an abundance of clear evidence on both points.
The Greek word translated ‘beginning’ is arche’. Dr. A.T. Robertson said in his Word Pictures In The New Testament (Vol. 6, page 321) that the meaning of this word is “Not the first of creatures as the Arians held and Unitarians do now, but the originating source of creation through whom God works.”
(1) Jesus was the “beginner” of the creation. Other Greek scholars and Bible translations use words such as ‘chief,’ ‘ruler,’ ‘source,’ ‘origin,’ as possible meanings.
As evidence to this range of meanings consider that the Greek word ‘arche’ is the root of many words we use in English. For example, consider the following;
Architect – the designer, creator, originating source, of a building;
Arch rival – chief rival;
Anarchy – no rule;
Archbishop – chief bishop.
(2) The second way the Witnesses should be answered is to show the clear teaching of scripture that Jesus is eternal, without beginning or end. Since the Witnesses agree that the Bible is internally consistent and does not contradict itself, the question can be posed to them that if we find a passage that seems to contradict another passage then isn’t it our understanding that needs correcting? Here are some passages that show the eternality of Jesus:
John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Ephesians 3:9, “… who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Compare Isaiah 44:24.)
Colossians 1:16, 17, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, …; all things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things and by him all things consist.”
Hebrews 2:10, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, …”
If the Watchtower had the correct interpretation of Revelation 3:14 why did they need to add the word ‘other’ in the text of Colossians 1:15 and 16? They have inserted the word other between “all” and “things” making it seem that Jesus is one of the things created.
Their own Kingdom Interlinear Translation [Ignore the line through the link; it still functions.] shows the absence of the word “other” in the Greek text. Its presence, or absence, makes ALL the difference in Creation.
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