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"Jesus says the Father is His God"--dealing with JW claims

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Shiranui117, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Still figuring stuff out

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    Hi guys,

    So right now I'm debating with a Jehovah's Witness about the Divinity of Christ. They're bringing up passages where Jesus says that the Father is His God, like Revelation 1:6, Revelation 3:12 and John 20:12. Their main allegation is "How can God worship God"?

    My question is, do you good folks know of any Patristic commentary on any of these verses in particular, or have you heard anything useful in this debate? I know there's the argument that Jesus was speaking from His humanity and not His Divinity, but I was wondering if there was anything else I could use.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    Patristics won't work with them, since they only look to Scripture. what you can do is point out that in Greek, the word for worship when Christ tells Satan to only worship God, is the same word that they translate as obeisance when done to Christ. so you can snag them by showing that only Christ accepts the kind of worship that He says is due the Father alone.
     
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  3. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Still figuring stuff out

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    This turned out to be SO helpful and I've been checking all instances where that verb is used (proskyneo), and it works perfectly for all the cases where it occurs in the New Testament. Even though it occurs in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant when the servant falls before his master (proskyneo is still the verb being used here), it's very easy to say that since this is a parable about God's forgiveness, that regarding this as a case of a human worshiping another human is a faulty argument.

    Even though the JW's don't consider the Septuagint to be the real Old Testament, I've still been checking there to make sure that this still works. In Genesis 49:8, Jacob says that Judah's brothers will worship (proskyneo) him (Septuagint Genesis, Ch. 49 - Part 1). This also shows up in Genesis 33:3 (where Esau prosekynesen's Jacob), and in Genesis 27:29, where Isaac promises that the princes of nations will bow before Jacob (proskynesatosan). Also, it seems that the equivalent Hebrew verb has roughly the same usage and occurs for both bowing before people and bowing in worship to God. I have no doubt that the JW's will retort with this and say that there are different extents to which one can worship (proskyneo) a human and to which one can worship (proskyneo) God. Would anyone happen to have relevant knowledge or sources here? Could it be that the usage and connotation of the verb "proskyneo" changed between the time that the Septuagint was translated and the time that the New Testament was written?

    Maybe I need to take this to another forum where Biblical linguists are more likely to weigh in? I know I'm starting to get into some SUPER technical stuff here...
     
  4. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    that's the problem with the JW's. they say it must be clear in Scripture. in the Scripture they use, Jesus is the only one who accepts proskyneo He says is due God alone
     
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