Watchtower Deception

The Watchtower Spin Is Quotational Dishonesty

JW's Quote Kittel in such a way as to leave the impression that he is not a Trinitarian or one with no Bible basis.

Kittel, Gerhard: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament



Gerhard Kittel quoted in:

. Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication

. Watchtower Magazine, Aug. 1, 1984  See pg. 16 col 1, para. 3

This page shows how the Watchtower has distorted the truth about the Trinity.

Our Comments:

. The way Jehovah's Witnesses misuse and misrepresent Kittel's work is clearly dishonest!

. Kittle refers to the threefold formulae IN THE BIBLE ITSELF, not later Trinitarian dogma! Do Arians believe that polytheism influenced the text in 2 Cor 13:13 and Mt 28:19?

. Kittel's comments do not exclude the Arian view (JW's) of God from his comment, for JW's are just as "polythesitic" as trinitarians, FROM A PAGAN POINT OF VIEW.. But notice that Kittle dismisses this possible thought and gives his opinion that trinitarian doctrine had it origin in the Old Testament, and not PAGANISM.

. By creating a false dilemma and selective quoting, they deceive the reader into drawing a false conclusion.

. Notice that although Kittel admits, like all Trinitarians do, that the developed doctrine of the Nicene Trinity is not in the Scripture, but that early Christians believed Jesus was divine and rejected Jesus was a creature!

. In discussing whether "mono-genes" (only-begotten) means "comparison or source" Kittel flatly states first "In compounds with genes, adverbs describe the nature rather than the source of derivation" then "Grammatically both interpretations are justifiable". What that means is that JW's cannot use only-begotten to prove Jesus is a creature because the Greek does not necessarily mean that. So at best, Arians who argue that "only-begotten" proves Jesus is a creature are in the same type of situation Bible believers are in when they say the term "Son of God" applied to Jesus implies Very God and not a creature. In both cases, it cannot be proven by the Greek, although both interpretations are allowed by the Greek!

. Yet discussing "only-begotten" Kittel, openly states that Jesus is VERY God "divine sonship". What this means is that although Kittel says that "only-begotten" might imply the origin of Jesus is the Father, he rejects that this means Jesus is a creature, even if that is the case!. Kittel openly states that Jesus has always existed. Kittel's does suggest that this begetting could refer to the human phase of Jesus existence, "When Jn. speaks of the Son of God, he has primarily in view the man Jesus Christ". but even if this is so, Kittel denies it means Jesus is a creature.

. To prove that mono-genes does not mean source but relationship, Hebrews 11:17 is the text! It is used of Isaac as the monogenes of Abraham. Yet Isaac and Esau were equally monogenes of Abraham, from a Jehovah's Witness point of view! This proves meaning is not on derivation but on his uniqueness and special place in the heart of Abraham. Therefore to quote Kittel as proof that "only-begotten" means that Jesus is a creature, is simply dishonest and unscholarly.

Watchtower Deception Exposed:

How the Watchtower quoted the source

What they left out to deliberately misrepresent the source and deceive you:

"Perhaps recollection of the many triads of the surrounding polytheistic world contributed to the formation of the threefold formulae." (Watchtower, Aug. 1, 1984, pg 22, quoting, Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 3, p. 108)

Behind the individual relationships is the total context of salvation history as this may be seen most clearly and succinctly in Gal 4:4 ff.: God first sends the Son, and then, to continue the work. The divine work of salvation is thus prosecuted in the historical threefold relation of Father, Son and Spirit. This threefold relation soon found fixed expression in the triadic formulae in 2 C. 13:13, and in I Cor. 12:4-6.2" The form is first found in the baptismal formula in Mt. 28:19; Did., 7. 1 and 3. Perhaps recollection of the many triads of the surrounding polytheistic world contributed to the formation of these threefold formulae. More likely, however, is the influence of Jewish models. For in Judaism, as in the early Church, we find triadic formulae, and even formulae with four or more members. Justin combines the triad God, Christ and angel, with that of Father, Son and Spirit, to produce the fourfold (Apol., 1, 6). Eph. 4:4 ff. has spirit and lord, and then God. This is even more complicated than the formula in S. Bar. 85:14: One law through one, one world, one end. In I Cl., 46,6, the narrower triad Is more clearly distinguished from the fourth and additional member. In these later examples, as in the twofold formulae in 1 C. 8:6 etc., the singularity and individuality of the two factors is emphasized by means of the preceding 'eis'. Yet it is self-evident that Father, Son and Spirit are here linked in an indissoluble threefold relationship. On the other hand, the NT does not actually speak of triunity. We seek this in vain in the triadic formulae of the NT. ... Early Christianity itself, however, does not yet have the problem of the Trinity in view"(Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 3, p. 108)

The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel, says: "[Mo·no·ge·nes'] means 'of sole descent,' i.e., without brothers or sisters." This book also states that at John 1:18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9, "the relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only-begotten to the Father." So Jesus, the only-begotten Son, had a beginning to his life. And Almighty God can rightly be called his Begetter, or Father, in the same sense that an earthly father, like Abraham, begets a son. (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Gerhard Kittel, ad quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication )

"only-begotten [Mono-genes] Usage outside the New Testament: In compounds like [Greek] suggests derivation [Greek] rather than birth. Nouns as the first part of the compound give the source, e.g., from Zeus, the earth. Adverbs describe the nature of the derivation, e.g., noble or common. Mono-genes is to be explained along the lines [Greek], rather than [Greek]. The genes does not denote the source (footnote: "Deriving from one alone" would be meaningless) but the nature of derivation. Hence Mono-genes, means "of sole descent," i.e., without brothers or sisters. This gives us the sense of only-begotten. The ref. is to the only child of one's parents, primarily in relation to them. Mono-genes is stronger than [Greek], for it denotes that they have never had more than this child. But the word can also be used more generally without ref. to derivation in the sense of "unique," "unparalleled," "incomparable," B. The Use in the New Testament: 1. In the NT Mono-genes occurs only in Lk, Jn. and Hb., not Mk., Mt. or Pl. It is thus found only in later writings. It means "only-begotten." Thus in Hb. Isaac is the Mono-genes, of Abraham (11:17), in Lk. the dead man raised up again at Nain is the only son of his mother (7:12). the daughter of Jairus is the only child (8:42), and the demoniac boy is the only son of his father (8:42). 2. Only Jn. uses Mono-genes, to describe the relation of Jesus to God. Mk. ... The further step taken by Jn. to describe Jesus corresponds to the fact that believers who as children of God are called [Greek] the same word as is applied to Jesus - in Mt., Pl. etc., are always called [Greek] in Jn., 1:12; 11:52; 1 Jn.3:1, 2, 10; 5:2, while [Greek] is reserved for Jesus. Jn. emphasizes more strongly the distinction between Jesus and believers and the uniqueness of Jesus in His divine sonship. It is not that Jesus is not unique in this sonship for Mt., Pl. etc. also. His Messiah-ship proves this. But Jn. puts it in an illuminating and easily remembered formula which was taken up into the baptismal confession and which ever since has formed an inalienable part of the creed of the Church. To Mono-genes, as a designation of Jesus corresponds the fact that God is the [Greek], of Jesus, Jn. 5:18; for [Greek], means to be in a special relation to Jesus which excludes the same relation to others. Mono-genes occurs in Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 Jn. 4:9. What is meant is plainest in Jn. 3:16 and I Jn. 4:9. Because Jesus is the only Son of God, His sending into the world is the supreme proof of God's love for the world. On the other side, it is only as the only-begotten Son of God that Jesus can mediate life and salvation from perdition. For life is given only in Him, Jn. 5:26. But the fact that He is the only-begotten Son means also that men are obligated to believe in Him, and that they come under judgment, indeed, have done so already, if they withhold faith from Him, 3:18. Mono-genes is thus a predicate of majesty. This is true in Jn. 1:18. Here we are to read [Greek]. 14 As the only-begotten Son Jesus is in the closest intimacy with God. There is no other with whom God can have similar fellowship. He shares everything with this Son. For this reason Jesus can give what no man can give, namely, the fullest possible eye-witness account of God. He knows God, not just from hearsay, but from incomparably close intercourse with Him. In 3:16, 18; 1 Jn. 4:9; 1: 18 the relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only-begotten to the Father. Similarly in Jn. 1:14: [Greek], His glory is not just compared with that of an only child; it is described as that of the only-begotten Son. Grammatically both interpretations are justifiable. But the total usage of Mono-genes is very emphatically against taking [Greek] Mono-genes as a mere comparison. In Jn. 1: 14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 Jn. 4:9 Mono-genes denotes more than the uniqueness or Incomparability of Jesus. In all these verses He is expressly called the Son, and He is regarded as such in 1-14. In Jn. Mono-genes denotes the origin of Jesus. He is Mono-genes, as the only-begotten. What Jn. means by [Greek] Mono-genes [Greek] in detail can be known in its full import only in the light of the whole of John's proclamation. For [Greek] is simply a special form of [Greek] Mono-genes [Greek]. When Jn. speaks of the Son of God, he has primarily in view the man Jesus Christ, though not exclusively the man, but also the risen and pre-existent Lord. The relation of the pre-existent Lord to God is that of Son to Father. This comes out Indisputably in 17:5, 24. Jesus is aware that He was with God, and was loved by Him, and endued with glory, before the foundation of the world. This is personal fellowship with God, divine sonship. It is true that neither In the prologue, nor 8:58, nor c. 17 does Jn. use the term "son" for the pre-existent Lord. But He describes His relation to God as that of a son. To maintain that in Jn. the pre-existent Lord is only the Word, and that the Son is only the historical and risen Lord, is to draw too sharp a line between the pre-existence on the one side and the historical and post-historical life on the other. In Jn. the Lord is always the Son. Because He alone was God's Son before the foundation of the world, because the whole love of the Father is for Him alone, because He alone is one with God, because the title God may be ascribed to Him alone, He is the only-begotten Son of God. It is not wholly clear whether Mono-genes, in Jn. denotes also the birth or begetting from God; it probably does, Jn. calls Jesus [Greek], 1 Jn. 5:18. Though many will not accept this, he here understands the concept of sonship in terms of begetting. For him to be the Son of God is not just to be the recipient of God's love. It is to be begotten of God. This is true both of believers and also of Jesus. For this reason Mono-genes probably includes also begetting by God. To be sure, Jn. does not lift the veil of mystery which lies over the eternal begetting. But this does not entitle us to assume that he had no awareness of it. Johannine preaching and doctrine is designed to awaken faith, 20:30 f., not to give full and systematic knowledge. Hence it does not have to dispel all mysteries. (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament", Gerhard Kittel, Buchsel, 1967, Vol. IV, p 737-741)

We seek this in vain in the triadic formulae of the NT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Gerhard Kittel, as quoted by Anti-Trinitarians)

We seek this in vain in the triadic formulae of the NT. ... Early Christianity itself, however, does not yet have the problem of the Trinity in view"(Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 3, p. 108)