Advice on JW apologetics.

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Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am meeting a Jehova's Witness this coming Sunday. The reason for our meeting is explicitly evangelistic in nature (I suppose from both sides...).
Any advice? Specific points to watch out for / to focus on?
I know there are good JW apologetic books out there (I've read one or two before), but time is limited.
Thanks in advance.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
There are so many things that could be mentioned. I will mention just one.

Be familiar with the various passages in the NT that deal with Christ's deity. Although you don't need to know Greek, it is still helpful to be able to deal with objections to these passages. The main one would be John 1:1 and "Colwell's Rule." This passage is deliberately mistranslated in the New World Translation, the perversion of the Scriptures that JWs use. Other passages would be Romans 9:5 and the Granville Sharp construction found in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.

To understand what I am talking about better, refer to the excellent notes in the NET Bible on these passages. This translation was edited by Daniel Wallace, who happens to be an expert on the Granville Sharp construction (I think his doctoral dissertation was on it). Read, understand, and be able to explain these notes from the NET (preferably without citing it to avoid looking like a parrot).

Others perhaps can come along and give advice on things like the history of the JW cult, which would be helpful to know.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Genesis 48. God and Angel are used interchangeably. Pokes holes in their argument that Jesus was just an angel.

May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel
—may he bless these boys.
 

CalvinistBaptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I am meeting a Jehova's Witness this coming Sunday. The reason for our meeting is explicitly evangelistic in nature (I suppose from both sides...).
Any advice? Specific points to watch out for / to focus on?
I know there are good JW apologetic books out there (I've read one or two before), but time is limited.
Thanks in advance.
Walter Martin has written very good books on their theology, and would like you to consider that they will be at times speaking of Jesus as Son of God, or as messiah, but they vest totally different meanings into those terms.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Defining terms will be key. Do not assume that you have the same definitions for words that might get used such as grace, God, and the like.
 

Branson

Puritan Board Freshman
Make sure you don’t let them dictate the conversation. You’ll be expecting to talk about such topics as Christ deity, the Trinity, or justification, but they will side track you with talk about soul sleep, blood transfusions, birthday parties, etc.


I’ve found it useful to try and go after the root of the tree (the Watchtower Society) and not necessarily various doctrines. I point them to Deuteronomy 18:20-22 where if one claims to be a prophet they must have accuracy in their prophecy or they are designated a false prophet. I attempt to show them where the Watchtower has made multiple prophecies about the world ending (they have made several) and these predictions have never come to pass, thereby showing them as a false prophet and not to be followed.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
When they come to my door, I take them to both John 20:28 and Acts 20:28. They have abused the latter passage by inserting words in their New world translation, but John 20:28 is intact.

Regarding the passage in John, I ask "was Thomas breaking the first commandment by worshipping someone besides Jehovah?" Concerning the second passage, if it is translated correctly, it clearly says that God bled. Since that cannot refer to the divine nature, it has to refer to a human nature, and only Christ has a human nature which did indeed bleed for us. He must be God.

Also, be careful with some of their go-to passages. They like to take you to Colossians 1 to prove that Jesus was created. The NWT says:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 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."

By inserting the word "other," they place Christ as the first of God's creation by which He then created all other things. This is a violation of the text. Christ being the firstborn does not mean that he was created first, but as the text later says, He is the one with preeminence. This is a reference to primogeniture, not order of creation.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Finally, these are people who need the gospel. I try to be gentle with them while giving them some information to hopefully question their beliefs. I then proceed to tell them who Jesus is and to offer this Jesus to them as the God who is ready and willing to save them if they trust in him.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'll let you know how it went, but prayers will definitely be appreciated.
 

CalvinistBaptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I'll let you know how it went, but prayers will definitely be appreciated.
A powerful witness to JW would be using the Prophet Isaiah 43:11, as God Himself says that He alone is savior, and then both Peter and Paul call Jesus our great God and Savior.
 

Jonathan95

Puritan Board Sophomore
Honestly brother, just share the true Gospel. I guarantee if you were to ask him what a man had to do to be saved it would involve something to do with works.

You should definitely ask him if he thinks he's a good person and if he thinks that he has the required qualifications to get into heaven.

Use the ten commandments and ask him those questions. See if he's kept them. When he inevitably says that he has lied, stolen and committed adultery in his heart, show him the Scriptures that speak on our just punishment being hell. No amount of good works is going to undo the bad that was already done in his life.

If someone was on the ground bleeding out and wanted to be saved, what would they have to do? Does this JW believe that they can believe in a moment and repent and be saved?

Many JWs and Mormons will declare the opposite. That we need time to stack up good works so that the scales can be tipped in our favor with God.

It's a damning lie. Let the true Gospel come forth and address any questions and concerns from there.

Blessings.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
The only piece of advice I can give, is don't go down a dozen rabbit trails. They are usually very well learned in their craft and theology. Most of us, aren't. We know a few things. I would suggest only going to a couple of topics, gospel centered.

And keep something in mind, whatever you present, try to center on gospel related themes. Other things like mentioned above on soul sleep, the 144 000, blood transfusion, while not without meaning to them, are only secondary or lower on my priority scale if and when I would talk to them.

If you focus on only a couple of things, both of you can have a more meaningful discussion, and hopefully the holes in their theology can be exposed, as well as the deity of Christ can be revealed.
 

Tidwex

Puritan Board Freshman
When they come to my door, I take them to both John 20:28 and Acts 20:28. They have abused the latter passage by inserting words in their New world translation, but John 20:28 is intact.

Regarding the passage in John, I ask "was Thomas breaking the first commandment by worshipping someone besides Jehovah?" Concerning the second passage, if it is translated correctly, it clearly says that God bled. Since that cannot refer to the divine nature, it has to refer to a human nature, and only Christ has a human nature which did indeed bleed for us. He must be God.

Also, be careful with some of their go-to passages. They like to take you to Colossians 1 to prove that Jesus was created. The NWT says:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 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."

By inserting the word "other," they place Christ as the first of God's creation by which He then created all other things. This is a violation of the text. Christ being the firstborn does not mean that he was created first, but as the text later says, He is the one with preeminence. This is a reference to primogeniture, not order of creation.

Their translation of John 1 shows that nothing was made apart from Jesus, which contradicts Col 1. I had a JW evangelist try that on me, and I kept going right back to John 1. God's not the author of confusion.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
In the Lord's providence our meeting did not take place. The guy cancelled a few hours before...
Still, thank you for the advice!
 
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jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
In the Lord's providence our meeting did not take place. The guy cancelled a few hours before...
Still, thank you for the advice!
I have only talked to 1 JW before and like Mormons they have a skewed understanding of the NT. That is where I focus on the historical facts. If the NT is flawed, when and where did this take place? I've never heard an answer.
 
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